Under Stephen Harper, the government has grown secretive and closed-off from Canadians. Unprecedented power has been concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister and his office. Science and evidence have never mattered less; politics and partisanship have never mattered more. Millions of Canadians who elected good people to be their communities’ voice in Ottawa have watched those same people become Stephen Harper’s voice in their communities. After promising reform, the Conservatives have delivered the most centralized, partisan, self-serving government in Canadian history.
After a decade of Stephen Harper, Canadians’ faith in government has never been lower. The reason is simple: Canadians do not trust their government, because it does not trust them.
Our plan is a sweeping agenda for change. It is an agenda that will allow us to modernize how the Canadian government works, so that it better reflects the values and expectations of Canadians.
At its heart is a simple idea: transparent government is good government. If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians.
Together, we can restore a sense of trust in our democracy. Greater openness and transparency are fundamental to accomplishing this.
Liberals have led the way by introducing numerous bills and motions in Parliament to raise the bar on transparency and accountability in government. A Liberal government will implement all of these proposals, and go even further with new initiatives that expand Canadians’ access to information.
We need to make sure that Parliament is a place where all Canadians – such as those with young families – can serve their country. A Liberal government will restore Parliament as a place where accountable people, with real mandates, do serious work on behalf of Canadians.
In a digital era, Canadians have high standards for the service they receive. Dealing with the government should be no exception. A Liberal government will ensure higher standards and a better client experience for Canadians when they interact with government. We will also guarantee quality and timeliness in the delivery of services.
Government should base its policies on facts, not make up facts based on policy. Without evidence, government makes arbitrary decisions that have the potential to negatively affect the daily lives of Canadians. We need reliable economic indicators and data for sound economic policy, and to provide other governments, businesses, and civil society with the tools to enrich our national life. A Liberal government will ensure the federal government rebuilds its capacity to deliver on evidence-based decision-making.
Elections are the cornerstone of representative democracy. It is the mechanism by which Canadians put our trust in elected officials. It is vital that we make our electoral system more civil and ideas-based, rather than an overly partisan process that leaves out most Canadians. A Liberal government will restore the integrity of our electoral process and improve the fairness of our elections.
As the saying goes, sunlight is the world’s best disinfectant. Liberals will shed new light on the government and ensure that it is focused on the people it is meant to serve: Canadians.