Regina’s mayor has concerns following Wednesday’s throne speech by the Liberal government. While he understands they are statements of intent and are not legislated changes yet, he feels there are “missed opportunities”.
Reflecting on the throne speech and how it affects citizens of his city, Fougere said it’s important for the government to focus on the Western Canadian economy. However he feels it was absent.
“[There’s a need for] support for investments and jobs in the oil and gas, mining and agriculture industries, which are some of the basic pillars of our economy,” explained Fougere. “We didn’t see a lot of outreach to support that particularly during the pandemic, but also for economic recovery.”
When asked what he was hoping to hear from the speech from the throne, Fougere said he was hoping for an acknowledgement that the energy industry is a job creator and is part of the export market for Canada.
“It’s not the only thing, but it has been driving our economy in Canada for years,” he noted. “People are hurting because jobs are lost and investments have been lost.”
However there were positives he drew from the throne speech despite his concerns. Fougere said it was good news that the government plans to focus on a new Canada Water Agency.
“It’s something I mentioned earlier in the week when I said we should have that in the speech from the throne,” continued Fougere.
“We would like to have this in Regina, which we feel would be a perfect spot for the new agency and would be a good opportunity for the federal government to show its commitment to Regina and to the west.”
Another positive he took away is the government’s plan to invest in green technologies to diversify the economy.