The Reporter’s quotes of the year for 2020

“Yes, I did mention at the meeting that I was getting stressed and had some chest pain, but that was from arguing with her.” Mulgrave Fire Chief Mike Breen on Jan. 8 about ongoing problems with the Mulgrave Chief Administrative Officer

Betty Ann MacQuarrie

“So far as we’re concerned, this is over.” Former Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie on Jan. 8 regarding complaints about Inverness County’s Chief Administrative Officer

“I’m odd but that has nothing to do with my autism. I’m proud to be weird. Weird is a personality trait. I’m very much a huge nerd and I’ve come to own it and accept it.” Taylor Linloff on Jan. 15 talking about her participation in the CBC docuseries You Can’t Ask That

“The first gift we give our visitors is a confusing design to have to navigate around to figure out where exactly they’re traveling to.” Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda-Chisholm on Jan. 22 discussing the Port Hastings Rotary

“The fact that our system placed a gun in this man’s hand, for me, is problematic.” Dr. Matthew Bowes on Jan. 29 during the first day of testimony of the Desmond Fatality Inquiry in Guysborough

Dr. Matthew Bowes,

“For me, with 12 years on the job, this is the single most difficult decision we ever had to make.” Cape Breton YMCA CEO Andre Gallant on Feb. 5 about their decision to step away as the operator of the fitness centre in the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre

“If somebody doesn’t tell us the truth, our hands are tied.” Dr. Faisal Rahman, a senior psychiatrist at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish, on Feb. 12 regarding the case of Cpl. Lionel Desmond

“You’re both essentially working in the same direction but you’re in silos.” Tara Miller, the lawyer representing Chantel Desmond on Feb. 12 during the fatality inquiry

“There were no red flags.” Dr. Ian Slayter, a psychiatrist at the out-patient clinic at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish, on Feb. 12 describing Cpl. Lionel Desmond’s case

“That was our main goal; the safety of our kids in our community.” Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation councillor Tma Francis on Feb. 19 after a low carbon communities announcement

“I take from your note that a recurring theme with Lionel Desmond is this concept of trying to get care, but it just seems to be not happening.” Desmond Fatality Inquiry counsel Shane Russell on Feb. 19

“He seemed to be struggling.” Catherine Chambers, a private psychotherapist based in Antigonish on Feb. 19 during testimony at the Desmond Fatality Inquiry

“Dreams don’t always work out.” SAERC coach Stan MacNeil on Feb. 26 after losing in the 2019-20 Highland Regional championship game

“He’s going to see how hard it is to leave this place once you arrive.” Tim Hinds, StFX Academic vice-president and provost on Feb. 26 talking about the university’s new president Andrew Hakin

James Goyetche

“They have the same right as anybody else to present themselves for municipal council but I don’t agree and I don’t think it would be right for me to ask the taxpayers of Richmond County to pay to encourage somebody to run against me in the October election.” Former municipal councillor James Goyetche on March 4 expressing his opposition to funding participants at the Female Leadership School

“If they want to get into politics they can do the same thing I did; put your money up front and put your hat in the ring.” Former municipal councillor Gilbert Boucher explaining why he voted against funding for women wanting to attend the Female Leadership School

Gilbert Boucher

“Keeping people healthy right now is our priority, but we’re sad.” Strait Area Saints U18 Girls coach Heather Brennan on Mar. 18 reacting to news that schools sports were cancelled for the year

“Everything about this virus is quick, even the homework.” Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway on Mar. 25 talking about the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

“Somehow a tiny company in Guysborough managed to soar with the eagles and compete with the very best.” Glynn Williams, owner of Authentic Seacoast Company on Apr. 1 about his company’s success during his keynote address in the State of the Strait event

“It’s been, in one word, crazy. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing yet; people want to buy everything we have.” Steinhart Distillery owner Thomas Steinhart on Apr. 8 talking about demand for their new line of hand sanitizer

