What’s in store in 2016?

We are preparing to turn yet another leaf to welcome a new year. Wise men say that to see the future, one has to look at the past.

We are preparing to turn yet another leaf to welcome a new year. Wise men say in order to be able to see the future, one has to look at the past. As the occasion is the start of a new year, it might be appropriate to look at what happened in our town, province and country in 2015 to try to guess what might or should happen in 2016.

At the local level, Stettler’s economy has been severely affected by the slump in the oil prices and the impact is likely to be felt throughout the new year.

At the provincial level, the only success of Ms. Notley’s government so far has been to make a mess of their first six months in office. Bill 6, and after that Bill 8, went a long way to prove wrong those who claimed that Rachel Notley, coming from a family of a serious politician, would not be making clumsy moves in establishing herself and the NDP as a serious political force. So far, with her recruitment of policy advisers and senior bureaucrats, Ms. Notley unwittingly inflicted great damage to her chances to govern the province effectively.

At the national level, the electorate decided that it was time for a sea change in the country’s political orientation and brought in Liberals in a decisive show of support for the young Trudeau. The change of tone in government was noticeable almost from day one, with the new government taking bold steps both to restore Canada’s international image as a humane and caring nation and to ensure that First Nations would not be treated as second-rate citizens of this country any longer. But the new government also immediately realized that economy would not be as easy a file as it seemed before the election and the new finance minister shared his concerns with both the public and the provincial/territorial governments.

Outlook for 2016In the province, Ms. Notley and her ministers need to realize that there is Alberta beyond Edmonton, too, and they also have the responsibility to serve that Alberta as well. Provincial government will need to find a better way of communicating with all the population of the province, in particular by improving their listening skills. With oil prices certain to remain at about the current levels for most of 2016, the government will have to come up with creative ideas to turn the slump around and nurture the hope among Albertans that things can and will get better.

At the national level, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have to make good on his promises to return the economy to growth and create jobs, even at the cost of big deficits, in order to maintain the positive image he has so far created mostly at his international engagements with world leaders and his young female fans. The settlement of the promised 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada in the first few months of the new year will be a major test of the new government’s ability to manage the bureaucracy and mobilize resources for a particular objective.

And at the global level, the new year does not look likely to be less tumultuous than the outgoing one: Middle East conflicts are likely to get worse before one can even start to talk about solutions; refugee crisis is still nowhere near a settlement; naval tensions in the South China Sea among US, Chinese and Japanese forces are rising; the undeclared war in Ukraine may flare up any day. In technology, pundits predict the start of the demise of the smart phone technology and the rise of “virtual reality” products. As for the economy, the high-risk bond market has started to emit signals similar to those at the start of the 2008 meltdown, whether the markets will be able to weather that storm is anybody’s guess.

Happy New Year!

Just Posted

Learning the intricate ‘ins and outs’ of TaeKwon-do

Popular form of self-defense extends back to ancient times

Local archers off to international competition in Nashville

Deacon Barclay, Katlyne Glasier and Taylor Knudtson landed in the top 24 of NASP Canadian archers recently

Stettler youngster Jake Rock in urgent need of a liver transplant

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help with medical expenses

Subdivision & Development Appeal Board issues Paradise Shores decision, supports County

SDAB determined the developer’s application was incomplete

Local artist captures vivid images via watercolour

Woody McGibbon continues to explore boundless possibilities via watercolour

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Alberta Mountie found not guilty of dangerous driving causing pedestrian’s death

RCMP Const. Michelle Phillips also found not guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Three Albertans land ‘monster’ sturgeon in B.C.’s Fraser River

For angler who landed the exceptionally large sturgeon it was an ‘incredible dream come true’

Toronto Raptors and their diverse team celebrated worldwide

Team is made up of players from the U.S., Canada, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and Spain

Further murder charge laid after alleged targeted hits in two Alberta cities

Jimmy Truong, who is 27, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Louie Angelo Mojica

Pot edibles, topicals and extracts to hit shelves no earlier than mid-December: Ottawa

Health Canada wrapped its public consultation on the draft rules for cannabis products in February

We the North: Delirious fans celebrate as Raptors win NBA title

Supporters from all over Canada cheer Toronto’s triumph

Excited, anxious fans prepare for Raptors to play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals

The Raptors currently lead the Warriors 3-2 in the best-of-seven series

Most Read