OUR VIEW: A few resolutions for New West residents in 2019

The presents have all been opened.

You are (hopefully) over your turkey coma.

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Now what?

It’s time to start thinking ahead to 2019 and making some resolutions.

We have a few suggestions about things you can do that will make life a lot better for yourself and those around you.

Here is our list of 2019 resolutions.

* Pay attention – When you are out and about in traffic, please pay attention to what’s around you. It was a deadly year for road fatalities on Metro Vancouver streets. The victims ranged from drivers to cyclists to pedestrians. No matter which one of those you are, you need to pay better attention – especially drivers because you are driving the most dangerous vehicles. We don’t want to see any more victims.

* Be part of the solution – To the opioid epidemic, that is. Stop thinking it’s just a Downtown Eastside issue. People from all walks of life are dying. Close to 1,500 are dead in B.C. alone due to the opioid crisis, 4,000 across Canada in 2017 – numbers that are likely to be repeated, if not exceeded, by year’s end. A whopping 81 per cent of overdose deaths in B.C. have been linked to fentanyl, with men between 19 and 59 being most likely to die. There are two ways to be part of the solution. One refers to people who use drugs – don’t use alone. Two-thirds of overdose deaths were people using drugs alone. The second refers to people getting a naloxone kit and learning how to use it in case somebody around you – be it a friend, family member or stranger – overdoses. You could save a life, and that would be a great thing to happen in 2019.

* Vote – It wasn’t exactly a banner year for voter turnouts, either in the municipal elections or the referendum on changing our voting system. City elections had voter turnouts hovering around 30 per cent across the province. In the referendum, it was just over 41 per cent despite the fact that the ballot was literally mailed to homes. All people had to do was check a few boxes, put the forms into an envelope and drop them into a slot. The 43rd federal election happens on Oct. 21, 2019. Please get informed about the issues and exercise your democratic rights.

* Read the article – This is a personal one for us. When deciding to vent against something in a newspaper, please, do us a favour and actually read the article. Like, all the way through. That way you’ll know if what you’re angry about has actually been addressed in the article. We feel that, if enough people do this, the world will be a much calmer place. Basically, this means do your research before getting outraged. We all benefit from that.

* Get involved – Our community has so many ways to get involved, and if more people gave even a few extra days a year the impact would be tremendous. This ranges from joining a committee to volunteering for an event to just going around your neighbourhood picking up garbage. Being involved will make you feel connected.

With that, we wish you a happy new year and all the best for 2019.

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