Memos to the Prime Minister: What Canada Could Be in the 21st Century

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9780470831953: Memos to the Prime Minister: What Canada Could Be in the 21st Century
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Memos to the Prime Minister is for every Canadian concerned about this country's future. In the current political climate, there is an unprecedented level of frustration with our national government and its almost complete lack of opposition. Faced with mounting scandals, real economic and social issues, but little political choice, we all feel an acute sense of despair over the leadership and policies being offered by the nation's political parties.

This book assembles a stellar group of contributors from across the country and wide-ranging fields — business, healthcare, think tanks, policy groups, education, the arts, and others — to paint a vision for Canada on a broad social canvas.

Their memos offer new advice for the old guard. Whether impassioned pleas, practical advice, thoughtful reflections, or reasoned arguments, the memos focus on prescriptions for the country's leaders, not on rehashing the old, familiar problems.

Memos to the Prime Minister is a provocative look at the present and future of Canada, and will contribute to the national debate on the political, economic, and social issues that matter most to Canadians.

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From the Inside Flap:

Memos to the Prime Minister is for every Canadian concerned about the country's future. Since the federal election of November 2000, Canadians have felt an unprecedented level of frustration with our national government and its almost complete lack of opposition. Faced with mounting scandals, real economic and social issues, but little political choice, we all feel an acute sense of despair over the leadership and policies being offered by the nation's political parties.

The book assembles a stellar group of contributors from across the country and wide-ranging fields businesses, health-care, think tanks, policy groups, education, the arts, and others to paint a vision for Canada on a broad social canvas.

Henry Mintzberg, one of the world's true academic and business gurus, provides a quietly insightful and nuanced foreward that captures, in a humorous yet penetrating way, exactly what it means to be Canadian. "America with the edge off," he calls us. His essay goes on to describe what is special about Canada and Canadians, and what we can contribute at home and abroad, if only we will follow the courage of our convictions.

The memos that follow offer new advice for the old guard. Whether impassioned pleas, practical advice, throughtful reflections, or reasoned arguments, the memos focus on prescriptions for the first government of the new millenium, not on rehashing the old, familiar problems. As Judith Maxwell says in her memo, for the last twenty years, "economic priorities have trumped the social" in this country. We are now at a juncture where we have "more room to design uniquely Canadian responses to social and economic challenges," and to construct a positive role for government.

That's what these memos all set about doing. They provide blueprints for action for this country's leaders on the major social, political, and economic challenges we face as a nation. Memos to the Prime Minister often reads like a "debate on the page," with varied perspectives offered on a single topic. Margaret Little's strong case for providing poor single mothers with more support is juxtaposed by Fred McMahon's memo that suggests ending welfare in order to reduce poverty. Laura Jones's "free-market environmentalism" stands as counterpoint to memos from Rick Findlay of Pollution Probe and Robert Hornung of the Pembina Institute. And there are as many perspectives on solving our health-care problems as there are memos on the topic.

Memos to the Prime Minister is a provocative look at the present and future of Canada, and will contribute to the national debate on the political, economic, and social issues that matter most to Canadians.

About the Author:

About the Editor

Harvey Schachter is an award-winning freelance writer who specializes in business, management, and public policy. A veteran journalist and former editor of The Kingston Whig-Standard, he has won two National Newspaper Awards and was a finalist for three others.

After leaving The Whig-Standard, he held the prestigious Skelton-Clark Fellowship in the political science department of Queen's University for one year. He moderates the Inroads-1 discussion group on public policy. This group includes academics, journalists, and policy advisers.

Mr. Schachter writes the "Managing Books" column in The Globe and Mail and contributes to many magazines, such as Canadian Business, Profit, and Advisor's Edge.

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9780471646495: Memos to the Prime Minister: What Canada Could Be in the 21st Century

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