Mr. Otto Jelinek (High Park-Humber Valley):
Mr. Speaker, since first being elected to the House of Commons roughly four years ago I have had the opportunity to take part in all three debates on the Speeches from the Throne. Therefore it gives me great pleasure to keep my record intact by once again taking part in this latest episode beginning the second session of the Thirtieth Parliament of Canada.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate two capable backbenchers on the government side, the hon. member for Restigouche (Mr. Harquail) and the hon. member for Lafontaine-Rosemont (Mr. Lachance), for moving and seconding the Address in Reply to throne speech. It is very easy for me to understand their enthusiasm toward a government Speech from the Throne oozing with promises, pretty phrases, and vague generalities aimed at perhaps not all segments of our society, but certainly at a great number of Canadians from coast to coast.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is, however, that if these gentlemen followed the progress of their government's legislative policies in respect to the throne speech, they will surely lose their initial enthusiasm only to have it replaced by wonder and awe at how their peers could have the nerve to stray so far from throne speech promises when introducing and implementing consequent policies.
I, too, was enthusiastic when I first heard a throne speech delivered with such majesty and tradition during my first days as a member of parliament back in January of 1973. It did not take long, however, for my enthusiasm to turn first to surprise, then to dismay, and eventually to anger when I realized that the promises made were mere political rhetoric with very little consequential follow-up. The fact is that nearly half of the promises enunciated in the last throne speech in 1974 never materialized.
For example, what happened to the new consumer credit legislation, including the disclosure by lenders of effective rates of interest on loans?
Subtopic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE