As the year draws to a close, it is not only the season for festive celebrations, but for reflecting upon the events and circumstances that have transpired over the past 12 months.
Here in the Bow Valley, there never seems to be a shortage of things to debate or be critical of, but we thought for a change it would be nicer to share the things we are grateful for 2019 delivering to us.
Here at the Outlook, we are grateful first and foremost for the communities that support us to deliver high quality, original journalism to our readers every day online and each week in the print edition.
It takes more than just readers to make this happen. It also takes sources who respect and acknowledge it is our job to share these stories, whether they like them or not, about the happenings in this valley.
It also takes advertisers – the businesses that make the decision to promote their offerings each week – to keep journalism thriving. While our clients are able to reach a diverse local audience each week by advertising with us, they are also supporting community journalism as a result. And for that we should all be grateful.
The large digital giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google that many businesses choose as their medium for marketing, don't give back to the community the way the local newspaper does, and they don't presently pay taxes on the the revenues they collect doing business in Canada.
But that is about to change, thanks to a recent announcement by Finance Minster Bill Mourneau that these companies will have to pay their fair share into the Canadian economy in the near future. That is something we are definitely grateful for.
We would also like to give thanks for being able to call this very special place home. The Bow Valley – from the B.C. border to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation – is truly a natural wonder. From the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains, to the Kananaskis and Bow rivers carving a path eastward from the continental divide. It is no wonder portions of our geography are deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We are grateful that those who call this place home take the responsibility of being caretakers seriously. This means that as a result every single decision about the future of our communities, and this landscape, is debated on its merits and with a view to not just extracting value from the earth, but respecting the intrinsic value of undisturbed natural spaces as well.
We have already carved out a chunk of space for ourselves – for human use – and we continue to face additional pressures into the future to carve out even more of this landscape for development and tourism.
As elected officials and government representatives go through the regulatory processes required to consider development or increased use, we are grateful to be able to contribute toward healthy democratic debate of what is being proposed and what has been approved or not. Furthermore, we are grateful that the communities that make up this valley are engaged in these discussions as well.
The proverbial, with great power comes great responsiblity, comes to mind when we consider that as residents of the Bow Valley we are also stewards of its natural beauty.
Finally, we are grateful for all those who have stepped up into roles of public service and whom we strive to hold accountable in those roles. Whether it is local councils, our provincial or federally elected representatives, or those who work in the public service each day delivering on their own mandates and duty of care.
We are grateful for those who have been tasked in the role of making decisions, and those who deliver upon them. From teachers, nurses, administrators, court clerks, fish and wildlife officers – to name just a few. Thank you for all you do to contribute towards our quality of life.