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Welcoming 2023

Los Angeles, Dec 27, 2022 Sanghera
Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh

Well, 2022 is finally over. Now we can welcome 2023 with a lot of expectations. A closer look at 2022 indicates that it may be one of the most unusual ones in a long time. Let us start with the unprecedented victory of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) in Punjab. For the first time in this state’s history, it was the largest majority won by any political party in the Punjab. It was like a revolution. Voters turfed out the traditional parties like Congress Akali Dal and BJP with vengeance. AAP won 92 out of 117 seats in the state assembly. Nationally, in India, the COVID 19 Pandemic finally receded and gave people of India and many others some relief. The people of Pakistan finally heaved a sigh of relief from the devastating floods. At the international level the discoveries like the fusion energy (power) and new frontiers in space exploration have been just amazing.

In our neighbouring United States the seat of that country’s democracy, the Capital Hill, was almost run over by unsavory characters and anarchists on January 6. The committee put together to look at that tragedy has just completed its report. It is likely that a lot of heads will roll as a result of that. The other major development with repercussions worldwide was the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24. This misadventure of Vladimir Putin has turned a peace loving, prosperous country and bread basket of most of the world into ruins. Not only that, it has resulted in huge disruptions in supply chains resulting in large   increases in almost all of the consumer goods.  The unprecedented   increases in the prices of   consumer goods have jacked up inflation and consequent raise in interest rates in our country. To his credit Ukrainian president Volodymir Zelenski has done an outstanding job in defending his country. Let us hope that the New Year will see the end of this invasion.

 People’s uprisings in countries like Sri Lanka, Iran and China have challenged the dictatorships in these countries like never before. In Canada, the discovery of unmarked graves of children in Indian residential schools has brought forth the mistreatment of the Indigenous communities to the forefront like never before. This prompted the Pope to visit Canada and apologize to the Indigenous communities for the indiscretions of the church. The government of Canada also did its part by reaching out to the Indigenous communities for reconciliation. These are commendable initiatives. The Freedom Convoy’s assault on Ottawa earlier this year paralyzed the federal government. This unexpected assault on Ottawa forced the government to declare national emergency in order to deal with the protest. The inquiry report into this is expected anytime. Hopefully something like this will never happen again in Canada.

British Columbia witnessed the change of guard from Premier John Horgan to David Eby. Eby has already instituted a number of changes in his administration. His new cabinet has elated the South Asian community. In addition to the speaker of the Legislative Assembly, David Eby has appointed four cabinet ministers and two parliamentary secretaries with South Asian heritage. This is a big boost to our community and a commendable move by the Premier.

After serving as the British monarch for 70 years, Queen Elizabeth left for her heavenly abode earlier this year. Her   passing away received worldwide well deserved coverage. Let us see how her son and successor King Charles will fill her shoes. Finally, the treacherous weather has been much in the news for the entire year. However, during the final days of 2022, it has made headlines especially in Canada and the U.S. Headlines like this   “Mammoth winter storms wreak havoc coast to coast in Canada and the U.S.” sum up the chaos and huge disruptions at airports, Transit and ferries not only in British Columbia but throughout Canada and the U.S. . . . Let us hope that 2023 will be much better. Thus, it is time to extend a very warm welcome to 2023.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Balwant Sanghera

(Richmond based Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist)