Reform's Fresh Start for Canada

Article excerpt

The Reform Party will enter the next federal election on the Fresh Start platform. This program aims to dismantle the Liberal/Tory perpsective founded on big government and high taxes which has governed Canada for the past 30 years. Replacing this old vision will be a new and better Canada grounded in the family and the community, where economic opportunity and job creation will be supported by lower taxes and a smaller government. Social fairness, the justice system, and national unity will also undergo change and the full implementation of Fresh Start is guaranteed through free votes in parliament and the right to recall MPs. Address given at the London Convention Centre, London, Ontario, October 17.

We are here today to unveil the Reform Party's platform for the next federal election and I thank you for joining us.

We are doing this sooner rather than later because we want to communicate this platform directly to every voter in the country.

That will require time for Reformers to spread the word and for Canadians to absorb the message. For what we are offering is a revolutionary departure from the old politics of the status quo. Not more of the same, but a Fresh Start.

And when I say Fresh Start I mean a fresh start for those who are tired of an under-performing economy, tired of endless wrangling over national unity, and tired of an under-achieving federal administration.

But before I outline the contents of this Fresh Start Platform, let me describe two visions of Canada, one old and tired, and one fresh and new.

The Liberal/Tory View of Canada

For the past 30 years, Canada has been governed from a Liberal/Tory perspective that is increasingly out of touch with reality.

The Liberal/Tory view grossly undervalues the role of the investors and entrepreneurs in creating jobs and economic prosperity, the role of families and local communities in creating social security, the roles of provinces in making this country work, and the role of the citizen in making government work.

At the same time, this Liberal/Tory view of Canada has grossly over-estimated the capacity of the federal government -- by its actions -- to bring about economic prosperity, social security, and national unity.

The result of this perspective -- developed by Trudeau, expanded by Mulroney, and perpetuated by Jean Chretien -- has been big government and high taxes -- a big, expensive federal government which is increasingly unable to deliver jobs, social security, or national unity.

When I meet with people who have lost their jobs, or fear losing their jobs; when I talk to people who fear for health care or pensions or personal safety; when I listen to parents, both of whom are working, unable to spend sufficient time with each other or their children, and still having trouble making ends meet; when I listen to people -- young people, my own children -- questioning whether Canada will even exist in the 21st century, I am convinced that we must replace the Liberal/Tory view with a new and better vision for the future.

This is what the Reform Party of Canada is determined to do, and to express that new vision in our Fresh Start Platform for the next election.

The Reform Vision

At the heart of the Reform vision of a New Canada is you, your family, and your community -- not an over-centralized, over-spending, over-taxing federal government.

The Reform Party envisions a country defined and built by its citizens, rather than by its government. It is a vision of smaller government and lower taxes. It is a vision which reaches out to the initiative, drive, and diversity of Canadians, and calls upon individuals, families and communities to lead the way to growth, progress and unity.

We envision a different country, a new and better Canada. It is a place where tax freedom day occurs in April, instead of June. …