Updated: Nov 15, 2021
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This is the verse inscribed into the stone over the West window of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. The words are strong, but I believe they are true.
Humans have the incredible ability to cast vision and to dream of what tomorrow may look like. We can envision and create a better future, not only for ourselves, but for generations to come. This is an incredible gift; it is also a weighty responsibility.
Serving as a Member of Parliament has afforded me the extraordinary opportunity to speak with so many Canadians about what kind of Canada they wish to live in. I have heard countless stories from visionaries who want to build businesses, invent new technologies, help those who are suffering get ahead, and improve our society in areas where we are falling short. All of these conversations and general observations have given me a tremendous amount of hope for this nation’s future.
It is true that many areas look quite bleak right now. The federal government has exercised an inordinate amount of autocratic power in the last year and a half. Many have posited that our democratic institutions have been assaulted by the few in power who see the checks and balances that have been set in place as mere obstacles or hurdles to avoid.
At times, it has felt discouraging to see the very pillars of our democracy being chipped away, BUT at the same time, I cannot ignore the resounding voices of resolute determination to uphold the very principles that this great nation was founded upon.
Our identity as a nation is not defined by our government, it is a result of the combined characteristics of the people who live here.
Canadians value freedom, justice, and the rule of law. They are caring, compassionate, hardworking, and generous. It is Canadians who are the problem solvers, the solution makers, and the wealth creators, not the government. It is the Canadian people who are the visionaries, the inventors, and the moral ballast of society, not a governing few in Ottawa.
“We the People” is a powerful phrase because it appropriately depicts where the strength of a nation lies: with the people. When the people (not as a collective, but as individuals) have the freedom to live up to their potential, the whole of society benefits. Conversely, when a government sees itself as holding all of the power and imposes its will onto the people, picking winners and losers based on ideology, society regresses.
Imagine what Canada would look like in five or ten years if the Canadian people were put before government and if encroaching restrictions on speech and free expression were relinquished. Imagine what it would look like if industries were championed, and an environment was created where businesses could thrive.
Imagine what it would look like if the bridles of red tape and regulation were thrown off and entrepreneurs were given the freedom to take risks, invest in themselves, and prosper!
This is the type of Canada we can create, not through government’s imposition of ideological values, but by setting Canadians up for success and creating opportunity for each and every person to reach their greatest potential, independent of the government.
Canadians are the ones who are going to make Canada strong again. I am convinced of it! You are the ones who will push this nation forward and make us once again a leader on the world stage in economics, science, resource development, innovation, support for those in need, and environmental stewardship.
There is so much potential in Canada because there is so much potential in the individuals who make up this amazing country.
Canada does not need to be reimagined, reset, or redesigned. In fact, when the Prime Minister talks about reengineering this great country, it makes me wonder what exactly he is seeing.
Is our country perfect? No, but there is nowhere else in the world I would rather live. When our leaders constantly bash our country and diminish the many incredible successes we have achieved, it begs the question, why would you lead a country you think so ill of?
A government that seeks to destroy certain sectors of society because they do not align with its value system, is not governing in the best interest of the whole, but rather in the interest of a select few.
This type of partiality is not, nor has it ever been, a characteristic of good governance.
Unleashing the potential of the Canadian people is the key to our success!
It is my hope that you will begin to dream again, that you will start to envision the Canada that you want to create for yourselves and for your children. You not only have the ability to make this country the very best it can be.
You also have the honour of carving out your place in history here.
When I dream of a bright future for Canada, I do not look at the government, I look to the Canadian people – you.