Submitted by Scott Cameron
Canada Chats: Building the Canada we want – An alternate approach to the “wexit” sentiments #visioncanada2119
Back in the eighties, I had a maple leaf proudly stitched onto the back of my new SunIce jacket and headed over to Europe. I wanted my Canadian identity to be prominent and unmistakable. I still feel that way, and amid the hurt, anger, fear and frustration being felt across the country I’m not ready to throw in the towel.
For some, the pioneer spirit is taking hold and guiding people to consider forging a new path – to boldly break ties with our Canadian family and embark on a new journey – alone. I’ve lived in Alberta all my life, and I’ve heard separatist sentiments in the past, but this feels different.
I tried running away from my family once. I think I was six. Frustrated and angry about a decision, I threw a few things into a bag and marched out the door. Not sure I was more than 150 feet from the house before a new perspective began to emerge. The difference here is that comments are beginning to emerge that go beyond emotion – some people are actually trying to figure out what that might look like.
I don’t think we’ve really exhausted our efforts to pull Canada together. I don’t like the Alberta chatter about leaving confederation in the same way that I didn’t (and still don’t) want Quebec to leave.
I don’t like the idea of leaving my friends in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan stranded between two former reflections of themselves to represent Canada – and all that we share as a nation. I want to believe that the majority of Canadians from coast to coast to coast want to keep Canada whole.
Under all our raw emotions, I think Canadians have more in common than we have differences. We might disagree about ‘how’ we’re going to protect the planet while exporting raw goods, ‘how’ we best take care of people in need while encouraging a strong economy and keeping people employed, or even ‘how’ we finally accept that both Ontario and BC make amazing wines – we don’t have to determine that one is better that the other – they’re both Canadian.
I want to encourage you to reach out beyond your comfort level and engage in a discussion about the future of this great nation. Call your friend in New Brunswick, Ontario or Alberta and ask them if they’d like to keep Canada whole. Bravely engage in a conversation with your aunt in the Lower Mainland about her environmental views. Be curious. Be courteous. Be patient. Have the conversation with your neighbour in #timhortons – it could become the new centre for Canadian democracy – #cafeofcommons.
Take the time to listen for understanding. Suspend your urge to prepare a defence while they’re speaking. Be prepared to leave the conversation without expressing your views unless asked. I met with a young communications student from the University of
Calgary this week. We had a coffee conversation about what these conversations could do for the country. We talked about social media, appreciative inquiry, the fact that everything seems to be positioned to create controversy because of its polarity, and he suggested that we might start by envisioning a unified Canada 100 years from now – 2119.
You know, I’m of the age that grandchildren would we a welcome addition to the family. I want them to grow up in a prosperous, clean, considerate and unified Canada – the best place on the planet to raise a family. I’m extending an invitation to you – my fellow Canadians – to engage in a conversation that’s aspirational and unifying – one that makes it possible for our future generations to be proud to wear the maple leaf.
Admit it, feels pretty darned amazing to watch our young athletes stand atop the world stage every four years as we hear our national anthem play. I don’t want our negative emotions to get in the way of that – I want my grandkids to experience that for themselves. Let’s exercise respect, integrity and curiosity to make Canada truly amazing. I’m inviting you to join the conversation at #visioncanada2119.
Scott Cameron is the President/CEO of bassa Social Innovations – a consulting firm dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. As a community development professional, Scott understands and appreciates the value of dialogue and community engagement. He often finds himself in the midst of complexity yet remains optimistic about the future because he believes in the inherent ‘good’ among people – the desire to be good neighbours and to find collaborative solutions for some of our most challenging issues.
Planet Of The Humans: A Scathing Exposé On The Sacred Renewables Sector
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, the Michael Moore-backed environmental documentary Planet of the Humans was released for free on YouTube.
I’ve been waiting for months to see this film, although I wasn’t overly optimistic that I would get the opportunity because it seemed to have difficulty getting mainstream distribution. A few minutes in and I could understand why – it was damaging to the once-untouchable renewables sector. I’m still in disbelief that the powerful leaders of the climate alarmism movement were not able to stop its release, but that’s the power of the internet. In one day it has over 500,000 views on YouTube.
Even though Moore and Director Jeff Gibbs have reversed their position on renewable sources of energy and call into question the integrity of the climate change movement, the film is in no way pro-fossil fuels. Quite the opposite. They include footage of a Syncrude oil sands mine and periodically mention the “tar sands” with utter disdain. There’s no love for natural gas either.
