2017: The year of uncertainty

Opinion
Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Predicting what will happen in any year is guesswork.

Trying to figure what will happen in 2017 and how it will affect people in Pictou County and around the world is especially difficult, but viewing the political, economic, social and environmental trend lines amount to staring at an abyss.

It may not matter what good anyone tries to do once Donald Trump becomes U.S. president. We can correct Pictou County’s ecology, work for political resolution to triumph over conflict, achieve greater prosperity and raise everyone out of fiscal and emotional misery – and Trump’s decisions could negate all of it.

That should not stop us from trying to do better. We, in Pictou County, will have to do so despite no change in governance. The plebiscite that resulted in a vote opposing amalgamation of four municipalities in the county is a genuine setback if we cannot move ahead under the existing structure.

Some real signs of hope deserve a look. What the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce and groups like Pictou County 2020, Pulse Pictou County and the economic development working group can do to improve our common lot is a question what needs to be answered, and soon.

Canada is fast becoming one of the few exponents of liberal democracy. We are experiencing more conservatism among existing or would-be governments with their desire to build barriers to trade, values, culture and peaceful co-existence.

This is happening while Canada prepares to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. It will be an opportunity for us to state and to exercise what it means to be Canadians.

Families who have arrived in Pictou County and much of the province and country from Syria and elsewhere can help us seize that opportunity. They have come from a place where their lives and  livelihood has been shot out from under them, yet they have shown through their industry and their comportment how they can be contributing members of our society.

Times have changed. Take New Year’s Day levees for example. There are fewer levees on New Year’s Day to kick off 2017, including just one municipal levee. This is  due partly to the day falling on a Sunday and partly to decisions by local groups to disband the custom. It’s an interesting trend, given the rather strong popularity of levees in Pictou County.
It will be an interesting year, but we will need much to go right in 2017 for Happy New Year to have a lasting ring to it.

When times get tough, the tough welcome a fresh start – the New Year – with hope and enthusiasm. Let us get tough and welcome 2017 with open minds, open hearts and lots of enthusiasm.

From all of us to all of our loyal readers, we wish you a very happy New Year!

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