Instead of a throne speech, perhaps the government should have called the ceremony to open parliament the La-Z-Boy speech. Because its clear that having sewn up their third majority, the Liberals are sitting back to enjoy the ride.
That was the verdict of National President Judy Darcy, who said the Liberals were reclining in their easy chair, watching a steady diet of reruns.
Darcy criticized the throne speech for its lack of action on water, health care, child care and restoring public services.
They had a real chance to show some leadership on water, she said. Instead they recycled the same old promises on infrastructure and were silent on the key question of setting and enforcing federal standards for drinking water.
Its the same with health care, child care and post secondary education, said Darcy. They keep announcing over and over again the same money that they promised in previous budgets when we know its not enough.
While the throne speech repeated Red Book promises to support early childhood education, there was no progress on a national child care program. Similarly, there was no movement to reverse the creeping privatization of our health care system or provide affordable housing or seriously tackle poverty.
In the case of post-secondary education, even more public funding will be tied to private corporate research rather than improving access to university or strengthening independent research.
In its Annual Report on Privatization, to be released in March, CUPE will be looking further at the federal governments role in promoting privatization.