How will our leaders plan for recovery phase?
Enduring the pandemic crisis is only the first step for us
There is an old quotation that reads “In time of war, prepare for peace” and this seems particularly relevant at this moment. Not only do we need to find solutions to our current crisis, which includes a rampant virus and a failing economy, but we need to give much thought to what happens when this is over, which it surely will be one day.
How will we reinvigorate our economy? How will we get people back to work and help those who have had to bury themselves in debt, just to survive the weeks that we are going through? If you are like me, you are thinking, “I just want to go back to normal,” and then you think, “But what is normal and will things ever be normal again?” It is a question worth pondering and I am sure that it is a question on the minds of all of our leaders, business communities and social service agencies.
There have been lots of stories and even jokes about the shortage of bathroom tissue, but the truth is that even a shortage of that one item, along with rows of empty supermarket shelves, is distressing to a population that is used to going to the store and finding whatever they need whenever they need it. The evidence of empty shelves is symbolic of Third World countries and not what we expect in our prosperous Canada. This will not last, but all of this will not soon be forgotten and our world may be changed forever because of it.
This is a time for leadership and we must acknowledge the overwhelming challenge of being an elected leader at this moment. Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau and his daily press briefings have done a lot to calm people but at the same time identify the seriousness of the situation. It is impossible not to compare his measured comments and realistic approach to those of the president of the United States who appears almost irrational at being faced with a situation that he cannot control.
In Alberta, there seems to be a new level of co-operation between the premier and the leader of the Opposition and this is a good thing. There is no room for politics in a crisis like this, and it appears that the current government is, indeed, stepping up with all of the firepower it has to try to smooth the troubled waters of a crashing marketplace.
Finally, kudos to Mayor Naheed Nenshi who has appeared regularly on our televisions with words of optimism and encouragement. Anyone who has read my remarks in the past will know that I am not always a fan of our elected leaders, but at this moment, I think we can all agree that these are jobs that none of us are eager to have and that we must have faith that decisions are being made in the best interests of all of us, without political ramifications and with the future in mind.
So, this moment will pass. Lately, we have read a lot about the Spanish flu, yet many of us had really never heard of it before. Catastrophes do strike our world and we do recover. Watching our stock portfolio collapse after what seems like years of trying to build them up is disheartening, but they will also recover, even if they only recover for the benefit of our children.
We must remain optimistic, we must remain healthy and we must follow the best instructions of people like the amazing Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who has likely done more to inform Albertans and calm our fears than anyone else. She will emerge at the true heroine of this experience and to her, along with everyone else so deeply involved, I wish you the very best, in good health, in good decisions and in good leadership.
George Brookman is the chairman and corporate ambassador of West Canadian Digital Imaging Inc.
This is a time for leadership and we must acknowledge the overwhelming challenge of being an elected leader at this moment.