Meeting Highlights
The Weekly Westerner Edition 55.21
Box 4572, Station C, Calgary, Alberta T2T 5N3
Grey Eagle Hotel, 3777 Grey Eagle Drive (Corner of 37 St SW and Glenmore Drive)
Mondays 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
President: Marlene Doherty President-Elect: Linda Anderson 
Past President: Bill Fitzsimmons
Secretary: Gail Williams Treasurer: Don Edie
Directors: Judy Cochran, Gord Cox, Terry Felton, Barb Hames,
Les Morgan, Drew Turnbull
Together We Are People of Action - Building Community
January 10 2022  Edition: 55.21 Reporter: Judy Cochran Editor: Marlene Doherty
RCCW Hybrid Meeting
The bell rang out at 11:59 am to start our first meeting of the New Year with well wishes to all for a Happy New Year from President Marlene. Opening the meeting began with the respectful Land Acknowledgement that we are on Treaty 7 lands. All were asked to stand for the singing of our National Anthem. We had 37 participants on Zoom and 12 attending in person. Our guests on Zoom include Alicia Planincic, today’s guest speaker, and Stephanie Rodrigo from Sri Lanka.

Guest Speaker: Alicia Planincic

Major Trends and Forces Facing Alberta and Opportunities for Long-term Prosperity
Chris Davis introduced our guest speaker, an economist with the Business Council of Alberta (BCA). Alicia began her schooling in Economics at the University of Miami. She later taught economics in Georgia. She fell in love with Alberta and has relocated here permanently.
BCA is nonpartisan organization looking to make Alberta a better place to live. Alicia went over four major forces and the implications of those forces.
  1. The population is ageing and growing more urban and diverse
  • Examples are seen in the trades
  1. Digital information is transforming how we work, play, and learn
  • We can order groceries online, our data of previous orders is stored, recommendations are offered
  1. Climate change is bringing an urgent focus on sustainability
  1. Economic value is being driven by new ideas of smart people
  • Value is now driven by human capital
From here there are three implications for Alberta. On their own none of the forces are good or bad. We need to look at things differently.
  1. Alberta needs to create training opportunities for those less educated and place stronger emphasis on education and skills development
- Jobs in our resource sector were once plentiful for those having a high school education. With the collapse of the oil industry the same amount of oil can now be produced with fewer workers speaking to greater efficiency
- We can no longer think about economic opportunities separate from education
     2)  Enable all Albertans is now and will be crucial to unlock our full potential and build a strong sense of community
- Given our ageing population, in the future, our population growth will come from international immigration. We need to close the gaps on fair wages to all across gender and race. We need to close the gap on the mental wellness of employees. Covid has taken a toll.
    3)  Attracting, retaining, and enabling people will be key in business attraction strategy
 - Businesses no longer locate where the resources are; now they locate where there is a large and skilled labor force.
  1. Please comment on Modern Monetary Theory.
  • This has caught more traction as the Bank of Canada has kept inflation rates low by increasing the money supply. But how far can this go? The reality is there are prevalent global supply issues which increase inflation. Data shows concern over supporting economic recovery but not increasing inflation in the poorer countries.
  1. What can be done to keep people aged 60+ in the work force?
  • Alicia comments she has not heard too much from BCA on this topic. After retirement some workers go back on a part time basis.
  1. Please comment on the importance of cultural industries to attracting workers and companies to relocate
  • Younger workers are focused more on a better way of life and less on job opportunities.
  1. Please comment on Bitcoin and its impact.
  1. On the topic of more diverse demographics and immigration, will Alberta follow Ontario’s lead and remove the “Canadian experience” barrier plaguing immigrants and refugees?
  • This is an interesting question. I’m actually not familiar with what Ontario did to remove this as a barrier (was there a certain policy change?), but I think it will be absolutely essential for Alberta. I can say from personal experience that it’s a really tough barrier to overcome – to even just get your foot in the door with non-Canadian credentials.
  1. Finally, I just wanted to correct myself on something I misstated  (I guess I was under the weather)– I referenced Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) with respect to the Bank of Canada’s expansionary policy, but it’s really about the government’s ability to spend. MMT argues there are no limits to government spending/borrowing, for countries like Canada which issue their own currency. I think we’ll learn a lot more on this file coming out of the pandemic, but I’d say economists largely still believe there are limits. For anyone who might be interested in learning about this topic, I’d suggest this article from Vox.
Marvin Pawlivsky thanked our speaker for her informative talk. As a manager he recognizes the toll of 2021. Any honorarium will be made to Shelter Box Canada.
