Liberal Leadership Convention, Montreal, PQ December 2, 2021
Scott Brison, MP.
For me, one of the most memorable moments of the leadership campaign was after one of the debates, when an elderly lady came up to me…
She took my hand, she told me “I like your ideas, and you did a great job in that debate today.”
I said, “That’s very nice of you to say – thank you so much for your support.”
And she said to me, “I’m sorry but I actually committed to somebody else early on, but I’m glad you’re in the race, and I think that you would be great with a bit more experience. Maybe next time.”
I took her hand, I looked her in the eyes, and I said, “Lookit, Mom, I’m not running next time. I’m running this time.”
Today, I want to celebrate with you the Liberal legacy that has brought us here, and brought Canada to where it is today.
I want to reaffirm our values, and our responsibility to build an even better Canada.
I want to hold our record up against a hard reality, to see how we’re measuring up against the legacy of past generations of Liberal leaders, and the promise of future generations.
Et je dis aux Libéraux et à tous les Canadiens que nous, les Libéraux, nous avons beaucoup de travail à faire, et ce travail commence ici même, aujourd’hui.
I’m a product of a liberal legacy. The fact that a kid born in Cheverie, Hants County, Nova Scotia is here tonight reflects generations of sacrifice and hard work.
But as hard as my parents worked, and for all the sacrifices they made, I wouldn’t be here without a good public education afforded by our system of equalization.
Or a Medicare system that provides quality health care regardless of whether you live in Calgary or Cheverie.
But social progress means more than just social programs. Social progress means doing what’s right long before everybody agrees that it’s right.
People don’t always notice when leaders do the right thing. I hardly noticed, at the age of 13, when Pierre Trudeau brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
BUT, IF TRUDEAU HAD NOT DONE WHAT HE DID WHEN HE DID IT, I WOULD NOT BE DOING WHAT I AM DOING HERE TODAY.
I am a child of the Liberal legacy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We should never take our Charter of Rights for granted when there are Conservatives dedicating their lives to fighting it.
MY MESSAGE TO THEM, FROM EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM AND FROM LIBERALS ACROSS CANADA, IS, “LIBERALS WILL ALWAYS GIVE YOU A FIGHT WHEN YOU ATTACK CHARTER RIGHTS.”
Nous nous battrons au nom des Canadiens français du Manitoba, et de l’Ontario, et des Acadiens, dont les droits ont été défendus par la Charte.
Nous nous battrons en faveur des Canadiens handicapés, dont les droits ont toujours été défendus par la Charte.
Et nous nous battrons en faveur des communautés ethno culturelles, dont le droit de célébrer leur culture a été renforcé par la Charte.
The Charter of Rights was a bold idea. We need to be the party of big dreams, the party that brings big dreams together with bold ideas, all to build a better Canada.
L’assurance maladie, la Charte, le multiculturalisme, la péréquation, le bilinguisme, tout cela fait partie de l’héritage du Parti libéral qui a aidé à faire du Canada l’une des sociétés les plus progressistes au monde.
Canadians understand legacy.
They understand responsibility. They understand that we have an obligation to leave behind a world that is better than the one we inherited.
Canadians didn’t learn about legacy and responsibility at political conventions. They learned it like I learned it, growing up in Cheverie, where my dad coached ball and hockey.
Where my parents worked in their church, and they supported the local volunteer fire department, all to create a better life for people in the community.
We must build for our generation a legacy that befits the one that our parents provided to us. We must honour their sacrifice with an equal commitment of our own.
The Liberal party has been a party of nation builders.
AND WE ARE NATION BUILDERS HERE TODAY.
We need to work harder for aboriginal youth by presenting new ideas like tax free urban aboriginal enterprise zones.
Nous devons travailler plus fort pour les sans-abris. Si nous voulons améliorer le sort des sans-abris, il faut bien plus que construire des logis.
Il faut mettre en place une stratégie nationale pour la santé mentale qui permette de traiter la toxicomanie et les troubles mentaux.
We need to work harder for rural and small town Canadians by providing tax incentives to create jobs in areas of higher unemployment -- and broadband access for all Canadians.
I DON’T WANT A CANADA WHERE THE ONLY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES ARE IN PLACES WITH 30 STOREY TOWERS.
Je veux que les rêves des Canadiens qui vivent en campagne et dans les petites villes puisse s’envoler aussi haut que les gratte-ciel de Montréal, de Toronto ou de Calgary.
