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Notes for a statement, Ottawa, September 8, 1993

This morning, at my recommendation, His Excellency the Governor General dissolved the 34th Parliament of Canada for a general election, to be held on October 25th, 1993. On that day, Canadian democracy will render its verdict. The voice of every Canadian will be equal. The future is theirs to help form. The challenge will be to choose well.

The fundamental issue before Canadians is to decide which approach, which Party, which leadership can best carry Canada forward  --  with steady purpose, and sound principle and a firm understanding of Canadians' concerns. We live in tough times, and Canadians have some tough questions for government. They want clear answers. They are well beyond the glib, glad-handing of the past.

Canadians want to see real hope restored, not false hopes raised. Canadians want to see their views reflected in government  --  in respect for their concerns, respect for their tax dollars, respect for their Canadian common sense. The challenge is not to convince Canadians to catch up with government. The challenge is for government to catch up with Canadians.

Canadians know that government is not the solution to every problem. They do not respect politicians who pretend it is. Canadians know that our difficulties will not be resolved overnight. They are tired of politicians who pretend they will be. Canadians do not want a government that simply says the things that are easy. They want a government that does the things that are hard.

Canadians want a government that will act where it can, and where it must. But I believe they also want leadership that knows the limits of government and the role government has to help free up the potential of the Canadian people themselves.

I believe the choices before Canadians in this election are clear. There will be those who say they have solutions for the future when what they propose is really returning to the failed politics of the past. The politics of spending as if there were no tomorrow. The politics of higher taxation  --  kept hidden until power is secured. And the politics of ever higher deficits that drive our prosperity down. That is one set of choices. There is another.

In this election, Canadians will be asked to support people whose policies  --  either by intent or by implication  --  would lead to the fragmentation of this country. I believe that Canadians have the common sense to see that a better future cannot be built on fragmentation.

Our new banner will be different from all these. We will carry the cause of a more open, more inclusive Canadian democracy  --  the cause of politics that works for people. We will carry the cause of renewing Canada's precious social programs so they can continue to serve Canadians in need. We will carry the cause of a justice system that is both more firm and more fair. We will carry the cause of spending smarter  --  not spending more  --  and of committing to carry out our programs and services without real increases in spending. We will carry the cause of bringing down the deficit, not because that pleases some banker, but because eliminating the deficit will put real dollars back in the pockets of every Canadian.

But there is more to economic success than bringing the deficit down. We will carry the cause of an active government that will work hard with Canadians to expand economic opportunity, to create more and better jobs, to take advantage of trade abroad, to encourage small business, and to do better at education and at training. Jobs and greater economic opportunity are the key priorities for Canadians in the 1990s. And they will be our central priorities as a government. This election is about sound policy. And it is about a fundamental respect for the concerns of Canadians.

Above all, Canadians want results. They want government to focus on the basics. They want government to get to work for them. I believe it is time for new leadership that respects both the bottom line and the basic needs of Canadians. I believe it is time for new leadership that listens, leadership that learns, and leadership that takes action. I believe it is time for new leadership that is able to leave the 70s behind, leadership attuned to the needs of the 90s. I believe it is time for new leadership that builds on what's right from the past, but is prepared to change what's wrong and look for new approaches that work.

I am proud of the new team of Canadian women and men that we will bring to this election. I look forward to the debates and the discussions that lie ahead. I believe there is no greater honour than to serve Canadians. And I am seeking that honour, my first mandate from the people of Canada. I am confident that at the end of the day, this country will choose a new and confident course of reform, of renewal  --  of results.

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Source: Campbell, A. Kim. Notes for a statement by Prime Minister Kim Campbell. Ottawa: Office of the Prime Minister, 1993. 2 p.


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