The News Bulletin’s most-read stories of 2021. (Photos by Tami Mullaly and the Nanaimo News Bulletin)

The News Bulletin’s most-read stories of 2021. (Photos by Tami Mullaly and the Nanaimo News Bulletin)

Nanaimo News Bulletin’s most-read news stories of 2021

Readers clicked on articles about a $32-trillion lawsuit, a stealthy warship, and more

1. Nanaimo man’s $32-trillion lawsuit thrown out by B.C. Supreme Court, March 9

A Nanaimo man who tried to sue for $32 trillion after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle got his day in court before his case was thrown out.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against ICBC alleging that he “suffered physical and emotional injuries” in a 2018 hit-and-run, according to court documents. He later amended his claim, adding as defendants the Queen, the prime minister, the premier, Elections B.C., and several other parties.

Judge Douglas Thompson described the plaintiff’s demands as wide-ranging: “It includes a private audience with Her Majesty, the suspension of trade with China, the dismantling of Transport Canada, the postponement of an election, the release of classified documents, the “cleaning up of the swamp,” the reconstruction of the RCMP, an MRI of his entire body, $32 trillion, and 500,000 Tesla shares,” the judge noted.

The hearing March 1 in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo necessitated lawyers for seven defendants to appear via teleconference.

The judge said the plaintiff’s claims were not reasonable and were “scandalous, vexatious and otherwise an abuse of process.”

2. Stealthy warship attracts notice as it sails through waters off Nanaimo, Oct. 18

A U.S. Navy destroyer may be designed to be radar stealthy, but its unusual appearance attracted attention when it sailed the waters off north Nanaimo.

The USS Michael Monsoor is one of three Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyers designed to be less visible on radar.

“Zumwalt-class destroyers are the most lethal and sophisticated destroyers ever built,” noted a U.S. Navy press release.

3. One dead, three arrested following shooting at Nanaimo’s Rock City Plaza, May 20

A man was shot and killed at Rock City Centre in Nanaimo.

A heavy police presence gathered outside the Wendy’s restaurant at the plaza along the old Island highway after witnesses reported hearing shots fired.

Nanaimo RCMP confirmed one person died in the incident from apparent gunshot wounds and three individuals were arrested and later released.

Police later said they believed the incident was tied to Lower Mainland-centred gang conflict.

4. Neighbour wonders why new walkway next to her Nanaimo home doesn’t come with a fence, Oct. 18

A Nanaimo family is looking for some separation from a walkway next to their home.

Last year, a house next door and lots surrounding it were purchased for a small residential development. The development includes a paved and lighted walkway connecting Hillside Avenue to a new bus stop on Uplands Drive.

The side of Kellie Uphill-Tilsner’s home and driveway that border the new walkway are not fenced and she said she worries the potential increase in foot traffic next to her property could pose a security risk, so she wants the developer to build a fence between her property and the easement.

She said she has sent numerous e-mails to the city and has been told she is welcome to put up a fence.

5. Nanaimo RCMP pull over hundreds of drivers for failing to slow down and move over, Oct. 21

Hundreds of drivers were pulled aside by Nanaimo RCMP when they failed to slow down and move over for tow trucks “assisting” a vehicle on the Nanaimo Parkway.

The enforcement action was part of a staged event in the southbound lanes near the Northfield Road intersection rest stop. The goal was to educate motorists about their legal responsibility under B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act: when approaching emergency vehicles that are parked roadside with their emergency lights flashing, drivers must slow down and move into the fast lane if possible.

6. Election night doesn’t yield a winner in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Sept. 20

The vote was so close in Nanaimo-Ladysmith that the riding’s next MP wasn’t known by the end of election night.

With more than 99 per cent of voting stations reporting results, the NDP’s Lisa Marie Barron tallied the most votes and was about 1,000 votes – one and a half percentage points – ahead of the Conservatives’ Tamara Kronis. Green Party incumbent Paul Manly was also close enough that he didn’t concede defeat until midnight.

It took until Sept. 24 before mail-in ballots were counted and Barron was confirmed as MP.

7. Crews fighting wildfire near Ladysmith, Aug. 19

B.C. Wildfire Service firefighters battled a forest fire south of Nanaimo that came to be known as the Mt. Hayes wildfire. The fire grew for about three days to 70 hectares before it was held.

“Thank you to all who have contributed to the wildfire efforts,” noted the Regional District of Nanaimo in a notice rescinding an evacuation alert in the area.

8. Woman who left Nanaimo hospital against medical advice now considered missing, Oct. 25

The 22-year-old woman who had been reported missing was later located “safe and sound,” said Nanaimo RCMP.

9. Island Highway reopens north of Nanaimo after sinkhole caused closure, Nov. 19

A sinkhole opened up on the highway in Lantzville about four kilometres north of Nanaimo after an atmospheric river led to flooding around B.C.

An initial story reporting on the sinkhole was the News Bulletin’s 12th most-read story of the year, and then this update article cracked the top 10.

10. Two workers killed in work-site incident on Gabriola Island, March 16.

Two men died in a work-site accident on Gabriola Island.

Emergency crews were called to a report of a toppled crane on Berry Point Road. RCMP said a boom of a concrete pump truck broke and landed on two workers at a construction site.

“Sadly, both men were pronounced dead at the scene,” noted an RCMP press release.

The men who died, Chris Straw and Marc Doré, were well-known community members.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

2021 Year in Review