‘Fulfilling the dream’

The prepared text of Jack Layton’s closing speech to the NDP convention in Vancouver this weekend.

Mes amis, Il y a deux ans, les néo-démocrates se sont réunis à Halifax pour notre congrès. Nous avons créé un projet marquant qui nous a tous uni. Mener le NPD vers une grande percée. Plusieurs personnes nous disaient que ce serait impossible. Que vouloir changer Ottawa était un vœux pieux. Que les choses sont comme elles sont et que rien ne va changer. Le 2 mai, les Canadiens avaient une autre idée en tête. Les néo-démocrates ont montré qu’on pouvait y arriver. Quatre millions et demi de Canadiens ont clairement indiqué qu’un choix positif était possible. Ils ont voté pour le changement. Ils ont choisi un parti qui se bat à chaque jour, depuis cinquante ans, pour que les familles d’ici passent en premier.

My friends, 2 years ago, we came together in Halifax and left united behind a single purpose. To lead the New Democrats to a major breakthrough. The sceptics said it couldn’t be done. They said it was a fool’s errand to try to bring change to Ottawa. They said the way things are is the way things will always be. Well the Canadian people had a different idea.  And on May 2nd, New Democrats proved the sceptics wrong.

Well today, my friends, we end this convention once again united behind a common goal. To build an alternative to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. To continue to earn the trust of Canadians and to form the government of Canada in four years’ time. A government that will focus on Canadian families.  A government committed to the principle that here in Canada, nobody gets left behind.

As we undertake this challenge, I know we will always be guided by our shared values. They are the values of a great party that has been part of the fabric of Canadian life for half a century. A party that believes as strongly today as it did at it’s founding that quality health care is a right that should never depend on a family’s ability to pay.

Que l’éducation est à la base de toute économie et devrait être accessible pour tous. Que les femmes et les hommes doivent continuer à travailler pour atteindre l’égalité. Que notre prospérité dépend d’un air et d’une eau propres, et de collectivité dynamiques. Que ceux qui ont bâti notre pays méritent de pouvoir prendre leur retraite dans la dignité et le respect. Et que les familles des travailleurs représente notre force et notre ressource la plus précieuse. Alors que nous nous préparons à passer à la prochaine étape, nous allons toujours garder ces valeurs en tête, et nous allons toujours nous rappeler des modèles qui nous ont inspirés.

Tommy Douglas. David Lewis. Ed Broadbent. Audrey Maclaughlin. And Alexa McDonough. And the millions of men and women who worked so hard to fufill a dream of a stronger, better Canada. The credit for our success to date belongs to them. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

My friends, the party I see in front of me is the party of the Canadian family. It is the party that is putting the priorities of everyday Canadians first. Improving healthcare. Strengthening pensions. Creating jobs here in Canada. Making life more affordable for families. And fixing what’s wrong in Ottawa.

It is the party committed to moving Canada forward. And we already are.  Just look at the signs.

Le 2 mai, les Canadiens ont élu un nombre record de femmes au Parlement. Ce n’est pas un hasard. C’est ce que vous obtenez en votant pour le NPD. Vous avez devant vous la prochaine génération de leaders. La moyenne d’âge des députés est passée sous les 50 ans pour la première fois au pays. C’est ce que vous obtenez en votant pour le NPD. En votant pour le NPD, un nombre record de Québécois ont clairement indiqué qu’ils ne voulaient plus des vieux débats, et qu’ils étaient prêts à travailler ensemble pour qu’Ottawa obtienne des résultats pour leur famille. 

C’est ce que les Québécois espéraient en votant pour le NPD. Et avec 59 députés québécois qui travaillent en leur nom, croyez-moi, les Québécois vont avoir le moyen de se faire entendre au Parlement. Parce qu’après tout, les valeurs qui sont chères aux Québécois sont aussi les valeurs qui définissent le reste du pays. Travaillons ensemble est devenu plus qu’un slogan. C’est maintenant une réalité au sein du caucus du NPD.

More and more Canadians committed to a fairer, better country are uniting around New Democrat leadership they can trust. That’s what you get when you vote New Democrat. And now, under a Conservative government that holds true to failed ideas in the face of overwhelming evidence, its important that we keep Canada moving forward.

