Wanted: 100 of Alberta’s Best


Wanted: Over One Hundred of Alberta’s Best Leaders

Role: Dynamic team member responsible for building a better province.

Requirements: Abundance of ideas, strategies, policy capacity, courage, accountability, transparency and urgency.

Reward: Basic pay, limited bonus and tremendous significance.


They may not contain the same words, but Government of Alberta job postings like the above will be plentiful over the next 6-12 months, and I’d like to encourage many of our best and brightest to take a serious look, take a risk and step forward.

After 20 years working in the private sector, I took a risk, I took the challenge, and I became part of a team with the vision of transforming EEDC into a market-facing organization responsible for helping build a great city.

And nothing has been more rewarding.

The change came with responsibility. It came with accountability. And it came with a deep sense of purpose … three things that are desperately needed in our public service.

Today, our province needs to undergo the same leadership, management, professionalism and cultural transformation, and it will require a new generation of leaders and future leaders to be part of the journey.

Alberta will need you to step forward … in public service … to build a better province.

If you are stalling in your career, looking to make a contribution, wanting to leave your mark, or seeking a sense of purpose … I encourage you to take a similar risk and help accelerate our great province towards our potential.

I’ve never regretted a day in my role, and I love implementing the change that is needed.

When opportunity comes calling … which it will … I encourage you to step up and be bold.

Some of our best people are needed.

The King is Dead; Long Live the Queen

The grumpiness is deafening. The astonishment is mind-numbing. And the continued entitlement is unbelievable. No different than the morning after Iveson was elected as Mayor, no different than when snowboards were first allowed on ski hills, and no different than when women were finally allowed in the spike bar at the Mayfair.

Gasp! This place is going to hell and these young folks don’t have a clue how to run this place.

Welcome to the new Alberta. Average age, 36.

The new Alberta has come off being the strongest economic region in North America for the past ten years and a lot of people have made a lot of money – which is a good thing. We’ve been the lowest tax jurisdiction in North America, with a royalty structure that has promoted investment and the development of our resources at an unprecedented rate.

But that same policy environment has created a hyper-inflated economy when oil prices are high and a deficit-debilitated budget when prices are low – which has been confirmed through two economic summits as a bad thing. So if citizens, business leaders and economists all want to have a more balanced approach to growth and development going forward, then looking at incremental changes to these taxation and royalty policies is certainly not incomprehensible.

It just really upsets those who are used to getting their way.

Enter Kevin O’Leary, with his made-for-reality-TV personality, shouting fears that Alberta will be dragged into the abyss, will be filled with unions, and will be brought to its knees because it voted in the NDP.

While his blue suit and sharp tongue work on network TV, he embarrassingly proves himself and other crony colleagues out of touch with the fact that our resource assets remain incredibly valuable, our carpenters, electricians, plumbers, nurses, boilermakers and other unions are not invading, and we have a long history of never, ever, being brought to our knees.

The change in government was not some freak event. Over 72% of Alberta voters expressed their desire for change, expressed who they are and expressed what matters most to them – things like good governance, sustainable growth, fiscal management, transparency, and engagement.

Alberta still represents the same abundance of opportunity. And like any good company, the shareholders have expressed their desire to make incremental changes along with a restructuring to the board, in hopes of creating more value. In short, they lost confidence in the King, and they elected the new Queen. The grumpy guys may not like it, but all the rhetoric in the world won’t change a thing. It’s time now to pull together, make the necessary changes, and continue to be the highest performing economic region in North America for the next 20 years.

What Happens Next Matters

People ask me what I’m hoping for as a result of this election and I say “an effective opposition.”

By late Tuesday night, Albertans will have chosen 87 Members of our Legislative Assembly that will form government from a blend of different colors and from an assortment of different backgrounds. Collectively, they are charged with representing the needs and aspirations of all Albertans – from north and south, urban and rural, rich and poor, old and young. They are charged with serving the needs of their constituents. And they are charged with leaving our province in better shape than it is in today.

And, the next five years must be a lot better than the last five years.

Whatever the party colors, and however many the number of seats, it is time for this province to shed its monopolistic ways and start governing itself with a renewed sense of character, respect and service.

And the world is watching.

On Wednesday morning, no matter who has been elected, our MLAs need to agree that the past does not represent our potential, and that our potential is so much more. We can argue and debate issues in healthy ways, but they should be issues of relevance to the future of this province, and not the minutia that we have been debating in recent times.

Alberta is young, but it is growing up fast, and it needs to shed its childish ways and start making progress on topics of significance, topics like: Governance, Aboriginal Treaty Rights, Healthcare Innovation, Cities as Economic Drivers, Mental Health & Addiction, Gender Inequality, High-Performance Bureaucracy, Long-Term Commitment to Education and Citizen Engagement.

Governments always need to always be held to account, and not just by the media. For progress to occur, we need to shift from power to accountability and from authority to stewardship.

We need the best possible MLAs to be elected, and we need an effective opposition. It’s what they do next that matters most.

Please remember to vote tomorrow – May 5th.

This is your province. Let’s leave it a better place than we inherited it.