Say that again? Our favourite quotes of 2015
Some our favourite quotes of 2015, from the pages of Nunatsiaq News.
Words. Those are the tools we use to tell our stories, day after day, week after week.
Many of our favourite words are those our sources use to speak to us and to you directly — in quotes.
So here’s a collection of some our favourite quotes of 2015, lifted from the pages of Nunatsiaq News.
• “There is flowery language about incorporating traditional Inuit knowledge, yet many times the department refuses to implement this knowledge.”
— Quttiktuq MLA Isaac Shooyook, explaining why he staged a one-person walkout from the Nunavut legislature this past March.
• “Tabarouette! That’s close to my house.”
— Iqaluit resident Roger Bélanger on April 28, recalling what he thought moments after a lengthy armed standoff began near his home in the city’s Happy Valley neighbourhood.
• “He was a wolf masquerading as a good shepherd. His life as a priest was a lie.”
— Nunavut Justice Robert Kilpatrick on Feb. 4, when he sent ex-priest Eric Dejaeger to jail for 11 years plus time served on 32 convictions involving sex crimes against Inuit children.
• “Every community deserves the opportunity to have active development in their jurisdiction and a process that does not put hundreds of jobs, millions of dollars in wages and benefits and the potential for other future projects at risk.”
— Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna this past June, explaining why he asked the federal government to take Baffinland’s Phase 2 proposal for Mary River away from the Nunavut Planning Commission and give it to the Nunavut Impact Review Board
• “If we went to any financial institution right now, they would just look at us and laugh.”
— Muhamud Hassan, the City of Iqaluit’s chief administrative officer, describing the city’s dire financial state at a meeting held Nov. 24.
• “I found myself in a position where I’d rather dig my eyes out with my bare fingers than come to this room.”
— Coun. Kenny Bell on June 9, expressing his disgust at Iqaluit City Council’s performance.
• “But if they want to come in and do it all over again, they can knock their socks off. That’s their prerogative. We have nothing to hide.”
— Hunter Tootoo, then the chair of the Nunavut Planning Commission, reacting to news that the federal government hired an audit firm to do a financial review of the NPC, which he said repeats work that federal bureaucrats do every year anyway.
• “I’m about a month away from losing my farm, my dream. And for what? I didn’t do anything wrong.”
— The whistle-blowing nurse, Gwen Slade, on the price she’s paid for speaking out about incompetence and negligences at the Nunavut Department of Health.
• “It’s just really bad.”
— Charlie Lyall of Taloyoak, speaking last fall about the airline codeshare arrangements that disrupted air transport services for customers across Nunavut in 2015.
• “Unfortunately, we do not provide a social service.”
— First Air boss Bert van der Stege, defending his airline’s codeshare agreements at a meeting of the Qikqitani Inuit Association.
• “We seem to be abandoning our fellow Aboriginal people because we don’t have many missing women in Nunavut. It is an unfortunate position to take.”
— Tununiq MLA Joe Enook, speaking March 2 in the Nunavut legislature.
• “The department has been aware of critical deficiencies at the Baffin Correctional Centre for many years.”
— The Auditor General of Canada, Michael Ferguson, on March 10, in a damning report on the Baffin Region Correctional Centre.
• “Today, I stand before you and acknowledge that what took place in residential schools amounts to nothing short of cultural genocide.”
— Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, speaking June 2 in Ottawa at the launch of the TRC’s summary report and calls to action.
• “Families will be more together and elders are saying that it is good to wake up cold, like how it use to be.”
— A Pangnirtung resident on April 3, reacting to a major fire that knocked out the community’s power plant.
• “We all expect good corporate governance from our Inuit organizations and need to know that our democratic rights are not casually dismissed or undermined.”
— QIA community director election candidate Madeleine Redfern, in an affidavit explaining why she wants the Dec. 8 QIA election result for Iqaluit overturned.
• “It’s not what we expected.”
— A disappointed Barry McCallum, manager of Nunavut affairs for Areva Resources Canada, reacting to the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s decision to reject the Kiggavik uranium mine.
• “I would just go back home with Tylenol or even steroids. They also gave me a book to read and told me to go online to diagnose myself.”
— Nunavut cancer patient Janice Simailak, describing how Nunavut health workers ignored her until she was forced to fly to Toronto to get a proper diagnosis for her cancer.
• “I’m excited and scared. Excited because it’s happening. Our appeal has been filed. Scared because I’ve never done anything like this before.”
— Clyde River Mayor Jerry Natanine this past July, on the launch of an appeal aimed at overturning a National Energy Board decision allowing seismic testing in Baffin Bay.
• “The fact that I don’t speak fluent Inuktitut is just part of who I am.”
— Natan Obed, on Sept. 17, defending his candidacy for the presidency of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami