2018 promises to be a very important year

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
January 1, 2018 - 8:57am


Welcome to 2018. It’s going well so far.

At this time, it’s traditional for journalists — who fancy themselves quite the clever, amusing lot — to make silly predictions about what will happen in the coming year, or make up fake resolutions for politicians.

Since two-thirds of New Year resolutions are broken by the end of January and 80 per cent of them by March, it would be politically smart to make resolutions we intend to break, instead of ones we’ll try to keep.

For example, I could vow to gain more weight, and if I’ve done it by March I can take a bow, if not, I’m better off. Win-win.

But 2018 will be a serious, important year for a lot of reasons and, as I noted in the last Armchair Mayor editorial of 2017, undoubtedly one of surprises. None of us can make credible predictions of what’s coming down the pike (or down the pipe, if Trans Mountain is on your list), but it will be a different world 12 months from now.

We’ll know soon if Todd Stone will lead the B.C. Liberals, and while he’s a favourite son hereabouts he remains something of a long shot. There might be a new group sitting around City council tables even though Kamloops voters went to the polls only three months ago.

This could be the year in which B.C. adopts proportional representation, but I hope not.

The future of mass media may or may not become clearer, and my bet is that the demise of newspapers will be further along the road to finality. Even as 2017 ended, yet another step was taken in that direction as Montreal’s La Presse published its final print edition 133 years after it began. It is now officially an all-digital publication.

The president of the company says the shift from print to digital has become “as necessary as it was inevitable.”

This will also be the year when recreational marijuana becomes legal, and that milestone in itself will make for interesting times. While legalization makes sense on paper, it’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s a lot about it that isn’t clear at all — including how it will be managed at the local level, and such things as impaired driving and public consumption.

Unfortunately, if it doesn’t work, there’s no going back.

No doubt, the media will write copiously about all of those issues, but I truly hope they remember one of the most important of all — the #MeToo phenomenon and what it stands for.

May 2018 be a year in which we build on the good things that were started in 2017, and learn from the rest.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.