Year in review: a look back at 2016

The Victoria News takes a look back at the stories that made headlines in Victoria and Esquimalt over the last year.

  • Dec. 29, 2016 5:00 a.m.

From tent city and the royal visit, to the waste water treatment facility and the arrival of hundreds of Syrian refugees, 2016 was packed with big news stories in Victoria and Esquimalt. This Victoria News takes a look back at what made the headlines in 2016. Here are the first four months of the year. Stay tuned tomorrow for headlines from May to August.

January

• After 61 years of serving signature cocktails, The Fairmont Empress Hotel announces the closure of the upscale Bengal Lounge, sparking a public outcry that included a petition. The news also came as a surprise for many who work at the hotel.

• In response to the growing homeless camp on the lawns of the Victoria courthouse, the province opens up My Place Transitional Home at the former Boys and Girls Club building on Yates Street. The shelter has the capacity to house 40 homeless campers.

February

• The Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria gets set to welcome hundreds of Syrian refugees by the end of the month as part of the federal government’s plan to bring 25,000 refugees to the country. Since December, the city had welcomed 28 privately-sponsored refugees and raised more than $1 million to help them resettle.

• With more than 80 people now living on the lawns of the Victoria courthouse, the province tells tent city residents they have to leave by the end of the month due to safety concerns. In order to prepare for the eviction, the province has been working to find temporary shelter for the campers to move into and is getting ready to open 88 units of transitional housing and shelter space, along with 40 supplements.

• A number of athletes from the region head to Penticton for the B.C. Winter Games, which include a wide variety of sports such as archery, badminton, biathlon, curling, diving, figure skating, ringette and cross-country skiing.

• Three members on the Canadian navy’s HMCS Winnipeg are detained by Japanese authorities for using a controlled substance while the ship was conducting a port visit in Tokyo. Charges were laid against two crew members, who remained in Tokyo as the ship headed back to CFB Esquimalt.

March

• A deal is made to proceed with the development of the Esquimalt Village Project in the heart of the township. Located on the former site of the public works yard and original municipal hall, the development calls for a 17,000 square-foot town square that will be surrounded by a six-storey building with 100 condos and 34 rental properties situated above commercial space on the ground level. Another five-storey building will provide just under 50,000 square feet of office space that will also include a new library on the ground level.

• At a cost of more than $1 billion, the CRD approves a two-plant tertiary wastewater treatment system with facilities at Clover Point in Victoria and McLoughlin or Macaulay points in Esquimalt, sparking public backlash in both communities.

• Three months since Victoria’s police chief Frank Elsner steps aside for an external investigation into his conduct on social media, the city’s top cop files a petition with the B.C. Supreme Court, seeking an order to stop the investigation and prohibit its chief superintendent from taking further action.

• The community marks the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of Michael Dunahee. The four-year-old disappeared from the playground of the former Blanshard Elementary School shortly after noon on March 24, 1991.

• A motorhome catches fires at the West Bay Marine Village in Esquimalt, causing extensive damage to it and a neighbouring 36-foot fifth wheel trailer.

April

• After 25 years, Intrepid Theatre’s Janet Munsil announces she’s stepping down as artistic director at the end of the season.

• Three dragon boat teams based in Victoria bring home an impressive medal haul, including three golds, four silvers and a bronze, from the International Dragon Boat Federation’s Club Crew World Championships in Australia.

• A Victoria mother is arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of her 18-month-old daughter. Police discovered the girl when they were called to a home in the Hillside-Quadra neighbourhood on Sept. 16. Despite efforts to resuscitate her, the girl passed away.

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered Langford teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

The speculation and vacancy tax raised about $1.21 million in Sidney and North Saanich combined. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich and Sidney property owners paid $1.21 million in speculation and vacancy tax

Speculation and vacancy tax raised 6.5 million in Greater Victoria

Saanich parks staff will be applying a herbicide called Garlon XRT in Sayward Hill Park between Jan. 18 to 29 to control the invasive species English holly and hawthorn. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Herbicide used to target ‘priority’ invasive species in Saanich park

Treatment applied to English holly, hawthorn stumps, in Sayward Hill Park

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Most Read