National Post (Latest Edition)
Dear Mr. O’toole,
Congratulations on becoming the new leader of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada.
We’ re members of the small change fund, a group of leaders and experts whose experience, knowledge, and connections help communities reach their full potential. We help community advocates accomplish innovative solutions to important environmental and Indigenous issues. We use the powers of storytelling, community engagement, and crowdfunding to achieve real, tangible impacts.
As youknow, Canadians are ready to help each other, especially when we face something challenging ahead. In that spirit, we offer you some perspective and guidance that will help you navigate these tough times.
First, the problem: we’re simultaneously facing two challenges. THE COVID-19 crisis has shown the need to rebuild Canada: tomake it more resilient and to overcome the barriers that have impeded too many from living decent lives— fitting with your recent comment on “solidarity.” In addition, the climate crisis is forcing us to re imagine our country to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions.
Inaction isn’t an option. We must work together to find solutions thatwork for everyone. We know that any recovery plan can and should be green and just for all parts of the country.
But we’re not writing to convince you of this.
Rather, we’re writing to urge you to tap into the wisdom, ideas, and enthusiasm of local groups and people from a cross Canada. The solutions and energy required to tackle these challenges lie with local experts and advocates, starting with locally- based environmental groups.
They care about their community, understand it, and reflect its values. Successfully transforming your community requires passionate community advocates. Much like a small business, you can’t attract people to “buy” your solutions if you don’t understand the mor meet their needs. Such groups know their community and are its biggest ally.
They’re entrepreneurial and have a history of innovation. Thismay seem counterintuitive since local groups are not-for-profit organizations. But successful groups stretch a dollar much further than even the best business. And they know the value of money, volunteers, and sweat equity. Add to this innovation —historically, locally-based groups find solutions to difficult problems and then throw their limited resources at them, making the impossible happen over and over again.
They’re tapped into global networks and knowledge. Like a good business, locally-based groups rely on networks and outside knowledge to succeed. They excel at determining how best to adapt innovation to local circumstances and values.
So, this is our advice: just as you meet with small local businesses to develop a business recovery plan, please consult local environmental groups as you deliberate on creating A COVID-19 recovery plan. We guarantee you that their knowledge, passion, and insights will help you find a future that is green and just for all Canadians.
Mr. O’toole, congratulations again and we are here to offer any assistance your equire.
Burkhard Mausberg, CEO Franzhartmann, Chief engagement officer