La tâche ne sera pas facile. Nous devrons travailler plus fort.
We need to work as hard as Canada’s multicultural entrepreneurs whose dreams of building a better future in our country have helped build a brighter future for all of us.
We need to combine the opportunity of globalization with the power of multiculturalism. Let’s partner with multicultural entrepreneurs to build natural bridges to their countries of origin – some of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Let’s do better, let’s work harder.
We need to help Canada’s working poor, who deserve a working income tax credit that will help their families get ahead.
We need to work harder to make Canada more competitive, by reforming our tax system to fuel innovation and create a fairer and more competitive Canadian economy.
We need to work harder.
Si nos ancêtres n’avaient pas travaillé aussi fort et n’avaient pas anticipé l’avenir autant qu’ils l’ont fait, le Canada ne serait pas le pays plein de promesses qu’il est aujourd’hui.
Nous ne pouvons pas nous permettre d’être satisfaits de nous-mêmes : ce n’est pas ça, être Libéral; ce n’est pas ça, être Canadien. Nous devons faire plus.
En tant que Libéraux, il faut que nous soyons plus ambitieux si nous voulons former le gouvernement, nous devons avoir l’ambition de vouloir bâtir un Canada meilleur.
THE LIBERAL LEGACY OF THE 20TH CENTURY IS A CANADA THAT IS ONE OF THE MOST SOCIALLY PROGRESSIVE, DIVERSE SOCIETIES IN THE WORLD.
AND WE CAN’T LET ANYONE DESTROY THAT LEGACY.
Now ask yourself – what will the Liberal legacy in the 21st century be?
Legacy is the child of purpose. Our purpose today will shape our legacy tomorrow.
What is the greatest challenge facing Canada and the world at the dawn of the 21st century?
And how is our purpose as a party and as a country shaped by that challenge?
[FILM CLIP – GLOBAL WARMING]
If you believe that global warming is real, you’re already ahead of Stephen Harper.
AND, IF WE AS LIBERALS GET OUR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES RIGHT, WE WILL BE AHEAD OF HARPER IN THE NEXT ELECTION.
Forget the old idea that good environmental policy hurts the economy. Clean energy and environmental technologies are the greatest economic opportunity Canada has in the 21st century.
Fifteen years ago Bill Clinton had a very clear message when he said “It’s the economy stupid.” TODAY, I HAVE A VERY CLEAR MESSAGE FOR THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT: “IT’S THE GREEN ECONOMY, STUPID.”
I have made the point during this leadership that we are taking our economic prosperity for granted. But the storm clouds are on the horizon. Our global competitiveness is slipping, while other countries are pulling ahead.
Ask yourselves, how are we as a country enjoying such a high standard of living while our competitiveness and productivity are dropping every year?
The Conservatives believe it is good enough for our generation to gobble up non-renewable natural resources as if we put the oil and the gas under the ground.
The Conservatives believe that it is good enough for our generation to prop up our standard of living by robbing from future generations of Canadians, all while we destroy the environment.
BUT GOOD ENOUGH, JUST ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH. IT IS MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE. IT IS ENVIRONMENTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE. AND IT IS ECONOMICALLY BANKRUPT.
CANADIANS DESERVE BETTER. WE AS LIBERALS MUST – AND WE WILL – DO BETTER.
The countries and the companies that embrace the environment as a core priority will prosper in the 21st century. The others will be left in the dust.
Le réchauffement planétaire représente un réel danger pour notre planète et notre pays, mais il ouvre à notre pays d’énormes perspectives économiques.
Si la mission des libéraux au vingtième siècle était définie par le progrès social, celle des libéraux du vingt-et-unième siècle sera définie par le leadership dans la lutte contre le réchauffement planétaire.
Au vingt-et-unième siècle, les économies en plein essor de la Chine, de l’Inde et du Brésil vont faire monter en flèche la demande énergétique mondiale.
Le Canada peut relever le défi d’aider le monde à satisfaire sa soif d’énergie tout en protégeant la planète.
La poursuite du développement humain et de la croissance économique passe par la réalisation de ce double objectif.
Energy is Canada’s greatest global advantage. We can be the world leader in clean energy production and technology. What we need is a plan, and a Liberal government with the courage to turn that plan into action.
In 2001, the Liberal government was attacked for ratifying Kyoto without having a plan in place to meet the Kyoto targets. I remember that. I was one of the people doing the attacking. In fact, I thought that when we ratified Kyoto we should have moved immediately to put in place a plan to meet its targets.
