Despite an encroaching election, local provincial representatives Pat Bell and Shirley Bond are staying the course.
That's a course set over the past 12 months that both the Prince George-Mackenzie and Prince George-Valemount MLAs say have been a success.
As constants in the provincial politics storm that was 2012, Bell and Bond weathered a cabinet shuffle, the resignation of long-time colleagues, emergency preparedness criticism as well as complaints over the BC Liberals' jobs plan.
"I would characterize it as a year of transition," said Bell, who started the year as Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation before his portfolio was amended to include Skills Training and Labour instead of innovation in September.
Bell was at the forefront of the government's jobs plan, which finished its first full year of implementation since its launch in September 2011.
"[The Jobs Plan] is something I am really passionate about and interested to have the entire government focus on," he said.
For Bond, 2012 marked one of the busiest years the perennially busy MLA -- and self-described fierce advocate for the north - has had in her 12 years in the Legislative Assembly.
In February, Bond was named Minister of Justice and Attorney General -- the first woman to hold the position in British Columbia's history.
"From that perspective alone, it's been very rewarding personally," she said. "A lot of hard work, but certainly something I will cherish in the days ahead." Following the end of August resignation of Kevin Falcon, Bond was also saddled with the role of interim finance minister for nearly a week before a cabinet shuffle put Mike de Jong in the job on a permanent basis.
Regardless of how busy her workload -- which typically has Bond on the clock seven days per week -- the Prince George-Valemount representative said she always tries to focus on being a good MLA first.
"So trying to find that balance between the extraordinary workload at the ministry level and then also having a very busy and active constituency has also been the biggest challenge," said Bond.
Both Prince George reps were quick to count the October opening of the B.C. Cancer Agency Cancer Centre for the North as the ultimate 2012 highlight.
"Now to see people who need cancer treatment be able to get it here in Prince George is very rewarding," said Bell.
Not only will the centre and accompanying Kordyban Lodge help keep patients closer to home, it will also bring others into the city, which will be a "big economic driver," Bell added.
In a year where Prince George was again awarded the dubious honour of topping the Maclean's magazine list of Canada's most dangerous cities, the opening of the province's Independent Investigations Office was also something Bond marked as an achievement.
Calling the establishment of the office "historic and essential," Bond said the irony of the fact that she brought the legislation to create it into the House as Solicitor General, that it now runs under the auspices of the Attorney General and that the day she officially opened the office it had its first case in Prince George is not lost on her.
Despite personal and professional triumphs, both Bond and Bell acknowledged areas where there were areas for improvement.
For the Prince George-Mackenzie MLA, the establishment of the new Destination B.C. tourism-focused Crown corporation could have been faster.
"We could have taken that decision more quickly," he said.
The BC Liberals also have to carry the difficulties associated with implementing the HST, said Bond.
"When we look at how we handled that we did not do a good job of that," she said, adding the government heard from British Columbians that they were concerned. "So obviously as we've transitioned out of the HST throughout the course of this year it's brought back some reminders of the importance of listening and doing a good job of hearing our constituents in the province." Looking ahead as the new year rolls in, there will be a continued focus on the economy and making inroads to key international markets, said the Jobs Minister.
Calling 2013 a "really pivotal year," Bell said there will be competition with places such as the United States, Australia and South America for access to Chinese and Indian markets. "This will set the pace for the two to three decades," he said.
Being last in line means B.C. will have to continue to rely on traditional markets such as the United States or the European Union.
That focus will be a key component in the lead up to the May election and as the surging B.C. New Democrat Party looks to unseat the Liberals, they will have to answer definitively about their plans for the future.
"The NDP have had a free ride in the media for the last year," said Bell. "They haven't been forced to answer questions like we are -- which is fair, because we're the ones in government -- but people deserve an answer. What do you intend to do?"
Stepping up to answer those questions for Bond and Bell's constituents are Sherry Ogasawara and Bobby Deepak, who have been carrying the NDP flag since their nomination for the local ridings in April.
Ogasawara and Deepak, a registered dietician and a labour lawyer, respectively, spent the year pushing back at Liberal decisions and promoting their party line.
In addition to being very visible at community events, they also hosted an Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline forum and brought in the NDP's mining critic to question the use of temporary foreign workers for an exploratory mining project near Tumbler Ridge.
Also attempting to make inroads in the north is the B.C. Conservative Party. Leader John Cummins made two trips to Prince George this year and said there were will be Conservative candidates running in every riding in the province.