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Top 10 stories of 2018

Landscape featuring the skyline from Winnipeg, Manitoba. (PHOTO: iStock)

WINNIPEG (CITYNEWS) – This year has been a whirlwind news year from Canada legalizing recreational marijuana, to Greyhound ending services in the prairies and much of western Canada, to the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 players and support staff associated with the Junior A hockey team.

As the year comes to a close the world prepares to welcome 2019, we’re counting down the top 10 most popular stories on winnipeg.citynews.com.

10. More tragedy for family of Tina Fontaine

The family of Tina Fontaine – the 15-year-old girl whose high profile case helped launched the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – has suffered another tragedy.

Tina’s cousin, Kayla Arkinson, was killed in a collision on June 23. RCMP say she was struck twice by two separate vehicles in the early morning hours.

9. More reports of negligence at dog daycares

A Winnipeg couple spoke with CityNews after their dog was attacked and seriously injured at a dog daycare.

This most recent story comes a few months after our reporters found a daycare had used shock collars without an owner’s permission and another dog lost his eye (see number 7). It has pet owners calling for stricter regulations.

This story was one of the first in a string of horror stories we uncovered on the doggy daycare beat.

8. ‘They should not be legal’: Man turned away from nightclub for anti-gay rant

A local nightclub turned a man and his friend away after they were heard using offensive language, spurring a social media rant by one of the parties sent away.

The rant garnered lots of attention online and in response, the bar in question, 441 MAIN, posted LGBTQ+ flags on its social media accounts and is getting a flag to hang in the window outside of the bar.

7. Dog loses eye at Winnipeg pet centre

Vena Nguyen left her French bulldog, Sterling, under the care of a doggy daycare last October. Late that night, she got a call from the centre’s owner, who told her she didn’t know how but Sterling had lost an eye.

Nguyen had seen CityNews’ previous coverage on this centre and reached out with a horror story of her own.

Disbelief. I wasn’t sure what happened or why because it was close to bedtime so, to me, he should have been in his crate, by himself, sleeping by then. So when I got the phone call, I was pretty shocked to hear he was on his way to the vet with an eyeball hanging out,” she said.

6. Meth Awareness Walk

A group of people has walked over 400 kilometres from Manitoba’s northern communities to raise awareness of the effects meth has had on youth in their communities. This story was one of many as Winnipeg grapples with a meth crisis.

Meth crisis in Manitoba
The hidden cost of meth
Police, politicians ask federal government for meth help
More supports for meth users


5. Two young children left in the cold

In January, a woman says she and her boyfriend found two young kids outside alone in freezing temperatures one Saturday evening.

The girls were barely clothed and the temperatures had dipped below -36.

“The one was wearing a diaper, some crocs, and a little t-shirt,” said the woman’s boyfriend. The pair brought the two and four-year-old inside and she fears the kids would’ve frozen to death had she not lept into action.

4. Public Safety Minister to consider assault rifle ban

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he would consider a ban on assault rifles in Canada. “It’s an idea that has been proposed,” he said.

“When the details…are available for a study I would look at it.”

Later in the year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a Montreal radio station on the anniversary of the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre that his government plans to limit access to handguns and assault weapons to confront gun violence in the country.

3. Couple shocked after dog’s daycare stay

John and Sheila Estacio left their dog Maxx at Muttley’s Pet Centre for about a week in August. When they picked him up, they noticed he was no longer acting like his usual, playful self.

This was not the first story to come regarding questionable care at local pet daycare centres (see 7, 9).

They say Maxx didn’t want to do anything and seemed in distress. After they examined him more closely, they found a shock collar tightly fastened around his neck.

2. Jays pitcher Osuna charged with assault, placed on administrative leave

Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball Tuesday after being charged with assault.

The league said it was investigating the circumstances of the charges in accordance with the joint domestic violence policy between the league and the MLB Players Association.

Charges were withdrawn in September with the 23-year-old agreeing to a peace bond. The Crown told the court there was no “reasonable prospect” of conviction after the complainant said she wouldn’t testify in the case.

1. Crime in rural Alberta town growing at a faster rate than elsewhere in Canada: Maclean’s

This Maclean’s analysis made news across the country. The feature from the magazine stated crime in Wetaskiwin, Alta., a town of 15,000 about an hour’s drive south of Edmonton, is getting worse at a faster rate than any other Canadian urban area.

From 2012 to 2017, Wetaskiwin’s crime severity index (CSI) — a measure used by Statistics Canada that accounts for the seriousness of crimes as well as their number — increased 100.63 points to 257.54.

For comparison, Red Deer, the community with the second-fastest growing CSI, saw an increase of 58.65 points over five years. Canada’s overall CSI fell 2.56 points to 72.87 over the same time period.