In the next four years, we will show that New Democrats are ready for the challenge. While Conservatives believe in tax giveaways to massive profitable companies – even as they ship jobs overseas. New Democrats will put forward ideas to reward small businesses and those creating jobs here in Canada. While Conservatives believe trade deals should create a race to the bottom. New Democrats will seek open trade that lifts the standard of living of all Canadians and provides other countries from matching those standards of living.

Les conservateurs croient que les profits des grandes pétrolières sont plus importants que notre environnement. Le NPD va tout faire pour que le Canada devienne un chef de file en matière d’énergie propre. Les néo-démocrates comprennent l’importance de créer une économie basée sur les énergies propres. Les conservateurs ont été incapables de donner à nos anciens combattants le respect et la dignité qu’ils méritent. Le NPD va s’assurer que le Canada ne tourne jamais le dos à ces femmes et ces hommes qui ont si courageusement servi notre pays. Les conservateurs croient que les aînés peuvent s’en sortir par eux-mêmes et qu’ils n’ont pas besoin qu’on protège leur sécurité de retraite. Le NPD va se battre pour s’assurer que tous les Canadiens puissent compter sur leur pension publique quand ils en auront besoin.

My friends, you’ve heard me say this before, but Canada is the greatest country in the world. It is a country built on hard work and determination. And the rock solid belief that by working together, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. This is at the core of what it means to be Canadian. Canadians know that in good times and bad, we are all in this together.  And that in a country as fortunate as ours, nobody should be left behind. 

These are core Canadian values. And they are core New Democrat values. And over the next four years, we will strive to ensure that Canadians have a government that shares these values. 

Au cours des quatre prochaines années, nous allons faire tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir pour offrir aux Canadiens un gouvernement qui partage leurs valeurs. Un gouvernement qui va faire passer les familles avant les proches du pouvoir qui sont déjà privilégiés. Mes amis, ce ne sera pas facile. Mais ce parti n’a jamais choisi le chemin le plus facile. Ce parti a toujours choisi de défendre ce qui est juste. Alors que nous célébrons nos accomplissements, le plus gros du travail est encore devant nous.

We have to continue to develop new ideas to meet the needs of the 21st Century family, as done today. We have to continue to build our organisation, and bring together all Canadians looking to build a better Canada. We have to grow our fundraising to match that of the deep-pocketed Conservative party. And we have to continue to earn the trust of Canadians in Parliament every single day. Then and only then can we look at fulfilling the dream of all those that came before us and who fought so hard to see a government that put families first.

Thank you. Merci beaucoup.




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‘Fulfilling the dream’

  1. “They scoffed at us, and said it couldn’t be done. But we did! We delivered Stephen Harper a massive majority!”

  2. “A government that will focus on Canadian families.”

    Government has focused enough on families, it can stop its attack on them anytime now.  Government should encourage families, not destroy them like Layton wants and plans to. 

    Layton visits brothels that are being investigated for underage prostitutes, I am not convinced he is person that should be deciding what is best for Canadian families.

    1) Statistics Canada tables show a recorded total of 2,822,293 abortions between 1969 and 2005.

    2) Maclean’s, May 2007: The arrest of Steve Goldberg, a notorious U.S. pedophile in his own right with a spot on America’s Most Wanted list, in a Montreal suburb this week further illustrates a point many pedophiles themselves admit: far more than any other city in North America, Montreal is a good place to live if you happen to be attracted to children.

    http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20070528_105309_105309

    3) While Canada routinely ranks in the top ten of the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) …. Registered Indians living on reserves are ranked approximately 68th, somewhere between Bosnia and Venezuela, while off-reserve Indians are ranked 36th

    http://www.mapleleafweb.com/old/features/native/social-issues/index.html

    4) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently reviewed the finances of several advanced economies, and concluded that Canada must reduce the share of GDP devoted to government expenditures from 43 to 38 percent over the next decade. Failure to meet this target will either mean higher taxes, or the expansion of a dangerous debt load.
     
    Achieving this objective will be especially difficult, considering the pressure our ageing population will put on health care costs. Given demographic realities, Canadian governments face budget pressures comparable to those of the early 1990s, when aggressive austerity measures were enacted.

    http://www.fcpp.org/publication.php/3790?print=yes

    Hayek – Road To Serfdom “…even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality—an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order—and that most of the humanitarian elements of our morals, the respect for human life, for the weak, and for the individual generally, will disappear….”

