Here are CBC B.C.'s most-viewed stories of 2021

·4 min read
From the seemingly never-ending pandemic to painful revelations around Canada's residential school legacy, 2021 was another unrelenting year in news. Here are the top 10 stories that drew the most of readers' attention in B.C. (CBC News - image credit)
From the seemingly never-ending pandemic to painful revelations around Canada's residential school legacy, 2021 was another unrelenting year in news. Here are the top 10 stories that drew the most of readers' attention in B.C. (CBC News - image credit)

From the seemingly never-ending pandemic to painful revelations around Canada's residential school legacy — and climate emergencies in between — 2021 was another relentless year in news.

Here are the top 10 stories that drew the most of readers' attention this year.

10. What you need to know about B.C.'s travel restrictions

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

As the pandemic evolved and public health rules changed, readers' interest in what you were and weren't supposed to do stayed high. This story tracked the rules around regional health restrictions that were introduced in April, as the number of active cases in the province reached their highest levels.

As of December 2021, those rules are no longer in effect.

9. B.C. student who wore dress over turtleneck sent home for inappropriate attire

Christopher Wilson/Facebook
Christopher Wilson/Facebook

In February, a 17-year-old high school student in Kamloops, B.C., was sent home for wearing a black dress over a turtleneck. Her enraged father posted online about what happened and the story spread around the world.

8. Woman dead, suspect in custody after 7 people stabbed in North Vancouver

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

One woman was killed and six other people hurt after a suspect stabbed them at a public library in a quiet suburb of North Vancouver on a weekend in March. Police took down and arrested a suspect nearby.

After the attack, there was an outpouring of grief in the community.

7. 'Most homes' in Lytton, B.C., destroyed by catastrophic fire, minister says

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Dozens of families forced to flee their homes as a catastrophic fire devastated the village of Lytton, B.C., spent the following day searching for loved ones who were scattered in the evacuations. Emergency officials urgently tried to account for everyone in the community. The fire claimed two lives.

6. New outbreak of COVID-19 in B.C. care home where 82% of residents were already vaccinated

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

In early March, a new outbreak of COVID-19 was declared at a seniors' care centre in the Interior where staff and residents had already received vaccines. The outbreak was a stark reminder that being vaccinated doesn't mean transmission will stop and that precautions needed to stay in place for seniors and care homes.

5. B.C. announces new travel restrictions to contain coronavirus, lowers age for AstraZeneca vaccine

Mike McArthur/CBC
Mike McArthur/CBC

This story was published the day in April Premier John Horgan said the province would be bringing in regional health restrictions asking people to stop travelling between the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the rest of the province. The story ruined hopes of British Columbians hoping for fewer rules for the May long weekend after a dark winter of restrictions.

4. Photo of massive tree being hauled down Vancouver Island highway sparks global outrage

Lorna Beecroft
Lorna Beecroft

The image of a massive spruce tree being hauled north of Nanaimo, B.C., created outrage around the world in May. Many were stunned to see a tree so large cut down, particularly as protests against old-growth logging took place nearby on southern Vancouver Island.

The provincial government later confirmed the tree was cut on north Vancouver Island in 2020, months before new rules were introduced to protect giant trees.

3. Remains of 215 children found buried at former B.C. residential school, First Nation says

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

In May, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced preliminary findings from a survey of the ground of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School had uncovered the remains of more than 200 children who'd been buried at the site. The discovery woke the country up to Canada's brutal history of residential schools, confirming what survivors of residential schools had been saying for decades.

In the weeks and months that followed, commemorations appeared across the country and other Indigenous communities announced similar discoveries and new searches at similar institutions.

2. Village of Lytton, B.C., evacuated as mayor says 'the whole town is on fire'

2 Rivers Remix Society/Vimeo
2 Rivers Remix Society/Vimeo

On the last day of June, after enduring the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Canada for days on end, the village of Lytton, B.C., was engulfed in flames. Hundreds of residents were forced to flee, many without their belongings, as the vast majority of buildings and homes in town was burned to their foundations.

It was one of the most destructive fire emergencies in the province's recent history.

1. B.C. farmer grabs lynx by scruff of neck, scolds it for killing chickens

The most-viewed story of the year was about a farmer who caught a lynx in his chicken coop in northern B.C. in February. He didn't react the way one might expect.

He didn't grab a gun or yell at the wild animal.

Instead, he grabbed the lynx by the scruff of its neck, lifted it from the coop and gave it a scolding for killing his chickens.

Nobody was hurt — aside from two chickens, Freda and Birdie — and the story offered a surreal break from the news of the year.

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