Thursday Tidbits

Posted on June 8, 2017 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment


Please join me this evening for an encore presentation of my travels in India. Once again, I am pleased to be joined by my brother , Don who was with me when I encountered the problem with my visa. I think you will enjoy the photos and to hear about what it’s like to be detained in a foreign country.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a Business Forum at the Millennium Center which was attended by over 100 business and community leaders from the Strait area. There were three distinct panels speaking about the current business environment at home and abroad. We listened to success stories and the challenges facing small businesses and small communities. The speakers were excellent and it was time well spent. There was a lot of “ fire power” in that meeting room.

It occurred to me as I surveyed the room that Antigonish is blessed with so many bright, talented people. I still believe that our community has more going for it than just about any place on the globe. We live in a safe and clean part of the world. We have plenty of natural resources. We have a university and regional hospital which brings stability to the economy. Our climate is desirable… except when it’s not! Yes, it has been a tad wet and cold for the past while but we don’t suffer catastrophic weather events.

Most importantly, we have some of the most amazing people in our midst from every walk of life. The question was posed to panelists: “ What is the “ Antigonish Advantage?” Just about everyone said that what makes Antigonish special is the sense of community. People “ from away” feel welcome. Diversity is embraced and encouraged. When something needs to be done, we roll up our sleeves and get it done. We have so many natural advantages in this small part of the world. I think most of all, most people “ get it.” People here understand their privileged place in the world and are grateful.

I also believe that the real strength of the community lies in our volunteers. There are hundreds of unsung heroes who quietly go about lending a hand. They work at fundraising events; they deliver communion to the sick; they sit on boards and committees; they bake treats and make meals when families are suffering the loss of a loved one. They coach children’s sports teams and plan events that benefit the area. They never seek the limelight.

I also believe that the long term success of our community involves welcoming many more  immigrants who bring a work ethic and entrepreneurship. As we have seen from the success of “ Peace by Chocolate”, foreigners won’t take Canadian jobs. Many of them will create new ones.

Our elected officials need to continue to make our area attractive, not just to tourists, but to our young people. Yes. They will go away to work, sometimes because they have to and sometimes because they want to. But we want them to come back and we must give them good reasons including an environment that provides business opportunities , good paying jobs and accommodations that are within their price range.  Every year, ST.F.X. graduates 1000 or so bright people. Many of them say that they love this place and hate to leave. Let’s give some of them a reason to stay.

We must also continue to commit time and resources to our most vulnerable. We need to build on the excellent work of the affordable housing group that will soon launch phase two of their initiative.

I feel very bullish about Antigonish in this sometimes crazy, mixed up world.

Have a great week. See you this evening.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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