Thomas Steinhart

“This is uncharted territory, we are rolling with the changes, day-by-day, hour-by-hour.” Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton on Apr. 15 discussing the hit to town finances from the pandemic

“Nobody is exempt from this, we feel as strained and alienated as everybody else.” The Trews guitarist John-Angus MacDonald on Apr. 15 talking about the impact on the music industry from COVID-19

‘Right now, we’re all freaked out by going to the grocery store. How do we get from there to a major festival?” Stanfest organizer Troy Greencorn on Apr. 22 after the annual folk festival in Canso was cancelled

“Every day when I come, she gets so excited and her hands are shaking. She’s just so happy to see people.” Vera Doucette on Apr. 29 describing her friend, 102-year-old Emma Boucher, a resident at the Richmond Villa

“So many are enjoying the idea of a ‘visit’ with me, and have a cup of tea, and just have a little chat, and just talk about things in our lives or in my life, and listen to local music that I love.” Mary Janet MacDonald on Apr. 29 talking about the international popularity of her cinnamon bun recipe via her FaceTime Live feed

Mary Janet MacDonald

“Many innocent victims and families having to grieve the loss of their loved ones is certainly not fair.” Antigonish Warden Owen McCarron on Apr. 29 reacting to news of the mass shooting in Central Nova Scotia

“People call me, I put masks out onto my deck or in the barbeque and they just come and pick them up.” Christena MacDonald on May 6, one of the 35 seamstresses in Inverness County making face masks for essential workers

“This project will save lives.” Transportation minister Lloyd Hines on May 13 talking about the Highway 104 twinning project

“In the middle of COVID, I had my first grandson born so I haven’t been able to touch him yet either so I know what it’s like to be through a window or from a distance trying to communication with someone.” Wendy Owens Abbott on May 13 talking about iPads she purchased for local nursing homes from proceed of t-shirt sales

“Our street crime folk say their biggest concern in town right now with drugs would be prescription pill trafficking. It has really come on strong the past two years.” Port Hawkesbury RCMP Staff Sgt. Dave Morin on May 13 in a presentation to town council

“Our house basement started leaking. When a neighbour saw me digging manually, he came with his machine and exposed the crack for repair. That would have taken me days to dig. He just smiled and went away when I offered money.” Former Port Hawkesbury resident Arun Palit on May 13 after he donated money to maintain a maple tree at the civic centre in memory of those lost to the mass shooting in Central Nova Scotia

“The response has been overwhelming, it was like watching the credits of a movie roll by when we first posted it, from the likes and the shares.” Port Hawkesbury native Steve MacIntyre on May 13 talking about the popularity of his then new song “Too Small a Town”

“Either side of the coin, it will have a big effect with our town.” Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher on June 3 reacting to news that StFX University planned a return of in-person classes

“Racism has been a deadly virus that has been killing my people for years, not only physically but psychologically, and I have to admit, it’s having a damaging effect on me and my family.” Jennifer Desmond on June 10 at a Black Lives Matter rally in Antigonish

“It’s kind of strange to me that it’s a summation of everything that he could’ve been talking about and thinking about over the last 50 years.” Linden MacIntyre on June 10 reacting to the death of author Silver Donald Cameron

“I used to plead with my father not to put my name bar on my jersey.” We’koqma’q band councillor Steven Googoo on June 17 talking about his experiences with racism

Steven Googoo

“Some good things are actually coming out of COVID.” Guysborough Chief Administrative Officer Barry Carroll on June 24 talking about the success of their four-day work week for municipal staff

“I actually grew up as a queer youth here in Port Hawkesbury so I know what it’s like to be isolated due to being queer.” Taylor Linloff said July 1, on Port Hawkesbury hosting their first ever Pride March

“We looked at all the options that we had in front of us, and its play with the outline right now as the government would ask us to play, and the teams decided that they didn’t want to do that.” Richmond Amateur Baseball Association President Gary David on the delay of their 2020 season

