Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Throne speech highlights

It's an election manifesto as much as a legislative to-do list. Here are the highlights:

• Freeze in departmental salary and overhead budgets.
• Review of all departmental spending
• A new emphasis on achieving efficiencies and ending duplication in the public service.
• Freeze on MP, Ministers, Senators and PM’s salaries.
• Freeze on ministerial office budgets
• More funding for skills development and apprenticeship programs
• Strengthened education opportunities for Native peoples.
• Emphasis on technology research and development, with strengthening of copyright laws.
• Allow foreign investment in telecommunications comapnies.
• Space-based technologies that will help support Arctic sovereignty (probably a polar spy satellite system).
• Encouragement of foreign investment in Canadian space technology.
• More work on Free Trade.
• National securities regulator.
• Cut red tape for new energy projects and small business.
• Invest in clean energy research.
• Help for the marketing of forestry and farm products.
• Reform Canada’s fisheries management.
• Find ways to protect workers in bankrupt companies.
• Better food safety research.
• Tougher youth crime laws, increased penalties for sex offenders who prey on children, including Internet luring and cyber abuse.
• Life in jail without parole for multiple murders.
• No house arrest for violent offenders.
• Re-introduce legislation toughening the laws on illegal drug trafficking
• “Improve criminal procedures” to cut the number of long, drawn-out crimes.
• More help for victims of crime.
• More anti-terrorism funding, including more airport screening and biometric passports.
• More judicial tools to fight terrorism and organized crime.
• Protection of seniors’ income and a national Seniors Day.
• Access to EI for soldiers.
• More money for war memorials and a memorial to the victims of Communism.
• Modernize support systems for veterans.
• More help for Native reserves, including environmental clean-ups, settlements of land claims, and breaking down barriers to gender equality for Native women.
• Strengthen Francophone identity and restrict the use of the federal spending power in areas of provincial jurisdiction.
• Place an emphasis on Arctic research, including sustainable development in the North.

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