Well, here we are six days into 2017. How are those old New Year’s resolutions coming along? Maybe you don’t bother to make any like 70% of respondents to a Sasknow.ca News poll question a week ago who said they don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. For the record, 10% answered they were resolving to lose weight, 9% to be kinder to others, 8% to exercise more and 2% to quit smoking.
As 2016 fades in the rear-view mirror we all hope for a better 2017 in every way. We want the economy to improve, our incomes improved, the weather improved, our health improved, maybe love lives improved. How about ongoing challenges such as poverty, homelessness and, yes, war? I don’t know about you but it disturbs me that the most powerful men in the world, U.S. president-elect Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin ended the year rattling their sabres about beefing up their war machines, in particular their nuclear arsenals.
We may be a couple of peaceful years away from our next provincial election but things are heating up out west in British Columbia where people head to the polls this spring. I was out in Victoria visiting my folks before Christmas when the Liberal government announced the latest spending spree that governments are famous for when in full-on election mode. It’s the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program that will cost that province more than $700 million over the next three years.
As we begin a brand new year, 2017, I want to bring up a serious subject I talked about last year on March 29th to be exact. I’m talking about bullying, a subject that never seems to go away. The City of Saskatoon decided not to move ahead with an anti-bullying bylaw but at least they had the discussion and anytime bullying is talked about is a good thing. The proposed bylaw would have prohibited bullying in public places including taunting, tormenting, insulting, kicking, pushing, shunning and exclusion.
Back on March 22nd I talked about how, in the federal government’s spring budget, the eligible age of Old Age Security (OAS)was going to remain 65 rather than move to 67. The previous Conservative government had made the change because Canadians are living longer and many are retiring later in life. There is no more mandatory retirement at age 65 if you are still ready, willing and able to work. The move to age 67 was to start being phased in in 2023 and be fully implemented by 2029.