Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are you a "glass half full" or "glass half empty" sort of person?
(Editorial posted in the Daily Gleaner, January 15/11)

We all know that depends on attitude and how you look at life.

But for those living in the greater Fredericton community, these days there are many reasons to see the glass half full.

There is so much that is right, beautiful, prosperous and good about this community, and that's not just a positive attitude talking. There are lots of facts and figures to back it up.

* Our unemployment rate has been dropping since last summer, from 5.9 per cent in August, to 5.7 per cent through the fall, to 5.5 per cent in December.

That's significantly below Saint John's December rate of 6.3 per cent, Moncton's at 7.3 per cent and the national rate of 7.6 per cent.

Our unemployment rate is often lower than the three mentioned above, which always positive news.

* Our building boom is continuing, with a record-breaking $168 million in construction and renovations last year. This is the fifth year in a row that we've topped the $100 million mark. This keeps the trades busy and shows investor faith in this city.

* We're a small city, but we are making impressive gains in the green department. The city has earned a designation called Milestone 5 for its commitment to reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions.

Fredericton is only the fourth municipality in Canada and the first east of British Columbia to achieve the highest certification possible for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas levels.

That shows a serious dedication to making this a healthier city for everyone.

* Speaking of healthy, we heard the announcement at the state of the city address on Thursday that Scotiabank will contribute $1.5 million to city recreation facilities. This donation will support the building of a new artificial turf sports field next the Willie O'Ree Place on the north side.

"There's no question that recreation is top of mind from a health perspective and from an enjoyment perspective," said Peter Bessey, senior vice-president, Atlantic Region Scotiabank. "It's great for children and it's great for families, and that's where we want to be."

With soccer becoming such a popular sport, and with its equipment costs relatively low, this new field will allow access to the sport for an increased number of players.

Beyond all the statistics, we know already what a great community this is. A massive team effort just brought a happy Christmas to hundreds of families through the donations of people and businesses, clubs and groups.

We have some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere, with the St. John River as the glorious centrepiece.

Our downtown architecture and ambiance are welcoming and beautiful, and our walking trails allow us to take everything in while keeping fit.

Finally, with the opening of the new convention centre this week, we can now boast that, like Saint John and Moncton, this city now has an escalator.

Progress, prosperity, beauty - and even an escalator.

The glass is more than half full.

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