Sunday, October 26, 2008

Who is the mysterious most centrist person running for leadership?

Is the choice Kinsella's, who he closely guards? "He or she needs to TAKE THE LIBERAL PARTY BACK TO THE CENTRE of the spectrum"

Is the centre Senator Jerry Grafstein's hopeful choice, 'Pinball' Clemons? - "I was all set to go home, but I sat glued to my seat. His is the politics of hope."

Is it David McGuinty?

Is it a mysterious stranger coming in from the dark, a particularly Manley Man?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Manley tests waters?

Manley has emerged once again as the source of choice for comment on the government... I wonder if the media is just being friendly or if their is trial ballooning going on?

On Afghanistan:
Interview: John Manley, Chair of Canada's panel on Afghanistan on the mission and what comes next Transcript

Choice Quote:
"I think there's a continuing sense of disillusionment with the mission overall."

John Manley: 'I think there's been a failure to really engage the public and show a willingness to really spend political capital on it [the mission].' Harry Forestell, right, interviews John Manley in Toronto Wednesday.
John Manley shows his beaker days aren't far behind, when he valiantly wore a striped tie with a pinstripe suit for an interview Wednesday(CBC)

On the banking bailout:

Ottawa may make millions on CMHC plan for banks
choice excerpt (Globe and Mail):

John Manley, a former deputy prime minister and finance minister, said he was surprised Ottawa didn't pick up the program earlier.

"They make money on it, it increases liquidity in the system - why don't you answer the phone when people suggest things?" he said, pointing out that banks had been suggesting the program for some time.

Historical Quote on the Economy

For emerging and developing economies, recent events are another stern reminder of the need for strong policy frameworks based on sound monetary policy, strengthened financial sector supervision and regulation, and the adoption of prudent public debt and fiscal management. - John Manley at the International Monetary and Financial Committee, Washington, D.C., September 28, 2002

Speaking on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Ireland, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Manley Update!

Manley Podcast with the Globe and Mail - Post Election Wrap up Transcript here.
Quote of the day:

"We have learned many lessons from past crisis, but clearly, a universal, lasting solution is elusive. One important critical step forward, however, would be the creation of a framework for resolving international financial crises that would function much the same as in domestic jurisdictions - through a system of rules and regulations, and with the authority to protect both creditors and borrowers. Such a system would not only provide a more orderly resolution of international financial crises, but it would also, we believe, help prevent these crises from occurring in the first place.

This is, perhaps, an ideal, but Canada is working towards that goal with our G-7 partners to forge a more predictable and effective method of managing financial crises - one that encourages workouts rather than bailouts. That work will continue this weekend in Washington."

  - John Manley to the Canadian Society of New York September 25, 2002

Manley in the news:
Liberals leaned too far left: Manley - The Star

Leadership Mentions:
Liberals deny Dion quitting today

All Canada Focused On Defeated Liberal Party Leader

Deposing Dion: Not if but when

Knives come out swiftly for Dion

There is life after leader

Liberal MP issues first public call for Dion to quit

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Manley on the Anti Terrorism Act

From Macleans new interactive-ness
John Manley:
The provisions of Bill C-36 were the subject of lengthy and heartfelt debate, both in Cabinet and in Parliament at the time of their adoption. I think Canadians would have found it reassuring to hear their government struggling with a profoundly important question, namely: what are the appropriate limitations on civil liberties when the security and well-being of the public are threatened?

I believe that Cabinet and Parliament got the balance right in 2001-02. And I do not believe that anything has changed to make that balance inappropriate today. The special powers contained in C-36 are far less draconian than comparable measures adopted in other western democracies, such as the United Kingdom. The very fact that these powers have not been used in Canada satisfies me that they have not been abused. If ever they are used, I believe there are adequate checks on the use of these powers, such as mandatory judicial review, to ensure that they are not abused.

The most important responsibility of government is the preservation of order and the protection of its citizens. And the most important civil liberty is freedom from fear of harm on the part of the civilian population, without which our other liberties mean very little. The anti-terrorism law did not violate the Charter of Rights as some have claimed. If ever needed, it may be key to protecting our citizens from
serious harm, enabling them to enjoy the rights that the Charter guarantees them.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Manley on NATO

NATO risks alliance: Manley

Mike Blanchfield
CanWest News Service

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

OTTAWA -- The NATO alliance could die if it does not get the troops it needs to fight the Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan, former foreign affairs minister John Manley said Monday.

Manley's sober assessment of the transatlantic alliance was echoed by current Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, who suggested he is becoming frustrated by his repeated attempts to persuade fellow NATO countries to either send more troops to Afghanistan or remove their restrictions, called caveats, that prevent them from being deployed to the country's war-torn south where Canada and a handful of other nations are bearing the brunt of heavy fighting against the Taliban.

"This mission has created an enormous risk for NATO. Clearly, NATO has to expand out of Europe if it is to remain relevant," Manley said in a speech to a symposium of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute in Ottawa.

"If it proves incapable of rallying forces, willing and able to do the job in Afghanistan, however you define that job, it could easily spell the effective end of the alliance."

Later, in a separate speech, MacKay reiterated the tough talk that he has been taking to European capitals and diplomatic audiences -- that Canada can't go it alone in southern Afghanistan and needs more countries in the 26-member alliance to send troops to the front lines or allow soldiers dispatched to other, less hostile parts of the country to join the fight in the south.

MacKay travelled recently to Hungary to meet with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to discuss the problem. After the speech, MacKay said he expected the issue to be "front and centre" when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NATO's other 25 leaders meet in Latvia next month for their annual summit.

"I think that we're obviously looking at other issues at that time but Afghanistan and an assessment of the mission will occur at Riga. And that will be a time and a place to take stock of the future of NATO as well," MacKay said.

The U.S. ambassador to NATO said NATO needs to redefine itself for its new Afghan mission.

"We want NATO to be able to demonstrate when our heads meet four weeks from now that we have an alliance that is taking on global responsibilities, that it increasingly has the global capabilities to meet those responsibilities, and that it is doing it with global partners," Victoria Nuland, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, said Monday in a speech to a European foreign policy think-tank.

Nuland said NATO has to update its operating doctrine to reflect the fact it is now deploying outside its old European boundaries.

NATO's military contribution to Afghanistan is its first outside Europe as the alliance is trying to transform into a viable entity in the post 9/11 world. NATO was originally formed at the height of the Cold War to defend mainland Europe from the former Soviet Union.

Ottawa Citizen

Monday, August 07, 2006

John Manley on Israel

Canada must adhere to its principled, thoughtful approach

The Gazette. Montreal, Que.: Jul 31, 2006. pg. A.15
By John Manley

We have never been neutral in the Middle East - we have always been a friend of Israel

Stephen Harper is right that we are a friend of Israel; but friends tell friends when they are wrong.

When the phone rang on Christmas morning in 2000, I was Canada's foreign affairs minister and enjoying the holiday with my family. It was the Israeli foreign minister, who asked that I encourage Prime Minister Jean Chretien to call Yasser Arafat and urge him to accept the proposal that was on the table during the last days of Bill Clinton's presidency.

The call signified Canada's ability to bridge differences between the protagonists in the Middle East conflict, based on our historic attempt to show good faith to both sides.

Recently, the Canadian policy has been wrongly portrayed in the media as having moved away from a "neutral" position on the Middle East conflict and toward one which is more "pro-Israel."

A few facts are worth remembering.

First, Canada has steadfastly supported the state of Israel, its right to exist and its right to defend its borders against those who would do it harm. This has been the policy of the Canadian government since the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948.

Second, Canada has also recognized that the Palestinian people also have fundamental rights, including the right of refugees either to return to the land from which they were displaced or to receive just compensation.

Third, Canada has always been prepared to offer its constructive views, no matter who might be criticized as a result. Successive governments have criticized Israel for its ever-expanding settlements in areas occupied after the 1967 war, while the PLO, and later Hamas, were chastised for refusing to acknowledge Israel's right to exist as well as for their willingness to condone and promote violence against their Israeli neighbours.

But this does not constitute neutrality. Canada has never been a neutral or pacifist country. Rather, Canada has sought to pursue a fair-minded and balanced foreign policy based on principle. This does not mean not taking sides. On the contrary, if you have principles, you must take sides.

This was the government's approach when I was the foreign affairs minister and deputy prime minister from 2000 to 2003, and I could look for precedent to both Liberal and Conservative governments for more than 50 years.

