2012 was the year longboards rolled in the District of North Vancouver while chickens roosted in the City of North Vancouver. Teachers struck, crime rates dipped, old growth trees tumbled, and one exotic fish fell out of a tree.
In 2013 we've got development details to settle in Ambleside and central Lonsdale, a teacher's contract set to expire, a grain silo coming under fire, and a controversial tax scheduled to harmonize for the last time.
Take-home pay cheques will be lower for most in 2013 with EI and CPP premiums going up Jan. 1.
Workers taking home more than $47,400 will pay $891 in employment insurance premiums, a $51 increase.
Canadian Pension Plan premiums are also on the rise, with workers making more than $51,100 paying $2,356 in 2013.
British Columbians will also pay an extra $60 on health-care premiums for a family of three or more beginning Jan. 1. For a single ratepayer, premiums are set to rise by $30.
And it's more expensive to ride transit this year after a fare increase took effect Jan. 1.
Almost all transit fares went up. Adult fares jumped by a quarter on one-and two-zone tickets, and went from $5 to $5.50 on three-zone fares.
One-zone monthly passes went from $81 to $91, with larger increases for other monthly passes.
Following a record year in 2011, Neptune Terminals is looking to upgrade its facilities to handle 18 million metric tonnes a year, a jump of six million tonnes.
Neptune applied to outfit its Low Level Road location with a 12-metre tall dumper, conveyors, and a new, longer shiploader boom last June.
"I would expect that we would have a decision . . . by the end of January," said Allan Baydala, the chief financial officer with Port Metro Vancouver.
The proposed expansion has run afoul of environmentalists who contend that increased dependence on coal, even the steelmaking coal shipped through Neptune, will accelerate global warming.
When measured by weight, coal accounts for approximately one quarter of PMV's exports.
The concerns of local residents will be part of the equation, according to Baydala.
"It's certainly a serious consideration in the process. But our mandate . . . is to facilitate growth in support of the nation's domestic and international trade priorities."
If approved, the improvements will create 185 permanent jobs, according to a release from Neptune.
Another proposal heading back to public consultations early in 2013 is the controversial $120-million expansion of Richardson International's grain-handling terminal along North Vancouver's Low Level Road.
If approved, the expansion would include an 80,000-tonne concrete grain storage silo, increasing the port's annual handling capacity to five million tonnes per year, a boost of two million tonnes.
The possible 55-metre silo has been unpopular with some waterfront residents.
At least two open houses will likely be held to review the project's site, as well as the mitigation of noise, dust and shading, according to Port Metro Vancouver representative Jim Crandles.
The upgrade could mean 50 additional permanent jobs, according to a representative from Richardson.
The City and District of North Vancouver are studying the costs of moving to an independent police force, similar to the West Vancouver Police Department.
Shortly after signing off on the new 20-year RCMP contract last summer, the two North Vancouvers commenced a study to review the financial implications of moving to a North Vancouver police force. The final report is set to be complete by the end of February, according to District of North Vancouver communications officer Jeanine Bratina.
Both North Vancouver mayors were reluctant to sign the most recent RCMP contract due to concerns over spiralling costs.
The current contract cost may increase from $9.7 million in 2011 to $14.6 million in 2014, according to David Stuart, the district's chief administrative officer.
A man who was released from a forensic psychiatric hospital less than six months before his common-law wife was found dead of multiple stab wounds in West Vancouver's Lighthouse Park is scheduled to be sentenced for manslaughter.
Alexander Lawrence LaGlace entered a guilty plea last November while facing second-degree murder charges for the death of Tammy Cordone, whose body was found in a tent in the West Vancouver park in 2009.
LaGlace is set to be sentenced in February, following the completion of a psychiatric report.
The Low Level Road is set to be raised and relocated to make room for two new rail lines this year. The city will contribute 2.39 hectares of land underneath the road for the $104-million project.
Port Metro Vancouver is planning to select a main contractor for the job in February.
The vegetation is scheduled to be removed from the area by March 15 with construction revving up afterwards, according to Cindy McCarthy, communications adviser with Port Metro Vancouver.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2014.
