A New Year’s Eve ‘news quiz’

Published on December 31, 2015

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee

©Jim Day/The Guardian

The ‘Prince Edward Island news quiz’ challenges Guardian readers to select the best or closest answer to multiple-choice options about top news events in 2015. See how many you can correctly answer.

If found guilty, Mike Duffy signals to judge that: a) he would prefer to serve house arrest in exile at a suburban Ottawa estate because his main residence at Cavendish is without snowplow services for the next four months; b) he is terrified at receiving the most severe sentence in the Criminal Code - helping Stephen Harper write his memoirs; or c) because The Guardian named him P.E.I.’s newsmaker of year, it validates his Island residency so all 31 charges against him should be tossed.

The missing $950,000 e-gaming loan ended up in the new Souris K-12 school’s cornerstone/time capsule laid in the fall of 2014 because: a) it seemed like a good idea at the time; b) no one could figure out what else to do with the money; or c) at compound interest rates, when the time capsule is opened in 50 years, the town can afford to pay for a replacement school and do the job right this time.

The final vote during the leadership convention for the P.E.I. Progressive Conservative Party was never released Feb. 28 because: a) before destroying the ballots, someone forgot to write down the exact totals; b) delegates were so excited by that day’s major Globe and Mail story on e-gaming, they knew they forgot to do something, but were not sure exactly what; or c) the results were so close that a recount was imminent but delegates had to vacate UPEI for a basketball game that evening.

Clifford Lee is expected to soon announce that he is not going to seek another term as Mayor of Charlottetown because: a) he thinks it’s time for a change and he wants to avoid the fate handed Basil Stewart in Summerside; b) he will be named a P.E.I. senator or P.E.I.’s next Lieutenant-Governor; or c) he will try to make sense out of Catherine Hennessey’s home-based, willy-nilly heritage filing system.

Lt.-Gov. J. Frank Lewis is hoping for an extension to his five-year term this coming summer because: a) he actually likes the job and enjoys discussing flower species in the botanical gardens; b) he forgot to advertise that tomorrow’s New Year’s Day levee is his last; or c) there is no way that Clifford Lee is going to be sleeping in his bed.

Catherine Hennessey is looking forward to 2016 because: a) she thinks she can get a third straight year of Samuel Holland’s 250th anniversary survey celebrations approved; b) she has converted Bishop Richard Grecco to her cause supporting the bells at St. Dunstan’s Basilica; or c) she is about to publish two more gripping books on heritage furniture making.

Maritime Electric communications guru Kim Griffin became faint at Midnight Mass at St. Dunstan’s Basilica last week because: a) the lights went out twice, and only realized later it wasn’t a power failure but part of the candlelight service; b) she got a chance to extend Merry Christmas greetings to Bishop Grecco; or c) her prayers for not over-cooking her Christmas turkey were finally answered.

MLAs in P.E.I. will get a two per cent base pay raise to $70,095 in the spring because: a) Justin Trudeau’s middle class tax cut has a $90,000 ceiling so there won’t be a claw back; b) the Indemnities and Allowances Commission said the effective date of April 1, 2016 should tip MLAs off that it’s an April Fool’s Joke; or c) waiting for a raise until the budget is balanced would mean they would never get an increase.

An investigation by Karen Rose, the information and privacy commissioner, determined the Worker's Compensation Board of P.E.I. has been falling short in protecting the privacy of complainants, with 47 privacy breaches since late 2011 because: a) this isn’t Westeros and it’s time to retire ravens as a means to send messages; b) using social media isn’t the most secure method to conduct business; or c) the WCB says it sent 33,492 pieces of correspondence in 2014 alone, so the 47 slip-ups isn’t a bad ratio over four years.

NDP supporters on P.E.I. blame the following for their party’s collapse in the recent federal election: a) everybody and everyone; b) the Guardian editorial board which obviously swayed millions of voters across every province in Canada; or c) they are nice people and it was simply not possible for them to make critical campaign mistakes.

Justin Trudeau won a surprise, massive federal election majority because: a) Canadians were impressed with his decision to avoid negative ads despite months of ‘nice hair though’ lampooning; b) the three-month campaign ruined both Labour Day and Thanksgiving Day holiday plans for many upset voters; or c) Canadians couldn’t take another ‘Halloween photo op’ of an uncomfortable PM and even more uncomfortable kids preparing to go trick or treating.

Former premier Robert Ghiz is in no hurry for new career opportunities to beckon because: a) Canadian ambassadorships or a senate seat are readily available; b) he could be tapped by new PM Justin Trudeau for a key role involving provincial-federal negotiations; or c) he is plenty busy playing Mr. Mom to his three young children.


