Government will build on established foundations in new Parliament: Harper

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government will stay the course and focus on jobs, trade and public safety as it heads into a new session of Parliament.

And he’s hinting that an agreement on a long-awaited trade deal with the European Union may be on the horizon.

Harper turned to Twitter to release excerpts from the address he delivered today to members of the Conservative caucus in the hours before the throne speech.

He said his government won’t rest on its accomplishments.

“We know – and Canadians know – that we face new competition from a host of rising economic powers,” he tweeted. “That’s why, despite our accomplishments, we will not rest here. We must go further and we must go faster.”

Harper said it’s important to stay focused and keep an eye on the long term. The country’s resources, skills and a widening net of trade relationships are working in Canada’s favour, and the government intends to capitalize, he said.

“These assets are all aligned,” he said. “This is Canada’s moment, and our job as a government is to seize it for the benefit of all Canadians.”

Harper said the government “will soon complete negotiations” on its oft-delayed and long-anticipated trade deal with the EU.

He also hinted, as has been widely reported, that the throne speech will include measures to close the gap between consumer prices in Canada and those in the U.S. and rein in cell phone roaming charges.

“Canadians deserve choice, fair treatment, competitive prices.”

Harper also managed a dig at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who has talked about legalizing marijuana.

“Legalizing drugs is not on our agenda,” he tweeted.

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