    • You know, higher taxes are not synonymous with destruction of families. There are plenty of family-friendly jurisdictions with both higher and lower rates of taxation. I know you’re an anarchist–you should used to your political views not being reflected in the political consensus. I hear Somalia is nice this time of year, though.

      • ” …. higher taxes are not synonymous with destruction of families.”

        Correct. I should have been more clear – people who have to pay for higher taxes and salaries, their families are being destroyed. Barnacles who work for State and are paid with coerced money, they seem to do alright. 

        “I hear Somalia is nice this time of year, though.”

        I don’t know why left wing types think this is a clever response. I just want to return to Canada that existed before vacuous Trudeau imposed his immorality on the rest of Canada. And Canada before Trudeau was nothing like Somalia. 

        Potter: You used White Riot lyrics the other day but you forgot to include fact that we appear to be still sending white kids to school “where they teach you how to be thick … “ 

        In fact, the strongest arguments against corporate tax come from the left. They were most eloquently expressed by Robert Reich … Corporate tax, he noted, is fundamentally regressive: It shifts wealth to the rich. And not just because General Electric avoids it and corner shops don’t. Since corporations do not physically exist, corporate tax is ultimately paid by individuals – and, as many studies have shown, those individuals tend to be the company’s workers more often than its shareholders or executives.

        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/abolish-corporate-tax-it-has-been-a-worldwide-failure/article1987495/

        “…. the Frontier Centre for Public Policy released a study showing average wages for federal public administration workers increased faster than the average wage for any other major category of worker, growing 59 percent between 1998 and 2009 according to Statistics Canada. By comparison, average wages across the economy increased only 30 percent.”
        http://www.fcpp.org/publication.php/3790?print=yes

        The negative effect of corporate taxes is particularly pronounced for firms that are catching up with the technological frontier. In the investment analysis, the results suggest that corporate taxes reduce investment through an increase in the user cost of capital.

        http://www.oecd.org/LongAbstract/0,3425,en_2649_34595_41433585_119684_1_1_1,00.html

        • ‘I don’t know why left wing types think this is a clever response. I just want to return to Canada that existed before vacuous Trudeau imposed his immorality on the rest of Canada. And Canada before Trudeau was nothing like Somalia. ’

          Why no, it was white, English, repressive, religious, rigid and a backwater.

          We aren’t returning to that era.

          • George Orwell ~ As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

            CS Lewis:  
            Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.

            The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

          • I am neither a socialist nor a christian so your quotes are irrelevant as usual.

            And again, if you prefer robber barons…try Somalia.

        • You seem to espouse Ayn Randian-esque libertarianism. I just get really bored by people who rail against government intervention as if government intervention is incapable of having positive effects. The evidence against that would be Somalia, where one could argue quite easily that some government intervention might be helpful.

          I support reductions in corporate tax but not because of its regressivity–it is an inefficient tax. Lowering corporate tax fosters investment, capital accumulation, rising productivity and wages. Capital is extremely mobile and is very good at avoiding taxation. Labour is not so mobile.

          I don’t defend public servants either. I agree that they are coddled and overpaid, by large.

          I’m a little puzzled that you call me a left-winger. At most I’m centrist if not centre-right. I’m just non-ideological about government–I’m okay with it if it works, and not if it doesn’t. I could even conceivably vote for the Conservatives, if they weren’t such a bunch of anti-intellectual, deceitful turds. Maybe a different batch, one day. I find it harder and harder to motivate myself to vote for anyone.

          • ” I just get really bored by people who rail against government intervention as if government intervention is incapable of having positive effects.”

            Maybe you would be less bored if you paid attention to reality and what government actually does instead of focusing on yourself and your opinions. 

            Billions of $$$ to ‘experts’ who don’t know what they are doing does not sound like good system to me.

            The most fundamental lesson that emerges from such experimentation to date is that our scientific ignorance of the human condition remains profound.

