Between the Lines: New Year – Newfoundland

What a difference a year makes. You wouldn’t normally consider that 12 months could make or break lives, loves or opinions, but then again we do live in a particularly interesting time in our history. 

Take politics, to start. There’s P.M. Justin Trudeau. Entering 2019, P.E.’s boy was no longer seen as the Messiah to the Masses as was long promised. But still, the bloom hadn’t completely fallen off the rose. 

Then came Brownface Gate. The P.M. was drawn and quartered in the press – rightfully so – but still manged to survive with pride and poll numbers wounded.

When factoring in the SNC-Lavalin scandal, it’s a wonder Trudeau’s Liberals, at best, squeaked by with a minority government in the most contentious and divisive election in modern times. 

Slippery ground

All the hoopla surrounding #Election2019 trickled down, in buckets, here to Newfoundland and Labrador. Our Alberta brethren were none-too-pleased that Justin ‘take our oil patch’ Trudeau was re-relected. Naturally, the blame fell on the Newfoundlanders.

Mind you, us islanders haven’t always been welcomed with open arms abroad, in-so and including in Oil Country, but the vitriol and social media mud-slinging has and had reached a fever pitch. Frankly, that’s just sad.

Provincially, politics wasn’t much better. Dwight Ball’s Liberals managed a minority government, leading to an outright hissy-fit from opposition head Ches Crosbie. Once again, we’re a province divided, in as much in theory and practice as we are by the numbers. 

Then there’s the constant barrage of git-me-down headlines. Stabbings, missing persons, an elderly man socked in the face in a deplorable act of road raged gone appallingly bad. It would seem that in 2019 the bad tended to outweigh the good. 

And while scratch and sniff surface may not resonate as roses at first, there is quite a bit to chew on when we do a deep dive into the year that was for our province.

Inspiring good news

In this issue (Dec 29-Jan 4) we look back at 12 months of inspiring good news stories, of those who helped rather than hinder, and of those who overcame strife and hardship when laying down for the three count could, and would, have been the easier out. 

Yes, the times they are a’changing. We are connected, but in many ways more isolated than at any time in our human history. And truthfully our province and country are as divided as it has ever been.

But if we take a moment to listen – patiently – and sift through the noise, there is the rough diamond in the coal-mine buried deep within the fake news and social media slant. 

Hopefully the dawn of a new year, and decade, will bring about more positivity, more innovation, more necessary change and do gooders doing good. We just might have to stop and look to find it.

Dillon Collins, The Herald’s Staff Writer, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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