August 12 Editorial

As a Canadian born and raised in this country, I hold tremendous pride in the accomplishments of our nation in its relatively brief 145-year existence. But every so often Canada receives a symbolic slap to the face, which serves as an attention getter, and perhaps never more so than if it’s a direct comparative to other countries.

In this instance I’m referring to the recent Energy Efficient Scorecard, a comprehensive report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, a non-profit organization from Washington, D.C. ACEEE closely analyzed hordes of data using a sophisticated rankings system to determine how the world’s leading economies are performing.

A total of 12 major economies were examined. Canada finished a dismal 11th, ahead of only Russia. Had this been a hockey summit we’d have something to cheer about. But to be fair, even the first-place United Kingdom would be wise to keep a lid on celebrating, with a mediocre grade of C+ on a very average score of 67 out of 100. Exuberance of a gold-medal placement in this sad sack competition would be akin to celebrating the fact you’ve just been recognized as the world’s tallest midget. By the way, Canada’s embarrassingly microscopic score came in at 37. The poignant message is that all countries have a lot of smartening up to do.

Our base theme is on the construction industry with the primary focus on the commercial side; we don’t get into road construction or crumbling infrastructure, which is always a sore point, literally and figuratively. Unless you’re on a motorbike, there shouldn’t be a need to wear a crash helmet while driving on urban roads – but it mightn’t be a bad idea given the decrepit state of some arteries. If you’re one of the unfortunate souls who unwittingly wound up testing your vehicle’s suspension by entering a massive road crater, you’ve no doubt experienced what it’s like to have your kidneys in your ears. But beyond the annoyances of decaying roads and road construction, the industry as a whole is poised to be one of cornerstones of the Canadian economy and currently accounts for more than 6 per cent of our national GDP.

Here’s hoping your day isn’t going through a bumpy ride of any kind.

Angus Gillespie