Wow! What changes over the past couple of weeks!
Though the weather has remained cold, on the political level, attitudes across the country appear to have warmed and changed substantially. Whatever precipitated the change: the economy engaging everyone's attention, the fact that the government heard the wake-up call in the tête-à-tête with opposition parties, or the focus on the preparations for President Obama’s visit, Mr. Harper sure appears much more amenable. Mr. Ignatieff appears to have settled in fast to his role in leading the Opposition and appears totally comfortable with it.
President Obama’s visit, though very brief, is now history and it appeared as if he fulfilled everyone’s expectations. Hopefully he will be back again when he does not have so much demanding his attention at home and hopefully he will be able to remain as persuasive as he has been with respect to the economy, especially on matters that affect trade between Canada and the USA.
On the home-front I keep busy too. I very much enjoyed my involvement with the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki 40th Anniversary celebrations. It was great meeting so many from near and far, as it helped ensure the success of the overall celebration. I also attended the annual dinner of the Lethbridge and District Ethnic Association and the Gala introducing us to the Water Resources Institute at the U of L. In addition to the usual other committee meetings, I had a couple of meetings and contacts regarding the much talked of anticipated change in local fire and ambulance services.
I’ve also been in touch with some of my agricultural contacts to monitor the effects which the changing economy is having on them. It appears that some of the issues noted to me last summer and fall have intensified, while a couple of them appear to have less significance, i.e. oil and fertilizer costs. Nevertheless, they suggest that government and other authorities need to keep working on them. My contacts say the need is greater than ever for changes to facilitate trade in cattle with the USA. I have forwarded the information to Bob Russell, Chair of the Liberal Party Agricultural Committee to help us in our meeting on Saturday with Hon. Wayne Easter, former Liberal Agriculture Minister now Opposition Agriculture shadow-Minister.
Given the winds of change for our American cousins and the worsening economic situation for us too, we should not only to be ready if called upon to form a government, but to ensure that our policies are in tune with people’s needs. With this in mind, a number of us met this week and reviewed the recommendations contained in the Red Ribbon Task Force 2006 Report. We’ll be passing them on to the current ‘Renewal Commission’ preparing for the LPC upcoming Vancouver Convention.
It is high time that everyone, not just Liberals, needs to change their way of thinking and acting in order to change the Conservative grip, especially in Lethbridge area. I believe anything is possible if we put our minds to it. Who would have thought last year that the American people would have changed so fast to the point of electing an African-American to lead them? It restores my faith in the power of good. We too need to believe change can occur. Together we can do it!