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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney





Presenting the
25th annual Fredzee Awards

Is it finally over? Has 2016 finally come to an end? Between the rise and eventual election of Donald Trump to the highest office on the planet and the deaths of such pillars of common decency and goodness as Gordie Howe, Arnold Palmer, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, 2016 will forever be known as the annus horribilis for the entire planet and the hangover will last for years.

Last year, I wrote that 2015 would be remembered as the year that hope and optimism defeated fear and divisiveness thanks to the Liberal win in the federal election and Canada’s decision to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees. Unfortunately in 2016, fear and divisiveness managed to turn the tables on hope and optimism, thanks in large part to a megalomaniac pathological B.S. artist named Donald Trump.

Hopefully, 2016 will be remembered most for the number of celebrities who left us. Giants like Mohammed Ali, Arnold Palmer and Gordie Howe in the sports world; and David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and Prince in the music industry. If that’s not a heavenly Hall of Fame, I don’t know what is.

Anyway without further ado, I present to you the 2016 Fredzee Awards.

The year’s BIG winners
1) Donald Trump
(The Donald’s big win will end up being the biggest single, self-inflicted mistake the United States has committed since the Civil War. God help us all.)

2) Canada’s newest arrivals
(For many of the 25,000-plus Syrian refugees who arrived during the past year, Canada is a paradise many of us too often take for granted.)

3) Ottawa football fans
(After 40 long years and two failed franchises, the Grey Cup has returned to Ottawa thanks to a Redblacks team that has been in the league just three years.)

The year’s biggest losers
1) Hilary Clinton
(From first female president-in-waiting to also ran, the Clinton campaign is arguably the most tragic political story of the past 100 years.)

2a) Federal government employees caught up in the Phoenix pay system fiasco.
(Some employees are still waiting to get paid income earned, maternity benefits and overtime dating back more than a year.)

2b) The idiots who run Phoenix, the morons at Treasury Board who oversee it, and anyone else responsible for what has become a national disgrace.

4) The Truth
(Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election has legitimized half-truths, exaggerations, B.S. and out-and-out lying as a means to gain political office. Yeah.)

Top International Stories of the Year
1) The Presidential Election
(In a word, “unprecedented”.)

2) The siege of Aleppo
(An international tragedy. One of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory.)

3) Terrorism
(Attacks in Brussels, March 22; Nice July 14; and Berlin, Dec. 20, claimed the lives of 130 people and brought into stark realism that the war against terrorism has only just begun.)

Top Canadian Stories of the Year
1) The Fort McMurray wildfire
(Nicknamed “The Beast”, the wildfire, which began on May 4 forced the evacuation of 88,000 individuals and destroyed 2,400 homes and 18,600 vehicles.)

2) The rise and fall of Tom Mulcair
(After taking over the reigns of an NDP party that achieved Official Opposition status in the 2007 General Election, Mulcair presided over their backslide to third party status in 2015 which resulted in his rejection by the party’s rank and file last spring and his subsequent resig-nation as party leader.)

3) Syrian refugee relocation
(Standing in stark contrast to the United States which slowed refugee claims to a trickle in 2016, Canada took in more than 30,000 Syrian refugees in the first nine months of the year, most of whom were women and children.)

Top Local Stories of the Year
1) City council votes to legalize Uber.

2) Abdirahman Abdi is killed while being apprehended by two Ottawa police officers on July 24. Eyewitnesses claim Abdi was punched in the head and hit several times by a police baton. The case is still under investigation.

3) Traffic calming on Viseneau Drive
(Two accidents six weeks apart on Viseneau Drive in Chateauneuf results in the installation of several speed bumps on the street months after safety had been raised as an issue by several residents.)

4) Ceddar Et Cetera closes its doors putting its famous cow statue out to pasture for good.

Event of the Year
The Tragically Hip’s final concert in Kingston. The CBC simulcast was watched by an estimated 11.7 million people, or approximately one third of the nation’s population. Those who were lucky enough to be there say it was one of the most significant events of their lives.

Non-Event of the Year
(Justin Trudeau gets grilled in the House of Commons for elbowing his way through a group of MPs. In a poll taken several days later, his approval rating is as high as ever.)

Liar, Liar Pants On Fire Award
According to the Huffington Post, Donald Trump told 36 lies and untruths during his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

Enabler of the Year Award
Tie between Russian president Vladimir Putin, FBI director James Comey, and the American media.

Most Inspirational Story of the Year
This one is a no-brainer. It’s impossible to read about Jonathan Pitre, also known as the “Butterfly Boy”, and not be inspired. Despite suffering daily from a rare debilitating skin disease, the 12-year-old has become a poster boy for hope, positivity and strength. After his first stem cell transplant failed, Pitre is currently awaiting a second transplant in Minnesota.

Best Feel-Good Story of the Year
16-year-old Olympic swimmer Penny Oleksiak wins four medals, including gold in the 100-metre freestyle to jump from relative obscurity into the hearts of an adoring nation.

Weirdest Story of 2016
Canada Mint employee Leston Lawrence of Barrhaven is accused of smuggling $180K of gold in his rectum between Nov. 27, 2014 and March 12, 2015. You can’t make stories like that up.

Dumbass of the Year
Ryan Lochte
(Decorated American swimmer gets busted after making up a story about being robbed in Rio De Janiero, costing him millions in endorsements.)

Dumbest Crazes of 2016
1) Pokémon Go
(At its peak during the summer, this app-based game had more than 20 million daily active users including otherwise sane adults like my sister-in-law. Didn’t understand it then. Don’t understand it now. Will never understand it.)

3) Creepy Clowns
(Idiots wearing creepy clown outfits started popping up everywhere from Nova Scotia to California sparking a wave of fake news stories about creepy clowns killing people. In reality, they forced schools to close for a day, and parents kept their kids indoors.)

Unexpected Revenue Source of the Year
The City of Ottawa issues dozens of tickets to Pokémon Go players swarming municipal parks after hours as well as more than $12,000 in parking tickets,

Quotes of the year

“Wrong!” – Donald Trump

“When you’re a star, they let you do it. They let you do anything. Grab them by the p--sy. You can do anything. – Donald Trump

“You could put half of Trumps supporters into what I call a basket of deplorables.” – Hilary Clinton

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@magma.ca)

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