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Hey Canada. Got a minute to chat?

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Scott Cameron by: Scott Cameron

President/CEO at bassa Social Innovation

Hey Canada. Got a minute? I think we need to chat.

It’s not really about the election last night, but more about what the election means and how we’re feeling about one another. As an Albertan, I watched #CBC and #CTV until about 10:00 pm and failed to see even one poll reported from Alberta. Sure, you might see a sea of blue and think…”typical”, but you might not see what’s happening below the surface.

For the first time in my life, I voted Conservative. Not because I believe in their platform, appreciate the leader or believe in economy above all else. I voted Conservative because I thought they’d be the only chance that Ottawa might begin to understand the depth of hurt, frustration and sadness that is being felt here.

Let me be clear, I’m not whining. I’m trying to communicate that there’s something else going on here in Alberta that the rest of Canada doesn’t seem to understand or appreciate. I don’t want to separate – I love this country. I’m just sad that my fellow Albertans continue to be out of work, that the social programs I’ve worked the past couple decades to support are being overwhelmed with people experiencing poverty and emotional distress, that families are breaking apart, and that addictions continue to trap more and more good people.

I’m sad that the hard work happening on the front lines and in the offices here in downtown Calgary to make Canada’s energy sector the most environmentally conscious around the world are being overlooked. I’m sad that we are having conversations about a 16 year old European girl as if that’s the most important conversation to be had. We are allowing ourselves to become entrenched in political soundbites as opposed to taking the time to understand that there are multiple perspectives around people, progress and the planet that don’t have to exist as polar opposites.

I care about whales and it would be tragic to see a news story about a whale lost to a shipping accident. I also care about people, but we don’t do a news story each night about the lives lost to addiction, homelessness or suicide – in many cases due to an economy that isn’t providing for the needs of people across the country. It’s not an either/or and we have to stop treating these issues as such.

I am Albertan, but first and foremost I am Canadian. I think it’s time that we set down our ballots, step off our platforms and meet with one another to truly understand our shared values. We might have different ways of expressing those values, but I refuse to believe that a shouting match between East/West, Indigenous/non-Indigenous, wealthy/poor, immigrant/non-immigrant, gay/straight, man/woman….is going to move us forward.

Let me suggest a starting point for this conversation. It’s one based on respect, a willingness to listen for understanding, and curiosity. It’s a conversation grounded in trying to understand and finding possibility in diversity. It’s a discussion about solutions…not problems. It’s about making Canada the best it can be for the most Canadians – and for those that are struggling, a recognition that they’re not left to go it alone.

Is that too much to ask? I’m inviting you to this conversation.

Originally published October 24, 2019

Scott Cameron is the former Social Planning Manager at The City of Red Deer, and before that he was Executive Director of The United Way of Central Alberta.   He now lives in Calgary.

bassa Social Innovations is a values-based and principled consulting firm committed to positive social well-being for people, their families and their communities. We can help navigate the shared, and sometimes divergent perspectives of government, corporate, non-profit and community organizations to unravel social complexity, and explore collaborative and sustainable social change.

The term ‘bassa’ comes from the world of music, and basically means to play or sing an octave below what’s written. That’s how we describe our work – we work collaboratively to understand what isn’t obvious on the surface. The metaphor goes one step further…the bass note is the foundation of the chord and we seek to create foundational work that serves our clients in the present and future.

 

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The Grand Opening is TODAY!

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A Day Filled With Hope – Years in the Making!
For years the CACAC has been walking hand-in-hand with many different partners, community members, donors, policy makers, and leaders in research and advocacy towards this moment.The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence now stands in the heart of Central Alberta, the first Centre of its kind in North America, creating space for different strategic partners to operate alongside one another in the best interest of children, youths, and families who have experienced any form of abuse.

Now, during this momentous chapter in our history, we invite you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. 

We’re excited to welcome you and your family to the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence today!

Today’s events are family friendly, and there’s something for everyone!

From Noon to 5:00PM the public is welcome to come and see everything the building has to offer at the SKCOE Open House! Staff from every organization from within the SKCOE will be there to answer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about why this Centre is so important for Central Alberta.

Beginning at 7:00PM, the public is also invited to the formal program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the building immediately North West of us across the parking lot. The formal program will have many messages and presentations from dignitaries, and you can pick up our Champions of Courage pin, which was minted for the Grand Opening only! Following the program there is a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There is a lot to celebrate, so come out and say hi!

When: Thursday, May 16

Where: Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Main Campus of Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer, AB.

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Open House

7:00 PM – Formal Program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to follow.

How to get to the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence

Please note that there will also be parking available at the lot directly North of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Detailed RDP Parking Map

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