The <em>Surrey Now-Leader</em>’s top 10 most-clicked-on stories of the year ranged from a a campaign stop by then-Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to an over-the-top wedding to a fatal crash, involving three teens. (File photos: Now-Leader)

The Surrey Now-Leader’s top 10 most-clicked-on stories of the year ranged from a a campaign stop by then-Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to an over-the-top wedding to a fatal crash, involving three teens. (File photos: Now-Leader)

YEAR IN REVIEW: Surrey, here are the most-read online stories in 2021

From a scratch-ticket win to an over-the-top wedding, these are the Now-Leader’s top 10 stories

1. Three teens killed in Fraser Heights crash

In the early hours of Aug. 21, three teens – Ronin Sharma and Caleb Reimer, both 16 years old, and 17-year-old Parker Magnuson – were killed in the single-vehicle collision in the 16000-block of 104 Avenue. Police have said speed was a factor in the crash.

Their emotional funerals, held both in-person and online, were attended by hundreds of people. A memorial is still in place at the crash site.

2. Surrey senior hit with $5,700-fine for cross-border gas trip

Following the federal government’s announcement that British Columbians from border communities could go to the U.S. for gas and essential reasons and return without a COVID-19 PCR test after the historic flooding in November, a South Surrey grandmother decided to make the trip.

Marlane Jones thought she was doing the right thing by going into the U.S. to buy gasoline after the B.C. government placed a 30-litre limit on the amount of fuel drivers are allowed to purchase at one time.

Instead, Jones was hit with a $5,700 fine.

3. Big, fat ferris-wheel wedding awakens residents’ ire in Surrey

A Surrey wedding, complete with a full-sized ferris wheel, kept residents up Oct. 19.

The multi-day event was a wedding for Punjabi singer-actor Parmish Verma and his bride, Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Liberal MP candidate Geet Grewal, who was defeated in the most recent election, featured a full-on ferris wheel and attracted more than 40 noise complaints to the RCMP and City of Surrey.

Two days later, the city had issued 15 tickets for parking infractions and towed a number of vehicles that belonged to party guests, with plans to investigate illegal tents and electrical work. Surrey RCMP was also investigating violations to COVID-19 public health orders.

4. Surrey records nine-week COVID-19 case increase

The week of April 11 to 17, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 1,698 COVID-19 cases in Surrey, with weekly case counts increasing for nine weeks.

Surrey would see one more week of increased case counts (1,760 cases for April 18 to 24), before the third wave would drop off to a low of 24 cases one week in July.

Now, B.C. is seeing a fifth wave, with cases increasing once again.

5. Abbotsford farmer grows, harvests ‘world’s most expensive spice’

Abbotsford farmer Avtar Dhillon was the first in the Fraser Valley – and one of a handful in Canada – to grow and sell the flower that produce’s the world’s most expensive spice: saffron.

Dhillon discovered the valley’s rainy climate and rich soil was ideal for growing saffron, a crop normally associated with arid regions.

Then came the flooding in the valley in November. Dhillon was crushed when he thought all that hard work was washed away after catastrophic flooding hit the Sumas Prairie starting in mid-November.

But when the floodwaters receded enough for Dhillon to walk his farmland on Sunday (Dec. 5), he was shocked to discover that his saffron flowers were much tougher than he thought, with some flowers already re-sprouting.

6. Broad-daylight shooting at North Delta mall

Bikramdeep Randhawa, a 29-year-old Surrey resident, was shot and killed near Delta’s Scottsdale Centre on May 1. The shooting of Randhawa, a B.C. Corrections officer, is believed to be targeted.

The high-profile shooting happened on a Saturday, just before 5 p.m., with video showing a person dressed in black and holding what appears to be handgun while running away from a crashed car. The person then jumps into the rear passenger side of an SUV.

7. Surrey’s most expensive home

Located at 2021 Indian Fort Dr., Surrey’s most-expensive home (but ranked 76th provincewide) was valued at $18,016,000, according to BC Assessment. That was an increase of about $68,000 from the year prior.

8. Surrey couple files noise complaint against blueberry farmer

A Surrey couple that moved to Morgan Creek in March filed a noise complaint against a nearby blueberry farm that they said was keeping them up at night.

9. Surrey couple plans to buy a house after scratch-ticket win

A Surrey couple was looking to buy a home in the Lower Mainland – and maybe taking a trip to Disneyland – after winning the top prize in a scratch-and-win ticket.

Joelle Young and her boyfriend John Ready won the $200,000-top prize on the Maximum Gold scratch ticket over the summer.

10. Justin Trudeau faces protest at South Surrey campaign stop

It was during the 2021 federal election campaign, when then Liberal-Leader Justin Trudeau was visting that a quiet residential street quickly turned into a chaotic scene

Some people screamed obscenities as Trudeau and South Surrey-White Rock candidate Gordie Hogg made a campaign stop in South Surrey.

Trudeau was ultimately re-elected with a minority government, while Hogg lost to Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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Year in Review