The LRC Presents…

Our Brave New Canada

John Ibbitson, veteran political columnist, on the collapse of our country’s most important geo-political alliance and the rise of a new power structure that will define our national debate for decades to come.

The federal election of May 2 that delivered Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party a majority government abd shattered the Liberal Party was the most important vote in decades, according to Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson.

The election, he believes marked the collapse of the once-epic alliance that consolidated power in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, led by political, media, cultural, academic and business elites form these other cities among the St. Lawrence watershed – what Ibbitson calls the Laurentian Consensus.” “The Canada we have is the Canada they gave us,” he maintains. The Canada shaped by the Laurentian Consensus nurtured our national cultural institutions, constructed a strong social safety net, and fostered an emphasis on multiculturalism.

On May 2, though, Ontario voters aligned with Western voters, propelling a monumental shift in our national value system that embraced an increased emphasis on law and order; on individual liberty, including the right not to be excessively taxed; on closer integration with the United States, and on stronger economic ties to the emerging Asian giants. the result is nothing less than a new Canadian order.

Tracing the disintegration of old alliances and the rise of a new power structure will be the defining public policy debate for our time, Ibbitson believes.


veteran political columnist


An event co-produced with TVO's Big Ideas