12/12/2011 12:07 EST | Updated 02/11/2012 05:12 EST

Memorable Quotes In 2011: Canadians Had Plenty To Say This Year


It's possible that 2011 will go down in record books as one of the newsiest in history. It's not only because we now have so many places to record what's taking place around us, but also thanks to the very nature of the stories that captured our attention this year -- tragic, joyous or political, it was the personal reactions that truly made the headlines.

Canada certainly had its fair share of newsworthy topics this year, prompting moments that inspired and horrified. Here are the top ten quotes that helped define what made up 2011.

Photo gallery Memorable Canadian Quotes Of 2011 See Gallery

The top 10 quotes:

10. "We must go together and tell the government: This is our land, this is our life. We need to say enough is enough.'' Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence addresses fellow leaders at the Assembly of First Nations' annual meeting.

9. "I hope this time, and I'm being quite frank, I hope it is a majority. Otherwise, you look at the debate we're having today, we're going to be back into a fifth election in no time at all.'' Prime Minister Stephen Harper asks voters for a majority during leaders' debate in April.

8. "Mr. Harper, if it hadn't been for him supporting you all this time, I'd have to be lending you my crutch.'' NDP Leader Jack Layton at same debate, on Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's support for Conservative legislation.

7. "If they want me to leave, they'll have to kill me first.'' Hannah Kovacs, 22, an Occupy Toronto protester camped in St. James Park.

6. "We're homeless. We have no town. We have NO town.'' Coreen Attilon, one of 7,000 residents evacuated from Slave Lake, Alta., due to devastating wildfires.

5. "When there's a large number of criminals and anarchists that have a common purpose and intend to break the law, it's very difficult to stop that.'' Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu on the mayhem that swept his city after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup.

4. "I want to apologize to mom and dad, what I did does not reflect the love, values, lessons and great opportunities that you have provided for me.'' B.C. teen Nathan Kotylak, who turned himself in to police for his role in the Vancouver rioting.

3. "We haven't seen a love-in like that since the first visit of the Beatles.'' Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Prince William and Kate's Canada Day appearance on Parliament Hill.

2. "Mark Twain famously said that, 'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its trousers on.' It is very late in this case, your honour, but the truth has almost caught up with the original allegations." Former media baron Conrad Black addresses a Chicago courtroom before being ordered back to prison.

And the top quote of 2011:

"Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.'' NDP Leader Jack Layton, in a letter to Canadians before his death in late August.

-with files from The Canadian Press