An apparent shift had occurred in 1979 when Prime Minister Joe Clark proposed moving the Canadian embassy to Jerusalem, thereby implicitly recognizing Israel's unilateral occupation of East Jerusalem. On reflection, and after some careful work by the late Robert Stanfield, the government rethought its policy and to this day our embassy remains in Tel Aviv.

For me, the question remains open as to whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper has decided to shift Canada's policy after so many years.

I think he spoke too soon when he pronounced Israel's response to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers to be "measured." Does he now wish he had added the words "thus far"?

And measured against what? If he was saying that Israel's response, though justified, must not be disproportionate to the provocation, then he was squarely within Canada's traditional policy. If he meant to give Israel a carte blanche, he should not be criticized for conforming to U.S. policy; rather, he should be accused of being even more pro-Israel than the Americans.

Having been burned in effigy by the Palestinians, criticized editorially in Beirut (front page, no less) and berated by some members of Canada's Jewish community for positions I took as Canada's foreign minister, I am prepared to give our new prime minister the benefit of the doubt. For now.

However, I remain convinced that Canada has a meaningful role to play in situations of conflict, not because we have been peacekeepers, but because we can bring a thoughtful, principled approach to the resolution of conflict.

Israel's vigorous response to the deplorable behaviour of Hamas and Hezbollah in kidnapping Israeli soldiers from within Israel's own territory contrasts sharply with the response of Israeli governments in the past, whose protests were vehement, but well short of military action. One is forced to wonder if that great champion of Israel's right to defend itself, Ariel Sharon, who late in life abandoned his Likud Party and became the proponent of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, would have felt it necessary to respond with such ferocity.

While I doubt a complete military defeat of Hezbollah is possible, it is arguably justifiable. It would also perform a useful service for beleaguered Lebanon by strengthening the hand of the Lebanese government, which has been incapable of asserting its sovereignty in regions controlled by Hezbollah forces.

For friends of Israel, though, the question is whether the defeat of Hezbollah would be worth the cost if it entailed the destruction of Lebanon and further increased the misery of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. More victims mean more teenagers willing to die for the Hezbollah cause; thus, a military victory might prove Pyrrhic. Hezbollah, as an entity, will not be destroyed, because the deep animosities that led to its creation cannot be removed by 100- pound bombs.

Furthermore, the conflict so far, in addition to increasing support in the Arab world for jihad, has succeeded in driving up the stock of the radical Islamists in Iran and their clients in Syria, both of whom can be counted upon to support anyone who promises to make life difficult for the United States and Israel.

For Canada it remains important to be a true friend to the United States, but we do so by being clear when we disagree with its approach. Now we have three Arab states where the population undoubtedly believes U.S. policy and military support have created chaos and destruction - Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine - the very states the United States had said would point the way to freedom and democracy for other despotic Arab states.

If we have not been expressing concern about the humanitarian and political disaster that has been unfolding before the eyes of the world, then we should be. We should empower our able diplomats to be their most innovative and creative in working to fashion a peace that can endure.

Prime Minister Harper, there are great expectations of Canada in the Middle East, ones that can be met by being impartial, engaging with both sides and being willing to help on the side of reason and moderation. It is not a zero-sum game. So by all means, support Israel and remain a friend to the United States, but remember that Canada's foreign policy is based upon principles - ones we defend even when our friends disagree. It is this quality, not neutrality, that makes us valuable and trusted in world affairs.

With friends and former colleagues on both sides, my heart breaks as I observe the destruction and death that is unfolding.

John Manley is a former foreign affairs minister and deputy prime minister of Canada.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Former deputy PM Manley: 'People had trouble understanding what the Liberal Party stood for'

Meanwhile, Mr. Manley said the key to winning the next election is first to analyse why the Liberals lost the last one and then address those issues. He said that, in his view, the three key reasons that led to the Liberals' defeat were: failing to come up with competitive policy ideas, a lack of focus by the party leadership and internal party divisions.

"The party itself needs to examine the reasons why it lost and articulate a vision for the future that reflects the fact that it understands some of the things that went wrong," said Mr. Manley who did not run in the last federal election and so far has not declared his support for any Liberal leadership candidate.

"People had trouble understanding what the Liberal Party stood for. It seemed to be that the basic principles, the commitments were not clear. Everything was a priority, nothing was a focus and the divisions within the party gave people the impression that, perhaps, this was a group that needed some time in a penalty box," said Mr. Manley.

Mr. Manley said that if the Liberal Party wants to win the next election, it should prepare a platform that reflects the wishes of Canadians because unless an average Canadian is inspired by the party's platform, he or she would not vote for the Liberal Party. He pointed out the policy platform should be prepared by keeping in mind that a majority of Canadians are not socially conservative people but are progressive people.

"You have to speak to Canadian aspirations. You have to attract younger people into the party, restore the idealism," he said. ..."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Why I endorse Gerard Kennedy

Choosing a candidate to support in such a wide field is hard, as many can attest to. Choosing a candidate to support when one has been a diehard supporter of someone whom isn't running is even harder.

Over the past months, I have examined the candidates, and have concluded that Gerard Kennedy is the right person for the job. Having the right mix of abilities, and demonstrated commiment to liberal values is important for a leader.

One of the test I used in evaluating potential leaders, was whether I would feel comfortable defending them of the hustings. My own personal Oakes test as it were (for you constitutional lawyers out there). Could I defend the actions of this individual in the past, and there current positions? One difficulty I had with our past leadership was defending the assemetrical federalist direction.

Many people have ditfully explained their reasons, so I won't go into specifics here. I would just encourage everyone to evaluate all the candidates with an open mind, and ask: Do I feel comfortable in the liberal party with them as leader? Am I prepared to fight for two or more elections under this leader? Does the leader have the political skill set to rebuild the party, and win the next election?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Canadians should take pride in a strong currency - John Manley

A northern tiger doesn't hide behind a low dollar

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Headlines this past week about the loonie's rise to 90 cents (U.S.) reminded me of one of my visits to New York as then-finance minister in 2002.

My hosts suggested Canada's G7-leading economic performance (surpluses, job creation, etc.) was due to the federal government "manipulating" our dollar to keep it below 65 cents.

"That's the giant sucking sound," said one Wall Street financier about Canada's incredible job-creation record. "Those are U.S. jobs heading north!"

My somewhat cheeky reply was that we were not capable of holding the Canadian dollar at a particular level for very long, and if he thought the loonie was underpriced, he should buy it.

The dollar's recent rise is not the result of Canadian government manipulation any more than was its sojourn at 62 cents. It is a product of high commodity prices -- especially in the energy sector -- together with fiscal, current account and trade surpluses. All of these are in sharp contrast to corresponding deficits in the United States, against whose currency we typically compare our own. In addition, my friend in New York is probably buying Canadian dollars now because the financial herd always follows a good thing.

Is this bad -- and should the Bank of Canada respond in some fashion?

No doubt, Canadian manufacturers who export to the United States are finding they are less and less competitive, and have become so in a rather short time. Those who hedged the currency risk are finding their hedges running out. Those exporters who failed to invest their profits -- earned when the dollar was low -- in productivity enhancements are discovering they are not as smart as they thought they were when sales and profits were strong.

With a low dollar, it was as if we started a 100-metre race with a 10-metre advantage. We hit the finish line a few metres ahead of our U.S. competitor, and didn't worry about the fact he had outrun us.

Well, the starting line for us now is much closer to the starting line for our U.S. competition. And what was formerly important for Canadian businesses is now becoming urgent. We must improve our productivity, we must enhance our climate for investment, and we must ensure our citizens improve their skills and training.

Arguably, last week's federal budget, while politically effective, was at best neutral in advancing the productivity agenda: Reducing consumption taxes instead of income taxes is a negative for productivity gains, while the elimination of the capital tax is a positive. Almost all of the vaunted 28 tax cuts had nothing whatsoever to do with enhancing productivity. But the higher dollar itself makes the acquisition of technology and equipment from the U.S. more affordable, as it does for the acquisition of U.S. businesses and assets.

