This is an article I read in the National Post, dated Friday, March 18, 2011.

A report card released Thursday by the Conference Board of Canada that forecasts a high “C” grade for the year. Canada is set to place ninth among 17 other countries in 2011, after placing sixth in the economy category in both 2008 and 2009. Last year it placed 10th with a low B grade. The board gives Canada straight As for employment growth (that is good!) and inflation in 2010 – and forecasts it will do so again in 2011 – and the country gets good marks for GDP in both years. But its performance is less stellar when it comes to income per capita and the unemployment rate, where it gets a C grade in both areas for 2010 and 2011 – and inward foreign direct investment, where it gets a D in 2010 and a forecast of C in 2011, though it places sixth in both years.

So what does this mean for our Canadian companies — I feel that people invest because they are inspired. The level of creativity and entrepreneurialism has deteriorated over the years. We need to open up the path for both. That means cutting out some of the red tape and supporting smaller to medium sized business – which our banks tend to favour the big companies. Canada is made up of 98% small to medium size businesses!

I love the analogy that this writer gives, “Canada is like that kid in your class who excels at many things but never becomes more than a middling student because he just can’t get long division”. Canada is a great country with so much to offer. We have the ability, knowledge, wisdom to be a leader – now we just need to believe it! It is said that people (and countries) operate at their belief level, not their full potential. As we define more clearly who we are .. we can do so. It will begin with a strong leader and one who walks his/her talk and forces others to do the same.

It is not encouraging to read an article about a senator who was convicted of fraud and breach of trust – that his only punishment, after he resigned, is that he is stripped of his role as a member of office. He will still receive his full pension (because he resigned his pension is protected). He defrauded the federal govenment of $10,120.50 in false travel claims and used tax payers money to hire a staff member to cut trees on his private property. Oh but I love his travel expenses: in three years he spent $315,355 on top of his $132,300 salary.

So Canada, wake up and make people responsible. To be a leader you need to act like a leader and today that means, Being Authentic and in Truth, walking your talk (get the financial budget in order and reduce the deficit), empower your people (the actual people that hired you into office and that you are to represent) – create programs, reduce red tape and let Canadian businesses be able to compete more readily in the international and emerging markets. Change will come with our youth.

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