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Connie Fogal
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Leader: Connie Fogal

Web Site:

Platform: None on web site as of April 25, 2004.

Candidates: None listed on web site as of April 25, 2004. It is rumoured that the Canadian Action Party ("CAP") will be working to nominate at least 50 candidates to run in the coming federal election so as to avoid losing its registered status under the Canada Elections Act (though the requirement to run 50 or more candidates was ruled in June 2003, by Canada's Supreme Court of Canada, to be unconstitutional and to be unenforceable after June of 2004).

The Party: Like the Abolitionist Party, CAP was founded - in 1997, just before the federal election of that year - by former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister Paul Hellyer, and some of his acquaintances. On September 22, 2003, the CAP decided to attempt a merge of the CAP with other political parties, to form a party that would attract to attract "progressives and patriots from the Progressive Conservative, Liberal, Alliance, Green, Bloc and other parties." (CAP press release, September 22, 2004). CAP billed the party as "ONE BIG PARTY: to keep Canada independent". Chief among the target parties was the federal New Democratic Party (NDP). The September 22, 2004 press release quoted Hellyer as saying: "What is needed is a broadly-based, progressive pro-Canada party which will put the interests of the majority ahead of those of the transnational corporate elite." The refusal of the NDP to merge and form the One Big Party led, in January of 2004, to the stepping down of the party's first leader. The only leadership candidate to file nomination papers with the requisite deposit by the time of the close of nominations in March 2004, lawyer Connie Fogal has been chosen the party's second leader.

On the Issues - a Council of Canadians Connection?: First and foremost in the list of CAP's policies has been monetary reform: arguably, the party was initially formed for that single purpose. Paul Hellyer has published several (very similar) books that explain how Canada's laws allow chartered banks to create and lend out an unlimited amount of Canadian dollars in the form of credit, and to collect interest on every dollar (because of the Progressive Conservatives' 1991 amendments to Canada's Bank Act, there has been no legislated minimum reserve requirement, such that the government no longer exercises direct control over the amount of dollars created and loaned out by banks). Hellyer, through CAP, has advocated the reimposition of a reserve requirement for banks that would limit the amount of extra money that the banks can add to the money supply. In effect, Hellyer advocates a system in which the Bank of Canada simply prints 50% of all new money and, in effect, gives it to the federal government to spend. Under Hellyer's proposal, banks could continue to provide the other 50%. To make the money issue easier to understand, CAP has published comic books that describe the issue in the form of a story. One such comic book, entitled "Do You Think Canada Should Adopt the US Dollar?" can be read online by clicking here.

However, since its founding in 1997, the CAP's reason for being has arguably broadened. It's battle cry can now best be summarized as: "Canada's sovereignty is being threatened by international agreements and co-operation with the USA". Arguably, if you want to understand what this party stands for, you should probably look at what the Council of Canadians (founded in 1985 over the free trade issue) stands for: the two organizations virtually overlap in terms of their views. In fact, in a November 17, 2003 CAP media release, the party said that Council of Canadians leader "Maude Barlow masterfully defines the most important issues facing Canada right now as we head into the next election". An October 17, 2003 CAP media release had a Council of Canadians flavour to it:

"...that national democracies have been subverted by a formidable brand of unelected world leaders, power brokers and investment bankers. This global consensus of market values has seeped into Canada, eroding our democratic institutions and threatening our independence.

What is to be done? The conclusion is obvious: Canada should chart its own course, abandon the neo-conservative consensus and restore Canada to a place of prosperity. Rather than ‘unite the right,’ the war-cry of many Canadian politicians, [then CAP leader, Paul] Hellyer seeks to ‘unite the rest’ to oppose the insidious creep of market fundamentalist values."

The party's political orientation is probably best summed up as: pro-socialism, pro-inflation, and pro-isolationism. In more concrete terms, the CAP has opposed the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), and opposes the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), global trade, "star wars" missile defence, and the like. Without a platform or set of policies online, it is difficult to be much more precise. However, to get more of a feel for the party's orientation, consider that, reportedly, CAP or some of its members attended the Free Trade Trade Area of the Americas Summit in Quebec City, Quebec, in April of 2001. Reportedly, among the others there were left wing radicals, anarchists, members or representatives of the Council of Canadians (including Maude Barlow), the NDP, the Green Party, the Marijuana Party, the Communist Party, the Communist Party (Marxist Leninist), as well members or representatives of various trade unions, human rights groups (Amnesty International, OxFam, Human Rights Watch) and environmental groups (Green Peace, the Sierra Club).


Page Last updated: Thursday, May 27, 2004  








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