To be or not to be progressive

April 28, 2011

Making a Difference

Cities and businesses vie with each other to be recognized as “progressive”.  But what does that really mean?

Literally, as an adjective, pro·gres·sive means:

  •  Moving forward; advancing e.g. not being left in the dust
  • Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments e.g. progressive change
  • Promoting or favouring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods e.g. a progressive politician; progressive business leadership

Surfing the web, you can quickly find other municipalities that call themselves progressive:

  • Township of Guelph/Eramosa
  • County of Elgin (their slogan is “Progressive by Nature”)
  • Windsor
  • Orillia
  • Ottawa
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Sarnia
  • Lindsay
  • Quinte West
  • Collingwood 

MSN recently recognized our community as progressive.

 “Guelph is a progressive university town. Their Community Energy Initiative to consume less energy attracted solar module company Canadian Solar Inc., which has opened the door to up to 500 jobs for residents. “Guelph has it all,” says mom Ruth Buchanan, who moved here from Vancouver. “Affordability, friendliness and lifestyle. What Guelph has are neighbourhoods. Our neighbourhood is a place where kids can almost still be free range, at least within a block or two radius. I lived in [Vancouver’s] Shaughnessy for three years, and I’m not sure I ever saw a neighbour outside the house.”

Perhaps we should include “progressive” in our mission statement – it expresses a powerful commitment of moving forward to make a difference!

If we did, we would join an impressive list of local businesses that proudly self-identify as progressive:

 The Co-operators (become an Agent web page)

With The Co-operators behind your agency, you’ll have the best of both worlds: the independence of running your own business, and the full support of a company committed to progressive, ethical and enduring growth.

The Co-operators (main web page)

Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2011. This is an annual, national competition based on eight criteria that determine which employers lead their industries in offering the most progressive and forward-thinking programs for their employees.

Bird Packaging (web page)

Bird Packaging was established over three decades ago by Carol and Charlie Bird in a 3,300sqft building in Guelph, Ontario. Bird Packaging is one of Canada’s largest and most progressive independent packaging companies and operates in an open and consultative manner within a non-union environment.

Swan Moving (web page)

“The atmosphere we create is of the finest quality,” says Nicole. “There is a difference with our company, and that difference is our quality staff and progressive, positive management.”

Homewood (web page)

A progressive organization focused on local, national, and international development (currently involved in a skills-sharing program with Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners in Belize)

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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