Policy Objectives: 1) restore faith and confidence in Canada’s democratic institutions; 2) protect and enhance Canada’s sovereignty
Policy Action Items: 1) stop lying; 2) independent Public Inquiry into Chinese interference in elections, government institutions, political parties, academic and research facilities and the Trudeau Foundation; 3) stop prosecutions and/or pardon of Freedom Convoy leadership and members; 4) eliminate the Court Challenges Programme; and 5) enforce Conflict of Interest laws, including the Lobbying Act, and establish a meaningful and legitimate Foreign Agent Registry
The Trudeau years have been a disaster for Canadians both in terms of economic wellbeing, but also political freedom.
To the extent that one can put any credence in polls and news stories, both repeatedly show that a clear majority of Canadians believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. Nota bene: the wrong direction as in destination. The debate is no longer about the route being taken or the vehicle used, it is about the destination that the country is headed towards. That destination, perhaps best identified as “Progressiveville”, is one of high taxes, huge deficits, unaffordable housing prices, a stagnant economy and political faction and separation.
To be fair, Canada has been heading towards this destination for years, under both Liberal and Conservative governments. While Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have certainly been speeding us along, he and his government are merely the latest to be continuing to drive this country off the cliff that leads to self-destruction.
Going in the “wrong direction” doesn’t necessitate a variation in route or a change of vehicle, rather it requires, nay, DEMANDS, a change of direction. We need to drive away from the cliff!
Renewal of Faith in Responsible Government
Despite Justin Trudeau’s 2016 claim (a claim that showed just how ignorant he is) that “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada”, mainstream Canada does indeed exist with a very real “core identity”. At the level of constitutional government, that core identity is best summed up by the idea of: Responsible Government—meaning that government is accountable to the people.
Step One – Stop Lying
There is a crisis of confidence facing Canadians today, exemplified by the wide, and accurate, belief that government and the media are lying to us.
Indeed, what present Liberal policy isn’t premised upon one lie or another? As lies only beget lies, is it any wonder that no matter what file Trudeau touches, from energy to immigration to COVID to National Defence to the economy, they are all unmitigated failures?
As truth in the public square can only be arrived at through the free exchange of ideas via free speech and open debate, Bill C-18, the Online News Act must be repealed in its entirety. Any attempts at government censorships of social media must cease. Similarly, government should not use social media to manipulate or otherwise shape a narrative. Transparency in government decision-making starts with the transparency of the information government uses to make its decisions. Politicians and bureaucrats must be held accountable for their decisions. Hiding behind “Cabinet Privilege” is something tyrants do, not servants of the public.
One of the most problematic aspects of the constant stream of lies is that they keep getting more outrageous and absurd. We are very much in danger of realizing a state of affairs, credited Voltaire, where “those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
Lying not only leads to atrocities, but it erodes the bond of trust between people that is essential for the existence of a free and democratic society. Sure, one lie on its own may seem harmless, but it is never just one lie. As noted above, lie begets lie, and within a generation social civility is destroyed, leaving the state nothing more than an assembly held together by fear and brute force.
It is time to change direction away from the lies toward the truth. Responsible Government requires accountability, and accountability requires truth. Stop the lies.
Step Two – Election Integrity
Not only is it time for the government to stop lying to us, but it is also time we stopped lying to ourselves. For too long, we have lied to ourselves thinking that “my vote doesn’t count”, “I’m just one person, what can I do?” These lies translate into voter turnouts in the low 60% range. The 2021 federal election was 62%. The 2022 Ontario provincial election was worse, with a voter turnout of only 43.5%. The Alberta 2023 election fared better with a voter turnout of 62.4%. Municipal elections are even more dismal failures for voter turnout. In 2022, Toronto’s turnout was only 29%! The 2023 Mayoral By-election faired a bit better a 38%. Vancouver’s 2022 election, 36%. Calgary 2021election was 46%. Edmonton 2021, 38%. Montreal 2021 38%
By not voting, Canadians are disenfranchising themselves at an alarming rate. Now there are undoubtedly many reasons why people don’t vote. But the failure of the Trudeau government to properly hold a public inquiry into serious and credible allegations of Chinese Communist interference in not one, but two federal elections (as well as possible interference in provincial/municipal elections) should tell us all we need to know about the accuracy of those allegations.
