Fast Forward Weekly’s amusing sometimes astonishing quotes of 2009

Every week the mighty Fast Forward Weekly news department pounds the pavement and works the phones doing its best to squeeze real answers out of political types who often like to dodge tough questions. Sometimes the result is frustrating; sometimes it’s ridiculous; sometimes it’s hilarious and sometimes it’s enlightening. Here’s a sampling from 2009.

“There is a rift in the party but the fact is our membership here has now grown and we’re quite pleased…. And it’s going to grow some more.” — Former Alberta Green Party leader Joe Anglin in January (the party folded in July)

“A lot of the sprawl in Calgary is actually in the inner city.” — Ald. Ric McIver in February

“I have no intention to run for mayor although I intend to stay in public life.” — Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart in February. Colley-Urquhart tried to jump into provincial politics in the middle of her aldermanic term but was clobbered by both the Wildrose Alliance and Liberals.

“Maybe call me at my office sometime and say ‘You know Kent you’re full of shit on that issue.’ I want to see that happening.” — Calgary Liberal MLA Kent Hehr in February during an interview about social media.

“In Alberta you have these people who are ambitious Liberals who get involved in the Conservative party because they realize that it is the only entity that’ll get elected…. It’s very frustrating.” — Calgary MP Rob Anders in March

“It’s a very polarizing comment and it’s intended just to rally [Rob Anders’s] troops. ‘The Liberals are coming. Oh my goodness!’ Anybody who doesn’t seem to have that same narrow small c-conservative value set — and it’s a social conservative value set — seems to be the enemy.” — Calgary Conservative Donna Kennedy-Glans in March — she tried to challenge Anders’s nomination but a new Tory rule that protects incumbents spared the controversial MP.

“Transit is not a good option even with a beefed up system because it’s not an efficient way to move people around.” — Calgary housing development industry spokesperson Dennis Little in April.

“We’re kind of stepping back into the Middle Ages a little with legislation like that.” — Former provincial Tory MLA Ron Ghitter in May referring to Bill 44 a law that lets parents exempt kids from classes on sexual orientation and religion.

“The control is almost to the point of paranoia.” — Calgary Farmers’ Market vendor Ron Hamilton in May referring to the market’s management.

“We’re getting this feeling that they just want a Coney Island. They want to have everything in the front country and make a whole lot of money…. They basically turned themselves into a business.” — Retired national park warden Kathy Calvert in May referring to Parks Canada’s downsizing of the warden service and the agency’s philosophical shift towards visitor experience.

“I’m not going to second-guess yesterday.” — Provincial Finance Minister Iris Evans in August after being asked why the province gave away $1.4 billion in cheques to every Albertan in 2006 (the province now faces a multibillion-dollar deficit)?.

“I imagine [during] the first years there will be some wrinkles.” — Ald. Druh Farrell in September after being asked about a giant pile of glass at the dump from blue carts.

“This is a huge potential liability for taxpayers.” — Pembina Institute policy analyst Jennifer Grant in October referring to lakes of toxic tailings in northern Alberta.

“There’s no one magic bullet that’s going to fix the problem. There’s going to be 100 different bullets and hopefully if we fire 100 different bullets in the same direction we’re going to start to see a different alignment of health care.” — Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert in October referring to the health department’s billion-dollar deficit.

“I enjoyed being called a spin doctor. Spin is just another version of the truth.” — Political strategist Rod Love former premier Ralph Klein’s former chief of staff in November.

“One of the big functions of my office is to try to communicate what is clear.” — Tom Olsen spokesperson for Premier Ed Stelmach in November.

“I don’t think governments should be funding abortion unless a mother’s life’s in danger but the Supreme Court has said that it’s legal that it’s a woman’s choice and I can support that.” — Calgary Conservative MLA Jonathan Denis in November.