Payette reminds parliamentarians they share a 'space-time continuum'
A typical throne speech is mostly about domestic policy — as in Earth-bound. But when your governor general used to be an astronaut, the text can get a little ... otherworldly.
When senators, Supreme Court justices and assorted dignitaries assembled in the Senate chamber today to hear Gov. Gen. Julie Payette deliver her first speech from the throne, they probably weren't expecting to be reminded that they share "the same space-time continuum," party affiliation notwithstanding.
"We share the same planet. We know that we are inextricably bound to the same space-time continuum and on board the same planetary spaceship," Payette said in the speech's preamble. "If we put our brains and smarts and altruistic capabilities together, we can do a lot of good."
Throne speeches are written largely by the Prime Minister's Office and are meant to list the government's plans and priorities. But Queen's representatives often like to personalize.
The PMO tells CBC that the first 11 paragraphs of the speech's text — including the space references — were drafted in the Governor General's office itself.
Before being named to the post, Payette was best known to Canadians as as chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007. She completed two spaceflights — serving as lead capsule commander on one space mission — and logged more than 25 days in zero-G.
The space talk went over poorly with at least one member of the Official Opposition. Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said that space travel got more attention in the speech than residents of Alberta and Saskatchewan struggling with a downturn in the energy economy.
The "space time continuum" and "spaceship earth" got more airtime and detail in Trudeau's list of priorities for Canada than the workers in my province.—@MichelleRempel