Danielle, we need to talk.

Danielle, we need to talk. Donna was on the Fair Deal Panel. And that’s history. What’s happening now isn’t… … More Danielle, we need to talk.

Conflict, controversy, provocations sell…

Pissing people off has its rewards. Greenpeace-style modus operandi in Canada, alongside railway blockades by activists for weeks on end, are examples for how ‘direct action’ works (especially if you’re on the right side of public opinion). But is that the way to run a country? … More Conflict, controversy, provocations sell…

This movie features a bad actor…

THE PRIME MINISTER INSISTS he must save Canada. He cannot allow, he says, the new Conservative leader to ever run this country. Is Justin channelling the Donald? … More This movie features a bad actor…

Feeling energy secure?

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS if you’re in Alberta. Imagine what it’s like living in Europe and elsewhere, worrying about where you can secure a reliable and readily available source of energy in the near future, in a marketplace upended by Russia’s war with Ukraine … More Feeling energy secure?

One Down, Trudeau to Go?

Who’s next? British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s blunt one-liner as he stepped down from power—“When the herd moves, it moves”—will live on in infamy. We heard something similar from Premier Jason Kenney this spring after leadership review results starkly depicted the extent to which he had been abandoned by the conservative herd. And I well … More One Down, Trudeau to Go?

Lest we forget.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping and Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt share something in common: their intent to remake the world in a way that suits them… … More Lest we forget.

House on Fire

This won’t be funny. Cynical. Or anything with a twist. I live in Varsity, a Calgary neighbourhood. This morning, I woke up just before five—the wee hours—to the faint smell of smoke. Instinct kicked in. I raced to my bedroom window. Across the street, there were flames leaping from the roof of a home. Called … More House on Fire

RACHEL NOTLEY, a lady in waiting…

DID YOU SEE Rachel Notley the other day giving it her all in the Legislature?

She was pretty pissed with Jason Kenney because he didn’t proclaim what she wanted to hear about Roe v. Wade. It’s as if she set her hair on fire … More RACHEL NOTLEY, a lady in waiting…

MAY DAY! MAY DAY!!

In the Jason Kenney playbook on how to get stuff done, the old maxim rings true: it ain’t over until it’s over. But what if the premier fails to survive his leadership review later this month and sinks to rise no more? Are you going to need a life preserver? … More MAY DAY! MAY DAY!!

HURRY! HURRY! CRYPTO is the next big thing!

Crypto! Pierre Poilievre promises to “unleash” the potential of cryptocurrency once he becomes Canada’s prime minister. First he needs to be the leader of the federal Conservative Party, but let’s not quibble over the fine print. … More HURRY! HURRY! CRYPTO is the next big thing!

While democracies slept…

Should China decide to dump the oodles of US dollar assets it owns, well… that would be interesting. … More While democracies slept…

Take this job & ??

Jason Kenney says, “I don’t need this job.” These most telling words uttered by Alberta’s premier are an admission of defeat. I know, because it’s what I told myself just before deciding to exit the PC leadership race against him in 2017.  … More Take this job & ??

Teaching the Dinosaur to Dance

TEACHING THE DINOSAUR TO DANCE: MOVING BEYOND BUSINESS AS USUAL—Donna’s new book—launches TODAY!  Of course, this new book looks at the challenge of moving beyond polarity, and a whole lot more. Written over the course of the pandemic, the book has been informed and inspired by Donna’s nearly 40-year career in leadership roles in the … More Teaching the Dinosaur to Dance

Sit up & pay attention…

Bye bye Canada’s Arctic? Vladimir Putin’s handshake with Xi Jinping of China during the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics was the first clue… … More Sit up & pay attention…

Weekend rallying point?

Ottawa has spoken. You disagree. And you think they’re coming for you next, your bank account, and your children. Tick-tick-tick … More Weekend rallying point?

It will happen here…

THE TRUCKER’S CONVOY powering its way across Canada has been hijacked by radicals and aims to land on the doorstep of the federal government this weekend. The Freedom Convoy was launched as a protest against the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all truckers entering Canada. Extremists and fringe groups have used social media to … More It will happen here…

This shouldn’t be so complicated…

PUBLIC-PRIVATE COLLABORATION isn’t a new idea. It just got scaled up, accelerated and more creative during the plague. So why aren’t we doing more of this? Because it’s hard… … More This shouldn’t be so complicated…

2021 in review: BEYOND THE BUBBLE

While it’s smart to hang out with people you know & trust during the plague, there’s peril in the familiar — a risk of becoming inward-facing… … More 2021 in review: BEYOND THE BUBBLE

