‘That’s easy to answer,” said Svanhildur Konradsdottir, when asked what is the most important thing her city does as a business centre. “We promote our artists and we promote our culture. It’s what we are. It’s in everything we do.”
Ms. Konradsdottir is director of culture and tourism for the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. When she uttered these words at a business breakfast at the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce earlier this month, she may not have been aware how strongly the same sentiment is growing in Alberta’s capital.
You’ve got to hand it to Western Canadian grain farmers – it’s never easy for them. Name another sector that needs to worry about flood, drought, heat, frost, rain, grasshoppers, rising input prices, mice, hail and crop disease. It’s always something.
In 2014, you can add to the list of frustrations an inability to get rail cars. For reasons that vary depending on whom you ask, Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway have been slow in delivering grain hopper cars to elevators this winter. Due to the bumper crops that were harvested last fall, elevators across the Prairies are plugged to the gills with grain – they can’t take in any more. And if farmers can’t deliver their grain, they don’t get paid. And then they get mad.