5 Ridiculous Things Said by Canadian Politicians Over the Last Year (or So)



Image by West Annex News

The wild circus that once was Canadian politics returned last year, and did so in full throttle. There seemed to be no shortage of stereotypically Canadian predicaments. Oy.

Sure, we didn't start a war or anything-- but we did have some reasonably uninspiring moments. After all, who could overlook the unearthing of widespread corruption in Quebec demonstrated through proceedings of Charbonneau Commission; or the clandestine workings of politicians and lobbying groups who pushed for the development of the Keystone project? This of course, does not even compare to infamy of Toronto's mayor Rob Ford who was exposed in a humiliating crack scandal (poor guy).

Ah yes,  2013-2014 has been a true lollapalooza!

But of course, every circus needs its ringleaders. Indeed, at the forefront of our Canadian melodramas were our tried-and-true politicians.  Double oy.

Politician \ˌpä-lə-ˈti-shən\: a person experienced in the art or science of government; especially:  one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government 2 (a):  a person engaged in party politics as a profession (b):  a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons (Merriam Webster Online).

Upon reading this most basic definition of what a politician is I felt a rather peculiar feeling of empathy.  Why the cynicism, I thought to myself. Why do we enjoy making fun of people who work hard to preserve the morals of our cities, provinces, nation and ultimately the world? Indeed, political parody is one of the most popular forms of satire and making fun of politicians is deeply rooted our history. "I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live," said Socrates. "A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man," said E.E. Cummings. There it was, this otherworldly moment where I too questioned whether I had been overexcited in this ostensible trend to show hostility towards politicians.

The sympathy of course did not last for long and it's passing was rationalized upon a most important characteristic: power.

Unlike celebrities who merely strive to entertain and make money, politicians "strive" to attain respect and authority. Power, the desire to maintain this control or authority, are given to politicians by people. This is me giving you my power (and you know you best not mess with that)!

It is for this reason that I/we don't feel bad and in calling them out on their nonsensical behavior. In this sense, there is even an onus to scrutinize shoddy political behavior, which ultimately reflects upon thus can misrepresent the people. And so, it seems only fitting to outline a quick list of ridiculous things said by Canadian politicians over the last year (or so). By doing so, the list outlines major stories that affected the Canadian citizenry. Please note that there were many runner-ups--the list could very have well been listed as a top 100.  

Without further ado here is a review of the top Five Ridiculous Things Said by Politicians in the Last Year.  



#5. "Women love money. Give 'em a couple thousand bucks and they're happy." (Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto)


6822110820_6ac13f3ed0.jpg Image by itwas3a.m on Flickr.com

Where else to start than with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? In 2013, it seemed that every word coming out of Rob Ford's mouth stirred up controversy in some way or another, be it about child-molesting reporters, oral sex, or this sexist remark, which he said on a Washington D.C. sports radio show on December 19th. When asked what he was getting his wife for Christmas, he replied the prior, demonstrating that sexism is alive and well in Canadian politics. Ugh, gross.




#4. "I would offer $5 billion to have a Japanese person to come over here and eat nothing but Alberta beef for a year. And if he gets mad cow disease, I would be glad to give him $5 billion - make it $10 billion - Canadian." (Ralph Klein)


4839048943_ed0233ddb6.jpgImage by James Brooks at Flickr.com

Alright so "King Ralph" actually said this in 2004. However, the quote made its way back into the media in 2013 after Klein, the former Premier of Alberta, passed away. He had tested these famous words in response to Japan closing its borders to Canadian beef after the discovery of mad cow disease in an Alberta cow. As a politician, Klein was as hated as he was loved, and never far from controversy.




#3. The blemishes of collusion and corruption. And the mistrust that people have, rightfully so, of the administration and the functionaries of the city. I've been in business, and it doesn't matter if you steal a dollar or you steal $100 000. You're not allowed to take a penny. I've always said it to my employees that if you find a dollar on the floor in this business, it's not yours, it's the business' money. You have to turn it in." (Michael Applebaum, Ex-mayor of Montreal Mayor)


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Image by Montreal Metropole Culturelle at Flickr.com

Originally said in November 2012, this quote was pertinent in 2013 when Applebaum and cohort Saulie Zajdel were arrested on several alleged counts of corruption. As it turns out, Applebaum's bark was louder than his bite, and the first "clean" mayor of Montreal in decades who may have just as much baggage as the rest. The more things change, the more they stay the same.



#2. "Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I, am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably, in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago." (Rob Ford)


4662198802_8615cf0d2d.jpgPhoto by Shaun Merritt at Flickr.com

A classic.

Here we are again with Mr. Ford, the only person to appear more than once on this list. After months of vehemently denying allegations, Ford finally admitted to having smoked crack cocaine. Not to worry, he was in one of his notorious "drunken stupors", which explains everything. Not really. This is the quote that made Ford famous, as he was ridiculed on talk shows around the globe. 




#1. "In England, they get into fights and throw bombs at one another because of multiculturalism and people get lost in that type of a society." (Pauline Marois)


8220620805_e65808edd8_z.jpgImage by Montreal Metropole at Flickr.com

In 2013, the PQ government passed one of the most controversial policies within a developed country.  Quebec PM Pauline Marois "christened" The Charter of Values. The Charter is a proposed policy that would ban all religious symbols from the public workplace. The not-so-hidden agenda of the PQ was unleashed and it was not pretty: to diminish the culture of visible minorities in Quebec. The unveiling of the Charter sparked mass criticism amongst many communities in Quebec, particularly on the island of Montreal, which is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Quebec became the laughing stock of Canada.

Calgarians and even the Rob Ford's Torontonians took advantage to sneer at madness going on in Quebec; happy to finally be able take in some comfort for unconvincingly abandoning their homes in the 70s or the 90s. This is not unusual, but the absolute worst thing of all is that they were actually right this time around.

In a failed rhetorical attempt Madame Marois changed the title of the Quebec Charter of Values to The Charter Affirming Secularism and the Religious Neutrality of the State, especially between Women and Men and Framing Accommodation Demands ...


Yeah. Nice try Pauline.

This rejuvenated title is still ridden with ignorance, intolerance and bigotry. How could you suggest that Quebecers English or French, would allow to be defined as such. 

It will be interesting to see how well Madame Marois will fare in the upcoming provincial elections on April 7th. Though criticism of the PQ government is high, the party has always garner a chain of devoted supporters. Mais là là; ça suffit!  Articles, blogs and broadcasters are having a field day trying to pull out the hilarity of the entire thing. Jokes flew: insinuating that that much like the Hutu and Tutsi conflict there would soon be French and English genocide, where Anglos would flee Quebec fearing for their lives. Others suggested that Montreal should become a city-state and an adherent of Canada. This was all said as a joke, of course. But is it a funny? Well no. Not if you avidly believe that the PQ will win a majority in the next election. 

Alright. Let's all just calm down, and finally bring up the elephant in the room; I am not going to vote for Pauline Marois--and neither are you.



1.Merriam Webster


3. Globe and Mail

4. Quebec Government

5. CTV News

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