In Saskatchewan a New Winning Attitude is Creating a Culture of Excellence



The winds of change have blown through Canada. No longer is Alberta on top of the Canadian economic machine. Ontario is no longer the manufacturing super power. The word ‘Conservative’ cannot be found in the name of any governing provincial party and no one is joking about the attitude of Saskatchewan.

“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” – Ralph Marston

I first thought about the attitude of Saskatchewan while on a panel at the Saskatchewan Young Ag-Entrepreneurs Conference in Saskatoon in early January. The moderator for the dinner panel was talk show host John Gormley. Before he introduced the panel he spoke about how the attitude of Saskatchewan was changing. No longer the brunt of silly jokes, Saskatchewan has become the flagship for many rural, centre to right politically-oriented people across Canada.

“If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.” – William Glasser

So what changed?

Here are some of my thoughts in audio format on this topic. More of the editorial is below.

Gormley says it’s the attitude of the people in Saskatchewan. In his book “Left Out,” Gormley described the victim attitude that plagued the province for years, referring to “Saskatchewan’s historic bad attitude” and how the business community allowed “its own victimization at the hands of the political left.”

Being a victim was just the way people in Saskatchewan acted. Not too long ago, land was worth little, people fled the province like refugees and Regina was the butt of many jokes (okay that has not changed, I mean Regina has its own theme song). Nevermind no one staying on the farm, no one stayed in the province. Just head to a Stampeders/Roughriders game in Calgary to see how many Calgarians wear watermelons on their heads to celebrate their provincial pride.

As many remnants of Saskatchewan’s socialist past have faded away, the province now sits atop the mountain for much of the national political right. Brad Wall sits on the throne of Canadian conservatism and many are begging for him to move to Ottawa.

Saskatchewan is still very rural. Farming is still seriously looked upon as a main driver of the economy. Premier Brad Wall is beyond popular. Agriculture Deputy Minister Alanna Koch is regarded by many as the top deputy Ag Minister in the country. And the government makes decisions in the better interests of farmers and the overall economy.

The reality is that the change in attitude is due to more than its governing party. It’s a change driven by the people, a change that has manifested an attitude of ‘we can and will’. The motivation is perhaps most evident in Saskatchewan’s ag community, especially among the newest generation of decision-makers.

The days of people laughing at Saskatchewan are over. Apparently attitude is everything.

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