As 2013 comes to a close, there are few among us who can say it was a boring year. On the national front, we had the three Senate stooges who each tried to outdo the other in taking top ass honours of the year. The humbling part is that two of the mighty trio were journalists before they sidled up to the Ottawa trough. It’s hard to believe they actually believed they would get away with pleading ignorance. Always remember, Mike and Pamela, if the critter quacks, waddles and spews feathers — it’s a duck.
In another part of Ontario, the train-wreck that is Rob Ford was busy showing the rest of the world that Canadians can indeed be as gross as Charlie Sheen. Goes to show that no amount of money can breed common sense and how appallingly loose our laws are regarding municipal politics.
Provincially things are just beginning to heat up on the natural resources front. Many of us on the Coast are hoping Santa had first dibs on the coal that is supposed to be shipped past our front doors. We’d be delighted to hear some government officials found large lumps of it in their Christmas stockings. And we hope in the holiday spirit that the leftover black nuggets filled the hosiery of the B.C. Ferries mucky-mucks — you know, the ones with the barely-contained boredom written all over their smug mugs. Of course, with their clout and knack for attracting riches, the lumps probably turned to diamonds before their very eyes.
On the local front in 2013, the taxpayers of the District of Sechelt got an early Christmas present with the news that the Sechelt Indian Band and District had inked an agreement for the SIB to pay $1.68 million towards the construction of the new sewage plant on Ebbtide Street — no small gift for a municipality with an aging population who are land rich and cash poor. Another good news story for the District in 2013 was the creation of the Sechelt Innovations Ltd., spearheaded by a board of directors that reads like a who’s who of Sunshine Coast business gurus.
Gibsons faces a mighty decision in 2014. A long-awaited hotel proposal by businessman Klaus Fuerniss is scheduled to come before council early in the New Year. If letters to the editor are any indication, Gibsons’ council will need the wisdom of Solomon to decide the fate of The George. As another Sunshine Coast community in dire need of an expanded tax base, the decision is one that could decide the future financial viability of the Town.
Late in the year, we Coasters revisited a common enemy when the afore-mentioned B.C. Ferries played Scrooge for what we all know will definitely not be the last time. In filled auditoriums and halls all over coastal B.C. we heard the same old message — essentially it’s our choice to live surrounded by water and the highway ends where the macadam stops. It was interesting to see and hear the reasoning for the free Interior ferries. The Interior ferries do indeed cost less to run, they’re frill-less transportation vehicles, plain and simple. So until the time comes when we’re actually comparing the same ferries with the same amenities, we’ll take the numbers with more than a little disbelief. This time the ferries folks may find they’ve bitten off a little more than they can chew. The very people, our seniors, who stand to lose the most from this latest version of cost cutting are the very people with the most time on their hands to protest. We’ve been at the mercy of their tongues before, so I say with great certainty the grey-hairs have no intention of going gently into that good night.
What does 2014 hold? We’re pretty sure there will be no lack of contentious issues for our readers and us to cover. And with municipal elections looming next November, it should be interesting to see how local decisions play out. One thing for sure — it won’t be dull.
Happy New Year, everyone.