In reality, success in business and trade requires competitive costs as well as quality. To sustain success requires a continuous struggle for improvement. This cannot be reliant solely upon a rate of exchange, which is something that is always volatile. When you consider the economies that have performed well over the long term, they are not characterized by weak currencies. When the Canadian dollar is weak, our assets -- companies, real estate, even brains (remember the "brain drain?") -- are relatively cheap for foreigners to acquire, while technologies that enable productivity improvements often come from abroad and thus are more costly. A low exchange rate can therefore cause a negative cycle in which our firms lose productivity because they choose not to invest in the improvements necessary to be truly competitive.

The recent rise in value of the Canadian dollar should help firms to invest in productivity, but some businesses find themselves so stressed on costs that they are cutting back on anything long-term, including research and capital expenditures. This may be a strategy for survival, but not for success.

The Bank of Canada cannot pursue one policy for manufacturers and a different one for commodity producers. There is only one currency and the bank must remain clearly focused on maintaining price stability for the Canadian dollar, fighting inflation whenever its ugly head appears.

Thus, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is wrong to look to the Bank of Canada to help his province's manufacturers, while he is right to make innovation, research and education his government's highest priorities.

Now that I am no longer finance minister and am free to comment on the value of the dollar, let me say I found no satisfaction in a low dollar, as it was not a hallmark of a "northern tiger."

Looking to the future, global demand for our natural resources will ensure we continue to run trade surpluses. And prudent fiscal policy, which has become Canada's trademark, should ensure continued fiscal surpluses. Thus the dollar will not return to its previous low levels. Despite some manufacturing job losses, the service sector is doing well and domestic demand is strong. Unemployment is at 30-year lows and Canadians are, on the whole, optimistic about the future.

Therefore, Canadians should take pride in a strong currency, reflecting a strong economy. We should flex our muscles as a northern tiger and aggressively pursue a global strategy based on innovation, intelligence and enhanced productivity.

John Manley, an Ottawa-based lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault LLP, was deputy prime minister to Jean Chrétien.

Friday, April 21, 2006

John Manley addresses AIA conference

Former Deputy PM John Manley, spoke to a packed room of automotive aftermarket execs at the Chateaux Frontenac Wednesday morning.

During his often light-hearted speech, Manley emphasized the importance of the automotive industry in Canada and the United States, but also highlighted some of the potential problems that the Canadian industry is likely to face in the years to come.

"In Canada, one person in seven is involved with the automotive industry. In Ontario, that number is one in six," said Manley.

The former Liberal party Cabinet Minister then went on to comment extensively on the sometimes frosty relationship between Canadians and President George W. Bush.

"Canadians need to be a little bit more mature in terms of President Bush," said Manley. "If you are running your auto-shop, and you have one customer that buys 87 per cent of what you make, you don't have to necessarily like the guy. Well, the United States buys 87 per cent of what Canada makes. Access to that market, remains the most important issue for Canadian business," said Manley.

The conference, hosted by the AIA began on the 18th and continues until the end of the day on the 19th, in Quebec City.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Manley foresees opening of telecom industry

Canadian Press

TORONTO -- The new Conservative government will likely want to start reforming Canada's telecommunications policy quickly and probably won't see much serious opposition from the Liberals, former Liberal industry minister John Manley says.

Mr. Manley, a former deputy prime minister who also served as minister responsible for telecom policy in the Chrétien government, was commenting yesterday on sweeping recommendations released in Ottawa last week by a special federal panel.

"It's an agenda for a new government which they can adopt if they wish to implement it," Mr. Manley said at a presentation by the law firm McCarthy Tétrault, which was involved in drafting the report.

Mr. Manley said the government will probably use foreign ownership restrictions as a bargaining chip in multinational trade negotiations but won't necessarily wait for those talks to conclude before opening up some parts of the Canadian telecom industry, he said.

The panel's report recommends a two-stage approach to liberalizing rules that limit or prevent Canadian telephone and cable carriers from being controlled by foreign interests. Initially, the rules could be relaxed for the foreign ownership of startup companies and carriers that control less than 10 per cent of the market, he said.

"Seeing foreign ownership as a vehicle for improving the competitive nature of the economy is clearly a gain for Canada, whether we get something from our negotiating partners or not," Mr. Manley said.

"But I think as a first step, the government is going to want to see what they can find by way of tradeoffs in international trade negotiations to try to get there." Mr. Manley said there's been a trend toward greater liberalization in Canada and elsewhere.

In Ottawa, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union urged an end to trade talks that would open Canada's telephone industry to foreign ownership.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Condolences to a fellow blog

When Manley pulled out, many people offered their condolences. Now it is the turn for this blog to offer them. Godspeed and good luck

Martin Cauchon for PM

Cauchon to join list of heavyweight Liberals passing up leadership bout

OTTAWA (CP) - Martin Cauchon is poised to join the list of star Liberals taking a pass on the once-mighty party's leadership.

The former justice minister is expected to announce later this week that he won't throw his hat in the ring to succeed Paul Martin.

According to insiders close to the Chretien-era minister, Cauchon has decided he can't pursue the leadership without sacrificing his commitment to his young family. Cauchon, currently practising law in Montreal, is father to three children under the age of eight.

Cauchon's decision brings to five the number of heavyweight candidates who've bowed out of the race - almost twice the number who've actually declared their candidacy so far.

Among those who won't run are former premiers Frank McKenna and Brian Tobin, former deputy prime minister John Manley and former minister Allan Rock.

Only three candidates have declared their intention to run so far - Toronto lawyer Martha Hall Findlay, former junior minister John Godfrey and bad boy fiddler Ashley MacIsaac, whom some Liberals privately suspect is using the contest to promote his latest album.

In early February, Cauchon came close to announcing that he would not run. But his core organizers urged him to take a little more time before reaching a conclusion.

Then in late February, Cauchon gave a speech at the University of Ottawa in which he seemed to be positioning himself as the candidate of change. He challenged Liberal orthodoxy by appearing to endorse the notion of a fiscal imbalance between Ottawa and the provinces and indicating a willingness to at least debate private delivery of public health care.

An insider close to Cauchon acknowledged that the speech was intended to position the former minister for the leadership race, particularly hoping to capture support in his home province of Quebec.

However, the insider said: "At the end of the day, the family argument was too strong."

Cauchon had put together a reasonably strong organization, which included some of former prime minister Jean Chretien's senior strategists such as Paul Genest and Raj Chahal. The insider doubted Cauchon's team would move en masse to any other candidate.

Nearly 20 potential candidates are testing the waters, although many may ultimately decide not to take the plunge. The vast majority hail from Toronto so the loss of a non-Toronto candidate like Cauchon is significant for a party that contends it is national in scope.

Among the putative contenders are former ministers Stephane Dion, Joe Volpe, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Ken Dryden, Denis Coderre, Belinda Stronach, Scott Brison and Ralph Goodale, acclaimed academic and rookie MP Michael Ignatieff and former Ontario NDP premier Bob Rae.

A successor to Martin will be chosen at a convention in Montreal from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

John Manley Encouraged to re-enter race

Important part left in context near end of article

Rae speaks today, and Liberals are listening
Ex-NDP premier not expected to formally announce leadership bid yet
But Winnipeg address raises profile in a crowded field of potential rivals
Mar. 13, 2006. 01:00 AM

OTTAWA—So far it's a race with only one entrant, but Liberal leadership watchers will cast an interested eye toward Winnipeg today as former Ontario premier Bob Rae returns to the limelight with a speech to the Canadian Club.

Few expect Rae will formally signal his intentions — some senior Liberals suggest he will first come out and publicly brand himself as a party supporter — but many will be keen to hear what the former provincial NDP leader has to say about his vision for the country.

"He's in. Everybody basically knows that. Now it's a question of him talking about where he would take the party and the country," said a senior Liberal close to the leadership process.

By most counts, there are at least 16 people actively considering leadership runs, though the only official candidate is 46-year-old lawyer Martha Hall Findlay.

Some Liberals are predicting the wide-open race will heal much of the lingering rift between supporters of former prime minister Jean Chrétien and those of the man who ousted him, Paul Martin.

"It's going to be a campaign of new ideas," said Liberal Senator Jim Munson, a former Chrétien aide.

Rae would benefit from support within the Liberal establishment — his brother John ran Chrétien's campaigns, and former PMO adviser Eddie Goldenberg is a lifelong friend — and could be pitted against his old University of Toronto roommate, Etobicoke-Lakeshore MP Michael Ignatieff.

Many of the Liberal hopefuls, including Ignatieff, were in Nova Scotia earlier this month for what Findlay termed "the unofficial kickoff" of the race.

