After three years in a row, it feels like there is deja vu in Parliament. Sometime in the Fall, everything restarts with another throne speech and the Liberal government tries to make their same old program seem like it is something new. This time around, following an opportunistic election call that did not bring them the desired outcome, the Liberals have made it clear that they have learned nothing and will repeat the same mistakes.
Sadly, for this year’s speech from the throne, what it says – and doesn’t say – fails to support and live up to a “united Canada” as its own stated goal. Many Canadians will feel the impact of this government’s bad decisions, along with other problems which they do not meaningfully address. From my perspective as a Prairie MP, I immediately see an entire region disregarded, as well as growing gaps between people living in rural and urban areas.
There was no mention of doing anything better for agriculture after devastating droughts, and at a time of vulnerable supply chains and rising inflation. By producing essential goods, this sector is fundamental for our economy to function and recover. Yet the government gave no indication that it will prioritize the immediate needs of farmers or Canadian consumers.
They do not truly recognize the practical realities of producers and how their difficult decisions will also impact costs for everyone else. Actually listening to consistent feedback from stakeholders and industry would involve an improved, proactive approach to our response programs. It sounds like the Liberals will keep leaving it in the background.
Instead, they have talked about environmental achievements in Canadian agriculture (such as crop rotation or zero/low-till farming) while trying to take credit for promoting them – as if farmers have not been figuring out better practices for decades, without the government telling them they have to. Then, proceeding without consultation or due consideration, they announced burdensome and counterproductive regulations on fertilizer reduction. The new throne speech was another missed opportunity for the Trudeau government to move past this disconnect.
Meanwhile, there is a similarly troubling situation for managing our energy needs. At least it was mentioned once, but only in relation to phasing out Canadian oil and gas. It is no secret that the new Ministers of Environment and Natural Resources are both set against our world-class industry. Shortly after his appointment, the former openly admitted, “We’ve also committed to put a cap on the emissions of the oil and gas sector, and we’re not doing that for any other sector in the Canadian economy.” For them, our own industry is nothing but a problem, while they ignore what happens with foreign oil imports.
Struggling Canadians need reassurance and leadership from their government, but they will have to look elsewhere. On these and other critical issues, the Liberals have not shown any willingness to change for the better or meet the moment. In this new Parliament, I will be fighting for everything our country needs to remain united, strong, and free.
-Jeremy Patzer is the Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills—Grasslands