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Hoping for more unity in 2019

(Cartoon by George Longley)

Let’s be honest, 2018 was not all bad.

There were a lot of great things happening across the city, province, and country last year.

Unemployment numbers were down, and there is a lot of development going on.

In some ways, when people say Oshawa is booming, it is true.

But it’s undeniable the announcement at the end of November regarding the proposed closure of the General Motors assembly plant put a black mark on 2018, and especially the holiday season for a lot of people.

On a larger level, it seems the bipartisan, combative political nature of our neighbours to the south seems to be seeping into Canada.

The line between left and right, conservative and liberal, on and on, seems to be getting further and further apart.

The whole shtick of U.S president Donald Trump seems to be to pit people against each other, and while it is entertaining to read about in the newspaper, or watch on television, it is a bit more uncomfortable to see it up close in our country.

Are our political parties perfect? Far from it.

But the greatness of Canada has always been our ability to look past our political and social differences, and work together for the greater good of everyone.

However, it seems more and more, Canadians are greatly divided on topics such as abortion, gender equality, and immigration.

Advocacy groups such as Ontario Proud now have a greater influence on people’s beliefs more than ever.

There is no doubt the popular Facebook group played some part in the defeat of Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in last year’s provincial election.

With a federal election set for this fall, there is potential for the divide in our country to become even greater.

Hopefully, this does not happen.

Canada is the greatest country in the world, and we do not need to resort to the finger-pointing and fear-mongering taking place daily in the U.S.

We need to work together, all of us, regardless of race, sex, or social status, to make 2019 the best year possible for all residents of Oshawa and our friends, family, and neighbours across Canada.