OPINION: Ushering in 2017

We are almost a week into 2017, but I’m writing this in 2016, and it has me a bit off kilter.

We are almost a week into 2017, but I’m writing this in 2016, and it has me a bit off kilter.

According to many pundits, 2016 sucked, but 2017 will be better. It’s hard to see how changing the name of the year can change anything else, but we can put on rose coloured glasses and dream.

That said, there are some things that will happen for sure, some that might, some that we hope won’t.

I’ll start with seniors, because I am one. It should be known soon where the 70 new residential care “beds” will end up. If they aren’t at the Cariboo Lodge site there will be a lot of disappointed and angry people. Then there is the proposed sale of the Retirement Concepts chain to a huge multinational investment corporation. Many citizens are petitioning against this but a key lobbyist for the plan is said to have helped raised $120,000 for the federal Liberals, with the 153 Mile Store and eventually a new museum as the main attractions, is also on the list.

There will be a provincial election with many, many issues, including health care, education and energy. On the federal scene, the question is will Prime Minister Trudeau continue to disappoint those who expected a different style of government.

One hot topic, even in the mainstream media, will be climate change. It doesn’t matter whether we believe humans are causing it or that it simply nature doing her thing, it would be prudent to be prepared. Better safe than sorry. It is interesting to note that while pipelines and LNG are much in the news, alternate power sources, especially solar power, are quietly becoming more popular in many progressive countries. Lower cost is a main attraction.

Whatever, let’s put on those happy glasses and hope the Good Things outnumber the Bad in 2017, and that the people in power use their power, at least once in a while, to benefit ordinary people, not just their buddies and or big corporations.

Diana French is a freelance columnist, former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.


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