“We’re so happy to support the incredible work of the Coady Institute’s program with Indigenous women. We’re blown away by the conversations we’ve had and the work they do and look forward to joining them on this journey.” Hollywood power couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively said July 8, on their $200,000 donation

“Grief makes it so difficult to articulate one’s loss. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember the way we loved them, the connection we felt, and the impact that they had on our lives.” Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said July 8, on the sudden passing of staff member Dawna MacDonald

“I was welcomed into my new home with more care and warmth than I could ever imagine. I felt like I belonged. To be a Canadian is the biggest honour of my life.” Tareq Hadhad said on July 8 celebrating his first Canada Day as an official Canadian citizen

Tareq Hadhad

“She went down like a ton of bricks.” MODG District 8 Councillor Fin Armsworthy said July 15, on the collapse of the Tittle Bridge as contractors were hauling a crane with a transport truck to begin construction on a replacement bridge

“For students who are required to self-isolate, the university will find a local support person who will check in regularly, as well as to assist with grocery and other needs.” Elizabeth Yeo, StFX’s vice president of students said July 22, on assistance being provided to students returning to off-campus housing

“This campaign will help connect your families to our farm families, one bite at a time.” Victor Oulton, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture said July 22, on the creation of the ‘Your Farmers, Your Nova Scotia’ program

“Having people care about their food is so significant – they start to become aware of what they’re putting in their bodies.” Farmer Rodney Beaton said July 22, who owns Bayview Dairy Farm along Route 19 in Mabou

“My roots have been firmly in Louisdale and in Richmond County – I understand what’s going on there, it’s not like I’m five hours away, or in another province.” Former Port Hawkesbury town councillor Trevor Boudreau said July 29, on seeking the PC nomination in the restored Richmond riding

“I wanted some way of filling the voids for People of Colour in our sport community at the grassroots, collegiate, and high-performance levels.” StFX X-Women basketball coach Lee Anna Osei said July 29, on her establishment of the Black Canadian Coaches Association (BCCA)

“It has come to our attention recently that a group in Cape Breton, who has rented our conference centre in the past, has been accused of alarming ideologies, which in no way represent the values of Dundee Resort.” Dundee representatives said in a release on July 29, discussing Nazi sympathizers who used their resort for seminars

“The word Nazi is a hurtful word as we see ourselves and Canadians with Canadian values. The last thing we ever want to be associated with is the by the press supported extremist organization or group.” Cape Breton Real Solutions CEO Jürgen Gindner said on Aug. 5 reacting to accusations of being connected to extremism

“This facility will be a game-changer in our whole industry – farmers and food businesses will be able to expand and more people will get to eat Cape Breton grown food year-round.” Alicia Lake, manager of the Cape Breton Food Hub said on Aug. 5 on receiving $500,000 to purchase and renovate a building into a processing facility

“The last thing we wanted to do was pick at that scab and inflict more pain.” Director Megan Wennberg said on Aug. 5 discussing her documentary The Killing of Phillip Boudreau

“We’re paying the same rate as you do in Halifax where you get four or five bars on your phone.” Judique Development Association member John MacInnis said on Aug. 12 on not being will served by internet service providers

“With this sale, government is officially out of the resort business.” Minister of Business, Geoff MacLellan said on Aug. 12 discussing the sale of Liscombe Lodge to private owners

“Boudreau was a Cape Breton original—an inventive small-time criminal who had terrorized and entertained Petit de Grat for two decades.” Penguin Canada said on Aug. 12, summarizing Silver Donald Cameron’s final book

“It was also important to us to push our creative boundaries and provide work for theatre artists at a time when the industry is hurting.” Festival Antigonish artistic director Andrea Boyd said on Aug. 12, on the creation of a radio play in wake of cancelled season

“We found out through one of our employees who overheard a conversation elsewhere later on Sunday, and they brought it up to us.” Stefan Gagliardi, Route 19’s chief beer officer said on Aug. 19 discussing a potential COVID-19 exposure

