Editorial: What a year

Calling it the worst year on record might be going too far, but 2016 certainly had it’s fair share of ups and downs.

Well that was a some year, wasn’t it?

Calling it the worst year on record might be going too far, but 2016 certainly came and went with more than it’s fair share of ups and downs.

At home in Penticton, controversy seemed to overshadow everything with waterslides topping the list as it rolled over from 2015 and stretched out through the entire year. It was joined mid-year by discussions around the  medical marijuana dispensaries popping up in the city and around the province.

There have been a number of positives: construction in Penticton is booming, an indicator of good things to come in 2017. Then there are good news stories, like Mike Watson’s joyful reunion with his family in May after spending months in Hong Kong undergoing a kidney transplant, which was made possible by an enormous fundraising effort.

Looking at the world stage, 2016 looks even sadder: the humanitarian crisis in Syria, a parade of celebrity deaths and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S., it’s no surprise that an Angus Reid poll found that many Canadians are feeling pretty gloomy for themselves, Canada and the world.

Canadians polled were split three ways — good, bad or indifferent — on whether the year was good or bad for them on the personal level, but only 14 per cent said it was a good year for their province. More Canadians (38 per cent) said 2016 was bad for the country than good (25 per cent).

Looking at the U.S., almost two-thirds said the year in which Donald Trump was elected was a bad one for our southern neighbours.

Of course, 2016 also brought us Pokémon Go, which got a large portion of the world out walking through parks and chatting with others engaged in hunting the virtual creatures.

In fact, Pokémon Go, along with Prince and David Bowie — who we lost this year — ranked higher on Google’s annual search index than Donald Trump, so maybe there’s still hope for the world in 2017.