The biggest challenge that the arts and culture, and we as a society will go through in terms of our identities and our cultures is the digital shift. This has already had a significant impact on the information and media world, and the music world and we need to create a new model that will support Canadian content in a digital era because the model we now have was developed before the internet when there was only radio and television. And as we create that new model we can also work on an export strategy to help our content creators and our great artists have access to other markets.
We want a Canada that celebrates those who reject complacency, instead putting their ingenuity and skills to use in addressing important challenges of our time. Some of the world’s most innovative people live among us, yet we don’t share their stories or celebrate that fact enough. Let’s foster a culture of innovation in Canada that recognizes the creativity and caring that exist in our communities.
In this always-on global, digital space what Canadians need more than ever is a Canadian public space, a space that serves the public interests, that informs Canadians about their country, a space that encourages them to connect with each other, that elevates our Canadian stories and our value, a space that builds social cohesion.
Do we want to be more fully engaged as human beings, community members, and citizens? Do we want to have an active, direct, and meaningful voice in our governance? Do we want to be responsible, dialogical knowledge seekers who aim to govern ourselves on the basis of publicly discussed and debated reasons and mutually acceptable resolutions? Or are we content as passive recipients of policies imposed on us by those with political and corporate power? Are we content with mere illusions of democracy? If we are not content with the illusion of democracy, what can we do and how can we do things to move from the illusion to reality?
The COVID-19 pandemic provides a once-in-a-lifetime responsibility to accelerate the change we require in Canadian cities. With a coordinated effort by the federal government, provinces, and cities, we can repair a half-century of unsustainable planning that has compromised our health, access to housing, the quality of our air and water, and the long-term financial viability of our cities. Within this short window, we can position Canadian cities to thrive as we embrace a “new normal” and a better “business-as-usual.” A greener, cleaner, decarbonized economy begins with our cities. To get there, we must change the way we plan and operate them. And it is within the power of our political leaders to do so.
Truth and Reconciliation is a Canadian problem. Reconciliation is defined as restoring to friendship or harmony and fairness. A problem is a question posed for discussion or solution, – an opportunity to explore, to learn, to create. Reconciliation is a creative interest. Art is a process. Reconciliation is Canada’s opportunity to explore how we can move from the truth, to understanding, to acceptance, to appreciation, to caring, to contribution, to creating community, and to exploring creative possibilities for our future as a community. Reconciliation is an opportunity to demonstrate how we can create healthy, sustainable, and creative communities with one another and for one another as a community.