HALIFAX – Opposition leaders were quick to deride the Liberal government’s third-term throne speech in official responses Friday and said the speech wasn’t terribly detailed.
“I don’t think there was one significant plan of action in this throne speech,” interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose said, adding that the Liberals are “just spending more money” rather than taking concrete steps.
“I don’t even think it was a real speech in the sense that there was no detail or real commitment to change,” said Ambrose.
The Liberal government made three major announcements in the speech, including a plan to continue their targets for reducing the deficit and rising debt by using a transition fund to help support infrastructure projects.
The Liberal government also promised to take action on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, among other topics.
Proud to make great plans for jobs and growth in our third term. #MeaningfulAction pic.twitter.com/tJt3y7ti3p — Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) June 22, 2018
Two opposition parties responded by asking the government to explain their strategy for accomplishing their goals.
The New Democrats said the throne speech failed to give a concrete plan for delivering on the Liberal promise to balance the books, or answer the question of how they planned to reduce infrastructure debt.
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne didn’t directly answer NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s question on the constitutionality of their pledge to remove the Green Party from Parliament, but pointed to previous floor-crossing.
The New Democrats – who recently joined the Ontario Progressive Conservatives in opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline – also said the government will need to craft a business-friendly climate change plan in order to help the province’s struggling manufacturing sector.
The NDP said they would also ask the Liberals to come up with a plan to fund their pledge to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2019, a proposition they said they’ve already taken under advisement.
@AndreaHorwath #NDP say @Kathleen_Wynne gave a “muted” throne speech aimed at defusing opposition pressure in #ontario. Be rest assured though, #the_children will be watching at home. #dripevent — Steve Vesey (@SteveVesey) June 22, 2018
Wynne and Environment Minister Rod Phillips noted in their responses that the climate change goal would mean a nearly 10 per cent increase in the province’s gross domestic product, and said the speech laid out a series of goals and mechanisms to achieve it.