How did you greet the new year?
Was it with bleary eyes and head pounding due to too much celebrating on New Year’s Eve? Was it by taking that first step toward a healthy life as part of your resolution? Were you working as the clock struck midnight?
Regardless of how you started the year, 2019 has much in store for all of us. Now is the time to decide if you wish to help shape the next 12 months.
This is an election year, with a general federal vote set for Oct. 21 and a bylection in Nanaimo that must be called by May 31.
Both elections have the potential to serve up seismic shifts in the political landscape, federally and provincially — the latter being a vote that could lead to a change in government in British Columbia, considering the razor-thin split of seats in the legislature between the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. NDP/B.C. Green alliance.
If there are issues provincially or federally about which you care, get involved.
Kamloops council is looking to reduce what is now a 3.4 per cent tax hike for residential property owners. Council will review wish lists from various departments, check the assessed value of properties with BC Assessment and listen again to suggestions from the public on how to best balance a desire for lower tax hikes and a need for services.
The next public budget meeting will be held on Feb. 7. If there are suggestions you have, get involved.
The new year will also see more supportive housing units open for those on the street. There will also be additional shelter beds available in Kamloops from now through the end of March.
The decisions on how to respond to the homelessness issue — which seems to keep growing — is a neverending debate, but if you truly believe “there, but for the grace of God, go I,” there are plenty of actions you can take, from donating money to donating your time.
If you care to make this community better, get involved.