Former Tory leadership candidate and Liberal cabinet minister Belinda Stronach is organizing aggressively in Quebec and elsewhere in the country, and is widely expected to enter the race. Others mulling a bid include Stronach's former Ontario cabinet colleagues Joe Volpe, Carolyn Bennett, Ken Dryden, Tony Ianno and John Godfrey.

One-time ministers like Ralph Goodale, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Stéphane Dion, Denis Coderre and Hedy Fry are also weighing their options, as is Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty.

Ontario Education Minister Gerard Kennedy is also an intriguing possibility — he's bilingual and originally from Manitoba — although he hasn't been convinced to take the plunge.

It was expected former public works minister Scott Brison would be the leading Atlantic Canadian candidate, but party sources said his fundraising potential has been curtailed by last week's imbroglio over an email sent to a Bay Street acquaintance ahead of an income-trust announcement last fall.

Other candidacies remain in the realm of rumours. Former deputy prime minister John Manley, for instance, is facing pressure to reconsider his earlier refusal to run.

The list will continue shifting as the hopefuls jockey for position. The Liberal party's executive will determine the timing and rules for the race at a meeting on the weekend of March 25.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Vietnam thinks Manley was Prime Minister, why don't we?

420 million VND donation to HCM City Tumour Centre
03/06/2006 -- 22:26(GMT+7)

HCM City, Mar. 6 (VNA) - Sanjeev Chowdhury, Canadian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, on March 6 donated 420 million VND, collected from the 9th Terry Fox Marathon - 2005, jointly organised by the Canadian Consulate General and the Manulife Company, to the Ho Chi Minh City Tumour Centre.

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Manley was present at the presentation ceremony.

Prof. Nguyen Chan Hung, Director of the HCM City Tumour Centre, said that over the past three years, the centre has received more than 1 billion VND from the Canadian Consulate General, raised from the 7th, 8th and 9th Terry Fox Marathons. The amounts have been disbursed for an investigation on cancer in Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces.

Terry Fox was a young Canadian man who during his short life overcame his cancer running to raise funds for cancer research. The last annual race named after him drew more than 4,500 participants in HCM City.

In addition to the organisation of the Terry Fox Marathon in the city, Consul General Chowdhury has also held many charity programmes to help orphans and handicapped children in Ho Chi Minh City.-Enditem

John Manley Signs Letter Dissing Parts Of Gomery

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper,
Prime Minister of Canada,
House of Commons,
Ottawa K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to you in response to the Gomery Commission’s second report (the “Report”), which was made public on February 1st. The signatories of this letter include private sector leaders, representatives of the voluntary sector, former senior officials in provincial and federal governments, and former political eaders of different partisan stripes from across the country.

We are united by two major beliefs: that Canada is best served by a professional, non-partisan public service, and that any changes to existing governance systems should not reduce the powers and accountability of elected representatives.

The Commission makes a number of useful recommendations which, if
implemented, should serve to improve how we are governed. Unfortunately, the Report also includes some other recommendations that do not take adequate account of how governments actually function, and thus could do a good deal of harm. It is for this reason that we have decided to write to you.

The useful recommendations include:

- providing increased resources to enable Parliamentary committees, and
particularly the Public Accounts Committee, to function more effectively

- more effective regulation of lobbyists

- prohibiting political staffs from giving instructions to officials

- de-politicizing the appointment of Crown corporation CEOs and directors

- reducing the rate of turn-over of Deputy Ministers

- avoiding the imposition of further regulations and red tape on the operations of government

- making government more transparent

However, the Report also includes four major recommendations that cause us concern: the proposal that the public service should assert a constitutional identity independent of elected governments, a new system for the appointment of Deputy Ministers, a change in the role of the Clerk of the Privy Council, and the requirement that Ministers issue written instructions if they wish to over-rule administrative measures recommended by their Deputy Ministers.

At the outset of his Report, Justice Gomery says, “It is not the
Commission’s intention to recommend radical solutions, a transformation of
our parliamentary system, or a complete overhaul of the doctrine of
ministerial responsibility.” Some of his recommendations would, in fact,
amount to changes of this order, and we believe they are out of proportion
to the problem he was asked to address. Justice Gomery acknowledges in several passages that the Sponsorship scandal was an aberration, and in no way was representative of present day governance in Canada. Yet the
Commission’s response is quite drastic.

At the heart of the Report is the proposition that unelected public servants possess, and should assert, a constitutional identity independent of Ministers. The Report speaks of “tensions between the duty of the public service to serve the Government, and its ethical obligation to promote the public interest”, and proposes that when such tensions arise in the management and administration of government programs, the views of officials
should prevail.

Such a system would represent a major departure from how governments function in Canada. We are opposed to increasing the powers of unelected officials at the expense of Ministers. For the public service to assert a constitutional identity of its own, and not to be subject to direction by Ministers in the fields of management and administration, would break the chain of accountability that today culminates with Ministers. The result would be confusion as to who was accountable to Parliament for what.

In addition, for this proposal to be workable, it would be necessary to
effect a clear separation between the roles of Ministers and officials.
Experience demonstrates that this is impossible. No one has ever found a way of unscrambling the governance omelet in which politics, policy, management, and administration are mixed. To use an example cited in the Report, how is one to separate politics from administration when a Minister and officials disagree about the application of a set of financial rules to a particular situation?

To point out, as the Report does, that Deputy Ministers have statutory
responsibilities under the Financial Administration Act, does not advance
matters, since Ministers too have statutory responsibilities, and they
include “the management and direction of the department”. There has never
been any determination of what is to happen when the two statutes conflict, nor could there be, given the impossibility of establishing a clear and
durable separation of politics from management. In any case, when such
conflicts arise, legal analyses are usually not much help.

Another part of the Report that causes us serious concern is the
recommendation that in future, Deputy Ministers should be chosen by their Ministers. We strongly believe that Canada should retain the current
practice in which Deputy Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister. This
practice serves to underline to all concerned that a Deputy’s knowledge,
loyalty, and engagement must extend beyond a single department to the whole of government. This concept of a Deputy’s responsibility is a precondition for managing issues effectively and offering policy advice on difficult questions that cross traditional portfolio boundaries.

If Deputies were to be appointed to serve the specific interests of a
Minister and his/her department, there is a risk that this could exacerbate the problem of “silos” that bedevil most large organizations and
particularly governments. The Deputy Minister is key to ensuring that the
department does not lose sight of government priorities.

We also believe that the selection of these officials, who will be a key
source of support to you and your Cabinet colleagues, is too important a
task to entrust to any kind of independent selection system detached from the political process. You, as the head of the government, need the ability to organize it in ways that best respond to your objectives, and to place in the most senior positions the professionals who, in your judgment, are best able to meet the needs of a particular department and agency. It is difficult to contemplate how any large business organization would survive if vice presidents and senior officers were selected by a group independent
of the CEO.

It follows that the Clerk of the Privy Council should continue to be your
advisor on Deputy Minister appointments. More broadly, we believe that the Clerk should function as your Deputy Minister in all respects, and should not, as the Report proposes, merely be a representative of the public

The Report proposes that in situations where an important disagreement between a Minister and a Deputy cannot be resolved, the Minister could over-rule the Deputy only by issuing a written instruction that the Deputy would then send to the Comptroller General and would also be available to the Auditor General. We have very serious concerns about instituting such a practice.

The Commission’s recommendation is modeled on a British system that was
instituted many years ago. In Britain, the system the Commission has in mind exists mostly in theory and is far from being a normal practice. An analysis by a Canadian academic has found only 37 cases of a Minister issuing a written instruction in the past 23 years, or 1.6 cases per year across the entire British government. Moreover, most of these cases involved the heads of what the British call Executive Agencies rather than departments. The Permanent Secretaries – the British equivalent of our Deputy Ministers – almost never avail themselves of their right to seek a written instruction.

The reasons are obvious. A system whereby officials regularly insisted on
being issued written instructions would simply be unworkable because of its destructive effects on the working partnership that is indispensable to any successful relationship between a Minister and a Deputy.