Teaching the Dinosaur to Dance

EVERYTHING is different now. There isn’t a business, government, non-profit or social institution of consequence that has not been rocked in some fundamental way by the events of the past two years. From the coronavirus plague to the climate crisis to social justice movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, disruption rules the day. And status quo … More Teaching the Dinosaur to Dance

An Unwanted Voice

THANKS TO Alberta Views Magazine for providing a platform to share this story: Why was I forced off the board of the Banff Centre? It’s not a nice story. And ultimately, this is not about me so much as it about all of us who call Alberta home.  Here’s the link: 

The Joy of Seeing More

People bemoan the tendency of photography to “capture” a photo rather than to participate in a place. Can you do both? … More The Joy of Seeing More

a national day for Truth & Reconciliation…

September 30th is Canada’s first National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. To honour the occasion, we repost TREATY PARTNERS for your consideration as a way to move forward together… … More a national day for Truth & Reconciliation…

Treaty Partners

We believe it is possible to reimagine and restore the relationship originally envisioned for the treaty partners who signed off the ceded land where the authors live in the territory now called Alberta located in western Canada (Treaties 6, 7 & 8). … More Treaty Partners

Wild weather, wild politics…

We have a choice: to change the way we go about governing ourselves; or let the anarchy of whatever goes and how much we can tolerate rule the day… … More Wild weather, wild politics…

Pay now or pay & pay & pay…

It should have been a duh. Business as usual during a pandemic was never a smart business plan… … More Pay now or pay & pay & pay…

P.S. Your cat is dead…

Given all the misery of the last year, the false predictions of when normal should be normal again, who is going to tell you that your cat is dead? … More P.S. Your cat is dead…

Everything old is new again…

It’s the late 1960s. His name is Robert Theobald. He’s an economist with degrees from Cambridge and Harvard. He’s smart — very smart. And he has a great idea: The Basic Income Guarantee. Sound familiar? … More Everything old is new again…

Opportunity in misfortune…

Who would have thought Texas would be on the up and up? A bonanza of talent has exited California. Here’s why… … More Opportunity in misfortune…

Imagine this…

IT’S OCTOBER 2020 and all is not well in Alberta. Canada’s petro-state province has been clobbered with a triple whammy—the pandemic, an oil crisis, and a crippled economy. In a very anxious world, this could be the nadir or an apex moment—or both—for Alberta. And while there’s been a pause or awakening, an opportunity to see … More Imagine this…

There will be blood…

WHAT DO CITIZENS in Hong Kong know that we don’t? The city of untold millions is bracing for a fourth wave of the pandemic. And in Alberta, we’re being told to get ready for the second.  Unlike the first go round, when our provincial government and public sector unions assured Albertans “we’ve got your back,” there’s a sickening … More There will be blood…

History is not repeating itself

ACCORDING TO THE GREEN SCRIPTURES you might be led to believe Alberta’s wilderness and wild places have been irrevocably trashed. You know the stories: Resource extraction industries have despoiled Mother Nature. And only enlightened ones on the receiving end of The Economy of Attention can right a century of wrong-doing by evil-doers on the land. … More History is not repeating itself

Are We Neglecting Alberta’s Kids?

WHAT DO AMERICANS know about the upcoming school year that we don’t? Will Alberta school-aged kids be in classrooms this fall? What happens if they’re not? … More Are We Neglecting Alberta’s Kids?

this time it’s really different…

WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would want to be premier? We don’t want the job. And we’re not looking to be coaxed. Donna served as a Progressive Conservative and for a spell, a provincial cabinet minister in the Redford Administration. It didn’t end well—for her or the party—it’s not an experience one quickly forgets or … More this time it’s really different…

Getting slaughtered…

AT THE TIME it seemed like a smart idea.

We enticed the Americans to invest big in beef infrastructure. And they did.  

The Cargill Plant in High River single-handedly processes 40% of western Canadian beef. As one American president is fond of saying, it’s huge. Think agribusiness on steroids.
More Getting slaughtered…

Alberta in the 21st Century (PART 2 of many)

THE NEWS CYCLE makes it self-evident things ain’t looking too good for Alberta’s future. And should the pandemic red alert be lowered anytime soon, don’t expect a return to ‘normal’ for the provincial economy (let alone how we go about our business). We’re going to have make a fresh start, whether we want to or … More Alberta in the 21st Century (PART 2 of many)

Resistance is futile…

POOR TYLER.

