If there was a hall of fame for years I can’t imagine that 2012 would be getting much support for its induction. Mostly, looking back, it was a year of shocking weather events, yet more problems in the Middle East and, in Canada, a further erosion of the democratic values we supposedly believe to be important.
The Occupy movement seems to have pretty much fizzled without having accomplished much of anything, if nothing else proof that corporate interests have outstripped government in terms of real power. After having nearly brought the world to its economic knees a couple of years ago, Wall Street financial folks have hardly missed a beat as they continue to rake in obscene amounts of cash for creating ever more quasi-legal tools in their modern metatphysical quest to turn lead, or paper, into gold.
In Canada, we have a glimmer of hope in a new protest movement inspired by the federal government’s latest omnibus bill. While other Canadians were napping, or busy running up more credit card bills before Christmas, it took a number of First Nations women to notice that Harper’s crew has once again been busy as proverbial beavers, gnawing away at our rights and freedoms. And isn’t it juicily ironic that that the prime minister who for all the world behaves like he apprenticed in the pre-fall of the Iron Curtain Kremlin, continues to impart the same Republican values that seem now to be eroding south of the border?
In sporting news, Canadians finally have finally found something in common, agreeing that they hate NHL players and owners with equal passion. Where once the sports pages and websites were filled with debate about the latest thriller between Winnipeg and Columbus, they now teem with complaints about Gary Betman and Donald Fehr, as writers display their conviction that their God-given right to watch NHL hockey has been ripped away by these two devils incarnate and their no-brain lackeys. If the same angst was channeled toward climate change or world peace, we are left to wonder what miracles might be accomplished.
Provincially, one gets the sense that, despite attempts to blur outward appearances, Premier Christy Clark and her incredible shrinking cabinet are busy packing up their possessions, stealing the legislature dining room’s cutlery and making ready for their return to talk radio programs and used car sales. Completely bereft of any ideas that might save her political bacon, Clark continues to have her minions type out press releases that make one vacuous announcement after another, most of the sort that reveal that the premier wishes her constituents a happy Festivus, or proclaims her pleasure in the latest sunrise.
Locally, Creston residents appear to have survived the first year of paying for policing through property tax hikes, but have seen their volunteer groups turned away for funding with the demise of the popular grant-in-aid program. Unless, that is, they are canny enough to apply for money under an amorphous and unnamed discretionary fund.
It appears that the next year and a half will be devoted to rumours that the affable and always interesting John Kettle will be running for mayor in the next municipal election, rumours started by Kettle himself. Apparently not content with being the big fish in the smallish ponds of the Regional District of Central Kootenay and Kootenay East Regional Hospital District, Kettle is reported to have floated the undeniably peculiar balloon that he just might run in the mayoralty and Area B races so that he might have another puddle to play in.
You say local politics is dull. Consider the rumour that the next mayoralty race could include incumbent Ron Toyota, the aforementioned Kettle, malcontent Michael Bunn, previous candidate Rhonda Barter, politically ambitious counselor Wesly Graham and former mayor John Snopek. Admittedly, I am the source of that rumour, but you can’t blame a guy for trying to make things a little more interesting, can you?
All in all, though, we do have it pretty darn good here, don’t you think. We live in an incredibly generous and remarkably creative community among people, the majority at least, who make wonderful friends and neighbours. We made it through the year without too much in the way of natural disasters (except for the sorry situation in Johnson’s Landing), had a pretty darn good growing season despite a poor spring and the sun continues to rise on schedule. Happy New Year.
Lorne Eckersley is the publisher of the Creston Valley Advance.