There’s no business like no business…

Turbulence ahead! What’s Alberta’s Plan B, Plan C, Plan D? I’m deeply concerned that Alberta is up in the air. And we have no idea how all this crazy business is going to land. … More There’s no business like no business…

Details, details, details…

It’s smart to pay attention to what’s in front of you, but have you noticed what’s happening along the periphery of your vision?
Come, join me in this learning journey in southern Alberta! … More Details, details, details…

Peter’s Principles: PRAGMATIC DREAMS

Peter’s Principles. What guided the leadership of Premier Peter Lougheed? We’re talking to people who worked alongside Lougheed to find out. Here’s an excerpt from a conversation with Brent Harding, a civil servant in Lougheed’s 1st government in 1971. … More Peter’s Principles: PRAGMATIC DREAMS

The business of anti-racism…

Alberta’s NDP government has launched an anti-racism campaign. Did they miss an extraordinary opportunity to take a negative and turn it into a positive? … More The business of anti-racism…

Buckin’ the sales tax bronco!

A Calgary Stampede dare for all you partisan politicians in Alberta! How bout you rustle up a sales tax for this province? Pronto! … More Buckin’ the sales tax bronco!

Education! (part 2)

A sequel, as promised. We’re posing 2 tough questions:
What should we do with cellphones in the classroom? What should we do with religion in the classroom?   … More Education! (part 2)

Family feuds & tidewater–a cautionary tale.

What does a shooting war in Yemen have to do with inter-provincial sniping between Alberta & British Columbia? With Canada’s response to American protectionism? … More Family feuds & tidewater–a cautionary tale.

ALBERTA REBOUND: 3rd podcast in a 3-part series

There are real chokepoints in the flow of Canada’s energy. And, in Canada’s confederation. In this 3rd podcast in our 3-part series, Alberta Bound, Alberta Unbound, Alberta Rebound, we explore the risks to Canada’s reputation as a place for investment if we can’t get our act together on pipelines. Alberta Rebound

Repost from CBC: My father’s death, and why we all need to think about what we cost the health-care system

In the midst of my personal grieving, I’m grateful to a health-care system that made my father comfortable in his dying days. He didn’t feel vulnerable. He wasn’t a specimen on a table. He died with dignity.

I am thankful for a system where other people helped pay the price to make that happen. At yet, at the same time, I recognize we can and must create a better system. We need to face reality, but face it together — let’s open up a real conversation.

When it comes to our health-care system here in Alberta, we have choices. We are confronted with hard choices. Collectively, and individually. We can keep pussy-footing around and hope things just get better.

Or we can recognize our blind spots, and take steps in the direction of improving how we actually deliver health care in our province.

But to do so, we must, must, move beyond the way we currently frame the discussion. We need new ideas in the marketplace of ideas. We Albertans need to think about our personal, individual costs to the system. And we also need the marketplace. … More Repost from CBC: My father’s death, and why we all need to think about what we cost the health-care system

Darwin’s Curse: evolve or perish

In Calgary, we’ve laid out the red carpet for Amazon. We’re hoping to lure Silicon Valley types to our cooler stretch of the Rockies. I’m encouraged by this. Not just because we need their tax dollars and jobs, we recognize that we need a strong infusion of risk-taking DNA. Sometimes we get bound up in our peace, order & good government roots.

In my crystal ball, I see Albertans remembering how to strive together, take risks, compete. … More Darwin’s Curse: evolve or perish

Chautauqua Revival

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig describes a 17-day journey of father and son across the U.S., on secondary roads where possible, as a sort of Chautauqua:

“Like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America…an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer.”

We now live in an uber-plugged in world. Citizens anywhere can access the outside world at will. And yet the idea of a Chautauqua, going on the road to visit these remote and isolated places, is appealing. I’ve been re-reading Wallace Stegner’s Wolf Willow, his story of growing up in the Cypress Hills in pioneer days. And I’m drawn to know more about these wild and difficult places, their all-encompassing sacredness and how people live in their midst. Alberta and Saskatchewan are going through tough times right now, and we’ve been through tough times before. Beyond the highlights in glossy tourist brochures, I want to understand this landscape and learn what it has to share about living in the West and about progress and resiliency.

This is my Chautauqua. … More Chautauqua Revival