Now I know why Edmonton has to fight to change its own perception of itself.

My first business column for the Edmonton Sun, published on Sat. Feb. 25, was about Edmonton's need to blow its own horn, to recognize that we are so darn lucky compared to just about every other mid-sized city in the world, for wages, employment, value housing, educational opportunities and so on.

You would not have believed some of the negativity expressed in the "comments" section of the online story!

Edmonton-deadmonton; a dark, depressing, boring, crime-ridden city; nothing to be proud of; a general population of delusional, angry, sociopathic, aggressive, antagonistic, self centered, disillusioned people; boring as hell; homelessness; price-gouging; high rents; high cost of power ....

What is with these people?

How have they allowed themselves to enter into such a downward spiral of negativity about the city they live in?

Why, as some other readers asked, do they continue to live here?

I'll tell you what.

It's about them, not this beautiful city.

They have, for whatever personal reasons, become grumpy, bitter and cyncial. If they lived in Vancouver or the south of France or had won the lottery, they'd STILL complain!

Perhaps, over the time I'm writing this new column, they'll be convinced by the logic of the commentary that we are, all things considered, an exceptional town. Maybe they'll actually make the tiniest bit of EFFORT - be it volunteerism, contribution, doing their bit - to make their home the best city, in the best province in the best country in the world, as our ex Mayor "Booster" Bill Smith used to say.

And rather than being negative and cynical, they'll pick up on the spendid cornucopia of people and artists and attractions and opportunity that is Edmonton.