High-Performance Healthcare

You could hear a pin drop. You could feel the goosebumps in the room. Twelve hundred people in Hall D sat in wonderment as the mysteries of healthcare began to be unveiled.

Darren Entwistle, CEO of TELUS, and the 30th recipient of the Alberta School of Business Canadian Business Leader Award, brought to life a vision that blended public and private, technology and humanity, research and delivery, data analytics and mother’s intuition.

I will never forget that speech. Enlightening. Compelling. So Promising.

As an Edmontonian, I felt the momentum. Capital Health was the pride of the city and the gold standard across the country. Our advances in medical research filled the headlines. New products and new companies attracted capital. And we were attracting the best and the brightest on a weekly basis.

Edmonton was the center for health care excellence in Canada …
… and our entrepreneurial spirit needs to rise once again.

Building on our strengths and capitalizing on our resolve to be the leader for the country, it is time for Edmonton to advance the conversation about high-performance health and health care.

High-performance means doing what others believe to be impossible. It’s a mindset that needs to permeate everything we do, every day. It is a mindset that will bring about criticism. It is a mindset that will be challenged publicly and we will be ostracized by our peers … because it is a mindset that will create progress and excellence … the very things that are the enemy of the status quo.

But that is what leadership is all about.

And at a time when we have a new Premier, a new Health Minister, a new CEO of AHS, a new President of the University of Alberta … we need a new ambition and new intention … and the entire community will rally with you to make Alberta the very best.

As spoken once by Mr. Entwistle … Boldly Go.

Growing On Up

When the new Stantec tower was announced and most people gasped at the concept of a 62 floor tower in downtown Edmonton, Darren Durstling from WAM Development Group beautifully stated, “Just to give perspective, our lowest floor of residential starts where the Pearl ends.” … “We’re not competing with existing condominium products on the market, we’re introducing an entirely new echelon that the city has never seen.”

Edmonton’s growin’ on up.

When I went to Toronto last week to meet with Brad J. Lamb, aka the Condo King, who is launching Jasper House on Jasper & 106th Street behind the Boston Pizza, he eloquently stated, “We’re bringing something brand new to the Edmonton market, a 36-story, 260 unit high-design development where average unit sizes will be 725 sqft. We’re introducing a vibrant mixed-use concept at street level that will be new for some, but very familiar to many who travel to other major metropolitan centers.”

Edmonton’s growin’ on up.

What’s fantastic about these and other developments underway in the downtown core, is the fact that we are shedding the era of stamp-it-out condo kits and bringing a wide variety of choice to the marketplace. Some appeal to our growing student population. Some appeal to retirees. Some to empty-nesters. Some to singles. Some to investors. But together they bring density to the downtown core and embrace a culture of diversity that makes Edmonton so welcoming.

Speaking of investors, remember that each project represents an opportunity for Edmontonians to get involved, I’ve seen pricing for some of these new products ranging from $300K to $3M which creates investment opportunities for some people out there to actually invest in something that they can drive by every day.

So over the coming months, keep your eye out for open houses and information sessions. They’re fun nights out that get you aware of what’s happening in your downtown. Brad J. Lamb is launching his Jasper House project on Thursday night. I’m sure he’d welcome some of you interested people (see: JasperHouseCondos) for information and contact information) at the Art Gallery from 7pm-9pm for the launch.


Filling the Pointy End

Monday was a great day for the Edmonton Region. After three weeks of rumors swirling around the city, Edmonton International Airport (YEG) was delighted to announce a new non-stop flight to Amsterdam (AMS) beginning May 5th 2015, operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

This is good news.

Tremendous work goes into securing direct flights for the region, spearheaded by CEO Tom Ruth and his team at EIA in tight coordination with Mayor Don Iveson’s office, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, the Province of Alberta, Travel Alberta, Leduc County and our Edmonton Tourism and Enterprise Edmonton teams at EEDC.

Common Objective. Unified Voice.

Businesses can move people, goods and ideas faster to markets around the globe as a result of direct air access, and tourists can flow back and forth between destinations. Amsterdam was identified by Edmontonians as one of the most effective hubs into Europe, Africa and the Middle East … and it was delivered for your benefit.

Now, it is your turn.

There are three parts to every airplane – the pointy end (business class), the back end (economy class) and the underbelly (cargo) – all of which combine to determine the yield (return) on each flight. I never gave this too much thought, until I started understanding what it takes to secure new routes … and most importantly, what it takes to keep the routes we work so hard to secure.

And, our businesses have a big role to play.

If we don’t fill the pointy end of the plane … the business class … and we don’t ship our products from Edmonton International Airport … the cargo … then direct flights will be near impossible to maintain by travelers simply going to Expedia and clicking on the cheapest fare.

So, here’s what I’m asking you to do this week in your business:

– Explore whether you are trucking products to other airports before they head overseas;
– Explore whether you have a “fly economy” policy on international flights; and
– Explore whether you have a “direct flights first” policy that helps support your community.

This is a simple, but profoundly important request, folks. I respect that we are still living in the residue of extreme frugalness due to certain people abusing public funds … but we actually need to step up our commitment to these new direct flights in order to continue to build an economy of competitiveness and prosperity.

Play your part. You have an important role.

Thank you.