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#visionCanada2119

Building the Canada we want. An alternate approach to “wexit” sentiments

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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.

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#visionCanada2119

Canadian Energy Centre launches with mandate to promote Canadian energy

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From the Canadian Energy Centre

The Canadian Energy Centre (CEC) starts operations today with a mandate to promote Canada as the supplier of choice for the world’s growing demand for responsibly produced energy.

In the coming weeks, the website canadianenergycentre.ca will share with the rest of the world the true story of Canada’s energy sector. It will push back against incorrect narratives and begin to respond to the lies and myths targeting Alberta in real time.

The CEC has three units that will work together to tell Canada’s energy story:

  • A rapid response unit to issue swift responses to misinformation about Canadian oil and natural gas.
  • A pro-active energy literacy unit that creates original content to elevate the general understanding of Canada’s energy sector and help the country take control of its energy story.
  • A data and research unit that centralizes and analyses data targeting investors, researchers, and policy makers.

Tom Olsen, Chief Executive Officer, said the CEC will offer a fact-based narrative to reflect a truthful picture of the existing and future energy mix of fossil fuels, renewables, and other forms of energy.

“Demand for oil and gas will increase for decades to come. Canada, with its world-leading, environmental, social and governance standards, should be the first choice for consumers around the world. We will no longer apologize for our industry or be ashamed of our industry. Canadian energy makes the world a better place.”

“The Canadian Energy Centre is a key part of Alberta’s new, proactive strategy to tell the truth about our responsibly produced resources. Alberta has been a great motor of jobs, prosperity, and social progress because of our natural resources, and increasingly we are world leaders in technology that reduces the environmental output of our oil and gas,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. “We will no longer passively accept a campaign of defamation seeking to landlock one of Canada’s greatest assets.”

“Today is an important milestone in our efforts to set the record straight and tell the true story of Canadian energy,” said Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage. “The narratives about Canada’s energy sector are simply untrue and unacceptable. Our energy sector operates with the highest environmental, social and governance standards in the world.”

The Canadian Energy Centre will also feature a mix of stories to re-introduce Canada’s energy sector and lead advertising campaigns throughout key markets in Canada. As of today, a number of narrative stories have already been published to the CEC’s website including:

  • “Canada’s natural resources can be global catalyst for a greener future”
  • “Indigenous leaders bring energy message to Japan”
  • “Fossil fuel misinformation presented to students in Alberta”
  • “Prosthetics derived from petrochemicals allow athletes to stay in the game”

The CEC is an independent provincial corporation that has a $30-million annual budget — $20 million derived from industry through the Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund, $10 million re-purposed from advertising spending earmarked by the previous provincial government.

Follow the Canadian Energy Centre on Twitter and Facebook @CDNEnergyCentre

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#visionCanada2119

Alberta premier opens war room to promote ‘truth’ about energy industry

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CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has officially opened what he has called a war room to fight what he says is a campaign of lies about the province’s energy industry.

Kenney announced in Calgary today that the new $30-million Canadian Energy Centre is needed to tell the “truth” about the oil and gas sector.

Kenney promised to set up the war room as part of his provincial election campaign leading to the United Conservative Party’s win in April.

He has argued the province needs to fight back against those he says are unfairly denigrating the industry and contributing to the landlocking of Alberta’s non-renewable resources.

The centre is to have a research unit, an energy literacy unit and a rapid response team to challenge misinformation.

It’s part of a multi-pronged approach that also includes a $2.5-million public inquiry into foreign funding of anti-oil advocacy groups.

Human rights group Amnesty International Canada has warned that the war room and public inquiry threaten freedom of expression and association.

Legal advocacy group Ecojustice has filed a court challenge citing similar concerns.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 11, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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