A response from the President of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce on the Mayors concern about business groups.
While not a partisan one way or the other, Council does have a role, as a government for the people by the people, to set rules, that often constrain business, with the goal being the greater social good. Is this a broad based coalition or is it “just” business and also, unfortunately, ‘arms length’ government agencies that are frustrated with not getting their way? I think these are valid questions that are yet to be answered.
I couldn’t agree more with this perspective. We need community leaders to get involved to ignite the flame and increase the volume of whispers within many of us and spread this positive “can do” attitude that helps breed success!
These same business leaders are the people who have worked long and hard to provide us with many of the great offerings our city has. Why should their motives be questioned because they want to see if there are as many people out there (residents) as they suspect who want to promote similar positive changes? You can see by the response and recent media coverage that perhaps they are right! That is why they are leaders. They have vision and they execute that vision into reality.
The amount of interest is overwhelming. The faces I have seen are from many demographics and are inclusive of residents from Bedford, Dartmouth, Sackville, Hammonds Plains etc. Those same business leaders have not simply ignited the flame but have provided a means for any typical citizen to participate in turning their community into the best in Canada. Many of us current engaged new members of “Citizens for Halifax” are simply ordinary citizens with a desire to be involved in extraordinary things! We want to make our community better for the generations to come. It is not a manhunt! It is us that are hosting the so called “secret” meetings which in actuality are luncheons plastered all over social networking sites such as Facebook and held wherever from living rooms to yes, the Halifax Club. (Not a very accessible venue but very hospitable and available within a 5 day notice to host 30+ people!)
As for the negativity towards “The Chamber”….. As a boomerang/ex-pat myself, coming home and starting a small business, I was elated by the ability to pay a small membership fee and belong to such a fantastic, professional organization such as the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally and also build my business to provide for my family and allow others to prosper from. They have provided many tools and free educational seminars hosted by these same business leaders who have often volunteered their time. Should entrepreneurs feel guilty about being members of such organizations? I don’t think so! They should be proud of the engagement, involvement, commitment and intellect that have used to discover such a valuable business tool! Without these resources how can the rest of us expect to have the privilege to one day prosper into these same altruistic business leaders?
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