The Grid 2021: Renewal

Page 44

What can Tommy Douglas teach us about climate change? - By Justin Crewson Director, Regulatory Affairs & Grid Infrastructure, Canadian Electricity Association


uizzes have always been a peculiar tradition at my family’s holiday gatherings. And so, one year, my family and I found ourselves guessing who a recent CBC national survey had named “the greatest Canadian of all time”. Many of the quiz participants were in minor hockey – of course, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux figured heavily in the predictions. But it was later revealed that former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas had topped the 2004 CBC poll. I did not think about that quiz much more until years later while studying policy in the U.S state of Michigan.

44 canadian electricity association - THE GRID 2021 | Renewal

In contrast to Canadian enthusiasm for grand collective projects such as public health care, many of my classmates seemed to have a strong default preference for individualism and market forces as policy remedies to social ills. When I brought up the Canadian healthcare system, the response from my American peers tended to be one of interest, but ultimately a dismissal, that such a system was too “socialist” to work in the U.S. It was then that I suddenly understood why Premier Douglas was held in such high esteem. He represented an institution that, even more than hockey, embodied what it meant to be Canadian.

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