Having grown up in Flin Flon, I have a rather intense love-hate relationship with my hometown. Most of us seem to have that. That said, the good in Flin Flon far outweighs the bad. Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, let me share what I’m thankful for with this community.
I’m thankful for the energy and the success of our region’s youth. People will always complain about kids these days, but the kids are doing just fine. I’m proud of the Lee brothers, Carson and Hunter, who have gone from wrestling on their front lawn to international podiums. I don’t want to jinx anything, but these guys have very real chances of being Flin Flon’s first Summer Olympic athletes. I’m proud of Justin Lies, who’s currently representing the north in the WHL. As someone several years older whose had his limbs tied in knots trying to keep up with him on the ice, let me tell you - the kid is good. I’m proud of Jarek Osika, the Hapnot astronomer whose work with radio telescopes earned him a ticket to an international science fair in Abu Dhabi last month. I don’t know how many times he’ll have to explain to me what he’s doing before I fully grasp it, but I hope I’ll get it soon.
I’m proud of the Bombers and I’m excited to see Donavan Houle-Villeneuve and the rest of the crew put in work this year - they’ve been very fun to watch so far.
I’m proud of Flin Flon Pride and the work they’ve done in three short years. Not only is it inspiring to see people standing up, but it’s great to see a northern movement that was created, curated and continues due in large part to young people.
I’m proud of our arts community and I love to see how it still grows. As far as I’m concerned, the more performers, new ideas and experimentation we have in that area, the better.
With our federal elections right around the corner, I’m proud of how we have actual competition in the marketplace of ideas. All we need to do is look to our southern neighbours to see what happens when you remove secondary choices on the ballot. (Also, I’m proud we’re not the U.S. or U.K. Our political scandals are embarrassing, but they aren’t Brexit.)
I’m also proud that Canada, as a whole, is moving forward on addressing Indigenous issues. Are things happening fast enough? No. Is enough being done to right historical wrongs? No, but there is at least some progress. I know there’s dark irony in saying that on Thanksgiving, but the future stands to be brighter than the past.
More personally, I’m thankful for family, friends and all the people who make the north worth living in. It’s hard living here without a system of good people to help you out when you need it. I’m happy to say I have that in spades and I’m glad to have every one of you - you know who you are - in my life.