The loudest battles in Canadian politics 2017 won't be provincial or federal or even Toronto (Rob Ford RIP). Those loud sounds will be from federal party leadership battles.
The Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party, and Bloc Quebecois will name permanent leaders in 2017.
- The Conservatives election will be on May 27 to replace interim leader Rona Ambrose. This will be the first leadership contest in the party since 2004 shortly after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives. The more conservative members of the party (to the right of Stephen Harper) weren't all that happy even when the party was in power. We have seen loud and outlandish proposals going after favourite targets such as the CBC. The volume will get even louder if TV pundit and businessman Kevin O'Leary enters the race.
- The New Democratic Party voting process to replace Tom Mulcair as party leader runs September 18-October 1. If the NDP needs more ballots, the process will run on successive Sundays in October until a leader is selected. The NDP has had a quieter race but then again, coverage of the third party in Parliament is light to non-existent.
- The Bloc Quebecois, with only 10 seats and short of official party status, will also have a leadership election in 2017. Rhéal Fortin took over as interim leader after Gilles Duceppe resigned as party leader.
The next federal election feels so long down the road.
The only provincial election guaranteed for 2017 is in British Columbia. The election is scheduled to be on May 9.
The Liberals under Christy Clark aren't likely to call an early election. The NDP seemed certain to win in 2013 but the Liberals pulled off a giant upset. The NDP wave that came did temporarily sweep Clark out of her riding. Clark successfully ran in another riding to remain as premier.
Kinder Morgan and Trans Mountain will be mentioned a few million times during the campaign.
Nova Scotia is due for a provincial election but that election might not happen until early 2018. The Liberals have a healthy advantage in the province and are likely to retain control.
The Progressive Conservatives flipped the table in Manitoba in 2016 while Saskatchewan remained with the hometown party in its election.
No province is in a mood to call an early election. Here is the list of the provinces and the year of their last provincial election.
Manitoba — 2016
Saskatchewan — 2016
Newfoundland and Labrador — 2015
Alberta — 2015
Prince Edward Island — 2015
Quebec — 2014
Ontario — 2014
New Brunswick — 2014
Nova Scotia — 2013
British Columbia — 2013
Justin Trudeau had a lot of success in the eyes of the United States. Trudeau was honoured with a state dinner. President Barack Obama came to Ottawa for the Three Amigos summit and also spoke before Canada's Parliament. Vice President Joe Biden made a December stop in Ottawa.
60 Minutes did a segment on Trudeau in advance of the state dinner. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah did a segment on Trudeau and Canada welcoming Syrian refugees.
2017 will not be anything like 2016, especially when the angry orange one learns that Canada wants to legalize marijuana in 2017.
A new year brings a shakeup in Trudeau's cabinet.
The big news is that Chrystia Freeland switches over to be Canada's new minister of foreign affairs. Freeland had been handling international trade. Freeland succeeds Stephane Dion in foreign affairs. Dion will leave politics without a certain role, though one report cited ambassador to the European Union and Germany.
Shakeups in a cabinet are fairly common in a parliamentary system. The timing will prove intriguing with a new U.S. government coming in 9 days since Freeland wille be working most closely with the new U.S. government.
Canada still has women in charge of 3 of the 10 provinces, though Christy Clark (British Columbia) is running for re-election in 2017. Rachel Notley (Alberta) and Kathleen Wynne (Ontario) are the other 2 female premiers.
Canada had 5 women in charge starting in 2014. The number went as low as 2 in the spring of 2014 and stayed there until the Notley win in 2015.
We've made a running joke about having fewer Rob Ford stories in the last couple of years. His untimely death in 2016 was not one of those jokes. You can read our summary of the ups and downs of the former Toronto mayor.
photo credit: Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press