POLITICS

Quotes from and reaction to the throne speech delivered Wednesday

10/16/2013 07:41 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
OTTAWA - Some quick quotes from and reaction to the throne speech delivered Wednesday by Gov. Gen. David Johnston:

---

"Our government will enshrine in law its successful and prudent approach. Our government will introduce balanced-budget legislation. It will require balanced budgets during normal economic times, and concrete timelines for returning to balance in the event of an economic crisis." — Johnston.

---

"Does this mean that Canada will never see a budget deficit again? Probably not. But this commits the Conservative government to make good on their promise of a budget surplus by 2015. Breaking their own balanced budget law would be political suicide." — Gregory Thomas, federal director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

---

"The road to 2017 is a fitting time to strengthen our institutions and democratic processes. The government continues to believe the status quo in the Senate of Canada is unacceptable. The Senate must be reformed or, as with its provincial counterparts, vanish. The government will proceed upon receiving the advice of the Supreme Court. And the government will propose changes to Canada's elections laws to uphold the integrity of our voting system. Legislation will be introduced in time for implementation prior to the next federal election." — Johnston.

---

"Stephen Harper is obviously continuing his attempts to change the channel. It's going to take more than a few of his watered down attempts to copy NDP policies on consumer issues to get Canadians to believe that he's actually changed his mind. I notice that his attempt to change the channel was occurring at the scene of the crime in the Senate.... I guess we can't blame him for wanting to change the channel, but there you have it." — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

---

"This throne speech, for all its veneer of little solutions, isn't actually dealing with the real problems that Canadians are facing around their debts, around jobs, around their children's education. We have real problems in this country and this government is more preoccupied with its own problems than the problems of Canadians." — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

---

"Our government will take additional action to protect Canadian consumers. Canadians are tired of hidden fees. They deserve to know the real cost of paying by debit or credit card. And they should not be charged more in Canada for identical goods that sell for less in the United States." — Johnston.

---

"For millions of Canadians, cell phones and cable TV are not their primary concern. Having enough quality food to put on the table every night, living in safe and affordable housing and having hope for a better future for the children are real worries for too many Canadians for whom prosperity and opportunity are out of reach." — Ian Culbert, co-chairman, Canadian Coalition for Public Health.

---

"As efforts to clean up and rebuild Lac-Megantic demonstrate, railway companies must be able to bear the cost of their actions. Our government will require shippers and railways to carry additional insurance so they are held accountable. And we will take targeted action to increase the safety of the transportation of dangerous goods." — Johnston.

---

"This is a government that has real problems following the rules that govern our elections in this country so I'm not extremely hopeful that they're suddenly going to fix what's wrong with our electoral system." — Trudeau.

---

"Given that the government recognized the significance and the legal foundation of the Royal Proclamation, the Congress position is that off-reserve Aboriginal Peoples need to be involved in the development of long-term and sustainable job skill development strategies, safe and affordable housing, education and economic development programs targeted to Aboriginal Peoples living off-reserve." — Betty Ann Lavallee, national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

---

"Our government will fulfill prime minister Diefenbaker's historic vision by completing the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean, linking Canada from sea to sea to sea." — Johnston.

---

"Canada recognizes the courageous and inspiring example set by Malala Yousafzai in risking her life promoting education for young women. She faced down evil and oppression and now speaks boldly for those who are silenced. Recognizing her heroism, our government will, on behalf of all Canadians, bestow honorary citizenship on this remarkable young woman." — Johnston.

---

"If Stephen Harper doesn't show up in the House tomorrow, that would be unprecedented. But he can continue to run, but I guarantee you, he can't hide ... It would be absolutely unbelievable and unprecedented if Mr. Harper were not to show up tomorrow." — Mulcair, reacting to news Harper is travelling to Brussels to sign an agreement in principle on a Canada-EU trade deal.