A good time to check in with friends and family

Weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

After a bit of a parental leave absence, I’m back in the editor’s seat this week. I’ll start by thanking the editorial team at the Free Press, including Brendan Kyle Jure, Millar Hill and Raven Nyman, for putting out the paper every week in my absence, as well as the entire Free Press team for putting out another stellar Cariboo Calling issue (you can pick up a free copy at our office if you don’t have one yet).

The South Cariboo saw some big news this summer with the permanent closure of the West Fraser Chasm sawmill as well as the indefinite suspension of operations at the Norbord sawmill in 100 Mile. The latter went into effect just recently at the end of August.

Being a small community, we likely all know somebody, whether it’s a family member, friend or otherwise, who is affected by this. For many people, a job is not just a job but also very much part of their identity and losing that can be a big shock and a source of pain. The effects will continue to be felt for some time and that’s important to remember. With the added stresses that this has and will continue to cause, it would be good for us all to exercise some extra patience when dealing with others.

For those of us who are doing well, it would behoove all of us to check in on our friends and family a little bit more. It’s also an excellent time for those of us who have not been too harshly affected, to perhaps make that donation to the food bank or to donate those clothes you’ve been holding on to. It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day but it can make a massive difference.

Finally, if you do need help, whether it’s with food, clothing, mental health or finding a new job or career, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about living in the Cariboo, it’s that there are always plenty of people willing to help. While it can be intimidating to ask for help and take courage to reach out, there’s no shame in doing so whatsoever. We didn’t get to where we are in life without help and all of us will need help again in the future. Regardless of who you are, you are not alone. Let’s grow and learn together.

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