From the city court rooms to the small communities that dot the Westman landscape, plenty of folks have had a lot to say over the past year. So, in what has become an annual tradition at the Brandon Sun, we offer our 2012 quotes of the year.
This is Part 1 of a two-part editorial. Part 2 will run on Saturday.
• “I said how am I going to be able to do the job in skirt and heels? That’s just not right.” — Carol Fisher, a 33-year veteran of the Brandon Police and Brandon’s first female police officer, who retired in 2012. Fisher was initially measured for a skirt and that led to an argument with one of the inspectors. Fisher won that debate and got to wear pants on patrol.
• “You’re that desperate for a cup of coffee? It was an expensive cup of coffee.”— Judge Krystyna Tarwid, commenting on the case of Cory Leonard Frederick Manuliak who was caught out past his court-ordered curfew after a run to Tim Hortons took longer than expected. He was fined $169.
• “If you want to catch fish you will go where the fish are and if you want to catch impaired drivers you go where the impaired drivers are.”— RCMP spokesman Cpl. Miles Hiebert, speaking to past checkstop programs that targeted social halls and bars.
• “It’s a huge hit, for not only our municipality but for our whole area here.”— RM of Silver Creek Reeve Fred Dunn, after the Glanbia Nutritionals Inc. plant in Angusville was destroyed by fire. The company recently announced it was rebuilding the plant in South Dakota.
• “You need an axe to keep the anti-fire people away.”— Philip Andrew Unrau, in a YouTube video in which he encourages viewers to control burn. Unrau, who was previously convicted of arson, was earlier this year found not guilty of breaching his probation by setting a fire.
• “This picture would scare people in our community.”— Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta, commenting on a picture of Charles Kevin Starr posing as he clutches two assault-style rifles, while wearing a T-shirt adorned with the words “If you can read this, you’re in range.” Starr was sentenced for careless storage of a firearm and three counts of possessing weapons contrary to a court order.
• “I’m sure he’d been drinking a bit, and he thinks he’s tough, so he tried to give me this evil stare like, ‘I’ll kill you. But, no, I didn’t care.”— Murray Hurl, the owner of Hurl’s Market on Princess Avenue, said in court of a shoplifter he confronted who had taken steaks during a previous visit to the business.
• “Has anyone seen my eyebrows? I seem to have misplaced them.”— Gabriel Mecas, who suffered first-degree burns to his face, chest and arm after suspects sprayed him with a flammable substance and lit him on fire. According to his sister who lives in Brandon, Mecas had attempted to stop the suspects from beating another person in Thompson.
• “You just wait, you piece of s--t, you just wait until I kill everyone in this town … People in Russell are going to die because of you.”— A quote attributed to Albert Dean Crampton, a convicted sex offender who stood trial this year for threatening to kill RCMP members and everyone in Russell. (Sept. 25)
• “Who is the police service accountable to? If it’s accountable to the community, then how does that happen through the city manager? Short answer — it doesn’t.”— Former Brandon Police Service chief Richard Bruce, who defended the city’s new police board after Coun. Murray Blight (Victoria) and Coun. Jim McCrae (Meadows) criticized its formation.
• “(She) was in bed, under the covers facing the door with … shock on her face.”— Crown attorney Marycia Kruk, describing the scene when a Westman teacher was discovered by her husband, as he walked in on her in bed with a former pupil.
• “I never thought that anyone would propose to name it after me. It will be very interesting to see what happens.”— Errol Black, after learning the park at First Street and Rosser Avenue East would be named in his honour. Black died earlier this year following a lengthy battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
• “I don’t believe that civil servants in Calgary or Ottawa will be as tuned in to the needs of Manitobans, as we are here, right now.”— Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, who spoke out about the federal government’s decision to pull out of a longtime immigration agreement with the province, earlier this year, which allowed the province to run the Provincial Nominee Program.
• “It’s not only immoral, but I think it’s almost borderline illegal.”— Arnold Grambo, former chair of Habitat for Humanity Brandon, who was angered that the national organization decided to take leftover merchandise from the closure of the local ReStore to the landfill.
• “We certainly expressed our regret for the loss and for the hardship that it has caused them. It’s had a tremendous impact on them.”—Brandon School Division trustee Jim Murray. Division officials apologized to the Grand Rapids community earlier this year for a massive fire that wiped out 43,000 hectares of land. The first was started accidentally by a student involved in the former Eco Odyssey program while on a school expedition.
• “It’s unbelievable that they’re doing this. The thing is so many people have worked so hard over the last decade … to build up these institutions and in the stroke of a pen, the federal government destroys things. It’s unbelievable.”— Former Brandon University archivist Tom Mitchell, upset over federal funding cuts to Library and Archives Canada announced last April.
• “Something woke my husband … he looked out the window and could see flames. Thank God Bryan woke up.”— Sherri Ferguson, who along with her husband Bryan and two daughters Cassie and Renee escaped a house fire on 28th Street that destroyed their home. The fire had been deliberately set by an arsonist.
• “If you look at women in the community who make a difference, she was definitely one of them.”— Coun. Len Isleifson (Riverview), speaking as the former United Way board and campaign chair, on the death of United Way of Brandon & District CEO Debbie Arsenault, after a long battle with a chronic illness.