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Conservative Throne Speech Promises To Create Jobs, Stay Tough On Crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA -- The new majority Conservative government has laid out its agenda for the country in a throne speech that promises to focus on the economy -- and kill the long-gun registry and the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly.

The speech, which mirrors the Tory election platform, includes plans to reform the Senate, maintain health-care funding increases, and create a new Office of Religious Freedom to help protect minorities abroad.

It also vows to continue with the Conservative tough-on-crime strategy, while helping vulnerable groups, including aboriginals.

Missing were the surprises that have characterized some previous Harper government throne speeches and budgets, such as an ill-fated proposal last year to revise the national anthem

"We will get back to work on the things that matter most to Canadians: good jobs, security for our families and a prosperous future," Gov. Gen. David Johnston read in his first speech since becoming the viceroy last summer.

The main priority for the brief parliamentary session before the summer recess is to pass the federal budget, which is being introduced Monday.

The Tories have pledged to reintroduce the same fiscal plan they outlined prior to the election.

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