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.
?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.
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.
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 Stephen Minister Harper had kept people waiting, Duffy responded with this bizarre anccdote.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”