The smartest guy in the UCP room still doesn’t get it.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro thinks it’s about him, his wife, his interests outside of public life. He’s wrong. And Alberta’s rural physicians just reminded him who’s the boss in a pandemic. … More Resistance is futile…

Shut in. Shut down. Shut up.

REMEMBER WHERE you are today. On this day—20 April 2020—Western Canada Select was valued at less than zero. Our primary resource is now priced like excess trash bags (producers have to pay to have it retrieved and stowed away). The coronavirus has pushed the envelope on just about every thing imaginable, but negative dollars for … More Shut in. Shut down. Shut up.

Alberta in the 21st century: PART 1 (of many)

THIS IS AS GOOD A TIME as any to reflect on the future of the province. … More Alberta in the 21st century: PART 1 (of many)

We’re back…

WHAT A DIFFERENCE four months makes.

And with the Fair Deal report due to land with a thump on Easter weekend, Donna’s work on the panel is done.

There’s a good chance the final report might be set aside given the clear & present danger. Regardless, it’s our view Albertans will have much more to say in the months and years ahead, given the triple whammy of the pandemic, the collapse of oil prices, and a nagging doubt about Alberta’s place in confederation… … More We’re back…

gone fishin’

We’re going on vacation.

“Only a winter vacation,” says Don, continuing “unless, of course, some ‘thing’ happens.” And it happened that… … More gone fishin’

Alberta’s crisis of identity

THE HEADLINES signalling what’s ahead on CBC’s The National couldn’t have said it better. The radio promo led with the Democrats move to impeach Donald Trump, and the second huge story of the day—the biggest story of paramount national interest:  due to inclement weather, there’s to be no hallowe’en in Montreal. Right-o… Meantime, “out west” in … More Alberta’s crisis of identity

Alberta’s got talent!

ALBERTA’S GOT TALENT. Just this week, I had coffee with one of Alberta’s talented, a woman in her mid-40s who I’ll call ALICE.  ALICE (not her real name) is at a cross-road: Not sure if she’ll stick it out in Alberta (a place that’s been her home for the last fifteen years) or return to … More Alberta’s got talent!

Dead in the water…

Whether it’s a Conservative or Liberal minority (or whatever shakes out of today’s federal election), you can be assured the result is a forecast for the end of Canada as it’s presently configured… … More Dead in the water…

Nice doesn’t cut it…

THE FEDERAL ELECTION is already shaping up to be a virtue signalling, bafflegab of BS (no matter the political flavour), peppered with digital bytes and social media jabber, clouds of mushrooming vape, whereby, the Liberal’s ‘climate emergency’ has been rebranded as ‘the environment’ thing to be alarmed about and Green in New Brunswick is not so … More Nice doesn’t cut it…

From the Shadows

ARE THERE PLACES IN YOUR FAMILY WHERE NOBODY DARES TO LOOK?  One of our summer joys is embarking on a “Chautauqua”, a short trip with dear friends. This July we took our third, this time a journey into the more remote pockets of east-central Alberta. (Find Chautauqua #1 and Chautauqua #2 here).  We drove the … More From the Shadows

NOT a Time to be Flippant about National Unity

NATIONAL UNITY is not under threat in Alberta proclaims Justin Trudeau. Nothing to see here but loyal Canucks, the Prime Minister surmised during his recent stopover in Calgary and the Stampede. The Prime Minister wants you to believe talk of Alberta cessation (a ‘thing’ in the province these days according to pollsters) is nothing but … More NOT a Time to be Flippant about National Unity

PART 2: Digging the dirt (sort of)

ELON MUSK is a ‘thing’.  He’s also one of ours.  Yes, a Canadian, well… half-Canadian (by his own admission). And now that we’ve got your attention it’s time Canada gives more than lip service to what the game-changers are doing.  Clean-tech pioneer Elon Musk wants to dig the dirt. He says Tesla must beef up its supply … More PART 2: Digging the dirt (sort of)

Part 1: Chinese checkers and GO

CANADA IS PLAYING a child’s game. When it comes to China and international business, the rule of law, and the Asian giant’s internal politics, Canada likes to throw down its trump cards: quality canola & pork, for instance, food Chinese families rely on; affordable access for Chinese students at our best post-secondary institutes; respect for rule … More Part 1: Chinese checkers and GO

Head-Smashed-In Politics

WE ARE WORRIED, very worried. And you should be too.

An image in mind that best explains what lies ahead politically is to imagine a spooked herd of bison galloping toward a cliff. … More Head-Smashed-In Politics