Making Canada Work: Competing in the Global Economy


210 pages
ISBN 0-394-22287-3
DDC 338.971





Barbara Lenes McLennan is a graduate economics student in Edmonton.


John Crispo, professor of political economy at the University of Toronto
and member of the C.D. Howe Policy Analysis Committee, intends in this
book to offer an analysis of post-constitutional referendum doldrums and
to prescribe a series of economic and social policies that will
transcend them. In fact, the book is dominated by Crispo’s
personality. The verbal beating that passes for analysis in his book and
the complete lack of supporting facts renders it unpersuasive to those
outside Crispo’s camp. The author fails to provide even an explicit
definition of the “competition” on which his vision for Canada is

Of what use is this book then? Politically, it sheds light on an
aggressive cabal within the Progressive Conservative Party: its
definition of national issues (especially debt and inflation); its
suggestions for influencing public opinion to accept this definition of
priorities; and its policies for forcing public submission when
agreement is not forthcoming. Morally, the book provides an interesting
study of the desperation of rational individualism when faced with
society, diversity, and subtlety. (Crispo consistently portrays
Canadians of all types as slackers, out to milk the system, who must be
forced to reform.) Ethically, the book displays various facets of the
never-satisfied acquisitiveness that underpins its view of ownership and
control. Criteria in the chapter on medicare and the worthiness of some
lives over others are most revealing.


Crispo, John., “Making Canada Work: Competing in the Global Economy,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 25, 2023,