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Talkback: A collection of the memorable quotes from the past year

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks during an onstage interview following a business luncheon in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Notley's was among a collection of the memorable quotes from the past year.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
January 01, 2016 - 11:30 AM

Some notable quotes from Canadians in 2015, listed chronologically:

"Canadian consumers walked in expecting the American store experience and got this watered-down version .... We didn't need Target to be Canadian. We needed them to be the company they've been in the U.S." Brynn Winegard, a marketing analyst at Winegard and Company, after Target announced in January it was leaving Canada due to dismal sales and a failure to connect with Canadian shoppers.

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"The prohibition on physician-assisted dying infringes on the right to life, liberty and security of the person in a manner that is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." — Text from the unanimous Supreme Court ruling handed down in February legalizing physician-assisted suicide in some cases.

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"Military planners will tell us that for a mission to succeed, it must have two things. It must have a well-defined objective and a well-defined exit strategy. This mission has neither. The Conservatives simply have no plan. They have no strategy, other than the obvious political one, and that is putting our troops in danger." — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair voicing opposition to the Conservative government's plan to launch a military mission against ISIL.

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"Your grief is our grief. We can only hope that, in time, we will find common purpose towards diminishing the causes of such violent crimes. For now, we just want to be there for Marc, our incredibly caring son who loved his brother very much, and to say goodbye, ever so tenderly and quietly to Jean, our love." — Canadian diplomat Roxanne Dube issuing a statement after the March death of her eldest son Jean Wabafiyebazu. Her younger son Marc is accused in the death of his brother in a drug deal gone wrong.

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"I just want anyone who's ever done it or is thinking of doing it or thinks it's funny, just think of the consequences. It's degrading, it's disrespectful. You really put these reporters in a very uncomfortable position, and it's not just me — we're all sick of it." — Toronto television reporter Shauna Hunt, speaking in April after confronting men heckling her with vulgar insults while she was filming a live report. Hunt and other female journalists said the trend has been plaguing them for months.

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"Whether you are a business leader, a union leader, a municipal leader, someone who leads in our civil society or whether you are a plain-old just great, wonderful Albertan, let me say this to you: Our legislature belongs to you." — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley addressing NDP supporters after her May 5 election win, which put an end to more than four decades of Conservative rule in the province.

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"I have met, seen, heard and listened to men and women who believe, more than ever, that Quebec must become a country. And that is great, because I think the same thing." — Former media mogul Pierre-Karl Peladeau after being elected leader of the Parti Quebecois in May.

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"I think I knew his sister. My condolences to the family, who I think were dealing with their grief by strewing my garbage through my yard last night — totally get that." Facebook jokester in July following the death of a Toronto raccoon on a downtown street and the makeshift shrine that was constructed around the corpse.

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"The residential school experience is clearly one of the darkest, most troubling chapters in our collective history. The survivors showed great courage, great conviction and trust to us in sharing their stories. These were heartbreaking, tragic and shocking accounts of discrimination, deprivation and all manner of physical, sexual, emotional and mental abuse." — Justice Murray Sinclair speaking at the June release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, which documented the devastating impact that Canada's residential school system had on its First Nations population.

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"Rid yourself of those racial stereotypes of Indians and indigenous people being dumb and lazy and drunk on welfare. Rid yourself of those things, so new things can come in." — Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde reacting to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report and exhorting Canadians to take its findings to heart.

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"This is sort of Matthew:6, right? You should do those things quietly, and not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." — Nigel Wright, former chief of staff to Stephen Harper, testifying on Aug. 13 at the fraud trial for former senator Mike Duffy. Wright was citing scripture to explain his decision to cut Duffy a cheque for $90,000 to cover some of his questionable expenses.

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"This ain't fun and games any more, this is reality, this is affecting all of us. The social impact behind this leak, we're talking about families, we're talking about children, we're talking about wives, their male partners. It's going to have impacts on their lives." — Toronto Police Acting Staff Supt. Bryce Evans speaking one month after affair-promoting dating site Ashley Madison was hacked.

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"This is pretty special. I think my dad still has the newspaper clippings from the back-to-back championships (in '92 and '93). I was two and three years old when that happened, so not a lot of memories for me, but just being here in the summer, feeling the buzz in the city, it's crazy." — NHL star Steven Stamkos reflecting on the Toronto Blue Jays, whose performance through the month of August put them in playoff contention and re-energized a city in the throes of the longest playoff drought in professional sports.

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"The first thing that crossed our mind was remembering our own son, Ben, at that age running around. It brings tears to your eye." — Then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Surrey, B.C., on Sept. 3, recalling his and Laureen Harper's thoughts upon seeing the photo of a dead Syrian boy on a beach after his overcrowded boat capsized and sparked global outrage at the plight of Syrian refugees.

