Another Lester Pearson?
Is Michael Ignatieff another Lester Pearson? For five years from 1963-68, Lester Pearson led a minority government which completely reshaped Canadian society. Michael Ignatieff intends to continue this Liberal legacy by providing Canadians with an open and transparent government which will pursue policies Canadians have told him they desire.
The background of Ignatieff and Pearson are similar which suggests that Ignatieff is positioned well to succeed in his goal. Both men were rooted in Canada having been born and having received their undergraduate degrees from the University of Toronto. In their youth, both studied and worked abroad before brining back their international experience and learning to help better Canada at home and on the world stage. Pearson earned such respect that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Ignatieff wishes to further Pearson’s peace keeping efforts an bolster our diplomatic presence abroad.
Besides restoring Canada’s respect internationally, Ignatieff wishes to further and consolidate the many initiatives begun by Pearson at home. While Pearson secured basic health services for all Canadians, Ignatieff wishes to extend health benefits Canadians presently enjoy. While Pearson introduced a Canada Pension Plan, Ignatieff, among other things, wishes to extend coverage to include 75% of private sector employees who don’t enjoy a registered pension plan. While Pearson signed a free trade agreement with the United States in the auto sector which benefitted Canada, Ignatieff wishes to strengthen economic ties with China and India for the same purpose. The “auto pact” of Pearson created employment and Ignatieff is determined to help the young secure jobs and help small and medium-sized businesses in order to bolster the job market. Pearson attempted to secure unity by establishing Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, a Canadian flag and an honours system; Ignatieff wishes to secure this goal by developing the next generation Official Language Plan and showing respect for our democratic institutions. Pearson furthered the status of women within society through the Royal Commission on the status of Women; Ignatieff wants to secure affordable high-quality childcare and learning spaces for children and promoting gender equality partially through pay equity measures.
Pearson accomplished his transformation of Canadian society through a minority government during the entire period he was prime minister, partially because he was supported by a strong team of ministers. Ignatieff too has a strong highly motivated competent team of individuals from across the country to help him achieve his goals. Whether he receives a majority or minority, Ignatieff is ready and willing to govern to enable Canadians achieve a our individual and collective potential both domestically and internationally.
Dream today; make it real tomorrow.