It’s hard to believe that 2021 is coming to a close. Did it seem to fly by for you too or was it just for me? Who would have ever thought at the beginning of this year that we would still be dealing with the pandemic this Christmas? 2021 is another year for the record books. I have to admit that my sense of time has been warped by the pandemic, but looking back over 2021, I have rounded up these top 10 Canadian news stories of 2021:
Omicron Leads Ontario into Its 5th Wave of the Pandemic
The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in skyrocketing case numbers of COVID-19 in Ontario. Although it appeared that the fourth wave, which Ontario experienced in the fall of 2021, was under control, the introduction of Omicron into Ontario has resulted in COVID-19 case numbers doubling every three days.
Trudeau Re-Elected to a Minority Government
Prime Minister Trudeau took a great risk in calling an election during the pandemic; something he said he wouldn’t do. The snap election was only two years into his second term. Perhaps many voters resented having to go to the polls while COVID-19 was still rampant as Trudeau was not able to get the majority government he was seeking.
Floods in B.C.
Climate change raised its ugly head when heavy rain in the Pacific Northwest resulted in extreme flooding in Abbotsford and the surrounding areas of B.C. The floods caused approximately $450 million in insured damages, as well as disruption to transportation corridor from Vancouver to the rest of British Columbia.
Cancelled Keystone Pipeline
In January 2021, newly-elected President Joe Biden cancelled the Keystone Pipeline. The pipeline would have run from Alberta to Nebraska. Biden had promised as part of his election campaign to nix the pipeline as he argued that burning oil sands would make climate change worse.
Canada Real Estate Prices Soar
In the second year of the pandemic as a result of repressed demand in 2020, real estate prices have increased in Canada by 18% on average. Real estate sales were virtually stagnant in the spring and summer of 2020; many people were holding off on buying and selling due to unstable employment and the unpredictable future. But the dam burst in 2021, and as a result, Canada’s real estate market experienced its busiest year ever.
Damian Warner Wins Decathlon
Canadian Damian Warner put on a stellar performance at the Toyko 2020 Olympics to bring the gold medal home for Canada in the Decathlon. Warner was the overwhelming favourite Canadian athlete at the Olympics and was voted to be the flag-bearer at the Closing Ceremony.
Wildfires in B.C.
British Columbia has certainly had its fair share of challenges during the pandemic, including wildfires in the Okanagan Valley in the summer of 2021. In July 2021, approximately 500 wildfires were burning across B.C. Residents of the town of Lytton had to evacuate as they watched their town become completely destroyed by fire. Two people died in the fire.
Jason Kenney’s Relaxed COVID Protocols Cause Spike in Cases
In July 2021, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney introduced relaxed protocols surrounding the COVID-19 virus, which resulted in a spike in COVID cases throughout the Province. Kenney later admitted it was the wrong strategy.
Canada Experiences 18-Year High Inflation Rate in 2021
In 2021, Canada experienced an inflation rate of 4.4%, its highest inflation rate since 2003. Despite the soaring rate, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem says the Bank will keep interest rates low as he is confident that supply chain disruptions will ease. Gasoline was the key driver of inflation this year. Increasing food prices due to supply chain disruptions were a close second.
Much of the Canadian population received their two COVID-19 vaccines only to find out in November 2021 that they would need a third (booster) shot in order to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and in particular, the Omnicron virus. The rollout of the booster shot was anything but organized as people trying to book appointments online crashed websites.
Those were the top 10 Canadian news stories of 2021. Please let me know in the comment section if there were other news stories you felt should have been included in the top 10.
You might be interested in reading, “New Year’s Eve 2021 Events and Things to Do in Toronto“.