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Have you every awakened and discovered you have to hurry to catch up to the day? The district is much like that.

The year 2000 was ushered in with great hope and optimism. We coasted on the good fortune of the paper mill producing jobs and household riches.

Then it closed and gold was rediscovered in the district. Good fortune seemed to shine on the district.

But all is not well. We continue to send our youth off to other centres for learning. A few do return, and others seem to arrive, but there remains a great many jobs and opportunities that go unfilled.

The question is: “What would we want councils across the district to do to fulfill our dreams for the future?” Can we be futurists and try and grab hold of new opportunities emerging each day?

Is it possible to encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs to locate here to take advantage of the new opportunities?

A new four-year term allows every community to develop a strategic plan to meet goals over the next four years. It should be mandatory for every council, whether municipal or First Nation. Some of those goals will take more than four years but will give the councils a clear map to follow.

Does every member of council know what each councillor at their table would like to accomplish? Similarly, do municipal committee members know what they would like to accomplish on the committee they sit on?

And do we know what citizens, young people, and potential residents would like to see in the district? The “baby boomer" generation, which makes up a great portion of the district's population, quickly is being replaced by "Generation X” and millennials. Those two groups have significantly different expectations than their parents and more attention must be addressed to the needs and expectations of this younger group.

We should listen to them and develop plans to meet their dreams.

Let's begin planning for the future. Councils please lead the way!

—Jim Cumming

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