            Despite confidently asserted empirical analysis, persuasive rhetoric, and claims to expertise, very few social-program interventions can be shown in controlled experiments to create real improvement in outcomes of interest.

            http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_3_social-science.html

            … is an important reminder to beware experts who are sure they know what the future will bring. It’s also an important warning for decision-makers: Excessive confidence can be extremely dangerous.

            http://www.dangardner.ca/index.php/articles/item/57-beware-the-overconfident-expert

            The release to a federal halfway house of a sexual predator who fantasizes about torturing and murdering children has prompted a warning from Kingston Police.

            http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?archive=true&e=742885

          • The left is not the only group guilty of this though. The right has many of their own unfounded beliefs, such as tougher sentencing, which has no evidence to support the proposition that it reduces crime. Same goes with capital punishment.

            You seem to just be throwing up strawmen and anecdotes. Not much of an argument.

          • ” …. such as tougher sentencing, which has no evidence to support the proposition that it reduces crime.” 

            Imagine how much further our crime rate would drop if we actually put criminals in jail. 

            The number of repeat offenders in Canada is nearly four times as high as the official figure issued by the federal government, a Vancouver Sun investigation reveals.

            http://www.primetimecrime.com/Recent/Courts/Sun%20Repeat%20offender.htm

            A Sault Ste. Marie man is expected to be sentenced to two years less a day Thursday for the repeat offence of possessing child pornography.

            http://www.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3162575

            “The Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement (ROPE) squad is searching for MacInnis after a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest after authorities say he breached his parole.”

            http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3168458

            Perhaps the most important is that intellectuals live in a costless world in which there is every incentive to devise other theories that defy common sense.

            No one is likely to obtain many plaudits for the rather obvious, indeed self-evident, thought that a street robber cannot commit street robberies while he is in prison; but an intellectual who first demonstrates that the cause of an increase in street robbery is the increase in the amount of property that law-abiding pedestrians have on them as they walk in the streets is likely to be hailed, at least until the next idea comes along.

            http://blog.skepticaldoctor.com/2010/07/06/dalrymple-reviews-intellectuals-and-society-by-thomas-sowell.aspx

        • I should also note that the share of government in Canada as a % of GDP is now down to where it was pre-Trudeau. I don’t think your nostalgia for Canada of that era is all that warranted. We were just as parochial, protectionist, etc. back then, if not more.

  3. Is there anywhere we can comment on the moderation and organization of this comments forum? It used to be a lively place for discussion, not without partisan harangue, but reasonably civil and with occasional interaction by columnists, other pundits and even some politicians. With the switch to Disqus, the number of comments have dropped drastically, discussions are rarely productive and based mostly on partisan preferences (ala globeandmail.com) and certain commenters post long messages with multiple links, unrelated to the topic. What have you done Macleans?

      • I am sure Gohier has received lots of emails from progressives who are against free speech and trying to have my comments deleted or banned. I presume Gohier would appreciate it if you didn’t send any more emails. 

        • I’ve emailed Gohier about problems with the site…and he’s been super at fixing them, and responding to me.

          You were never mentioned by either of us, since I have no interest in your fantasies.

    • Agree that the change to Disqus has had mixed results at best….

      -  I believe that reducing the number of comments (by limitng comments to registered accounts only) was one of the goals (although perhaps there has been some overshoot?), and I’m OK with some thinning compared to the ID system
      -  but the technical nuts and bolts of the new system have been pretty disappointing…slow to load, awkward to navigate, I wonder it that is also dissuading some commenting.

      • It seems you have to work to get to the comments.  You can’t comment to someone else’s reply.  Other sites using Disqus don’t have this problem so it seems to be in the set up. 

        • ….in the setup.

          Hmmm, interesting.  When Macleans made the switch from ID to Disqus (mostly on the basis of wanting to be able to limit comments to registered accounts, as I recall) I remember being surprised that ID could not be setup that way.

  4. In response to PhilCP -
    This is how dysfunctional this thing is.  I get your comment by email.  I click the link to go to comments but it sends me to the article and I have to click on comments – scroll down to find your comment and then I can’t just hit ‘reply’ to respond to your comment.  Nor can anybody else reply to your comments.  This can’t be how it’s supposed to work. 

  5. Macleans – Your editors fell down – you should translate the French since you are an English language magazine AND since the French and English are actually developments in the speech, not simply repeating each other. 

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