Category Archives: Canadian Politics

Trish Hennessy: Traveler on the Path of Authentic Leadership

They say some people are born to lead – Trish Hennessy would not put herself in that category. For the woman who has worked with some of Canada’s top thought leaders, helping them frame their arguments to get social issues back in the public discourse, stepping into a leadership role has not come naturally.

Not heard of Trish Hennessy?  Perhaps you’ve heard of the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us? Perhaps you’ve heard the issue of income inequality discussed as one of the major challenges facing Canada today? That is Trish Hennessy – though she would deflect all credit to the great “cast of characters” she has had the fortune to work with over the years.  She would describe herself as a storyteller that hooked up with smart economists.

Trish has always felt more comfortable in a supporting role – taking a step back, looking at the big picture. Her purpose has been to help leaders working for social change move beyond reacting to problems and to create the necessary space to plan longer term. She recognized our need to change the narrative and become proactive if we are going to succeed in protecting and building a socially inclusive country that meets the needs of our citizens. Her blog Framed in Canada is a must read for a better understanding how to advance your cause. Continue reading


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Filed under Canadian Politics, Communications, Economy, Leadership, Social Change

Quest for a new kind of leadership: Uncuffing the shackles of spin

Forget the slow food movement – if we really want to fix things in our world, it’s time to embrace the slow talk movement.

Across the country talented and dedicated people are working to build a better future for all Canadians. Whether they’re working to improve the growing income gap, climate change, youth unemployment, public transit expansion or aboriginal rights – their success requires government action.

The question is: Are substantive improvements possible in Canada’s spin driven political culture? Continue reading


Filed under Canadian Politics, Communications, Leadership, Social Change

Is Kathleen Wynne’s victory the dawn of a new kind of politics for Ontario?

Genuine. Responsive. Thoughtful. Pragmatic. Cooperative. Everything voters have been craving in their political leadership came through in Kathleen Wynne’s speech to the Liberal leadership convention.

As more and more voters tune out with every election, sick of disingenuous political spin, partisan brinksmanship, and governments more interested in their own agendas than they are in serving the people, Wynne offered up a fountain of fresh water in a vast desert.

Post victory, Wynne has committed to putting an end to the “rancour and viciousness” of debate in the Legislature and to working with the opposition leaders for the good of the province.

Will those around her rise to the occasion? Perhaps more importantly, will we? Continue reading


Filed under Canadian Politics, Leadership, Ontario Politics

Idle No More: Are we ready for Canada’s civil rights movement?

We all like a good flash mob. My Facebook and Twitter were a flutter with posts when Idle No More flash mobs began sweeping the nation in December.  For the first time a significant number of my ‘white’ friends seemed to be paying attention to First Nation concerns beyond the occasional somber nod to the tragedy of third world conditions on some Reserves.  For the first time there seemed to be a sense of kinship to the frustrations First Nation people are having with the Harper government.

And then the sensation of the flash mobs dissipated… And Harper’s spin doctors went into overdrive promoting the amount of money his government gave Reserves… And we were gently reminded that the problems facing First Nation communities are overwhelming and money sucking and really, let’s face it, they’re their own worst enemies…  And now we’ve gone back to somberly nodding – some asking: What exactly do they want anyway?

Fair enough. Given the complexity of issues at play, the frustrated protesters don’t have a simple sound bite to encapsulate their ire.  Simple sound bites are a lot easier when your goal is to discredit or distract.  They’re near impossible when you genuinely want to solve difficult problems.  So what really is going on?  And why should we care?

I think we should start by considering the idea that Theresa Spence is Canada’s Rosa Parks.  She’s probably not the woman with all the answers but she is the woman who just couldn’t take it anymore, sat down and said: Enough is enough. Continue reading


Filed under Canadian Civil Rights, Canadian Politics, Environment, First Nations