Strong leadership needed in uncertain future


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/03/2022 (447 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

On the last day of February, 2022, an elderly gentleman struggled to push his walker through a pile of snow in front of Fred Tipping Place at 601 Osborne St. Insisting he was equal to the task, he lightheartedly lamented one thing about his predicament.

“I forgot to change my shoes before I left home,” he said with a chuckle. Then he raised his foot to show off his house slippers. They were in stark contrast to his thick, winter jacket.

But he obviously had a lot more on his mind.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has not shied away from responsibility, evenin the face of an invasion.

“At least things are supposed to start getting better — for us,” he continued. “Horrible what’s happening over in Europe, isn’t it?”

Apparently very up to date on current affairs, he then shared what he saw as the major issues — both here, and abroad — and a way to alleviate the tensions preventing people from solving them.

“We should just have a big food fight,” he said, chuckling again. “I’m just an old man, but I’d be first in line to take a pie in the face.”

He was clearly joking, but in the quick shuffle from one crisis to the next, our inability to confront these crises in a co-ordinated fashion stands out.

So, too, does the tendency of our political leaders to hide when most of us can’t.

Whether pandering to special interest groups or refusing to take responsibility for policy that has failed to reach its target, every level of government is at fault.

Are we ready in Manitoba to get rid of all public health restrictions next week? Who knows, but it’s politically popular with a portion of the provincial government’s political base.

Have federal programs designed to help small businesses survive been successful? Statistics Canada data shows that less than a third of small operators qualified for and received subsidies, and that 13 per cent have closed. By comparison, 61 per cent of large corporations qualified for help and anly two per cent have closed.

Maybe that’s why a former comedic actor has captured the world’s attention. He is the president of Ukraine, and when offered asylum he chose to stand with his people in the face of an uncertain future.

Some people probably think he’s a fool, but he might just be the witness to the great betrayal his people — and people everywhere — are now struggling with. Remember, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the same person our southern neighbour’s previous administration tried to extort for dirt on their political rival.

Other world leaders should take notice.

If they aren’t willing to take one on the chin, they — and by extension the rest of us — will end up with more to lament than being caught in the cold in our house slippers.

Andrew Braga

Andrew Braga
South Osborne community correspondent

Andrew Braga is a community correspondent for South Osborne.

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