A Message to Fellow Canadians
My name is Frank Stronach, and I developed this 7-point program out of a deep concern for the future of Canada.
I came to Canada as a young immigrant in the 1950s and started a one-man tool and die shop in a rented garage. By sharing profits with my employees, I was able to build my company into one of the world’s largest automotive companies, Magna International Inc.
Today, Magna employs more than 170,000 people at 435 manufacturing and R&D centres in 28 different countries around the world.
But lately I’ve become worried about the state of our country. Skyrocketing debt. A growing income gap between the wealthy and Canadian workers. Falling living standards.
These are just a few of the critical problems facing Canadians today.
Together, they represent a grave threat to our future health and prosperity.
We can’t keep going down this road.
I believe most Canadians would come together in support of a set of core principles that could help kickstart our economy, boost living standards, tackle out-of-control government spending and debt, and create a brighter future.
But first we have to change direction. And we have to act now.
The 7-point program outlined here contains core principles that will help put our country back on the path to prosperity and leave future generations with a legacy they can build on.
The following are the key policy recommendations that form the 7-point program for a better and more prosperous Canada:
1) Balance The Budget & Eliminate the National Debt
Every family, farmer and small business owner knows that you can’t spend more money than you bring in or you will eventually go bankrupt. The same principle should apply to governments, which should not be allowed to accumulate debt and burden future
We should balance the federal budget and begin to pay down our national debt by 5% per year so that in 20 years Canada will be debt-free.
2) Reduce Government Regulations & Overhead
When it comes to business, if the overhead is too high and there’s way too much administration up top, it doesn’t matter how hard the employees on the factory floor work, the company will simply not be competitive. The same holds true with countries.
We should reduce government overhead and cut government spending on staff and programs by 5% per year over a 10-year period. After ten years, we will have cut government overhead in half, returning it to levels that existed 50 years ago when economic growth was at an all-time high and income levels and living standards for the
majority of Canadians were much higher.
The reduction of government overhead and spending should occur at all three levels of government: federal, provincial and municipal.
3) Simplify Our Tax System
Canada’s personal income tax code has swelled in size since it was first introduced more than 100 years ago, ballooning from six pages in length to over 1,300 pages a century later.
Not only has it gotten bigger, but it’s also gotten more complex and convoluted with thousands of mind-boggling passages like Section
Subsection 18.1(10) applies where (a) a taxpayer’s particular right to receive production to which a matchable expenditure (other than an expenditure no portion of which would, if this section were read without reference to subsections 18.1(7) and 18.1(10), be deductible under subsection 18.1(3) in computing the taxpayer’s income) relates has expired or the taxpayer has disposed of all of the right (otherwise than in a disposition to which subsection 87(1) or 88(1) applies).
We need to reduce the complexity of our tax system by making it shorter and simpler and by making it black-and-white, cut-and-dried, with no convoluted language and no grey zones. In addition, we need to make our tax system fairer by eliminating all exemptions, loopholes and write-offs that benefit special interest groups. This will help reduce the growing wealth gap in our country.
4) Kickstart the Canadian Economy By Enhancing Free Enterprise
We have to do everything we can to preserve free enterprise, because without free enterprise, there is no free society. We need to also recognize that small business is the backbone of the Canadian economy and the economic engine that creates most of the product innovation and new jobs.
We should ignite the growth of small business by eliminating the business tax for any company with fewer than 300 employees and by eliminating practically all regulations with the exception of those relating to employee health and safety and the protection of the environment. Employees would still pay taxes on their wages and business owners would pay taxes on the amount of money they take out of the company as income.
By eliminating the business tax, we would create thousands of new businesses and unchain entrepreneurs and small business owners so they can grow and expand.
5) Share Profits With Canadian Workers
When small businesses grow in size to more than 300 employees, they will be required to begin sharing annual profits with employees and managers, recognizing that these stakeholders are entitled to a portion of the profits that they help produce.
They will share profits according to following formula:
- Year 1 – 5% of the profits will be shared
- Year 2 – 10% of the profits will be shared
- Year 3 – 15% of the profits will be shared
- Year 4 – 20% of the profits will be shared
Establishing this principle will create a new profit-sharing culture in Canadian business that will enhance competitiveness and improve productivity. We will gradually and naturally transition from a culture of bosses and workers, to a culture where employees are partners in profitability and share in the success of the business.
6) Reform Our Education System
We need technically skilled trades people in order for the economy to function.
We should require students in their final two years of high school to be exposed to one or more technical trades at businesses outside the schools. Students would be exposed to different trades such as toolmaking, bricklaying, carpentry, farming, and healthcare over a two-year period.
This sort of exposure would give students some practical, hands-on experience and allow them to explore various career interests, test their skills and discover what they really love to do and what they are good at doing. Adopting this approach would also help create a feeder system to provide the skilled technicians and trades people our country needs while helping restore the real economy.
7) Teach Our Children About Nutrition & Provide Organic Food
Growing up healthy and happy – it’s the number one desire of every parent for their children. And it’s what we as a society should make as our number one priority.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective solutions we can implement is to provide every Canadian school kid with healthy, organic meals. Although organic school meals would cost a little more than what we currently spend, they would save billions of dollars in health care costs over the long term. This one solution would do more than any other to ensure that our children grow up in a healthy world with clean air, clean water and foods that are all-natural.
We should also establish educational programs where children can learn about the nutritional benefits of foods and the critical role that food plays in human health, as well as learn how to grow organic foods.
Creating a Movement of Concerned Canadians
The present political and economic system in Canada is not working. It has led to a large and growing divide between the rich and the working class, with more and more money being held by fewer and fewer people.
The 7 key policy recommendations outlined here represent the minimum course of action we can take. There is much more we need to do, in areas such as the environment and reviving our manufacturing sector. We also have a growing number of hungry and homeless people. No one in Canada should go to bed hungry and everyone should have access to shelter and health care. These are the minimum standards of a civilized society.
But if we implement these seven key recommendations, we will take a giant step forward in terms of restoring Canada’s financial health and prosperity. The road to economic recovery will be long and hard, but if we don’t take action today, the consequences will be much more severe in the years ahead.
I invite you to join me and thousands of other concerned Canadians who want to take action. If enough Canadians joined together and rallied around these core principles for creating a healthier and more prosperous society, we might finally get Canada back on a strong and stable footing for the sake of our children and our grandchildren.