EDITORIAL – A dozen of the most important things that happened in 2017

(Image: Mel Rothenburger.)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger

2017 IS ALMOST over, and quite the year it was.

You’ve no doubt got your opinions on the dozen or so most important things that happened this year; I’ve got mine.

Justin Trudeau got in trouble early for taking a vacation at the Aga Khan’s Bahamas retreat, and it dogged him all year.

Appropriately, it began raining as Donald Trump was sworn in as president in January, and the outlook got increasingly dismal. How much worse can it get than being on the brink of nuclear war?

I’d give high interest marks to the B.C. election, with a mention to the Kamloops by-election that spun off from it.

We’ll never forget the floods and wildfires, which brought out the best and, unfortunately, some of the worst in us.

The Site C decision was cause for high tension.

How about violent crime in the city, with drug-related shootings that signaled the loss of innocence in and around Kamloops?

This was also a year the country got all worked up over whether the statues we erect and the names we put on our schools honour the right people, with the reputations of historical icons like Judge Matthew Begbie and Sir John A. being dragged through the mud.

Near the top of the local list is surely the destruction of the Kamloops Daily News building and all the symbolism inherent in putting up a parking lot in its place.

We lost a lot of important people this year, including former councilor Marg Spina, journalist and former MLA Rafe Mair, former Mayor John Dormer, and writer Richard Wagamese.

Maybe you’ll want to add the ongoing fentanyl crisis, the marijuana debate, or the engagement of Harry and Meghan to the list of most-important events.

But Number One should be no surprise — it was the year in which Ajax was finally put to rest, a blessing if there ever was one.

A few more sleeps and it will be 2018, a whole new year for good news, bad news and surprises. See you then.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (8669 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – A dozen of the most important things that happened in 2017

  1. Its hard to accept that only 55% were in favour of the decision on Ajax.I,m not a great believer in polls. Where were they done? Downtown?Certainly not in Barnhartvale.Depending on who does it ,it can be steered in a direction.I don,t think 45% of the whole Kamloops community could be that stupid but heck you never know. Look at how 45% of them drive.95% of Albertans.And then there,s The Fatherland in 1939.As art Linklater used to say ,” people are funny”.

  2. Cindy Ross Friedman // December 29, 2017 at 12:53 PM // Reply

    Happy No Ajax, Mel! So glad so many of us joined forces to do the right thing. We know who we are. And no hard feelings to any pro Ajaxers. We know they support well-paying jobs, and so do we, so we should all work together to get that happening in Kamloops!

  3. Great article Mel
    I remember a few years ago when things looked bleak a friend (Yes I do have a few) told me to cheer up,things could be worse.SO ! I cheered up and sure enough things got worse.
    Ajax is the number one story in Kamloops again.This makes at least six years it headed the list.I do not believe it is over .They will most likely submit a second itteration of the application within a year and we will go down the same road again.BUT !! With UNDRIP and RECONCILIATION having been adopted as official gov’t policy (Finally !) there is very little chance that KGHM will be victorious.But they have been mean spirited enough to try , just out of spite.Your readers may notice that the latest pole in Kamloops show 55% in favour of the gov’t decision on AJAX.Even the Feds were against AJAX. It has been an interesting and demanding ride.
    Nuff said !!
    I want to wish all your readers,even those not alligned with the gov’t decision a very happy new year and better times during /18

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