Asked about why a gender-equal cabinet was important to him, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made waves when he responded: “Because it’s 2015.” It was a statement that signalled a lot in three short words: This was an expectation of something that has long been overdue.
Last year, we asked notable Canadians from the world of politics, business, and entertainment to give us 15 words about what 2015 would hold. This year, we refined our ask: they told us what changes they envision 2016 will bring, the kind of overdue change that they’re hopeful will come at last—#BecauseIts2016. Read their answers below.
View our predictions by field:
Hockey is Canada’s Game. Time to support our females. #BecauseIts2016
– Brenda Andress, Commissioner of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League
Canada should be fully accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities. #BecauseIts2016
— Rick Hansen, paralympian, disability activist
Canada will be an example to the world in fairness, philanthropy, compassion, and diplomacy. #BecauseIts2016
— Jennifer Jones, Olympic curling gold medallist
Sport is health. Time for the government to link the two and see the long-term benefits for Canada. #BecauseIts2016
— Jennifer Heil, Olympic skier
Young Canadian athletes will compete, learn and share at the Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, #BecauseIts2016. Go Team!
— Eric Mitchell, Olympic ski jumper
Find your mountain and climb it. #BecauseIts2016
— Heather Moyse, professional speaker and two-time Olympic gold medalist
Eliminate big Pharma and we will help solve the epidemic of mental health—the biggest epidemic on the planet!
— Theo Fleury, former NHLer and healing motivator
We will make the federal government open by default. #BecauseIts2016
— Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board
Together, let’s help our businesses grow faster, innovate and embrace clean tech #BecauseIts2016
— Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Together we MUST tackle climate change #BecauseIts2016
— Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Want to change the world? Empower more women. #BecauseIts2016
— Patricia A. Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women
One veteran, one standard. #BecauseIts2016
— Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs
We are defined by our diversity and guided by our Charter and Canadian values. #BecauseIts2016
— Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice
Building public trust while creating jobs, prosperity and opportunity through sustainable resource development. #BecauseIts2016
— Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources
We will champion international aid programming driven by evidence and outcomes not ideology. #BecauseIts2016
— Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
By welcoming refugees and much more, Canadians will be proud of what we can accomplish together. #BecauseIts2016
—Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety
Finally, at long last, have an economic union in Canada by breaking down barriers to internal free trade #BecauseIts2016.
— James Moore, former Conservative MP
Conservative parties should figure out how to become relevant to young, modern, urban, socially progressive voters. #becauseits2016
— Danielle Smith, radio host and former Alberta Wildrose Party leader
We open our doors to refugees. #BecauseIts2016
— Brian Bowman, mayor of Winnipeg
#BecauseIts2016, we need cities across Canada to help consumers and the environment by embracing new technology such as Uber.
– Preston Manning, founder of Manning Centre for Building Democracy
Can we please not use slot headed screws for anything anymore, ever? #BecauseIts2016. And why hasn’t the US adopted the Robertson already?!
— Corb Lund, musician
Canada should tax carbon and invest in the alternatives. #BecauseIts2016
— Niobe Thompson, anthropologist and documentary filmmaker
Canada again becomes a country that cares for its citizens and the world at large. #BecauseIts2016
— Colin Mochrie, comedian
Let’s get Canadians walking 10,000 steps a day and using active transportation. #BecauseIts2016.
– Jane Munro, 2015 winner of Griffin Prize for poetry
#BecauseIts2016, know where your food comes from!
— Jeremy Charles, owner/chef at Raymonds
Let’s all learn the indigenous name of the neighbourhood we live in #BecauseIts2016
— Jason Collett, musician and member of Broken Social Scene
You can buy a six pack of beer on the way home from work at a corner store in every city, town, village in Canada. #BecauseIts2016
— Sean Cummings, author
The earth is not our mother and will not care about borders or economies when it shatters humanity with rising sea levels and extreme storms, so let’s brave up and make crucial environmental policies to tackle climate change #BecauseIts2016.
— Meeru Dhalwala, author and chef; co-owner of Vij’s, Rangoli and My Shanti
It was funny the first few times you said it, but quit teasing everyone this year, Boomers, and retire #BecauseIts2016.
— Ian Williams, poet
The Canadian entertainment industry realizes they don’t have to wait until talent goes south to recognize them as stars! #BecauseIts2016
— Aisha Alfa, actor and stand-up comedian
Canada should inspire the world to cultivate compassion and raise the bar for critical thinking by declaring an end to the worldwide epidemic of internet outrage and the trivializing of an important cause or issue by turning it into a meme #BecauseIts2016
— Elvira Kurt, comedian
Access to basic education and clean drinkable water for all Aboriginal people in Canada. #becauseits2016 not 1916.
— Vianne Timmons, University of Regina president
All Canadians should be offered equal opportunity #BecauseIts2016.
— Donald Drummond, Queen’s economics professor
Every school and university should mandate Indigenous content. #BecauseIts2016
— Wab Kinew, author, musician, broadcaster and associate vice-president at the University of Winnipeg; from the Onigaming First Nation
Create a prosperity strategy based on commercializing high-margin Canadian ideas and intellectual property. #BecauseIts2016, and IP is where the big wealth is.
– Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of BlackBerry
1 in 3 children worldwide fail to reach their full potential. #BecauseIts2016, Canada should help all children to thrive.
