It wreaks its usual havoc, fog does. Commutes are complicated; flights are delayed; things get wet. So surprisingly wet. But many of us are delighted, for with the fog, comes the foghorn. The foghorn! The low, baying sound of a Vancouver from an earlier time is back. And with it, so many of our childhood memories.
There seems to be a prevalent trend in media and political commentary about New Brunswick; that our province is falling behind, in decline. There are no doubt serious challenges facing New Brunswick, including recent unemployment numbers that are the highest in the country, and a recent increase in outmigration rates.However, it is not all bad news.
With some time having passed since the municipal elections, there is some space from the euphoria (or disappointment depending on the candidate) of election time to assess what the results mean. Saint John is a city beset by significant challenges -- including a costly pension plan, the need for social housing, cuts to mass transit that hurt the poor and the costs of maintaining city infrastructure.
While the growth of New Brunswick's urban and suburban areas is not on the scale of larger cities in Canada, there are lessons to be learned from these larger centres where, after periods of rapid growth which led to vast landscapes of generic car-oriented sprawl, there has been a backlash and a desire to return to more walkable downtown-like neighbourhoods.
In large part, a city's reputation rests on its central core, with a decayed and hollowed out inner-city tarnishing a community's reputation (even if it may have clean and affluent suburbs) and a healthy city core being a source of civic pride that encourages tourism and new migrants to move to the city.