The Canadian Press has found it in its heart to name the Prime Minister its "Newsmaker Of The Year" - Not that it was a resounding vote mind you, Mr. Harper getting the nod from just 24% of the journalists who cast ballots in the annual year end poll.
The low support is indicative perhaps that less than 18 months ago in the September 2008 election campaign the P.M. pledged that there would be "no recession" in Canada...and much less absolutely no Federal Budget "deficit" - Lest we forget! Now it seems the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is promising to take an axe and cut deep to balance the massive $60-billion deficit we've inherited from that broken commitment.
There has been much speculation about whether Mr. Harper will prorogue the House of Commons. Introduce a new "Speech From The Throne". Deal with Mr. Flaherty's anticipated budget expected in March; and perhaps even a spring Federal Election. This once: I leave the "speculatin'" to other pundits.
What seems clear to me is that on the eve of the second decade of this 21st Century our Canada stands poised to capture the world's attention with a cornucopia of blessed opportunities we have likely (in fact) never witnessed before. What we Canadians, primarily the politicians we've elected to represent us, make of these unprecedented opportunistic blessings will herald a significant direction for our nation, setting the tone perhaps for the remainder of the still young century.
First: The world will focus on Canada early in 2010, when we host the winter Olympic Games in Vancouver/Whistler. Around the same time, the United-Nations` General Assembly in New York is likely to select Canada to fill one of the vacant seats on the "Security Council". A Security Council seat is an honour bestowed on Canada in each decade since Lester B. Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize ending the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956.
Then; the world`s most powerful nations, the G-8, will gather in Huntsville, Ontario in June. And the G-20, the heads of the planet`s twenty strongest economies, will gather in Toronto a few days later. The Queen comes to Canada in late June. Her Majesty will be present to honour celebration of the country`s 143rd birthday in Ottawa on July the first. And, before September`s end, Mr. Harper will select and recommend to the Queen her new personal representative at Rideau Hall for the next several years.
The dawn of the second decade of the new millennium: This 2010 AD is, it seems, Canada`s unprecedented opportunity to shine, contribute and leave a worthwhile legacy of note from our generation to the world. An unprecedented opportunity for the leaders elected by us to set aside petty political partisanship, rise above the lowest common denominator, and validate our proud citizenship. We should demand and expect nothing less in return for the trust and support we bestow on the politicians we elect.