Shafts of light through the clouds

Many people in our community are experiencing startling changes in their professional circumstances.  Good people, hard-working and talented folks, have either lost jobs or are at risk.  Several more joined the ranks of the unemployed yesterday at one of my former workplaces.  This is a sobering time, for sure, a time when a kind word of encouragement can go a long way to boost spirits and inspire solutions.

We are at the mercy of a resource commodity price that we have little to no control of - the oil price is going to do what global forces demand it to.  The result, an industry that was powering the Canadian economy just a few years, is now dragging it down.

I've seen very little despondency during this free fall.  Instead, I've seem people reaching for the shafts of light cutting through the clouds.  Courageous spirits are taking the circumstances of the day and trying to make the best of one setback after another.

As a community, and to a degree as a province, we need to begin to design a future that is less reliant on the price of oil.  We need to move beyond oil and begin to see it as an essential ingredient to our prosperity, not the entire recipe.

I like the idea of convening a bunch of smart people from all sectors and investing a day or two to design solutions, together.  As a community and province, we have tremendous assets and human resources.  It's time, when the economy is sputtering, to think beyond oil and a time when we can more readily adapt to changing commodity prices.  Frankly, when the oil price is up, we're all too damn busy to invest an hour, let alone days, to solving this problem that is going to keep coming back, whether we want it to or not.


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