Harper says new Conservative government to move quickly on priorities

CP, Ottawa

Stephen Harper promises his government will get to work quickly to implement the promises he made during the campaign leading to his Conservative party’s minority election win.

He told a news conference that his first priority will be to clean up the government through his promised accountability act. …Harper’s cabinet will be sworn in Feb. 6.


EXCERPT from text of prime minister-designate Stephen Harper’s statement at a news conference Thursday Jan 26, 2006:

On Jan. 23, Canadians voted for change and they asked our party to lead that change in the House of Commons. Today, I’d like to provide you with an update on how our plans to deliver that change to Canadians are unfolding.

As you can imagine, much of my time in the last two days has been spent addressing a number of issues related to the change of government. I’ve both spoken and met with her excellency the Governor General and accepted her offer to form the next government of Canada.

I’ve also spoken a number of times with the premiers and reiterated my sincere commitment to working with them to strengthen our federation. ….Over the days and weeks, the process of change will accelerate. On Monday, Feb. 6, her excellency the Governor General will swear in Canada’s new government. …. Our new government will act quickly to get down to work on delivering the change that Canadians voted for on Jan. 23. As you all know, we campaigned on a very clear set of priorities… And we’ll use our time in the new Parliament to pursue those priorities.

Our first priority will be to clean up government, make it more open and more accountable to taxpayers. We will do this by way of the federal accountability act…

Beyond the federal accountability act, we intend to move to implement our GST and other tax reductions, to toughen up our criminal justice system and to implement our child-care program. We’ll also commence negotiations with the provinces on the fiscal imbalance and on the introduction of a patient wait-times guarantee so that Canadians get the health care they’ve paid for….

There will be difficult situations; minority governments are never easy. But all parties recognize that Canadians have chosen the second minority Parliament in less than two years. They want us to get to work on delivering change….