AAP, women’s rights, drought, and a maple

We’ve certainly gotten riled up enough to write some memorable editorial opinions over the last 12 months.

We’ve certainly gotten riled up enough to write some memorable editorial opinions over the last 12 months.

We started off 2016 by donning our (metaphorical) fire-proof gear and defending the much-maligned Alternative Approval Process for gauging public support on certain local government expenditures.

We still believe that while the AAP has its faults, it’s a pretty decent way to take the temperature of the community without going to the vast expense of holding a referendum on every question of finance.

We welcomed changes brought in by our new federal government, such as doing away with auditing charities to try to silence them on “political” issues, and unmuzzling government scientists so they can once again talk about their work directly to media and the public.

We reminded the Cowichan Valley in March, and several other times throughout the year, that in spite of how far women’s rights have come over the last several decades (finally, a Canadian woman is going to be featured on a bank note for the first time!), there is still a long way to go. The likelihood of experiencing physical, and especially sexual assault in their lifetimes still haunts Canadian women, even as they face lower pay than male counterparts for equal work.

We talked about drought, as we anticipated, then lived through one this summer, reminding us what a precious resource our water is and how we need to alter our behaviour to preserve the bounty we’re blessed with.

We mourned the loss of the historic Quamichan Inn, and decried the vandalism at one of the Valley’s oldest cemeteries, as well as the vandalism of a well-used playground.

We talked about the problems surrounding the summer Olympic Games, but how we still love them anyway.

And we decried the federal government’s Pheonix payroll mess that left employees unpaid for months and struggling to eat and keep a roof over their heads.

We tried to offer some perspective on the very divisive issue of cutting down a maple tree at the Island Savings Centre. The tree is now down and a heritage tree register perhaps in the works.

We urged local government financial support for the Cowichan Sportsplex, a venue key to the area if we want to develop ourselves as a major event hub.

We also talked political correctness and age-appropriate Halloween costumes (pimp and ho costumes for kids? Yikes.).

What will next year bring? We’re looking forward to finding out.