The House

CBC Radio's The House: Test your knowledge with our 2021 quiz

How many headlines do you remember from 2021? It’s time to test your knowledge with The House’s annual end-of-year quiz! Play along with our panel of journalists as host Chris Hall pitches questions about the biggest political stories from January through to December.

How well do you remember 2021's biggest headlines?

U.S. President Joe Biden, right, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands in the Oval Office of the White House on Nov. 18, 2021, in Washington, D.C. The Canada-U.S. relationship is just one of many topics featured in the 2021 year-end quiz from The House. (Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

Are you ready to test your political smarts?

Host Chris Hall quizzes our panel of journalists on some of the biggest political headlines of the year, in a series of questions prepared by quizmaster Emma Godmere.

Test your knowledge with contestants Elamin Abdelmahmoud, David Cochrane and Katie Simpson by following along with the questions below and compare your answers at the bottom of the quiz.

How many headlines do you remember from 2021? It’s time to test your knowledge with The House’s annual end-of-year quiz! Play along with our panel of journalists as host Chris Hall pitches questions surrounding the biggest political stories from January through to December.

The Quiz

1. We're going to kick things off with this audio clue:

Trudeau calls the U.S. Capitol attack 'an assault on democracy by violent rioters, incited by the current president'

1 year ago
Duration 3:15
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized U.S. President Donald Trump during a media briefing on Friday with reporters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: "Violence has no place in our societies, and extremists will not succeed in overruling the will of the people." What event was he speaking about?

2. Several people identified as participants in the storming of the U.S. Capitol were linked to the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist organization with chapters in Canada and the U.S. A few weeks later, the federal government listed the Proud Boys and 12 other groups as terrorist entities under Canada's Criminal Code. Name one other far-right group that was added to this list.

BONUS: The government added several more entities to the list later in June. Name one of the far-right groups added at that time.

3. Time for another audio clue from January:

’This is a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies’ says Kenney

1 year ago
Duration 1:56

What's the "gut punch" Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is reacting to?

BONUS: U.S. President Joe Biden signed 16 other executive actions and orders on his first day in office. Name one other move he made that day.

4. More major news broke before the month of January was up. Which prominent person resigned from a post, following a workplace review? 

5. Who immediately stepped in to fill the vacancy?

BONUS: How long did this person fill in for?

6. In February, the Commons passed a motion where 266 MPs voted in favour and zero opposed. Two MPs formally abstained, including Marc Garneau, the foreign affairs minister at the time, who said he abstained "on behalf of the Government of Canada." What was the motion in question?

7. As COVID-19 vaccine deliveries ramped up in February, provinces began opening up vaccine appointments to older age groups through February and March. Name the two former prime ministers who got their first COVID-19 shots in Ottawa at the end of March.

A worker sets up signs for a mass vaccination clinic in Toronto on March 17, 2021. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

8. Also in March, the Supreme Court of Canada made a significant ruling. Which federal Liberal program was ruled constitutional?

9. In April, the Conservative Party unveiled its own climate plan, which would scrap the Liberals' carbon tax but still put a price on carbon for consumers. According to the Conservatives' plan, the money collected from that levy would be funnelled toward what?

10. Also in April, at a climate summit held by Biden, the Liberal government unveiled new greenhouse gas emissions targets. Previously, Canada had pledged to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2030. What were Canada's new targets?

11. Climate change came to the forefront when an unprecedented heat wave and destructive wildfires hit Western Canada earlier this year. The village of Lytton, B.C. — just days before a devastating fire would tear through the area — shattered Canadian heat records for three days in a row. What was the record-breaking temperature recorded in Lytton?

12. Another major story that reverberated throughout the year was the sexual misconduct crisis in the Canadian military. Which top military commander abruptly stepped aside just weeks after being named to the top post because of an investigation into allegations against him?

Admiral Art McDonald became Canada's new top military commander in January. He was on the job for only a month before stepping aside. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

13. Which military official permanently took over his position?

14. Name the former Supreme Court justice who in April was tapped to lead an external review into sexual harassment and misconduct in the Canadian military.

BONUS: The former Conservative government conducted an external review of sexual misconduct in the military six years ago. Which former Supreme Court justice led that review?

EXTRA BONUS: Can you name the other former Supreme Court justice who this year released a review into Canada's military justice system?

15. In May, unmarked graves were uncovered at the site of the former Kamloops Residential School in B.C. It was the first of several sites that would be uncovered in the following months. Trudeau announced that flags on all federal buildings would be flown at half mast to honour the children who never returned home, as well as survivors and their families. For how many consecutive days did flags fly at half mast? 

16 Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole said the following one evening, in the House of Commons: "The non-partisan Speaker granted yet another emergency debate because of the Liberal government's failure to fight for our economic interests, whether at home, whether around the world or even with our closest allies." What was the topic of this emergency debate?

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a news conference in Ottawa on May 7, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

17. Also in May, federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion released his findings following an investigation under the Conflict of Interest Act into the WE Charity controversy that unfolded the summer before. Which individual was cleared of wrongdoing, and which individual was found to have broken conflict rules?

BONUS: This was not the first ethics probe for Trudeau. How many came before it?

18. In June, Speaker Anthony Rota called a private citizen to the bar of the House of Commons to be officially reprimanded — something that hadn't been done since 1913. Who was that individual?

19. Why was he being reprimanded by the Speaker of the House?

20. Also in June, the prime minister nominated a new member of the Supreme Court of Canada. The nomination — and subsequent appointment — was a first for the country's highest court. Name the new justice and the reason why the appointment was a first.

21. On what date was half of Canada's total population fully vaccinated against COVID-19? 

22. The prime minister appointed several new senators over the summer. Two of them were coming off mayoral terms. Senator Bernadette Clement, selected in June, was the mayor of which Ontario city? And Senator Karen Sorensen, appointed in July, was mayor of which Alberta town?

23. In early July, the Assembly of First Nations elected a new national chief — RoseAnne Archibald. What position did she hold prior to becoming national chief?

24. Also in July, Mary Simon was announced as Canada's 30th governor general — and the first Indigenous person to serve in the role. Later in the month, at her installation ceremony, she shared her Inuk name is Ningiukudluk. What did Simon say her Inuk name means in English?

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon gives her address after she took the oath to become the 30th governor general of Canada in Ottawa on July 26, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

25. The federal Green Party had a tumultuous year, which involved infighting, leadership challenges and ultimately winning one less seat than it captured in the 2019 election. One of the biggest blows came when MP Jenica Atwin crossed the floor to the Liberals in June. Before Atwin, who was the last MP to cross the floor in the House of Commons?

BONUS: Which riding did the MP represent, and what was the election result in that riding on Sept. 20?

26. Another major story was unfolding as Trudeau announced Canadians would be heading to the polls a few weeks later. The same day he called the election, the Taliban swept into Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Slightly more than a week later, U.S. forces had officially withdrawn from the country. When did Canada end its military involvement in Afghanistan? 

27. Once Trudeau called the election on Aug. 15, opposition party leaders were quick to react. What three-word phrase did NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh use to describe the call Trudeau made?

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh responds to questions during a news conference in a park in Winnipeg on Aug. 26, 2021. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

28. Conservatives released their platform on Day 2 of the campaign. What was the title of the document, and the photo emblazoned across the front?

29. Which Liberal candidate had a "manipulated media" warning tagged onto a tweet, which featured an edited video of O'Toole?

30. Which provincial premier waded into the federal election, telling reporters that the stance of certain party leaders was "worrisome" and suggesting a minority government would be the ideal result for him?

31. Trudeau's campaign was met with protestors on several occasions, but at one particular stop, gravel was thrown at him. Where did this occur?

32. During a stop at Toronto's city hall, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh pitched renaming the riding of Toronto–Danforth to what?

33. On Sept.r 20, Canadians elected a Parliament that looked pretty similar to the last one, but there were still several ridings that changed hands. Name two ridings, plus the winning candidates, that flipped on election night.

BONUS: Two of the ridings that flipped featured returning politicians. Name the two MPs who returned to the House of Commons after losing previous elections.

34. In several ridings, results weren't known for a few days after election night. A few even faced judicial recounts. In one case, the judicial recount led to a different result than what was originally reported. By how many votes did Bloc candidate Patrick O'Hara lose to Liberal Brenda Shanahan in a judicial recount in Châteauguay–Lacolle?

BONUS: Name the former Liberal cabinet minister who once narrowly won her Edmonton riding by 12 votes, back in the 1990s.

35. Just days after Canadians headed to the polls, an even bigger news story broke late on a Friday evening. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were released from prison in China and were finally flying home. For how many total days were the two Michaels detained?

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig embraces his wife, Vina Nadjibulla, following his arrival on a Royal Canadian Air Force jet after his release from detention in China at the Toronto international airport on Sept. 25, 2021. (Cpl. Justin Dreimanis/DND-MDN Canada/Reuters)

36. While the release of the two Michaels was a positive moment in the Canada-U.S. relationship, the two countries hit a rough patch again as Biden and Trudeau were preparing to meet at the North American Leaders Summit in Washington in November. When and where was the last North American Leaders Summit held?

37. As Canadian, Mexican and American leaders met in Washington, a proposed electric vehicle tax credit for American-built cars proved to be a new sticking point — as Canadians raised concerns that the move could squeeze Canada out of the EV market. In U.S. dollars, what does the tax credit for American-made EVs top out at?

38. Trudeau unveiled his new cabinet on Oct. 26. Several Liberal ministers have been kicking around cabinet since 2015, but only one minister has held the exact same portfolio since day one. Which minister has been matched with which same portfolio through all this time?

39. The first bill to make it through Parliament and receive royal assent this session was C-4 — the bill to ban conversion therapy. Which MP moved a motion in the House to fast-track the bill through the Commons in early December?

40. In recent weeks, the conversation around the pandemic has been dominated by the Omicron variant. On what date did the WHO switch to the Greek alphabet to name COVID-19 variants?


1. The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

2. Three other far-right groups were added to the list at that time: Atomwaffen Division, The Base, Russian Imperial Movement.

(BONUS: Three Percenters, Aryan Strikeforce)

3. The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline

(BONUS: Other executive actions and orders included reversing the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization, rejoining the Paris climate agreement and removing the Trump administration's restrictions on people entering the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.)

4. Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.

5. Chief Justice Richard Wagner.

(BONUS: Six months, from Jan. 23 to July 26.)

6. The motion labelled China's persecution of Uighurs a genocide. 

7. Jean Chrétien and Joe Clark.

8. Federal carbon tax.

9. Personal low carbon savings accounts.

10. 40-45 per cent.

11. 49.6 C.

12. Admiral Art McDonald.

13. Gen. Wayne Eyre.

14. Louise Arbour.

(BONUS: Marie Deschamps.)

(EXTRA BONUS: Morris Fish.)

15. 161 days.

16. Line 5

17. Trudeau was cleared of wrongdoing. Bill Morneau was found to have breached the Conflict of Interest Act.

(BONUS: Two)

18. Then-president of the Public Health Agency of Canada Iain Stewart.

19. For failing to turn over to a Commons committee documents related to the the firing of two scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

20. Mahmud Jamal, first person of colour appointed to the Supreme Court.

21. July 19.

22. Cornwall; Banff.

23. Ontario regional chief.

24. "Bossy little old lady."

25. Leona Alleslev.

(BONUS: Aurora–Oak Ridges–Richmond Hill; Leona Alleslev lost to the Liberals.)

26. March 2014.

27. "Selfish summer election."

28. "Canada's recovery plan:" O'Toole in a dark T-shirt with his arms crossed.

29. Chrystia Freeland.

30. Quebec Premier François Legault.

31. London, Ont.

32. Danforth–Layton.

33. Any two of the following:

  • John Aldag, Liberal; Cloverdale–Langley City; previously a Conservative riding.
  • Parm Bains, Liberal; Steveston–Richmond East; previously a Conservative riding.
  • Lisa Marie Barron, NDP; Nanaimo–Ladysmith; previously a Green riding.
  • Randy Boissonault, Liberal; Edmonton Centre; previously a Conservative riding.
  • George Chahal, Liberal; Calgary Skyview; previously a Conservative riding.
  • Paul Chiang, Liberal; Markham–Unionville; previously a Conservative riding.
  • Blake Desjarlais, NDP; Edmonton Griesbach; previously a Conservative riding.
  • Stephen Ellis, Conservative; Cumberland–Colchester; previously a Liberal riding.
  • Michelle Ferreri, Conservative; Peterborough–Kawartha; previously a Liberal riding.
  • Lisa Hepfner, Liberal; Hamilton Mountain; previously an NDP riding.
  • Wilson Miao, Liberal; Richmond Centre; previously a Conservative riding.
  • Mike Morrice, Green; Kitchener Centre; previously a Liberal riding.
  • Rick Perkins, Conservative; South Shore–St. Margarets; previously a Liberal riding.
  • Anna Roberts, Conservative; King–Vaughan; previously a Liberal riding.
  • Clifford Small, Conservative; Coast of Bays–Central–Notre Dame; previously a Liberal riding.
  • Jake Stewart, Conservative; Miramichi–Grand Lake; previously a Liberal riding.
  • Leah Taylor Roy, Liberal; Aurora–Oak Ridges–Richmond Hill; previously a Conservative riding.
  • Joanne Thompson, Liberal; St. John's East; previously an NDP riding.
  • Ryan Williams, Conservative; Bay of Quinte; previously a Liberal riding.
  • Bonita Zarrillo, NDP; Port Moody–Coquitlam; previously a Conservative riding.

(BONUS: Randy Boissonault and John Aldag.)

34. 12 votes.

(BONUS: Anne McLellan.)

35. 1,020 days.

36. June 2016 in Ottawa.

37. $12,500.

38. Diane Lebouthillier, minister of national revenue.

39. Conservative MP Rob Moore.

40. May 31.

Your prize, for making it to the finish line

The House's prize for finishing the quiz? A playlist of our favourite songs, which we aired on the program in 2021, that you can click on here: