Reform Party

Andrew L. Cardozo

The Reform Party proposes what it calls a “new Canada” to replace the so–called “old Canada.” On close examination, it is really calling for a return to the “very old Canada.”

The attacks on the enlightened policies of tolerance such as bilingualism, multiculturalism, equality for women, minorities, aboriginal peoples and the disabled are thinly veiled. A great deal of the rhetorica and the ideas are either poorly researched or purposely mischievous.

The approach to equality is at its best, simplistic. All Canadians should be treated equally and no one would get special treatment, it says. What does this mean? Will women cease to receive maternity benefits because it is only women, and not men, who have babies? Would the people in wheelchairs have to climb stairs just like able–bodied people? Would affirmative action for women be halted even though senior management in the public and private sectors is considerably underrepresented by women? Would English or French classes for immigrants, which assist in their speedily integration, be discontinued because Canadian–born people do not get (and do not need) such classes?

This “new Canada” that Reform Party leader Preston Manning is proposing is a mean–minded society based on the survival of the fittest. It simply ignores the fact that the majority of Canadians do not play on a level playing field. It is a select few who have the power and the influence.

This article appeared in The Connexion Digest #54, February 1992.

Andrew L. Cardozo, Canadian Ethnocultural Council



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