We asked our readers to vote on Global BC’s biggest news stories of 2015 and the resurgence of the Liberal Party in B.C. during the federal election is number one.
1. Liberal party win in B.C.
The Liberals swept through B.C.’s urban centre of Metro Vancouver, unseating a number of Conservative and NDP incumbents.
“I think we listened, we talked to a lot of people, we felt the momentum build,” said Liberal Carla Qualtrough after beating National Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay in Delta, south of Vancouver.
Of the 42 seats in B.C., 17 went to the Liberal Party.
Behind the scenes: The Liberals’ campaign in B.C.:
2. Busy and expensive forest fire season
The 2015 forest fire season was one of the worst in B.C. in the past 10 years, with 10 times more hectares burned than the yearly average.
By the end of September, more than $272 million had been spent fighting fires around the province, which is still under the 2003/4 season and the 2009/10 season.
A complete campfire ban went into effect across B.C., due to the extreme fire risk.
Fire danger rating dramatically changes across B.C.:
3. Severe drought conditions across B.C.
Coupled with the active forest fire season, it was a dry summer across B.C.
As a result, water restrictions had to be put in place in the summer.
Once the regional district moved to Stage 3 restrictions on July 20, water use plummeted.
Several days of heavy rain at the end of August helped bring the reservoir levels back up to normal.
Record level snow pack could lead to summertime drought:
4. Whale watching boat sinks in Tofino, killing 6
Six people died in October when a whale watching boat sunk near Tofino.
The Leviathan II is believed to have been hit by a wave, toppling it over and sending all 27 people on board into the water.
Five people who died where British nationals, and one victim was from Australia.
Members of the Ahousaht First Nation were praised for coming to the aid of the people on the boat and pulling many of them to safety.
TSB continues to investigate deadly sinking off Tofino:
5. Mishandling of cases by the Ministry of Children and Family Development
The ministry has come under fire this year after a number of children have died while in their care.
Danny Francis, Alex Gervais, Carly Fraser and Nick Lang have all died while under the ministry’s care.
B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, said more needs to be done to protect children who are in care and to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks.
Turpel-Lafond, media and opposition blamed for problems at Ministry of Children and Family Development: