By Lethbridge Herald on November 5, 2021.
Rachael Harder – MP for Lethbridge
At the opening of every new session of Parliament, the Prime Minister is given the unique opportunity to share his vision for Canada and what he and his government aim to accomplish over the coming years.
This roadmap comes in the form of a Speech from the Throne delivered by the Queen’s representative, the Governor General.
As ministers, policy writers, and advisors are undoubtedly working on this speech right now, I would like to offer some thoughts as to what I believe should be prioritized and communicated in this anticipated plan for Canada.
Though the Speech from the Throne signals a fresh start, it is imperative that it stays anchored in the core principles of our parliamentary democracy and stays true to the fundamental role of the federal government.
Namely, the federal government should focus on four primary things: keeping the country united; ensuring Canadians are kept safe and secure; facilitating an environment of economic prosperity; and advancing Canada’s place on the world stage.
Firstly, in his throne speech, the Prime Minister should outline his plan for creating a united Canada. As Publilius Syrus famously said, “where there is unity there is always victory.”
If we wish to step into our full potential as a country, we must stand united. Mr. Trudeau must stop pitting one region against another; one religion against another; and one people group against another. We must unite around our common identity as Canadians and our inherent worth as people, while simultaneously honouring and celebrating the uniquenesses that exist among us.
Secondly, safety and security should be top of mind for the Prime Minister.
The government must ensure our borders are secured and Canadians are kept safe from security threats at home and abroad.
Cybersecurity threats are real and severe. Canada must bolster its online security systems and take a realistic approach when dealing with foreign actors that have proven to be untrustworthy in the past.
The Chinese government poses a grave threat, especially through its reach into Beijing-based telecommunications company, Huawei.
Canada should join with its Five Eyes intelligence alliance partners and place significant limitations on Huawei’s access to Canada or ban the telecommunications giant altogether.
Increased investment in the Canadian Armed Forces is a must. We need to ensure that adequate and appropriate military equipment is procured.
These men and women stand on the front lines of defense and they must have equipment that is safe and effective.
For example, used fighter jets won’t cut it!
Misogyny and sexual misconduct within the Canadian Military must be addressed.
It’s time for Mr. Trudeau and his cabinet to stop making excuses, take responsibility for the role they’ve played in the current cover-up and clean things up. The brave women who have come forward with their stories deserve this much at least.
While we must be on guard against foreign threats, we also need to be aware of the many dangers within our own country.
Human trafficking is tragically rampant in Canada and any Prime Minister who claims to care about the most vulnerable must not overlook this grave situation. A plan must be put in place to keep young women and girls safe from predators.
Thirdly, Mr. Trudeau must return to a balanced budget and demonstrate fiscal responsibility. It is undeniable that our economy is currently standing on fragile footing as the country is shouldering unprecedented debt levels.
As a consequence of the Canadian government spending more than any other G20 country in its pandemic response, our deficit has reached epic proportions, and inflation rates are getting dangerously high.
As a result, the cost of living is rising and the number of people living in poverty is growing because of it.
We need to get government spending under control and stop borrowing what we don’t have.
We need to invest in the revenue-generating sectors of our economy and get Canadians back to work.
Unleashing the power of our workforce is the only shot we have at rebooting our economic engine.
Canadians are incredibly creative, inventive, and entrepreneurial. We need to reward innovation and stop penalizing those who are successful and bring jobs and growth into our economy.
This government needs to let Canadians thrive by reducing red tape and regulation and getting out of the way.
It should go without saying, but unfortunately it must be stated explicitly: the government needs to commit to the development of Canada’s energy sector.
Canada has been blessed with the third largest oil reserve in the world, plus we adhere to the highest environmental regulations on the planet, and we respect human rights.
Even while we transition to alternative energy sources, the need for oil and gas still exists.
When we refuse to develop Canada’s industry, it simply means we must bring oil and gas in from places like Saudi Arabia, where there are zero environmental standards and human rights are abysmal.
In other words, by neglecting our industry, Prime Minister Trudeau has an opportunity to support Canada’s ethically sourced oil, or he can use taxpayer’s money to support a foreign dictator and purchase unethical blood oil that was produced with zero regard for the environment.
The fact that Mr. Trudeau has appointed a former environmental activist who has been arrested for his anti-oil and gas antics is certainly alarming.
Fourthly, after giving careful attention to the local affairs of our country, we can once again look to have a respectable presence on the world stage. It is undeniable that Canada has taken a backseat when it comes to forming alliances in security, trade, and intelligence. This is largely a result of our failure to take a stand within our own country. If we are not defenders of freedom and democracy within our own borders, then how can we export these values globally?
The only way this country can propel forward with strength is by standing united. This is the preeminent role of any national leader — that the people he serves stay united under a national banner. If Prime Minister Trudeau genuinely wants this country to succeed, he must adjust course and stop stoking the fire of animosity between Canadians.
In light of Remembrance Day on November 11th, when we will pause to remember and pay tribute to the men and women who have served this country, I cannot help but feel an incredible responsibility to preserve the very principles on which Canada is founded in order to honour the sacrifices made by Canada’s veterans.
We must continue to stand united as Canadians in defense of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.
The speech from the Throne should align itself accordingly.