Premier Wade MacLauchlan
Premier Wade MacLauchlan is again challenging Islanders to share their success stories with others as the first step in improving our economy. The premier says everything starts with a narrative of who we are, what we want and what we can deliver.
It’s really a matter of developing a positive mindset, of believing in ourselves that we can compete and that we can do better. We are challenged to do our share and don’t depend on government to solve all the ills and problems affecting the province.
Our self-declared optimist-in-chief resolutely provides an upbeat assessment of P.E.I.’s economy and prefers to share success stories and accomplishments and what is possible. He doesn’t want to dwell on failures and disappointments.
It’s a narrative the premier has been following since he was sworn in last year. And it was a message he repeated at an economic forum earlier this week in Charlottetown.
The premier does practise what he preaches. A quick look at recent headlines atop stories written about the premier hammers home the message: ‘P.E.I. premier optimistic,’ ‘Premier MacLauchlan trumpets,’ ‘Premier says meeting went well,’ ‘Premier highlights achievements,’ ‘Sunny ways,’ etc.
And there is certainly nothing wrong with this viewpoint. It a refreshing change. Oftentimes, the media, Opposition and Islanders in general tend to dwell on the negative. There are success stories that should be told and that need to be told.
During his address, the premier didn’t candy-coat everything. He did say there are challenges and major obstacles. But they can be overcome with a positive outlook, ingenuity and plain hard work.
First the positives. There are significant advances in exports and a growing population thanks to immigration. The heartwarming story from last Saturday was a case in point when hundreds of Islanders turned up for an official welcome for our new immigrants from Syria.
There are many business success stories right across this province.
On the negative, P.E.I. is losing jobs, losing younger people to other provinces and the unemployment rate is back over 11 per cent. The downtown in Alberta and oil should see some Islanders return home.
Will his message resonate? It’s just as easy to put on a happy face over a frown.
Yes, it’s easy to be critical, gloomy, and pessimistic, and stay busy nurturing a culture of defeat that a former prime minister used to label Atlantic Canadians — perhaps with some justification. The premier wants to nurture a culture of optimism.
Are we really doing our part?
Too often we blame others, especially government, for our own problems and for not providing us with everything we want or need. If we keep saying everything is bad and keep hearing nothing but negatives, then at some point we’re going to start believing it.
Maybe we need the services of a group therapist like Premier MacLauchlan to hammer home the message it’s time to pick ourselves up and get back in the race. That’s life.