Ideas, issues that sparked editorials in 2015

It was no surprise that there was plenty of political fodder in 2015.

It was no surprise that there was plenty of political fodder for this space in 2015.

With a federal election in the works, the declaration of candidates began in January and continued all year.

And there was plenty to sink our editorial teeth into at the federal, provincial and local levels.

Our very first editorial in January discussed our belief that then-federal Minister for Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino was an early sacrifice on the altar of attempted re-election.

Much reviled in his cabinet position, he was an easy and obvious choice to ditch in the hopes that the policies and cuts put in place under his watch would be blamed solely on him, and the bad publicity would disappear with him.

We also wrote more than one editorial about the shockingly poor access to information at federal and provincial levels of government, a situation that only seems to be getting worse.

From the increasing difficulty for reporters to even get a live public relations person on the phone, to the provincial government getting raked over the coals for triple deleting emails, it caught our editorial interest — and continues to cause us concern going into a new year.

We talked about the overturning of a ban on physician-assisted suicide, and how it could mean an end to suffering for people afflicted with unendurable illnesses.

The discussion of the water issues that would go on to seriously affect the Cowichan Valley during the summer of 2015 got an early start here in the Citizen, and we talked conservation, taking control of our watershed, and ways to reduce our residential use.

The need for more services for school aged children and young adults with special needs made our pages and tugged at our heartstrings as we heard the stories of those abandoned to fall through giant cracks in our inadequate systems.

We also wrote about bad hockey parents, stupid tobogganing lawsuits, and terrible drivers.

The need to vaccinate children, bring back the long-form census (success!) and the horrifying revelation by the provincial seniors advocate that one third of seniors in care are being given anti-psychotic drugs that turn them into vegetables when only a tiny fraction of those actually have a psychiatric illness drew our passionate eye.

We argued for more effort to get rid of broom, and the continuing need to protect farmland in our province, especially in light of droughts drying up California.

We also talked about a Cowichan Valley hero, our very own Frances Kelsey. This year saw her finally honoured by the Canadian government just before her death for her heroism in stopping thalidomide use.