Whitehorse Daily Star

Senator, MP assess throne speech contents

It’s not too surprising that the Yukon’s federal representatives were fairly happy with Tuesday’s throne speech in Ottawa,

By Tim Giilck on November 24, 2021

It’s not too surprising that the Yukon’s federal representatives were fairly happy with Tuesday’s throne speech in Ottawa, but Senator Pat Duncan had some pointed criticisms as well.

Duncan, a former Liberal premier and long-time party supporter, now sits as one of the group of independent senators in Ottawa.

The Senate no longer permits partisan representation, functioning more along the lines of a consensus branch of government similar to the Northwest Territories.

Duncan was one of 20 senators allowed to attend the throne speech.

Speaking to the Star Tuesday afternoon, she said she found it to be a “humbling and stirring” experience to listen to Mary Simon – Canada’s first Indigenous Governer-General – deliver the speech, portions of which were read in Inuktitut.

“I’ll always remember how humbling it was to be one of the senators to watch that,” she said.

As for the specifics of the throne speech, Duncan was more ambivalent.

She’s spent the last few years in a working group of senators studying the housing crisis in Canada. Of course, as a Yukoner, she’s more than familiar with the situation here and how the housing market is a bit of a hot mess for most people.

While she appreciated housing rating a mention in the speech, she was tempering her praise for the moment.

“I’m looking forward to the specific measures,” she said with a trace of defiance.

Duncan also pointed out the prominence climate change was given as being noteworthy, but again deferred a more enthusiastic response until more details are presented.

She was more forthright with what she viewed as key missing items in the federal government’s plans.

The most important of those, she said, was no mention of a guaranteed liveable income, despite the political interest in it following the supports the government put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic that are now cancelled or reduced.

Duncan said she’s been part of another working group on that subject, adding it’s a program the government should have implemented.

She made a direct comparison to Prince Edward Island, which is bringing in a new program to establish a guaranteed liveable income, with a unanimous partnership between the province and its municipalities.

Duncan said another of the subjects she’s interested in, the opioids crisis, wasn’t mentioned at all in the speech.

Brendan Hanley, who was sworn in as the Yukon’s Liberal MP last Wednesday, sounded as if he was a little starstruck at attending his first throne speech.

“It was an amazing experience to be here in Ottawa for the Throne Speech and opening of the 44th Parliament,” he said in an email to the Star.

“I was also honoured to be asked to give the address in response to the Speech from the Throne in the House of Commons today, and represent all Yukoners in doing so.

“The throne speech laid out at a high level the main priorities for this government. As a minority government, we feel that Canadians have strongly voiced their wish to have all parties work together to put this pandemic behind us, and to address the many challenges that our country is facing,” Hanley added.

“Canadians want results and they want to see solutions to the other challenges we face.”

Among the key priorities outlined in the Throne Speech Hanley thought notable are, in his words:

• climate change action, including: moving forward to cap and cut oil and gas sector emissions, investing in public transit, and mandating the sale of zero-emissions vehicles; and

• increasing the price on pollution while putting more money back into the pockets of Canadians, and  protecting our lands and waters.

“As we put the pandemic behind us, we will rebuild an economy that truly works for everyone,” Hanley said. He also cited:


• Tackling the rising cost of living and taking action on housing affordability and child care;

• helping to put home ownership back in Canadians’ reach with a more flexible First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, a new rent-to-own program, and by reducing closing costs for first-time buyers;

• advancing progress in reconciliation, including:

• continuing the work to right past wrongs, implement the calls to action, and move forward in the spirit of reconciliation, for everyone;

• accelerating work with Indigenous partners to address the national tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and ensuring fair and equitable compensation for those harmed by the First Nations Child and Family Services program;

• improving the health care system, including investing in improved mental health services, responding to the opioids/toxic drug crisis and improving access to care in rural communities.

Comments (16)

Up 7 Down 6

TheHammer on Nov 28, 2021 at 9:18 am

Mr Facts@ So, you are a regular folk, and a peasant. And by the sounds of it you are not alone. There's a whole mass of regular peasants, unorganized and powerless, just waiting for a leader to arise and pander to your collective fantasies about grabbing the wealth.

Up 5 Down 6

TheHammer on Nov 28, 2021 at 9:07 am

Drum@ 'They don't care about us.' And you don't care about FN. So what exactly is your issue with caring? Answer: Money is the issue, just in time for Christmas. Scrooge is stalking the comments pages.