The plan I propose is good for the environment and good for business.
It starts with the tar sands, where we need larger investments in basic R&D and commercialization of new technologies, to produce cleaner energy and new methods to bury the carbon under the ground, instead of spewing it into the air.
Canada’s energy sector is rolling in profits. It should be investing more than one per cent of those profits in research and development.
Putting a price on carbon and providing tax incentives for Research and Development can help transform Canada’s energy sector from a research and development laggard -- to leader.
The net result is cleaner oil -- cleaner gas -- cleaner coal -- and less carbon being pumped into our air.
The tar sands are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. At the same time they are remarkably profitable, pouring profits into shareholders pockets and money into federal and provincial social programs.
We need to change extraction methods to do it better -- and cleaner.
Il ne suffit pas d’impliquer dans la lutte contre le réchauffement planétaire les seules entreprises énergétiques.
Il faut accorder à toutes les entreprises au Canada de généreux allégements fiscaux et amortissements rapides pour compenser le coût des technologies et des matériaux écoénergétiques.
Simply put, we are going to stop subsidizing companies that pollute and we are going to start helping companies that produce clean energy and consume less energy.
Canada has among the highest corporate taxes in the world, in fact the 8th highest. We need to focus tax reduction on activities that reward companies for investing in new technologies to cut their energy use.
Smart money is going green. We need to make Canada a magnet for the smart money and talent of this exciting new sector.
The internet created remarkable economic opportunities. But let’s remember, if the internet didn’t exist, we would still be getting up every morning, still be going work, still be living our lives. The internet satisfies a desire, not a need.
Environmental technologies address a real, global NEED. They will not impact how we live our lives, but WHETHER we will be able to live our lives on this planet.
The economic opportunities created by environmental technologies will dwarf those created by the Internet revolution.
As a conventional energy producer, Canada has a ticket to the best economic game in the world.
STEPHEN HARPER WANTS TO RIP UP THAT TICKET LIKE HE RIPPED UP KYOTO. AND WE CAN’T LET HIM GET AWAY WITH IT.
Our goal is clear: that Canada be the world leader in the research, development, sale, and export of clean energy and clean energy solutions – everything from wind, solar, and biofuel, to tidal, nuclear and fuel cells.
Personal taxes are high in Canada. We should focus personal tax reduction on tax credits for Canadians who buy green -- green cars, green home renovations, and green heating systems.
CMHC could back eco-mortgages to support energy efficient design and renovation.
Governments need to go green, and that means buying green, and building green.
When governments buy green -- when citizens buy green -- then companies produce green products. It’s called green growth, and it could be a modern day Klondike – if you will, a green rush.
The Stern Report to the British government concluded that the price of inaction will be an economic cost greater than World Wars I and II and the Great Depression combined. WE CAN’T AFFORD TO DO NOTHING.
The environment is one of the many areas where Stephen Harper is a follower, not a leader.
IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO SAY ON GLOBAL WARMING THIS WEEK, JUST LISTEN TO WHAT THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE SAID LAST WEEK.
Climate change is a global crisis, and the solution will take leadership from Canada, a country with a history of punching above its weight to make a difference in the world.
Pour unifier notre pays, il faut des objectifs nationaux communs. Je ne peux penser à aucune autre question qui puisse davantage unir le Canada que la lutte contre le réchauffement de la planète.
The Conservatives say Kyoto is dividing Canadians. They are wrong. Kyoto is uniting Canadians -- uniting them against the Conservatives.
Canada’s leadership on global warming will do more than simply create greater wealth for Canadians, it will create a sense of pride and unity in the fact that once again Canada is taking its rightful place in the world and making a real difference.
What I have described is an important purpose for our party and an ambitious vision for Canada. We as Liberals have a lot of work to do, and that work begins here today.
Now, attacking Stephen Harper is easy -- it’s even fun -- but THE BEST WAY TO MAKE STEPHEN HARPER A PART OF CANADA’S PAST, IS FOR LIBERALS TO FOCUS ON CANADA’S FUTURE.
We must lead with our ideas.
We must build for our generation a legacy that befits the legacy that our parents provided to us. We must honour their sacrifice with an equal commitment of our own.
I have described a plan and a vision for a cleaner, greener, more competitive and a more progressive Canada.
That’s the kind of future Canadians deserve, that’s the kind of vision Canadians will vote for, and that’s the kind of legacy that Liberals at the end of the 21st century will be proud of.