Editorial: Our hopes for the year to come

At this time last year, we were looking back on 2016 and voicing our hopes for a better year to come.

Over the previous 12 months, we had seen the opioid crisis begin in earnest — many of us hearing the words fentanyl or carfentanil for the first time.

Housing costs were climbing while available rental space was becoming scarce.

The New Year could only be better, we told ourselves.

And plenty of good did come out of 2017.

Canada’s biggest parkour park opened in Langley City in the summer, giving Lower Mainland residents of all ages and skill levels a reason to go outside and play. From coast to coast, we celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday and, as part of that, Township residents got a new outdoor amphitheatre where we can enjoy live plays and concerts for years to come.

And a long-overdue $30 million expansion to the LMH emergency room was announced in the lead up to the provincial election.

Still, much of what we’d hoped to leave behind in 2016 followed us into the new year.

The cost of owning a home continued to climb at a staggering rate, with an average detached house in the Township topping the $1 million mark — putting home ownership even further out of reach for many young families. Meanwhile, the number of available rentals dropped even further, leading to plenty of hand wringing over the housing crisis, both locally and across B.C.

The number of overdose deaths in B.C. climbed past 1,200 by the middle of December and the 2017 homeless count revealed that the number of people without a residence in the Langleys has more than doubled since the previous count in 2014.

Moving into 2018, we can look forward to the long-awaited opening of a youth shelter in Langley which, while it won’t solve the local homeless crisis, will at least help a few of our most vulnerable residents sleep comfortably at night.

There are also plans to turn the Quality Inn into low-barrier housing, though many of the building’s neighbours don’t see that as a step in the right direction.

Beyond these, it’s tough, based on what we’ve seen, to hold out much hope that 2018 will be significantly better for those among us who are addicted to drugs or who simply can’t afford a place to live.

These are big problems without easy solutions. But like any crisis, we believe they can be solved if we, as a society, face the problem head on and work together to solve it.

It won’t happen overnight, but eventually, things will begin, bit by bit, to get better instead of worse.

That is our hope for 2018.

Just Posted

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

Dr. Keith Lamont, founder of Langley Community Music School, passed away at age 89

Dr. Keith Lamont’s funeral service is on Jan. 20 at the Langley Community Music School

South Langley centre offers seniors an array of activities

Members decide which courses and activities are offered at the Brookswood Seniors Centre.

Great Gatsby themed gala to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley

The Big Deal Charity Gala is a night of entertainment, food, and prizes on Feb. 23.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Most Read