Kitchen questions government's direction

·5 min read

MP for Souris-Moose Mountain, Dr. Robert Kitchen says the Throne Speech was mainly retread from the Liberal government and there was no reason to prorogue parliament for multiple weeks for it.

“It’s an hour of my time that I’ll never get back,” said Kitchen. “The question is, why did we prorogue parliament for this? When you’re talking about proroguing and you have a prime minister who says he’s going to come up with new plans on how we’re going to help this country through the pandemic and how we’re going to get their jobs back and advance this country. And ultimately you have a Throne Speech that rehashes all the old stuff that they’ve done and brings up the old announcements that they’ve made in the last couple weeks and that’s it.

“There was no new vision to be seen. He could have prorogued parliament on the Monday and written this speech for us to hear on Wednesday. It’s just stunning and the question is why? The reality is the reason why they did it is because he needed to distract people from the WE scandal he created and the ethical issues related to that. This was the only way he could shut it down. He wanted to shut it down since the middle of August so people wouldn’t be discussing that issue.”

The proroguing of parliament by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a Throne Speech that focused on uniting Canada while there was little communication from the Liberals with rest of the political parties is troublesome, Kitchen said.

“It’s extremely concerning,” he said. “Ultimately when you look at what he talked about, he talked about Team Canada and how Team Canada needs to work together. Yet, he doesn’t discuss the issue with any of the opposition parties—he doesn’t even talk to them until the Friday before. The speech was already written at that point, it didn’t matter that other parties had talked to him. His Team Canada approach was basically his first line and that’s it—he’s not playing all four lines that need to be played, especially in a minority government. That part is very disheartening.”

The lack of mention of the agriculture and resource industries in the West was once again Trudeau and the Liberals not focussing on Canada as a whole, says Kitchen.

“It’s hard to see anything positive from it,” he said. “Ultimately, when you look at the speech, the word ‘farming’ was used twice in the document. That’s it. He needs to pay attention to what the farmers are doing from an environmental point of view. We’ve been saying we need to recognize the great work our farmers have been doing from a carbon sequestration point of view. And this great work they’ve been doing through this pandemic to provide the food source that we need. But he doesn’t talk about getting rid of that carbon tax that’s in the farmers lap. When that farmer has a crop and needs to contract somebody to pick up that grain and move it to the elevator, that carbon tax is on that farmer. Those are things he doesn’t discuss.

“He didn’t talk about the oil and gas sector and what could be done and the great work the oil and gas sector are doing within enhanced oil recovery, the carbon sequestration storage project, etc. He doesn’t talk about these things that are great and how we need to advance that to improve things. These are great Canadian innovations and that we have in Saskatchewan. There was no mention of any of that. It’s basically the same old. There’s nothing new and nothing visionary in this document whatsoever. He’s basically left many Canadians behind.”

Kitchen says the biggest negative from the Throne Speech and current situation in Canada is the spending and the debt the country has taken on since Trudeau took over.

“He’s (Trudeau) added over $345 billion to the debt in this country and he’s going to continue to add debt,” he said. “In the speech he said Canadians can’t afford to take on debt so the government will take on debt and that’s just like his concept of budgets balance themselves. He’s taking on the debt? He’s not taking on the debt, Canadians are taking on the debt because any debt the government takes on is Canadian debt and he’s just adding to it for every woman, man, child, and grandchild that will have to pay off this huge debt that’s been built up here.”

Overall, Kitchen says, with the lack of real substance in the Throne Speech on top of the proroguing of parliament feeds into the theory that it was a move to take the pressure off of Trudeau with the WE scandal.

“I know my caucus has basically said this isn’t a Throne Speech that we can support, it’s just impossible for that to happen,” he said. “I can’t speak for other parties, but there is potential that it could be defeated. Then again, I saw last night on the news a pollster say that Trudeau wants an election and doesn’t want to take the blame for causing an election and this speech was so mundane to make it impossible for the opposition to support it in which case the blame would be put on the opposition.

“He wants that election because he doesn’t want the ethical issues that have been brought up on the WE scandal. Canadians are going to see challenges over the next six months as we move forward because his only idea of dealing with Covid-19 is shutting down our economy again and that’s just no acceptable.”

Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator