Monthly Archive: March 2021

The challenge of change

The trouble with Erin O’Toole is his job title: Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. As long as the Conservative leader retains that role, he won’t get any respect from the Ottawa press corps. I know whereof I speak. After all, I was press secretary to Robert Stanfield from 1970-1975 through two losing elections, back in the day when it was the Progressive Conservative Party. As Stanfield once said, “If I walked on water across the Rideau Canal, the headlines would read, ‘Stanfield can’t swim.’” That’s because most journalists then and now are left of centre, more likely to give positive...

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Half a life

Everybody is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic: death of a loved one, the fear of illness and the relentless loneliness that grips so many. Of those who enjoy good health, I believe that the group who will bear the heaviest long-term cost are high school students. Think back to your own youth. You might be loved and well taken care of at home, but where you really wanted to be was with your friends at school, playing team sports, participating in clubs and choir, or just hanging out. What might seem simply like fun activities are actually lessons in leadership,...

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The red coat syndrome

The head of a pension plan loses his job because he got a vaccine shot on foreign soil. A veteran journalist is told to resign because of something he may or may not have said two years ago. A governor undergoes an independent inquiry because of complaints by two former staffers. And Charlie Rose is toast. I miss him still. Welcome to the cancel culture where your life’s work and reputation can be destroyed in an instant. What has happened to us? Where is the forgiveness factor that used to be more freely given? Meanwhile, a former president continues to...

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