Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole has taken aim at Prime Minister Trudeau in his response to the government’s throne speech, saying the speech “completely ignored most of the critical issues facing Canada.”
“From the inflation crisis, the cost-of-living crisis, economic uncertainty, and severe labour shortages to alienation in the West, an erosion of trust in this government and the complete collapse of Canada’s reputation on the world stage, the prime minister remains completely disconnected from the real needs of Canadians and is causing our country to be less prosperous, and more divided,” O’Toole said in the House of Commons on Nov. 30.
The Liberals’ agenda set forth in the throne speech on Nov. 23 included defeating the pandemic, economic recovery, fighting climate change, furthering indigenous reconciliation, and advancing diversity and inclusion.
On the issue of reconciliation, O’Toole accused Trudeau of wanting Canadians to be “ashamed” of their identity and culture.
“He would rather foster accusations and division and conflict rather than real dialogue and reconciliation,” he said.
The throne speech said “we must turn the guilt we carry into action” on reconciliation.
O’Toole also took shots at the NDP for siding with the Liberals and failing to hold the government to account, saying the party has abandoned its traditional base.
“My friends in the NDP have forgotten who they used to represent,” he said. “Canada’s Conservatives are the real voice for working Canadians in this country.”
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also delivered his response to the throne speech. He criticized the Liberal government for not addressing the plight of workers in the energy sector as Canada seeks to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
O’Toole and Singh presented themselves as options for those who they say have been forgotten by Trudeau’s government.
“Too many voices in Canada don’t feel heard,” O’Toole said.
In the short period of time before the holiday break, the government seeks to pass several bills: to provide targeted pandemic financial aid, ban pandemic-related protests that interfere with hospitals and staff, mandate a 10-day paid sick leave for federally regulated workplaces, and ban conversion therapy.
All related bills have already been tabled in Parliament.
With files from The Canadian Press