Media Releases

Caring for Canadians requires better balance, more choice – Volume II of Manning, Harris series says flawed federalism puts social programs at risk

Montreal, October 24, 2005 – In a new Montreal Economic Institute-Fraser Institute policy paper, Preston Manning and Mike Harris say Canada can dramatically improve its approach to K-12 education, welfare, health and child care by better balancing federal/provincial responsibilities, offering more freedom of choice, and empowering Canadians with personal responsibility.

“If we truly want to achieve the highest quality of life, we must rebalance our current approach to key social programs,” said Manning. “This rebalancing is based on the principle that services to Canadians – especially the young, the ill, and those trapped in poverty – should be delivered by governments and organizations closest to those they serve and should involve a better mix of public and private resources.”

Caring for Canadians is Volume II in the Canada Strong and Free series of papers by Manning and Harris.

Key recommendations include expanding freedom of choice in K-12 education via educational vouchers issued to parents by provincial governments; expansion of the shift from “welfare to workfare” pioneered by Mr. Harris’s administration in Ontario; getting the federal government out of the child care field by ending federal spending initiatives in this area and ceding the equivalent tax room to the provinces; and making the tax system neutral with respect to the form of child care parents choose for their children.

With respect to health care, they advance further recommendations for achieving the goal of giving Canadians the best health care system in the world, by strengthening universal access regardless of the ability to pay while offering a “mixed approach” (public and private) to health care delivery, payment, and insurance.

“The urgency of revitalizing the way we care for Canadians cannot be understated,” added Harris. “This does not only apply to improved social services, but to making Canada the best-governed democratic federation in the world.”

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For more information please contact: Fraser Institute: Suzanne Walters (604) 714-4582 or Phil von Finckenstein (613) 889-1530 / Montreal Economic Institute: Patrick Leblanc (514) 273-0969.

Established in 1974, The Fraser Institute is an independent public policy organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. The media release and the complete publication are posted at www.fraserinstitute.ca. The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan research and educational institute. MEI is the product of a collaborative effort between Montreal-area academics, economists and entrepreneurs (www.iedm.org).

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