Weekly Commentary  

Asia and you

Montreal Canadiens taking it on the chin in game one, and the series in general, has been a total focus for Canadians from coast to coast.

That's one of the reasons it's understandable that some of the Canadian events going on thousands of kilometres away in Shanghai are not front and centre back home.

This weekly constituency report will give you some snapshots which you can quickly read between slap shots.

On Saturday (BC time) I joined Premier Campbell as we cut the ribbon to officially open the Vancouver pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.

The pavilion itself features BC wood products throughout. It is getting a lot of positive attention due to its unique design and natural feel. You would be impressed. Talk about being impressed, one look at the Canada pavilion (where we went after opening the Vancouver pavilion) and you would feel about as proud as we Canadians dare allow ourselves to feel.

It is proving to be one of the favourites at this gigantic global exposition offering 240 edifices of the most innovative spectacles of architecture that most of us will ever see.

Canada's pavilion is a towering but inviting all-wood structure that absolutely takes your breath away at first (and every) sight. As a matter of fact, wooden buildings are being presented here as the option to steel and cement.

Canadian woods are being heralded as the environmental and natural alternative not only for their beauty but for the qualities of being sustainable during earthquakes.
Shanghai has even adopted special building codes to accommodate this new approach to 'houses for humanity.' Over thirty thousand people a day are lining up to see Canada in ways that would make you feel good.

Later in the day, I had the honour of cutting another ribbon to kick off the Canada Business Program. This initiative will offer over a hundred days of programming and events allowing untold numbers of Canadian enterprises an unparalleled opportunity to show global citizens the unique approaches being taken by Canadians in creating better cities and better living.

On Monday (Shanghai time) I met with leaders of international shipping companies and manufacturers. I was with the well-regarded teams of Canadians over here who are in our diplomatic and trade offices, and successful Canadian business innovators.

We were able to make a compelling case for our own Asia-Pacific Gateway, including our ports and integrated road and rail lines that get products to and from the heartland of Canada and North America.

Something else, called the "New Western Way" is grabbing attention here and at home. It’s a first ever initiative of our three Western premiers. They've done some ground breaking work which really deserves a salute, regardless of one’s political stripe.

They've announced and signed into being, a sweeping overhaul of the countless inter provincial barriers to full employment and productivity which still painfully exist between provinces.

I'll skip the details of their bold but frankly brilliant undertaking. Suffice to say the benefits are already proving to be far reaching.

It's not often you see politicians yielding personal ground and profile in order to allow others to take the stage in ways that truly will benefit most of us as taxpayers and workers. I can tell that what they have done is catching on here in a country that has 34 provinces, all vying for their own fair share of the future.

Premiers Campbell, Stelmach (Alberta) and Wall (Saskatchewan) are shaking up the bureaucratic world. They are doing it in refreshing ways that are shutting down unproductive 'silos' of protectionism and opening up a world of possibilities of hope and prosperity.

So what do I have to say about all of this good stuff that is going on while the NHL playoffs are grabbing our attention?

I say 'Go Habs Go!'

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Weekly Commentary articles

About the Author

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories