This past week I visited Ottawa for my first time, and I must say, I was quite impressed by the city. We are based in Vancouver and I often end up going to Toronto but I never made it up to Ottawa. I was visiting a friend of mine who is working in the Canadian government in foreign affairs.
It happened to be a really good time to be in Ottawa as it was the first day of Parliament, and I was able to see the question period. Many recent articles in the Canadian news have focussed on the subject such as this one. However, my main takeaways from the experience were not about any particular political issue or statement, but rather the atmosphere in general. It was quite different than what I had expected, but perhaps that’s just because it was my first close look at Canadian politics.
The atmosphere was more like a high school pep rally than a structured debate. There was yelling and cheering and many of the questions asked were answered in such a convoluted way that you forgot what the question even was. Sometimes it was obvious that the question would just remain unanswered. As disorganized as it was, the energy of the room was intense. I suppose that’s what happens when you put the country’s most powerful people all in the same room. The whole scene seemed so far removed from the world of small business and everyday people, yet half of what they talked about was jobs, small business, the economy and everyday people. It was certainly a very interesting experience!
To sum it all up – Ottawa is a beautiful city and a great place to visit, especially if you’re a buff on politics. Now that I’m back home it’s time to get back to business – lots of capital investment to be done for small businesses as the fall season is here and the economy is turning!