Premier Wade MacLauchlan is happy to say goodbye to 2015 because: a) he’s tired of stamping out brush fires left over from the previous government; b) he is also keen to see the auditor general’s report on where the missing e-gaming loan ended up; or c) he wants to forget about that promise about campaigning on dry ground when Mother Nature decided to unleash a winter from hell.

The food terrorist(s) who inserted needles into P.E.I. potatoes remained a mystery in 2015 despite a $500,000 reward because: a) for the first time in recorded history, someone actually kept a secret on P.E.I.; b) it was a criminal act committed by a single, close-mouthed person; or c) the person responsible died suddenly of natural causes and took the secret to his or her grave.

Francis Watts won a three-way race for Speaker of the P.E.I. Legislature because: a) his theme, “The Buck Stops Here,” was unassailable; b) other MLAs were scared of Janice Sherry; or c) he is an affable, likeable character who earned support and consensus across party lines.

New community mailboxes might have won greater acceptance across P.E.I. if they were: a) easier to get to, access or caused less garbage to accumulate; b) actually worked in cold weather; or c) were designed in the likeness of various Fathers of Confederation, provincial birds or animals.

Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker won a historic, crushing victory in Kelly’s Cross-Cumberland because: a) he impressed voters by standing in front of a tree harvester during land clearing for the Plan B highway; b) voters were upset that Valerie Docherty left millions of social assistance money on the table instead of helping the poor and hungry; or c) Island voters felt sorry for him after more than 12 consecutive election losses here and in Ontario.

The original cover of the P.E.I. visitor’s guide was withdrawn after arousing concern and embarrassment when: a) a bump appeared on the man’s bathing suit caused by gust of wind; b) too many prudes with over-anxious imaginations work in the department of tourism; or c) no one knows why, exactly.

The final question on the electoral reform plebiscite ballot will be: a) use the current first-past-the-post method because no one will ever understand other options; b) we can save money by cutting cards or rolling dice; or c) cautioning against using mixed member proportional representation, which might actually reflect the wishes of voters, because it makes too much sense, and we prefer skewed majority governments.

Nancy Orr was named chief judge of the P.E.I. Provincial Court because: a) she is a highly skilled, qualified jurist and the appointment was long overdue; b) Judge John Douglas wanted more time to fish and play at his Brudenell River cottage; or c) Judge Orr felt it was the only way to avoid sitting in Georgetown court every Thursday, and since her friend John has a cottage nearby, well, it was a perfect fit.

If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau legalizes marijuana: a) RCMP on P.E.I. are hopeful that hemp is made illegal because they are now experts at locating, identifying and pulling those weeds from innocent farmers’ fields; b) the U.S. will use it as an excuse to close its northern borders to keep out Syrian refugees; or c) P.E.I. potatoes will be turned back at the border but anyone toting a gun is welcome in the land of the free and its cherished Second Amendment rights (to keep and bear arms).

David C. Murphy of Hardy Mill Rd. won a turkey last week in the annual holiday bonspiel at the Charlottetown Curling Complex because: a) he’s an accomplished curler; b) his daughter Jodi made a deft, conspiratorial raise on her dad’s stone because she was coming for dinner; or c) he was the organizer and did the measuring.

IRAC overturned Charlottetown council’s rejection of a building permit for condominiums along the fourth hole at the Belvedere golf course because: a) the commission can now hold board meetings in a new building along the fourth fairway before a morning tee time; b) the view of the nearby pollution control and waste to energy facilities is breath-taking; or c) IRAC checked daily tee time logs and found that traffic will not be a concern.

The year 2015 was declared Year of the Mosquito at The Links of Crowbush Cove because: a) the snowy late winter provided the bugs with extra protection and better breeding conditions; b) golfers spent so much time in the woods and bulrushes they provided a sumptuous daily banquet for the hungry anopheles species; c) it gives staff a reason to clear cut more brush and trees to reduce hiding places for the bugs.

There is opposition to a three-storey seniors citizens housing complex in North Rustico because: a) nay-sayers have never been in a building higher than two floors; b) they don’t want more people moving to the town because it takes up green space; or c) they prefer paying higher taxes by driving residents and development out of town.

Former PM Stephen Harper went to a Prince County potato facility to make an announcement on eastern Canadian lobster issues during the federal campaign because: a) his handlers thought the facility was better for crowd control than the fish plant; b) he was so upset that Gail Shea didn’t want him in Egmont that he forgot his train of thought; or c) Mike Duffy hacked into the PMO’s computer and secretly altered the day’s itinerary.

Happy New Year!