Every society has windows of opportunity where it becomes possible to accelerate change ... Sometimes the opportunity comes about in response to negative circumstances, such as when so many women entered the workforce during the war. Other times it is in response to a unique need. Then there are times when a combination of circumstances just seems to create a fertile environment for innovation.
Diwali, also known as the "Festival of Lights," is a time-honoured Indian cultural festival. It is a tradition that conveys a universal message of hope and peace that transcends all borders and faiths. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring community together and to celebrate our diversity. It's one example of the many cultural celebrations available to Calgarians throughout the year and I am always thrilled when I participate, because I come away with such a feeling of pride and hope for our future.
Today, on the UN's International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I am reminded of how education was the key to eradication of poverty in my own life. As the greatest city in the world, we in Calgary have such a wonderful opportunity to model what it looks like when a city does whatever it takes to maximize the educational opportunities for its children.
Many things are written and said about the oil sands, and one of the allegations frequently made is that the oil derived from the naturally occurring bitumen is "dirty", tainted with the stain of environmental destruction. While that debate rages on one rarely hears about what happens to some of the money generated by that so-called "dirty" oil. One may hear about corporate profits, and royalties, and high salaries - but one very rarely hears about philanthropy.