Looking forward with hope to the New Year

It’s difficult to believe yet another year is about to come to a close. The old saying certainly seems to ring true – time appears to go by faster as a person gets older!

This past year certainly brought much in the way of news — locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.

Locally, this past year has also seen major infrastructure projects in Red Deer from roundabouts to highway construction on the City’s south side to the health and wellness centre on the Red Deer College campus.

Provincially, Albertans are bracing themselves for the implementation of the carbon tax.

Not much is known as to how it will really impact businesses and families, but it has not be a welcomed change in an ongoing sluggish economy.

One of the biggest things internationally was the election of Donald Trump who went from being the most unlikely of candidates last year to becoming president-elect.

Not many would have ever thought that this would happen, but it did. As the defeated Hillary Clinton said, Americans owe him an open mind, so we’ll see what happens as the New Year unfolds.

Of course here at home we are still in a recession that has seen major job losses in the oilfield sector which has also had a trickle down effect into other industries as well.

We can only hope that 2017 brings stability in this area, however, with all of the different perspectives and opinions, it is hard to know what will really happen.

But despite these challenges, when we look around us, Canadians should take time at the dawn of a New Year to consider how blessed and fortunate we are to call this nation home.

There are hardships to be sure, but what we endure compared to what many face puts things into clear, sobering perspective.

It brings to mind an image circulating on the Internet. One side of the picture shows emaciated children with their hands extended, presumably reaching for food. The other side shows frazzled Christmas shoppers with shopping carts loaded up with every gadget imaginable.

The words ‘Define necessity’ underline the images. It’s a powerful reminder of what matters.

In spite of the spectrum of events that 2016 held, New Year’s Day, as it does every year, brings with it a sense of optimism.

It gives us the feeling of having a fresh start, adding to the sense that whatever hardships may have been endured, there’s reason to press forward with hope.

That hope for a better year ahead is all the more poignant this New Year’s with the drop in oil prices and a rather unstable economic outlook.

Meanwhile, it’s also great to see how Red Deerians band together to lend a helping hand.

That’s always abundantly clear during the recent Christmas season, too. And whenever there is some sort of crisis, you can always count on the generosity of local residents to help ease the pain.

Time and again, we in the media hear about how helpful local citizens are to others in need.

This was especially true this past year as agencies were feeling the pressure even more and numbers overall were higher in terms of people who needed assistance in one way or another.

Knowing that we have a community that consistently steps up to help does offer a kind of tonic for frazzled nerves in today’s constantly changing world.

Strength does lie in that sense of community, and that’s something we can count on in 2017.

Just Posted

Bruce Buruma enters the UCP nomination race for Red Deer South

Vote for candidate takes place early in the New Year

Rollovers near Ponoka keep crews busy

Wintry road conditions proved a struggle for motorists on the QE2 highway with several incidents

Central Alberta Theatre heads into ‘holiday’ mode with latest offering

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) open Nov. 17th at the Black Knight Inn

Canada Winter Games upgrades completed at Canyon Ski Resort

Officials say improving the resort makes it a destination for future winter sports competitions

Red Deerian helps Kenyan woman get slushy machine – the first in Northern Kenya

The woman named her store after Red Deer because of all the support

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Castor, Forestburg, coal workers get $257,644 to transition to low-carbon economy

Two transition centres will serve seven communities in the Battler River Region

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

Disaster escalates as officials raised the death toll to 63

VIDEO: The definition of a kilogram has officially changed

50-plus countries voted to a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements

Most Read