Fellow Conservatives and fellow Canadians. Maybe it took us a couple of extra years, but welcome to the 21st century.

I tell you tonight that as a party we are heirs to the founders of this country and to the legacy of the electoral success, from Sir John A. Macdonald through to Brian Mulroney. And what we’ve done today is add the democratic energy and grassroots power of a new age.

Ce que les Canadiens et les Québécois attendent de nous maintenant, c’est de mettre en route cette véritable alternative politique nationale, unie, capable de for- mer le prochain gouvernement, capable de faire le grand ménage aÌ€ Ottawa.

I tell you a victory like this can only come through the determined assistance of literally thousands of peo- ple who contribute to our campaign and the hundreds who worked on volunteer and staff positions.

And let me just correct something, something that John Lynch Staunton said about there being no takeover. Well I’ll tell you, there’s going to be a takeover ”” the Conservatives taking over the Government of Canada. That’s what we’re doing.

This race has benefited immense- ly from the participation, first of all, of Tony Clement. Tony has long, long been a friend of mine and those who know him have seen what we’ve all known for a very long time. He’s tough, competitive, passionate, a tire- less fighter. His ideas, his ability and his experience are going to be essen- tial to our defeat of the Liberals in Ontario in the next federal election.

The party has benefited immensely from the participation of Belinda Stronach. As I’ve said repeatedly, Belinda played a significant and crucial role in the establishment of our new party. Her presence in this race came at great personal cost, giving up a pretty good job I would say, and gave us not only some tough competition, some unprecedented attention and dare I say ”” I’ll concede this ”” she generated sig- nificantly more glamour than I was able to do. Belinda is going to be a great MP, a great member of the government and great member of the team.

And I want to also pay some trib- ute to one party leader who was not in the race. His courage and his foresight and his decisiveness have been critical in the events that we have witnessed over the past six months. I don’t think they’ve been appreciated or fully rec- ognized, but history will judge him well. Time is on his side, and that is my colleague, Peter MacKay.

Je demande l’aide de toutes ces personnes pour la grande bataille qui nous attend.

I ask for the help of all people in our quest to take on defeat and replace the Paul Martin Liberals.

C’est une soirée formidable et une période fascinante. Mais nous ne pou- vons perdre de vue la bataille encore plus importante qui nous attend ”” affronter, défaire et remplacer ce gou- vernement libéral.

As I have said throughout my campaign, my Conservative Party will not be built by listing the types of peo- ple we don’t want in our party.

We need the Red Tory vision of important national institutions and sustainable social programs because the Conservative Party will never leave the vulnerable behind.

We need the economic conserva- tive vision of lower taxes, more efficient government, lower debt and free enter- prise, because the best social program is still a job, ladies and gentlemen.

We need the social conservative vision of strong families and safe com- munities because our children are our most precious resource and our fami- lies are our most cherished institution.

And we need the democratic reform vision of a government that is responsi- ble to the people, not a government responsible to the PMO. Because, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve said it before, we need the best 21st century democracy in the world, not the best 19th century democracy in the world.

We’ve got to reach out to all regions of this country, to the unreal- ized potential of Atlantic Canada, to the unappreciated contribution of the West and to the unheard majority in the Province of Ontario.

Nous devons poursuivre nos efforts pour baÌ‚tir ce parti au Québec. Nous devons é‚tre efficaces dans la province fondatrice de ce pays et dans la langue fondatrice du Canada.

Nous devons nous engager aÌ€ baÌ‚tir une vaste organisation de Québécois qui soutiennent nos principes et nos politiques.

Les Québécois ont besoin d’une option qui n’est pas la centralisation défendue par le parti libéral ni la sépara- tion proposée par le Bloc québécois.

The FunctionaryThese are challenging times for public servants.

Get news and insights into the workings of the public service from veteran journalist Kathryn May. Delivered to your inbox.

Mes chers amis du Québec, j’en- tends vous démontrer que notre parti peut répondre aÌ€ vos aspirations ”” notre parti peut prendre le pouvoir dé€s les prochaines élections et j’ai besoin de votre appui.

We also, ladies and gentlemen, must reach out to new Canadians, to cultural communities who more often than not agree with our policies, but who more often than not have voted Liberal.

Our new Conservative Party must be more than a party of traditional Canadians. It must be a party of all Canadians and all traditions.

But more than anything else, we must ensure that our priority as a party is not our own aspirations and ambitions, but the needs and dreams of the ordinary people of this country. Let the Liberal Party cut the deals with its own elites. Let the NDP figure out how to destroy the system.

Our job is to ensure that our democ- racy and our economy better serve the interests of proud, hardworking, common- sense Canadians and their families.

We must be a party that believes taxpayers are as important as politicians, rank-and-file workers as important as union bosses, independent shareholders as important as corporate management and grassroots citizens as important as bureaucrats and special interests.

And if we remember these things, combine our conservative values with the needs of our fellow citizens and stand united behind them, we are an unbeatable team in this country.

Chers amis conservateurs, au cours des prochains jours, nous allons rencon- trer notre caucus parlementaire, notre conseil national, la base du parti, les dirigeants du parti électoral, et les respon- sables de campagne. Je vais donner des directives précises pour que nous allions de l’avant en restant unis.

Fellow Conservatives, I will provide strong and clear direction for a unified course ahead.

Our efforts will be based on the belief that Canada as a country has unlimited potential, blessed by a creation with unparalleled resources, further blessed by the unprecedented diversity of people, of energy and enthusiasm and held back only by the incompetence and corruption of this Liberal govern- ment.

Nous venons d’assister aux cent pre- miers jours des dix dernié€res années de Paul Martin, le début de la fin. Paul Martin a pris le pouvoir en divisant son propre parti contre son leader et contre lui-mé‚me, et il récolte ce qu’il a semé.

We’ve just witnessed the first 100 days of what I call the last ten years of Paul Martin, the beginning of the end.

Paul Martin came to power by divid- ing his own party against its leader and against itself and he is reaping his reward.

Our last 100 days has been about the unprecedented unification of Conserva- tives, not as a consequence of electoral choices of others, but as a deliberate act of will by ourselves.

Fellow Conservatives, if we stand for ideas, if we stand as a team we will win the next election.

But the tired, old and corrupt Liberal Party is right now cornered like an angry rat. They are going to attack us like we have never been attacked before. They will attempt to divide us regionally. They will attempt to divide us on issues. They will attempt to open old wounds. They will do this because it is the only way they can survive. We cannot allow this to happen. We must unite as a team. We must unite behind our common ideals. We must unite to win because that is the only way Conservatives can win, ladies and gentlemen.

And we can win. Paul Martin has spent the first 100 days running away from his Liberal record. He spent the first 100 days running away from his Liberal Party.

He spent the first 100 days running away from Liberal corruption. Paul Martin can run, but he cannot hide. Paul Martin has a record, Paul Martin is a Liberal and Paul Martin will be held accountable for the corruption of the Liberal Party.

Fellow Conservatives, and fellow Canadians, we are running and we are not going to hide. We are Conservatives and when elected we will not only hold the Liberal government accountable and Paul Martin accountable for the past, more importantly we will provide this country with a direction for the future. 

You are welcome to republish this Policy Options article online or in print periodicals, under a Creative Commons/No Derivatives licence.

Creative Commons License