One shakes one’s head watching Canadian TV networks trying to inject some drama into the response to the speech from the throne. Are you kidding? The leader of the two main opposition parties are down with COVID symptoms right now. They can’t even leave their house for two weeks, much less go into THE House or the campaign trail. The Conservatives can safely vote against the package knowing full well that Jagmeet Singh and the Greens will keep the government in power. Singh, who has led his party to its poorest showing in 16 years knows that what he has right now is as good as it is going to get—a left-leaning Liberal Prime Minister who will not object to sweetening spending programs to secure NDP support. One wonders how much Trudeau held back from the speech from the throne knowing he would have to put it back in to allow Singh look like he is calling the shots. Nobody in Canada is looking for an election in the middle of a pandemic so enough of the silly talk.
One good thing that has emerged with the Throne Speech is that it necessitated recalling Parliament; and with that it looks like a deal has been struck to return to a semblance of a “full” parliament, albeit supplemented by Zoom. That means the resumption of committee hearings next month including the committees that were looking into the WE Charity fiasco. Committees on agriculture, ethics, environment, government operations, finance, public safety and human resources will all reconvene. The Special Committee on Canada-China Relations will also be brought back. The committees have been out of action since August 18. MP and Conservative Leader of the House, Gerard Deltell (Louis-St. Laurent, Quebec) told reporters, “Canadians deserve answers to tough questions, this is what parliamentary committees are all about…Canadians need and deserve to have a real Parliament.”