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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford walks past reporters as he leaves his office at City Hall: The storm continues. (Chris Young For The Globe and Mail)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford walks past reporters as he leaves his office at City Hall: The storm continues. (Chris Young For The Globe and Mail)

THE CONVERSATION

Jan. 4: This week’s Talking Point – readers’ predictions for who or what will define 2014 – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Readers, print and digital, predict who and what they think will define 2014. Wearable tech? The beginning of the end of municipal implosions? Senate shake-up? Bitcoin bonanza? Politicians not behaving badly? Well, maybe not that …

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Wearable technology: Apple coming out with iWatch, Google set to release the official Google Glass, and other tech companies trending the same way.

The utility, fashion, practicality will be hotly debated (prematurely, since only by using them will we start to discover the true possibilities). Wearable tech will be highly lauded and written off in the same breath; it will come to market too early to become mainstream but will be adopted in scientific and accessibility circles.

Tanya Snook, Ottawa

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Voters will send Toronto Mayor Rob Ford packing. Conrad Black will be all zoomed out, as the public will have decided pitching softball questions to fellow conservatives is neither journalism nor “a conversation.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, however, will put down the rumblings in his party; he will not get his comeuppance any earlier than the 2015 election.

Robert McManus, Dundas, Ont.

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Rob Ford’s triumphant re-election and the humbling of the leftist, elitist media establishment.

Lukas Tracey, Vancouver

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It will be the year of smarter cities in Canada. Municipalities had a rough year in 2013. The municipal sector has had a shadow cast on it by the Charbonneau commission, arrests, embarrassments etc. At the same time, many municipalities are taking the lessons learned from 2013 and adopting new approaches to doing things.

Shannon Joseph, Ottawa

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Optimism. Markets and economies recovering, China relaxing slightly and becoming more globally supportive.

Hazel Ruthven, Toronto

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Dystopia. Where did all the big dreams for humanity go?

Joe Grafe, Peterborough, Ont.

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The Senate will be the big story of 2014. With so much still to be investigated and so many individuals still to be questioned, I expect 2014 will see a major shake-up in the Senate. Stephen Harper called to testify?

Jamie Campbell, Orillia, Ont.

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The story that defines 2014 will be the spectacular rise of Bitcoin into the mainstream.

Sohale Shikarpuri, Surrey, B.C.

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First Nations people being treated with respect and given full equality. Why? Because it is about time after years of discrimination and exclusion. A good way to keep Nelson Mandela’s legacy alive in Canada, too.

Bruce Passmore, Vancouver

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Sarah McLachlan’s new album and tour. Along with a Grammy win. I choose Sarah because she is such a great humanitarian.

Tina Blanton, Atlanta, Ga.

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2014 will be the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. Politicians and spin doctors will focus on the bravery and sacrifices of the troops. Canadian leaders will point with pride to Vimy Ridge as the time when Canada came of age as a nation.

This will be an excellent opportunity for honest historians to impress upon Canadians the causes of the war: an arms race among European powers and a race for empire between Britain and Germany.

Lawrence Chanin, Victoria

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Drones, drones, drones; 3D printing; more privacy infringement on the tech side. Further erosion of public service, good public jobs and public space, including the environment, through corporate greed and influence of politicians. Rise of First Nations as protectors of our last pristine natural environments.

Regular folks in more and more debt. Loss of hope unless we stop unbridled capitalism.

Patrice Snopkowski, Victoria

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2014 will be the year of hexting. It’ll be the new sexting.

Elisha Stam, Hamilton

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It will be two “who’s” whose efforts may mark the coming year: Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will continue his efforts to remold the political, economic and cultural reality that is Canada. In the past seven years, leaders of the opposition have failed to stem the Harper tide. Paul Martin, Stéphane Dion, Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae were none of them up to the task of effective opposition.

But time wears down all governments, and Tory contradictions and self-inflicted follies mount. Mr. Mulcair appears to be made of sterner stuff than the previous opposition leaders. Mr. Trudeau’s popularity, especially among women and youth, may likewise prove more electable than the Liberal Party leaders of the past decade.

Ken DeLuca, Arnprior, Ont.

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My impending divorce! Hope this made you guys chuckle.

Jan Dear, Edmonton

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2014 will be the year of de-urbanization. For 150 years, we have seen a move to large urban centres creating problems in sectors such as waste management, transportation, social polarization, economic instability, poverty pockets, congestion and air-quality deterioration, just to name a few.

Time to rethink this before our hinterlands become devoid of all populations.

James Lindsay, Lynn Lake, Man.

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Canadian art continuing to gain its long-overdue recognition on the world art scene.

Brandy Saturley, Victoria

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Instagram and Snapchat will fuse into a social networking technology so fast and fleeting it will cause users to go back in time.

Scotland will decide seceding from the United Kingdom is as bright an idea as haggis.

Canada Post will be completely dismantled, leaving superboxes to be repurposed as secure medicinal marijuana drop-off sites.

3D printers will make gun control obsolete, leading to new NRA motto: Guns don’t kill people. Printers kill people.

C.S. O’Cinneide, Waterloo, Ont.

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I predict all the billionaires will give their money to Greenpeace and the Toronto Maple Leafs will take up volleyball instead.

Barry Healey, Toronto

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ON REFLECTION MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

His and her Confederation

Re Who Was The True Father Of Confederation (Jan. 3): Without the behind-the-scenes support of the women in their lives, both John A. Macdonald’s and George-Étienne Cartier’s drive to great deeds would have been diminished. Macdonald, a supporter of women’s right to vote, would surely make the case today that the sesquicentennial of the Charlottetown Conference should dwell less on who merits the title “Father of Confederation” and more on the fact we should all be proud that Canada’s sons and daughters are considered of equal status.

Giselle Déziel, Cornwall, PEI

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A leader in the ice storm

Re City Considers Calling In Army (Jan. 3): Why was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford allowed to appear in the media as the city’s point person during the ice storm? He was not working with the Premier; he was not in the room with the city hall people monitoring the storm and making the hard decisions.

Vulnerable citizens coping with a citywide emergency expect to be led by the person who has global information and a team-informed strategy. Not a person hogging the media spotlight as they campaign for re-election.

C.L. Seton, Toronto

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Army: no reason to laugh

Why is it cause for laughter to call in the army as former mayor Mel Lastman did in Toronto in 1999 during a snowstorm emergency?

Why is it laughable to use the army in an emergency?

What is laughable is that we have to put up with Rob Ford and a crazy 10-month election campaign (Rob Ford Is First To File Nomination Papers, Kicking Off The 2014 Mayoral Race – Jan. 3).

George Plotkin, Toronto

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London Smog? Yum

Re Origins Unknown, Nanaimo Calls It Its Own (Dec. 31): In our family the dessert commonly known as Nanaimo bars is called London Smog.

My mother, along with other British war brides, many of whom immigrated to the West Coast of Canada in the late 1940s, made this as a Christmas treat. I suspect it became known as “those amazing bars we ate in Nanaimo” or “the Nanaimo bars.” The icing in the original recipe was indeed made with Bird’s Custard Powder.

London Smog is still a favourite in our family.

Vivian Lalande, Kelowna, B.C.

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