‘What the world must become in the future … is what Canada is today’

The text of the Prime Minister’s remarks in Calgary

The prepared text of the Prime Minister’s remarks to a Conservative rally in Calgary yesterday.

Merci beaucoup. Thank you very much for that kind introduction. And I want to thank all of you for that warm Stampede welcome.

Cent ans à célébrer le Stampede de Calgary. One hundred years of the Calgary Stampede. Yesterday morning I said, If only the founders could see what they have built: The greatest outdoor show on Earth! Hosted in the greatest city of the greatest country in the world! An incredible achievement. And please, all my parliamentary colleagues, stand up … They’ve come from all over Alberta, all over Canada … So friends, give them one more big Calgary Stampede welcome! Look at those hats. Doesn’t take long to become a cowboy! Wherever you’ve come from, tonight we say, “Bienvenue a Calgary, welcome to Calgary, welcome to our home, it’s great to see you here.”

And of course, I want to greet all members of the Calgary Southwest Conservative Electoral District Association. I especially want to congratulate Connie [McRae] on being re-elected President. Thank you, Connie, for all your hard work, and for stepping up to the plate, once again! And thank you to all members of the Board for all that you do. You know, the best cause in the world is only an idea until people who believe in it, get to work. And this board has worked! I say this every year, but it needs to be said every year: We depend on you. If you don’t do what you do here in Calgary, Laureen and I can’t do what we do in Ottawa, across the country, and around the world.

It’s really that simple. And you also do this: You remind us that this is home. You know, it’s been 10 years since you in Calgary Southwest first sent me to Ottawa as your Member of Parliament. And we still remember those days … when the Liberal Party looked so strong that we were told it would govern forever … when the new Conservative Party of Canada was just a concept, and some smirked and said Canada’s right would never unite. Well, you, and people like you, in every corner of Canada, got to work. Volunteers, taxpayers, citizens, who loved this country and loathed what the other parties were doing to it. And we built a party, a party to carry conservative ideas to Ottawa.

Nous avons uni les Bleus de tous les horizons et de toutes les régions de notre grand pays. We fought four elections. Making strides each time. Until friends, when last year we won … C’mon now, you know what I’m going to say, so say it with me … Last year when we won: A strong, stable, national, majority Conservative government!

What a decade. What a difference you have made. So, it is good to be back among you, old friends and campaigners, long-time supporters, loyalists fighting the good fight for so many years. But my friends, tonight is not about the past, It’s about the future … Et c’est aussi, à propos du travail que nous devons accomplir ensemble pour que le Canada réalise son plein potentiel. And it’s about the work we still have to do, If Canada is going to be all that Canada can be. I have made it clear to all in Ottawa, that having a majority does not mean it’s time to take the foot off the gas.

On the contrary, it’s the time to shove the peddle to the floor and get things done. And we’ve started with so many things that had been blocked for five years by the Opposition in the minority Parliaments. For example, we said that western farmers should be able to sell their own grain without threat of prison … And, beginning August 1, we have ended the monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board!

We said that fast-growing provinces, should have their fair share of seats in the House of Commons … and a redistribution is now under way that will finally give Alberta it’s rightful representation in Parliament! Nous avons continué à être équitables envers toutes les régions, à respecter les champs de compétences et l’autonomie de toutes les provinces. And, by the way, we have not given up on our goal of reforming the Senate. We said we would give the provinces the opportunity to elect Senators. Now, for the first time ever, we have two elected Senators in the Upper House. And, thanks to the recent elections here in Alberta, and some good prospects elsewhere, the ranks of elected Senators will continue to grow!

And, speaking of political reform … Nous avons finalement éliminé ces subventions extravagantes aux partis politiques qui coûtaient trente millions de dollars aux contribuables. We have finally eliminated those extravagant thirty million dollar subsidies we used to pay to political parties!

Now, of course, these weren’t the only matters the Opposition didn’t want to change. For five years they blocked our efforts to fix four decades of soft-on-crime justice policies. They blocked our efforts to … Protect children from sex offenders … Crack down on drug traffickers … Eliminate house arrest for violent and repeat offenders … Enhance the rights of victims in parole hearings … Ensure that citizens have full rights of self-defence … And deal with repeat, violent young offenders … Among other things.

