As editor of The Highlander, I have an opportunity to review the past year by compiling our year in review section that appears in today’s paper.
It’s a chance to reflect on some of our greatest accomplishments as well as some of our biggest challenges moving into a new year.
Here’s an alphabetical listing of what I’d like to see in 2020.
A – amalgamation: I look forward to a consultant’s report on a services delivery review for the County of Haliburton and its four lower-tier municipalities. I hope this shapes an open-minded examination of governance, not a retreat into protective shells.
B – broadband: We keep hearing how high-speed broadband is coming to Haliburton County. We’ve seen millions of dollars committed. Yet many of us outside of the villages have not seen improvement. We look forward to that.
C – cannabis: We wonder if Capturing Eden will finally garner a license to distribute cannabis in Haliburton. We’ll also be curious to see how the edibles roll-out goes as the province’s cannabis store remains in the red.
D – doctors: We eagerly await final contracts to be signed to bring two new doctors to the Highlands.
E- education: We look forward to labour peace in the educational sector, a deal that is fair to both the government and teachers as Wednesday strikes continue.
F – fiscal responsibility: We implore local government to ask what their ratepayers can afford as they resume 2020 budget talks.
G – government: We ask for good governance, federally, provincially and locally.
H – housing: We welcome the new seniors housing complex in Haliburton village but really want inroads into affordable housing, including continued work on the housing and homelessness strategy.
I – investment: We continue to rely heavily on residential taxes to fund our County. We look forward to attracting more industry.
J – jobs: I hope we can overcome our labour shortages.
K – knowledge: We encourage all residents of Haliburton County to be informed and engaged in their communities.
L – living wage: We’ve all seen the studies. People in Haliburton County are not making a living wage. We look forward to initiatives, particularly from the provincial government, to help the average working person in the Highlands make ends meet.
M – Minden arena: We wish for a Minden arena project that comes in on time, and on budget.
N – Niceness: We have noted the divisiveness and nastiness on our, and others Facebook pages. Let’s try to be more tolerant in 2020.
O – outdoors: We hope people continue to live, work and remember to play in our beautiful backyard.
P – philanthropy: We look forward to the generosity of Highlanders, to again fund so many things our community relies on.
Q – question: Don’t take everything at face value. Question things.
R – real estate: We trust the local real estate industry can rebound from RECO’s suspension of RE/MAX North County Realty. We hope it’s a good year for the industry.
S – sports: We eagerly anticipate the opening of the Sports Hall of Fame later this year.
T – tourism: We look forward to another year of healthy tourism in the Highlands but also that our economy continues to diversify.
U – U-links: We look forward to continued partnerships with U-Links.
V – valour: From volunteer firefighters to random acts of kindness, Highlanders always rise to the challenge. We look forward to sharing stories of valour again this year.
W – water: We all know the value of our lakes. We look forward to moves to enhance lake and shoreline health.
X – x-ray: We thank the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation and the Haliburton and Minden hospital auxiliaries for continuing to help purchase much-needed equipment.
Y – youth: We look forward to the overdue official opening of the Youth Hub.
Z – zen: Life is pretty busy and complicated these days. Let’s trim the screen time and breathe.