It has again fallen upon my shoulders to prepare you, dear reader, for what to expect in Kamloops as 2023 makes its grand entrance.
The year begins with city council enjoying a break until the first meeting on Jan. 17. At that meeting, Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson announces he is recusing himself for 2023.
The new mayor, however, states he will be a full participant in all council meetings via watching them online. He further requests a link to any Spanish-language broadcasts and asks that any pressing business be tabled until “manyana.”
In mid-January, the Thompson Region of Family Practice, the group tasked with recruiting and retaining doctors, takes advantage of a little-known loophole in the Canada Health Act and offers prospective doctors an ownership stake in the new patient-care tower at Royal Inland Hospital.
While Kamloops sees an influx of family doctors, an immediate backlog in various surgeries is created when many of the new doctors convert operating rooms into AirBNBs.
The city once again finds itself embroiled in controversy in February due to another booking snafu.
Late last year, the city came under fire when it booked Memorial Arena for the Scotties curling tournament entertainment zone in February at the expense of minor hockey games. The city eventually backtracked and apologized.
The municipality then inadvertently booked ice times on McArthur Island for Memorial Cup teams in May, at the expense of the extremely popular annual Kamloops Gun and Antique Show. The city eventually backtracked and apologized.
In February, the city strikes again, accidentally evicting occupants of three homeless shelters after reserving shelter beds for fans of visiting teams at the Memorial Cup.
The city once again backtracks and apologizes.
In December, amid a record snowfall, the city finally finds a solution in the neverending quest to rid driveways of windrows, those pesky little Walls of China of ice-packed snow left behind by snowplows.
As part of the enhanced fitness test given to city community safety officers, a windrow hurdle component is added to the aerobic events.
Within days, the windrows are reduced to piles of slush — and the injured CSOs who employed the Fosbury Flop are left to try to book an AirBNB at Royal Inland Hospital.
The BC Federation of Labour continues in its quest to convince the provincial government to add more worker sick days to legislation.
In 2022, after the BC NDP government gave everyone five paid sick days, the BC Fed called for 15 paid sick days.
In May, the labour organization ups the ante, demanding Premier David Eby add paid sick days for hangovers, snooze alarm addiction and Netflix and chill sessions.
September is the one-year anniversary of the BC NDP’s report on prolific offenders — in which the B.C. First Nations Judicial Council called on police and the province to stop using the term “prolific offenders,” arguing the term “not only perpetuates harm and stigma but also fails to address that these individuals lack security and safety.”
On the anniversary, the Judicial Council demands that the Criminal Code of Canada be renamed, arguing that labelling those convicted of crimes as “criminals” really hurts their feelings.