Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I was born and raised in Alberta, and for that I’m thankful. I often think of my childhood and how my father raised me and my siblings. My mother left when I was seven, and I had a lot of questions. I was angry, sad, and frustrated. We didn’t have as much as other families, and in my mind we weren’t whole. Some might have described us as poor, a broken family. As a child I looked for someone to blame, and I can’t even imagine how my dad felt.
He could have blamed my mother. He could have blamed customers. For that matter, he could have blamed anything. But this was not the case, Mr. Speaker. I never, not once, heard my father blame my mom for leaving or blame people who couldn’t pay their invoices, that left our family short. My father, even though he didn’t have to, took the brunt of everything, accepting and owning his role as the leader of our family. He looked forward instead of backwards. He was hopeful instead of dreadful. He led his family into a better place. He created leaders instead of doubters, including me, even when it seemed unlikely.
Mr. Speaker, I often think of leadership and how to be better. I think of former leaders and the challenges they were faced with. One in particular is John F. Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis. As I look back, I try to imagine the enormity of that crisis and what the President and his advisers were faced with. I imagine the strength, courage, and ownership it must have taken to lead in that moment, not just for the American people but for the whole planet. I also imagine: what if JFK was more accusatory than conciliatory? What if he spent his time blaming and looking backwards at former administrators rather than the task at hand? The outcome could have been disastrous.
For each one of us in this Chamber, we play a role in the future and history in Alberta. It’s up to us how we want to be characterized in our roles. Will we blame others for our challenges and stand and be counted only when there’s success, or will we stand with it all, good or bad? Hon. members, it’s up to you how you’ll be defined in the history books. Will you be collaborators of ideas and have the courage and character to own your place in history? For myself and our caucus, we accept our responsibility for the future.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
On May 24, 2016, Rick Fraser focused on leadership in this province.
PC Caucus in the Legislature
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