Welcome to 2013!

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that 2013 is already upon us. While I’m a little let down that we don’t yet have hover-cars and robot servants (like in the Jetsons), there is much to be excited about.  Hamilton is a buzz with things to do, so lets get to it and make 2013 the best year in Hamilton yet!

Of course you can’t forget the famous James St. N. Art Crawl. This Friday is the first art crawl of the new year, so it’s a perfect time to go. Last month I had a great time at the art crawl – I discovered a cool cartoonist whom I hadn’t seen before (he’s tucked away in the 2nd floor of a studio/gallery complex) and I bought a work from the “Group of Seven Billion”. `A bunch of Hamilton’s unique food-trucks were at the event as well, so I got to enjoy a few treats along with the art. Whether you’ve been going for years or if this would be your first time, there’s always something new and exciting happening at the art crawl. Definitely worth checking out.

This past Saturday the Idle No More protests hit Hamilton. For those of you who aren’t keeping up with it, the Cole’s Notes version is that this movement was in solidarity with Chief Spence during her hunger strike to get PM Harper to meet and discuss aboriginal rights. An interesting issue coming into the new year, and one worth being aware of. You can read more about the movement from the Huffington Post here. Hamilton’s own Public Intellectuals Project shared an interesting article about this topic on their facebook page as well. Get informed and join the discussion! This could be a perfect opportunity to head downtown to City Hall and have your ideas and suggestions for approaches to policy be heard.

Another movement to be aware of is the current teacher’s union withdrawal of services. Ontario public school teachers have had their contracts imposed, so their strike is finished. However, the union is encouraging union members to refuse involvement in extracurricular activities until their demands are met. The Globe and Mail posted an article that outlines the cause and tension of this issue.  While extracurricular activities are indefinitely postponed, this is a great opportunity for the Hamilton community to come together and support its students. Why not share your skills and hobbies by organizing some after-school activities for students at your local school? Or, if you’re more interested in politics, why not write to your MP and suggest what you think would be a good compromise.  

2013 is upon us, and you can start the year off right. Get informed and get involved. This is our city, and this is our year!