Throne Speech Outlines Five Top Priorities

April 6, 2006

Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong pleased with new Government’s First Throne Speech.

OTTAWA – On Tuesday, April 4th, Canada’s new government delivered its first Speech from the Throne, outlining the top five priorities that Canadians from every part of the country supported during the recent federal election. Accountability, cutting the GST, a “Patient Wait Times Guarantee”, a childcare allowance and getting tough on crime – these are the priorities Canadians voted for and they are the priorities of Canada’s new government.

Wellington-Halton Hills M.P. Michael Chong said that, “Instead of promising that every single issue will be a top priority, our new government is focusing on implementing these priorities. They will make a big difference for people living in Halton Hills and Wellington County.”

The first priority is a pledge to restore greater accountability and effectiveness to federal institutions by passing the Federal Accountability Act, a sweeping piece of omnibus legislation that will reform electoral financing, place restrictions on lobbyist activities and strengthen access to information, among other things.

The second priority is to lower taxes by immediately cutting the GST 1% from 7% to 6%, providing immediate tax relief for ordinary Canadians.

The third priority is to provide parents with a childcare allowance of $1200 per year for each child under six, so that parents can choose the childcare that is best suited for them. Every family’s situation is unique and the $1200 will empower parents to make the childcare choices suitable for their needs. The new government will also create 125,000 new childcare spaces in Canada by introducing incentives for businesses, non-profit and community-based organizations.

The fourth priority is to address violent crime, especially involving handguns in our larger urban centres, by introducing tough new criminal justice legislation. This legislation will introduce tougher sentences for violent and repeat offenders, especially for crimes involving dangerous weapons.

The fifth priority is to strengthen public healthcare by working with the provinces to introduce a “Patient Wait Times Guarantee” so that Canadians receive essential medical treatment within clinically acceptable waiting times.

Finally, realizing the urgency of the farm income crisis, the new government has promised that an additional $2.5 billion dollars in new money will be delivered for farm income support over the next five years.

Chong said, “Our agenda will be clear and focused. It will clean up government, provide real support to ordinary working families and deliver help to our beleaguered farmers.” He concluded, “On January 23rd, Canadians overwhelmingly voted for change, and change is what we will deliver.”

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