EDITORIAL: Taking a look back, and forward

Today the Parksville Qualicum Beach News launches its annual year in review, which will run over the next four consecutive editions.

While some of the features that appeared in print and online, from the Polar Bear Splash on New Year’s Day to the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas campaign, are annual occurrences, it was also a year of change throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach and in B.C. in general.

We saw a new provincial government installed following the B.C. election in May. Parksville-Qualicum Beach MLA Michelle Stilwell retained her seat in legislature, while longtime NDP MLA Scott Fraser, who represents some of our outlying communities in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding, moved into government for the first time after a dozen years in opposition.

Shoreline and estuary restoration was completed at Arbutus Point in Parksville and at the mouth of the Englishman River, while upstream the Englishman River Water Service project advanced with installation of the new intake along the riverbank.

Development continued apace in Parksville, where the Shelley Road development and the Kingsley Manor affordable housing project advanced toward completion, and in Qualicum Beach, where ground was broken on the newest entry in the Berwick Retirement Village stable of properties on Vancouver Island.

New businesses opened throughout the region, while others closed their doors. Official Community Plans were approved for Electoral Area H north of Qualicum Beach and for Parksville’s Community Park, while work proceeded on the Town of Qualicum Beach OCP and the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Recreational Services Master Plan for District 69.

The PQB NEWS was not immune to the tides of change. We introduced two new reporters to the staff and saw a change in the editor’s chair, while also changing to a new web platform designed to provide daily local news updates as well as information from fellow Black Press papers throughout the Island and the province.

What hasn’t changed is our commitment to covering local news and events and making The NEWS an interactive platform for your views through our Letters to the Editor page and online comment forums. For all of this, we rely on your input and contribution.

All of us on the PQB NEWS staff would like to take this opportunity to thank the community event organizers, businesses, service providers, first responders and individuals who contributed their story tips. Keep ‘em coming.

Also, a tip of the cap to our stable of columnists who have shared their expertise in everything from seniors and health issues to trails and recreation, history and wildlife rehabilitation.

To everyone in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region, here’s hoping your 2017 had plenty of highlights, and that 2018 has even better news in store.

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

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