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Parker’s Pen – October 2020

David Parker

The talk is all about getting back to ‘normal’ – but it may be an awful long time before we are going about our lives doing the things we did pre-Covid-19.

Many are cautious about going back to schools, restaurants or anywhere that crowds gather like Sunday worship. Although cruise lines are boasting about good bookings for next year, a lot of people I talk to say they won’t even fly out of the country. Suppose there’s another outbreak where you travelled causing problems returning home?

But, good for the Canadian tourist industry as there’s lots to see and do here. We took our annual European vacation to Trail and Christina Lake. Not quite Toledo or Como but the sun shone, the wine was just fine and didn’t have to worry about losing our passports.

Be thankful if you can afford to get away. I feel for those businesses that are still hurting. How do freelancers like auctioneer Danny Hooper who raises so much for charity auctions recover their losses, or our friend Dave Kelly who performs with a live audience, or event organizers like e=mc² stay creative without gatherings to organize.

One thing that is back to normal is the amount of traffic on Calgary’s roads, and although things are best fixed in good weather, orange must be the most frustrating colour for any motorist. Makes you wonder if city hall has a hate-on for vehicles. Closing down so many lanes for repair and construction projects is not only maddening, they cause disruptions in time to do business.

Worse are the traffic changes where I worry about accidents happening. One of the worst is at the junction of 5th Street and 17th Avenue S.W. Turning south from 12th Avenue two bicycle lanes have cut down driving to two. But be aware that one of those turns into a left turn only at 17th, which means those that are trapped need to get over in a hurry. Be aware.

The construction industry is one that has been able to keep workers during this pandemic. And things are looking really good for anyone who can swing a hammer.

Talking with the president of a large construction company, he suggested that within the next couple of years there will be a real shortage of trades people.

There are so many big projects on the books. The new arena, BMO Centre, Glenbow revitalization, Stephen Avenue Master Plan, University of Calgary projects, Taza Development on the Tsuut’ina nation, plus a large number of smaller developments; that sector is going to be okay for a while.

Retail has been hit hard, yet confidence in this city means new stores continue to open. Good to see openings at University District, new locations for Lina’s Italian Market at Shepard and The Windsor on Elbow Drive, and Farmers’ Market at Greenwich is under construction. Wish some were downtown.

End Quote: The only genuinely wealthy are those who are satisfied with what they have.