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A Canada Strong and Free

Type: Books
Date Published: April 13, 2005
Authors:
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Canada Strong & Free
In A Canada Strong and Free , Mike Harris and Preston Manning present a vision to make our country the best democratic federation in the world, offering its citizens the highest quality of life and economic performance, and setting a new standard of international citizenship and leadership. This vision expands freedom of choice and acceptance of personal responsibility in every area of national life and calls for a "rebalancing" of national priorities.

Critical Surgery for Health Care: Canada is currently under-performing virtually all industrialized nations offering universal health coverage. Harris and Manning propose eliminating the federal role in health care management and financing, strengthening health care financing by granting the provinces the tax room vacated by the federal government, eliminating barriers to private delivery and financing of health services, giving Canadians freedom to choose their health care providers, and giving those providers the freedom and incentive to provide faster access to better care at lower cost.

More Wealth in the Hands of Canadians: Canada's productivity and standard of living are in decline relative to many other industrialized countries. Harris and Manning propose a shift of $80 billion in national income over the next six years from the hands of politicians and bureaucrats into the hands of citizens, families, businesses, and civil society. This shift - aimed at increasing the incomes and opportunities of Canadians - is to be achieved through constraining growth in total government spending to 3.1% per year and passing the tax savings on to Canadians.

Strengthening Democratic Governance: Harris and Manning contend that smaller governments, closer to the people they serve, can be held more democratically accountable than large, distant, and centralized governments. While supporting institutional and electoral system reform, they insist that such measures will succeed in reducing Canada's democratic deficit only if the size of government itself is constrained and the functions of government are decentralized and localized as much as possible.

Trade and Security Through a Canada-US Customs Union: After examining the decline in Canada's international influence and relationship with the United States, Harris and Manning propose advancing Canada's interests in continental trade and security via a new Customs Union with the US. They propose the creation of a common tariff and quota system, elimination of rules of origin, mutual administration of common tariffs and trade regulations, and mutual acceptance of responsibilities for border security.
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