Earlier today, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke to the first-ever Progress Summit put on by the Broadbent Summit. Gillard led a left-leaning goverment and the Broadbent Summit is named after Ed Broadbent. (I surely don’t need to tell you who he is.).
Here is the text of the remarks Gillard was to give, provided by the event organizers:
In my home town in Australia, Adelaide, it is going to be 32 degrees today but the warmth of the welcome I have received has compensated for the difference between that and the freezing Ottawa air. So I am simply delighted to be here to join you for this important event.
While the weather is so starkly different, Australia and Canada share so much in common.
We are both vibrant liberal democracies in the Westminster tradition, with national and provincial level governments and we share our head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.
Our nations are rich in the resources the world needs and have large scale, efficient agriculture. Our economies are sophisticated and increasingly reliant on knowledge and service industries. We came out of the Global Financial Crisis, less damaged than many other nations in the world, in part because of the superior regulation of our banking and financial sectors.
The life expectancy of our people is more than 80 years, our GDP per capita is over $40,000 dollars and the World Bank puts us both in the top three best places to start a business. As a patriotic Australian please forgive me for pointing out we slightly beat you in each of these measures. All these indices are telling us that Canadians and Australians share the good fortune of living in two of the most prosperous places on the planet. We have the joy that comes with living not only in wealthy nations, but in peace and freedom. Continue reading Former AUS PM Gillard rallies the left in Ottawa speech
Both his fans and his critics agree on one thing about Stephen Harper. He wants to transform the country, so Canadians will come to see his Conservatives and not the Liberals as the natural governing party.
By the election of 2015, he will have done much in that regard.
But to make that work endure, the Conservatives need history on their side. They need a narrative of Canada in which Conservative Party values are integral to the story. Voters who buy this history will then turn to Conservative leaders as the default choice in this century the way Canadians turned to Liberal leaders by default in the last century.
I’m not the first to advance this thesis. Plenty have done something similar over the last few years, particularly when the Harper Conservatives allocated millions to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. But this week, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird gave a speech about John Diefenbaker’s foreign policy and that speech, more than anything I’ve heard yet from a Conservative politician, neatly articulated the Conservative vision of how Canada’s history ought to be read or interpreted. Continue reading Harper's History key to a Conservative Century
There are 308 MPs in the House of Commons. I like a lot of them. On all sides. Most are “good people”. The common denominator among the ones I like a lot are those that are — and Andrew Potter forgive me for using the term — authentic. They are comfortable in their own skin. They’re interested in other human beings for the simple reason that they find other human beings interesting — not simply because there’s a chance those other human beings might vote for them or say something nice about them.
Ed Holder, the London West MP, (pictured above in 2011 with PM Harper at the Tim Horton’s Brier — and yes, this pic, was taken by a PMO photographer) is one of those I like a lot for those reasons and here’s the latest evidence — Continue reading Ed Holder gets real — and I like it.
A nice touch from the Heymans, signalling their excitement about their move to Ottawa after Bruce Heyman was sworn in today as the new U.S. Ambassador to Canada. Welcome! (Even if you are Black Hawks fans….)
Nathan Rotman, pictured above at last year’s Toronto Centre NDP nomination meeting, announced this morning he is leaving his job as executive director of the federal NDP to return to Toronto and join the team trying to help make Olivia Chow the mayor of Toronto. Continue reading NDP loses top party boss to Chow campaign
Joe Cressy hopes to make it into the House of Commons this year as the new MP for Trinity-Spadina, replacing Olivia Chow who resigned her seat to run for mayor in Toronto. I first met Cressy in 2009 in that very same chamber but on that day, he was part of a group of about 120 protesters who, in the middle of Question Period stood up and started hollering questions at the government from the public gallery. That’s a very big no-no House-of-Commons-procedure-wise and an army of security guards ended up dragging the protesters out. I was sitting in the House of Commons press gallery that day and Continue reading Flashback: Cressy storms the House of Commons
Conservative MP Rob Anders is facing a tough nomination challenge from former provincial MLA Ron Liepert. Anders currently represents the federal riding of Calgary West while Liepert, until 2012 represented the same riding in the Alberta legislature. Both men want to be the federal Conservative candidate in the 2015 general election in the new riding of Calgary Signal Hill. Today, Anders (in conversation above with me on January 7) released a statement showing that his party’s leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, backs him. Note also in this release, that Anders tries to use Alison Redford’s unpopularity as an anchor that he hopes will sink Liepert: Continue reading Harper for Anders in Calgary Signal Hill