Balanced budget, EU trade mark throne speech

POSTED: 2013-10-16 17:37:03

Mandatory balanced-budget legislation and a pending trade agreement with the European Union were major components in the Throne Speech delivered in Ottawa Wednesday.

A new cyberbullying law, reducing wireless roaming costs, requiring television channels to be ''unbundled'' and a hint at the prospect of abolishing the Senate were other voter-friendly promises sprinkled through the speech.

There was the promise of an imminent free trade deal with the European Union, and a pledge to confer honorary Canadian citizenship on Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen and Nobel Peace Prize nominee who survived a Taliban attack on her school bus in October 2012.

Governor-General Johnson, welcoming back MPs to work after a month-long delay at the prime minister's request, opened by noting that "the eyes and ears of Canadians turn toward this Parliament, in trust that those who stand here in their place will relentlessly advance and uphold the ideals that are inclusive, honourable, selfless, smart and caring at every turn without fail.''

He wrapped up an hour later by citing John A. Macdonald, the Conservative founding father of Confederation, who once foresaw a nation "great in thought, great in action, great in hope and great in position.''

"His vision has come to pass,'' said the Governor General.

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