Our country is facing a decline in our capacity to leverage our knowledge and abilities to produce new goods and services. More simply, we lack focus on innovation and we are losing ground in productivity measures. This may not mean we are getting worse, possibly just standing still while other nations are becoming more competitive and raising living standards.

This week European tourists Holly Chabowski and Nanna Sorensen made headlines when they openly criticized Canada for its car culture. “Yours to discover: Parking garages, strip malls and Tim Hortons drive-thrus.” Chabowskli summarized feedback in defence of our car culture from Canadians in a follow up article, the main themes:

1. We love our cars!

2. Country X is too big for sustainable transport

3. What about winter?

Criticism can be harsh and if we get past the immediate reaction, take the time to understand it, and use it we could all benefit. It can be a driver for change and innovation. In fact criticism, or constructive feedback, can be an amazing tool and we should seek it.

Aug quote HSBanff

This is a crossroad. Canada is at a crossroad. A crossroad where it becomes obvious that what we did yesterday will not carry us through for an improved tomorrow. A crossroad where we must recognize a need for change. A crossroad where we possibly recognize a need for hope. This is a call for leadership.