Well, we put much of this legislation together in one bill, and, as we promised, passed it in our first 100 days. And thus we sent the message: Sous notre gouvernement, les droits des honnêtes citoyens respectueux de la loi passent avant les droits des criminels! Under this government, the rights of law-abiding citizens come before the rights of criminals!

And, of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t just mention that we’ve abolished the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry!

We have also continued to re-equip our Canadian military. You know, since we last met here, I visited our troops at the air force base in Trapani, Sicily. NATO was just completing the Libya mission, the most successful undertaking in its history, under the command of a Canadian General, Charlie Bouchard. I want to repeat for you, what I told them there at Trapani: My exact words were that “Soldier for soldier, sailor for sailor, airman for airman, the Canadian Armed Forces are the best in the world!” And that is why we as Conservatives will keep giving the military the equipment they need and the respect they deserve!

We’ve also continued to protect our senior citizens. As you know, we’d already raised the age limit for converting RRIF’s … increased age and pension deductions, and brought in pension income-splitting. And, since winning the majority, we’ve done something else the Opposition blocked. Nous avons accordé la plus grande augmentation en vingt-cinq ans au Supplément de revenue garanti à nos personnes âgées les plus vulnérables ! We’ve given the Guaranteed Income Supplement, for our most vulnerable seniors, its biggest increase in 25 years!

Of course, as you know, we also promised to balance the budget in the life of this Parliament. And, with Budget 2012 … we are on track, to balance the budget by 2015 … to keep our debt the lowest in the G7 by far … and to do it all sans augmenter vos taxes et vos impôts without raising your taxes!

And, I should mention, let’s not forget that in the process, our economy has grown for ten consecutive quarters. In fact, since the beginning of the recovery, the Canadian economy has created three quarters of a million net new jobs!

Friends, in short, we are working hard and keeping our promises. We’ve gone through our election platform, and identified over one hundred individual commitments that we’ve made, some big, some small. We’ve already realized sixty-seven of them, and we are on track to accomplish the rest.

And that is the record of our government, my friends. On dit ce qu’on fait. Et on fait ce qu’on dit! First we say what we will do. Then we go out, and we do what we say!! Now, the hard part. Because, now, friends, we are looking well beyond our mandate. And we are asking ourselves: Qu’est-ce que notre pays a besoin de faire pour assurer la création d’emplois, la croissance économique, et la prospérité, pas juste pour le présent, mais également pour les générations futures? What does our country have to do to ensure our economy will create jobs, growth and prosperity, not just now, but for future generations?

And, friends, to do that, we have to face the fact that the challenges before us are significant. Last year, I told you that our great task as the national government, a majority national government … is to preserve and promote the future of our great nation and its people in a time of extraordinary, global change. This past year has only underscored what I said.

New economic powers continue to rise … and older ones, ones very much like our own country continue to struggle. They are weighed down … by debts they can’t seem to control … by entitlements they can no longer afford … and growth that shows no sign of returning. In Canada, more people are working today, than were working before the recession … More working now than at any time in our history. But, in the developed world, four years after the crisis hit, we are one of the rare exceptions in that regard.

Je suis déterminé à ce que l’on continue à mieux performer que l’Europe, les États-Unis et le Japon… Et je suis aussi déterminé, à éviter les problèmes à long terme auxquels ces économies sont confrontées. I am determined that Canada will continue to outperform Europe, the United States and Japan … That we will not fall into the long-term difficulties those economies are facing. 

That’s why we have acted so broadly and so decisively in Economic Action Plan 2012. For instance, we are comprehensively feforming our immigration system so it will maximize Canada’s economic advantage! We are reforming Employment Insurance … so that if jobs that pay more are locally available … they will go, not to temporary foreign workers, but to Canadians! We are ensuring that environmental reviews are comprehensive … but that they are also completed in a reasonable timeframe, according to the principle of “one project, one review!”

We’re expanding our trade linkages. We have signed deals with nine new countries, and are negotiating with some fifty more. We are reforming science and innovation policies so we get more economic results for the dollars we spend. We have made changes to our future spending on health care and old age security … so that these critical programs will be affordable, will be guaranteed, for hard-working Canadian families for many generations to come.

Friends, not every one of these measure is popular with everybody, but they are all good for Canada. And that is what it’s all about.

Under our Conservative Government, Canada will not slip back the way so many other developed countries are falling back. We will not just be one of the world’s older economic powers. We are determined that Canada will be one of the world’s next generation of economic powers as well!

