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Blue Tories, the opposite of "small 'c' conservatives" (see Red Tories), are, in Canadian politics, members of the former federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, current Conservative Party of Canada and provincial Progressive Conservative parties who are more free-market or liberal economically. Prior to the 1960s, these Conservatives were most identified with the Montreal and Toronto commercial elite who took positions of influence within the Progressive Conservative Party. Since the mid-1970s, they have been heavily influenced by the libertarian movement and the more individualist nature of American conservatism. Blue Tories tend to favour libertarian policies such as devolution of federal power to the provincial governments, a reduced role for government in the economy, reduction of taxation and similar mainstream market liberal ideals. The term Blue Tory does not refer to social conservatism.
One example of a Blue Tory administration in Canada was the "Common Sense Revolution" provincial Progressive Conservative government of Ontario Premier Mike Harris. The Harris Tories were widely viewed as radical by Canadian standards in their economic policies and style of governance. Harris' government embarked on a number of initiatives, including cuts to education, welfare and Medicare, privatization of government services and health care, the sale of provincial highways and the forced amalgamation of municipalities. Provincial income taxes were also cut by 30% and corporate tax rates were nearly cut in half during the Harris mandate.
Most Blue Tories are at least somewhat ideologically aligned close to the economic libertarian positions of the former Canadian Alliance and as such supported the merger between the PCs and the Alliance to form the new federal Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). Some notable Blue Tories include many prominent federal and provincial Progressive Conservatives such as former PC Party Leader and Attorney General Peter MacKay, Conservative Party leadership contender and former Treasury Board President Tony Clement, former Premier of Ontario Mike Harris, and current CPC leader Andrew Scheer.
- Krayden, David (May 21, 2017). "As Conservative leadership race wraps, the party's in good hands". Retrieved May 28, 2017.