Marlene then introduced “My Story” as a way for Rotarians to share a snapshot of themselves and broaden our connections. Karl Herzog was the first in a series for the New Year.   Karl has been a Rotarian for 21 years now. He is married to Cindy, has two daughters and one grandson. He was born in Germany and his family immigrated to Canada in 1958. He and his brother started a non-for-profit organization, Motive Action, to offer young people who were unemployed the opportunity to learn a trade. Karl was an Integrity Award winner in Dan Doherty’s Presidential year and invited himself to join Rotary. Steve Rickard gave him a take on what Rotary was all about on their frequent runs. Karl has been involved in Rotary at a club level and a District level, holding various positions from Club President, Secretary, Treasurer to his current position as General Accounts Manager.  
Karl encourages you to get involved and make things happen.  Examples Karl shared were the help he received from Raju Paul, Past District Governor, to relocate his business in six months! A fundraiser in 2012 that brought in $150,000 to build a school and had 35 Rotarians trekking to Mount Everest basecamp.  There is currently an opening on the Finance Committee so please take that step forward. Karl concludes by saying joining Rotary was one of the most important decisions in his life. He has honed many valuable skills and has made many valued lifelong friends.
Barbie Hames had a list of January birthdays and Rotary anniversaries for us to celebrate. Congratulations to all!
Calgary West members wish to extend condolences to Laurie and Duncan Stanners and their family on the passing of Laurie’s step father.
Hot Seats
David Wartman, Club Rep for the District Indigenous Relations Committee tells us we are at a historical crossroad. We are beginning to understand what happened to Indigenous people in the making of Canada, how that history has created the necessity of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that will hopefully lead to the healing of our relationships with the Indigenous people. District is organizing a learning community of Indigenous action teams and Rotary Clubs in the District. The first hybrid meeting for learning is slated for Saturday, February 5/22, if you are interested, please contact David by the end of next week.
Terry Felton agrees, selling plants in January doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. But picking up beautiful plants in May that are locally grown sure does. So please buy now and spread the word to friends, family, and colleagues. This is a 50/50 partnership and our long-standing partner, NSTEP. NSTEP is focused on building a healthy lifestyle for children. Terry, Marlene, and Deb Hymers, (NSTEP founder) have sharpened their pencils to have the pricing as competitive as possible.  
Possible upcoming fundraisers include three different products of BC Fruits. Stampede Breakfast will be catered this year. The first Duck Race being championed by Bill and Pat Fitzsimmons in the fall. Another Eclectic Auction is coming up. Some of these fundraisers need champions and some need committee members. Contact Terry to see where you can help and when. The fundraising Committee is there for you. Marlene later thanked and presented the January Building Community pins to Terry and the entire Committee for all they do to keep fundraisers happening to help our Club do good in the world.
Marlene wants the Club to know Bill Quinney, Volunteer Coordinator, is asking for your volunteer hours not to track you, personally, but to track our Club’s collective impact in the Community. All service hours are valued and essential – club service (meetings, team duties, reporters, etc.)  District contributions and community service.  Marlene put up a slide showing the Community impact of the Grace Satellite Food Bank from July – December 2021. 80 hours of sorting and serving, 288 hampers were distributed helping 680 lives. WOW! Bill is compiling more stats to share with the Club on various fundraisers and volunteer opportunities.  Twelve families from Calgary West joined in for the Huron Carole. A cheque in the amount of $1,802 has been sent to I Can for Kids. A $3,000 cheque has been sent to Merritt Rotary Club for disaster relief in BC thanks to initiative by Mike Carlin. Just some recent examples of Rotary dollars at work.
Shout out to Marvin Pawlivsky who sits on the Rotary Challenger Park Board. To Bill Quinney for his role of being a Rotary ambassador with the iron lung at the Chestermere Tim Hortons Pond Hockey Tournament during our recent frigid deep freeze.
RCCW has received a certificate of appreciation for our financial support End Polio Now: Countdown to History Campaign for donations over $1,500 USD. Thanks to the many contributors. See the 5360 Events Digest for upcoming Leadership Training. There is always a monthly webinar for more learning opportunities.
Thank you to Team 4 for carrying out the meeting duties today. The meeting ended with the 4 Way jingle! Don’t forget about the 4 Way Test Competition for high school students. Marlene supplied us with an extensive list of 20 different ways to celebrate in the coming week from National Clean Off Your Desk Day to Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day.  Meeting adjourned at 1:03pm.
Next hybrid meeting is January 17/22 at noon.
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