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Policy Framework

August 18th, 2023

By Dominic Cardy

A lot of you have written to ask where the Centre Ice Canadians team is at, with all the nuts and bolts of considering preparing a new political party.

This week, we’re sharing our draft policy framework. When you’ve had a chance to read it, please let me know what you think, at

Early in the summer, we asked for policy ideas, and we asked for them in a demanding format. We heard from well over a hundred of you, with a lot of excellent ideas. Some of them are thought out to a level of detail that they could be submitted as government policy notes.

There is a lot of experience and sophistication in this group. Thank you for sharing it.

I have tried to synthesize those ideas, and to put them in a framework that begins to describe our potential party’s values and vision. They’re your ideas; with weight given here to ideas that were raised the most often or that justified their urgency most convincingly.

I heard a desire for radical change. Not to get rid of our institutions. Not to break them down, but to change how we run them. To run them better. That means changing ourselves, as citizens – after all, our institutions are just the collective decisions made by the people who run them.

Next, I heard a call for responsibility. For leaders to own their mistakes. For citizens to expect more, and to offer more. Not offer more to our government but to our country and community.

I heard a call for courage. A need for careful planning, yes, but the courage to take risks and risk failure. That’s the only way ahead.

We face multiple crises: a housing shortage, aggressive dictatorships, climate change, predatory social media algorithms shredding our social fabric, and institutions like our healthcare system that don’t seem able to deliver in the way they used to.

We can tinker. We can say healthcare is too big and complicated to be fixed. Say we can’t decouple from China because we depend on them for cheap products.

Or we can recognize this as a moment of bravery and vision. What I heard from you is that it’s time for bravery. Time to unleash human ingenuity to fix our problems.

I heard from you that Canada has the confidence to change and improve and build our country.

This is a moment to recapture the energy that gave us our country.

People from every corner of the country united behind a common set of ideals: democracy, the rule of law, collective action, and individual rights. Where you can live as you like, love who you want, and in exchange, you work hard, and we all agree on a common set of rules to let us live our different lives, together. Where decisions are based on evidence.

Those are your values, and they’re mine too.

I grouped the policies that make up the draft policy framework into five areas. I think they cover the areas where the government makes a difference.

If the Centre Ice team decides to launch a new political party this fall, these are the ideas that we’ll share first. It’s not an election platform, and we’re keeping the policies high level for that reason. Once again, let me know what you think!

As we close in on our September 20 deadline say go/no go on starting a new political party, we still need to pay our bills – please help us offset our volunteer costs with whatever amount you can. We need to raise $25,000 over the next month – if you like them, please help us share these ideas with Canadians!



  • A reformed electoral system with directly elected and proportionately-elected at-large MPs our representing provinces and territories.

  • Public engagement in policy development as a structured part of the legislative process.

  • Adopt transparency across government, with resources to ensure all public government materials are quickly available online.

  • Public service should mean exceptional service. Public interactions with government offices should be positive and quickly delivered.

  • A national internet strategy to protect privacy and allow citizens control over their digital lives.

  • An independent office to combat misinformation and disinformation.

  • A plan to address the use and misuse of artificial intelligence.


  • Civil service and government reform. Government should focus efforts where evidence shows it can make a positive difference. Where appropriate, let civil society and the private sector take the lead.

  • Our tax system has become too complicated and too full of holes. A new party would deliver, in eighteen months, a simplified tax code that would close loopholes. Provinces and territories would be invited to participate.

  • A new party would deliver a report on corporate subsidies - including the supply management system - and their impact measured against promised outcomes. If returns on investment cannot be measured, government money should not be spent.

  • Government procurement to be overhauled based on private sector best practises. That means military procurement based on national security, not economic development.

  • A strategy to ensure our national debt is controlled and then reduced.


  • Governments should not be involved in the private lives of adult citizens, except to protect their rights when they are infringed. That’s it.


  • Climate change is real. We need a transition plan including carbon capture, nuclear and renewable energy, the use of democratically sourced fossil fuels, especially Canadian energy, and an incentive-driven program to reduce carbon emissions. Large emitters must pay, but those costs should not be imposed directly on citizens.

  • Respect the Constitution and reduce federal interference in areas of provincial authority. The federal government should ensure laws are followed, and share data on areas where federal money is used.

  • Working with the provinces and territories, negotiate and conclude agreements with First Nations on self-government and resource sharing.

  • Create a national civil defence corps to increase resilience in the face of natural disasters, to offer young people an opportunity for service.

  • Reform the RCMP to serve as a domestic intelligence service; community policing should be left to the provinces and territories.

  • Canada needs millions of new housing units. We need millions of workers. Working with the provinces, housing needs to be built and immigrants directed to the economic and geographic areas where they’re needed most.

  • The Canada Health Act needs to focus on ensuring access to healthcare. Provinces should decide how healthcare money is spent but must share data on that spending so the country can see what works and what doesn’t. Also, immigrants with health and other critical qualifications must be assessed for work within six months.

  • Canada needs to lead in technological innovation and digital transformation, attracting young Canadians and new arrivals through significant government investment in pure science and research and development.


  • Canada needs a comprehensive foreign policy and defence review that defines our values as a country and the diplomatic and military tools required to make those values come alive.

  • Canada should support an alliance of democracies for diplomacy and trade, restrict trade with countries that violate basic democratic norms, and encourage free movement between like-minded countries, starting with Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

  • Following the foreign policy and defence review Canada must increase its military spending to at least the 2% of GDP level agreed by our NATO partners.

There you have it! Policies that you won’t hear from our existing parties. Policies Canadians like you say are desperately needed if our country is going to thrive in this dangerous and complicated time.

Please share your feedback with the team or with me directly. And again, please help us balance our books as we approach that September 20 decision date on what Centre Ice should do next, with a donation of whatever amount you think this approach to politics is worth!

Thank you,

Dominic Cardy

MLA for Fredericton West-Hanwell

Chair, Centre Ice Canadians Advisory Board


Dominic Cardy is the Member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick for the riding of Fredericton West-Hanwell. He’s co-founder and director of Centre Ice Canadians in addition to serving as the Chair of the Centre Ice Advisory Board.

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