Top 5 news stories of 2021 in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering and Clarington

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Published December 27, 2021 at 9:48 am

It was a busy year for news in Durham and while COVID tended to dominate the headlines and you could depend on at least one big story a week involving knives or gunplay, there were other ‘newsy’ stories that caught out attention this past year.

Here is a handful of those stories:

General Motors production returns to Oshawa

We went two years without any vehicles rolling off assembly lines in the Motor City and while the time off gave locals a better understanding of other sectors we’re good at – hello technology, education and health sciences – it was clear we missed our mojo.

So after some backroom wheeling and dealing by the CAW and a little government intervention, truck production triumphantly returned to Oshawa this fall, several months ahead of schedule.

Death threats at Soper Creek

Yeah, this is a crime story, but it’s also a statement on the state of mind of some people who would make death threats against a company because they cancelled a charity event for crying out loud.

The fact the wildlife rehabilitation centre in Clarington cancelled one night of a week- long event because of dangerous 89-kilometre high winds made the actions of a few misguided individuals even worse. “It’s so sad that this is what the world has come to,” said Soper Creek Wildlife rescue leader Stefanie MacEwan.

That about says it all.

People’s Party candidate’s Rosa Parks moment

The sheer arrogance of some ant-vaxxers is one thing, but for a person – someone running for political office, to boot – to compare being required to wear a mask to what Rosa Parks had to endure when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Alabama in 1955 (helping to initiate the civil rights movement in the United States) is something else entirely.

But that’s what Darryl Mackie did at a Tim Horton’s in Oshawa earlier this year, earning himself an arrest and plenty of publicity for his stunt.

As one wag put it, if Mackie was going to play the fool, at least he could have tried for a Canadian ‘moment’ by channeling Viola Desmond, who refused to leave a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia theatre in 1946.

Anti-vaxxers harass Christine Elliot at her Toronto home

Speaking of the anti-vaxx folks, there was this story from earlier this month about a crowd of about 50 people from the Rise Up movement harassing Health Minister Christine Elliot – a long-time Whitby resident who now represents Newmarket-Aurora and lives in Toronto – at her home.

This was also one of our most-read stories of the year.

Boiled water advisory lifted for Mississaugas of Scugog Island

There are many reserves around the country with unsafe drinking water, something of a national shame to many Canadians. Did we know that the First Nations band on Scugog Island was one of them?

The good news is the new water treatment is producing clean, drinkable water, ending a 13-year boiled water advisory – the fourth on the reserve since the 1990s.

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