Manning and Harris: Caring for Canadians

There’s a new report out by the Fraser Institute today by Mike Harris and Preston Manning titled Caring for Canadians and it outlines the vision of these two conservative leaders for a better Canada regarding the distribution of wealth between the federal government and the provinces. Of course, conservatives will be pleased to hear that Manning and Harris’ conceptual reconfiguration of Canadian federalism favours the provinces. In the 102 page document, the two Fraser fellows argue for:

  • Federal respect for provincial jurisdiction.
  • Services to be provided wherever possible by levels of government and
    delivery organizations closest to those they serve.
  • Maximization of freedom of choice for service recipients and acceptance
    of greater responsibility for choices and personal well-being.

Now choice is a beautiful thing of course and the document reads in a very practical sense. Manning and Harris recognize the current balance in the state/individual dynamic that currently exists and they prudently nudge their ideal towards that which favours individual choice in the delivery of social services that fall within the provincial realm of jurisdiction (education, healthcare, welfare).

Particularly Harris and Manning note the success of the provinicial administration of education that thrives without much federal interference. As such, the two men argue that this lack of federal manipulation allows greater flexibility within the system and permits greater agility to meet its own needs.

Essentially, the document argues for the severance of the strings attached to the provinces as manipulated by Ottawa.

Caring for Canadians offers a formalization of the healthcare approach which is currently a reality in our country. While advocating for a universal system accessible to all regardless of one’s ability to pay, Manning and Harris propose a mixed system of private and public delivery of healthcare delivery, payment and private insurance.

The Conservative Party of Canada will be happy to hear many of their positions reflected within this new Fraser Institute publication, especially on the topic of childcare. Not surprisingly, Manning and Harris decry the new creeping federal attention to this matter of provincial jurisdiction.

The report has just become publicly available this morning. Download Caring for Canadians by Mike Harris and Preston Manning