— Peter Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada
Invest in high-speed rail to connect the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor. #BecauseIts2016
— Stephen Lake, CEO Thalmic Labs
Women should be paid equally to men for same job. #EqualPay #BecauseIts2016
— Arlene Dickinson, CEO, Venture Communications
It’s about time the federal government supports the CBC. #BecauseIts2016
—Manjit Minhas, dragon on Dragon’s Den
Canadian politicians will continue making social media blunders, only to later make amends… on social media. #BecauseIts2016
— Steve Ladurantaye, Twitter Canada
Former Harper cabinet ministers will stop advising the Government of Canada to abandon its election promises in deference to Harper’s policies for two reasons: The Harperions lost decisively, and #BecauseIts2016.
— William Thorsell, former editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail
Because it’s 2016 we should keep our rivers, lakes and oceans clean so we can drink, swim and fish sustainably. #BecauseIts2016
— Evan Solomon, host of “Everything is Political” on SiriusFX and Maclean’s contributor
No Canadian should be carded exclusively because of his/her skin colour or physical appearance. #BecauseIts2016
— Samuel Getachew, journalist, community organizer
Now that older Canadians outnumber children, learning how to care for them should NO LONGER BE OPTIONAL for our medical and nursing students #BecauseIts2016.
— Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals
See our world as one, shared place, and help others to see it too. #BecauseIts2016
— Chris Hadfield, astronaut
Canadians with addictions die needlessly. Time for supervised injections, clean needles in prisons and prescription heroin #BecauseIts2016.
— Dr. Patricia Daly, Chief Medical Health Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health
We will revive Canada’s space program, improving our world, exploring new worlds. #BecauseIts2016
— Gilles Leclerc, Director General, Space Exploration at the Canadian Space Agency
Let’s use space to push the boundaries of humankind and understand how fragile our planet is. #BecauseIts2016
— The Canadian Space Agency
Why should Canada, the only G8 country still fence-sitting, finally adopt a genetic non-discrimination act? #BecauseIts2016.
– Stephen Scherer, director of the Centre for Applied Genomics at the Hospital for Sick Children
For a question of death or life at the frontline and our shared humanity, even if they treat your wounded enemies, hospitals must not be bombed. #BecauseIts2016
— Joanne Liu, International President, Medecins Sans Frontieres
Aaron Swartz said “It’s not OK to not get the net anymore.” PM should drop Liberal support for mass surveillance, digital locks, secret treaties #BecauseIts2016 #tpp
— Cory Doctorow, journalist, Boing Boing editor and science fiction author
ADVOCATES, ACTIVISTS AND NON-PROFITS
Our Prime Minister should repeal Bill C-51. #BecauseIts2016
— Monia Mazigh, human rights activist, wife of Maher Arar
Transgender Canadians will FINALLY enjoy the same protections of their basic human rights like every other Canadian #BecauseIts2016
—Marni Panas, transgender advocate, Edmonton
No Canadian should ever again be arrested for cannabis #BecauseIts2016.
— Jodie Emery, cannabis activist
Take care of nature so it can take care of us. #BecauseIts2016
— David Miller, CEO of World Wildlife Foundation Canada
Canada should be joining Vancouver and others in planning for a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy. #BecauseIts2016
— Ben West, environmental campaigner, writer, and co-founder of the Great Climate Race
Deeper deficit, honeymoon’s over, #BecauseIts2016.
— Jack Granatstein, fellow of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute
#BecauseIts2016 Canada should honour First Nation treaties, return our lands, respect our sovereignty, stop stealing our babies and repeal racist laws.
— Pamela Palmater, Mi’kmaq lawyer, professor, politician and activist
To the extent that freedom and privacy are sacrificed for public safety and security, civilized society—along with innovation and prosperity—will greatly diminish. That is the curse of zero-sum (win/lose) thinking, which must stop now. #BecauseIts2016, we can have both privacy AND security (win/win).
— Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director, Privacy & Big Data Institute, Ryerson University
Nobody should ever assume a woman is ‘just a wife.’ #BecauseIts2016
— Diana Carney, Director of Strategy and Engagement, U.K.-based Institute for Public Policy Research
In 2016 women will dominate cabinet because the men won’t be as well-qualified… #BecauseIts2016
— Annette Bergeron, board member, Engineers Canada
We need to give youths more opportunities to lead #BecauseIts2016. They are the leaders of today, not tomorrow.
— John Estrella, National Commissioner of Scouts Canada
All children and youth should be able to discover and achieve their dreams. #BecauseIts2016
— Marlene Deboisbriand, interim president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Wash used to be hung out every morning and now a lot of people use dryers. Years come and go…I can’t help it… I will have to take what God gives me #BecauseIts2016.
— Ellen (“Dolly”) Gibb, supercentenarian
As humans with the capacity for rational thought, we have a moral obligation to wake ourselves up and to attend to the condition of all peoples and other life forms with compassion, humility, understanding and responsibility. #BecauseIts2016
— Maureen Medved, associate professor at the creative writing Program at the University of British Columbia
Strong transit infrastructure = strong economy, and better jobs for all. #BecauseIts2016
— Alex Kinsella, Small-Medium Enterprise Account Manager, Communitech
#BecauseIts2016 human rights will guide government action, because criminalizing poverty, inequitable taxes and a housing crisis are unjust
— Mallory Hilkewich, market manager, Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market
I gotta say, #IAmABelieber. #BecauseIts2016
— Paul Mason, model
People with disabilities will have increased labour market #inclusion. #BecauseIts2016
— Sean McEwan, Calgary, Alta.