Keith Gerein: Edmontonians were full of wise and wacky words in 2021. Here’s some of the most memorable

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Public figures tend to be chatty people. It’s often part of their personality, and typically part of their job. Unfortunately the increased use of emailed statements, scripted speeches and press secretaries has tended to rob most of their messages of any colour. Fortunately, a handful of memorable quotes still managed to slip through over the past year. Try to guess who said each one.

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1. “And so I just do this simple Google search. And like, really, nothing comes up about this woman. I realized quite quickly, a lot of people didn’t know this story.”

2. “The tool remains live. If you are having trouble accessing the site, please try again shortly. Thank you for your patience.”

3. “Our city is spending more money each year doing the same things, in the same old ways, using the same old thinking, without seeing enough change.”

4. “Edmonton’s city council can continue to indulge radical activists pushing dangerous social experiments onto vulnerable communities, but Alberta’s government will continue with thoughtful, common-sense approaches to police reform.”

5. “I’m hoping they’ll listen because the dynamite’s not in the ground yet.”

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6. “Your mischaracterization of these visits are a personal attack on the motivation and integrity of individual councillors, and you should very strongly consider an unqualified public apology on that count.”

7. “We never wanted this public position that we’ve been given. It came to us. We’d happily resign all of it to be able to worship quietly on Sundays without all this attention.”

8. “My priority is going to be working with the community and coming up with a robust plan for recovery and economic growth, but do it in a way that it helps everyone.”

9. “I think it’s the little mistakes. It’s just the little ones. It’s not like it’s earth-shattering stuff here.”

10. “I think it’s time to have a frank and open conversation on whether or not the good or the achievements that they would have done in their lifetime are worth some of the violations that they’ve committed.”

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11. “We checked with the Oxford Dictionary folks, we also checked with a linguistics expert at the U of A. And it is proper, especially in a team name.”

12. “Collectively, the full circumstances in this matter constitute an intolerable level of blameworthiness.”

13. “Serious crime is on the rise, including attacks on women. After reviewing @edmontonpolice data, I am issuing a travel advisory when heading downtown.”

14. “It feels f—ing great.”

15. “We’re seeing deaths, we’re seeing patients have to have breathing tubes put in, have to go to ICU, just because of the dangerous drug supply that’s out there.”

16. “I learned a great deal from that experience about hyper-partisanship. I regret my role in that … and I would do things differently if given the chance to serve again.”

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17. “I’m not sure it’s possible to have a functional relationship with a dysfunctional government.”

18. “The past two years of the build have been during an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused changes to the way we work and impacted our ability to deliver the progress as expected.”

Answers:

1. YWCA CEO Katherine O’Neill talks about the first woman elected to Edmonton city council in 1921, Izena Ross, who became the inspiration for a local project celebrating women in politics. Izena’s legacy paid off big-time in 2021, as eight women were elected to council. (Jan. 18)

2. A Twitter post from AHS acknowledges some glitches with its vaccine booking website on the day it was opened to reserve shots for older seniors. (Feb. 25)

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3. Edmonton’s Community Safety and Well Being Task Force delivers their report on the need for policing reform. (March 31)

4. Justice Minister Kaycee Madu expresses his disagreement with the opinions of the task force. (March 31)

5. Paul Sir, executive director of the Alberta Basketball Association, wants city council to imagine a new use for Northlands Coliseum as a sports centre rather than proceeding with demolition. (April 17)

6. Councillors Tim Cartmell and Sarah Hamilton write a testy letter to Mayor Don Iveson, after he blasted their decision to join police on a “surprise inspection” of Tipinawâw shelter at the Edmonton Convention Centre. (April 23)

7. GraceLife Church Pastor James Coates testifies in court as to his church’s mass gatherings in defiance of public health orders. (May 4)

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8. Amarjeet Sohi launches his bid for mayor. (May 18)

9. Oilers captain Connor McDavid assesses getting swept by the Winnipeg Jets. (May 26)

10. Local artist and historian Robert Houle talks about the legacy of celebrated historical figures such as Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin , who was an early proponent of residential schools. The city soon changed the name of an LRT station named after Grandin, and removed a mural of him. (June 1)

11. Edmonton Elks president and CEO Chris Presson defends the decision to add an “S” to the new team name. (June 2)

12. Justice Stephen Hillier sentences Bradley Barton to 12-and-a-half years in prison for the death of Cindy Gladue. (July 28)

13. Mayoral candidate Mike Nickel goes on Twitter to stir up controversy in the campaign. (Aug. 5)

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14. Edmonton’s Stephanie Labbé, goalkeeper for the Canadian women’s soccer team, is pleased with the team’s gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. (Aug. 7)

15. Dr. Shazma Mithani, a doctor at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, gives a sombre assessment of the drug poisoning crisis in Edmonton. (Aug. 23)

16. Randy Boissonnault, Liberal candidate in Edmonton Centre, laments his behaviour on Parliament’s justice committee in 2019 when he aggressively questioned then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. (Sept. 14)

17. Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson weighs in on the state of provincial-municipal relations in Alberta. (Sept. 24)

18. TransEd CEO Ronald Joncas explains why the Valley Line LRT has been delayed a third time, pushing the opening back to the summer of 2022. (Dec. 2)

kgerein@postmedia.com

twitter.com/keithgerein

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