“Its peak season and we just finally started to get the confidence of the public to go out, enjoy the province, and do some staycations. And then something like this happens.” Stefan Gagliardi, Route 19’s chief beer officer said on Aug. 19 discussing a potential COVID-19 exposure

“Sometimes you can get more bees with honey, but at the same time, you can’t sit back and do nothing either – you can’t let people kind of just dictate to you what’s going on sometimes.” A representative with a grassroots healthcare committee said on Aug. 19 on the formation of the MODG-based group

“I’m just super impressed that someone of his quality would put his name forward in general but put his name forward for our party.” PC leader Tim Houston said on Aug. 26 on Trevor Boudreau acclimation in restored riding

“As Indigenous people, our lives are devalued. Right now, it’s so apparent that she was murdered, to everyone else other than the people that make the decision.” Annie Bernard-Daisley said on Aug. 26 discussing the murder of Chantel Moore

“After many lives lost and changed forever, we are moving towards safer roads between Sutherlands River and Antigonish. I thank everyone for your support and seeing one of my dreams come true.” Joe MacDonald, chief of the Barneys River Volunteer Fire Department said on Aug. 26 talking about construction underway on deadly stretch of un-twinned highway

“We understand the severity of this virus and the potential threat it poses to our wonderful community of Antigonish by bringing back our student body; but we are prepared and ready.” Elizabeth Yeo, StFX vice president of students said on Aug. 26 welcoming students back to campus

“I’ve been referred to as ‘that stupid blonde b*tch.’” Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said on Sept. 2 regarding the “dark side” of politics for females

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton

“We have to do better. You shouldn’t be disadvantaged because you live in rural Canada. We should all be treated the same.” MP Bernadette Jordan said on Sept. 2 discussing the importance of internet service providers in Cape Breton

“I want it noted that there was a contract signed between the Municipality of the County of Richmond and the former CAO and we abided by that contract in letting Mr. MacIntyre go.” Richmond County Warden Brian Marchand said on Sept. 9 addressing settlement with former CAO

Brian Marchand

“Although this school year will look and feel different, I know we will come together as we did in the spring to continue to support one another and adapt to our changing circumstances with kindness, compassion and understanding.” Paul Landry, SRCE’s regional executive director said on Sept. 9 on the implementation of the province’s back to school plan

Paul Landry

“The fastest responding fire department will best protect the lives and property of the residents, businesses and industries of Point Tupper. Timing is everything when it comes to fire.” The Town of Port Hawkesbury said on Sept. 9 in a statement regarding changes to fire service for Point Tupper

“This is going to be a game changer for Whycocomagh. This is huge for us, we’re going to become a destination.” Melanie Beaton, Inverness’ special projects facilitator said on Sept. 9 describing Whycocomagh’s re-branding

“Our latest project will see 12 additional, affordable units being built right here in the Town of Antigonish to help secure a home over someone’s head.” The Chair of the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society Colleen Cameron said on Sept. 9 discussing development project

“It’s little bit autobiographical so it’s poking fun at my own meandering and dithering as I tried to figure out what I was doing with my life coming out of university.” Local author Morgan Murray on his debut novel Dirty Birds

Morgan Murray

“This position is really exciting because I actually get to work with business owners to help grow their business, to help new businesses come to the area and just help all the way around.” Megan Watt said on Sept. 16 on being hired as the Cape Breton Partnership’s new economic development officer

Megan Watt

“Non-Indigenous fishers and citizens are putting the safety of our people at risk.” Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs Fisheries Lead Chief Terrance Paul said on Sept. 23 regarding a moderate livelihood fishery

“The short answer is I’ve decided to remain in Federal politics to continue my service as the Member of Parliament for Central Nova.” Sean Fraser said on Sept. 23 on his decision to pass on Liberal leadership

