CAP HISTORY, IN BRIEF
The Canadian Action Party was born as a result of frustration with the 1995 Liberal budget which slashed funds for health care, education, environmental protection, affordable housing, the arts, the Armed Forces and just about everything which had made Canada a dynamic and exciting middle power.
Paul Hellyer, who had held cabinet posts in the St. Laurent, Pearson and Trudeau governments, was appalled. A child of the Great Depression, he was thoroughly familiar with the financial measures employed to escape that scourge, help pay for World War II, the post-war infrastructure including the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Trans-Canada Highway and the bold new airports as well as lay the foundation for Canada’s social security network.
Hellyer knew that the Bank of Canada had played a key role in the money-creation process and could have done so again in the mid-nineties. Canada could have pursued the full employment route to a balanced budget and debt reduction instead of the slash-and-burn approach which was the road to mediocrity.
A number of Hellyer’s friends shared his angst so they got together and formed the Canadian Action Party in 1997 just before the federal election of that year. With virtually no time for preparation CAP was able to field 62 candidates and obtain registered status with tax receipt privileges.
After the election the negative aspects of globalization and the Free Trade Agreement became increasingly apparent so CAP added Canadian independence as one of its key policies. That, plus its proposal for monetary reform have set it apart from other parties.
CAP has been the first to take unequivocal stands against the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, for the abrogation of the FTA and NAFTA, and for the reform of the monetary and banking system, as well as other issues.
Between elections it played an important educational role and succeeded well beyond its numbers. When the 2000 federal election was called CAP decided to field candidates again (70 in 2000) and retain its registered status so it could continue its good work.
Its project for 2003, and by far the most critical of its existence, is to promote the merger of two or more existing parties to form a one big, new progressive pro-Canada party to give patriots of all political stripes a real choice when the next general election is held . probably in the Spring of 2004.