Metchosin firefighters Madison Josephson and Matt Crawford continue to extinguish hot spots after the department arrived on scene to find the shed fully engulfed.

Metchosin firefighters Madison Josephson and Matt Crawford continue to extinguish hot spots after the department arrived on scene to find the shed fully engulfed.

Walking through the past 12 months: 2016 in review September to December

We recap some of the top news items of the year, along with selected images that helped tell the stories


7 – Esquimalt-Royal Roads NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis announces that she won’t seek re-election when B.C. goes to the polls in 2017. The 66-year-old politician says she is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren while focusing more on home beekeeping and getting out for paddles with her husband.

9 – The Core Area Wastewater Treatment project board releases its final report, recommending a single 109 megalitre/day plant for the tertiary treatment of wastewater at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. Capital costs are estimated at $765 million and the cost per CRD municipality ranges from $146 in Colwood to $344 in Oak Bay.

9 – An armed suspect is taken into custody after a lengthy standoff with police on Veterans Memorial Parkway in Langford. The male suspect, 36-year-old Michael Godolphin, reportedly fires at least two shots at the scene. No one is hurt in the incident.

9 – The Victoria Shamrocks come up short in pursuit of their second straight Mann Cup, falling in game 6 of their WLA championship series with the Maple Ridge Burrards. The Burrards go on to lose the Mann Cup in five games to the Six Nations Chiefs.

14 – Beecher Bay, Metchosin and Langford announce a proposal that would shift municipal boundaries on the West Shore. The deal calls for 250 acres of Treaty lands within Metchosin to be preserved as green space and a shrinking of the District’s northern boundary with Langford by 380 acres to allow for the creation of a new business park. Beecher Bay would own a third of the site and would enter into a tax sharing agreement with Langford and Metchosin.

16 – Charges are laid in the crash that killed West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in April. Kenneth Jacob Fenton, 28, is facing five charges in relation to the crash, including impaired driving causing death and failing to stop while being pursued by a peace officer.

23 – Langford announces a new coach service for commuters, dubbed the Langtoria Greenline. The line promises complimentary coffee and WiFi on a comfortable coach bus, with pickup locations in Langford and drop off points downtown. The bus is scheduled to enter service on Oct. 17.

23 – Expansion plans for the View Royal Casino, which include a 600-seat entertainment venue, are received positively at a View Royal council meeting. The $20-million expansion calls for an addition of 42,000 square feet to the facility, the bulk of which will be taken up by the entertainment venue.

30 – First responders are dealing with a multitude of overdose calls on the West Shore as the fentanyl crisis is blamed for a dramatic rise in B.C. overdose figures. By the end of August, West Shore emergency personnel had already responded to 100 overdose calls after dealing with 109 in all of 2015. In response, emergency personnel are now carrying naloxone, a drug that can reverse or block the effects of opioids.


3 – The West Shore is feeling the effects of Greater Victoria’s rental shortages, as Victoria is named the third-most expensive place in Canada in which to rent, behind only Vancouver and Toronto.

12 – Some residents in a neighbourhood off Latoria Road are blaming blasting in the area for damage to their homes. Blasting has been an ongoing occurrence in the area, but residents say it has gotten worse in recent months and is causing cracks in walls and concrete floors and damage to exterior door frames.

12 – Langford Fire Rescue has a new pumper truck in their fleet with a focus on safety. The new truck has upgrades and extra features, including airbags, which are not standard for fire trucks.

14 – Residents of Rudyard and Stormont Roads in View Royal are taking their frustration over short cut-seeking morning commuters to council. Residents are tired of drivers heading toward Victoria illegally turning left off Helmcken Road onto Rudyard during the morning commute. Residents would like to see a time-controlled barrier arm system but Mayor David Screech isn’t keen on the idea.

21 – The Sooke School District requests four new schools from the Ministry of Education amid exponential growth that saw 520 students join the K-12 ranks from the previous year.

26 – A group of West Shore residents, including Gazette reporter Katherine Engqvist, head south to Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, which caused devastating damage to the Caribbean nation. The purpose of the trip shifts following the early October storm as the needs of two Port-au-Prince orphanages are assessed.


2 – The Westshore Rebels are crowned B.C. Football Conference champions following a 32-21 win over the Okanagan Sun at Westhills Stadium. The game caps a remarkable turnaround for the junior franchise, which had struggled to a 2-8 record the three previous seasons. The Rebels go on to lose to the Saskatoon Hilltops in the Canadian Bowl.

4 – Metchosin council announces that a proposed boundary swap involving Beecher Bay and Langford will go to a referendum in the early part of 2017.

11 – A proposed townhouse development for the corner of Knotty Pine Road near Lequesne Avenue in Langford is under scrutiny from residents opposed to the City’s mandatory sewage hookup policy, which will call for any property on a sewer line to be connected by 2019. Residents are worried about the costs associated with that hookup.

16 – Sausages may have been the culprit of a shed fire in Metchosin, which completely destroyed the structure and the brand new tractor it contained. Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop believes sausages in a smoker inside the shed were the cause of the fire.

23 – Colwood needs to create an identity, a Vancouver Island University professor tells a gathering of residents and City officials. The talk is part of Colwood’s ongoing efforts to receive public input as it prepares to update its Official Community Plan.

25 – Langford council rejects a CRD-led transportation service plan, citing concerns of duplication and unclear direction. Colwood later rejects the same proposal.


2 – West Shore RCMP announces it is looking to reinstate a dedicated traffic unit in the new year. The new unit will be an asset to the department and act as a liaison with other municipal units and enforcement agencies, according to Insp. Larry Chomyn.

7 – Two men go on a crash-filled ride in a stolen car and are taken into police custody after unsuccessfully trying to carjack a motorist in Colwood. The small car is initially thought to contain a mobile meth lab, but that proves to be false. Traffic is shut down along portions of Sooke Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway as police investigate the incident.

7 – Belmont’s senior girls volleyball team is crowned provincial champions following a straight-sets triumph over host team Handsworth secondary in North Vancouver.

14 – A developer hopes to bring commuter rail to the E&N corridor by this time next year. Ken Mariash, who is behind the Bayview Place development in Victoria West, says he has had his eyes on the project for nearly eight months and has hired multiple firms to look into the idea.

16 – View Royal and Colwood fire departments are involved in a dramatic morning rescue after a man who had been working on the site, injures his back and is unable to be removed by conventional methods. The Colwood aerial truck ladder is able to extend 100 feet and is able to reach the top of the building.

21 – A broken water main wreaks havoc on the morning commute for West Shore residents, as traffic slows to a crawl along the Trans-Canada Highway and feeder routes. Repairs on the large diameter main take until early the following morning.

23 – Bear Mountain residents are implored to deal with their garbage after multiple incidents with a nearby sow and cub, who remain active due to a plethora of garbage and waste in the area. A local conservation officer says the bears might need to be euthanized if the problem persists.

-Compiled by Joel Tansey