“There’s a great benefit to having a coffee with someone off to the side. As with most, if not all Canadians, we have to adapt.” MP Mike Kelloway said on Sept. 23 discussing attending parliament virtually

“I wanted to learn English so I could help my children in school, and so I could understand the doctors – but I didn’t even know the ABC’s.” Syrian refugee Malak Alahmad said on Sept. 23 on winning a literacy award

“They are just exercising their right. We live alongside one another, they are good people; the consensus is to just keep quiet.” RCIFA president Gilbert Boucher said on Sept. 30 discussing Potlotek’s moderate livelihood fishery – before being replaced

“It means a great deal to me – it means the world to me to see this through,” Rose Paul said proudly on Sept. 30 speaking on the Bayside Travel Centre

Rose Paul

“The best way for the municipality to take responsibility is to be responsive when people like Dunmore come to town and want to invest their money to help the community.” Inverness MLA Allan McMaster said on Oct. 7 on his disapproval of handling of development file

“But in this particular instance, really the decision is about stepping up to offer the services that I have, the experience that I have, on a whole new level.” Antigonish MLA Randy Delorey said on Oct. 14 regarding his decision to seek Liberal leadership

“For me, it was the overall well-being of the community, including not only economically, but the overall emotional well-being of our community as well.” Annie Bernard-Daisley said on Oct. 14 on being elected the first female chief of We’koqma’q First Nation

“Our biggest disappointment is that student-athletes arrived at this function and didn’t recognise that, ‘hey, this already exceeds parameters,’ and leave.” StFX Athletic Director Leo MacPherson said on Oct. 14 in relation to sanctions imposed on COVID violations

“It feels as if Richmond County has been given an opportunity for a fresh start going forward.” District 3 councillor Melanie Sampson said on Oct. 21 in speaking on the results of Richmond County electing five newcomers in the municipal election

Melanie Sampson

“I am also humbled by the show of support from phenomenal folks formerly from town, and from surrounding communities who promoted me and who believed in me.” Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said on Oct. 21 after being re-elected as mayor

“It just gets in your blood.” Antigonish town councillor Sean Cameron said on Oct. 21 on missing politics after a four-year departure from municipal politics

“I look at it as, if this was a vice-versa situation, this wouldn’t be happening right now – there would have been extreme force already happening, where’s that force now?” Donald Marshall Jr.’s great niece Salena Sylvester said on Oct. 21 discussing Mi’kmaq treaty rights to a moderate livelihood fishery

“I think having a predominantly female council is a reflection of the time we are living in and a wonderful example of role modeling for the youth in our community.” Crystal Durling said on Oct. 21 after three women were acclaimed as councillors in Mulgrave

“If we can get everybody to get the vaccine for the flu, we’ve got less people suffering sore throat, cough, sniffles, from that that might be mistaken for COVID.” Pharmacist Michael Hatt said on Oct. 21 promoting the flu shot

“As an African Nova Scotian woman, this program gives me hope.” Angela Bear said on Oct. 21 discussing a diversity program to hire 15 African Nova Scotian career practitioner positions

Angela Bear

“We will not stand by and watch DFO seize any more livelihood traps. Exercising our Treaty Rights is something that we can and will continue to do.” Potlotek Chief Wilbert Marshall said on Oct. 28 discussing participating in moderate livelihood fishery

“We just tried to pull the shark close to the boat, he just kind of rolled off it and let it go and just leisurely swam past the boat.” Tuna boat captain Andy Rankin said on Oct. 28 discussing great white shark chomping on their catch

“To survive something really, means there was a possibility that you wouldn’t.” Emma Kuzmyk said on Oct. 28 speaking at a rally that was in support of victims and survivors impacted by gender-based violence

“The bones located were determined to be non-human.” RCMP Public Information Officer Cpl. Lisa Croteau said on Nov. 4 in relation to skeletal remains found on the water’s edge at LeNoir Landing in Arichat

