Saturday, July 2, 2016
Monday, March 7, 2016
One of the things we must accept when living in an advanced democracy is that almost anyone can run for public office. If you are of legal age and a legal resident, absent a criminal conviction the only remaining hurdle is whether or not one has the courage to put their name on a ballot and try their luck. While political experience and formal education are both great assets that would improve anyone’s chances, they are not required to enter into a race. This holds true for Council positions at the municipal level right up to the highest offices of the land. It is somewhat of a paradox actually, in that it allows anyone who has worked hard, possesses good ideas and has a following the opportunity to lead if successful. This principal also guarantees that some people with not so great ideas, some money and the loudest voice will have that opportunity also. Add in the advent of instant publishing through social media, coupled with an angry and motivated electorate and voila – we have the 2016 American Presidential Primaries. Impossible to miss, even harder to tolerate and like an accident scene – too compelling to look away completely. As a lifelong political observer, I must say this cycle has to be the most off-putting and degenerative electoral process I have ever witnessed.
Friday, January 1, 2016
Saturday, October 10, 2015
GGCLC 2015 ...
When I was invited to apply for a spot on the 2015 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, I must admit that my conception of the experience was limited to having read several articles in national periodicals and a few firsthand accounts of the experience from several acquaintances. It certainly seemed to be an excellent opportunity to learn more about our country and expand on my own leadership practice. There also seemed to be elements of the experience that resembled an endurance race, conjuring up ideas in my head of a political version of “tuff mudder”. Having been fortunate enough to be selected (along with 224 others) from a countrywide competition of over 4000 applicants, I experienced this uniquely Canadian leadership challenge this past spring and I can say with confidence, the experience greatly exceeded my expectations.
Beginning in St Johns, Newfoundland, The group first assembled at the Sheraton for 3 days of plenary sessions and lectures by notable Canadians such as Col. Chris Hadfield-Astronaut, Dominic Barton - Global Executive Director for Mckinsey Institute, Heather Monroe-Bloom - Principal of McMaster University and Wab Kinew- First Nations Teacher/Musician/Broadcaster. The theme of the 2015 Conference was Leadership and Innovation. The study tour, which lasted 17 days, spanned the entire country in scope and ended with 3 final days of report preparation and delivery in the nation’s capital. Sixteen teams covered each province and territory with the mission of finding out how Canadians are innovating to keep our country competitive in an increasingly connected and globalized world. As we set out to crisscross the country, we were charged with reporting back to His Excellency, The Governor General- David Johnston on where we were winning and how we thought Canada could improve. This was no small task and we knew it.
Our team (Ontario-2) was comprised of many different personalities from all across Canada. This diversity afforded us much opportunity for lively debate and some uniquely Canadian humor. We travelled with a military escort by plane, bus, street car, taxi and by foot – across Southern Ontario. She (Lt. Carrie Topping, DND) was our guide through the maze of speed-date like meetings we would encounter. Toronto was home to many of our stops, however we did venture throughout the golden horseshoe visiting 13 different cities. We attended over 45 different sites throughout the tour that varied widely in terms of their mission and raison d’etre. From corporations to idea labs, hospitals and homeless shelters, universities and community gardens to factories and boardrooms- they all constituted a rich playground for the exchange of ideas, debate and curiosity. Although I now know more about Canada than I did before, I am more curious than I am certain about what I still need to know about my own Canadian life.
*Photo taken at Rideau Hall, - Ottawa, Ont. June 4,2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Get Smart … or be left behind.
During the winter this year, I spent a significant amount of time researching developments in technology and the impacts those advancements are having on our society. In all realms of human activity from medical science to how we work, communicate and produce - technology is changing and will continue to change our patterns of behavior. One consistent theme woven through most of these articles or news stories has been humanity’s increasing reliance upon technology for our very existence. Developed nations have embraced technological advancements, to the point where we have great difficulty conducting our day to day lives without them. Imagine a week without your smart-phone or tablet by your side?
3. What skills do I need to be productive in a society that is valuing consumption less, conservation more and knowledge as currency?
Sunday, March 8, 2015
To my larger point. The editorial pages as we all know exist for the expression of public opinion. There is no worse a feeling as a citizen than to have your well thought out and carefully worded masterpiece edited down to a mere shadow of its former heft. This also must happen due to space constraints. The one thing however that the editorial section does provide -is an opportunity to respond. What matters most is that the opportunity to rebut always remains. Albeit a few days after the fact. An alternate viewpoint or some corrected information still matters. The challenge with this though is that sometimes the damage is done by the time the counter-point makes it to the reader. This is why I prefer blogging; I am my own writer, editor and publisher. Column inches are digital. I can make more, as long as you care to take the time to read them, hence my typical 3 paragraph format. Present edition notwithstanding.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Year End Wrap Up 2014 …
Still, I look to our collective future with great optimism. We as Canadians are in many ways the envy of the western world and are perhaps too humble to admit it. Certainly, we have our challenges to address, but we have much more to be proud of. Canada is consistently ranked in the top five countries to live in worldwide .The Economist magazine recently conducted a study on livability and 3 of the top 10 cities in this global ranking were Canadian; Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. What does this all mean you ask? Well, I will conclude my annual diatribe with this question that answers yours.
In spite of the challenges this generation faces (as all generations before and aft - have and must), where else would you rather be?
Happy New Year!