And, by that I mean … Que nous allons nous assurer que nos enfants et nos petits-enfants aient accès à tout ce que notre pays a à offrir et plus encore. That we will ensure our children and our grandchildren have everything that we are fortunate enough to have and more.

Because that is how we think as Conservatives. As I’ve said before, we don’t see government as just what you can get out of it, and what you can get out of it today. We think of it as a duty and a responsibility … not just to the country and to the wider public interest … But a duty to provide for those who will come after us … just as it is a responsibility to honour those who came before.

As we approach the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, we are highlighting for Canadians the actions and the sacrifices made by our ancestors … The events that got this country to where it is today. This year, you will have noticed that one thing we are focussing on is the two-hundredth anniversary of the War of 1812 … What we call today “the Fight for Canada.” It is hard to believe that two centuries ago, this country was invaded by the United States. But more unbelievable is that it survived the invasion. But it did more than just survive. The various scattered groups in the then British colonies came together to resist the invaders. English, French, First Nations, freed slaves, everybody. In the process they created, for the first time, a common sense of identity as Canadians … An identity based on cultural diversity … And on order under the Crown … resistant to the violence of revolution … supportive of notions of mutual assistance and the common good … A common identity that would eventually make our Confederation possible.

Quelle fantastique histoire canadienne! What a fantastic, Canadian story!

Friends, we do not talk about characters like Brock, De Salaberry, Laura Secord or Tecumseh … Or battles like Queenston’s Heights, Lundy’s Lane, Chrysler’s Farm Or Chateauguay … out of mere historical fascination, but as remembrances of who we are what we have achieved, and why Canada must move forward. The world around us today seems to be one of extraordinary uncertainty … Its economy fragile, its conflicts dangerous, its future dire. But it has always been so. And Canada has flourished nonetheless.

And there is no reason why we cannot do so again, if we make good decisions, and work hard to put them in place … If we think a little longer term, and a little more beyond ourselves. En fait, si vous y pensez, le monde d’aujourd’hui est fait pour le Canada. 

In fact, if you think about it the world today is made for Canada. Peoples of disparate backgrounds suddenly brought together … A global need for resources and development … But also for science and advanced education and a skilled and entrepreneurial workforce. A yearning for safety nets to deal with the uncertainties of a competitive world economy … But in ways that are soundly structured, affordable and well managed. The necessity of seeing the other guys’ point of view and the responsibility of taking a stand.

Afin de connaître du succès à l’avenir, le monde entier doit devenir tout ce que le Canada est déjà. To succeed, what the world must become in the future … is what Canada is today. And it is so, in part, because you have added your chapter to the Canadian story Over the past decade … Through the campaigns we have undertaken together … Campaigns not based on dreams or fantasies or slogans, but, as I have told you before, on the reality of this great country rising. A country founded on great principles. A courageous warrior, a compassionate neighbour, a confident partner … under a strong, stable, national, majority, Conservative government, Canada, the best country in the world!

Work hard, stay focussed on our mandate, continue to earn the people’s trust, and our party’s best days and above all our country’s best days, still lie ahead!

Thank you again For your steadfast support! Merci beaucoup. God bless Canada.




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‘What the world must become in the future … is what Canada is today’

  1. Never heard of macleans .ca, but with articles like this, obviously this publication will do well. As a Canadian I appreciate that they reprinted this speech. Harpo is the best leader we ever had in this country, and while he is obviously preaching to the choir here, this speech is downright inspiring to all Canadians.

    • Both he and you – nuttier than a fruitcake.

    • Just wandering around the internets and ran across this didya’?

    • Since it is still a democracy can we please be allowed the courtesy of making up our own minds ? Personally I’m uninspired.

    • I appreciate that you work late into the evening on a Sunday, Mr. del Mastro, but this is low even for you.

  2. “We will not just be one of the world’s older economic powers”

    Thats a new one from our glorious leader. This speech is nothing but tripe from the worse PM in Canadian history. I am sure it went over well with the faithful.

    • hey hey, borden and mulroney don’t stand up all that well, either.

      • Perhaps, but I miss them terribly under this PM.

  3. “If you don’t do what you do here in Calgary, Laureen and I can’t do what we do in Ottawa, across the country, and around the world.”
    Sorry… What, exactly, does Laureen do “in Ottawa, across the country and around the world?”

