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EDITORIAL: The need for conversation

Dialogue is needed in order to address issues facing us in the year ahead

Looking back at the stories that made news headlines in 2019, some important topics were raised locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.

Issues such as homelessness, addiction issues, crime and other social problems are plaguing too many communities in British Columbia and elsewhere, and they are becoming more noticeable.

At the national level, an underlying sense of regional dissatisfaction has been heightened since the Oct. 21 federal election. This is especially true in parts of Western Canada, where a segment of the population believes their interests are not being taken seriously in the House of Commons.

And globally, climate-related issues have been raised, with speeches, demonstrations and protests. The topic is not new, but it is becoming more prominent.

READ ALSO: QUIZ: How much do you know about the news of 2019?

These topics and others have been in the news over the past year if not longer, and they will not go away on their own.

But when concerns are raised, and especially when the same issues are mentioned repeatedly, they deserve to be addressed.

This involves listening, considering the points being made and then responding.

Not all will agree with solutions proposed to address social problems within our community, and that not all will agree with the voices of western alienation or the statements made by climate activists.

However, if a good idea is presented, it needs to be considered. If there are weaknesses or flaws in a suggestion, they need to be pointed out.And if there is a different suggestion, it should also be brought to the table for consideration.

The issues which continue to be raised are issues which need to be considered.

There is a need for a respectful conversation, but this conversation does not always go as planned.

Too often, conversation is replaced with emotion and hyperbolic reactions, or with a recitation of party platforms and platitudes. The result is the volleying of slogans and phrases rather than a reasoned conversation.

This is no way to address serious topics.

It’s time to talk about the issues facing our communities, our country and our world.

— Black Press

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