Up 6 Down 14

Observer on Nov 27, 2021 at 1:43 pm

@ Drum, that truly is one of the most ignorant things I have read on this site in absolute ages. Educate yourself.

Up 24 Down 8

drum on Nov 25, 2021 at 4:08 pm

I agree - how many times do wwe have to apologize to FN people and pay and pay and pay? We were not even alive when the residential schools were happening. How many generations of FN's are going to look for money (reconciliation). It happened over the centuries in all countries.

Up 13 Down 11

Anie on Nov 25, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Herb, if you listened to the little bit she read in French, you definitely would not want her to say any more in that language. In reporting on the speech, the National Post said she spoke in English, Inuktitut and "what may have been French". Yeah, it was that bad. If she was CEO of any Canadian corporation, Trudeau-Butts would have been first to criticize.

Up 18 Down 6

AdmiralA$$ on Nov 25, 2021 at 10:20 am

Oh wow, what a load of double speak and no nothing answers to any of these problems. Hard to know where to start tearing this apart but ill start with housing and UBI statements.

The housing problems in Canada are government created and will never be government solved buy bureaucrats that do not understand the problems they created. It's such double speak to state in one moment you want to reduce housing costs AND inflate currency with UBI AND guarantee government loans with 3% down with CMHC. The solution lies in REDUCING money supply and increasing interest while increasing housing supply, not the opposite.

Sad State when few see the problems affecting the many and our officials are ignorant enough to believe they can help us by hindering us.

To OJW I want to say if I could get an injection to remove the Marxist infection from this country... at this point I would be happy, what a mess.

Up 16 Down 6

Groucho d'North on Nov 25, 2021 at 7:53 am

I wonder if the Prime Misery now understands what a mandate really is? He has been somewhat wishy-washy about it in the past.

Up 20 Down 4

Matthew on Nov 25, 2021 at 6:22 am

Sure.. everyone is happy with "free" unlimited money from the printing press.. I'm sure inflation has NOTHING to do with it..

Up 20 Down 6

Juniper Jackson on Nov 24, 2021 at 8:51 pm

The Throne speech was just more Liberal flim flam. Can't say anything better than those who posted before me. Well written folks.

Up 18 Down 6

drum on Nov 24, 2021 at 5:55 pm

All Liberal appointed people are not going to jeopardize their big pay cheques, great pensions and wonderful benefits. They do not care about us.

Up 27 Down 9

bonanzajoe on Nov 24, 2021 at 4:50 pm

And for crying out loud, how many times do we have to apologize to the FN? I would like to hear a little thank you once and awhile for all we have done for them. What would they be doing today if the Federal governments over the years hadn't of done anything to attempt to assimilate them into society?

Up 24 Down 7

bonanzajoe on Nov 24, 2021 at 4:45 pm

Climate Change is always the number one issue now. And will take up most of the budget. Climate change is not a man made problem. It is a natural phenomenon. Nature has its laws and man better leave it alone. Or there is going to more of what BC got just a few days ago. In my opinion, this climate change business is a money making hoax. The rich are getting richer off of it. Greta Thurnberg is already a millionaire, and she is only 18 yrs old. Has any one heard of all those climate change gurus giving any of their millions and billions toward a solution? Neither have I. But I know of many who are getting richer from it.

Up 50 Down 14

Josey Wales on Nov 24, 2021 at 2:55 pm

SPD? That sounds like something one should see a doctor for, get some penicillin.
A speech from the throne, from a liberal patting other liberals on the back?
A mirror image of the industrial media complex I says.

Too bad we all couldn’t just take some penicillin to make this Marxist Infection ...just go away.
I seriously wonder what is worse for ones health...
COVID19, chain smoking, seriously over eating, asbestos removal, crab fishing, sharing needles laced with poison...or supporting liberals?
What says y’all?

Up 8 Down 47

herb on Nov 24, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Should have been read in french.

Up 65 Down 14

Rookie on Nov 24, 2021 at 2:30 pm

What pandemic are we putting behind us, Hanley? The one you put behind to job hop, and now we have harsher restrictions than ever?
And we're looking to you to solve the opioid crisis? The one that exceeded the COVID crisis under your watch?

Up 68 Down 9

Mr Facts on Nov 24, 2021 at 2:03 pm

Blah, blah, blah. I'll sum up the throne speech for everyone. Prices on everything will continue to rise for us regular folks, while the connected make all the money. When was the last time any promises resulted in savings for us peasants? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.