The Courage to move past the Status Quo is Key to Thunder Bay Succeeding
THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay is a city with a future before it that is as bright as our citizens and leaders choose to make it. In our city, across the bay from a Sleeping Giant, perhaps the reality is we need to wake up the new giants in our city. We can and we must move our community into the future, and do so with a respect and understanding of the past.
We live in a world that is increasingly connected, and increasingly multi-cultural. Thunder Bay’s Multicultural Folklore Festival brings the city and region together in a two day celebration of food, culture, and fun.
The cultural mosaic represented is symbolic of what is fantastic about Canada. It is also a clear demonstration of what our future is going to be here in Thunder Bay.
Canada and Thunder Bay are increasingly becoming a multicultural society. We are seeing the Community Economic Development Corporation reach out world-wide to find people to take over and run some of the long-standing businesses in our city. It is called succession planning. It is part of building for the future.
For Thunder Bay to realize our future however, it is going to take efforts on the part of our citizens and our elected leaders to give up some of the traditional “status quo” decisions that have lead us to this point.
Politicians who are willing to accept the status quo are, in my view politicians who have given up, and should step aside and let more agile and positive people take their place. Any politician who tells you that the ‘Status quo’ is good enough is sending a message, loudly and clearly that they are far too comfortable in their current role. They have, in my opinion, given up the possibilities of a bright future for the comfort of the status quo of today.
Have you ever seen the movie ‘Patton’.
At the start of that movie, General George S. Patton addresses American troops.
We are Advancing Constantly
In a very cleaned up version of what the General shared with US troops, Patton stated, “I don’t want to get any messages saying, “I am holding my position.” We are not holding a thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy’s nose. We are going to twist his nose and kick the living heck out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose”.
In Thunder Bay one of the problems this community faces are too many people who are too willing to accept the ‘Status Quo’. Things in our city are the way they are because many people here are simply too willing to accept the ‘Status Quo’ and some are unwilling to accept change.
If we as a community are not advancing, the fact is we are falling behind. Thunder Bay already has some who say, “Welcome to Thunder Bay, set your clocks back twenty-five years”.
Communities willing to sit back on their laurels are communities which will be destined to fall off the future they could have. Thunder Bay can not be one of those communities.
Some are willing to continue to study issues, taking years toward solving issues that should be obvious. That too is part of the problem with those who accept the ‘Status Quo’
Cut bait or fish?
Those status quo accepting attitudes have left our city lagging in many areas. We have seen the growth of racism in our city. We are seeing opposition to those seeking to move our city forward. We have some who are more willing to sit back on the attack, and do very little to move our community forward.
Something to keep in mind – and it is early in the term of this City Council, is that it is very likely four to six of the current members of Council are most likely sitting for their last term. It is a critical right now for citizens in our city to start thinking about the kind of city we want, and the kinds of leaders who will get us there.
As residents of Thunder Bay, we have to take the responsibility in our city for how we are seen. We live in a city that offers all of the potential in the world, if we are willing and courageous enough to reach for it.