Moreover, there is no need to institute such a system in Canada to guard against Ministers at times making decisions that were contrary to the public interest. In cases where a Minister insists upon proceeding with an improper decision, the established practice is for the Deputy to inform the Clerk of the Privy Council, who in turn can bring the matter to the attention of the Prime Minister. The resolution of the matter then lies with the Prime Minister and the Minister, who will be accountable to Parliament for the outcome. In the extremely rare event of a Prime Minister supporting an improper action by the Minister, there is every probability that the decision taken would become known, whether through internal audits that are now routinely made public, or through the work of the Auditor General, or through the Access to Information Act – as was recently demonstrated in the
case of the Sponsorship scandal. The electorate would then be in a position
to render a judgment about the issue.

We are also puzzled by the Commission’s recommendations concerning appearances of officials before Parliamentary committees. The Report devotes a considerable amount of text to a perceived problem in officials appearing only on behalf of their Ministers, although at a later point it acknowledges that “little will change” if in future officials should be required to appear in their own right.

The concept that officials appear on behalf of their Ministers is largely a
formality and primarily serves to keep intact the chain of accountability
that culminates with the Minister. In practice, it is of about the same
import as the formal designation of the Governor General as
Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Officials are always at the call of Parliamentary committees, and are required to show Parliament that proper financial procedures are being followed and that public funds are being properly and well managed. It is simply out of the question that a Deputy Minister of Transport, in appearing before the Public Accounts Committee to explain a cost over-run on the construction of an ice
breaker, would somehow seek to shelter behind the notion that he/she was only appearing on behalf of the Minister.

In the same vein, the recommendation that officials rather than Ministers
should appear before the Public Accounts Committee simply calls for what is the established practice. We find it puzzling that the Report takes no cognizance of the fact that, for decades, Ministers have appeared before this Committee only in the most exceptional circumstances. Officials, for their part, can be and are required to give an accounting to the Committee for all aspects of departmental management, and sometimes are given the benefit of the Committee’s views in response.

In conclusion, we wish to state that we were reassured by your prudent
response to the Commission’s Report when it first appeared. Some measures in the Report, which we summarized at the beginning of this letter, would improve governance in Canada, and we hope you will implement them. As you have pointed out, many of these measures coincide with the provisions of the Accountability Act to which you committed yourself during the election campaign.

However, other recommendations in the Report deal with complex matters and could have far reaching effects – effects that in some cases, we believe, would be very damaging. It is important that you should take enough time to make a careful assessment of your own before deciding which of Justice Gomery’s recommendations.


Bill Ardell
Former CEO
Southam Inc.

Tom Axworthy
Chairman - Centre for the Study of Democracy
Queen’s University

Charles A Baillie
Chancellor of Queens University
President-Art Gallery of Ontario

Peter Barnes
Former Secretary to the Cabinet
Government of Ontario

The Hon. Allan Blakeney
Former Premier of Saskatchewan

Rita Burak
Former Secretary to the Cabinet
Government of Ontario

Helen Burstyn
Public Projects

Tim Casgrain
Skyservice Airlines

Ian D. Clark
President, Council of Ontario Universities
Former Secretary of the Treasury Board and Comptroller General of Canada

Professor Tom Courchene
Queen’s University

Jim Coutts
Personal Secretary to Prime Minister Pearson (1963-66)
Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Trudeau (1975-81)

Dominic D’Alessandro
President and CEO
Manulife Financial

Tom d’Aquino
President and CEO
Canadian Council of Chief Executive Officers

Paul Davenport
University of Western Ontario

Sheldon Ehrenworth
The Public Policy Forum

Hershell Ezrin
Former Principal Secretary to the Premier of Ontario

George Fleischmann
Managing Partner,
TNET: Management Consultants, Inc.

L. Yves Fortier, C.C., Q.C.
Chairman, Ogilvy Renault

Bruce Foster
Department of Policy Studies
Mount Royal College

Robert Gordon
Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

James Gray
Canada West Foundation

Ray Hession
Former Deputy Minister
Government of Canada

Marilyn Knox
President, Nutrition
Nestlé Canada Inc.

Arthur Kroeger
Former Federal Deputy Minister

Huguette Labelle
Former President
Canadian International Development Agency

Carole Lafrance, C.M.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Claude Lajeunesse
Concordia University

The Hon. Marc Lalonde, P.C., O.C., Q.C.
Senior Counsel,
Stikeman Elliott LLP

Jack Lawrence
Chairman and CEO
Lawrence and Company Inc.

David Lindsay
Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario

The Honourable Donald S Macdonald and
Mrs. Adrian Merchant Macdonald

Cliff Mackay
Air Transport Association of Canada

The Hon. John P. Manley
McCarthy Tétrault

The Hon. Barbara J. McDougall, P.C., O.C., F.C.A.
Former Secretary of State for External Affairs

Les McIlroy
Former Chief of Staff to the Minister of Finance

Jack Mintz
University of Toronto

Professor Desmond Morton
Professor of History
McGill University

David Naylor
University of Toronto

The Hon. Gordon F. Osbaldeston
Former Secretary to the Cabinet and Clerk of the Privy Council

Ross Paul
University of Windsor

Andrew Petter
Dean of Law
University of Victoria
Former Attorney General of British Columbia

Roger Phillips
Former CEO
Ipsco Inc.

Sheryn Posen
Chief Operating Officer
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Bruce Rawson, O.C., Q.C.
Former Deputy Minister
Alberta and Federal Government

The Hon. Bob Rae
Former Premier of Ontario (1990-1995)

Darcy Rezac
Managing Director
The Vancouver Board of Trade

Susan Reisler
Vice President
Media Profile

Jean Riley
Former Chair
National Arts Centre

Georgina Steinsky Schwartz
Imagine Canada

Graham W.S. Scott, C.M., Q.C.
Senior Partner
McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP
Former Deputy Minister - Government of Ontario

Senator Hugh Segal
Institute for Research in Public Policy

Ian H. Stewart, Q.C.
Corporate Director
Victoria, British Columbia

Harry Swain
Former Federal Deputy Minister

Paul Tellier
Former Secretary to the Cabinet and Clerk of the Privy Council of Canada
Former President and CEO of CN and Bombardier

Richard Van Loon
President Emeritus
Carleton University

Peter G. White
Former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister

Lynton (Red) Wilson
CAE Inc.

Doug Wright, O.C.
President Emeritus, University of Waterloo
Former Deputy Minister – Government of Ontario

Adam Hartley Zimmerman, O.C., B.A., F.C.A., LL.D., D.S.L.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mr. John Manley to visit Ho Chi Minh City and speak at CanCham

The former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance/Foreign Affairs/Industry John Manley will visit HCMC from March 5 to 17, 2006 and speak at a CanCham (Canadian Chamber of Commerce) luncheon. In August, 2004, Mr. Manley spoke at a sold out CanCham luncheon and is expected to do the same this time. He will share his views on the new Canadian government post elections and tell some more stories from his time in politics. Check with Cancham or the Consulate for the date of this luncheon.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Manley to address the Automotive Conference for Executives

The Honourable John Manley has held several senior portfolios in the Canadian federal government. He has been recognized for his success in forging powerful cross-border partnerships and for his global initiatives in technology, education and business. Manley will focus his remarks on global trade, NAFTA and emerging trade blocks.

The Automotive Conference for Executives, scheduled for Quebec City this April, will focus on creative thinking and playing to win.
The Aftermarket Conference for Executives was developed by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada to provide professional management development and an overview of business trends for executives and senior management.
Some of the speakers presenting at this year's ACE include:....

... The event is scheduled for April 18-19, 2006 in Quebec City at the Chateau Frontenac Hotel. For more information, visit the AIA's website at

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

John Manley in Vietnam for Terry Fox Event

$26,450 collected from charity run given to cancer institute

The donations collected at the annual Terry Fox Run, held in November 2005 in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, will be donated to the city’s Tumour Center for cancer research, the Canadian consulate said Wednesday

Over 10,000 runners participated and donated VND420 million (US$26,450).

John Manley, Canadian deputy prime minister from January 2002 to December 2003, will arrive in Vietnam to hand over the money to the institute on March 6.

Twenty five years ago, Terry Fox, an 18 year old Canadian with an amputated right leg due to bone cancer, began a journey across the North American country to raise funds for cancer research.

The Terry Fox Run is organized in Vietnam by the Canadian embassy and local authorities.

