The Hon. Preston Manning

Political Activist and Commentator

Preston Manning tirelessly championed the cause of democratic and political reform throughout his impressive career as one of Canada’s great political visionaries. His presentations provide an inspirational and substantive discussion of both current issues and future challenges, all imbued with a surprising dose of humor that you might not expect from a politician. A reformer at heart, Mr. Manning is right at home challenging the status quo and conventional thinking.

Serving as a Member of the Canadian Parliament from 1993 to 2001, Mr. Manning founded two political parties—the Reform Party of Canada, and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance. Both of these became the official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament and led to the creation of the Conservative Party of Canada which formed the federal government of Canada from 2004-2015.

Mr. Manning served as Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2000; is a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Queens Privy Council for Canada, a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence, and has received honorary degrees from six Canadian Universities. He is also Founder of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy—a national not-for-profit organization that supports research, training, and communications initiatives to achieve a more democratic society in Canada based on conservative principles.

Prior to entering politics, Mr. Manning owned and operated a management-consulting firm which specialized in long-range planning and communications for the energy sector. He has published two books: The New Canada, and Think Big. He has also served as a Senior Fellow of the Canada West Foundation, the Fraser Institute, the Market Place Institute of Regent College (UBC), and as Distinguished Visitor at the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto.

Mr. Manning writes, speaks, and teaches on a variety of subjects, the most relevant at present being Harnessing Populism, Greening the Market Place Economy, Building Canada’s Conservative Movement, and Navigating the Faith-Political Interface.

Scouting the Future: Identifying Dangers and Opportunities

One of the iconic figures of the Old West was the “scout.” His role was to ride ahead of the main company to identify potential dangers and opportunities, and then to report back so that the main company could wisely and safely plan its future course.

As a management consultant, as a reform-oriented politician, and as a senior Canadian statesman, Mr. Manning offers your organization the perspective and services of a scout.

At the request of those who engage his services as a speaker, he offers his perspective and advice on the dangers and opportunities that lie ahead on:

  • The Political Frontier – federally, provincially, municipally, and with respect to the future of democracy.
  • The Economic Frontier – with respect to energy, the environment, and the future of market driven capitalism.
  • The Ethical Frontier – with respect to political, business, scientific, and personal ethics.
  • The Science and Technology Frontier – with respect to bridging the gaps between the scientific community and the business and political communities.
  • The Faith Frontier – with respect to navigating the faith-political interface wisely and graciously.

As a “receiver oriented” communicator, Mr. Manning’s starting point is the needs, concerns, perspectives, and expectations of his client and audience. He works closely with the client in preparing his remarks so as to ensure that they serve the purposes desired by the client.

As a “man of action” Mr. Manning does not believe in merely “talking for talking’s sake.” His addresses are therefore strongly motivational, ending when appropriate with a “call to action” designed to advance the client’s interests.


The Future of Canada/U.S. Relations: Explaining the Beaver to the Eagle

This theme and address takes a look at some of the most endearing and exasperating characteristics of Canadians in the context of trying explain the humble Canadian beaver to the American eagle.

Mr. Manning often combines this light-hearted look at Canadian strengths and weaknesses with an analysis of the future of Canada/U.S. relations and the issues facing both countries.

Making Markets Work

Markets are devices for bringing resources to bear on the demands of Canadians for goods and services using pricing signals and financial incentives. Advocates of government intervention in the economy often base their arguments on the allegation that markets have failed in some way. Mr. Manning has given numerous addresses on how to make markets work better for consumers, involving a more rigorous and responsible application of market principles to the energy sector, capital markets, and the market for environmental goods and services.

Environmental Conservation: Balancing the Ecological Budget

The conventional approach to dealing with environmental challenges is to call for greater government regulation. Without denying the importance of regulation, Mr. Manning is a strong advocate of harnessing market mechanisms to the task of conserving our environment. He argues that “conservation” and “conservatism” are compatible and that people who believe we should “live within our means” fiscally should apply that principle to balancing the ecological budget as well.

Supporting Local Government

While there are 338 elected federal officials in Canada and about 760 elected provincial/territorial officials, there are more than 25,000 elected municipal officials in Canada.

Mr. Manning discusses the growing importance of municipal governance and ways and means of strengthening the values, knowledge, skills, ethics, and leadership capabilities of elected municipal officials addressing important local issues.

Ethical Lighthouses

Mr. Manning frequently addresses graduating classes at universities, colleges, and professional training programs. Using the analogy of lighthouses along dangerous coastlines, he urges his audiences to provide a new level of ethical leadership to business, government, and society.