EDITORIAL: Nickel and dime speech

Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued the 41st sitting of parliament to allow the Conservative government time to reset its priorities.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued the 41st sitting of parliament to allow the Conservative government time to reset its priorities.

The need to reset, Harper claimed, was because his government had successfully met most of the goals established in the previous speech from the throne.

The last parliamentary sessions included the passing of two omnibus bills amending more than 50 laws such as the former Navigable Waters Act, and pushing the pension threshold for Old Age Security to 67 from 65 years of age.

How these two amendments make Canada a better place to live is a mystery.

Given the Conservative government had a month to reset their priorities, Canadians could be forgiven if they had high expectations regarding announcements addressing unemployment, health care, education, and senate reform.

How disappointing then to listen to the throne speech last week indicating Harper and Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty decided to nickel and dime their way into the next election.

Forcing cable companies to offer individual channels and wireless companies to cap roaming charges will not put more Canadians to work, will not improve health care, or education, or anything for that matter.

Harper and Flaherty are sticking to their job training program, a program they gave to the provinces then decided to take back.

Meanwhile, 7.2 per cent of Canadians are unemployed.  In 2000 that number was six per cent.

But given the speech from the throne, it appears Harper knows unemployed Canadians would rather have simpler cable packages and a cap on roaming charges, that is once they find a job.

Maybe with the new EU trade pact they can head over to Europe to find employment.

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