Another year is about to go into the history books.
Long time readers know that I have used lyrics from Joni Mitchell’s Circle Game for my year-end wrap for more than a decade. Last year’s post was entitled “Then the child moved ten times round the seasons”, so this year I’ll finish that stanza:
Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, ‘When you’re older’ must appease him
And promises of ‘someday’ make his dreams
I was never one who was appeased by such statements, even when I was younger. I didn’t have the patience to put up with “when you’re older” back then, and especially not now that I am well into that state of “older”. I commented last year that my age may be contributing to an increased level of impatience with the sometimes glacial paces of activity in certain areas of our government.
As Canadians witnessed this year in our passport offices, and at our airports, there has been a lack of leadership driving operational excellence from too many branches of our public service. It’s as though executives in the government bureaucracy are satisfied with mediocrity. How else do we explain the hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses handed out last year in departments with such failures in service delivery?
How else do we explain the 5-week delay in getting a public statement from anyone in government associated with the Laith Marouf affair? Where is the accountability, not just for the injudiciousness of awarding an anti-racism contract to a purveyor of such hateful speech, but also for the failures to respond in a timely manner by multiple departments, including the Prime Minister’s Office? I have trouble imagining any reasonable excuse for the uncomfortably long silence, other than political operatives wishing it would all blow over.
Last week, I wrote “We can do better”, observing that actions (and inactions) by our political leadership are contributing to a normalization of antisemitism within mainstream society.
As I described in my blog post in early November, these episodes could have left me profoundly disappointed. Still, each of these failures can be viewed as representing an opportunity for improvement. In the Toronto Star yesterday, Michael Levitt quoted the late Max Eisen saying, “In the face of racism, you must not be a bystander but an upstander and speak out against hate”. He continued, suggesting there can be no better New Year’s resolution for all of us.
In the coming year, I am also convinced that we can be doing more to understand and address the factors that are impacting digital adoption, as I discussed last week.
As we approach 2023, I will keep driving ahead because I know we can do better on files like these. We have to do better.
The promises of ‘someday’ make my dreams.
Every so often, I think back to the denouement in Jeff Daniels’ monologue at the opening of The Newsroom:
We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn’t belittle it; it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed.
Being well informed is an important prerequisite for responsible leaders.
Helping you stay informed is one of the reasons I added more than 120 blog posts to “Telecom Trends” over the course of 2022, on average continuing to write more than 2 posts per week, a pace 50% higher than pre-pandemic levels. There are more than 3160 posts in the archives (fully searchable).
Through this blog, it is my objective to be a source of quality information on Canadian telecom policy, with occasional gastronomical diversions. In each case, I am trying to share elements of my expertise accumulated over decades. One look at my profile and you’ll realize that you can’t get a physique like mine overnight.
I look forward to continuing to engage with you in the New Year.
I wish you and your families a happy, healthy, safe and peaceful holiday season.