Ralph Goodale with a great piece about what Canada could be, if we only could dream about reaching for the stars (my interpretation)...
IT’S TIME TO STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE AGAIN
As another New Year approaches, it’s time to check what lies ahead for our country.
In Saskatchewan, we live in a fortunate bubble of relative economic success, driven by our natural resources. But for the rest of the country, the news is not as hopeful.
Year-end reports say Canadians are less confident about their futures. Anxieties are high. The source of this discomfort is likely rooted in two big events of this past decade that profoundly soured attitudes at home and abroad.
One was the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. Those events triggered big, new security costs and procedures that continue to evolve to this day; two full-scale wars with painful casualties that touch home; and raw levels of fear that distort the way we live.
The other event was the 2008-2010 recession that brought 15 years of sustained prosperity to a screeching halt. Some 400,000 Canadians lost their jobs, living standards dropped, typical family debt-loads skyrocketed, outstripping disposable incomes by 50%.
Furthermore, while the recession is technically “over”, recovery is uncertain. Growth is sluggish. Our trade is deeply in deficit. The jobs coming back are mostly part-time. And young people trying to get their lives on-track are especially hard-hit.
The US and Europe remain wobbly. China and India want to slow things down. And consensus on coherent global action defies the G-20.
So there’s a lot of insecurity. People don’t know where to turn for confidence. That leads to policy paralysis and mediocrity, which sews more doubt.
Canada should not just hunker-down and muddle along. The opportunity cost of that fearful attitude is enormous. We’re compromising our future.
For skills, innovation, health-care, family care-giving and pension security, Canadians need a bolder, stronger plan – one that fosters ENTHUSIASM once again!
That would be a great gift for Christmas.