POLITICS

Senate scandal raised by NDP ahead of throne speech

10/16/2013 11:47 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
A consumer-focused throne speech won't distract Canadians from the Senate scandal, NDP House leader Nathan Cullen said Wednesday, hours before the speech was to be delivered.

"We know what this [prorogation] was all about. It was trying to switch the channel and have Canadians forget about Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin and the prime minister's very bad judgment. It's not going to work. Canadians know what they know. And they've seen a government that has run out of ideas and has lost its way, and more and more corruption has crept in," said Cullen.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will speak to reporters at 12:15 p.m. ET, ahead of the throne speech.

CBC News will have live coverage of the throne speech starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed his caucus Wednesday morning ahead of the speech, which will be read by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.

The Conservatives have already given interviews about the consumer focus of their agenda over the next two years, with strategic leaks providing more information about what will be included.

The guests who will be in the Senate gallery for the speech also give hints of what issues may be touched on in the speech:

- Colette Roy-Laroche, mayor of Lac-Mégantic, the town hit by a massive rail disaster, which has had trouble paying for the clean-up.

- Claude Dauphin, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which has long advocated for more money for cities to build infrastructure.

- National Inuit Leader Terry Audla, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said in a news release that she has written an alternate throne speech and will be tweeting along with the one delivered by Johnston.

"To be legitimate, government must exist by consent of the governed," she said in an excerpt from the speech.

"Parliament is supreme; The prime minister reports to parliament and not the other way around.”