The benefit of David Braley
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 25, 2010)
The Hamilton area has a representative in the Canadian Senate for the first time in 70 years.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger is likely right that the Senate appointment of David Braley won't benefit Hamilton in a concrete way. But the fact that such a good mind is coming from the Hamilton area shouldn't be downplayed. It's difficult to think of a more impressive person than Braley to have at the table speaking for the interests of Southern Ontario residents.
Braley himself, in reacting to the appointment, said he wants to make sure the voice of the Hamilton-Burlington area is heard on Parliament Hill. It's not a stretch to suggest, given his remarkable business background, that Braley will be an excellent Senate representative for the greater Golden Horseshoe, the economic engine of the nation.
It's abundantly clear that Braley does not think small. Nor is he inclined to half-measures. As a successful businessman, as owner of two Canadian football teams, as a philanthropist who believes in giving back to the community, his view seems to be go big or go home. He has a record of committing his time and his money to projects that benefit the community as a whole.
He keeps the big picture on his radar in a way many others cannot even fathom, much less duplicate. In a political landscape uniformly parochial at all levels, Braley's broader view is both refreshing and important. There are too many artificial divisions -- federally, provincially and locally -- and Braley's big-picture perspective will have an impact in the upper house.
Opposition members have been quick to criticize Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Braley's appointment, suggesting the businessman bought his way into the post through political donations. That's a lame approach, given Braley's stellar record in business and philanthropy. In fact, Braley stands out as an appointment based on real merit. Do hockey icons (Jacques Demers, Frank Mahovlich), former broadcast journalists (Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy) or party hacks (Doug Finley) somehow make better senators than someone with a proven track record in business and the community?
There is no doubt Braley is a great Canadian with a long and strong record of success and community involvement. Nobody can or would question his devotion to and development of our area. His well- deserved appointment to the Senate is good for Hamilton and Burlington. And it's likely better for all of Canada.
Editorials are written by members of the editorial board. They represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the individual author.
Somebody is either edging for a job or has a super man crush.
And you, Lee Prokaska, are that somebody.