Letter to the Editor – Joe Hueglin of Niagara Falls Ontario on Harper Government Agenda: Plus qu’il change plus que la meme chose – April 28, 2011

Interesting is the terminology used by Harper over time. “Canadians want change not constitutional wrangling, said Harper.” were the words used when “New Confederation proposals” were issued by News Release on October 15, 1995. Also stated then was this: “In all cases, Reform’s New Confederation proposals simply require a federal government that is willing to act.

His terminology has not altered: “Harper pledges Senate reform, but without constitutional wrangling” http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/04/25/harper-lends-support-to-ontario-candidates-facing-ndp-incumbents/ .
Obtaining a majority in the House of Commons together with a majority in the Senate would meet Stephen Harper’s requirement of “a federal government that is willing to act.

Given the Commons majority will the “Harper Government“, now as a “New Government” in complete control, act to implement the “New Confederation proposals” “without constitutional wrangling.“?

In that, where possible through regulatory change, that which could be implemented has been, please consider the NewsRelease below as an Agenda upon a Commons majority being obtained.

While true the proposals haven’t been stated recently, just as the term “constitutional wrangling” came to mind in regard to Senate,reform proposal, be assured the other proposals are still in Harper’s mind as well.

Joe Hueglin – Niagara Falls Ontario


For immediate release                                                                October 15, 1995

Reform presents New Confederation proposals

OTTAWA -Reform Party Leader Preston Manning and unity critic Stephen Harper today
presented Reform’s New Confederation proposals, a package of 20 measures to modernize and
decentralize Canada.

“Our proposals would permit future governments to respond more effectively to the needs of
ordinary Canadians by reducing Ottawa’s centralizing powers, which are historically a frustration to
those both inside and outside Quebec,” said Manning.

Among the 20 proposals, Reform would guarantee provincial control over natural resources,
language and culture. Reform would also change the federal role in regards to provincially-
administered social services such as welfare, education and health care. Reform would foster
cooperative agreements rather than impose unilateral standards by threatening to withhold federal

‘ “We propose measures which will assert the autonomy of all provinces and the power of the
people well into the future,” said Harper. “Canadians have long been concerned about concentrating too
much power in the hands.of the federal executive and cabinet. Canadians are demanding a new and
more accountable system of government.”

Each of the 20 changes proposed by the Reform party could be accomplished without
comprehensive federal-provincial negotiations
of the sort that led to the failed Meech Lake and
Charlottetown accords, In all cases, Reform’s New Confederation proposals simply require a federal
government that is willing to act.

“Canadians want change, not more constitutional wrangling,”said Harper. “Reform’s proposals
can be accomplished without re-opening old constitutional wounds.”

page 1

Canadians told us they want Canada to be a be a balanced and equal federation in which Ottawa
plays a cooperative rather than a domineering role,” added Harper. “This is what we propose There
will be no special status, formally or informally for Quebec or any other province.”

Reform’s New Confederation proposal include:


1. Natural Resources
Guarantee exclusive provincial control.

2. Manpower Training
Guarantee exclusive provincial control.

3. Social Services
Change the role of the federal government to foster cooperative Interprovincial agreements
rather than imposing unilateral standards by withholding transfer payments.

4. Language
Replace the Official Languages Act with a,new law, the Regional Bilingualism Act, that would
recognize the demographic and linguistic realities of Canada and the practices of provincial

5. Culture
Make provincial governments the primary providers and guardians of cultural services and
primary regulators’of cultural industries.

6. Municipal Affairs
Strengthen the role of municipal governments in the delivery of essential services.

7. Housing
Guarantee exclusive provincial control.

8. Tourism
Guarantee exclusive provincial control.

9. Sports and Recreation
Guarantee exclusive provincial control.

10. Spending Power
Forbid new federal spending programs in provincial jurisdiction.

11. Transfers to the Provinces
Replace federal cash block grants with tax point grants.

page 2

12. Charter Challenges.
End the Court Challenges program and its tax-funded court challenges of provincial legislation.

13. Disallowance, Reserve, and Declaratory Powers.
Remain dormant under a Reform government.


14. House of Cornmons
Permit greater freedom for individual MPs; wider use of referenda, citizens’ initiatives
and recall.

15. Senate of Canada
All future appointments to the Senate would be by means of elections on the mode! of the
1989 Alberta Senate selection process.

16. Supreme Court and Judiciary
Future appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada would be made by the provincial
legislatures; all appointments reviewed by elected Senate.

17. Bank of Canada
Future board appointments made by provincial Legislatures. Ottawa would continue to select
the Governor of the Bank.

18. Lieutenant Governors
Appointed by provincial legislatures.

19. Tax, Debt and Expenditure Limitation
Unilaterally amend the Constitution to forbid deficit spending or rapid spending increases,
except when authorized by a national referendum.

20. Constitutional Referendums
Introduce a motion in the House of Commons that all future constitutional amendments must
be approved by majorities in all regions of Canada through a referendum.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

James Moak


  1. Can we find something you wrote or had a party to from 16 years ago and count it is fresh?

    What we are doing now is slowly killing us. More than sustainable amounts of money are being thrown at health care and immigration. We have about 3.6 million employees directly working for the 3 levels of government so all of those bullit points need to be discussed, soon!

  2. Be it sixteen years ago or thirty-seven when I was a member of Parliament and to-day my position is the same. I am not an Ontarian seeking to give my province powers. I am a Canadian as was the founder of Canada Sir John Aleaxander Macdonald.

    Stephen Harper is a provincialist. That the Government of Canada was/is the dominant Government in Canada is indisputable shown by Harpers Proposal 13: 13. Disallowance, Reserve, and Declaratory Powers. Remain dormant under a Reform government.

    These powers exist in law for the Federal Government – Harper, pretendoing they do not exist, would have them “Remain dormant” under a (Harper) Reform government.

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