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Rebuilding Canada Post COVID-19
Canadians are a resilient people.
COVID-19 has changed our lives but not our character.
We have always overcome adversity and emerged stronger. We will do so again.
We have been challenged like no other time in this generation, but acts of kindness from across Canada have inspired us all. In the face of struggle and hardship, heroes have emerged.
Sadly, many lives have been lost, and many more shattered, by the loss of loved ones.
Jobs have vanished.
Small businesses have been devastated.
Savings have shrunk or disappeared completely. Retirement plans have been upended.
Debt loads have skyrocketed.
Now more than ever Canada’s Conservatives must be ready to lead the recovery effort and rebuild what’s been broken so that we come out of COVID-19 stronger and more united.
Conservatives have done much of the heavy lifting over Canada’s history — and we can do so again.
No matter the challenge, the values that define us as Conservatives endure — our sense of optimism, our love and loyalty to our country, the willingness to do the hard work so that Canada will be a better place for the generations that follows.
The road ahead won’t be easy. While our spirit remains intact, we have already changed the way we live, work and connect with one another. More change is to come.
What’s clear to me today is that we need to build a more resilient Canada – a more self-reliant Canada – a more independent Canada.
We need a 21st century, made-in-Canada equivalent of the Marshall Plan that put Western Europe back on its feet after the Second World War.
We need a Canada that takes its national security seriously and is a trusted and reliable ally.
A Canada that’s ready to face the next pandemic – on its own, if necessary. The critical equipment, medicines, and other supplies we require must be made domestically.
We need a government that’s serious about getting big things done for the country. A government that isn’t distracted by pet projects.
We cannot be naïve about the world and how it works. Canada can no longer be exploited by other countries who don’t share our values or who seek to take advantage of our generosity.
Canada comes first.
We need to use our energy and natural resources to full advantage. We need to build on our successes and become world leaders in technology, innovation and combating climate change.
We need to unleash Canadians’ can-do spirit and determination — the keys to realizing our country’s unlimited potential.
Prior to the pandemic, Canada needed a change in direction. That need will only grow in the months and years ahead as we grapple with a severe economic recession.
As Conservatives we will do our part.
A new Conservative government will act swiftly, decisively, compassionately - in the interests of all Canadians.
Canada needs less virtue-signaling. Drama and rhetoric won’t cut it.
Our federal government must not block the projects that will build our prosperity. We need a government that: prioritizes and drives forward projects of national importance; mobilizes the private sector; makes real progress with First Nations; and, removes barriers to ensure we attract the sustainable and secure investment we need for job creation.
The policies that Justin Trudeau has imposed on Canada over the past five years has taken us in the wrong direction.
At a time when the Trudeau government should have been running surpluses, it ran deficits. When pipelines should have been approved, they were opposed. When Canada should have stood up to China, the Liberal government showed weakness.
As Conservatives we choose a different path.
We must show Canadians that Conservatives are ready to lead the post COVID-19 recovery.
We must accelerate and prioritize our economic recovery. We must support employers who are trying to get back on their feet.
We can’t over-regulate or hold on to the exceptional powers that were given to the government during the crisis.
We need sunset clauses and oversight on the current stimulus packages to ensure that the federal government returns to fiscal sustainability.
Our small businesses and entrepreneurs need special help. Unlike the Liberals, we will not treat these job creators like tax cheats.
We cannot tax our way to a recovery. In fact, lowering taxes will create an attractive investment climate, increase our ability to compete on the global stage, reward our entrepreneurs, and create the secure jobs and highly skilled workforce Canada will require in the years ahead.
We must use our natural resources to full advantage. This includes oil and gas, agriculture, forestry and our fisheries.
We need a climate plan that takes environmental issues seriously but does not impose a tax that hurts Canadians and our economy. The carbon tax, which penalizes our farmers and rural Canadians in particular, is ineffective and must be scrapped.
We need a response to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across North America just as we did with acid rain in the 1980s and 1990s.
And we must reinvigorate our country’s advanced manufacturing footprint while training and developing a home-grown pool of highly skilled labour.
We must take the necessary steps to deliver jobs for Canadians in every part of our country. We need a prime minister who can lead Team Canada on new trade missions with the provinces, territories, and the private sector. We must expand and take full advantage of new trade agreements and sell Canadian goods and services abroad to deliver high-paying jobs to Canadians.
We must get federal government finances under control to ensure we have the capacity to deal with new and unforeseen economic pressures. Just as Conservatives brought us out of the 2008 worldwide economic crisis and balanced the books, we must do so again.
We need a comprehensive and independent review of Canada’s preparedness and response to COVID-19 — an honest assessment of what worked and what didn’t. We must prepare for any future crisis so we are not again in a position of making decisions “on the fly.”
We need to strengthen our national defense and bolster our capacity to protect our borders and shores — including the Arctic. We must ensure our military is properly equipped for the dangerous and difficult missions we ask them to complete to keep Canadians safe. And we must support our veterans and their families.
In the same way, we must salute and support the front-line heroes and essential workers who are bravely getting us through the COVID-19 crisis. This virus will leave lasting marks on them. We need to support those who put themselves at risk for us in our country’s time of need – both financially and emotionally.
All disaster recoveries require confidence. If people are fearful, they will not buy goods and services. If businesses see serious risk, they won’t invest. If governments don’t get debt under control, our essential services will be at risk.
A Conservative government will bring back that confidence. We will act quickly and decisively.
These are serious times.
Canada needs conservative ideas and conservative solutions that will work in every part of the country.
Canadians have always met the challenges before us. I was reminded of this recently as we marked the 103rd anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. There are lessons in that victory that still resonate today. Rather than repeat the approach of others, Canadians planned, innovated, trained and prepared in a way no other army had before. Sacrifices were made, but the result was a hard-fought victory.
We need to recall the work of Canadians like Banting and Best in the discovery of Insulin, and the achievement of Dr. Harry Jennings whose meningitis vaccine protected people of all ages.
We can achieve a more prosperous, more united, and more secure Canada.
My vision is to leave an even better Canada to our children and grandchildren.
But this requires a change in direction.
Canada needs a united Conservative Party.
Canada needs Conservative leadership now more than ever.