What kind of a year will this be?
Last year I predicted that pipelines would continue to be news, along with mines, ports, Site C, LNG (fracking), changes in forestry, threats to the ALR and water. That was correct.
Site C was approved but still faces challenges. The Mount Polley Mine disaster triggered attention to mine safety in the province, but in general, resource development plans are plugging along.
The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision on First Nations land claims (William Case) will have a big impact on many of them.
One thing for sure in 2015, there will be a federal election. Other predictions are iffy but I’m thinking more prominent Canadians like Preston Manning will be calling attention to climate change.
Protests against resource developments will continue, as will lawsuits, which seem to be more effective.
Williams Lake is starting the year with a new city council.
This batch is expected to be open and receptive to public input, and there will likely be more citizen’s advisory groups and fewer outside consultants. Although council began its term by reversing two decisions made by the previous council, Mayor Cobb has said he won’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Our TRU campus will be in the news because council will use its political clout to convince the powers-that-be in Kamloops that our campus could and should have the resources to play a bigger role in this community. The regional district and school board might well get on board with this, along with the Chamber of Commerce.
Williams Lake often gets bad press, like the latest report by BC Business which ranks us second last (35 out of 36) in B.C. as a good place to live. The report is hooey, and the new council, assisted by the Chamber, BIA and other rah rah groups, will see that we earn more accurate ratings.
All in all, the Cariboo Chilcotin will be OK in 2015.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.