FOULDS: Behold! The events of 2013 brought to you right now!
Kamloops This Week used its Thursday, Dec. 27, edition to publish the always-popular Where Are They Now? feature, our annual update of stories from the year (and years) gone by.
Now, it has again fallen on my shoulders to prepare you, dear reader, for what to expect in the world of news as 2013 makes its grand entrance:
• In a shocking turn of events in May, KGHM-Ajax, the company working to establish a copper and gold mine south of Aberdeen, suddenly gives up the fight and announces it has sold the massive property to local interests.
A press conference is held at Thompson Rivers University one week before the provincial election, at which new owners of the property reveal a bold and intricate plan for the vast swath of lands that were to be home to the mine.
The plan includes a $250-million resort and theme park, two hotels, a water park, a 3,000-seat multiplex arena, a convention centre, two fast-food restaurants, commercial office and retail space, a frontier town and a gondola stretching clear to the top of Mount Paul.
Oh, wait . . .
• In February, Premier Christy Clark holds a major press conference in front of BC Place Stadium to announce a significant B.C. Jobs Starts Here endeavour.
Clark then proclaims her pride in revealing the province hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, noting the economic boost the Games brought to the province.
When reporters point out the announcement seems suspiciously like yet another B.C. Liberal re-announcement, Clark objects— before having taxpayer-funded PR staffers Pamela Martin, Norm Grohman, Wayne Cox, Bernie Pascall, John McKeachie and the surviving cast of Beachcombers step in and escort her from the podium.
• At 4:59 p.m. on the Friday before the Canada Day long weekend, the federal Conservative government sends out a terse press release, advising that employment-insurance premiums will double through the rest of the year.
Reporters call Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod to ask her opinion of the decision.
“Let me ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper where I stand on that and I will get back to you,” McLeod replies.
• Bolstered by the success of using goats to control weeds in Kenna Cartwright Park and the Tournament Capital Ranch, city officials decide to expand the use of animals around town, leading to a unique sort of disaster when pit bulls are employed to control downtown bar crowds at closing time.
• In an effort to promote physical fitness in Kamloops, Coun. Donovan Cavers brings a stationary bicycle into council chambers in June and vows to pedal continuously through the marathon meetings.
Encouraged by his colleague’s idea, Coun. Arjun Singh brings his own bike to city hall — but forgets to remove the wheels.
As of November, Singh is noted to be blogging from Thunder Bay as he remains determined to finish the physical-fitness quest with Cavers.
• The 2012-2013 National Hockey League season is finally put out of its misery on Jan. 15 when owners and players finally admit to not being able to agree on how to split billions of dollars of revenue.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman bristles at suggestions he does not care for the game of hockey as much as the ordinary Canadian.
“I care,” a trembling Bettman says during an emotional press conference held in the heart of the game — downtown Miami.
“I have put my heart and soul in making this game better, from adding a new three-point line to having our officials clamp down on travelling and flagrant fouls. Furthermore . . . “
Bettman is then gently eased away from the podium by a grinning NBA commissioner David Stern, muttering quietly about his plan working to perfection.