Well, first off if you are reading this, it appears we have survived the end of the world.
The doomsdayers were wrong once again and it seems somewhere along the line when designing a calendar the Mayans neglected to carry the one in their long division calculations of the end of time.
Funny how a group so good at predicting worldly events missed the prediction of their own demise — but I digress.
By proxy of the fact we are still here, a hearty congratulations is in order and I for one am glad to be joining you on Dec. 22 in the sheets of the Brandon Sun.
Often this column deals with issues at the heart of our community, it has garnered some great returns and some spirited debate, my hope all along for the column.
It is good for us to think critically and if the need arises question our decision-makers. It has been a fun opportunity to mire myself in the moulding of weekly words and my motivation has been made easier with the feedback I have received from many who look at this column and the value it may provide in an overall discussion.
With this week’s offering though I believed it prudent to divert the usual focus and have some holiday fun while looking at the lighter side of what makes the community tick.
I guess you could say a "nog" induced glow has taken over this column for the week and has allowed me the ability to wax poetic and lightly lament a few big political issues at hand in Brandon through 2012, a take from a satirical slant you might say.
Hopefully you enjoy this deviation from the norm, after all it appears we survived the apocalypse, so hurray for that.
Development, council, taxes and COIs were just some of the hotly contested issues at the civic table over the past year.
Throw in our on-again, off-again romance with the friendly skies of WestJet or our need for a safe design when building "double decker pools" for the Canada Games, our city council has been at the forefront of some prickly points and, unfortunately for the good folks that sought to fill those positions they have bore the brunt of some heated responses and near occupy movements in the hallowed halls on Ninth Street.
For the most part, council has done what we ask of them, they make decisions, sometimes controversial and often colourful but at the end of the day (no apocalypse pun intended) they are human beings doing their best.
Gladly on that note, it appears some calmer heads prevailed for now on most of these hot button issues and they are again safe to grocery shop, attend events and walk the streets with ease in this fair city.
Truth be told, I actually have a tremendous amount of respect for the job council does.
It’s not easy to stick your neck out and it has done an admirable job in the wake of some molasses-like sticky situations.
Another biggie for the good folks of Brandon was the annointing of a new leader for the Tories provincially.
Most would not see this as having big repercussion for the residents of our city, but Brandon has a large population of right-leaning lefties and news of the new king in Tory land sent some flocking and others fleeting as the former fed came home, relatively speaking.
The jury remains out on Brian Pallister in this columnist’s opinion but with the sheer mass of conservative MLAs scattered outside the city limits of the "centre of the world" as well as Pallister’s knowledge or rural Manitoba, we may now have fewer politicians in Winnipeg wondering what "Brandon" is.
Our Dipper friends were not without their share of foibles in the past 12 months as well, most notably the almost balanced unbalanced teeter-totter approach to the provincial deficit. What a pitch right over the plate that one was providing good cannon fodder for columnists chained to keyboards provincewide.
And lastly and most importantly, we’ve seen a really positive moment happen in this community over the past year and a bit. The Jets came back — oh wait, I have been told that’s a Winnipeg thing.
All in all, it has been one of those years and for a world bent on destruction yesterday, I can honestly say I’m glad it didn’t happen.
I look forward to delving into the impending fray in the coming year and hope you have enjoyed a bit of farce and fun prior to the holiday break.
To remain politically correct I now wish you the happiest of the season and all the best in the coming year.
May the new Mayan calendar treat you better than the old one did.
» Shaun Cameron is a lifelong Brandon resident. He has dabbled in politics and is now chair of Renaissance Brandon, the city’s downtown development corporation. His column appears regularly.