Patriotism is Not Enough: Throne Speech Does Nothing to Help Poor Canadians

October 16, 2007

Victoria, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Conservative government’s Speech from the Throne, delivered Tuesday evening, offers appeals to patriotism without any commitment to concrete social change in Canadian communities, says the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet). CCEDNet, which represents the interests of over 600 organizations working to reduce poverty, believes the measures outlined in the speech will do nothing to help the rising number of poor in Canada.

“Our government has reached a new level of cynical double-speak” says Rupert Downing, Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network. “While claiming to be concerned about poverty and homelessness in Canada, the government has outlined steps which will only make life more difficult for those Canadians who have the least.”

Peppered with patriotic language and references to becoming the ‘Northern Star,’ the speech seems to blur the real issues. While poverty and climate change are priority issues for Canadians, the Throne Speech offers measures which would actually entrench poverty and make life worse for the people living in Canada’s poorest communities.

“This Throne Speech is one of the worst Canadians have ever seen,” says Mr. Downing. “It’s strategically written to distract Canadians from what’s really happening. Issues like poverty and climate change can’t be ignored.”

The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) is a national non-governmental charitable organization established to support the work of community organizations that are creating economic opportunities and enhancing social conditions in Canada. The membership of CCEDNet is made up of hundreds of community groups, municipalities, foundations, and practitioners from every region of the country.

Community Economic Development (CED) is action by people locally to create economic opportunities and better social conditions, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged. CCEDNet’s national office is located in Victoria, BC.


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