2005 in review - Canada
The saucier apprentice
Although she wasn't invited to Donald Trump's wedding, Toronto artist Astrid Bin sent a card with her regrets anyway. Bin, who has proclaimed 2005 My Million Dollar Year as a project to raise money via a Web site said, "As someone who's himself famous by being a relentless self-promoter, I hope Mr. Trump understands I was busy this weekend. He more than anyone knows that the first million is the hardest."
One kick-ass saviour
"No. I'm not satisfied. I'm going to kick his butt. As it happens, it's a very nice butt as prime ministers go."-U2 singer Bono, on Prime Minister Paul Martin's failure to commit more funds for aid to Africa
Out of step
An Alberta radio ad for a Royal Canadian Legion lottery was pulled after one day when it turned out that the background marching music used was the "Horst Wessel Song", written by a Nazi Party member and which became the party's anthem.
How to shoot off your mouth
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association, which opposes current gun-control laws and has offered election help to the Conservative party, acknowledged it had asked the U.S. National Rifle Association for advice on political participation. However, CSSA director of sport development Larry Whitmore denied that the NRA was interfering in our politics. "They are doing a seminar on how to teach us to be more politically active and effective at the grassroots level. That's all it is."
Send us your tiresome and thirsty
In applying for refugee status in Canada, Tadeusz Jasiel wrote he was a severe alcoholic who would relapse if forced to return to Poland and the company of his drinking buddies. Additionally, as someone who opposes the integration of his home country into the European Union and who "always" voices his opinion, he claimed he'd be considered a public enemy and possibly confined to a psychiatric institute. "Everyone knows there is zero tolerance in Poland for people like me."
Homely on the range
"An archetypal city of immense glass boxes in a sterilized centre surrounded by an asteroid belt of beige residential subdivisions. The vast suburbs ooze out onto the prairie to the east, along with their complements of strip malls, power centres, car dealerships, and fry pits."-Urban affairs writer James Howard Kunstler on Calgary, Alberta
All dressed up and nothing to say
"I've always thought that if I hadn't been given some good looks and cursed with loving clothes, I would have achieved more as a writer because I would have had more time. It's been a distraction."-Barbara Amiel, columnist and wife of onetime media baron and accused crook Conrad Black
"I'm going to be up there with Frank Mahovlich. Can you believe it? Maybe we can start up a team."-Outgoing Vancouver mayor and sometime goalie Larry Campbell, on his elevation to the Senate
CTV Newsnet erroneously reported that former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard had died, interrupting programming on the 24-hour news channel and starting a eulogy to him before announcing that he was still alive. Anchor Kate Wheeler claimed on-air that the information had come from CBC Radio-Canada, but Newsnet was forced to apologize when it turned out no such story had been broadcast.
Taken to the cleaners
"If this was about drugs, we'd call it money-laundering. Don't you agree?"-Mr. Justice John Gomery, questioning Jean Carle, a former vice president of the Business Development Bank of Canada, about fake documentation used to disguise the source of a $125,000 sponsorship payment in 2000
The Canadian military's first same-sex marriage was held at CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia, without protests. The Halifax Daily News quoted padre Lt.-Cmdr. David Greenwood about the two men: "It was a wedding like any other wedding, except the couple never thought that was going to happen during their lifetimes."
Never took one to the chin
"You will not find one favourable adjective in 10 years. Even fucking Hitler had someone writing one good adjective."-Brian Mulroney, quoted in Peter C. Newman's book The Secret Mulroney Tapes on his treatment by the media
What we get for being polite
U.S. trade representative Rob Portman contributed an editorial to the Globe and Mail suggesting that lack of proper diplomatic discussions is why our two countries have a dispute over softwood-lumber duties, even though courts have consistently ruled that the U.S. had no right to collect it. "Litigation has obviously not proved to be an effective way to resolve this relatively small but highly disruptive disagreement."
Guilty on all counts
"Canada claims to be America's friend but sneers at us and bashes us and welcomes admitted Jihadist terrorists onto the continent like they were nothing more than dispossessed refugees."-John Gibson of Fox News
During a meeting of the standing committee on health care in April, wheelchair-using quadriplegic Conservative MP Steven Fletcher asked Liberal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh if he wanted to take their argument outside. According to Macleans magazine, when Donsanjh claimed that he wasn't a physical kind of guy, Fletcher said: "Neither am I, but don't be surprised if you have any tire marks."
Driven to succeed
Ontario Education Minister Gerard Kennedy announced a proposal that driver's-licence applicants under a new legal dropout age of 18 will have to offer proof of enrollment in high school. "It is a privilege to have a driver's licence, and one of the corresponding obligations is to be serious about taking your learning as far as possible," Kennedy said. "We are saying to people that you shouldn't be going into a job, no matter how attractive it looks, that doesn't have a learning component when you're 16 or 17."
Don't fence me out
"This city is becoming so…Communist. You'd think we lived in freaking Toronto or something. This is redneck Alberta. We should be able to have a smoke wherever we want to."-Kevin Schotts of Edmonton, reacting to the city's antismoking bylaw