EDITORIAL: What will the new year bring?

As we watch 2017 and the year-long Canada 150 party dwindle in the rear-view mirror, it seems a good time to swivel our gaze forward to see what might be coming at us in 2018.

Also to avoid charges of distracted driving.

Don’t expect amazing and outlandish predictions of a shiny future with Buck Rogers gadgets on every toolbelt. Besides, what passed for fantastical, futuristic technology in Rogers’ time is more likely to be found today in our recycle bins or garage sales. Was that an iPhone 5 we just ran over while we were looking in the mirror?

No, our crystal ball — speaking of low-tech tools — remains as cloudy as the Englishman River in November.

What we can expect is based on the historical record, the arc of human social behaviour and comfortable patterns, punctuated by the occasional natural or man-made disaster, like B.C.’s 2017 fires, or the election of President Trump.

Speaking of the prez, we do know there are a couple big elections coming up this fall within a few days of each other. The U.S. will hold its mid-term election in November. Trump won’t be on the ballot, but his party’s handling of the reins of power will, as the entire House of Representatives is up for renewal or replacement, along with one-third of the U.S. Senate and a number of state houses and governorships.

Much closer to home, our municipal elections will also roll around in November. While few of us have a say in matters south of the border, we can definitely play a role in choosing who will sit on our local city and town councils, regional district boards and school district boards for the next four years. This ballot allows us a say in the priorities and policies taken by local representatives. We wish we could say there will be a 100 per cent voter turnout but, again, the crystal ball isn’t sharing.

Long before that, we know the Parksville Curling Club will bring the province’s top men’s curlers to the community for the Scotties, the B.C. Men’s Curling Championships later this month. We know, too, they will be followed in short order by the seasonal migration of tourists who clog our roads and parking lots, yet also fill the cash registers of local businesses.

We’d love to see the opioid crisis ended and the Salvation Army and SOS both reach their funding goals. More certain is that our snowfall alerts will give way to open fire bans and watering restrictions.

And there will be good news. Residents and organizations will do good works in the community, and new business will open, potentially bringing innovative products or services as well as employment.

And we know Parksville Qualicum Beach remains among the best places to live, in Canada or anywhere else. It’s right in front of us.

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

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