Politicians say the darndest things: 10 quotes from 2015

From Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's memorable "sunny ways" campaign slogan to NDP MP Pat Martin's comments about his too-tight underwear, these 10 quotes made by Canadian politicians in 2015 range from uplifting to downright bizarre.

From Justin Trudeau's 'sunny ways' to Pat Martin's too-tight underwear

During his first public address as prime minister, Justin Trudeau was asked about the importance of gender parity in his cabinet. The quote above was his response. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

From Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's memorable "sunny ways" campaign slogan to NDP MP Pat Martin's comments about his too-tight underwear, these 10 quotes made by Canadian politicians in 2015 range from uplifting to downright bizarre.

'Sunny ways' nod to Sir Wilfrid Laurier

​When incoming prime minister Justin Trudeau spoke in French at the beginning of his victory speech, he mentioned our seventh prime minister, whose "sunny ways" approach helped the Liberal leader establish his reputation as an expert negotiator.

Trudeau waves to the crowd after his speech at Liberal election headquarters in Montreal on Oct. 20, a day after his party's landslide federal election win. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Ambrose casts shade on Liberals' sunny day

Heading into the 42nd Parliament, party leaders promised to adopt a more constructive tone, but it didn't take long for Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose to take aim at Liberal promises. Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison took the bait and fired back, prompting Ambrose to declare the prime minister's "sunny ways" already over.

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose took aim at the Liberals' 'big activist' agenda on the opening day of the 42nd Parliament on Dec. 7. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Duffy paints unsettling picture of half-dressed, hot dog-eating Harper

An annoyed Senator Mike Duffy provided one of the year's oddest quotes during cross-examination at his fraud trial in December. When Crown prosecutor Mark Holmes pressed him to recall all the times Prime Minister Stephen Harper had kept people waiting, Duffy responded with this bizarre anecdote

In this artist's sketch, Mike Duffy, a former member of the Conservative caucus, testifies at his fraud trial in Ottawa on Dec. 8. (Greg Banning/Canadian Press)

Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery related to expenses he claimed as a senator and later repaid in March 2013 with $90,000 from Nigel Wright. At the time, Wright was Harper's chief of staff. 

Marijuana 'infinitely worse' than tobacco, booze

During a Montreal campaign stop in October, Harper responded to a reporter's inquiry about regulating marijuana like tobacco and alcohol by once again expressing his vehement opposition to the drug, despite a Supreme Court ruling in June legalizing it for medical purposes.

"There's just overwhelming and growing scientific and medical evidence about the bad long-term effects of marijuana," he said.

Harper speaks against marijuana at a campaign stop in Montreal on Oct. 3. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Mulcair says Harper hiding behind niqab debate

In the lead-up to the federal election, the first French-language leaders' debate touched on a number of hot button issues, including the wearing of the niqab at citizenship ceremonies. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Trudeau opposed the Conservative government's ban on wearing the face veil while taking the citizenship oath, and the right to do so remained a hot topic throughout the campaign.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair accuses the Harper Conservatives of hiding behind the niqab debate during the Munk Debate on foreign affairs, in Toronto, on Sept. 28. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Harper likes Breaking Bad, promises #NoNetflixTax 

"Some politicians want to tax digital streaming services like Netflix and YouTube," according to a video message posted to Harper's Twitter account (and in an email blast sent by the Conservative Party) in August.

Harper took to Twitter in August to share his favourite streaming TV series and to declare his opposition to what he called a 'Netflix tax.' Where that idea come from and whether anyone was actually in favour of it never really got cleared up. (CBC News)

The message, in which Harper suggests the other federal leaders were behind a proposed streaming tax, was lampooned online. Trudeau and Mulcair said their parties had no such plans.

Lisa Raitt can't keep Elizabeth May on the rails

At the annual press gallery dinner in May, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May wrapped up a meandering speech with a shout-out to Omar Khadr, who was freed on bail in Edmonton a week earlier.

Usually, party leaders deliver light-hearted and self-deprecating speeches but May went on at length about being the only female leader and having to claw her way into televised leaders' debates. She apologized afterward. 

Then transport minister Lisa Raitt, left, does her best to usher Green Party Leader Elizabeth May off the stage during an unexpected speech at the annual parliamentary press gallery dinner, in Gatineau, Que., on May 9. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

The curious case of the spy-cam-toting MP

The pen camera worn by Conservative MP Peter Goldring, who said he started carrying the device after a roadside check in 2011, came up amid harassment allegations against two Liberal MPs, when he said body-worn cameras would have kept everything out in the open.

His news release was quickly yanked by the Prime Minister's Office, but it had already stirred up a flurry of criticism and ridicule on social media (and on the CBC comedy show This Hour has 22 Minutes.) Goldring hasn't commented since.

Edmonton Conservative MP Peter Goldring's habit of carrying a pen-mounted spy camera has some of his fellow MPs, including New Democrat Paul Dewar, at odds over the practice. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Pat Martin says underwear a tad too tight

The Winnipeg Centre representative voted on a procedural motion, then left his seat for a moment, prompting Conservative MP Royal Galipeau to ask if Martin's vote still counted. On his return a short while later, Martin's tongue-in-cheek response earned a mix of cheers and laughter.

NDP MP Pat Martin had a somewhat uncomfortable explanation for a brief absence from his seat in the House of Commons in February. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Later, on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Martin summed up the too-tight briefs bit thusly: "Some Conservative MP got his knickers in a knot, I think, about the fact that I stepped away from my chair for a couple of seconds, and so, you know, I believe that his point of order was tongue in cheek and it warranted a cheeky response." Martin also admitting that a sale of 50 per cent off is like "catnip to a Winnipegger."


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