Reported by X.Q. – Translated by M.Phat

Edit: more info on the Terry Fox Run in Vietnam

Terry Fox Run 2005 in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City had their largest ever Terry Fox Run on Sunday the 4th December 2005 at Sai Gon South. About 4,600 participants took part in the special event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run in Ho Chi Minh City and the 25th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope. Close to 420 million dong raised from the Run will soon be donated to the HCMC Centre for Cancer and Tumour for their research programs. Organisers of the Run, the Consulate General of Canada and the Vietnam-Canada Friendship Association, would like to express their thanks to all the participants, volunteers and companies who contributed to the Run's success and hope to see you again in the Terry Fox Run 2006.

Terry Fox Run 2005 in Hanoi - Thank you Reception

On December 19, 2005, in the cold of winter and the warm environment of the cosy host, Mosaique Living Room, the Ambassador of Canada Gabriel-M. Lessard presented a cheque of 296 million dongs, proceeds of the Terry Fox Run 2005 in Hanoi, in the attendance of many corporate supporters and volunteers. The proceeds went to the Hanoi Cancer Hospital for their project of "Screening and Early Detection of Breast and Cervix Cancer of woman in Hanoi". With over 6,500 participants and an unprecedented amount of funds raised, the Terry Fox Run 2005 in Hanoi was a remarkable event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope in the fight against cancer. Since more money came in after the Thank you Reception, the total raised at the 2005 Run was close to 314 million dong. Thank you again to the corporate support committee for their efforts. We hope that we can still count on your contribution for the Terry Fox Run 2006.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Manley hobnob's at Nation Arts Centre Gala

February 21, 2006

All there in black and white

NAC soiree raises record $345,000


Sonya Singh of A-Channel is joined by friends Saad Al-Hakkak and Joanne Woo at her farewell party Friday at the Velvet Room. Singh is to start her new job March 6 with Global TV. (Caroline Phillips SUN)

It was music that enriched the soul at the 9th Annual Black & White Opera Soiree and, in return, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Opera Lyra Ottawa were left enriched themselves to the tune of $345,000 -- the largest amount in the history of the benefit fundraising concert.

The near sold-out crowd of 2,000-plus at the NAC sat enraptured through the performances of soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, baritone Russell Braun, the NAC Orchestra with conductor Richard Bradshaw and the Opera Lyra Ottawa Chorus with chorus master Laurence Ewashko.

The concert was hosted by actor Colm Feore, who, following Braun's well-received performance from The Barber of Seville joked: "Whether it's performed by Russell Braun or Bugs Bunny, it's just always good." (Feore was referring to the rascally rabbit's classic 1950 parody).

The Black and White Opera Soiree was chaired by Lawson Hunter, also executive vice-president of Bell, the main sponsor. He greeted guests upon their arrival to the $275-per-ticket gala, as did NAC president and CEO Peter Herrndorf; Opera Lyra general director Elizabeth Howarth and chair Russell Mills; NAC Foundation CEO Darrell Louise Gregersen; and Dr. David Leighton, chair of the NAC board of trustees.

Mingling in the glamorous crowd during dinner and throughout the night were ambassadors, business leaders and politicians, including Ottawa businessman and philanthropist Michael Potter with wife Veronique Dhieux, former deputy prime minister and finance minister John Manley, Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken and Mayor Bob Chiarelli. Also on hand was Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson and Cyndi Edwards, who has scored a new job starting March 6 co-hosting a show for an NBC affiliate in Tampa, Fla.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"That's the shortest honeymoon of any government in Canadian history"

At a reunion late last week of current and former Liberal parliamentary aides, Liberals could barely contain their glee over the chaos in Tory ranks.

"That's the shortest honeymoon of any government in Canadian history," chortled former deputy prime minister John Manley in brief remarks to the assembled aides.

"David Emerson really is a great Liberal. In one move, he united the Liberals and divided the Tories."

Manley joked that "every once in a while we have to let the Tories take over so that Canadians remember just how good a Liberal government is."

Manley is one of four high-profile potential contenders who've declined to join the race to replace Paul Martin, who announced his intention to resign as leader immediately after leading the Liberals to defeat in the Jan. 23 election. Manley told The Canadian Press he has not changed his mind, despite the Liberals' suddenly brighter prospects.

Liberals 'energized' by Harper missteps
Feb. 12, 2006. 06:08 PM

OTTAWA — Liberals are dreaming about a speedy return to power after watching the disastrous opening week of Stephen Harper's new Conservative administration.

Only three weeks after suffering a humiliating defeat, Liberals are musing openly about whether Harper's shaky minority government can survive the year.

And Liberal officials are being urged to hasten the selection of a new leader so that the party can be ready as soon as possible for an election.

"We are, I would say, reinvigorated and energized," interim Liberal leader Bill Graham said in an interview at the end of Harper's controversy-plagued inaugural week.

He said the opening week has stiffened Liberals' resolve to oppose the Conservative agenda, even if it means toppling the government.

"We're going to oppose those measures that we find are not in the interests of Canada and Canadians and we'll oppose them all the way," Graham said.

"And if that leads to the government falling, it's going to lead to the government falling. And the way they're making their decisions it's clear that could happen earlier rather than later just given the nature of what they're doing."

Harper plunged his fledgling regime into turmoil with some unusual choices for his cabinet which cast doubt on his election pledge to run a more accountable, ethical administration.

In particular, he stunned and infuriated his own caucus by appointing Liberal turncoat David Emerson to the international trade portfolio and party organizer Michael Fortier to the Senate and the sensitive Public Works portfolio.

Other cabinet choices raised ethical concerns, such as the appointment of erstwhile defence lobbyist Gordon O'Connor

to the Defence portfolio.

All last week, disappointed Tory MPs voiced muted disapproval while disgusted Conservative bloggers across the country railed against the cabinet choices, particularly the perceived hypocrisy and opportunism of Emerson's defection only days after winning re-election as a Liberal.

"The fact that (Harper) has had such a terrible week, obviously encourages Liberals," said party president Mike Eizenga.

While he acknowledged there are always "ups and downs in politics" and the Tories could recover, Eizenga said Harper has demonstrated that he "can't be trusted" to deliver on his promises, a charge that will "stick with him" into the next election.

At a reunion late last week of current and former Liberal parliamentary aides, Liberals could barely contain their glee over the chaos in Tory ranks.

"That's the shortest honeymoon of any government in Canadian history," chortled former deputy prime minister John Manley in brief remarks to the assembled aides.

"David Emerson really is a great Liberal. In one move, he united the Liberals and divided the Tories."

Manley joked that "every once in a while we have to let the Tories take over so that Canadians remember just how good a Liberal government is."

Manley is one of four high-profile potential contenders who've declined to join the race to replace Paul Martin, who announced his intention to resign as leader immediately after leading the Liberals to defeat in the Jan. 23 election. Manley told The Canadian Press he has not changed his mind, despite the Liberals' suddenly brighter prospects.

The Liberal national executive is to meet in mid-March to set a date for the leadership convention, which could be held as early as November or as late as March, 2007. With the Tories stumbling so badly out of the gate, the party brass is under pressure to name the earliest date.

"You can certainly say there are those who are urging us to act with as much haste as possible," said national director Steven MacKinnon, adding that "certainly there are more people saying that this week than last week."
{end CP}

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

New Canadian Diplomatic Mag laments Grits in Oppo

Being In Opposition Has Little Appeal For Liberals

In saying that they weren't going to contest the Liberal leadership, the party's three 'tier-one' candidates --Frank McKenna, John Manley and Brian Tobin --said all the things that such occasions require.

The job was of immense importance. The chance to serve the public was well nigh irresistible. They would remain loyal Liberals.

Okay, okay, we all know all that.

It's what none of them said that was really interesting.

None said that Stephen Harper was a big factor in their decision. And none said that Edward Blake was an even bigger factor.

Harper, of course, needs no introduction. He's been prime minister since Monday. As is even more relevant to the decisions McKenna and Manley and Tobin have just made, Harper may very well be prime minister for at least the next six years.

Absent some bad breaks -- such as an economic recession, which has to happen some time -- it's quite possible Harper will win two more elections.

Edward Blake may need some introducing to readers who skipped Canadian history in high school. Among all Liberal party leaders since Confederation, Blake is the odd man out.

Not in himself. He was a super-brainy lawyer and a progressive thinker, if handicapped (curious how history repeats itself) by having great difficulty in relating to people. Blake led the Liberals from 1880 to 1887 before handing over to Wilfrid Laurier.

What made Blake one of a kind was that among all Liberal leaders in the last 140 years, he alone never became prime minister.

