2015: The year that was

Another year has come and gone. 2015 was a year of ups and downs, hellos and goodbyes.

Another year has come and gone. 2015 was a year of ups and downs, hellos and goodbyes.

This edition is the Lacombe Express’ first time of tackling Year in Review a local glimpse back at the year that was. Over the next three editions, including this one, we will have sit-down conversations with the mayors or reeve of the three main municipalities we cover the City of Lacombe, the Town of Blackfalds and Lacombe County. In these conversations we will explore the challenges the municipalities faced in 2015 along with the successes of the year. We will also look ahead to 2016, the approaching year, and the challenges that may emerge.

Many people and events also helped shape the news world over the past year.

Internationally, we saw previously strained relationships between the U.S., both with Iran and Cuba, mended. Global warming became an issue on the forefront, with countries from all across the globe gathering at the UN Climate Summit to come up with a plan to remedy the crisis.

We also experienced countless terrorist attacks across the globe including the attacks in Paris in November.

But the main news item that gripped international headlines and filtered down to even a local level was the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Thousands of people fleeing war-torn Syria and other areas in the Middle East spent much of the year making attempts to get to Europe, heading towards many countries like Germany and Sweden for safety. The influx of refugees prompted an international call for a change in policies to allow the refugees entrance to many countries including Canada.

As a country we will be saying hello to 25,000 refugees, some which have already arrived, over the next few months.

On the national front, the most newsworthy event, and something that took 11 weeks was the 2015 federal election. After the mammoth campaign, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was voted in as Prime Minister.

This is the first time in 10 years that we’ve had a Liberal government and many changes appear to be on the way. Nationally, we said goodbye to Stephen Harper and many long-time Conservative MPs.

On the provincial level, we also saw the emergence of a new government.

We said goodbye to the PC dynasty and hello to Premier Rachel Notley and the NDP government. This historic changing of the guard, as this is the first time an NDP government has held power in the province, symbolized a change in ideals in the province. More changes are likely on the way.

With all of these changes and emerging new faces the New Year is looking to be something to look forward to.

Happy New Year and all the best in 2016.