Opinion

New year

IF YOU’VE noticed it’s getting harder and harder to cross Lakelse Ave. on foot without the aid of a crosswalk because of increased traffic or that there appears to be more people in the stores nowadays, or that there are new faces showing up at various community events, you’re not alone.

The population is growing as the regional economy has improved and there’s definitely a buzz in the air thanks to ongoing major construction projects and the run up to anticipated development of liquefied natural gas.

For the survivors of the great forest industry recession of the last decade and a half – those who watched friends and family move away, those who themselves went off to work elsewhere leaving loved ones back at home or those who were affected by service cuts (the four-day school week comes to mind) – these days are certainly brighter than what has been the case.

Still, if the kind of growth being forecast lives up to its billing, how will that change us? Are we ready for whatever may come? What kind of influence do we have – or need to have – to ensure the northwest identity is not lost?

As 2014 begins, the list of questions will grow longer. And it won’t be easy to determine the answers given the scope of what might occur.

If there is one New Year’s resolution for the region it should be one focusing on clear thinking.

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