With the promise of more student positions at colleges and universities and an investment in water conservation and treatment technologies, yesterday’s throne speech is encouraging news for Ottawa residents, according to Liberal Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi.

However, Progressive Conservative Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod called the speech, “vague and recycled” and urged Ontarians to keep tabs on the promises that will never become a reality.

“In the past (the premier) has promised long-term care beds. He promised to close coal power plants ... all of which have become broken promises,” said MacLeod. “They’re out of gas.

They’re tired and they need to be defeated in the next election.”

MacLeod said it was just as important to bear in mind the items neglected by the throne speech, like the HST, or an acknowledgement of $1 billion wasted on the e-health program.

However, Naqvi said there is a plan to create 20,000 new student spaces in colleges and universities this year and an increased effort to recruit international students, which will benefit Ottawa’s colleges and universities.

Naqvi also touted the government’s announcement of new legislation, the Water Opportunities Act, that supports the development and sale of water conservation and treatment technologies.

“We know in Ottawa today there are a few companies who are working and doing research and development and commercialization of water cleaning technologies so they’re bound to benefit and create jobs in the Ottawa area,” Naqvi said, pointing to local water-purification players like Kanata-based EcoVu.

With files from TIM WIECLAWSKI