About us: Strategic Plan 2023
Last Updated: January 19th, 2023
About Centre Ice Canadians
Centre Ice Canadians is a not-for-profit advocacy group formed in April 2022 to provide a strong, bold voice for pragmatic, centrist Canadians.
Our goal is to change the way we do politics in Canada by advancing sensible policies that any government can act on, regardless of party. Many Canadians want to be politically engaged but are put off by the divisiveness of partisan politics. We give them a home, a voice, and an opportunity to make Canada a better place.
Why Centre Ice Canadians
Canada is facing radical challenges and calls for radical change.
Economic upheavals, health care crises, and the impacts of climate change have put governments and citizens under increasing strain. Canadians feel disconnected from their leaders and their institutions. Populists on the right and on the left ask important questions but propose dangerous, self-serving and unworkable answers. Social media further amplifies public anxiety and rage, driving a politics that is increasingly angry and extreme.
Canada needs to implement sensible and pragmatic policies that build society up, instead of tearing it down.
Canadians are fortunate to live in one of the most successful countries on the planet. Our quality of life is rooted not only in abundant natural resources and hardworking people, but in strong values and institutions built over time. From power grids to hospitals, from the courts to law enforcement, these institutions keep the lights on, safeguard our health, and uphold our rights, freedoms and the rule of law. But they are also fragile, and vulnerable to attack.
That’s where Centre Ice Canadians comes in. We are builders, not wreckers. We want to reform and strengthen our institutions, not tear them down. We offer pragmatic solutions to counter extremism from the right and from the left. And we are not alone. Polls show that Canadians are tired of extremist rhetoric and are looking for respectful dialogue. We want to engage our fellow citizens to rebuild public trust in our institutions, our country, and each other.
Centre Ice Canadians in action, at our Edmonton and Halifax policy conferences
What we stand for
Modern politics has become a game of wedge issues, empty promises, and appeals to extremes, just to get elected. That is a recipe for bad policy, divisiveness and the erosion of public trust, and ultimately our democracy itself.
Centre Ice Canadians wants to do politics differently.
We see a strong need for a set of rules and values to govern public life. Values that build on the best of our traditions, with an eye to a future of prosperity and growth.
These are our 5 principles:
We believe in democracy and the rule of law.
We defend Canada’s democratic institutions and want to strengthen and improve them. We know a strong and democratic Canada needs a strong and democratic world, and we will play our part in building it – while strengthening our institutions here at home. We want to enhance our armed forces, expand alliances with fellow democratic nations, trade freely and fairly with countries that share our values, and stand up to autocracies and dictatorships that threaten their own people and the world at large.
We believe in honouring our past, while advancing into the future.
We are proud of Canada’s history and its progress. Building on the traditions of the parliamentary system, principles of equality, and respect for human rights Canadians have forged a nation that is the envy of the world.
At the same time, we recognize that not all people have benefitted equally from Canada’s rise. We acknowledge the wrongs of the past and seek to right them, through reconciliation with Canada’s indigenous people and the removal of barriers to newcomers, including racism and prejudice.
FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
We believe in a balance of freedom and responsibility.
Freedom isn’t a slogan, it’s a value we live out every day: When you can talk to who you want, how you want; travel freely and safely; believe in what you want, and have a private life that is not regulated by the state. The right of every citizen to enjoy life free from discrimination is the best path to a society based on the strength of each citizens’ character and efforts to grow and prosper.
But freedom depends on another value: responsibility. Responsibility not to infringe on the rights and freedoms of others, and the obligation to uphold and protect them. Responsibility to act and speak up in the interests of our communities. Responsibility cannot be separated from freedom, and obligations cannot be separated from rights. We live within an ever-broader national and global network of people; defending Canada’s self-interest requires an engagement with the world, and so the individual and their society need to work together.
We believe in a government that is neither too large nor too small to address the challenges of our nation.
Governments should have limits: they should not overtax, crowd out the private sector, or be all things to all people. At the same time, government is necessary in our complex society, especially in times of crisis, whether war, pandemic, economic or natural disaster. Those times demand greater engagement by government - and indeed all citizens - than in ordinary circumstances. The bottom line: we cannot live without good government and well-managed public institutions, and there are some problems that only government can solve.
We believe in respectful debate about our governmental institutions; but we do not want to tear them down to punish elites or to become social engineers. We believe in using evidence and judgment, not rhetoric. Just as important, we know no one is perfect: when politicians make mistakes, they should admit to them and do their best to learn from them.
Canada can lead the world. Now we need to take our place in the 21st century.
What makes Canada the envy of the world? Canada is proof that the ideas that inspired “the West” are much more broadly applicable: they’re gifts and tools available to every citizen. We believe that neither the colour of your skin, your gender, or your family’s income should neither hold you back nor give you advantage. Canada’s history proves that immigration can strengthen liberal democratic institutions, and that ideas from all cultures and traditions can further strengthen it – the direct descendants of the British and French empires can live together in a bilingual country, and citizens can be trusted to make the right decisions free from coercion. Blessed with abundant human and natural resources, Canada is perfectly positioned to lead the world in areas such as critical minerals, green energy, innovation and more – if we don’t fall prey to extremes.
What we do as an organization
Centre Ice Canadians develops and supports smart, innovative, pragmatic policies and people to help build a stronger Canada.
We hold regular conferences, informal meetings, online calls and forums as well as in-person meetings across Canada to solicit ideas and develop action plans. Our national network of co-ordinators and volunteers ensure that we receive input and feedback from Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
Our goal is to advance our principles by developing practical, centrist, achievable policies in four key sectors. We are non-partisan and support any government or party that takes steps to implement them.
Economy: We support policies and people that drive innovation, private sector leadership and entrepreneurship to grow our economy, leverage our abundant natural and human resources, and create wealth for all sectors of society.
Health Care: We support policies and people that provide effective leadership and solutions at all levels of the health care system, embrace innovation, and engage private and not-for-profit solutions within our publicly funded system.
Foreign Policy: We support policies and people that meet Canada’s key security challenges at home, as well as strengthening our commitments abroad.
Democracy: We support policies and people that strengthen Canada’s democratic foundations with meaningful contributions to civic society through education, voter awareness and grassroots engagement of all Canadians, with a particular focus on youth.
What we've done so far
Since inception in April of 2022, here’s what we’ve accomplished:
We have built an impressive email distribution list via newsletters and organic growth through our Centre Ice Canadians website, and an initial following on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, despite devoting very little time or resources to these platforms. We have currently 1,350 direct email sign-ups and growing.
We received significant media coverage during our launch and during the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, with many of our leadership team and Advisory Council members sought out for comments and insight from mainstream and social media outlets.
We hosted 2 sold-out policy conferences in Edmonton in August 2022 and Halifax in October 2022, bringing together policy experts, students, political activists, community leaders, journalists, authors and professionals. These conferences advanced ideas on how to stimulate growth, innovation and better outcomes in areas of importance to all Canadians and received significant earned media coverage, with the Edmonton conference being filmed and broadcast by CPAC.
In November 2022 we started a petition calling for the Canada Pension Plan to divest from funds that included passive investments in companies profiting from slave labour in China. The CPP heard our concerns and met with director Rick Peterson, acknowledged that this is a problem and pledged to get back to us in early 2023.
We named nine provincial co-ordinators across Canada and more than seventy-five volunteers who are helping organize local events and bring more people into our organization.
We raised just under $70,000 over that nine-month period which covered all our expenses, including the two conferences, and left us with a small surplus at the end of December.
Centre Ice Canadians needs your help
You've learned about us, but now we want to hear from you. If you agree with our message and want to get involved, here is how you can help: