Editorial: Stories of the year made an impact

A lot of people are suggesting that 2017 can’t come quickly enough because 2016 was a year they’d like to put firmly behind them.

That’s true in some ways, but we’re pretty sure these past 12 months weren’t all bad – the negatives didn’t always trump the positives.

A lot happened in Nanaimo, which isn’t surprising, perhaps, over the course of 365 days in a community of this size.

Here at the local newspaper, one of our tasks, we think, is to create an historical record, and in that spirit, we take a moment at the end of every December to look back at the year that was and try to select the stories that made the greatest impact.

For 2016, we’ve chosen 10; five are highlighted in this issue and we’ll look at five other continuing stories next issue. Today we look at Nanaimo city council drama, the municipal core services review, IHealth, the Western Forest Products mill double-murder trial and Snuneymuxw First Nation economic development. Each were important in different ways, affecting our civic pride, democratic institutions, tax dollars, health and safety, values and mores, prosperity and financial security.

We recognize that trying to encapsulate the stories of the year into 10 bite-sized packages is an imperfect system. Some stories overlap with others. Some began long before Jan. 1; some will continue long after Dec. 31. Sometimes a series of news items neatly comprise one story; sometimes they create a storyline that spirals in unforeseen directions.

The stories of the year are just one way to look at the year that was in Nanaimo. Each of us will have our unique experiences of 2016 and our own personal stories that don’t make headlines but are important, beyond measure.

Looking ahead to 2017, we’d love to have next year’s top 10 stories to be nothing but good news. That might be unrealistic, but hey, new year’s resolutions aren’t supposed to be easy.

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