Saying good-bye to 2013

This is the last edition of Ponoka News in 2013.

This is the last edition of Ponoka News in 2013.  Our next one will come out on January 1, 2014, a new edition on the first day of the new year.

Anniversaries, birthdays and other milestones, like the beginning of a new year, are good points in time for us to take a step back, reflect, take stock of the period left behind, and to do this without missing the joy of the moment.

At the local front, there is much room for hope and expectation for the new year following the results produced by the municipal elections in October with new blood coming into both town and county councils with promises of more efficient management of various issues impacting the lives of residents. While it is too early to make a judgment on the success of the new municipal councils, discussions in regular council meetings signal new approaches in addressing the problems.

At the national level, the Harper government has had another year of discouraging performance with new scandals hitting headlines frequently with the concept of “accountability” seemingly lost completely in the corridors of power in Ottawa.

In the international scene, Middle East remained the hot news item throughout the year with the civil war in Syria, the military coup against the Moslem Brotherhood government in Egypt and nuclear talks between Iran and the western powers while China took a huge leap at its Communist Party Central Committee meeting in November to open the world’s second largest economy further to reform. In the meantime, Russia’s Vladimir Putin continued to reestablish Moscow’s influence on former Soviet republics.

In our southern neighbor, President Barack Obama lost a lot of support due to its mishandling of both the healthcare reform and international diplomacy.

Looking ahead as the 2013 draws to a close, I, for one, am particularly concerned about the quietly brewing financial storm that might very well hit us in the course of the next 12 months.

For those who may not be interested in or following the recent developments in the global economy, it is quite recommendable to do some bedtime reading (although there is the possibility of completely losing your sleep over what you read) with regard to how the financial markets are living in an artificial heaven, leading the investors to take risks that may end up causing huge losses in the possibility of a new financial crisis.

With some key indicators having returned to the levels that prevailed just prior to the 2008 implosion of the markets, the importance of caution in keeping one’s assets safe cannot be overstated.

Happy New Year!