Doug Shipley, Member of Parliament for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte is shown in a file photo.

2021 "an opportunity for a fresh start": MP Shipley

By Doug Shipley, MP | Dignitaries' Updates

January 9, 2021

January 1st is often looked at as an opportunity for a fresh start. We are given a blank notebook once every year with 365 pages to write our story, it is an exciting time as endless new beginnings stretch out in front of us.

Many take that opportunity to turn over a new leaf, start a healthier habit or curb an unhealthy behavior. We make resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, join a gym, get more sleep, be more present with our families or save money. And the list could go on and on.

In addition to New Year Resolutions there are other traditions that may be observed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. At midnight we might kiss our significant other and hug loved ones, stemming from the tradition of kissing the person you hope to keep kissing all year. Some people throw open the windows and doors just before midnight to let the old year out and welcome the new year in. Some will serve foods on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day that are rich and decadent or believed to bring good luck. There is even a tradition where a person might stand on a chair just before midnight and jump eagerly into 2021 as we ring the new year in.

I am sure that many of you are looking forward to the end of 2020. We have, collectively, faced many challenges in

the past twelve months and we have adapted constantly. As we welcome 2021, knowing more change is coming, we hope for good news to greet us every day. Vaccinations against Covid-19 are becoming available and we look forward to more normal routines and hope for a stable future for our businesses, jobs and personal lives.

I hope, as we usher out 2020 and welcome in fresh new beginnings, you and your family will find an old or new tradition to welcome the new year. Maybe on reflection you will even find this year that forced us to slow down also taught us to appreciate the simplest pleasures and not take for granted those who are most important in our lives.

From my family to yours, I wish you a happy and blessed new year! May 2021 prove to be the year we are all hoping for.

Doug Shipley is the Member of Parliament for Barrie - Springwater - Oro-Medonte. He can be reached at