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Livio Di Matteo: Inflation will be stable but higher in 2022

Commentary

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.


Here are five quick predictions for 2022, with some more serious than others:

  1. After months of being told that inflation is transitory, the New Year will confirm that the recent inflationary surge was indeed part of a transitory process to a new and higher but stable overall rate of inflation that in the fullness of time will occasionally approach 2 percent.
  2. The arrival of new variants of COVID-19 will continue and tax the nomenclature resources of the World Health Organization but the end times of the pandemic will indeed be nigh with the arrival of the Alpha-Omega variant.
  3. The issue of persistent supply chain disruptions and shortages of goods in the Canadian economy will be dealt with by creating a federal Royal Commission to study the matter which will recommend that a new federal government Ministry of Supply Chain Issues be established. The new ministry will be designated a pressing national priority and have no shortage of employees.
  4. The Ontario Government will balance its budget and pay down its entire provincial debt by selling off all provincial government buildings and property in the GTA and relocating the provincial capital and the entire civil service to Dryden, Ontario. The legislative buildings at Queen’s Park, however, will be retained for ceremonial purposes.
  5. The sun will rise, the sun will set, governments will rise, governments will fall, new public health officers will go and come, and the world will wag on.

Both abortion and the Charter will be up for debate in 2022

Commentary

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.


Abortion will be a big topic in 2022

By Ben Woodfinden

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion case that is likely to shake up American politics next June. The composition of the court makes the current moment the best chance likely in a generation for a significant overturning or weakening of the decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

It looks quite possible that the ruling will be a landmark victory for the pro-life and conservative legal movement, and if SCOTUS does overturn or weaken Roe and Casey it will turn American politics on its head with abortion becoming a live political issue in a way it hasn’t been for decades.

If this happens, it will have an impact here as well. It won’t produce and legal or political changes here, but given how so many of our culture war issues here imitate debates in America, Liberals especially will be eager to thrust this into the centre of the political debate and use it as a wedge to bludgeon the Conservatives. In summer 2022, expect abortion to become a political issue here again in the way many American culture war issues so often do.

Ben Woodfinden is a doctoral candidate and political theorist at McGill University. In addition to being a Hub contributor, Ben publishes The Dominion newsletter.


The Charter will be up for debate

By Brian Bird

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is hard to overstate the magnitude of the Charter’s impact on Canada over the past four decades. Apart from securing a host of landmark rulings by the Supreme Court on fundamental issues, the Charter has embedded itself firmly into Canadian identity.

There will be many events in 2022 to commemorate forty years of the Charter. My farfetched prediction—farfetched if for no other reason than the stringency of the formula for amending the Constitution—is that this anniversary will spark serious talk about possible revisions to the Charter. These discussions, if they take off, could lead to a meeting of Canada’s first ministers. If that happens, all bets are off.

And who among the first ministers will be the most cooperative on this file? Well, this is the season for hope: Justin Trudeau and Jason Kenney.

Brian Bird is an assistant professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.