A new chain store … and why I broke up with my hairdresser

Progress hurts, especially for local businesses. But keep your hurt feelings to yourself. After all, who wants to sit in the chair of an angry man with scissors?

A new chain store … and why I broke up with my hairdresserWhen our little community an hour south of Ottawa first heard that a big-box department store would be coming to town, there was a bit of an uproar. Residents worried that the store, located along the highway at the edge of town, would draw business away from the smaller retail shops in the downtown core.…

World needs a Canadian perspective, steeped in small-town values

Our store of creative capital, entrepreneurial risk taking, peacekeeping and a welcoming attitude rooted in our small-town history

World needs a Canadian perspective, steeped in small-town valuesFor the past year, I’ve been living in a small town. It has about 20,000 residents counting the ‘highway people’ – those few thousands of us who live along Highway 101, which stretches about 30 km north and south of town. We’re seasonally augmented by a few thousand ‘island dwellers’ who essentially show up for…

Canada at age 150 still has some maturing to do

While it’s okay to be a proud Canadian, we need to understand our past, including our misunderstanding of First Nations people

Canada at age 150 still has some maturing to doI’m a proud Canadian. I’ve represented my homeland in 10 countries in Europe, two in Asia and the entire eastern seaboard of Australia. I’ve been law-abiding, easygoing and polite, as our Canadian reputation outlines. Canadians are well accepted wherever we travel in the world, and I’ve been treated well. I have, however, been put on…

The lazy, hazy – and regenerating – days of summer

Our summers were a collage of friends, exploration, interaction, self-discovery. We were doing everything. Our kids deserve the same

The lazy, hazy – and regenerating – days of summerMillions of Canadian children are no doubt thrilled as summer holidays begin this week, after months of classrooms, tests and teachers. Most of us remember the long and lazy days of summer – an entire two months of winding down after a structured 10 months of schooling. For many of us raising kids today, summer…