Duly quoted: Loyal soldiers, charismatic Crosbies and other things people talked about
From thousands of interviews, here are some of the quotes that defined a hectic year
In the course of 12 months, we conducted a few thousand interviews to bring you all the stories on our newscasts, current affairs programs and web pages. Here are some of the quotes that resonated highly with our staff, from political scandals to character studies, from amusing things that went awry to true stories from the heart.
"The premier did not direct me in this matter."
— Cabinet minister Christopher Mitchelmore, in a nine-word statement in December to the House of Assembly on the controversial hiring of Liberal aide Carla Foote at The Rooms.
— Dwight Ball, describing Mitchelmore after his cabinet minister apologized to the legislature while taking sole responsibility for his role in the hiring scandal.
"As a community we are grieving. Such violence does not happen in small, rural communities. We are family, we are friends who are trying to deal with the murder of a young Indigenous woman."
— The Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River, in a Facebook post posted after resident Chantel John was slain.
"The rats are huge. They're not little field mice like you would expect from having pasture land in Torbay."
— Amanda Harris, on how rats have been infesting the town just north of St. John's. Her hot tub was destroyed by the rodents.
"Last week I was alerted to the existence of a place, maybe a magical place. It's a small town called Dildo — D-I-L-D-O. It's a real place in Newfoundland, Canada."
— Comedian and late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel in August, setting off a long-distance love affair with Dildo. Kimmel ran a fictional campaign for mayor, a position that does not exist in the small community.
"No doubt that they don't want to go. But, frankly, I don't care. I do not care."
— Provincial cabinet minister Andrew Parsons expresses his lack of sympathy for Marine Atlantic employees who would not want to relocate to Port aux Basques, which is in his district
"Everyone thought we were crazy at first."
— Steven Gould, on how he and his wife Heather held their winter wedding in Gros Morne National Park on a mountain accessible only by snowmobile at that time of year.
"Are you an asshole?"
— Lawyer Bob Buckingham, responding outside St. John's court in May to child protection advocate Linda Baudoin, who asked the lawyer if he was a "pedophile sympathizer."
"I will never get the answer to, 'Why me? Why my daughter?' And I'm OK with that."
— Natasha Martin, mother of Skye Martin, who blames the government, a prison superintendent and a psychiatrist for her daughter's 2018 death in a Clarenville cell.
"In 20 years she'll be in this room, someone just like her will sit in this room and be in a leadership role.… Don't lose the ground to people who want to say, 'If you keep doing this, you're going to destroy the planet.'"
— Former premier and current C-NLOPB chair Roger Grimes, criticizing teenage environmentalist Greta Thunberg during a speech to the Exploits Regional Chamber of Commerce in October.
"I love you, Newfoundland, and I miss you very much but I can no longer be your kitchen party poster boy."
— Singer Séan McCann, in a Point of View column that CBC published in September on his decision to move away to help protect his sobriety.
"The race card comes up all the time.… Man, don't play that on me. I've been 32 years working with you guys, don't play that on me."
— Perry Trimper, in comments inadvertently left on the voicemail of an Innu Nation staffer that led to his ouster from cabinet in September.
"It's not like I went in and I just lost a toe or a finger. It's a whole leg, and it took a big part of my life away."
— Samantha Rideout, whose right leg was amputated below the knee after it took two months for a proper diagnosis.
"This place rocks anyway where there's any sports event but the Toronto Maple Leafs coming to Newfoundland? Just as good as the cod fishery coming back."
— Hockey fan Shawn Dean in March as he picked up Toronto Maple Leafs pre-season tickets. The Leafs held a training camp in St. John's in the fall.
"They point out to me that I may not be the most charismatic individual."
— PC Leader Ches Crosbie in November, describing an evaluation brought to him from within the Tory caucus. While speaking with reporters, Crosbie several times pronounced the "ch" in "charisma" like the "ch" in "cheese."
"It is a frustrating situation. We do our best, but it's just like going to a concert. If a person buys a ticket and doesn't show up, the concert then goes ahead. It's the same way in terms of lecturing."
— Geography professor Norm Catto, on how many undergraduate students at Memorial University routinely miss classes.
"It smashed up some parts of the snow machine, but there's millions of them things around. There's lots of windows around. But I've only got one wife, and I only need one wife."
— Bruce Porter, whose snowmobile raced away from him, crashed through his Portville house and landed on his wife. She escaped without serious injuries.
"He's not being fed balanced meals and he's not getting proper nutrition. No vegetables, no fruit, no nothing."
— Ryan Fifield, whose wife's grandfather was given a meal of seven small pieces of chicken, macaroni and ketchup for sauce at a St. John's nursing home.
"It's just a really good shot in the arm of positive energy and positive emotion to know that, 'Hey they've got our back.'"
— Doug Church, describing how unpaid members of the U.S. National Air Traffic Controllers Association reacted when Canadian counterparts sent them free pizzas to raise spirits in January.
"Let's face it: social media has changed the face of politics forever. It's just an espousing of hatred and bullying that we don't need in our world."
— Former MHA Graham Letto, reacting to online comments in Alberta attacking "stupid Newfies" in the wake of the fall federal election. No Conservatives were elected in N.L.
"It's no hike up Signal Hill."
— Derek (Doc) Ballard, on tracking his son Mark's progress this spring in climbing Mount Everest.
"So if you like him, you just text him, or whatever they calls it? It's strange, isn't it?"
— Bridget Richards, 83, on how seniors are using dating apps like Tinder.
"Anyone who goes into Her Majesty's Penitentiary without a mental health problem is going to have one within about two weeks. Because the facility is going to generate mental health problems, and it's going to generate addictions, and it's going to generate crime."
— Lawyer Mark Gruchy, reacting to a report released in February on on an inmate's death at HMP.
"It's a really cruel way to get people to support your cause."
— Holly Devine, on how an anti-vaccination group illegally used a photo of her deceased daughter Nevaeh Denine in a campaign to persuade parents against immunization
"These cops were out of control. What they did was wrong and now they're trying to cover it up."
— Dennis Ball, whose dashcam and home video system recorded parts of an encounter with police that included an officer smashing a window in the family home. An independent investigation recommended criminal charges against the officers; the Crown declined to prosecute.
"We cried, and cried and cried. We cried just as much knowing that he had found him as the night we had lost him."
— Tanya Cassell Pardy, describing the joy of finding her family's dog Obi in the woods near Deer Lake, days after a 15-car pileup on the Trans-Canada Highway.
"We've got some good days ahead of us."
— What Al Potter told an informant he believed was a friend, after being offered a fake job by an RCMP officer. It was one of numerous revelations to emerge in Potter's first-degree murder trial. He was found guilty in March of killing Dale Porter in 2014.
"Even a second [without her son] is too much for her. And Elias without his mother, he cannot make it."
— Assadullah Faqiri, describing the plight of his wife Sajia Yaqobi, who for a time this spring was prevented from accompanying her toddler for cancer treatment in the U.S. because of her immigration status
"His only failure in this murder-suicide plot was that he survived."
— Crown attorney Lloyd Strickland, in comments to the jury that would in March find Trent Butt guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his five-year-old daughter, Quinn Butt.
"It's completely bizarre. I'm not angry. I was more amused than anything."
— Rick Mercer, after a B.C. Conservative Party candidate distorted an old quote and turned it into a meme that appeared to be an endorsement.
"I'm a Newfie!"
— Ralph Wiggum, a character on The Simpsons, who then proceeded to club the head off a stuffed white seal pup in an April episode.