The passing away of traditional Canada (Part Two)
By Mark Wegierski
One of the most obvious direct political consequences of the high immigration policy is the destruction of what had been called until the 1960s, “Tory Toronto” – because it was seen as such a conservative and British-focused city (sometimes being called the Belfast of North America). It was snidely said of 1950s Toronto that on Sunday you could fire a cannon down Toronto’s main street and not hit anyone (because everyone was at church!) In both the 2015 and 2019 federal elections, the Conservatives were unable to win a single seat in Toronto. Also, the Conservatives had little success in the so-called Greater Toronto Area (GTA) – the belt of suburbs surrounding the City of Toronto, which are now also heavily immigrant.
The failure of the PPC is particularly distressing because they were the only better-known party that was promising to lower immigration to 150,000 persons a year. Given the continuous, very high immigration numbers, Canada will become a Third World majority country in a scant few decades. This would be a far more decisive and revolutionary transformation than anything attempted by Soviet Communism in the past. It is what some serious critics – and not just fringe extremists -- have called “the great replacement”. In such a situation, one can be almost sure that the prospects of right-of-center parties in Canada would diminish still further.
The problem is that right-of-center parties in Canada basically sit back and accept all this very high, dissimilar immigration – which is continually undercutting their social base and weakening their support across the country. Just look at the results in Toronto and the GTA! Because of this, with every succeeding year, the cause of right-of-center parties becomes ever more difficult. And when a party finally emerged that offered some significant change in regard to high immigration and official multiculturalism policies, it did abysmally in the federal election.
Brian Mulroney won the 1988 federal election by making it a referendum on the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Traditionally, conservatives had opposed Free Trade with the U.S., whereas it had been the Liberal Party that had advocated it. In 1988, the roles were reversed. Patriotically arguing for Canada in 1988, John Turner, the leader of the Liberal Party, was more of a traditionalist conservative than Brian Mulroney.
The Canadian Right had tried to regroup through the launching of the Reform Party in 1987. The Reform Party faced a climate of unrelenting media and institutional hostility. Nevertheless, they won 52 seats in the 1993 federal election, and 60 seats in the 1997 federal election.
It could be argued that part of the Liberal Party’s strategy in the 1990s (in the wake of the collapse of Soviet Communism) was to give an appearance of fiscal conservatism. The extent of the Liberal austerity measures against the mass of ordinary Canadians included: not rescinding the Goods and Services Tax, as they had explicitly promised to do; the Unemployment Insurance reforms, which drastically reduced benefits; the Canada Pension Plan reforms which substantially raised the amount of contributions that have to be paid into the program; and the Old Age Pension and Old Age tax-exemption clawbacks – which kick in at a relatively modest income threshold. It could also be argued that the Liberal Party, especially in the 1990s, has colluded with big banks, big insurance companies, and other major corporations, to the detriment of the broad Canadian public. The Liberal Prime Minister of Canada between 1993 and 2003 was Jean Chretien, said to be one of Canada’s most popular Prime Ministers ever.
Preston Manning launched the United Alternative initiative in 1998. This culminated in the creation of the Canadian Alliance – whose full, official name was the Canadian Reform-Conservative Alliance. The initiative failed to achieve its ultimate goal – a merger with the federal Progressive Conservative party – largely because of the intransigence of one man – federal P.C. leader Joe Clark, a perennial bungler.
In 2000, Stockwell Day was selected leader of the Canadian Alliance. Although he began well, he was increasingly sandbagged by the accusation that he represented “Christian fundamentalist extremism.” The November 2000 election was full of various mendacious accusations by the Liberal Party.
In 2001, Stockwell Day was essentially destroyed by a concerted campaign of the media, the Liberal Party, and dissidents in his own caucus. The ensuing Canadian Alliance leadership selection process of 2002 was won by Stephen Harper.
The merger between the Canadian Alliance (under Stephen Harper) and the federal Progressive Conservatives (under the leadership of Peter MacKay), was formally announced on October 16, 2003, and finalized by December 2003. The adjective “progressive” was significantly dropped from the name of the reconstituted Conservative Party. This move, coming after decades of negativity for the Canadian Right, appeared to be a bright way forward.
In March 2004, Stephen Harper was selected leader of the new Conservative Party. The June 2004 election was perhaps one of the most critical in Canadian history, and was supposed to represent the culmination of the Canadian Right’s attempt to regain the political initiative. Nevertheless, Stephen Harper essentially flopped, when the Liberals managed to hang on to a minority government under Paul Martin, Jr.
The Liberal government was finally voted down in the federal Parliament in November 2005. In the ensuing January 2006 federal election, Harper won a minority government. By sticking to centrist policies, Harper continued in power until 2008, when he called an election himself. He won a strengthened mandate, but the majority still eluded him. Finally, the Conservative government was voted down in the federal Parliament in 2011. However, Harper was finally able to win a majority in the May 2011 election. But the Conservative majority government continued with centrist policies.
To be continued.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.