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People of the Year 2008 

Team Coast's top five favourite people

Alexa McDonough

The MP for Halifax announced on June 2 that she wouldn’t run again, which might have been the signal Stephen Harper was looking for. Just three months later he called the federal election. But the prime minister was sadly mistaken if he expected Alexa’s nearly 30-year legacy of party building to retire along with Alexa herself: The New Democrats went up in seats in the election, and Harper’s dream of a majority went up in smoke. Alexa has retired from politics before. In 1994 she gave up being leader of the provincial NDPcoming out of that retirement to become national NDP leader. “I want to give Canadians a basis for hope,” she told The Coast in 1995, admitting she’s a political junkie who “can’t seem to stay away.” With both federal and provincial politics under her belt, will she turn her attention to city hall in the future? Hope springs eternal. ---Kyle Shaw

Elizabeth May

Her stellar performance in the English language candidates’ debate established Elizabeth May as a contender. But personal popularity didn’t translate into electoral success; the Green Party won nary a seat in the October elections---even May’s bold challenge to Peter McKay came up empty-handed---and environmental concerns have since taken a back seat to economic matters. The Greens did, however, poll well enough to land federal campaign financing, which bids well for May’s future prospects. ---Tim Bousquet

Tina Fey

It’s a pretty special moment in pop culture when a comedian has to “retire” their impression of a celebrity figure. For Tina Fey, whose two-month streak of Sarah Palin impressions crashed viral video records around the world---the decision was a wise and necessary one. This smart, ambitious and graceful woman deserves to be known for more than her resemblance to a failed vice presidential candidate---not in the least because the Emmy-winning 30 Rock continues to stand out like a beacon in the wasteland of prime time. And yeah, the recently released photos of Fey in a Stars and Stripes cheesecake getup for Vanity Fair are a testament to the fact that she’s kind of a babe. But Fey was still able to remind us why we like her so much in the first place when she quipped: “Annie Leibowitz is gonna photograph my soul, right?” ---Alison Lang

Julie Couillard

During her brief fling with former Foreign Affairs minister Maxime Bernier, Julie Couillard raised eyebrows with cleavage-baring dresses and ex-husbands tied to the Hell’s Angels drug trade. Then Bernier did what many boyfriends do; he left some stuff at her house. Unfortunately, that stuff happened to be top-secret notes for a NATO meeting. Bernier resigned, Stephen Harper kept mum, Couillard got a book deal. Was Couillard merely an opportunist? Or was she a shifty femme-fatale planted to embarrass the Conservatives? We think that in a vanilla political year, she stirred up the best scandal since Margaret Trudeau partied with Mick Jagger. ---Alison Lang


This year we discovered that vampires make perfect boyfriends, which totally makes sense; zombies are boring conversationalists and werewolves have hairy backs. In the HBO hit series True Blood, Southern vamp-gent Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) risks becoming shrivelled like a sun-baked worm in order to save his love, mind-reading waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin). Sensitive, brooding teen bloodsucker Edward (Robert Pattinson) wouldn’t dare cop a feel or bite his girlfriend Bella (Kristen Stewart), in the teen phenom flick, Twilight. No surprise that both these stories are based on novels by women involved in their churches (Charlaine Harris and Stephenie Meyer respectively), although Harris---a senior warden at her Episcopalian congregation---has no problem with vampy love: True Blood has more hot sex scenes with cold-blooded creatures than late-night Showcase programming. Expect vampires to dominate in 2009, with season two of True Blood and a Twilight sequel already planned, plus the North American DVD release of the exquisite Swedish film, Let the Right One In, about a young bullied boy who befriends a vampire child. ---Sue Carter Flinn

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