Gas prices in White Rock reached $1.709 a litre in April. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Top 10 most discussed Peace Arch News stories of 2019

Dogs on the promenade; gas prices and Don Cherry were among the most discussed news stories

Ranked by the number of online comments received, here are the most discussed stories of Peace Arch News readers in 2019.

1. White Rock Catholic church stands firm on decision to deny gay pride event

Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Parish issued a statement after the church denied a request from the White Rock Pride Society to host an event in the church’s community centre.

The statement issued by parish pastor Father Glenn Dion says that while the church has received public feedback both in support of, and opposition to its stance, it will not budge on its decision to deny the Pride Society’s request.

One of the concerns raised by White Rock Pride Society president Ernie Klassen is that the hall is named the “Star of the Sea Community Centre.”

The statement released by Dion makes note of the name of the centre.

“It is somehow being perceived as a public facility rather than a privately owned one, which is a misunderstanding,” the statement reads. “We will adjust the sign for greater clarity. We do allow others to use our hall as long as they are not in conflict with the mission and values of the Parish.

2. Federal Pacific Caucus chair Gordie Hogg backs Wilson-Raybould ouster

Hours after Vancouver Granville MP Jody Wilson-Raybould was expelled from the Liberal Party of Canada, South Surrey-White Rock MP and chairman of the Pacific Liberal caucus Gordie Hogg said that although he respects the former attorney general, she acted outside of the best interest of the party.

Wilson-Raybould, who alleged political interference by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding the prosecution of Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, was ejected from the party after a secretly recorded phone conversation between her and Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick was made public.

3. White Rock Mexican restaurant told to remove flag from patio

Primo’s Mexican Grill has taken issue with the City of White Rock after the restaurant was told to remove a Mexican flag from its entrance.

General manager Samantha McQuade said that a city bylaw officer visited the waterfront restaurant and told them to remove one of the two Mexican flags – which each measure 55cm by 88cm – that fly above their patio or else they would receive a violation ticket.

McQuade said the bylaw officer told them that someone filed a complaint with the city about the flags.

The city said its bylaw only permits one flag per establishment.

4. Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Sportsnet has fired Don Cherry after comments he made about immigrants on Coach’s Corner.

In a statement, Sportsnet said that “following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night’s broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down. During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.”

The 85-year-old Cherry said on his weekly Coach’s Corner segment as part of Hockey Night in Canada that he’s less frequently seeing people wearing poppies anymore to honour fallen Canadian soldiers — and he singled out those he believes are immigrants in Toronto, prompting a swift online backlash.

5. White Rock Pier repairs could cost $16.2 million: report

White Rock’s pier could cost “in the range” of $16.2 million to fully restore and rebuild to current construction standards, a consultant hired to assess the damage has determined.

But city staff recommend a phased approach that would see initial repairs to the pier completed for an amount closer to $5 million.

6. Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

A 2001 yearbook photo of a costumed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his face and hands darkened by makeup, detonated Wednesday on the federal campaign trail, instantly tarnishing the Liberal leader’s bona fides as a champion of tolerance and stopping the party’s re-election momentum squarely in its tracks.

The jarring black-and-white photo, posted online by Time magazine, originally appeared in the yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in Vancouver, B.C., where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics.

7. White Rock breaks North American gas price record

The City of White Rock broke a North American record, but it isn’t necessarily a good thing.

According to GasBuddy.com, gasoline at the Petro-Canada in White Rock reached $1.709 a litre.

8. White Rock council opts for compromise in waterfront parking fee increase

White Rock council has balked at raising summertime parking rates at the waterfront to a high of $4 per hour.

But it has endorsed a new compromise proposal from parking task force chair Coun. Christopher Trevelyan that would see summertime waterfront parking – April through September – rise to $3.75 per hour from the current $3.25 rate.

9. Surrey mayor the lone vote against regional business licensing for ride hailing

Metro Vancouver mayors have voted to fast track implementing a regional business licence for ride hailing in the New Year – with only Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum opposed.

McCallum was the lone vote against the motion during a Dec. 12 Mayor’s Council meeting at TransLink’s headquarters in New Westminster.

“A large majority of our residents do not support ride hailing in Surrey, basically because it is not a level playing field between ride-hailing and taxis,” McCallum said ahead of the vote, pointing to caps on the number of taxi vehicles allowed.

10. Mixed reaction after first couple days of dogs on White Rock promenade

While some people are wagging their tails, others are growling after the first couple days of dogs being allowed on White Rock’s Promenade.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Surrey school district proposing 13 new schools in the next decade

Staff suggest new designs for future builds to maximize school space

Delta McDonald’s temporarily closed after employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Annacis Island location (1285 Cliveden Ave.) reported testing positive on Sept. 18

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Surrey school district student enrolment down from projections

‘That’s not something I can say in my time in Surrey, I have ever said at the board table’: superintendent

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read