We recorded thousands of interviews during 2013, but some things stand out a bit more than others. Here are some of the quotations that caught our eye over the last 12 months, presented in no particular order.
"He ran away from the TV cameras, he ran away from the public, he ran away from all of his commitments. The only time Peter Penashue felt it necessary to stand in this House was to use the washroom.” - Liberal MP Scott Simms in March, decrying Peter Penashue’s ongoing silence this winter.
"I'm taking that old bike, and I'm going to hang it in my garage, remind me where I was and where I am." - Wayne Hiltz, reacting in May to his $2-million lottery win. Hiltz bought a new car with his winnings.
"My child is upstairs dying of cancer and all you have to do is write me parking tickets. You must feel some good about yourself.” - A handwritten note that Robert Thornhill left for parking enforcement staff at the Health Sciences Centre in June. His daughter died later in the summer.
"To have apologized, simply to take off the heat for something I had clearly not done, and also for something that was such a gross manipulation and misuse of the house by the premier, and the minister of justice, and their cabinet, to have done this, and to implicate members of the FFAW, other NDP members, was absolutely abuse of our house. I could not apologize." - NDP MHA Gerry Rogers, who was kicked out of the house of assembly for refusing to apologize for belonging to a Facebook group she did not voluntarily join.
"At one point I was called a Communist dictator from North Korea for trying to collect all-star fees." - Trish Sullivan, describing tensions in the Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association that saw all 13 members of the volunteer executive step down.
“A million dollars is a lot of money in Newfoundland, and it could go to something really terrific.” - Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, speaking with CBC shortly before offering a $1-million incentive with TV producer Sam Simon to the Canadian Sealers Association as an incentive to end the seal hunt.
"I'm all for protecting seals, but a total ban dooms the indigenous people above [the] Arctic Circle to death or relocation. To hold the entire Canadian seafood industry hostage over sustainable, absolutely necessary tribal practice is ill considered ... I completely understand well meaning intentions of good hearted chefs who signed this petition. But they are wrong. Visit the Inuit." - Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, in a series of tweets criticizing colleagues who support a Humane Society of the United States boycott of Canadian seafood because of the seal hunt.
“Only in N.L. do you hear the premier heckle the opposition leader with ‘quit being so foolish, sit down.’ ” - CBC reporter Peter Cowan, tweeting from the house of assembly shortly before it closed for the Christmas break
"I would always tell Riley, you'd better not go before me. He would always laugh and say, 'I won't.' Well, Riley Mercer, I'm going to tell you one last time, you'd better not go before me." - Louise Mercer, speaking at a vigil in support of her teenage son. Riley Mercer did not recover; he died on Dec. 10.
"The oxygen masks came down, and there [were] just things flying all over the place. I was really disoriented, had no idea where we were. I assumed we were still in the air and had hit something, and I was sure we were going to die." - Mandy McLean, a graduate student who was aboard Asiana Flight 214 when it crashed in San Francisco in July
“I’ve never been so glad to see the media.” - Balloonist Jonathan Trappe, as CBC journalist Lindsay Bird found him after he was forced to abandon a transatlantic crossing and ditch in western Newfoundland
“I have not used my Twitter account for over a year very purposefully — I have decided to disengage from Twitter.” - Premier Kathy Dunderdale in April, explaining why she shut down her Twitter account after CBC News reported she had been following a porn feed even as her government hectored other MHAs for inappropriate social media use. Dunderdale’s staff created a new account, @premierofnl, in October.
"As any parent will tell you who has children with special needs, it's a very helpless feeling. You want to do something and this is what my wife and I have decided we are going to do.” - Todd Churchill, who built a large “rink of dreams” in his backyard in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s to raise money for three groups.
"I was told that the email I had sent would count as a letter of resignation. Hopefully I'll work as an MHA, or work with an MHA, so that legislative practices will become better." - Ryan Steeves, a page at the house of assembly who lost his job when he asked for special leave to attend a debating forum in Russia.
"They should not be confusing Antarctica and the Arctic, and they should know that they live on the Atlantic Ocean.” - Judith Adler, the Memorial University professor who flagged a stunning lack of knowledge of geography among her students.
"I used to look out through my window and see Michael doing his driveway, in a wheelchair with a scoop, and I thought that there must be some way that we can make something up for him better than that." - Jerry Smith, on the wheelchair-accessible snowblower he and his friends fashioned for Michael Johnson in Corner Brook.
"Pure slip of the tongue. We all understand that Port-au-Prince is in the Dominican Republic." - Maj. Martell Thompson, explaining how a Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre official confused the Port au Port Peninsula with the capital of Haiti. Thompson’s erroneous explanation landed on the deck of Peter MacKay, at the time the minister of defence, who added yet more confusion with his explanation: "He clearly meant Port of Port."
"Oh please. There's no story here. Do we participate in polls? You betcha. Who in Newfoundland doesn't?" - Premier Kathy Dunderdale, chiding reporters asking about revelations that members of her caucus tried to tilt the outcome of online surveys on news websites.
"When I first started, I was in competition with maybe five other ladies. Now, I'm in competition with probably 30 or 40." - “Iris,” a pseudonymous escort, describing growth in the sex trade in the booming economy of St. John’s.
“The Tory transition team is not democratic. Instead, they are the new ayatollahs of education." - Liberal MHA Jim Bennett in May, criticizing the move to a single school board for English-language students
“Off went Mr. Shark, and we were thrilled. And I'm sure Farley Mowat would have been thrilled as well." - Fred Humber, who was able to release a shark that had become ensnared on a hook that Humber and his nephew were using for cod.
"One feller come on yesterday and spoke to me about it and he said, 'What are you, Superman?' I said, 'B'ys, no, I'm not super, I just did what I could do — that's all that's to it.'” - Salvage resident Cecil Stuckless, reacting to how he lifted an SUV off his pinned son-in-law in July.
"The goats like to always, of course, be close to the horse, and when she lies down, they lie down on her back. And, of course, goats being goats — you know, they're pretty sure-footed little things — [the horse] gets up and most of the time they'll just stay on and go for a ride around the farm." - Angie Power, describing a horse-riding goat that became a YouTube sensation this spring.
If you’d like to read the feature we ran a year ago on some of the top quotes of 2012, please click here.