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

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

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
National Police Federation members slam Surrey police transition to Surrey Board of Trade

During virtual meeting, bargaining unit representatives say municipal force ‘not a done deal’

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Pixabay image
Surrey council moves to update city’s telecommunication antennas policy

But councillor says health and safety protocols are nearly 40 years old

Eagle watchers are celebrating the first egg of the season, captured on video in South Surrey. (Hancock Wildlife Foundation photo)
LIVE VIDEO: South Surrey nesting eagles welcome first egg of the season

Parents ‘Sur’ and ‘Res’ to share incubating duties

Boosh Food founder Connie Marples (right) delivers some Boosh Food items to Christine Mohr, CEO of Options Community Services, in December, 2020. Boosh Food has just moved their operations to Cloverdale. (Photo: Moonraker PR)
Boosh Food moves to Cloverdale

‘Plant-based comfort food’ company moving to 65A Avenue

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read