July 2005: Congratulations to the CCPA on its 25th anniversary...

...from members and supporters all across the country
July 1, 2005

Accurate and honest reporting

“There are only a handful of periodical publications left in Canada that are not fully under the control of the corporate colossus. The most important of them all is unquestionably The CCPA Monitor.

“It is the only place I know that one can go to for accurate and honest reporting on the state of the nation, if not the state of the world in which we live. I would hate like hell ever to be without The CCPA Monitor. It would be like losing my sight and my hearing. I heartily recommend it to anybody who gives a damn about the condition of the world.”

—Farley Mowat.

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Sharing the dream

“Like the CCPA, my father and many others from his generation started out with a dream: a dream of social justice. I feel there is a real bond between the CCPA and Tommy Douglas—not just because you share some of his office furniture, but primarily because you both shared the same dream.

“My father was a believer in the politics of hope, not the politics of fear. In our country and in our world today, the political and corporate élites are trying to turn our dream into a George Bush nightmare. We are so fortunate to have the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives to provide the antidote to the lies and deception peddled by the fat cats and their think-tanks like the Fraser Institute.

“Hope must be nourished like never before, or it will be overtaken by fear. On behalf of the Douglas family, I want to thank the CCPA and its small group of dedicated staff for playing such a key role in keeping the dream of social justice alive.”

—Shirley Douglas.

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Strength and originality

“The Canadian labour movement congratulates the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives on its 25th anniversary.

“Over the last 25 years, we have travelled together through many issues, political fashions, policy crises, and defining, decision-making moments. Along these long, winding and uphill roads, the CCPA consolidated its strength and originality and built a credibility that is the envy of other think-tanks.

“Canadian working people and their families thank you especially for your annual Alternative Federal Budget: because each year your calculations are more accurate than the government’s, and mostly because you bring new life to the idea that governments’ budgets are about the daily lives of citizens, their power in society, and their quality of life.

“Long live your work and the strength of your arguments!

“Long live the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives!”

—Ken Georgetti.

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Quest for social justice

“The CCPA is an organization for which I have had a tremendous admiration and regard for years. The quality of its research is truly remarkable. The analysis is authoritative. The arguments are persuasive. If you are seeking to effect legitimate social change, the work that the CCPA does is particularly applicable. You can make arguments based on its research which flow. I know. I’ve used it often in my own work and speeches.

“The Centre’s quest for social justice is mirrored in its monthly journal, The CCPA Monitor, which is really quite special. My wife and I read it cover to cover, every single issue, because it speaks to progressive social change in a way no other agenda does.”

—Stephen Lewis.

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Avoiding Americanization

“Brian Mulroney did his best to dismantle Canada in service to his masters Reagan and Bush Sr. in Washington. One very significant reason we Canucks managed to not become the U.S.’s official diaper was because of the open and critical alternative press provided by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Britain didn’t have a CCPA. Pity.”

—Mendelson Joe.

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Making the connections

“Issues of ecological destruction, personal health, inequitable distribution of wealth, the power of transnational corporations, and the effects of the global economy are not independent problems. They are inextricably interlinked.

“For most people, it is difficult to recognize the connections. That is what the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives does, while also trying to point out where the solutions lie.

“We are fortunate to have the CCPA there giving us insights and illuminating a different path.”

—David Suzuki.

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A beacon of truth

“What a lovely coincidence that the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the same year that the Council of Canadians is celebrating our 20th. Together, our organizations have confronted the onslaught of neoliberalism and economic globalization. Together, we have fought for a better Canada and a better world. Together, we face the future with determination and hope.

“A journalist once said that Tommy Douglas was ‘a good deed in a naughty world.’ The same could be said of the CCPA. Without the CCPA, Canada’s intellectual life would be greatly diminished and our fight for justice so much harder.

“Happy 25th, CCPA! Long may you stand as a beacon of truth. Long may we struggle together.”

—Maude Barlow.

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“I can’t properly say enough about the wonderful work that the CCPA performs in keeping so many Canadians informed about so many vitally important matters. It’s refreshing to have the valuable material in The Monitor when so many of the media have gravitated to the far-right of the political spectrum.