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"I am the one who should be at blame. I blame myself because my brother does not have money. I sent him the money to pay the smuggler. If I didn't send him the money, those people still (would be) alive." — Tima Kurdi, speaking on Sept. 5 in B.C. and taking the blame for the death of her three-year-old nephew, Alan.

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"We do not offer them a better health plan than the ordinary Canadian can receive. That's something that most new and existing and old-stock Canadians agree with." — Harper, speaking at an election debate on Sept. 17 about a plan to strip some health-care benefits from refugees. The remark drew criticism that Harper and the Conservatives believed in two classes of Canadian citizens.

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"(The public) is not informed. They are being misguided by the government on this particular issue. They were of the view that Muslim women who are wearing the niqab objected to show their identity for security purposes, but that's not the case .... The image of Muslim women, and as a whole the Muslim community, has been damaged by this." — Zunera Ishaq, the woman whose fight to wear her niqab while swearing an oath of Canadian citizenship sparked a lengthy court battle and became a hot-button issue on the campaign trail. The quote above came during an Oct. 8 interview with The Canadian Press.

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"He's all swung out and his arm is tired from high-fiving people." Benn Wood, the father of a nine-year-old boy who dressed up as Jays slugger Jose Bautista, and mimicked his moves, becoming a North America media darling during the team's post-season play.

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"Sunny ways, my friends, sunny ways." Justin Trudeau to a jubilant crowd on Oct. 19 in his Montreal riding of Papineau, invoking the philosophy of former prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, after he led the federal Liberals to a majority win.

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"When the prime minister of Canada calls you, you say: 'OK, I'll do the favour for you.' So whoever is going to be the next prime minister, if they call me for the favour, I'd reach out again.'' — Hockey icon Wayne Gretzky, 54, explaining on Oct. 22 why he appeared at a campaign event with former prime minister Stephen Harper.

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"Young man can dance and he's got some groove in his system. It's all about vibe and groove for him. It's not about choreography, so people need to stop trippin'." Renowned choreographer Tre Armstrong, who was a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance Canada," on Drake's much-ridiculed dance moves in the video for his mega-hit "Hotline Bling."

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"Because it's 2015." — Trudeau, speaking on Nov. 4, responding to a question as to why he made gender parity a priority when naming his cabinet. Trudeau's hand-picked group of 30 ministers features 15 men and 15 women.

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"The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start with President Obama to strengthen our remarkable ties in a spirit of friendship and co-operation." — Trudeau in expressing his disappointment to U.S. President Barack Obama's Nov. 6 decision to reject TransCanada's controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.

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"America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that's the biggest risk we face — not acting." Obama in explaining why he rejected the pipeline.

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"Regardless what the attackers were shouting at the time of attacks and whatever their names may be, we Muslims do not consider them Muslims. The attacks in Paris are in fact attacks on Islam and Muslims too." — Statement from the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and Muslims Against Terrorism reacting to the deadly terrorist attack in Paris on Nov. 13.

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"As soon as the boat went over, as soon as people started flying into the water, I knew we were in a bad situation. I knew it was very possible lives were going to be lost that day." — Dwayne Mazereeuw, speaking nearly a month after the Oct. 25 sinking of whale-watching vessel Leviathan II. Mazereeuw and his wife were on board the boat as it sank near Tofino, B.C.

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"They have to sort it out. In the wild, a lot of times it's to the death." Maria Franke, curator of mammals at the Toronto Zoo, on a vicious battle that's erupted among female baboons for dominance that came to light in November.

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"It's very uneasy. There are probably going to be more job cuts. People are still kind of living scared." Stephen Scott, 45, who lost his engineering job at Cenovus Energy in Calgary amid the oil price plunge during a December interview.

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"This is a defining moment for Canada, a defining moment for all of us. And it's even more than that — it's an opportunity. An opportunity to mobilize our communities . . . to reimagine how we take care of the most marginalized and vulnerable among us." — Gov. Gen. David Johnston on Canada's decision to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country in the coming months.

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"It's brought our community closer together and reinforced my faith in humanity." — Lynda Cranston of Orangeville, Ont., who's sponsoring a Syrian family expected to arrive in the town in the spring, in an November interview.

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"It means the world is going to be OK." — Razan Alhajali, a Syrian refugee in Irbid, Jordan, as she and her young family prepared to head to Orangeville, Ont., to live with a retired couple who's sponsored them.

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"You are home. Welcome home." — Trudeau to a family of Syrian refugees arriving in Toronto on Dec. 10.

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"We feel as if we got out of hell and we came to paradise." — Syrian refugee Kevork Jamkossian, who fled Syria with his wife and children, in a discussion with Trudeau at Pearson International Airport.

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"I was pleading with them to show some kind of decency; all of these born-again Christians were throwing me to the lions." — Sen. Mike Duffy in testimony at his Senate expenses trial on Dec. 15, describing his alleged treatment by the Prime Minister's Office under Stephen Harper.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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