Okay, the world hasn’t ended – yet — so, it’s time to dust the crystal ball and clean off the Predictions Desk. Here’s mine, for what it’s worth.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s sexual harassment scandal will grow like a cancer, and there will be cases of events that happened after Bob Paulsen became commissioner, in which senior Mounties tried to cover up the wrongdoing. Neither the RCMP nor the federal government will do anything about it.
The F-35 contract for new interceptors will go wildly over its budget by the year end, and will also be delayed in its deployment for two years. Originally supposed to cost $65 million a copy, the 66 planes the Canadian government wants to purchase from Lockheed Martin will instead cost about $130 million a copy.
Somebody will win the NDP federal leadership race. It won’t be Brian Topp. (It shouldn’t be Brian Topp …). The federal Liberals will promise to get around to replacing interim leader Bob Rae. Someday.
The visit of Prince Charles and Camilla will be pretty much ignored by most Canadians, including their trip to Saskatchewan. Unlike the visit of Will and Kate, which sparked a lot of ‘Canada’s new love affair with the British Monarchy’ articles, Saskatchewan and Canadian media will pretty much ignore that nobody gives a flying fig about that part of the monarchy.
The Saskatchewan NDP will defer a leadership convention until the summer of 2014, giving those interested in the job almost three years to get their campaigns ready. There will be five names bounced around as leadership material this time around – Noah Evanchuk, Danielle Chartier, Warren McCall, Trent Wotherspoon, and Cam Broten. At least one will pull out of the unofficial race this year – and it won’t be Chartier.
Barack Obama will win a second term as U.S. president, defeating both Republican candidate Mitt Romney and an independent campaign led by Ron Paul with Michele Bachmann as his running mate. The Republicans’ hold on both houses of Congress will be weakened, but not removed, which will not stop the legislative gridlock in Washington for at least the next two years.
The London Olympics will be a major financial and organizational embarrassment to Britain, but David Cameron’s coalition government will survive. However, Whitehall and Westminster will fear that the Scottish nationalist government will use the British Olympic screw-ups – and fears of the same thing happening when Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2014 – as ammunition to dissolve the Union of Great Britain.
Mayor Mullet will run again, and win, because the activist/NDP/social change types will stay home again instead of rallying round David Robert Loblaw’s campaign. Fiacco will win even though he won’t say until after the election that the major project that he spent much of 2011 working on – the proposed new Roughriders stadium – now appears dead because of a lack of private sector involvement.
It will be a bad year for Canadian television production. The flameout of one of the few new Canadian-made television shows made this year, MuchMusic’s ‘The L.A. Compex,’ will be used by ShawGlobal, Rogers, and CTV Bellmedia as evidence that Canadians won’t watch Canadian-made television. In response, the CRTC will further relax Canadian content regulations for dramatic television to almost nothing. With its budget cut by 10 per cent, CBC will not be able to replace its prime-time Canadian programming that ended this year – Being Erica, Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Little Mosque on the Prairie.
Birdsong Communications will sell its remaining shares of the Saskatchewan Communications Network to Rogers/CityTV, and local programming will all but cease, apart from the news desk.
There will be a case of attempted murder – or a successful murder – on a ‘reality’ TV show. The resulting media firestorm will make the O.J. Simpson trail look like a misdemeanour charge at traffic court. (Okay, there’s a guy at Grantland who thinks the same thing.)
Canada will suck at the London Olympics.
Jordan Weal will not be traded from the Regina Pats at the WHL trade deadline. The Pats will go out in the second round of playoffs, earning head coach Pat Conacher the WHL’s Coach of the Year honor. But stuck with a roster littered with few younger players talented enough to deserve a major junior roster spot in 2012-13, Conacher will be fired by Christmas as the Pats sink to the Eastern Division basement.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders will wander around the lower reaches of the CFL’s western division, finishing with an 8-10 record. A three-game winning streak at the season’s twilight will be enough for Jim Hopson to offer Brendan Taman a three-year contract.
The CFL will ignore the slow but steady rise of popularity of soccer in general and Major League Soccer in particular, just as it ignored Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays. This will haunt the CFL in the next decade, as it slides into the same money and marketing problems the league faced in the 1980s and 1990s.