POLITICS

Throne Speech 2015: Rona Ambrose, Thomas Mulcair Highlight Words Left Unsaid

12/04/2015 05:35 EST | Updated 12/04/2015 11:59 EST

There were about 1,600 words in the new Liberal government's first throne speech.

But in her comments to the media after Gov. Gen. David Johnston delivered the remarks Friday, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose focused mostly on the words left unsaid.

The document showed the era of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be one of big government and big spending, according to Ambrose.

rona ambrose

Rona Ambrose speaks to reporters in Ottawa. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)

"We saw no mention of the agriculture sector, no mention of the auto sector, no mention of the energy sector," she said. "Bottom line, no mention of the private sector, which was very concerning when we're thinking about the fact that we need job creation in this country and we have to focus on the economy."

The official Opposition leader was also irked that there was no mention of Islamic State militants.

"We're also very concerned about the fact that while the rest of the world is expanding and enhancing its fight against the Islamic State, this speech from the throne doesn't even mention the word ISIS," she said.

"And if you're not prepared to actually name the threat, how are you prepared to take the fight to the threat?"

In a later Conservative Party media release, Ambrose called the speech short on details but full of "big spending." She said there was "zero evidence" Liberals would continue the past government's "ambitious free trade agenda."

And she was again critical of Trudeau's pledge to withdraw Canadian jets from the fight against ISIS.

"This speech from the throne doesn't even mention the word ISIS."
— Rona Ambrose

"The Speech from the Throne still does nothing to explain how withdrawing Canada's CF-18s from the air combat mission will help our coalition partners defeat ISIS," she said in the statement.

The speech did mention that investments in public transit and infrastructure would help support economic growth and job creation.

On matters of security, the speech vowed the federal government will "renew Canada's commitment to United Nations peacekeeping operations, and... continue to work with its allies in the fight against terrorism."

It also promised a "leaner, more agile, better-equipped military" and a government that protect rights and freedoms while working to keep Canadians safe.

Mulcair 'thrilled' with one key pledge

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair lauded several elements of the speech when he met with reporters, particularly the commitments made to Canada's indigenous peoples.

"I am thrilled that the government has said that it's going to be a top priority to establish a nation-to-nation relationship with our First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples," he said.

Mulcair suggested he was eager to see the government's plan to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as the party promised.

thomas mulcair

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair speakers to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)

Mulcair also saluted the Liberals' pledge not to use taxpayer money for partisan government ads, calling it "courageous and long overdue." He also praised the Liberal commitment to do away with omnibus bills.

But there were also areas where Trudeau's team came up short, he said, and again the focus was on words not said.

There was no mention of Liberal campaign pledges to change the retirement age back to 65 from 67, Mulcair said. And nothing restore door-to-door mail delivery.

He continued, "There was no mention of new oversight provisions for C-51 and frankly I was shocked that there's not a single reference to childcare in the whole throne speech."

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