Wynne’s throne speech will set the tone at Queen’s Park: Will agriculture be included or pushed aside?
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Ontario MPPs are returning to the legislature for the first time in four months, after then premier Dalton McGuinty prorogued the legislature and announced a surprising resignation. On Tuesday, Ontarians will hear the throne speech from the new government led by Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Since taking on the job of filling the shoes of McGuinty, Wynne has made attempts to mend the broken fences and has selected a new cabinet to lead the charge. While the throne speech is a significant event for all Ontarians, agriculture stakeholders and rural folk in the province will be paying close attention to what’s being said in the speech.
After the last general election and throughout the Liberal leadership race, the Liberals have been confronted with what they are going to do in order to reach out to rural Ontario, since they were largely unsuccessful in winning seats in rural ridings due to some contentious policies.
During the leadership race, Wynne made a pledge that if she won, that in addition to being premier she would appoint herself Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for at least one year in an attempt to better understand the issues that are facing the rural Ontario. While many were expecting Wynne to follow through on her campaign pledge, during the swearing-in ceremony it was announced that she would only be taking on the Minister of Agriculture portfolio and hand off the Rural Affairs portion to a junior minister - Jeff Leal an MPP from Peterborough.
Although Tuesday’s throne speech will be seen as a confidence measure, the next step will be for the minority Liberal government to survive through the budget that will be tabled sometime in mid-April.
The throne speech can be viewed live at 3p.m. ET today on CTV News.