“Bravo to all the CCPA staff and board members, and especially to Duncan Cameron, who served so effectively as CCPA president for 12 years. Great work, deserving much praise!”

—Mel Hurtig.

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A clear voice of sanity

“In a world increasingly drowning in celebrity worship, corporate fawning and the papacy, the CCPA is a strong, clear voice of sanity.”

—Linda McQuaig.

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The CCPA’s pivotal role

“While there are many reasons to celebrate the CCPA’s 25th anniversary, let me cite one: the pivotal role the Centre played in the early stages of the free trade debate. When the key negotiating document was publicly released in early October 1987, the CCPA fielded a team of researchers who instantly analyzed and dissected the text, chapter by chapter, sector by sector. With the CCPA’s analysis in hand, the Action Canada Network and its members had the ammunition we needed to take on the Mulroney government and the Business Council on National Issues.

“Given the historic struggle and what was at stake, this was action-research at its best.”

—Tony Clarke.

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“My most treasured source”

“Over the last 25 years, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has provided alternative research and analysis that has been indispensable in exposing the corporate agenda.

“When I was President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women from 1990 to 1993, the CCPA’s studies and reports helped NAC and other progressive organizations and social movements to collectively work out their priorities. When I co-hosted Face-Off on CBC Newsworld, the CCPA was my most treasured source of facts, figures and arguments. I don’t know what I would have done without the CCPA.”

—Judy Rebick.

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Workable policy solutions

“We need the intellectual resources to prove there are workable policy alternatives to the neoliberal mantra of privatization, deregulation, and ever-rising corporate power. In fact, there’s a Centre that is working every day to provide us with the powerful facts, figures and arguments we need to defend our social programs and our national sovereignty. It’s called the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and its concrete policy solutions give us a vision to work towards as well as a market-driven agenda to work against.

“The CCPA’s publications—its Alternative Federal Budget, its trade and investment research, its journals The CCPA Monitor and Our Schools/Our Selves, and its many other well-documented and readable studies and reports—are valuable tools. We can cite them and quote from them in debates with friends and colleagues, shifting the political debate in Canada one conversation at a time.

“We should all do everything we can to support the CCPA. As we make the Centre stronger, we make ourselves and our society stronger, too.”

—Naomi Klein.

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Essential information

“Canadians have closely monitored the work of the CCPA over its first 25 years. They marvel how the Centre, with its limited resources, has consistently supplied an alternative to both the commercial media and the well-financed right-wing institutes. The Centre offers information that is essential to achieving a more equitable social order. 

“When the CCPA was established in 1980, I was the Leader of the Opposition in Manitoba and faced Canada’s first truly neoconservative Premier in the person of Sterling Lyon. As the Opposition party, we were destined to be the beneficiaries of the Centre’s research. Later, as Premier and subsequently as an academic at the University of Windsor, I continued to discover how indispensable the Centre’s work is, especially its principal message calling for a more equitable distribution of wealth and power in Canada.

“May the CCPA continue to grow and thrive in the years to come, with its commendable contribution to Canadians!”

—Howard Pawley.

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Wide-ranging dialogue

“The key word in the CCPA is alternative, meaning to alter, including to alter public thinking. Having been on the original CCPA board of directors, I can remember the tacit reinforcement of how urgently we needed a think-tank breaking the silence, and charting the waters of alternative perspectives, stories and priorities.

“It was very, very difficult at first to get people to believe that this was possible. But thankfully, first a handful and then a few dozen committed thinkers and activists hung in there, and now there are thousands contributing to and being nurtured by the deep and wide-ranging dialogue that the CCPA has become.

“Congratulations to all the current staff and Board members, and to everyone who has helped the CCPA grow in depth and influence over its first quarter-century.”

—Heather Menzies.

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Speaking truth to power

“They have the Fraser Institute, the C.D. Howe Institute, and the overstuffed wallets of big business. We have the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the hearts and minds of the trade unions and the social movements. That may sound like we’re disadvantaged, but not when we’ve got the CCPA doing good research and making it available and accessible to people.

“The CCPA speaks truth to power. More importantly, it empowers the rest of us. Let us celebrate its record of achievements over a quarter of a century. Long may it thrive!”

—Mel Watkins.