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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Greenway

Candy or coal

The world is in a tough place.

We’re slogging through yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with Omicron; our environment seems to be deteriorating daily; and Quebec’s discriminatory policies are beginning to affect members of our community. It looks like the bad news just won’t end.

But there have also been some really great things to celebrate over the past year. To highlight the best and the worst over the past 12 months, we’re stuffing candy or coal into some Christmas stockings this year.

First, a massive lump of coal goes to the CAQ government for its discriminatory policies that affect our community members — from Bill 96, which will leave English-speaking Quebecers on the outside looking in, to Bill 21, which we all watched play out over the past two weeks when Chelsea Elementary School teacher Fatemeh Anvari was removed from class for wearing her hijab. A stocking full of coal goes to local MNA Robert Bussière, who has refused to speak with the Low Down – or any other media – on that specific issue.

Naughty, naughty.

This year, Chelsea parents get a stocking full of candy for standing up against Bill 21 and supporting Ms. Fatemeh. Parents quickly mobilized and launched a letter-writing campaign and protested against the bill.

Anti-vaxxers throughout the Hills will be getting nothing but coal this year, especially those who marched through Wakefield in early December to protest vaccines at the schools. Ironically, as they marched past, some shouted at Low Down reporters to take off their masks when most of them were wearing full face masks to hide their identity.

Candy goes to our advertisers. We couldn’t do this without you. You help us keep the lights on, keep our reporters fed, and help our paper thrive. Our advertisers believe in us, from the big real estate ads to the smaller business ones, including the littlest classifieds.

A lump of coal goes to road work planners in Masham who messed up the sidewalk height on Hwy 366 in the summer. The error turned a one-month job into a six-month headache for motorists. Drivers in Masham will agree that, on any given day, they could be looking at a 15 minute or a 45-minute drive to Wakefield.

More coal to past decision-makers in Chelsea, who decided to build a multi-use trail before a seniors’ home. Sure, it’s a nice trail, but our aging population has nowhere to go.

But the stocking with the most candy goes to our readers. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such an engaged readership who, every week, peruse our pages to find out what the scoop is in the Gatineau Hills. You read, get fired up, and engage with us through compelling letters and opinion pieces that make our paper sing. So, thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for subscribing. Thank you for contributing.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

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