Stories of the year show city is changing

A year isn’t a time capsule. As much as we might like, we can’t fit a neat and tidy slice of life into a 12-month period and say, ‘that’s what happened in 2013.’

Sometimes stories start before Jan. 1, and end long after Dec. 31. That’s certainly the case with Nanaimo’s news stories of the year. They happened in 2013, but they’ll overlap into 2014. The year after that? And the year after that? Probably.

In today’s issue, the News Bulletin chose five news stories of the year. There’s the Colliery dams issue, the incinerator proposal, the Boat Basin drama, the downtown hotel deal and the imminent closure of Cedar secondary school.

We haven’t heard the last word on any of these subjects. We don’t know if the dams will get remediation or go to referendum. The incinerator might huff and puff here, or somewhere else. The port authority will keep floating the notion of Boat Basin renewal, but the waters are still a bit murky. The hotel seems surest, but it hasn’t altered our skyline yet. At Cedar, we won’t know for a while if school’s out for summer, or school’s out forever.

Considering this list, one might be tempted to look at these disparate issues and call 2013 a transition year. But every year is a transition year – 2014 will be one, too.

This coming year is a municipal election year and some of these topics might well become election issues. With that in mind, politicians might take firm action and show leadership, or they might procrastinate and keep quiet so as not to offend. Any Nanaimoite has that choice, really – to help write the news stories of 2014, or decide that whatever will be, will be.

Just because our stories of the year didn’t resolve in 2013 doesn’t mean that nothing happened. Those who see the champagne glass as half-empty might say that these issues just drag on and on. Those who see it half-full could argue that our city is on the cusp.

We look forward to what a new year might bring.

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