Oct 16, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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Here are some highlights  from the throne speech by Governor General  David Johnston:

Legislation is on the way  to require balanced budgets during normal economic times as well as strict timelines for restoring balance in the event of a crisis.

Negotiations will soon be completed on a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union.

A freeze in the overall federal operating budget.

Government hiring will be restrained, systems for spending  will be reformed and the pay of public servants and their benefits  will be “reasonable, responsible and in the public interest.”

Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist  targeted by the Taliban over her efforts to promote education for girls, will be given honorary Canadian citizenship.

Steps will be taken  to reduce cell phone roaming costs and  TV providers will be required to unbundle channels – to allow consumers to pick and choose.

The government says it will renew its efforts to address the issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women.

There will also be new tough-on-crime legislation to ensure that the worst criminals serve sentences for life and the practice will end – of  automatic early release for serious, repeat offenders.

The government will also get tougher on drug policy and “close loopholes that allow for the feeding of addiction under the guise of treatment.”

The government will reach out to offer more support to homeless veterans and build on a program to put veterans in good jobs.

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