Election integrity requires transparency and audible results. Without election integrity, Responsible Government is impossible as there is no way of knowing whether the government is truly being held accountable to those eligible to vote, free from election interference and foreign meddling. Who is calling the shots in Ottawa, the Canadian electorate or the Politburo in Beijing?
Only a full, independent, and transparent Public Inquiry can help restore faith in Canada’s elections.
Step Three – Stop Political Prosecutions
The prosecution of Freedom Convoy leaders and supporters is nothing but political prosecution in aid of defending Trudeau’s indefensible policies. Moreover, such prosecutions are a direct attack on all Canadians and our fundamental freedoms of: conscience; speech; peaceful assembly; and association.
Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act was totally without justification (the fact that Trudeau lacked the votes in the Senate to confirm his declaration speaks volumes with respect to its legitimacy) and represents a major escalation in the loss of trust between those who govern and are governed.
That fundamental trust begins to be regained by stopping these prosecutions, issuing an apology to those affected and taking steps to strengthen civil liberties in the event of a truly legitimate emergency that warrants a declaration under the Emergencies Act. It may come as a shock to Trudeau and the Liberals, but the Emergencies Act is not there to protect him and his failure of a government.
Responsible Government is about making government responsible to the people, NOT the people to the government!
Step Four – Eliminate the Court Challenges Programme
The Court Challenge Programme (CCP) was introduced by Pierre Trudeau in 1978, long before the Charter enshrined Language Rights, as a means to counter-balance Parti Québécois government’s Bill 101 as well as the English unilingualism of other provinces. Thus, Trudeau Senior envisaged the CCP as a means to further protect language rights. Not without a sense of irony, Brian Mulroney’s Conservative government expanded the CCP to support the progressive social reform agenda of feminist, homosexual and disability rights groups. By 1992, that support had grown too politically problematic, so the Conservatives ended the programme.
Of course, the ending of the programme became an election issue with the Liberals promising to re-instate the programme, which they did after winning the 1993 election. Subsequently, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government ended the programme in 2006, only to have Trudeau Junior re-instate the CCP in 2017.
The CCP has been contentious over the years and no wonder, given that it has morphed into nothing more than a Liberal Party money-laundering scheme designed to use taxpayers’ money to fund left-wing causes. It doesn’t take much to appreciate that the revamped programme is nothing more than progressive interest group litigation on the taxpayer’s dime.
The CCP is, at heart, undemocratic and subverts the legislative process by taking issues to the courts in order to get a progressive decision that would never receive the support of Parliament if proposed in legislation. This is the way progressives work, both inside and outside of government. It needs to stop if Responsible Government is going to function properly.
Step Five – Enforce Conflict of Interest
Like lies, conflicts of interest are a cancer eating away at the body politic. Indeed, personally profiting or otherwise gaining advantage from any government position strikes at the very heart of what we have, until very recently, called “public service.”
Laws curtailing conflict of interest, including laws regulating lobbying activities, are meaningless unless they are enforced. Part of that enforcement mechanism must also include a mandatory, fully accessible, i.e. public, Foreign Agent Registry. Lobbyists come in many varieties, both foreign and domestic, and their respective influences are subtle and pervasive.
Having laws regarding conflict of interest/lobbying are not sufficient in themselves but rather need to be supported by a culture that promotes ethical government. In other words, while the more egregious occasions of conflict of interest may rise to the level of criminal conduct, the more subtle shades of conflict of interest are indicative of a moral failing, a failure to put the common good before one’s private good. At the very least, it is unethical behaviour, and those caught indulging in such behaviour ought to be held accountable by losing their jobs if not their liberty for a fixed term.
Responsible Government means accountable government and that requires there be consequences for behaviour that is antithetical to purpose of government: public service.