2019 is not going to be a good year. Major economic, cultural, and and political shifts are on the horizon.
But among the impending chaos, there are some promising developments in store for Canadians.
Below are listed just six things that will or may happen in 2019 about which all Canadians should be optimistic.
Try to have a happy and healthy new year, Canada!
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TL;DR 2019 is not going to be a good year. But here are 6 things to look forward to.
Improvements to public transit
While major interventions are necessary if most Canadian public transit systems are to keep up with demand, modest improvements across the country will make commutes at least slightly more tolerable.
While the future of Montreal mayor Valérie Plante's proposed Pink metro line is still unsure, the STM is making improvements where it can to relieve the overburdened system. Starting in 2019, metro trains will arrive more frequently, 17 new vehicles will take to the Green line tracks, and there will be more hours of bus service.
There will also be service improvements in Vancouver, including five new B-lines.
Finally, in Ottawa, the long-awaited Confederation line is expected to finally open in 2019.
Despite these improvements, however, municipalities and transit agencies will need to do much more to maximize the efficiency of their systems and meet development goals.
The legalization of commercial edibles and more accessible cannabis
Edible cannabis products will likely become legal on October 17th, 2019, one year after the legalization of recreational consumption.
Meanwhile, the product shortages that have marred the legalization process and led to a spike in black market sales may be resolved by July, 2019.
These factors, in addition to the normalization of cannabis and increasing familiarity with new laws, will mean that the legalization process finally stabilizes next year.
That could be a huge boon for the Canadian economy.
2019 federal elections
Several reports, and even the prime minister, himself, have suggested that the 2019 elections will be the "nastiest" in Canadian history.
But the election may also be among the most exciting in history. The world has changed drastically since the last election in 2014: Trump became president of the United States, a wave of right-wing politics has swept the world, environmental and climate change policies have become central issues in Canadian politics, and, amid conflicts with China and Saudi Arabia, the country now occupies perhaps a more crucial role in the world.
In 2019, Canadians will have a chance to discuss these issues and press their representatives for solutions. The campaign period may not be pleasant. But Canada is poised to undergo dramatic changes in the coming year.
While the federal Liberals, with Justin Trudeau at the helm, are projected to easily retain their majority government, the tone and direction of Canadian politics are bound to completely transform.
Good TV and movies
We will finally get a conclusion to Game of Thrones and that dramatic last episode of Jane The Virgin. There are also the third season of Netflix hit shows Stranger Things and The Crown.
2019 will also see the release of Star Wars: Episode IX, It: Chapter Two, Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4, and Frozen 2.
Canadians will have these titles to look forward to as respites from an otherwise dismal year.
This is a more lighthearted addition to this list.
Canada will occupy a new role on the world stage
If you haven't already noticed, the world has entered an era of political turmoil and radical changes. Across the world, democratic institutions have become corrupt and susceptible to fascist regimes. International institutions and partnerships are falling apart.
But Canada has largely resisted these troubling trends. Despite political division, the Canadian political system has maintained its integrity. The country also benefits from the dismal reputation of the American republic and flawed governance, against which Canada seems like a beacon of hope.
Canada's role in the world is also changing. Currently, it finds itself embroiled in debates and conflicts ranging from Saudi Arabia to China.
Canada's rise has even begun to infect the public mood. Maclean's, for example, today published an article entitled "2019 will be the year Canada begins to rule the world."
The year ahead will be challening but exciting. Canadians will have the opportunity to witness as their country fundamentally changes.
Trump is in trouble
The fall of the American president may be the best news for Canada in 2019. As the Mueller investigation comes to a close, it's looking like the president either committed or was an accomplice to several crimes. The publication of the investigation report may lead to his resignation or impeachment in 2019. Progressives have predicted and hoped for this outcome many times before. Promises of imminent impeachment have been a feature of American media since Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
But as we enter 2019, it seems this political drama is finally coming to a climax.
A new administration in the United States could hopefully mean a transformation of the relationship between Canada and the United States. Despite a still tenuous new trade agreement, years of hot debate, name-calling, and growing skepticism about the reliability of the American government have altered the friendship between the two countries.
The fall of Donald Trump may usher in an era of renewed North American cooperation, but it will also signal a divergence that may finally push Canada out of the shadow of its southern neighbour.