#BecauseIts2016: What else is long overdue?

Read prominent Canadians from a range of backgrounds tell us what is overdue in Canada. Then submit yours, too.



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.

Now, it’s your turn. Submit your own 2016 prediction by tweeting with the hashtag #BecauseIts2016 or emailing us. We’ll update this page with our reader favourites. Good luck—and have a great 2016!

View our predictions by field:

Arts and culture
Advocates, activists and nonprofits
Engaged Canadians


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

Because its 2016_9

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

Because its 2016_3

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


Because its 2016_8

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

Because its 2016_15

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

Because its 2016_24

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


Because its 2016_13

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

Because its 2016_16

#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 


Because its 2016_14

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

Because its 2016_22

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

Because its 2016_25

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

Because its 2016_

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

Because its 2016_20


Canadian politicians will continue making social media blunders, only to later make amends… on social media. #BecauseIts2016

— Steve Ladurantaye, Twitter Canada


Because its 2016_11

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 its 2016_10

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


Because its 2016_26

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


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

Because its 2016_27

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

Because its 2016_5

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

Because its 2016_12

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.

Click here to send us your #BecauseIts2016 prediction on Twitter now.


#BecauseIts2016: What else is long overdue?

  1. Because it is 2016 and because this is perhaps the direction we should be exploring now, I would like to hear more from Dr. Stephen Scherer perhaps in a Macleans article, on the nature of genetic discrimination, the shape and form of a prospective Genetic Non-discrimination Act for Canada, why Canada seems to be the only country fence-sitting on a Genetic Non-discrimination Act, what such an act would achieve, what is the quality impact of absence of such an Act in Canada, etc.
    Oh, I almost forgot! Because it is 2016 and because marijuana legislation is now almost a done deal and Justin has plenty of spare time on his hand, I think he would surely like to explore facilitating heroin prescribing and might certainly appreciate some input from Dr. Patricia Daly

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