I’m not opposed to renewables under certain circumstances, but my heart hurt when I saw footage of the destruction caused by mining the base materials for solar panels and wind turbines and the deforestation for biomass. It hurt even more when I saw how easily the projects were discarded after gobbling up millions of dollars of government subsidies, vast tracts of land, and precious natural resources. Because few jurisdictions have strong abandonment regulations, the equipment is often left to rust once it reaches end-of-life in a few short years or is replaced by newer technology.
I learned a lot about the makeup of the renewables sector. I had no idea there were so many biomass power plants in operation in the United States. I also didn’t appreciate what is considered ‘biomass’ or ‘biofuel’. I still can’t clear the image out of my head of the dead animals being pulverized for animal fat-based biofuel.
What I found most confounding was the lack of energy literacy by many of the interviewees, including representatives of green initiatives and leaders of protest movements. There’s one segment where a representative from GM excitedly showcases the release of a new Chevy Volt electric car. When asked for the source of electricity charging it, the women confidently says, “The building” (that the car is plugged into). Pressed further, she admits she doesn’t know, and it’s clear she hasn’t considered, the source. Spoiler alert: it’s about 95% coal. Perhaps this is why there is so much inconsistency and backpedaling by environmental groups.
Although this documentary is grim, and it doesn’t offer any solutions, I give Michael Moore credit for standing behind it because he’s sure to face backlash from people who were once his peers. His courage to put his name behind it and expose another side of the issue will help create better dialogue and stronger public policy.
I encourage everyone to watch it. Seeing the greed of Bill McKibben and the “prophet” Al Gore, it’s time for real environmentalists to lead the environmental movement.
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Drive in Christianity! Coming soon to a church near you!
On March 20 more than 60 vehicles gathered on the corner of 39th Street and 30th Avenue at 10:15 a.m. for a unique experience.
It was not a family comedy, nor an adventure film that brought folks out, but rather the bold proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Pastor Ben Elliot of Deer Park Church (formerly the Deer Park Alliance Church) via FM transmission (88.5 FM) for those in the parking lot and nearby neighbourhood.
Four rows of cars filled the lot with anywhere from 1 to 4 people per vehicle for an hour.
“This week I had the privilege of being home and was invited to be part of a province wide conference call with Premier Kenney and Minister Dr. Deena Hinshaw,” said Elliott during his sermon on Sunday. “I was nervous when I suggested what we were planning for our service and we got the thumbs up from everyone. He also asked us as faith leaders to pray for government and ministry leaders to make good decisions in this difficult time.”
He added that the church was going to ensure that the maximum number of 15 people was observed with only 4 volunteer parking attendants, 3 musicians and 1 pastor.
“I know it is tempting to get out of your car and chat with your friend but please don’t, be like our youth and chat with them across a window,” said Elliott who is also head of the Red Deer Ministerial Association. “We want to honor the restrictions while honouring God by gathering together.”
Elliott spoke on cabin fever, an experience citizens across Canada are well familiar with.
“Robert Service wrote about cabin fever in a poem called Pious Pete and we are well familiar with the phenomena,” he said. “Even King David, in 1 Sam 25 was not immune to the effects of continual exposure to the same people, except he lived in a cave!”
He noted that the good news is, that even while he was not in the public, David sought God and was corrected by God! He concluded his message by challenging us to honor God by being agents of peace and his salvation in our families.
Meanwhile, this particular drive-in was one of many services throughout the city and one of many formats.
Churches like Crossroads have live streamed their services for some time to service their growing congregation and others have moved to youtube presentations for viewing anytime.
Unity Baptist Church in north Red Deer has gone to Zoom for their services.
“This morning there was 40 people who logged into the sermon,” said Kent Lindsay, a
Unity Baptist congregant. “It was a great interactive way to experience a service without being there.”
Meanwhile, prayer groups like the Red Deer Catholic Mens Group have moved to Whatapp for communication and alerting members to Zoom sessions with other believers for rosary prayers and other intercessions.
“There are many ways for believers to meet and encourage each other during this time,” said pastor Andrew Rilling of Deer Park Church. “From live streams to youtube personal phone calls, to our drive in format, Gods people need to encourage each other. His word is always working and He meets us in our needs. As a believer and a pastor I am encouraged and know that God is always working among us.”
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