The Other Macdonald Report: The Consensus on Canada’s Future that the Macdonald Commission Left Out
Daniel Drache (Author)
In 1982 the Macdonald Commission began its $20-million mission to find a consensus on Canada’s future. The commission held hearings in 28 towns and cities, met with 700 concerned parties and assembled nearly 40,000 pages of testimony.
In his Report, Commission chair Donald S. Macdonald announced Canada must make a “leap of faith” and embrace free trade with the U.S., apparently signalling the victory of a globalizing, corporate vision of the country’s development. The Other Macdonald Report reopens the debate, presenting twenty key submissions to the Commission by organizations such as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United Auto Workers, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the National Farmers Union. Together these groups offer a vision of Canada where human needs take priority over capital and technology.
The Other Macdonald Report offers alternatives to the corporate vision for Canada’s future, alternatives forged during the vibrant free trade debates of the mid-1980s.