The likelihood of becoming the 21st century equivalent of Blake -- a fate endured routinely by Liberal opponents from Robert Stanfield to Preston Manning -- had to have influenced the decisions by McKenna and Manley and Tobin.

Objectively, it's very hard to see how the Liberals can win a quick rebound election, no matter who leads them.

For one thing, the Liberals have just lost their calling card. Conservative gains in Quebec mean that the Liberals are no longer Canada's only truly national party.

The Liberals are now merely another federalist alternative rather than the only credible alternative. Moreover, so-called 'soft nationalists' in Quebec are bound to find appealing the major devolution to the provinces of Ottawa cash and powers that Harper plans.

For another thing, while Harper talks constantly about his 'five priorities,' such as accountability and tax cuts, he in fact has a sixth priority.

This unstated priority -- call it Harper's hidden agenda -- is to win a majority in an election in two years or so.

That's why he picked a quarrel with U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins over the issue of Arctic sovereignty, even though the ambassador said nothing that was new and lots of other countries dispute our Arctic sovereignty claims. Also, hollowing-out Ottawa will please the West as well as Quebec.

Cool political calculations like these will almost certainly leave the next Liberal leader looking at a minimum of six years' hard labour.

This is too demanding a task for most potential Liberal leaders, most of whose predecessors --from Pierre Trudeau to John Turner to Paul Martin-- bounded straight into the prime minister's office when they took over the leadership.

Among potential candidates, just one has experience of battling in the trenches as all Conservative leaders have undergone as a trial by ordeal, often without any reward at all.

He's Bob Rae. For eight years, 1982-1990, he slogged away as opposition leader. Then, by some magical alchemy, he won an election that everyone -- Rae himself included -- assumed he was going to get trounced in.

It's a detail that this was in Ontario and for the New Democratic Party.

To accept a future of which its probable upper limits are those of merely being opposition leader takes toughness and resilience.

Harper possesses these qualities. Rae shares them. As a last asset, he studied history and so knows who Blake was.

Embassy, February 8th, 2006
By Richard Gwyn

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Six Years before power says Hill Times

The Hill Times, February 6th, 2006
By Kate Malloy and F. Abbas Rana

Martin will try to shed Liberal Party's massive debt: Liberals

Liberals have to dramatically change leadership rules, fundraising tactics and must attract a solid leader. But it could be another six years before they're back in power.

Liberal Party Leader Paul Martin will try to shed the party of its multi-million-dollar debt before a new party leader is chosen next year, say Liberals who are soul-searching these days now that they're out of national political power after nearly 13 years in office.

"It is Paul Martin's intention to hand over the party to the next leader debt free," Marc Roy, former associate director of communications to Mr. Martin, told The Hill Times last week.

Mr. Roy declined to give specifics, but said Mr. Martin "will work very hard between now and the leadership convention to deliver a party that is debt free to the next leader."

The speculation is that the Liberals have a debt of $12-million to $30-million.

But Steven MacKinnon, national director of the Liberal Party, said on Friday that the party's debt is between $4-million and $5-million.

The Liberal National Executive is scheduled to meet on March 18 to set the details of the next leadership convention, but it will likely take place in the spring of 2007.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party will have to change its leadership rules, dramatically change the way it fundraises, stop idol worship of political leadership and do this all in one or two years, say Liberals, who last week met in Ottawa for a national caucus meeting for the first time after losing the election to the Conservatives.

Mr. Martin (LaSalle-Émard, Que.) announced he would stay on as party leader until a new leader is elected, but named former defence minister Bill Graham (Toronto Centre, Ont.) as the party's opposition leader in the House.

Mr. Martin's move to stay on as party leader is seen as a protective measure in case the government is defeated, but Mr. Martin has divested himself of all authority from the party.

Mr. Graham, who was named because he made it clear that he won't run for the leadership, is also politically experienced and fluently bilingual.

Other Liberals last week said they expected Mr. Martin to help get the party back in financial shape.

"Martin is going to get his ass in gear and attempt to deal with the debt that his group left behind. I would think that's a reasonable expectation," said one top Liberal.

Another Liberal said the Grits are faced with a "real challenge" because they have to be ready for an election, but also need time--one year or preferably two years--to set the party policies, to set its vision and to fix the internal structures in order to put into place a leadership process and convention that is fair and open, as opposed to the Martin coronation. When that happens, the Liberal said, more candidates will come.

Meanwhile, Liberals are talking about a number of possible political scenarios.

They say if Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) is able to govern and not feed the fears that have been used against him, his position will likely strengthen and he will have a better chance of winning a minority or majority next time than the Liberals.

In this light, most Liberal Party stalwarts are unwilling to make a long-term commitment to run for the party's leadership.

But there are some brave souls.

Two-term Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty (Ottawa South, Ont.) did not rule out running for the party's leadership in an interview last week with The Hill Times.

"Right now, I'm working on these ideas [to rebuild the party], to take them forward. Everybody in the Liberal Party has an obligation to stop and think about how this will go forward and I'm really, really trying to raise the profile of the need here to make fundamental changes to the party and its process before we embark upon this journey," said Mr. McGuinty when asked outright if he's interested in running for the party leadership.

Pressed again, he said: "Right now, as they say, that's where I have to go. That's where I'm really focusing on. I'm looking forward to sitting down with Bill Graham on Tuesday or Wednesday for an hour. We're going to talk about these issues and go forward."

Last week, Frank McKenna, Brian Tobin and John Manley all bowed out of running for the leadership.

Some of the other possible names who could seek the Liberal leadership include: Ken Dryden (York Centre, Ont.); Joe Volpe (Eglinton-Lawrence, Ont.); Maurizio Bevilacqua (Vaughan, Ont.); Scott Brison (Kings-Hants, N.S.); Belinda Stronach (Newmarket-Aurora, Ont.); Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Ont.); former Grit MP Martin Cauchon; John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Ont.); Denis Coderre (Bourassa, Que.); Dennis Mills; Stéphane Dion (Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, Que.); Bob Rae and Ontario Education Minister Gerard Kennedy.

"We're down to the pygmies, at this stage," said one top Liberal. "The giant of the whole thing was McKenna. He was the one that had the capacity to do some of the healing, generate some of that healing that needed to be generated. He had recognition off the top, he has connections to the corporate community that would have made the debt situation maybe a bit easier to resolve. He had a whole lot of things going for him."

The top Liberal said despite a "small clump" of people in Toronto trying to drum up support for Mr. Ignatieff as the best candidate across the country, the comparison to Pierre Trudeau, doesn't wash.

"I think there's an uphill battle as far as Ignatieff is concerned."

Meanwhile, Mr. McGuinty, 46, who before entering politics served as president and CEO of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), and won the last election by defeating Conservative "star candidate" Allan Cutler, by a margin of more than 4,000 votes, said it's imperative for the party to start the rebuilding process from within as soon as possible.

"There's a need, in my view, everyday Liberals want, to a certain extent, reclaim their party. They want to do so because they don't feel from what I heard at the door that they are meaningful shareholders in this party," said Mr. McGuinty, whose older brother is Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Mr. McGuinty said in order for the party to rebuild it's important to have a full and frank financial disclosure about the party's financial condition, and a "one-member, one-vote voting system for the next leadership convention and a new aggressive grassroots-based fundraising strategy."

Mr. McGuinty warned that if the Liberals did not generate fresh ideas for the party and did not reform the party, they could expect a serious backlash from Canadians in the next election.

Stephen Clarkson, a university professor, an expert on the Liberal Party and author of the recently-released The Big Red Machine: How the Liberal Party Dominates Canadian Politics, told The Hill Times that given that Mr. Harper has been able to win a minority government, the Liberal Party doesn't have a long time to rebuild.

"If there's an election this time next year, they've got only one year but they will have a big role in deciding how long Stephen Harper stays. If they decide they want to spend time on their policy development, they could take [longer]. They haven't got more than two years because minority governments don't last [long] and Harper's edge is even smaller than what the Liberals' was," said Prof. Clarkson, pointing out that Liberals had a hard time keeping their government afloat even after winning 135 seats in the 2004 election while Conservatives have managed to win only 124 seats in last month's election.

Prof. Clarkson added that the rebuilding process will require the Liberal Party to bring unity to the party's rank and file, generate new policy ideas and select an effective leader.

