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Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C., April, 18, 2012. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C., April, 18, 2012. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

2012 in review

The year that was in British Columbia Add to ...

The famous chair that Mr. Egely fondly called his spaceship has been returned. “We want it to give someone else a second chance at life. That’s what it did for dad,” said daughter Nicole, tearfully.

B.C. gets corked

The summertime announcement by Minister Rich Coleman that British Columbians would finally be able to bring their own wine to restaurants was met with much fanfare – after all, beer, wine and spirit enthusiasts have long harped on the province’s many antiquated liquor laws. But five months [PASSED JULY 19] later, the initial huzzah has died down – and few appear to be bringing their own bottle to dinner.

“It’s had very minimal impact,” said Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant Association. “I’ve had maybe one restaurant say they’ve had a customer come in, requesting to bring their own wine. No question some restaurants will say, ‘I had a customer bring in a very special bottle of wine,’ but it’s just not happening [often].”

He chalks it up to a Canadian mentality – “We sort of have a notion that it’s almost an impolite thing to do” – along with good selections available at restaurants and the fact the BYOB option hasn’t been publicized much since the initial announcement. As well, many people likely prefer the convenience of simply ordering wine at the restaurant, Mr. Tostenson theorized.

The Boessenkool Affair

Premier Christy Clark enjoyed one weekend of good news in September for her B.C. Liberal party, as the troubles of the rival B.C. Conservatives took over the spotlight. But it was a short-lived bounce, as she was forced to announce shortly thereafter that her chief of staff, Ken Boessenkool, had been dumped because of a personal indiscretion.

In his letter of resignation, which did not describe what happened, Mr. Boessenkool admitted to acting “inappropriately” and said he regretted his behaviour. He’s apologized to his wife and four young daughters.

Ms. Clark has refused to say why her chief of staff, who was appointed to help neutralize the rise of the B.C. Conservatives, had to go. She said she waited to act until an investigation was carried out, but oddly there is no paper trail to indicate if such a probe was carried out, or what it found.

“Dude Chilling” Park

Guelph Park, located in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, was unceremoniously renamed Dude Chilling Park in November when a mysterious prankster erected a fake – but official-looking – City of Vancouver sign at the corner of 8th Avenue and Brunswick Street. The clandestine renaming, presumably after a wooden, Gumby-esque sculpture of a figure lying on its side on the grass, garnered considerable attention on social media, spurring the Park Board to clarify it was fake – and take down the sign the following morning. A petition to officially rename the space Dude Chilling Park garnered more than 1,600 signatures. Wrote supporter Lily Le: “Dude Chilling Park is a name that better reflects the dudes that chill there.”

Commissioner Sarah Blyth says the sign now sits in the general manager’s office as the Park Board decides what to do with it. Possible options include giving it to the Museum of Vancouver, storing it in an artists’ space or having it “travel around to different parks like an art piece,” Ms. Blyth said.

“And, of course, I want to have it in my apartment.”

While there is no process in place to officially rename a park, the board might entertain the idea of unofficially renaming it, she added, citing as an example how Pioneer Square is more commonly called Pigeon Park.

Ms. Blyth will introduce a motion on the matter in January.

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