“I often wonder why past mayoral acclamations were never besmirched in this way, yet somehow, as the first female mayor of our town, I was targeted by a handful of people.” Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said on Nov. 11 discussing her previous acclamation as mayor of Port Hawkesbury

“It’s been a tough year for everybody and hopefully the tree will put some smiles on everyone’s faces.” Heather Sampson said on Nov. 11 on donating the annual Christmas Tree for Boston from Nova Scotia

“Back when we were forced onto reservations in the 1800s, a part of our land which is now situated in the village of Whycocomagh was taken over by settlers and they squatted on that land.” Chief Annie Bernard-Daisley said on Nov. 18 speaking on We’koqma’q First Nation’s land claim with the village of Whycocomagh

“And that will include everything from the dried flower, the pre-rolls, through to the teas and cold beverages.” NSLC spokesperson Beverley Ware said on Nov. 18 discussing the new 400-square-foot cannabis dispensary in Port Hawkesbury

“Honestly, the first little while of retirement for me is to going to be to have a rest and simply to decompress.” Isle Madame native Annette Boucher said on Nov. 18 speaking on her retirement as chief clerk of the House of Assembly

“After spending almost nine months as a leadership candidate in the middle of this pandemic, much of it away from my family and full time job, my focus must be to return to both.” Peter MacKay said on Nov. 18 on his decision to not return to federal politics and seek the Central Nova nomination

“Fishing activities have significantly increased in St. Peters Bay. The scale and operation of current activities is even in excess of First Nation moderate livelihood fishing proposals.” Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said on Nov. 25 discussing lobster stock sustainability

“I commend you for putting that back on the agenda, that’s just fantastic.” Former Richmond Warden Richie Cotton said on Nov. 25 on council’s decision to revive question period

“I think the employees they get a lot of use out of the hospital, it’s always there in case of an emergency at your factory.” Businessman Joe Shannon said on Dec. 2 discussing Clearwater Seafoods donation of $100,000 for Strait-Richmond Hospital renovations

Joe Shannon

“Regardless of how you receive your X-Ring, these feelings and values remain true. COVID-19 cannot and will not take this away from us.” Murray Kyte, StFX vice president of advancement said on Dec. 2 on the university’s decision to host a virtual X-Ring

“I still say I’m from here because I was born at the Inverness hospital.” Liberal leadership hopeful Iain Rankin said on Dec. 3 on his personal connection to Cape Breton

“For us to divide our district and say, ‘we’re safe on this side of that bridge,’ I don’t know if that’s the best way to approach it.” Inverness Warden Laurie Cranton said on Dec. 9 speaking in relation to shutting down the Canso Causeway to non-essential travel

Laurie Cranton

“I wasn’t quite ready yet to hang it up – it’s a little tough leaving the Mira and leaving our home in Cape Breton.” Former MP Rodger Cuzner said on Dec. 9 on becoming the consul general to Boston

“We’re hoping it will make university life a little easier for them.” Graydon Nicholas said on Dec. 9 in relation to the bursary he established at StFX to assist Indigenous Canadian students

“In particular today, I feel like since joining St. Francis Xavier University I’ve finally reached my destination.” StFX President Andrew Hakin said on Dec. 9 after being installed at the university’s 19th president during fall convocation

“I stand before you today to honour a ring that has been worn by prime ministers and premiers, presidents, Noble Prize winners, scholars, athletes and movie stars.” Frank McKenna said on Dec. 9 as a special guest during the virtual X-Ring ceremony

“When we make investments in the green economy, you make places like Antigonish a more vibrant and dynamic community to live in.” Central Nova MP Sean Fraser said on Dec. 16 discussing the addition of 12 electric vehicle charging stations coming to Antigonish

“We wanted to say thank you to the community for doing what they did for all of our students coming back to school. Most universities in other provinces, kids weren’t able to go back to school.” Lisa Baker said on Dec. 16 speaking on the creation of a bursary in response to the act of kindness her son received during mandatory isolation