Do you get the sense we are going at public policy differently these days?
Did the prime minister's statement about limiting the time to assess the Northern Gateway Pipeline strike you as a different approach? Does the reduction in Environment Canada staff strike you as a risk? Does the consolidation of the Emergency Rescue Coordination from the regions to Ottawa strike you as a risk?
Did the refusal of the previous federal government to give details about the budget strike you as different and dangerous? Did the "not," added in pen over the agreement for CIDA funding, bother you? Does the apparent miscalculation, or miscommunication, of the costs of the F35 fighter jet program bother you?
Would the federal government expropriation of, say, a further 150 acres of ALR land "in the public interest" for the port railway and development strike you as interference in the jurisdiction of others?
When our municipal government changes the zoning of a piece of land from what is set forth in the area plan of the official community plan, but then declines to change the text to permit it, does that bother you?
Does the concept of "spot rezoning" - your neighbour can get a different zoning from you by applying for it and convincing council to bypass any area plan - bother you?
We are evolving and trending to a different way of governance, whether federal, provincial or municipal. We are being less prescriptive and more prepared to let something go unless there is significant protest.
Protests and objections are being limited by time and finance (federal limits on charitable purposes), and by a lack of resources (government agencies such as environment are being limited in what they can say and to whom).
If you are under 35, you may wonder about this; what you see is all you have ever seen. If so, cast back over history and pick out Woodstock (not that it alone was significant, but it was a milestone). From the Vietnam protests in the U.S. through the '80s, we worked hard to strike a balance in governing that had both sides allowed to fully debate issues.
Three decades ago the original MacKenzie Valley Pipeline was a Canadian case in point when it was shelved after a long and intense debate about its value and impact. It has recently re-emerged in a much-improved version.
Today we are moving to a new balance, a tilting if you will, towards economic expansion as a means of providing employment. Our First Nation brothers and sisters are cautioning us that what we do must be set against the needs and values of the generations to come, not just today.
Are we wise enough to seek a balance that will make our grandchildren proud of us?