Evan Saugstad: 2021 with 2020 hindsight


The year 2020 is now behind us, but will we soon forget and move on? I say yes, most will and just as fast as we have every other year.

And why? Because most will not be directly affected by the virus itself, and other than those who are, the rest will write off 2020 as a crappy year we just wish gone.

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Take the 737 Max jetliner. Just over 600 days ago, two of them crashed and killed all aboard. Prior to those two crashes they were one of the world’s most popular jetliners. All who travelled most likely rode in one, yet a recent poll found that almost 40% of people do not remember the reason for them being grounded.

Why? Because most people were not directly affected and had no attachment to 737 Max, the victims or victims family and friends.

Now to my cloudy crystal ball. What else can we look forward to in 2021?

Our politicians and mainstream media will wake up to the realization that we are all tired of hearing about COVID in nine out of every 10 stories on every newscast. In 2021, they will finally realize that all they do is tell depressing stories that are ensuring we will all stay depressed.

That said, some numbers will be relevant, such as trends or status of local cases, but who cares if B.C. had 627 cases yesterday and 626 cases today? Who cares if we see PM Justin standing on his step telling us how wonderful he and our tax give-a-way programs are? In 2021, he will figure this out and go back to standing behind his desk and dodge more questions about his performance.

Premier John will announce the findings of his special one-person political taskforce looking into Site C and whether it should be cancelled, and we spend another four years hauling dirt and trees back down the hill and putting them back to where they used to be.

His findings?

After getting all media attention focused on him, he will carefully tell us all the reasons why the dam should not have gone ahead, how, if he was in charge, he would have done things differently, how his government has been carefully watching how BC Hydro spends his money, how his government will implement dozens of new programs forcing his disciples to quit using fossil fuels, and that we will soon need so much more electricity to power our province up.

His announcement?

In an almost tearful voice and long face, ask for our forgiveness, announce the dam is safe, will be finished and that all cost overruns were Premiers’ Gordon and Christy’s doing, and, that no, he would not appreciate that unused and unfinished bridge over the Halfway River being used as the world largest bungee jumping station, thereafter called Premier John’s Jump.

In 2021, no governing politician will be brave enough to tackle the issue and state: “Enough is enough, time to get rid of drug dealers, just like Singapore does.” Like COVID, my heart does go out to those families and friends who have watched their loved ones lose their lives by way of addiction to fentanyl and other illegal drugs.

Closer to home, and despite major protestations by David, Greta, and their legion of socially responsible greenies, fossil fuel production will ramp back up and be back to record production levels in 2022. Northeast B.C. will see more drilling, more pipelines, and more jobs.

Why? Remember all that money for nothing so many got?

Apparently, our bank accounts have grown at a corresponding rate and millions of people, worldwide, with the vaccine firmly injected in our backsides, are just waiting for the chance to get out and travel, and travel, and travel and spend all that supposedly free tax money they received, as far from home, as they can get.

And what does this then mean?

Not more bicycles, and not more walking, and not more electric city buses.

It means back to the cars, cruise ships, jetliners, railways, and those forms of travel that get us out of town, around the world, all powered by fossil fuels. There will be no holding us back, even if Justin’s plan is to further increase the carbon tax to prevent us Canadian’s from spending our Canadian dollars travelling in our own country.

Unfortunately, as a result of this demand, the price of air travel will increase dramatically as companies try to recoup their losses using fewer aircraft with fewer available seats. Business travel will not increase correspondingly as they have learned to do business cheaper and just as effectively by leaving their employees at home. That will take some pressure off the airlines, but in the short term, tourists will make up for that loss.

And great news for all those who believed masks are part of the 2020 hoax and that vaccines are for the feeble-minded.

In 2021 you will be able to buy, online from every scammer in the world, a certificate certifying you have been vaccinated numerous times, all without you having to go through the process of actually having that needle stuck in your backside, and allow you to travel with the rest of us who wish to end this year of the virus.

Sad, but it will happen, and it will ensure that Covid-19 lasts throughout 2021 and well into 2022.

Wishing you all the best in this new and most welcomed year.

Evan Saugstad is a former mayor of Chetwynd, and lives in Fort St. John. 

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