The most important things that happened in 2017

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
December 28, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: December 28, 2017 - 11:11am

KAMLOOPS — 2017 is almost over, and quite the year it was.

You’ve no doubt got your opinions on the dozen or so most important things that happened this year; I’ve got mine.

Justin Trudeau got in trouble early for taking a vacation at the Aga Khan’s Bahamas retreat, and it dogged him all year.

Appropriately, it began raining as Donald Trump was sworn in as president in January, and the outlook got increasingly dismal. How much worse can it get than being on the brink of nuclear war?

I’d give high interest marks to the B.C. election, with a mention to the Kamloops by-election that spun off from it.

We’ll never forget the floods and wildfires, which brought out the best and, unfortunately, some of the worst in us.

The Site C decision was cause for high tension.

How about violent crime in the city, with drug-related shootings that signaled the loss of innocence in and around Kamloops?

This was also a year the country got all worked up over whether the statues we erect and the names we put on our schools honour the right people, with the reputations of historical icons like Judge Matthew Begbie and Sir John A. being dragged through the mud.

Near the top of the local list is surely the destruction of the Kamloops Daily News building and all the symbolism inherent in putting up a parking lot in its place.

We lost a lot of important people this year, including former councilor Marg Spina, journalist and former MLA Rafe Mair, former Mayor John Dormer, and writer Richard Wagamese.

Maybe you’ll want to add the ongoing fentanyl crisis, the marijuana debate, or the engagement of Harry and Meghan to the list of most-important events.

But Number One should be no surprise — it was the year in which Ajax was finally put to rest, a blessing if there ever was one.

A few more sleeps and it will be 2018, a whole new year for good news, bad news and surprises. See you then.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.