In many ways, 2023 was a good year. It was the first year since 2020 where Canadians lived without COVID-19 restrictions. We weren’t compelled to wear masks in public places, didn’t have to disclose our medical status to restaurants in order to dine, and were able to travel without restrictions. The protests have faded away and after two years of pandemic misery, life returned to something close to normal in 2023. We have been taught to appreciate the small things in life such as being able to see a person’s smile and to be able to purchase items without shouting through a plexiglass screen.Canadians breathed a well-earned sigh of relief as the pandemic finally was in their collective rearview mirrors.In 2023 though, we began dealing with the hangover from the pandemic. The medical impact of COVID-19 proved to be negligible for the vast majority of citizens, but the social and economic impact of the restrictions imposed by the government in response to the pandemic still linger though.Inflation has been rampant due to massive government spending and disruptions in the supply chains for consumer goods. Trust between people and their government has been shattered and some families remain divided over issues such as compelled vaccination among citizens. We are only now starting to see the impact made upon children from rotating school closures and the opioid addiction epidemic that was problematic before the pandemic had blossomed into a national crisis. Protester organizers from the Trucker’s Convoy remain in legal limbo as they work their way through Canada’s glacial justice system while dangerous offenders have been released among the public for lack of prison space.Canadians appear prepared to finally fire the Trudeau government but may not have the opportunity to do so for two years or more. Support for the Liberal government plunged into a freefall in spring and continues to drop. Despite the almost insurmountable collapse in public support, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to remain at his job until at least 2025. As long as Jagmeet Singh is prepared to shore up the Liberals, Trudeau will get his wish.The actions of the federal government appear desperate and dangerously ideological. Rather than changing course to try and change their flagging fortunes, the Trudeau Liberals keep doubling down. They are determined to ignore multiple losses in the Canadian court system as their anti-pipeline and anti-plastic legislations have been found to be unconstitutional. Their gun control legislation became a fiasco and national support for the carbon tax has evaporated when they began to carve out regional exemptions. Steven Guilbeault has announced a planned ban on conventional vehicles that defies belief and is relentlessly attacking the Western Canadian energy industry.It seems the Trudeau Liberals may be accepting their pending electoral oblivion and have moved on into trying to impose as many ideologically loaded policies as they can before they are tossed out of office. This is a terrible attitude for a government to hold. There are few creatures more dangerous than ideologues who feel they have nothing to lose.The Conservative Party of Canada had a good year under Pierre Poilievre’s leadership. Despite the efforts of hostile legacy media and vicious attacks from the Liberal party, they continue to gather more public support. They have done a great job and are poised to win a majority government. If only they could get the electoral chance to do so.Canadians enjoyed the break from living in the pandemic world in 2023, but now need to prepare to repair the pandemic damage in 2024. The coming year is going to be a politically hot one as the Liberal government tries to spend its way out of trouble and Canadians suffer under that spending.Canada’s electorate can be fickle and the current support for electoral change can vanish if a scandal breaks out from the Conservative Party or if Trudeau finds the right shiny thing to dangle in front of them. Central Canadians tend to be reluctant conservative voters at best and support can’t be taken for granted.We can look forward to 2024 being a year of recovery and growth. We should approach the new year with optimism and vision. It will only happen if we are resolute and relentless in pressuring the federal government. We can’t accept the status-quo and the responsibility for changing it is in our hands.Enjoy the holidays. Relax, smile and appreciate the ability to mix, mingle and enjoy gatherings with family members and loved ones. Never forget it was illegal to do so only a couple years ago. Enter the New Year with a sense of rejuvenation and determination. The coming year can be a great one for us all. If we are willing to make It so.