O Canada and the Mathematics of Change

I just read in the paper Canada is changing its national anthem to make it gender neutral though I prefer “gender inclusive.” Real change means changing our symbols and our icons when necessary to reflect society’s ever changing sensibilities. I imagine there will be some kafuffle about this. Traditionalists will articulate traditionalist stuff, rationalizing whereContinue reading “O Canada and the Mathematics of Change”

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Upside Down Thinking: Funders should be Rebels

Funders should apply to community agencies to fund them. Can you get your head around that? What would that look like? Why would that approach be more impactful and cost-effective than current practice? Would this upside down version of funders foster more partnerships? Would there be a transformative power-shift? One of my favorite upside downContinue reading “Upside Down Thinking: Funders should be Rebels”

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Democracy is dying. Time to get to work.

I came across an article by George Monbiot (www.monbiot.com) that appeared in the Guardian this July. In this article, Monbiot writes about James McGill Buchanan, an economist influenced by neoliberalism and deeply funded by billionaire Charles Koch, the 7th wealthiest person in the world. According to Monbiot, Buchanan was an advocate for what he calledContinue reading “Democracy is dying. Time to get to work.”

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Signals of Coming Disruption

Big change doesn’t just click on. It occurs over time, starting out often as weak signals of the change to come. Sometimes it’s like the old frog in the boiling water story. Put the frog in when the water is cool and turn up the flame and eventually the frog realizes its plight, just too lateContinue reading “Signals of Coming Disruption”

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What’s wrong? People are suffering.

I never understood “don’t shoot the messenger” as the stereotypical retort the messenger must use to defend her delivery of a message. Maybe we need a new cultural utterance like “You know how the messenger shoots those who don’t listen.” Sometimes the message is actually a question, albeit unsettling in that the inquiry is unanticipatedContinue reading “What’s wrong? People are suffering.”

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What does “living” mean in a Living Wage?

The Edmonton Social Planning Council just published research that indicates the living wage in Edmonton should be $17.36 per hour for a two-parent family with young children and both parents working 35 hours per week. The monthly budget prepared for this sample family assumes both workers are making $17.36 per hour. Before going further, setting a livingContinue reading “What does “living” mean in a Living Wage?”

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Guaranteed Minimum Annual Income in Alberta?

The Mayors of Edmonton and Calgary are talking about it (read). Many agree with them and I am one; it’s worth a good look. In fact, I suggest that a guaranteed annual income be considered as a foundational strategy to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty. Whether or not it will workContinue reading “Guaranteed Minimum Annual Income in Alberta?”

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The Twist on the Minimum Wage Debate

There is a twist of sorts at the end, but reading your way might better than just scrolling down to the end. Just saying. There is an article in the Edmonton Journal called, Opinion: Don’t Rush to Boost the Minimum Wage (read it). The topic is front and centre in the minds of many because of the NDP’sContinue reading “The Twist on the Minimum Wage Debate”

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Why Not Free Public Transit? (Updated)

Update Introduction: This is the first time in my long career in the non profit sector that I actually believe a Task Force will make a big difference. I am talking about the Mayor of Edmonton’s Task Force to Eliminate Poverty. Because of Mayor Iveson’s consistent leadership and voice on this matter and because ofContinue reading “Why Not Free Public Transit? (Updated)”

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Premier Prentice – My Two Cents about the Budget

UPDATE… at the request of the Edmonton Journal, I rewrote the piece below and the EJ published it HERE. Dear Premier Prentice: We met west of Edmonton at a BBQ when you were campaigning for your position. I appreciated your speech and remember thinking you could be a strong Premier and move our Province forwardContinue reading “Premier Prentice – My Two Cents about the Budget”

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Let’s Play Pretend

Let’s play pretend. Pretend you run a business that sells widgets that are critical to a buyer. The price of each widget is $1000.00 and the buyer needs 100 of them. That’s $100,000. Now let’s pretend the cost of each widget (materials, labour, reasonable marketing costs, equipment maintenance, transportation costs, etc.) makes up 80% ofContinue reading “Let’s Play Pretend”

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