Keeping with The Herald’s annual New Year’s tradition, here are the top local quotes of 2021:
1.“I’d do it again and I am certainly not going to take any lectures from Mayor (Toni) Boot about integrity.”
—Summerland Coun. Richard Barkwill on Feb. 22 during a testy exchange regarding his decision to write a letter to the editor of The Herald outlining his concerns about the Solar + Storage project.
2. “I have lost everything. My wife left me. I lost my house. I lost my pets. I can’t work.”
— Brad Eliason on Feb. 23 describing in his victim impact statement how the brain injury he suffered as a result of a one-punch attack at the hands of Thomas Kruger Allen completely upended his life.
3. “If we are unable to use statutory immunity or our efforts to do so are overturned by a court, in the short term I have confirmed with BC Housing that they have 1,000 tents and sleeping bags in a stockpile. We will do our best to ensure that any encampment that results from this group eviction in Penticton is as well-run as possible to try to minimize harm to community members and encampment residents.”
—B.C. Housing Minister David Eby responding on March 2 to Penticton city council’s decision to deny a renewal of the permit for the old Victory Church homeless shelter.
4. “That’s a big, fat lie. No such thing was ever mentioned.”
— Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki replying March 3 to Housing Minister David Eby’s suggestion that city staff had been consulted on a plan to keep the old Victory Church shelter running for an extra year.
5. “I simply snapped after once again finding human feces near my restaurant and showed inexcusable judgement even though I realized immediately that what I had done was wrong.”
— White Spot franchise owner Al Mansfield in an April 7 statement to local media after he was caught dumping a bucket of dog feces outside a nearby homeless shelter.
6. “I find it a very strange way of doing business to build a palace and hope that the population will pay for it afterwards.”
— Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer on April 15 reacting at an Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District meeting to Interior Health’s request for $1 million to offset the cost of a new urgent care centre in Penticton that opened its doors a month earlier.
7. “Since when do we vote on being extorted? That is absolutely insane.”
— Rick Knodel, RDOS director for Area C, on May 6 ahead of the hospital district’s decision to give Interior Health the $1 million it requested.
8. “As for the re-count, we decided there would be no purpose as city (staff) could very easily slip in some blank voting ballots tipping the final number count. Does this suggest lack of trust? You bet it does.”
— Karen Brownlee commenting June 22 on behalf of the Protect Penticton Parks Society in regard to the tight referendum result allowing the city to offer a 25-year lease to operate Skaha Marina.
9. “To me, it probably comes down to communication again. Putting an ad that nobody’s going to read into a newspaper that nobody’s going to read is probably not the best way to do it.”
— Summerland Coun. Doug Holmes commenting on July 12 about advertisements in the Summerland Review failing to drum up interest from the public in serving on the community’s Advisory Planning Commission
10. “Furthermore, and most importantly, it was felt that we need to show tolerance when a fellow business leader makes a mistake. To allow one mistake, which was corrected by Mr. Agur, to overshadow all the significant contributions he made during the year for our community would not be compassionate and caring.”
— Chamber president Jonathan McGraw responding on Nov. 22 to criticism about naming Lee Agur as Business Leader of the Year just a few months after Agur’s short-lived public opposition to vaccine passports at his Bad Tattoo brewery.