With the official closure of Huckleberry Mine on Wednesday Aug. 30, along with the closure of both West Fraser HFP and Supervalu earlier this year, many would say that Houston is going down-hill.
I believe otherwise.
I understand that Houston was once a “booming” town like that of our neighbouring communities. With much to offer from local businesses at the public’s convenience to government and industrial jobs that supported entire families. And I am sure that many would agree, or argue, that certain decisions voted on in the past—like declining first claim on having a regional airport here in Houston instead of in Smithers —paved the way for some of the outcomes we find ourselves in today.
I make no case that any one incident or decision was the catalyst for Houston’s decline. However, I do state that impacts are created from actions echoed over many decades and over a wide influence.
That being said, Houston isn’t going down-hill. Because by using that knowledge of time and influence, we as community members can shape how that affects our home town.
Due to the lack of employment and stability, many of you will have to leave Houston. Many have already left. The community is going through a major alteration, creating a space for transformation, which brings an opportunity of change for everyone.
And that’s exciting! It doesn’t have to be upsetting.
New prospects, conditions, and homes await all of us. Even for those of us that choose to stay.
All these events and closures are fodder for Houston’s growth. Let’s make something of that!
Haven’t you noticed the ways in which this town has already been pulling together? From local businesses like BV Foods expanding to provide more, to entertainment venues like Pleasant Valley Plaza reopening the theatre? The Chamber of Commerce advertising local events through their Facebook page, and the Houston Link to Learning building community involvement through gardening and the farmer’s market?
These are just a few of the many sources of impact within Houston.
I get it. I hear ya. Though we can appreciate the participation and actions of all of these people, for some it doesn’t pay the bills. For some, you need to leave Houston in order to provide what is best for you and your families. Honour that.
But for those of us sticking around, I challenge you this: take this fodder of renewal and plant seeds of positive influence.
Houston is just going sideways, which means it is at an impressionable state. Let’s acknowledge that earnestly, and together build upon this foundation we find ourselves in with ardent action.