A group of high school students mourned the loss of their friend Jack Stroud, 15, who was struck and killed by a train in July. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

A group of high school students mourned the loss of their friend Jack Stroud, 15, who was struck and killed by a train in July. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

YEAR IN REVIEW: Looking back on July – September in Peace Arch News

A roundup of stories that made the news in the third quarter of 2018


• A poll of Surrey residents shows that more than half believe public safety is worse in their city than other Metro Vancouver municipalities. The poll, conducted by Research Co., also shows that 56 per cent of survey respondents think Surrey should have its own police force.

• A development permit for a 12-storey highrise on Lower Johnston Road, approved by White Rock council, is “putting an existing business at risk,” according to Kelly Breaks, owner of the Blue Frog Studios recording studio and concert venue adjacent to the site.

• A 15-year-old boy is killed when struck by a passenger train on the BNSF tracks at the 24 Avenue walkway near Crescent Beach at around 10 p.m. on July 4. Jack Stroud is described as a rising star on his school’s rugby team, and popular with his peers.

READ MORE: ‘Jacky boy’ remembered for his love

• White Rock council abandons plans for a $1 million archway at Johnston Road at North Bluff Road, after gateway feature selection committee member Coun. Lynne Sinclair expresses concerns the process has been rushed and not allowed sufficient reflection on a design that would be “authentic” to the city.

• Sports and arts activities are still programming options for White Rock’s waterfront parkade, says planning director Carl Johanssen, after a Peace Arch News article suggests such uses are off the table. Questioned on additional uses for the parkade at a July 9 council meeting, Johannsen stated that – while off season activities had been discussed – “my sense is the parkade is being constructed for providing parking.”

• A 17-year-old who sustained a non-critical upper-leg injury is rescued from bush on a cliff near 1001 Steps in Ocean Park by Surrey Fire Services on July 17. Firefighters use a series of ropes to move the boy to a flat surface where he can be put on a stretcher.

• Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell and Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner sign an agreement for Surrey to provide water and sanitary sewer servicing to SFN on July 23, bringing to a close almost two years of uncertainty after White Rock served notice in August 2016 that it would terminate the band’s water supply within 18 months.

• Residents are enraged and the City of Surrey conducts an investigation after it is forced to remove a cottonwood tree that had been home to one of the most noticeable eagle’s nests in the city. A city arbourist says the tree, at the corner of Croydon Drive and 20 Avenue in South Surrey, had been partially cut on two sides and was in danger of falling.


• White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin says City of Surrey and Semiahmoo First Nation representatives will be invited to a ‘citizens forum’ on rail-route relocation, following what he called a “disappointing” June meeting of local government officials and the federal Ministry of Transportation on relocation and safety issues.

• Surrey is to drop the ‘managed retreat’ option from its Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy. The controversial option, which some suggested would see the city buying out Crescent Beach waterfront homes, will be taken off the table after feedback from stakeholders, according to a city news release.

• The rainbow crosswalk at White Rock’s Five Corners is defaced Aug. 3 by an unknown vandal who paints an anti-homosexual term and – reportedly – two swastikas on it. The crosswalk had already been marred – less than 24 hours after it was created by the city in July – by a heavy tire mark.

• A former South Surrey real estate broker faces a series of fines, and a 25-year prohibition from applying for a licence, after admitting to professional misconduct under the Real Eastate Services Act. Rupinder Dawodharry, of now-defunct 8th Avenue Elite Realty, had misappropriated more than $168,000 in deposits related to nine property sales in 2014-2015.

• White Rock Youth Ambassador program co-ordinator Debbie Ward says the long-running city tradition may wind down if she can’t find anyone to replace her. The program has suffered in recent years from low participation, shortage of sponsorships and dearth of events for ambassadors to attend, Ward says.

• More than 100 residents sign a letter to South Surrey Indoor Pool staff expressing disappointment in the handling of a situation in which a patron allegedly made “hateful” comments to visible minorities at the facility.

• The TD Concerts at the Pier series may become a three-venue event in 2019 organizers say, following the Aug. 18 Totem Park finale for the City of White Rock, White Rock BIA and TD Canada Trust partnership.

• White Rock firefighters are among those answering the call to fight intense wildfires during a seven-day deployment to the B.C. interior, starting Aug. 14, which includes serving in the Fort St. John, Burns Lake and Takysie Lake areas.

READ MORE: White Rock firefighters aid wildfire effort

• RCMP officers – including members of the gang enforcement unit – swarm Sunnyside Self Storage on 24 Avenue in South Surrey Aug. 28, after two adult males are seen with a replica firearm. Although both are taken into custody, a spokesperson says subsequently that “there was no crime committed.”

• Advocacy won’t stop, vows Equitas Society president Marc Burchell on Aug. 30, after the Supreme Court of Canada rejects the society’s bid to pursue an appeal for its class-action lawsuit for ongoing pensions for disabled Canadian armed forces veterans.


• Cheryl Wilcox meets with City of Surrey parks managers Sept. 5 to discuss safety in South Surrey’s Bakerview Park, after an Aug. 27 incident in which her 18-year-old son was beaten unconscious there in a late-night attack.

• The RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team reveals that enforcement activity on Country Woods Drive Sept. 5 was not police dog training – as originally suggested by Surrey RCMP – but a search for “extremely violent” suspect Brandon Nathan Texeira, 27, sought in connection with the murder of Nicholas Khabra on Crescent Road in October 2017.

• A Canadian mother praises “quick and professional” reaction of U.S. border officers for saving the life of her six-month-old daughter, who stopped breathing when they were waiting in the Pacific Highway traffic line-up Highway on Sept. 7.

• A ruptured water main sends rocks and shards of glass flying – twice – into the Coast Capital Playhouse lobby on Sept. 16, following testing as part of the uptown revitalization project. Although the building was damaged, no one is hurt in the afternoon incidents.

READ MORE: Two water main ruptures send glass, rocks flying in White Rock

• The death of hundreds of crayfish and coho fry in the Nicomekl River is blamed on an industrial spill in Langley, according to biologist Jim Armstrong, who works with the Nicomekl Enhancement Society’s hatchery.

• South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg contributes to a public rail-safety forum in White Rock by announcing more than $1.63 million in federal funding for rail safety upgrades on the Peninsula. Forum organizers, however, continue to stress rail relocation off the waterfront as the ultimate solution to safety issues.

• A restored replica Haida totem pole is raised at Peace Arch Park Sept. 21 – by a team that includes B.C. Premier John Horgan and Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell – addressing a “historic wrong” in which the pole was accidentally discarded a decade before, when the provincial government opened a new visitors centre in the park.

• A national campaign, Add Our Voices, is launched by South Surrey’s Paula Williams – enlisting help from parents whose children are not autistic – to encourage the federal government to fund medical support for families affected by autism.

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