    Feels like there’s an increasing tendency to include a reference to Laureen Harper in remarks by the Prime Minister. I wonder why.

    • Well Laureen IS an Albertan.

      • And before Reform, he is from Toronto, so *that would never have passed.

    • Doesn’t she help homeless cats or something?

    • What the world must become in the future … is what Canada is today?
      Which is a dull and boring country that lacks culture, other than the little it’s copied from the Americans. Soon to become a police state and war mongering country…

  4. I’m sorry, I have been an Albertan all my life and Harper has to go. He braggs about the promises he has kept and know not what he is doing. He promised high-speed internet to the north and in doing so gave $10,000,000.00 to a firm to do the job. The job that was almost completed but for four communities by a private firm that had already completed all but four communities using it’s own capital. This is Conservativism? it is stumbling bumbling bind subservience to an out dated ideology instead of intelligent thought

    The economy of Canada is being maintained mostly by selling off the resources that belong to our children and grand children at fire sale prices.

    What about the hidden agenda items kept and yet to be kept?

  5. ‘Blatherskyte’…..a grand old Gaelic word is what this is. Pure blatherskyte.

    Harp’s not only made a political event out of Calgary’s tourist attraction…..but he’s lying right to their faces!

    Whatever time of day it was….his audience is obviously too ‘overly refreshed’ to understand what he said.

  6. puko. how does crap articles like this make it to the top of the google Canada news section? man I hate conventional media now…

  7. Harpo has to go

  8. “… But a duty to provide for those who will come after us … just as it is a responsibility to honour those who came before.”

    But PM you just got through telling your partY, your country how you went to Ottawa, and intend to stay there far into the future because you loath the rest of us and our
    Political choices; not because you think we were wrong or misguided – no, you actually loath us, your words; and boy does it show.
    Congrats mr Harper, you have your wish, you’ve succeeded beyond your wildest dreams. We now have political camps that loath one another. Not even in his most partisan speeches did Trudeau or any other of our former PMs claim to loath their oopposite numbers.
    SH , Canada’s first PM to only, exclusively, see himself as PM of Conservative Canada, and only Conservative Canada.

  9. anyone who truly worked hard to elect the reform because they were angry about things previous governments actually did are among the most disappointed Canadians right now.

  10. And that is why we as Conservatives will keep giving the military the equipment they need and the respect they deserve!

    25 years since a Conservative leader first promised an icebreaker for Canada;s north.

    • Harper is wasting tens of billions of dollars turning Canada from a nation of peacekeepers to war-makers. The jingoism about given soldiers the equipment they need is nonsense unless we plan to get involved in more wars — which Canadians clearly don’t want (they were against the war in Afghanistan, e.g.)

  11. It’s amazing what people will sit through for a couple of flapjacks (mind you the greatest flapjacks in the world!)

  12. Well as long as we keep that all you can eat, bargain price, resources buffet open for the world to come and carry it away at cut rate prices we should be able to beat Greece and all the rest of those tired old European resource poor economies. And hey take it raw and cook it yourself!
    If these countries had a half continent full of resources that they were willing to give away to any buyer with cash in hand, maybe they could compete with Canada, the Saudi Arabia of the new world.

  13. “to keep our debt the lowest in the G7 by far”

    More Harper lies about the economy. According to the IMF (2011) Canada now ranks #3 of G7 countries in debt/GDP:

    Germany 82%, UK 83%, Canada 85%, France 86%, US 103%, Italy 120%, Japan 230%
    http://bit.ly/DqF9p

    “the Canadian economy has created three quarters of a million net new jobs!”

    Again, that “simply isn’t true.” Economists measure the recovery from before the recession, not the recession trough. Secondly, it’s the unemployment rate that tells the real story.

    In Oct 2008 (before the recession job losses started) the size of the workforce was 18.3M. Now it’s 18.9M or 600,000 more workers. The number employed in Oct 2008 was 17.2M. Now they number 17.5M, or 300,000 more jobs.

    Since there are more people added to the workforce than jobs created the economy is obviously worse off, not better.

    To make sense of the numbers, they are measured by rate. Before the recession hit the unemployment rate was 6.1%. Now it is 7.2%. It’s worse off; certainly not something to brag about.

    http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=2820087&pattern=282-0069..282-0095&tabMode=dataTable&srchLan=-1&p1=-1&p2=31

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