There were many stories that captivated Vancouverites in 2009, here are Metro’s picks for the top ten stories of the year.
10-Ryan Jenkins manhunt. A cross-border hunt for a man believed to have strangled and mutilated his ex-wife in Los Angeles ended in Hope in August, when suspect Ryan Jenkins’ body was found hanging from a coat rack in a motel.
Jenkins, a reality TV star, was the only suspect in the death of swimsuit model Jasmine Fiores. Police chased Jenkins from California, to British Columbia, where he committed suicide.
9 -Burrard Bridge. The great Burrard Bridge debate was much ado about nothing. In July, the city closed one southbound lane forced all pedestrians onto the west side of the bridge and opened two dedicated bike lanes. Traffic was largely unaffected.
8 -Female ski jumpers. A group of elite-level female ski jumpers took VANOC to court in the spring of 2009, for not staging a women’s ski jumping event during the 2010 Games.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge, however, ruled that it was up to the IOC — not VANOC — as to whether they should jump.
7- Robert Dziekanski. The public watchdog for the RCMP released a scathing report on Dec. 8 criticizing the four officers involved in the Tasering of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport in 2007.
6-Surrey Six. In April, a year and a half after six people were murdered in a Surrey highrise, RCMP arrested and charged four men in connection with the gang-style shootings.
One of the men, alleged Red Scorpions gang member Dennis Karbovanec, immediately plead guilty to three of the murders, including that of innocent bystander Chris Mohan.
5- HST. B.C. hit the ballot boxes in May and returned Premier Gordon Campbell and his B.C.
Liberals to power for a third straight term. Shortly after, in July, the province announced it was merging its provincial sales tax with the federal goods and services tax to create a single 12 per cent Harmonized Sales Tax, beginning July 1, 2010.
4 -Olympic Torch. The Olympic torch, unveiled in Whistler in February, was ignited during an elaborate ceremony in Greece in October. The torch was flown to Victoria to kickoff the 45,000-kilometre torch relay. The torch will return to B.C. in late January and make its way to Vancouver in time for the Feb. 12 start to the Olympic Games.
3 -Fires. Thousands of people living in the Interior were evacuated from their homes in July and August as massive wildfires as large as 3,000 hectares raged through the tinder-try forests.
There were no reported injuries or deaths.
2-Olympic Village. In Nov-ember, Vancouver handed over the keys to its $1.2-billion Southeast False Creek development to VANOC to use as the Athletes’ Village during the Games. The development had run into difficulty when overruns forced its financier to withhold loan payments.
1 -Canada Line. On Aug. 17, about 100,000 people for the first time rode The Canada Line connecting downtown Vancouver to the airport in just 26 minutes. The $2-billion line, an Olympic legacy project, has changed the way Vancouverites get to Richmond.
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