BY HON. SINCLAIR STEVENS, LEADER
THE PROGRESSIVE CANADIAN PARTY
Canadians have had two historic choices, Sir John A. Macdonald’s Tory party and Sir Wilfred Laurier’s Liberals to speak with the voice of all Canadians. “Tory, Liberal same old story,” we were told. The first has been removed from the ballot; the second is struggling to find its identity.
Who speaks for Canada? All of Canada, sea to sea to sea? Progressive Canadians in the Tory tradition of Sir John A. Macdonald.
The Progressive Canadian Party began and remains in the tradition of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, a party of nation-building, national vision, political philosophy and policy direction expressed through fiscally responsible progressive social policy in the interest of a strong united Canada.
Progressive Canadians believe government must take an active part in the future of Canada as a nation. Canada’s government, Canada’s parliament, must be committed to our future.
Progressive Canadians believe the Canadian government and parliament must take a leadership role in the life of Canada in the world and in our own destiny, embracing ideas and opportunity, not just sit and wait for what a global marketplace may leave us, or pursue the particular interest of one or some of the provinces, or submit to the tyranny of ideology.
Progressive Canadians continue to share the Progressive Conservative national vision and policies which reinforce Canada’s parliamentary institutions, parliamentary democracy and social fabric in areas like health care and education and our responsibility to all of our fellow citizens wherever they live in Canada, regardless of condition, wealth, belief or office equally, all in the national interest because it is the interest of all Canadians.
The vision of Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George Etienne Cartier and the Fathers of Confederation is as important today to the future of Canada and to Canada’s place in the world today as it was in 1867.
The National Dream and the National Policy of Macdonald were visions of his day. The national vision, the task of nation-building today may be different but it is no less important for our future as a nation.
Ten years after the take-over of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, Mr. Harper’s party continues to try to reshape Confederation, Parliament, and Canada around the prejudices of its small Canada origins: provincialism, continentalism, and neoconservatism.
They are a party that is zealous in its ideology and beliefs, an inward-looking movement rather than looking to the future of a strong united Canada with responsibility to all Canadians as a national party Progressive Canadians instead are forward-looking, embracing change with the wisdom and reliance on our institutions, not just for their antiquity but for their utility in discovering opportunity and ordering opportunities outcomes for the benefit of all Canadians.
The PC Party of today, the Progressive Canadian party, too, understands the wisdom and the appeal to today’s Canadians of the words Macdonald used to describe the aims of his true Tory party and remains dedicated to them “our aim should be to enlarge the bounds of our party so as to embrace every person desirous of being counted a “progressive Conservative” and who will join us in a series of measures to put an end to the corruption which has ruined the present government and debauched all its followers” (Macdonald to Strachan, February 1854, National Archives).