Has it been 30 years already? It’s hard to believe that three decades have passed since the very first Fredzee awards.
I was single, footloose and fancy-free back then. My hair was much darker, my waist was much thinner and I had far fewer wrinkles than I have today.
Back then I was an aspiring young columnist with the Orléans Star, writing about personal triumphs and missteps and offering the odd armchair quarterback commentary about the issues of the day.
Today, I own the paper. Talk about coming full circle. With that said, here are this year’s 2022 Fredzee Awards...
The year’s BIGGEST winners...
1) Mark Sutcliffe
(From university dropout to the top job in the city... needless to say, 2022 has been a very good year for Ottawa’s newest mayor.)
2) John Doe
(An individual from California, who so far has been able to remain anonymous, won the $2 billion Powerball Lottery in the United States in November leaving themselves with the choice of taking a lump sum payout of $628 million after taxes, or the full amount in 29 annual payments which will also be taxable.)
3) Joseph Chahayed
(The grandfather of 10 and owner of Joe’s Service Station in Pasadena, California. He became a millionaire and instant celebrity overnight for having sold the $2 billion winning Powerball ticket.)
The year’s BIGGEST losers...
1) The airline industry
(As COVID restrictions were lifted mil-lions of people began traveling again, flooding a system that was ill-prepared for the onslaught causing countless cancel-lations, massive lineups, and endless delays at airports all over the world.)
2) Twitter employees and Tesla shareholders
(Now we know why so many people were skeptical of Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media giant. In response to Musk’s handling of Twitter, Tesla stock has dropped by nearly 50 per cent.)
3) Liz Truss
(The ill-fated British politician was interim Prime Minister for 50 days following the resignation of former British PM Boris Johnson.)
Biggest Local Stories of 2021
1) The Freedom Convoy, also known as Occupation Ottawa, paralyzes the downtown core for 22 days in February.
2) The LRT commission and final report
(Justice William Hourigan releases damn-
ing report on the failures in the procurement, construction and testing of Ottawa’s $2.1 billion light rail system.)
3) Derecho storm leaves path of destruction through Navan and Sarsfield
(Freak windstorm on May 24 destroys over 1,000 trees and causes millions of dollars in damage to homes and local farms in and around Navan and Sarsfield.)
Top International News Stories
1) The War in Ukraine
2) The January 6 insurrection and attack on the U.S. Capital building.
3) Iranian protests following the death of Masha Amini
Newsmakers of the Year
1) Vladimir Zelensky – The Ukrainian president has become a household name for his defiance and resistance in the Russian invasion of his country.
2) Masha Amini – The 22-year-old’s death at the hands of Iranian security forces resulted in unprecedented protests in that country and outrage around the world.
3) Brittney Griner – The U.S. basketball star LGBTQ+ spokesperson returned to the United States earlier this month after serving nines months in Russian detention for drug possession.
The Hate to Say We Told You So, But We Told You So Award
To the airline industry for failing to properly prepare for the increase in travel after COVID restrictions were lifted even though experts had been warning about the possible onslaught for months.
Things That Make You Go Hmm Award
After the world’s supply chain issues were partly blamed on a shortage of shipping containers it was learned that one of the stadiums being used for the World Cup in Qatar was made out of – you guessed it. – 974 shipping containers! In other news, hundreds of shipping containers have been used to form a wall on the U.S. border between Arizona and Mexico.
The PR Misstep of the Year Award
To the Monfort Hospital for renaming the Orléans Health Hub, the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub without consulting the public or the people who helped raise millions of dollars in donations. After people in the local francophone community questioned the decision to drop Orléans from the name, the Montfort Hospital agreed to add Orléans to the Health Hub’s logo and signage.
The Karma is a Bitch Award
To the Russian soldier who decided to replace the ballistic plate in his armoured vest with an abandoned MacBook he had found in the battlefield. Turns out a MacBook doesn’t offer the same protection as a ballistic plate.
A Special Place in Heaven
To Queen Elizabeth II, Betty White, Gilbert Gottfried, Angela Lansbury, Kirstie Alley Olivia Newton-John, Sidney Poitier, Guy Lafleur, James Caan, Sally “Hot Lips” Kellerman, John Madden, Jerry Lee Lewis, Meat Loaf and my father – all of whom passed away in 2022.
(If you wish
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