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Commentary: The dark days of opportunity

MVT Johnnie-Bachusky-mug
Johnnie Bachusky is the editor of the Innisfail Province. File photo/MVP Staff

It has been proven throughout the annals of time that history’s most inspirational moments come when times appear at their bleakest, when so much adversity is compounded it occurs to many that surrendering is not only the easiest option but most preferable.

Alberta certainly has had a frustrating run of bad luck in its long journey to resurrect its oil and gas industry. Finger pointing is easy to do but hardly helpful. The only sensible option is just to keep plugging away.

But then came the novel coronavirus.

The entire world is on edge. There are predictions the virus could not only cause death and sickness at an unprecedented level but an economic collapse not seen since the Great Crash of 1929.

But we must never forget that these are just that – mere predictions, just guesses really.

The real greater truth is what we actually see in front of us: today’s crisis responses that speak to the far better sides of ourselves.

The initial responses by federal and provincial leaders to the novel coronavirus have been positive, and even inspirational if we’re able to push past dark notions of doom and surrender.

Through plans of dedicated coordinated action they have been advanced to the public with much needed calm, especially provincewide by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, whose admirable poise in the face of crisis has been reassuring for a public more used to the day-to-day anxiety of holding down jobs and paying bills.

Premier Jason Kenney has dialed down the accusatory rhetoric and now appears willing to work with once dreaded adversaries. Last week the federal government rolled out its first major billion-dollar response, with a promise more help will come if needed. And then came news Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of the prime minister, tested positive for the novel coronavirus. There was no meanness coming from the other side of the House. No, Andrew Scheer offered his best wishes for her recovery.

This is all a good start. The opportunity for greatness, after all, is right in front of us.

Canadians have always seized these moments.

Johnnie Bachusky is the editor of the Innisfail Province.