|Prime Minister Justin Trudeau|
Greens might take some solace in seeing Elizabeth May returned to the House accompanied by two new B.C.-based MP's (and having had a few other candidates show strong second-place finishes in B.C. and New Brunswick). But 3 MP's will prove a disappointment for a Party that sees Green fortunes rising around the world, but can do little to tap into the same sentiment here in Canada, in part thanks to our antique First Past the Post electoral system. Before the year is out, May will announce her pending departure as Party leader in 2020, although she will stay on as MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
In Alberta, despite a brilliant campaign by NDP Premier Rachel Notley, the Jason Kenney's United Conservative Party emerges victorious. Kenny himself, though, is beaten up by the election, with many of his past anti-LGBTQ musings having come to light. The UCP - flirting with white surpremacists and Big Oil (ok, actually WAY more than flirting), is tarnished as an institution and takes power under a cloud of corruption and concerns over tolerance.
Notley's NDP isn't completely wiped out, and she stays on as Leader. But with a UCP majority government in place, the blitz is on to destroy a lot of the good work that Notley's government accomplished over its 4-year term. The UCP's first order of business, though, will be to kill Alberta's climate change plan and replace it with - nothing (at least not in 2019). Albertans are outraged in late 2019 when it becomes clear (after a new Liberal majority government comes into power federally) that the feds will be applying the now $30 per tonne federal carbon price backstop to Alberta. There is rioting in the streets of Calgary.
Oh - and about that federal back-stop. Canada's courts will rule in 2019 that the feds have every right to price carbon in provincial jurisdictions that are not themselves applying a price on pollution.
|PEI Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker|
Despite Peter Bevan-Baker's Green Party leading in polls in advance of the PEI provincial election, Premier Wade MacLauchlan's Liberal Party is returned with a strong majority government - thanks in part to the collapse of the PEI Progressive Conservative Party. Green support, while strong in certain areas, proves to be thin on the ground throughout too much of the Province - and as a result, MacLauchlan's Liberals receive a stronger mandate from Islanders. A small Green caucus forms the Official Opposition, but Bevan-Baker resigns as leader near the end of 2019 - with ambitions to lead the federal Green Party.Green MLA Hannah Bell, easily returned to her seat, takes over the reigns as the leader of the Official Opposition.
|PEI Green Hannah Bell|
Look for big changes in Ontario. With Premier Doug Ford on a rampage, the Ontario government will undo a decade's worth of progress made under the former Liberal administration. The March budget will see the Ontario civil service cut to a significant degree. It will also lay the groundwork for significant privatization of health care in the Province. Also on the chopping block: environmental legislation, including the Environmental Bill of Rights and the Endangered Species Act. By the end of 2019, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will be cut to the bone.
|Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner|
While Ford and his Conservative MP's will continue to be dogged by controversies and legal problems stemming from the 2018 provincial election (and pre-election candidate nomination), there will be little that Ontario's opposition parties can do. With the Liberals rebuilding, and an ineffective New Democratic Party that long ago lost its way (and with leader Andrea Horwarth finally stepping down to make way for someone new), look for the Green Party of Ontario's Mike Schreiner to be a go-to person for media - but that's about it. Schreiner, trying to be too many things at the same time in the progressive political void, might find a degree of wider publicity, but he needs to be careful lest he continue to alienate his base as he did with several small mis-steps near the end of 2018 (which included his support for the PC's 'back to work' legislation aimed at upending power worker's right to strike).
|B.C. Premier John Horgan|
|NL PC leader Ches Crosbie|
In a hasty review of indigenous issues and orcas, the National Energy Board once again greenlights the Trans Mountain Pipeline - just in time for the Liberals to campaign vigorously on their new 'approval' of the pipeline. But the NEB's decision will once again be challenged in the courts, and there will be no resolution of the matter in 2019.
The Continuing Erosion of Charter Rights
When anyone's Charter Rights are put at risk, everyone's Charter Rights are put at risk. It's 2019, and we can expect - thanks to right-wing extremists in power in the U.S., Europe and provincially here in Canada - the hard-fought rights of women and the LGBTQ community to continue to be eroded (see: "Rising populism threatens LGBTQ in West and around the world," the Globe and Mail, December 29, 2018). Look for anti-women and anti-minority initiatives in Alberta and Ontario. Would Doug Ford really shut down Ontario's Human Rights Commission? Just watch him - as we continue to watch his flirtations with white supremacist fascists like Faith Goldy (see: "Doug Ford and Faith Goldy — what’s wrong with this picture?" Martin Regg Cohn, the Toronto Star, September 24, 2018) and Charles McVety (see: "Ford’s closeness with controversial evangelical pastor is problematic," Michael Coren, iPolitics, December 4, 2018) and his controversial move to roll-back the province's sex education curriculum to the last century (see: "Northern Ontario pride organizations looking to file human rights complaints over sex-ed curriculum rollback," CBC News, July 18, 2018). In Quebec, what can only be described as a racist government in the form of Francois Legault's Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) is hell-bent on destroying the rights of religious minorities (see: "Downtown Montreal anti-racism demonstration draws 3,000," the Montreal Gazette, October 8, 2018). Expect to hear more about the use of the 'Notwithstanding Clause' in our Constitution as the vehicle of choice for right-wing extremists in government to stomp on Charter Rights.
|Ward 2 Councillor Michael Vagnini|
|Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre|
This could be a banner year for beer in Greater Sudbury, with the anticipated opening of two new brew pubs. Spacecraft has been rising from the abandoned Grey Hound station on Notre Dame - and while many have eagerly been awaiting for its doors to open throughout December, I think we can expect that the finishing touches will permit an opening sometime in January.
In the South End, I expect to see the much-touted microbrewery open in 2019 behind the Tap House (note that this is not a prediction, but rather a firmly worded request/demand!). I've often wondered just why a City the size of our has only had just the one brewery - Stack - which makes some excellent beer, by the way(which reminds me - I need to stop in today to get my Ball Drop - one for tonight, and another to age until next year)
. I've been a little embarrassed to show my face at Stack since that whole Hot Box fiasco which I'd rather not get into, so I was thrilled to hear that plans were afoot for another microbrewery offering sales directly to the public (see: "City to get its first brew pub," the Sudbury Star, September 11, 2018).
As for beer itself, I'll defer to the select experts over at Beerwulf for predictions in beer for 2019 - even though I'm mildly disturbed by this whole 'low alcohol' thing.