OTTAWA—Justin Trudeau’s road map for governing in his second term reveals he “didn’t learn a thing” from the election results or his consultations with political leaders, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Friday.
“He hasn’t changed at all,” Scheer told the Commons as he delivered a lengthy criticism of the government’s throne speech, delivered Thursday.
That speech set out climate change, Indigenous reconciliation, tax breaks for the middle class and health care as top priorities as Parliament resumed this week after the Oct. 21 election that saw the Liberals lose seats.
Scheer said Trudeau made a “grand show” of meeting with opposition leaders, premiers and mayors in the weeks since the election and yet the speech showed “that he didn’t learn a thing.”
“That’s what these speeches are all about … about how the government has changed. How it will learn. How it will improve,” Scheer said.
“That is what I was waiting to hear. Some humility. I’m still waiting,” he said.
Scheer said the government’s agenda — as laid out in the throne speech — held no substantive proposals to help “struggling” Canadian families, contain expansionist agendas of Russia and China, heal Canada’s “deteriorating” relationship with the U.S. and preserve national unity at home.
He said the “top” priority for all MPs must be to help “struggling” families and reiterated his party’s call on the Liberals to scrap their carbon pricing, imposed on provinces like Ontario that don’t have a provincial strategy.
Scheer declared that as long as he is leader, the Conservative party “will always oppose a carbon tax.
“It’s time to stop targeting Canadian commuters and seniors — and instead focus on innovative, market-based policies that prepare Canada for the future and can ensure we make a real impact on global emissions,” the Conservative leader said.
Despite Scheer’s call to “move past the old debates and start fighting this challenge together,” the throne speech made clear the Liberals intent to enact their climate change agenda that includes “a carbon levy “everywhere in this country.”
Scheer claimed the country is riven with divisions — east vs. west, English and French, urban and rural.
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And the Saskatchewan MP cautioned the Commons to not underestimate the “deep alienation and anger” that residents of his province and Alberta feel about “their deal in Confederation.”
The Conservatives tabled a motion that called on the government to offer tax breaks along with a path to a balanced budget, confront “threats such as regimes in Moscow and Beijing,” and scrap the carbon tax.