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EDITORIAL: Challenges will continue into 2024

Issues from 2023 did not end on New Year’s Eve

The date on the calendar has been changed and the next 12 months can be seen as a blank slate and a new chapter to be written.

At the same time, while the year now reads 2024 and not 2023, many of the same challenges facing our communities, our country and our world last year will continue this year and beyond.

A shortage of housing, especially affordable housing, remains a concern in most if not all communities. Issues related to a growing reliance on food banks will remain in 2024. Rising interest rates are affecting borrowers, and the higher rates over the past year have an effect on spending patterns by Canadians. A low unemployment rate adds challenges for employers who need to fill staff positions.

Those dissatisfied with governments did not see a change in leadership on Jan. 1. Those who want a change in British Columbia’s provincial government will need to wait until October, when the next provincial election is scheduled. At the national level, the next federal election is slated for October, 2025 and at the municipal level, those dissatisfied with their mayors, councillors, school trustees and regional district representatives will have to wait until October, 2026 for their chance to elect new candidates.

Beyond Canada’s borders, there are some massive issues which will continue to have effects around the world in 2024.

Wars, conflicts and trade disputes did not end on New Year’s Eve. Political instability remains a concern in many parts of the world. Challenges related to weather, climate and the environment did not suddenly cease with the end of the year. And the responsible use of artificial intelligence remains an ongoing concern affecting people around the world.

Changing the date on the calendar from 2023 to 2024 can be seen as a time for optimism, new beginnings and new hopes.

At the same time, the challenges of the past year have not gone away. Issues facing our communities, our country and our world will continue to require attention.

Whether the hopes of the new year can be achieved and whether the ongoing challenges can be addressed will remain to be seen.

– Black Press