As a member of the Conservative party, RB Bennett was meant to embrace small government, support laissez faire capitalism, and take a general hands-off approach towards the economy. By 1935, however, deep into the Depression, Bennett stresses the need for a Canadian New Deal--calling for an end to laissez faire and the importance of government regulation of the economy. Bennett was defeated in the election later than year, and William Lyon Mackenzie King served as Canada's prime minister from 1935 to 1948.
Is there any way to see Bennett's speech as more than just a political Hail Mary? By 1935, Bennett's popularity was already declining, and Mackenzie King was looking increasingly likely to replace him as prime minister. Should we put much weight on the idea that Bennett's New Deal program contradicted his party's wishes, or should we just see this as a last-ditch effort by a politician who saw little recourse?