"Trying to regenerate a family solidarity is crucial because, especially in opposition, the party relies on volunteers and energy coming from citizen activists and not corporate sponsors. So, healing, reconciliation is crucial. Working out a set of policies on which the party can redefine itself will be very important...The choice of the leader will be crucial because on the leader hangs everything," said Prof. Clarkson.

Meanwhile, another Liberal pointed out to The Hill Times that the Liberals have missed out on electing a whole younger generation of MPs, in contrast to the Conservative Party's caucus, for instance, because the Liberals' nominations were protected for years under former prime minister Jean Chrétien.

"If the Tories don't make any huge mistakes and if they're able to turn the minority into a majority then the Liberal Party, when it looks for a leader, and you never want to admit this publicly, but reality has to enter into the equation at some point, you're looking at the person who is going to try and get us back into government in about six years. Well, that person should probably be in their 40s, not of the generation that got us into this mess, so it's a real predicament," said the Liberal.

But the Liberals have to stop being tempted by a candidate on a "white horse" and politics as personality because "nobody has the complete package."

Declared the Liberal: "We have to get away from this politics as personality. The grassroots should be feeding policy to a political arm that has the skill and experience to win seats with the idea of getting into power so that we can put into motion the policies that the people who support the party want. It's a simple model. It's worked well in the past and somehow we got away from that."

The Liberal said the party lost its way while in power. Without a strong opposition the party became lazy and fought with itself. Now it has to pick up the pieces and rebuild.

"I still believe the Liberal Party of Canada is still the most successful political party in the history of modern democracy. The leader of that party is still a prestigious position. I think we're going to get a good, solid slate of candidates, but the first focus is the process. The process has to be and be seen to be fair," said the Liberal, pointing out that more candidates will come forward when the rules are fair.
The Hill Times

Possible contenders for the Liberal leadership (according to CTV

Outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin makes his way to hold a final news conference as Prime Minister in Ottawa, Thursday, Febuary 2, 2006.(CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand)

Possible contenders for the Liberal leadership

Phil Hahn, News

Updated: Mon. Feb. 6 2006 6:30 PM ET

As Liberals don the uniform of the opposition in the House of Commons for the first time in over 12 years, the question of who will become their captain looms largely over them.

Prominent Liberals and leadership hopefuls, including Frank (Captain Canada) McKenna, John Manley and Allan Rock have said thanks, but no thanks.

The race is now "wide open" for new blood and new ideas, as Paul Martin said in his last news conference on Feb. 2.

"There are a number of stellar candidates who I think are going to bring in very different perspectives . . . to take us into the next generation."

Even before Martin announced his decision to step down after losing the 2006 federal election, there were rumours and whispers in the Liberal ranks about who would be the party's next leader.

Martin's successor will take control of a solid opposition party with more than 100 seats, and a base of support spread across the nation.

But whoever takes the Liberal helm will face the task of reuniting a deeply fractured party, according to Stephen Clarkson, a writer who has chronicled the party's ups and downs.

Infighting that started in the 1980s and exploded into a virtual civil war between Martin and Chretien loyalists must be stopped, he told CTV.

"They need to be united. That tradition of vendetta and feuding is what is at the core of the decline of the Liberal party, in my view," Clarkson said.

While the party recoups, re-energizes and lays out the ground rules for a leadership transition, has handicapped some potential candidates for the leadership of the Liberal party.


The first-time MP was elected in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

PROS: The 58-year-old Harvard professor is erudite with an engaging speaking style. He caught people's attention when he delivered the keynote address at the March 2005 Liberal policy convention. He's respected for his writings and scholarship on human rights issues, and is fluent in English, French and Russian. Often compared to Pierre Trudeau.

CONS: He's a political neophyte with zero experience in the House of Commons. Most of his life has been spent in the U.S. Although he has touted the left-leaning values of Trudeau, Ignatieff raised eyebrows in recent years by supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq.


The high-profile MP for the Ontario riding of Newmarket-Aurora was human resources minister in Martin's government. When asked on CTV's Canada AM whether she would run for the leadership, Stronach simply said with a smile: "You know, I'm here to serve."

PROS: The former auto-parts heiress is a star in the Liberal fold and, at 39, the youngest potential candidate next to Scott Brison. She could attract new blood to the Liberals and heal rifts between the old Chretien and Martin loyalists.

CONS: Many consider her a turncoat, after her unsuccessful bid for the Conservative leadership and her initial victory running as a Tory MP for Newmarket-Aurora in 2004. Although she has a vast network of connections, most of her bid team from her Conservative years have stayed with the Tory party. She's inexperienced, with less than two years under her belt in the House of Commons.


Former New Democratic premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995.

PROS: Rae has earned a reputation as a statesman, having handled high profile assignments such as the federal government's review into the Air India bombing, as well as advisor to the new Iraqi government. The Rhodes scholar was also considered a front-runner last year to succeed Adrienne Clarkson as governor-general. As a former NDPer, Rae could be a beacon to attract more supporters from the left.

CONS: . Many Ontarians are still left with bitter tastes in their mouths from Rae's premiership during recession years in the early 90s. Out of politics since 1995, Rae lacks an organizational base.

Former justice minister Martin Cauchon (CP / Paul Chiasson).


Justice minister under Jean Chretien.

PROS: Cauchon has deep roots in Quebec. The business lawyer seems to have strong support among many Quebec Liberals; there's even a blog dedicated to promoting him as next leader. He has a team of organizers ready to jump into a leadership race. Being a Quebecois can work in his favour, as Liberals usually alternate between English and French leaders (Martin, although he's from Quebec, is considered English).

CONS: Being from Quebec could also work against Cauchon. The past two Liberal leaders have represented Quebec ridings, and the party might want to go with a candidate from a different province. Further, as a Chretien loyalist, his experience in the Chretien cabinet -- and his past ties to some of the players in the sponsorship scandal -- could be seen as a liability.

Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison


Former Liberal public works minister and MP for Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants.

PROS: Brison could run as the sole, fiscally-conservative, socially progressive candidate from the Maritimes, now that Frank McKenna and Brian Tobin have bowed out. The 38-year-old MP for the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants is very popular. As an openly gay politician, he's also considered by some Liberals to be an ideal symbol of a "progressive" platform. Brison once noted he's "not a gay politician, but a politician who happens to be gay."

CONS: Like Stronach, Brison is seen as a Tory turncoat who unsuccessfully ran for the Conservative leadership. He doesn't possess deep roots in the Liberal Party.

Former immigration minister Joe Volpe


The Toronto MP (Eglinton-Lawrence) served as minister of citizenship and immigration as well as human resources minister under Martin.

PROS: Lots of experience at the federal level, having been first elected to the House of Commons in 1988. Speaks several languages, French, Italian, Spanish, and even some Mandarin and Punjabi

CONS: Not widely known outside of big cities. He seems to a long shot among the other potential contenders. He's a holdover from the Martin-Chretien wars and was reportedly kept out of Chretien's cabinet for being too close to Martin.

Former environment minister Stephane Dion


The former environment minister under Martin and intergovernmental affairs minister under Chretien has represented the Quebec riding of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville since 1996.

PROS: Dion, considered a strong federalist, would dedicate himself to rebuilding the party in Quebec. He played a major role in the province promoting national unity and fighting off the Bloc in his duties as intergovernmental affairs minister.

CONS: His grasp of English isn't perfect, and he may struggle to win support across the country.


Maurizio Bevilacqua: The Toronto-area MP was chairman of the Commons finance committee under Martin.

Denis Coderre: former immigration minister and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

Ken Dryden: the hockey legend is a Toronto MP (York Centre) and served as Martin's social development minister.


Frank McKenna: He was considered the frontrunner for the job, but Canada's former ambassador to Washington announced Jan. 30 that being PM has not been " a burning ambition for me."

John Manley: Considered another strong contender, the former deputy prime minister and finance minister once ran against Martin for the party leadership. "I was ready for that three years ago when I sought the post, but you know times change and life moves on," said Manley. "It may not be forever but right now it wasn't the time to go back."

Brian Tobin: The man once known as "Captain Canada" for his defence of the East Coast fishery while he was a Chretien cabinet minister, said he thought it was time for "new blood" to enter the Liberal party.

Allan Rock: Canada's ambassador to the UN said after considering a run for the leadership and discussing it with his family: "We've decided that there are many ways to serve Canada and I am not going to take part in the leadership race."

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