If you’re a fan of pet jokes, you might like this one.

I saw a neighbour talking to her cat; it was obvious that she thought her cat understood her. I came to my house, I told my dog … we laughed a lot.

Hopefully you found that funny, and it’s true that we all like to be understood by those who we talk to. One Canadian who has been talking, is Kevin O’Leary, well known as one of the most outspoken dragons on the TV show Dragon’s Den. During the past twelve months he’s been using his fame to speak to and be understood by millennials, and is welcomed into universities throughout Canada. Although O’Leary is a unique character, who never leaves any doubt as to what he’s thinking, his television fame, combined with his financial success, have given him a valuable connection to young Canadian academics.

O’Leary’s message is clear and concise: “We need a new manager, we need a new government, we need a new policy. The whole cabinet is weak; it’s a spatula we need to scrape it clean and start again,” he says to the students. “In Canada we don’t hire new prime ministers, we fire old ones.”

He observed that shows like Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den attracted viewers because, at
the heart of those shows, was freedom to be successful entrepreneurs. But he cautions students, in order for that to be available to them once they finish their education, Canada needs leadership that will make Canada competitive once again.

When a student asked him who he thought would be a good leader for Canada, O’Leary promptly replied, “Anything’s better than what we’ve got. We must make this change and get rid of the anti-business sentiment in Canada,” he concluded. O’Leary makes it clear to his listeners that his primary and perhaps only concern is the financial future of Canada. However fiscal stewardship is also a social justice issue. For example, currently $80 million a day goes towards federal debt in our country. Eighty million dollars a day could make a huge contribution to our veterans and most vulnerable, so you can see the financial future of our country affects many other aspects of our nation.

O’Leary is using his fame and business expertise to reach university students who understand and need to hear his message. This would not be happening if he chose to sit back and enjoy his financial well-being and be unconcerned about the future of our nation. What we can learn from his example is to acknowledge we all have an area of influence.

O’Leary told his audience, “I’m taking every one of my family members to the polls.” That may seem like something insignificant, but it’s something we all need to do. When random people were asked if they will vote in the upcoming election, these were some of the disturbing responses: 1. “No, I won’t. What a joke that is!” 2. “No, I have no idea what’s going on with the election.” 3. “Probably not, don’t know enough.” 4. “No, can’t be bothered.”

Those same people may not realize that in the last election, candidates in various ridings, won or lost by two votes, 61 votes, 72 votes and 80 votes. So you can see the importance of every single vote.

Kevin O’Leary’s message is very clear, so clear perhaps dogs and cats could understand it.
He is supplying people with information and encouraging everyone to vote, because this is a critical time for our nation. And that is something we all can do.

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