Sunday, February 25, 2007

Premier Stelmach and Dr. Suzuki Need to Sit Down Over a Beer

Premier Stelmach and Dr. David Suzuki need to sit down and have a beer and get to know each other. The media induced tempest between the two is not informative nor helpful.

I was at the Suzuki lecture at the University of Alberta last night and heard him say “I did not write that headline” referencing the Calgary Herald headline attributing a statement to Suzuki on Stelmach’s qualifications to govern. In fact Suzuki admitted he “did not even know the new Premier’s name.” While Suzuki is a man of dedicated passion he is no fool and not prone to reckless character judgments.

I don’t know Suzuki except through his writings, lecture and television programs, which come to think of it, I perhaps know quite a bit about him. I do know Ed Stelmach and that his personal sense of responsibility as Premier is that he is a trustee for Albertans for the natural resources and the environment.

Stelmach has made "managing growth" a principle of his Premiership but that does not mean he is going to intervene inappropriately in the marketplace. As Premier he sees himself as the public’s trustee for the environment and as a working farmer, even today, he has a personal sense of what stewardship means.

There is lots that Stelmach and Suzuki can learn from each other. I think these two men of character and capacity need to have beer and get to know each other personally. The potential synergy of their talents and perspectives will serve us all for the better – at so many levels.