We’ve made it, Canada! After a long and admittedly exhausting year, we can put all things behind us as we set our sights on 2020!
2019 was a fairly eventful year for Canada, as we all know. Whether it was the buzzing election, the electrifying year of sports, or headlines made by celebrities and public figures, it’s fair to say Canada had its share of winners and losers. So here is our year-end list of the five greatest losers of 2019!
5. Maxime Bernier
Maxime Bernier, the longtime Conservative Party MP for the Quebec riding of Beauce, has had a fairly interesting year—one that’s been well documented in the public eye. After losing the bid for Conservative party leadership in 2017, Bernier founded the People’s Party of Canada, giving right-wing voters an alternative to the tradition conservatism they were familiar with.
Well, that did not work out well for Bernier, as he lost his party’s only seat in a landslide to Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux.
Projections had Bernier in a comfortable lead. The loss leaves his party unrepresented in the House, and for that, Bernier has earned a spot on this list.
4. Rachel McKinnon
Dr. Rachel McKinnon, philosophy professor, cyclist, trans woman, came to fame in 2018 when she made history by being the first trans athlete to win the women’s 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships.
McKinnon is a vocal trans advocate who has spoken out in favour of trans women competing in women’s sports, has physically dominated biological women in her own sport of cycling, and, in 2019 took to Twitter to pen endless threads against the so-called “cotton ceiling,” the final barrier preventing trans women from being equally accepted.
3. Ron MacLean
Most of the nation mourned when the beloved Don Cherry was axed from his position at Hockey Night in Canada. The legendary sports broadcaster, whose career spanned over three decades, was cut over “controversial” comments made about the poppy.
Even Ron MacLean, who sat beside Cherry for many years and during those controversial poppy statements, nodded along to Cherry, which is probably why so many feel as though he threw Don under the bus.
MacLean attempted to explain why Grapes was fired, though watching Ron without Don next to him felt wrong to a nation so used to seeing the duo on their screen at once.
“There were steps that needed to be taken after what he said, and he didn’t want to take those steps,” said MacLean between the first and second period of the first Saturday night NHL game after Cherry’s firing.
“I sat all week long reflecting, listening to you, and I have heard you. I mean you the viewer. I’ve reflected by listening to my own heart. I’ve struggled mightily to find the words, and I’m not sure I even have them now. But they say it’s a good thing because when you can find the words it’s dead in your heart. And it’s not dead in my heart,” said MacLean in the intermission which some commented on seemed like a eulogy at a funeral.
Throwing someone under the bus is never cool. Throwing someone under the bus who helped save your career on multiple instances like Cherry did to MacLean? Nearly unforgivable, in Canada’s books.
2. Jessica Yaniv
In terms of skyrocketing from someone who was completely unknown to the general public, all the way to being public enemy number one within the span of only a few months, few can claim they’d done it better than Jessica Yaniv.
For those somehow still unfamiliar with Yaniv, her case made international headlines after news broke that Yaniv, who is a biological male and has male genitalia, sought out immigrant-own salons, attempting them to force women to wax her scrotum.
The public was immediately against her, and it just got worse for Yaniv from there. While her case was going viral, Yaniv appeared on TPM contributor and YouTube star Blaire White’s live stream to discuss allegations of sexually predatory behaviour from Yaniv towards minors. During that stream, Yaniv revealed that she had a stun gun, an illegal weapon and Canada, to which she was eventually charged.
1. Jessica Allen
Though most felt as though the firing of Don Cherry was unjust, Jess Allen from CTV’s The Social decided to rock the boat by lambasting Cherry and the importance that hockey has to Canadians.
“I’m told he’s a Canadian icon, and he’s a symbol of the great sport of hockey, which is the sport that unites us across this country, and that narrative is the one that strikes a nerve with me, because I don’t worship at the altar of hockey, I never have,” said Allen.
“Maybe it’s because of where I grew up, and going to a couple different universities. In my mind, in my experience, who does. They all tended to be white boys, who weren’t very nice, they weren’t very thoughtful they were often bullies, their parents were able to afford to spend $5000 a year on minor hockey. You could do other things than spend time in an arena, you could go on a trip and learn about the world. See other things. The world is a big place, maybe get outside of that bubble.”
For those comments, Allen was ridiculed online. And for that, Allen lands on our list of biggest losers of 2019.