As 2018 finally comes to a close, Canadians are looking ahead to the new year.
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TL;DR Below are outlined the 6 events and trends that may make 2019 a terrible year for Canada.
But while the exact procession of events in 2019 is unpredictable, these phenomena and trends will likely make it an unpleasant year in Canada:
To be clear, Canadians are lucky to live in a country with frequent, open, and fair elections. Those who are eligible should always make sure to vote in every election, be it municipal or federal.
But after a few years of tumultuous global politics and an unceasing stream of scandalous political news, it's understandable that the public is experiencing a bit of fatigue.
Even before the official beginning of the campaign season, major political parties will be vying for the attention of voters with soaring, divisive rhetoric and empty promises. As the parties test out campaign messages, Canadians should expect both spectacular fails and stinging retorts from their elected leaders in the coming year.
The country will also be devoid of the optimisim that swept the Liberals into a majority government in the last election. Despite projections that show the party will hold on to its majority, prime minister Justin Trudeau remains a controversial figure.
The rise of right-wing parties in Quebec and Ontario and the fracturing of the NDP in the west will only further complicate the 2019 election cycle. Maxime Bernier's "People's Party of Canada" is also sure to disrupt the political landscape.
Budding debates about immigration and the place of the French language outside Quebec are sure to become more contentious in the coming year, as well.
The 2019 election in Canada will not be a fun one. But Canadians should vote, nonetheless.
The weather will be irregular
The Farmer's Alamanac predicts an irregular year of weather in Canada. Right now, it does not appear that any extreme weather disasters are on the horizon, but these irregularities will be enough to ruin seasonal festivities.
First, Canadians should prepare for what the Alamanc calls a "teeth-chattering winter" with temperatures well below average in every province but British Columbia.
The Prairies will experience a mixed summer, especially dry in the east and wet in the west.
In the Maritimes, the summer will be colder than usual and bring tropical storms by its end.
British Columbia is the only province with a rather predictable year ahead, though the summer will be "slightly cooler" and the fall "warmer and drier" than normal.
Of course, there's no predicting the severe meteorological phenomena to come. This year, wildfires ravaged huge swaths of the country, extreme heat killed dozens in Quebec, tornadoes ripped through parts of Ontario, and storms battered the Atlantic coast.
2019 may see some of the most concerning trends of climate change continue and intensify in Canada.
The beginning of U.S. campaign season
American presidential campaign seasons are notoriously long. If 2016 was any indiciation, politicians will likely begin declaring their candidacy as early as May, a full year and a half before the November 2020 election.
After a few years of unprecedented political developments, the next presidential campaign will be more vicious than ever. President Trump will do and say whatever he can to hold onto power while a wide field of Democratic challengers battle each other and criticize his every move.
Experts also predict that special counsel Robert Mueller will release his final report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and Trump campaign wrongdoings by January. The American political landscape will spend the rest of the year navigating the consequences, which will likely be sweeping.
As always, Canada will be close enough to witness every single, painful development. Some of the most popular and troubling American political trends will also likely spread across the border via social media.
American politics will dominate Canadian media and conversations in the next year.
An economic slowdown and possible recession
The world may be headed for an economic slowdown in 2019 with a possible recession by 2020.
In Canada, according to a Bloomberg report from May, this downturn will be the result of a precarious housing market.
Otherwise, Trump's economic policies will depress growth across the continent. His "trade wars" and tax cuts will be to blame, according to CNBC.
These reports are still vague and, of course, consumers should be skeptical of all economic projections. However, Canadians should stay tuned to news reports and financial advice in the coming year.
Major global shifts in power
Brexit will cast doubt on the longevity of the European Union and likely throw the world into a little bit of a panic. The United Kingdom's position in the world will be uncertain and the EU's power will be diminished. Unluckily for Canada, the EU includes some of its strongest allies and trading partners. Canada, of course, also maintains close ties to the UK.
The rise of far-right regimes and politicians around the world, particularly in South America and Europe, will also have consequences for diplomatic and economic relations.
Trump will continue to be an unpredictable variable. His capricious whims and questionable foreign policy will likely provoke even more scandal in the coming year, especially as he attempts to hold onto the presidency.
None of these phenomena, of course, directly implicate Canada. But this is the environment in which the government will have to operate in the coming year. For the public, international developments will prove frustrating and infuriating.
Canada's relationship with the U.S. will become even more unclear
The 2018 U.S. midterm election has left the American government divided. While Republicans control the Senate and White House, Democrats have gained a solid majority in the House of Representatives.
This division probably ensures that no substantial policy will pass before the next federal election.
That fact casts doubt on the ratification of the United States, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), which president Trump hopes will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The USMCA remains a tenuous deal, according to the CBC. Representatives in Canada and the United States are still debating its language and provisions.
But failure to ratify it will throw the U.S.-Canada relationship into uncertainty. Without the USMCA, NAFTA will remain in place. But after Trump's public condemnation of its conditions and Canada's investment in its replacement, it has become a political liability.
Canada may have to wait until after the next U.S. election in 2020 for clarity on the direction of the relationship between the two countries.