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Ron Cannan: My predictions for Kelowna, BC and the world in 2024

Ron Cannan was elected to Kelowna City Council in 2022. He previously served as Kelowna–Lake Country's MP from 2006 to 2015. He also served on Kelowna City Council from 1996 to 2005.

Contributions published by KelownaNow reflect only the opinions of those who write them, and not necessarily those of KelownaNow or its staff.


Say goodbye 2023 and hello 2024! A leap year and a time that holds new hope and opportunities.

With a keen interest in local and geopolitical issues and an eye towards the future, I welcome you to come along for a little journey as I offer up a few personal glimpses and predictions into some local and global events that may unfold in this momentous year and also provide some hope for the future. Here we go!

We are ending 2023 with a Mid East war, global instability, serious economic woes and global deception and delusion at a new level.

I believe 2024 is going to be a much more difficult year for Ukraine. Public opinion is not buying what the regime is selling. US election is scheduled for November. I am predicting Donald Trump will be elected as next US president. If that happens and with the majority of North American tax payers not keen on sending more money to Ukraine for arms, Mr. Trump will be called upon to broker a peace deal.

Over in Israel, PM Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel didn’t start the current Gaza war. However, they will finish it. War is ugly. Innocent lives are being lost. The terrorist organization Hamas has used children and families as human shields. Raped and killed young girls and women. My wife and I travelled to Israel and Palestine in 2008. Beautiful people. Last month, on the last day of Hanukkah, my wife and I, along with a few other Christian couples, attended a pot luck dinner at the Okanagan Jewish Community Centre. It was a wonderful meal followed by a beautiful service.

However, the sad reality is that Jewish families around the world are experiencing the worst antisemitism since the Holocaust. Moving into 2024, this situation could become even worse for Jewish families as the Bible states that Israel is God's chosen people, while many don’t agree.

Turning to Canada, I am sure PM Justin Trudeau is glad that 2023 is over as it wasn’t his best year. His wife left him and so did many of his supporters. However, during his year-end interviews, PM Justin made it clear that he doesn’t plan on stepping down. He said he wants to build a better country and future for his kids. In addition, he said he made a commitment in 2015 to a whole bunch of young people who voted for him for the first time and he wasn’t giving up on the “progressive vision of progress.”

In 2015, I was on the Finance Committee. Our national debt was just over $600B. Our Conservative government proposed a balanced budget with plans to start paying down the debt. Instead, in eight short years, PM Justin has saddled these young voters with a historic high debt load of $1.2 trillion, projected to be $1.4 trillion in the near future.

Carbon taxes, doubling the national debt, a rapid increase in interest rates plus high inflation combined with immigration at historic levels have all contributed to a national affordability crisis. Many of these young Trudeau voters are no longer “woke.” They have awakened to the fact that they may never ever be able to own their own home as long as these “progressive” liberals remain in office. Canada is a highly leveraged economy that will have a tough year ahead.

In 2024 I also predict more of these same socialist “progressive visionary policies” as NDP leader Jagmeet Singh won’t break up with his “man-friend” Justin and destroy their coalition government agreement because Mr. Singh needs to stay in office until at least February 2025 in order to be eligible for his MP pension.

Provincially, Oct. 19 is the scheduled date for the 2024 election. Premier David Eby recently indicated that he doesn’t plan on calling an earlier election as he first has to take care of some personal business. He and his wife are expecting their third child in June. I believe Premier Eby will be re-elected with another majority government unless Kevin Falcon, leader of the BC United Party (formerly the Liberals) and BC Conservative leader John Rustad can meet, set aside their pride and egos, and become united for the sake of the province. It is not right or left, it is about developing polices that will move our province forward and not split the vote.

<who> Photo credit: 123RF

Locally, I predict MLA Renee Merrifield will be re-elected and West Kelowna Councillor Stephen Johnson will be the new MLA to replace Ben Stewart in West Kelowna. Norm Letnick is retiring and his riding could see an NDP MLA if there is a vote split as anticipated. Kelowna will see a fourth MLA in the new Kelowna-Centre riding. Candidates have not been confirmed so too hard to predict a winner at the moment. As we all know, a week is a long time in the world of politics.

Many people say that all politics are local. That being the case, Kelowna City Council will face some difficult decisions in 2024. We will need to review our Official Community Plan (OCP) and our already challenged infrastructure deficit in light of the NDP Government province-wide land use legislation that increases density and basically eliminates public hearings for residential land use that conforms to the OCP. I don’t think this one-size-fits-all policy will be good for the citizens of Kelowna and could lower their quality of life. Council will also need to approve a new short-term rental policy that hopefully works best for our community.

I predict that Kelowna housing starts will be lower in 2024, rents and home prices to decline slightly and the local homeless might receive some assistance from the faith community. However, the homelessness situation will not really improve until Interior Health and our senior levels of government provide the desperately needed 24/7 mental health treatment and addiction facilities along with the wrap-around services (including affordable/sober housing).

The Mayor’s Crime and Safety Task Force is working in partnership with URBA (Uptown Rutland Business Association) and MLA Renee Merrifield in creating a Rutland on-call system which hopefully will improve the level of community safety for all.

I also predict the City of Kelowna budget will continue to be higher than the cost of living and the regional district will elect a new chair of the board in November.

In the year ahead, the school board will continue to get pushback from parents and grandparents who are joining together with valued concerns regarding the SOGI policy and transgender movement within our public schools.

In 2024 our climate will change and we are adapting accordingly. There will be more floods in some areas of the country and drier seasons (drought) for others. Over the years, the Central Okanagan has experienced our fair share of storms, floods and fires.

No one other than God can predict with certainty whether locusts will be coming in 2024 or how stormy next year will be. However, I think we will all face some storms in our lives in the year ahead.

If you really want hope for the future and to better understand the truth of what the future holds, I would encourage you to download a Bible in a year reading app and make it a part of your daily routine.

Unlike myself and other politicians who are imperfect, there is Jesus, who did not fail us in the past and will not fail us in the future. Good news is that the world isn’t falling apart, it is falling into place exactly as per God's plan.

Praying that your new year is full of hope, good health and that these new year’s predictions are not something that just “go in one year and out the other."

Maranatha!


If you would like to send Ron a comment, or have something you would like him to write about, feel free to contact him at roncannan@shaw.ca or 250-575-1446.



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