This nation is built on all sectors

Michele Blais takes a look at what makes this country great, and the importance of all of us pulling together

Our provincial political parties are starting to make campaign like-speeches. Sooner than later we are going to be hearing more. “Let the games begin.”

I hope they don’t get ugly.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have campaigns run on what they will or can do, how they will improve, how we can learn from our collective mistakes, how leadership will lead, inspire, rejuvenate? Imagine if they acknowledged the good ideas of each party and how if those were initiated by the successful party how effective that would be. But where is the fun in that idea of collaboration?

Taxes will be raised in the corporate sector, or not, businesses of all sizes will be taxed more or not, unions will have wage freezes or not, we will focus on the economy, health, education, paying off our debt, caring for our environment, following through, or not.

So far in my lifetime I have worked in the private sector, farms, for small businesses and medium sized, for government and for the non-profit sector, and been self-employed. Each has taught me invaluable lessons and there is a great deal of shared experiences and some unique to each sector. I have respect for all of them. I joined Rotary when I was the executive director of the Family Resource Centre because I wanted to be more connected with the business community, not to mooch from them, but to learn how to better manage the centre, and I felt I too could offer shared wisdom. We all had personnel and human resources concerns, marketing, financial management, staying current in a changing world, keeping up with technology, and more, and all wanted to make our community a better place. It is a great networking experience.

Take a cycle around town early in the morning and you can see how businesses and services are connected as you watch the delivery trucks, or people going or coming from work, and see our village kick into high gear. From schools, to medical services, to mills, to manufacturing. It takes a great deal of work to put food on our tables, build our homes, maintain our roads, keep information flowing, etc. We are connected.

We make choices as workers. We  choose careers through our education, training, passion, being in the right spot at the right time, or by accident that one job leads to another to bingo: you have launched a career. Sometimes we choose work for security — decent wages, benefits and pension plans.  Sometimes we choose for freedom to express and develop ideas, for flexible work schedules or just for a paycheck to feed the family. More and more families are separated through work as the moms and dads go to Alberta or Saskatchewan for work. Many decisions influence our work choices, some good some not so.

We have to be at work for a great deal of our time. Is work driving your life or is your life driving your work?

I don’t believe it is ever perfect, and it can be good more than it is bad. The way I see it none of us live or work in isolation so let’s remember that when we consider our government. How can it be that we can work more together,  that there is less resentment of some groups’ wages and benefits, profit margins, tax breaks, development dollars and more understanding on all sides. Understand that if people aren’t tooting their horns to give you a raise isn’t because they don’t value your work it’s just that they haven’t had a raise in six years themselves, and don’t have a dental plan. This is a country built on all sectors — farming, manufacturing, corporations, small business, and more. Do I sometimes get frustrated over my idea of corporate greed? You bet. Do I want to live somewhere else? No way. I live in Vernon so I can live a simpler life.

There are many interesting days that lie ahead of us. We live in a beautiful place rich with resources, unsurpassed natural beauty and amazing people, so let’s move forward together.

Michele Blais is a longtime columnist for The Morning Star who writes on a variety of topics, appearing every other Sunday.