Major Harper and the Reforms - Macleans.ca

Major Harper and the Reforms

by

In an interview with Emmanuelle Latraverse to mark the 6th anniversary of his 2006 election victory, Stephen Harper hints at some of the “major” initiatives he was describing before Christmas. There’s also some more specific language on health transfers. Highlights:

On what he means by “major” reforms: “The main preoccupation of this government is the creation of growth and jobs for Canadians. Not only during this global crisis but over the long term. We face very important challenges, especially demographic challenges. We’re examining all our policies. Not only the budget situation, but also research and development — we had a panel on that — on immigration, on the pension system, on regulation.”

On health transfers: “The basis of our approach on health care is to respect provincial jurisdictions. …We’re the first government in history that doesn’t intend to balance its budget by cutting transfers to the provinces. On the contrary… growth will remain predictable and stable over the long term.”

On a federal role in health: “The reality is that health systems are managed by the provinces… If the provinces want to reform their systems in a coordinated fashion where we could work with the provinces to help reform, we are ready to do that. But we have no intention of imposing a federal vision on a system that is in others’ jurisdiction.”

On what the reporter calls a “gulf” between Harper’s values and Quebecers’: “If we examine the content of C-10 and public opinion in Quebec, it’s clear the population of Quebec supports these measures. Even the former minister of justice of Quebec said that.” (I’d be grateful if somebody could find a reference to the former minister Harper mentions here – pw)

On the meaning of the 2011 election results: “I think our approach to federalism has truly weakened the Bloc Québécois and we saw the fall of the Bloc.”