|The Paula Gordon Show|
Creating solutions for a better future holds a lot more
promise than rehashing old political battles according to two visionary
Canadian provincial premiers. Manitoba’s Premier Gary Doer (National
Democratic Party) and New Brunswick’s Premier Bernard Lord (Progressive
Conservative Party) have created a unique Manitoba-New Brunswick Cooperation
Corridor. They are actively bridging their very real differences in order
to meet citizens’ needs. Their prescription? Narrow disagreements
down to a place where there can be action for the future.
Premier Doer focuses on the future, a perspective both Premiers believe the public now demands. Premier Lord concurs and expands on the power of working collaboratively across political and geographic differences. Both reiterate the similarity of the challenges we all face, with examples including health, education and living within our means. They both affirm that the public votes for people who solve problems. They compare the challenges facing Canada and the United States and the power of learning from each other.
Being proud of where one lives must include being respectful
of other places and ways of doing things, Premier Doer says, using Winnipeg
and New Brunswick as examples. Premier Lord expands on the importance
of uniting pride and respect. The vital importance of language is considered
by both Premiers. NAFTA enters the conversation. Both Premiers talk about
their deep commitment to and investment in education and training.
Trade missions like the one that brought Premiers Doer
and Lord to Georgia underscore the ways Canada and the United States are
interdependent. They expand. Water and reliable affordable energy will
play major roles in defining economies and quality of life throughout
the world, both Premiers say, drawing examples from their different perspectives.
The notably different population size in the United States and Canada
and their quite different political structures contribute significantly
to the ways government works in each, the Premiers explain. We must look
beyond the next election cycle to the next generation, they say.
There are great challenges to engaging people in democracy, both premiers agree. Each describes their Province’s efforts to do so more effectively, to develop more genuine two-way communication and to address deep concerns about voter turnout and larger involvement in order to nurture democracy. Both Premiers consider what is required for effective government. Each Premier describes his own political party.
Both Premiers describe positive aspects of NAFTA and both underscore the importance of the rule of law in international trade relations. Each speaks to how they have come to work closely together over a broad range of issues, moving beyond old differences to find new ways to solve problems and generate constructive change. The “last word” goes to Wayne Gretzky.
The Consulate of Canada located in Atlanta ably serves
the SouthEastern United States and much of the Caribbean. Their influence
and importance in Atlanta is singular. We particularly thank Consul
General Malcolm McKechnie and Consul Denis Langlois for their unflagging
efforts to expand our horizons with wonderful Guests, notably Premiers
Doer and Lord.