Top B.C. stories of 2015

 

Liberal victory was biggest news event this year

 
 
 
 
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister-elect and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, kisses his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau after being elected prime minister on election night Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Trudeau’s Liberal Party swept into office with a surprise majority, ousting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and capping the biggest comeback election victory in Canadian history.
 
 

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister-elect and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, kisses his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau after being elected prime minister on election night Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Trudeau’s Liberal Party swept into office with a surprise majority, ousting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and capping the biggest comeback election victory in Canadian history.

Photograph by: Kevin Van Paassen, Bloomberg

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The most important story of the year for most British Columbians, by far, was Justin Trudeau becoming prime minister, according to an Insights West poll released Tuesday. Respondents were asked to chooseup to five stories as the most important of 2015.

77%

The change of government in Ottawa. The federal Liberal Party went from two seats in B.C. to 17, the most in more than 40 years. The historic showing helped to seal a stunning majority government victory.

48%

B.C.’s ‘summer of drought.’ Hot, dry weather, with scant rain, made it easy for wildfires to start and spread — the season was deemed one of the worst in a decade. Some 300,000 hectares across the province burned and Victoria spent over $285 million fighting fires. At one point, the choking air quality in Whistler was compared to that in Beijing. For weeks in Vancouver, it was brown lawns and dusty hubcaps as water restrictions clamped down on garden watering and car washing.

44%

The ‘No’ victory in the Metro Vancouver transportation and transit plebiscite. Almost two-thirds of voters rejected an increase of half a percentage point in the sales tax to help pay for a $7.5-billion, 10-year plan put forth by Metro Vancouver mayors. The No campaign focused on TransLink’s high executive salaries, the Compass card debacle and SkyTrain breakdowns.

42%

Sky-highhousing prices in Vancouver and calls for better data on foreign investment in residential real estate. In November, the typical price for a single-family detached home on the west side was up 23 per cent over the past year; on the east side, it was up 26 per cent. Experts pointed to low interest rates and limited supply, but the hottest part of the debate focused on the lack of information about the impact of foreign money, in particular from mainland China.

30%

B.C.’s connection with the Syrian refugee crisis. The image of Alan Kurdi’s body found lifeless on a beach near Bodrum, Turkey, was printed around the world on Sept. 2. When it emerged that the family of the five-year-old boy had drowned trying to flee Syria for Canada where his aunt, Tima Kurdi, lives in Coquitlam, it set off an election campaign debate and eventually focused federal government efforts to help settle more refugees here.

Jlee-young@postmedia.com

 
 
 
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Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister-elect and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, kisses his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau after being elected prime minister on election night Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Trudeau’s Liberal Party swept into office with a surprise majority, ousting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and capping the biggest comeback election victory in Canadian history.
 

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister-elect and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, kisses his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau after being elected prime minister on election night Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Trudeau’s Liberal Party swept into office with a surprise majority, ousting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and capping the biggest comeback election victory in Canadian history.

Photograph by: Kevin Van Paassen, Bloomberg

 
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister-elect and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, kisses his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau after being elected prime minister on election night Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Trudeau’s Liberal Party swept into office with a surprise majority, ousting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and capping the biggest comeback election victory in Canadian history.
Real estate signs adorn houses and condos sold and for sale in Vancouver, Wednesday, August 8, 2012.
Firefighters work a wild fire burning in West Kelowna, B.C. Thursday, July 23, 2015.
Alan, left, and his brother Galib Kurdi are seen in an undated family handout photo courtesy of their aunt, Tima Kurdi. Alan, Galib, and their mother Rehan died as they tried to reach Europe from Syria. The uncle of the three-year-old Syrian boy whose lifeless body has put a devastating human face on the Syrian refugee crisis has assailed Canada's refugee process.
(FILES) In this October 20, 2015 file photo, Canadian Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau speaks at a press conference in Ottawa after winning the general elections. Canada's prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau will travel around the world to attend four international conferences by year's end, his office said November 2, 2015. Trudeau is due to be sworn in on Wednesday along with his cabinet. Afterward, on his first official trip overseas, he will meet with other leaders of the Group of 20 major advanced and emerging nations in Antalya, Turkey on November 15 to 16 to discuss strengthening the global economic recovery.
Compass card reader await to be put into use aboard city transit buses in Vancouver on Oct. 28, 2014.  Many passengers will have to wait to use this new system.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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