The federal government’s throne speech is facing criticism for not offering solutions for the biggest economic crisis facing Canadians – inflation.
Speaking from Ottawa Tuesday afternoon, Macdonald-Laurier Institute domestic policy director Aaron Wudrick criticized Tuesday’s speech from the throne as lacking “any serious thought” about inflation.
“It is understandable that (the Liberals) are focused on the pandemic, but beyond that, much of this throne speech comes across as incredibly disconnected from the day-to-day struggles many Canadians face,” said Wudrick.
“The throne speech gives the impression of having dropped the line about inflation to sound like they are paying attention to it, but it is clear from the rest of the speech that there hasn’t been any serious thought put into what to do about rising inflation.”
Governor-General Mary Simon delivered the throne speech as parliament returned to the House of Commons for the first time since September’s election, which sent the Liberals back to Ottawa with another minority government.
The speech outlined the federal government’s priorities moving forward with its new mandate. Much of the speech was dedicated to Liberal priorities like tackling climate change and reconciliation while the country faces an inflation crisis and slacking supply chains.
Wudrick criticized the speech for lumping Liberal pet projects in with counter-inflationary measures.
“It was very odd to hear the throne speech reference inflation as a major concern and then proceed to completely ignore it. The speech bizarrely points to housing and childcare as ‘addressing’ inflation which makes no sense,” he said. “One, these measures won’t do anything to ease inflation’ and two… those measures were things the government had already committed to – they were not developed to fight inflation.”
Contained within the speech were over half a dozen references to climate change and reconciliation, while topics like inflation and the supply chain only received one mention each.
“We do know that Canada is seeing the highest rate of inflation in almost three decades. We do know that even the Bank of Canada has acknowledged it will persist. These challenges are still real for Canada regardless of how much better or worse it is anywhere else,” said Wurdrick.
With regard to whether the Liberals will continue to spend their way through this mandate, Wurdrick says that while it does seem there will be some post-pandemic spending restraint, the plan lacks any details.
“The speech does hint at some post-pandemic fiscal tightening – but as with inflation, there are no details,” he said. “The rest of the speech mentions many commitments to spend more money, so it is difficult to see how they will be able to cut spending and reduce the deficit while still fulfilling all of the promises they are making in the speech.”