Looking back on 2018
of British Columbia and California in ashes. Costing billions of dollars in damages and hundreds of lives, the fires were unprecedented in scope but, sadly, just the beginning of a trend that will only continue to worsen, fuelled by global warming (which, by the way, Trump denies is a real thing).
4. Mass shootings in the U.S.: One mass shooting is one too many but according to the US Gun Violence Archive, there were 307 mass (more than one victim) shooting in the United States during 2018. This horrific statistic includes the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that took place on February 14. On that day, a lone gunman opened fire at the high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and staff members, and injuring 17 others. These events leave one begging the question — why?
3. Legalization of cannabis in Canada: The recreational use of cannabis was legalized by the federal government and took effect on October 17. What else is there to say? It’s a new world.
2. Thai soccer team trapped in cave: On June 23, 12 young members of a boy’s soccer team went exploring in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province with their football coach — and ended up trapped deep inside a cave underneath a mountain. The dramatic rescue bid gripped the world as emergency personnel raced the calendar to get the boys out before the start of the quickly approaching monsoon season. The daring rescue mission ended on July 10 with the last of the boys being pulled safely from the cave. The grueling, 18-day ordeal that claimed the life an experienced volunteer diver that and riveted people around the world, was over.
1. Humboldt Broncos crash: A deadly bus crash that united a hockey-mad country in grief and spurred people to leave sticks on porches from coast to coast tops my list of news stories. There is no doubt that no story affected Canadians in 2018 more than the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. The junior hockey team was on its way to a playoff game when its bus and a semi-truck collided at a crossroads in rural Saskatchewan on April 6, killing 16 people and injuring another 13. Ten players, along with the team’s coach, an assistant coach, trainer, radio play-by-play announcer, statistician and the bus driver were killed. Of the injured, two players were paralyzed and two received serious brain injuries.
Canadians and others around the world started leaving hockey sticks on their front porches to honour the team. Many sticks are still standing outside. People from more than 80 countries donated $15 million to support those on the bus and their families. RCMP have charged the truck’s driver with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily injury. The Calgary based trucking company also faces eight charges relating to non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations in the months before the crash.
And that, in a nutshell, was the year that was. Who knows what the future holds for any of us? It is true, though, that we can’t dwell in the past but we have to remember our history as it will help to shape and guide us into the coming months.
The truth is, we don’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been, or least that’s the view from here.
The recreational use of cannabis was legalized by the federal government and took effect on Oct. 17.