Editor’s note: South Peace News asked municipalities in the Peace, Smoky River and Lesser Slave Lake regions to submit Christmas/New Year’s greetings in its Dec. 23, 2020 issue. Due to a production error, the message from M.D. of Smoky River Reeve Robert Brochu was not published, despite it being submitted on time. South Peace News apologizes to Reeve Brochu, council and the M.D. of Smoky River for the omission. Below is his message:
On behalf of council and staff, I want to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. How do we look back on 2020? Certainly, for the majority of us it has been the most unforeseen and unprecedented year seen in our lifetimes. When we first started hearing about the COVID-19 coronavirus, I doubt any of us could have predicted the worldwide devastation to lives, health, economies and lifestyles that have indeed affected so many. I would like to pass on sincere condolences to everyone in our region who have been personally affected and especially those who have lost loved ones from the virus.
The winter of 2020 presented a lot of challenges to the region with the amount of snow we had, but that paled in comparison to the regional flooding the spring brought to our municipal district. We were still in the process of repairing damage from the 2108 spring flooding when the 2020 flood arrived. I would like to thank the efforts of our dedicated staff and the co-operation of our residents in protecting lives and property. Without all of our collective effort, the flooding could have been much worse.
Moving onto the summer, things started to look up in spite of the excess moisture from the spring having already taken its toll on the crops. This excess moisture resulted in yields far below average in most of our region. Fortunately, the fall weather was in our favour which allowed us to harvest over 95 per cent of the crop that was there. A lot of farmers were also able to do fall work that had been long overdue, providing optimism for the new year.
The economic downturn in the oil industry has also had a huge impact on everyone in our region and on our local economy. We can only hope that better times are coming and adapt accordingly. We look forward to 2021 with cautious optimism and hope for better times. The introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines will hopefully go smoothly and quickly. We look forward as well to better times for the economy of Alberta. We are overdue for a good year in the agriculture sector and I hope we get it.
The holiday season will be a different one for everyone, but please remember to be safe out there for yourselves and others. This year, above all others, will be a reminder to all of us that celebrating with families and friends is not limited to certain seasons. Take care and be safe. See you all in the New Year!
Reeve Robert Brochu,
of Smoky River.