Viewpoint

Canada will qualify for the World Cup, and Canadians will fall out of love with their health care in 2022

Canada's men's soccer team celebrates a goal against Costa Rica during second half World Cup qualifier soccer action in Edmonton on Friday, November 12, 2021. Jason Franson/The Canadian Press.

To close out the year, we’ve asked our contributors and staff to make a prediction about 2022. You would think, at least since the early days of 2020, that we’d have learned our lesson about making predictions, but we couldn’t resist. Feel free to save these if you want to embarrass us with them later.


Canada will qualify for the World Cup in 2022

By Stuart Thomson

Three bold predictions for 2022:

  1. Canada’s men’s soccer team will qualify for the World Cup. Like any good sports fan, I’m deeply worried about jinxing our guys as they battle for a place in the World Cup. But consider this an endorsement of the team’s character and an admission of my own cosmic insignificance that I’m willing to risk it.
  2. Justin Trudeau will continue on as Liberal leader. In his wonderful biography of Ulysses S. Grant, Ron Chernow writes about the tantalizing opportunity that incumbent politicians are granted: having the entire country tell you that you’re doing a good job. Grant was miserable as president, but he couldn’t resist seeking that stamp of approval from his countrymen. Expect Trudeau to succumb to this temptation as long as his party allows it.
  3. The Omicron variant of SARS-Cov-2 will hit hard and fast, like a summer thunderstorm, creating a massive spike of cases and a much lower rate of deaths. Again, I worry that my optimistic outlook will only set us up for a horrible disappointment, but I’m basing this on burgeoning evidence about the variant and a desire to inject some hope into the situation. The best-case scenario is that Omicron shoots through the population and leaves us with massive new levels of immunity and relatively few bad outcomes. Maybe it’s time to hope for the best.

Stuart Thomson is The Hub’s editor-in-chief.


Canadians will fall out of love with their health care system

By Samuel Duncan

In 2022, Canadians’ love of our universal public health care system will begin to decline. Canadians will start to voice their frustration with a health care system that has been unable to adapt over two years to manage COVID-19 without resorting to economic and social restrictions. The system is forcing our health care professionals to ration care and advocate for economic and social restrictions instead of creating a functioning testing tracing system or adding additional staff capacity necessary to expand ICU capacity. Neither is it addressing the systemic issues that make it impossible to adapt to the reality of COVID-19.

The constant complaint from the health care system that it is not adequately funded is no longer valid now that provincial and federal governments have increased funding to record amounts and no politician in Canada will argue against spending what it takes to keep Canadians safe. This may be the year when Canadians realize our universal public system is not, and may never have been, the envy of the world.

Sign up for FREE and receive The Hub’s email newsletter.

You'll get our daily newsletter featuring The Hub’s thought-provoking journalism on Canadian politics and policy and in-depth interviews with the world’s sharpest minds and thinkers.