Twenty-two wishes for 2022

VERNON OICKLE

2022-01-12T08:00:00.0000000Z

2022-01-12T08:00:00.0000000Z

SaltWire Network

https://saltwire.pressreader.com/article/281543704273088

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As we have said goodbye to 2021 we may be tempted to dwell on the events from the past year, but let’s not do that. Instead, let us look ahead at the coming 12 months with optimism and faith that the new year will be filled with opportunity, prosperity and success, but above all, good health and happiness. Doing just that, here are my 22 wishes for the year 2022. 1. Obviously, topping anyone’s wish list for this coming year is the hope that we all remain safe and healthy in the face of the worldwide pandemic that has forever changed our world as we knew it. 2. That we will find a way to eradicate all hatred, bigotry, intolerance and violence at home and around the world. 3. That we will accept all people are equal regardless of the colour of their skin, age, race, religious beliefs, political affiliation, physical or mental abilities, societal standing, how much money they have or their sexual orientation. 4. That we accept people with physical and mental challenges have a right to be treated just as everyone else is treated and we believe that they can achieve whatever they set out to do in realizing their greatest potential. 5. That poverty will be wiped out and that every person will have equal and easy access to the basic needs of life. 6. That politicians will find the wisdom, courage and fortitude to make decisions that not only enhance the lives of their current constituents but will also ensure future generations will have a safe world in which to grow up in. 7. That humans everywhere will become better stewards of the world we inhabit and that we will finally realize our actions not only impact us but all living creatures on the planet. 8. That the gap between the haves and the have-nots will finally be closed. 9. That the sick will not only find access to speedy health care but that it will be quality health care. 10. That all forms of injustices and prejudices will be stopped cold in their hatefilled tracks. 11. That we will lend a helping hand to our neighbours in their time of need. 12. That we will accept others will often have different opinions and beliefs than our own but that we will find a way to live in harmony and embrace those differences. 13. That Canada will continue to be a beacon of hope for those seeking shelter from oppressive regimes, those who are looking to find a tolerant and just society to create a home where they can live free and follow their dreams. 14. That bullying will be recognized as the scourge that it is and that it will be wiped out in its entirety. 15. That those who wish to work can find meaningful and gainful employment in satisfying jobs so that they can afford a good quality of life and pay for their needs. 16. That scientists and decision makers, namely the politicians, will get on the same page when it comes to global warming so that we can get on with fixing the problem instead of debating whether or not it’s real or if it’s a hoax. 17. That we find a way to help every hungry person in Canada find food to feed themselves and their families, and also that every homeless person in our country finds shelter from the elements. 18. That every person struggling with mental illness finds the help he or she so desperately needs. 19. That we continue to enjoy and celebrate the freedoms that a democratic society provides for us — and further, that we never take those freedoms for granted. 20. That sometime within the next 12 months, we will emerge from the darkness that is this current pandemic and that we find a happier and healthier global society. 21. That my family, friends and readers enjoy good health and unbridled happiness in the coming year and into the future. 22. That you all have happy and prosperous year and that all your hopes and aspirations become reality. I know these are tall orders and lofty dreams, but do you think I am so naive as to believe these 22 wishes can be realized in one year? No, I’m a realist and I recognize there’s a lot of work to be done both at home and abroad. However, I do believe that if we all make an effort and strive to be our best, then we can live in a world where we can all get along and everyone can reach their full potential, or at least that’s the view from here. Vernon Oickle, the author of 32 books, writes The View From Here column, which appears weekly in the South Shore Breaker. Nova Scotia is relaunching its COVID-19 sick leave program for residents who must take time off work due to the fourth wave of the pandemic. In a recent news release, the province said the program was expected to restart on Jan. 10 and will be in place until March 31. The program will be retroactive to include sick days starting from Dec. 20, 2021. It will again cover employee wages, including wages of self-employed people, up to a maximum of $20 per hour or $160 per day. The maximum payment during the 15 weeks is $640 per worker. People who cannot work remotely and miss less than 50 per cent of their scheduled work time in one week due to COVID-19 may be eligible for the program. "We know people are feeling extra stressed ... we want them to know more assistance is coming with the relaunch of this temporary program," said Premier Tim Houston in the news release. "People should continue to do the right thing - just as they did during the third wave - to keep our workplaces safe. Please follow Public Health protocols and stay home when you are not feeling well." The province said full details, including details about eligibility for the program, will be provided soon.

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