A second public hearing for the controversial Onni development at the Lonsdale Safeway site is tentatively scheduled for February, despite previous claims that the deal was dead.
Onni has proposed building 344 condo units in two towers measuring 180 and 240 feet in height, atop a commercial podium including a new grocery store, as well as 40,000 square feet of office space.
Citing abuse from council, company president Rossano De Cotiis announced plans to withdraw the proposal in December but the project is still on council's books.
The project has earned the endorsement of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce while raising the ire of many citizens, including approximately 1,000 who signed a petition calling on council to reject the proposal.
In West Vancouver, the early portion of 2013 is earmarked for public feedback on the plans to redesign the 1300-block of Marine Drive.
Grosvenor development group unveiled its proposal to level the existing 1300-block, replacing it with tiered mid-rise buildings. The tallest buildings would be a seven-storey tower on the east block and an eight-storey tower on the west block. The development would comprise 88 residential units.
If council approves the plan, Grosvenor would become owners of the block, including the police station, which would be relocated.
A Vancouver developer faces a council-imposed deadline to make substantial renovations to an unsafe building on Lynn Valley Road in the District of North Vancouver.
Calling Dovercourt House "an embarrassment" and "a fire trap," council ordered upgrades for the 100-year-old building including an electrical assessment, fire stairs and automatic sprinklers last October.
The building's tenants are scheduled to move out in early January, thus leaving Dovercourt vacant while the work is completed.
If the work is not completed within the allotted time, district staff could finish the upgrades at the owner's expense.
As of last October, Dovercourt had 10 tenants who paid as little as $300 a month in rent.
Ana Moura, the fado singer credited with a revival of the melancholy and haunting Portuguese music, is set to perform at Capilano University March 3 as part of the school's Global Roots series.
Moura's most recent album reached seventh on Billboard's Top World Albums chart.
A West Vancouver woman accused of enslaving a domestic
worker is due back in court in 2013.
Mumtaz Ladha is facing human trafficking charges for allegedly forcing a 21-year-old woman from Africa to work without pay for a year at her residence on Bramwell Road in British Properties.
After promising the woman work at a hair salon, Ladha allegedly took the woman's passport and forced her to work as many as 18 hours a day.
Following a two-year investigation, Ladha was charged with two counts of organizing illegal entry into Canada.
This is the second time the charge of human trafficking has been approved in B.C.
Like powder-seeking missiles, some of Canada's finest skiers are set to hit the slopes at Whistler for the Alpine Skiing National Championships taking place March 21-27.
The man who was convicted following a vicious beating in North Vancouver is due for sentencing March 25.
Judge Steven Merrick found Paul Joseph Defaveri guilty of assaulting Ronald Perry last September.
Perry told the court how two men beat him inside a North Vancouver bungalow on Sept. 2, 2009. Perry had gone to the house to try to make a deal with the boss of a criminal gang who was angry with him for Perry's earlier involvement in a grow-rip of a marijuana operation in Lions Bay.
Both Perry and Defaveri were living in the house in the 1600block of Phillip Avenue when the attack took place.
Perry was hit from behind with a hammer and had his eyes gouged before being bound and stuffed into a vehicle and driven to Vancouver. He lost one eye and has limited vision in the other.
On April 1, the 12 per cent Harmonized Sales Tax is scheduled to be replaced by the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and the five per cent federal Goods and Services Tax in British Columbia.
It will also be pricier to head out to the islands come April 1, with a 4.1 per cent B.C. Ferries rate hike scheduled to take effect then. Similar increases are pegged for 2014 and 2015.
Seven candidates are scheduled to vie for the leadership of the
federal Liberal party this year, culminating in an April 14 election.
The lead-up to the Liberal showdown also includes debates across the country, including a $20 affair at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver.
Tentatively scheduled for May 14, the B.C. Liberal Party will attempt to hold off the NDP in the provincial election.
On the North Shore, Liberal incumbents Jane Thornthwaite, Ralph Sultan, and Naomi Yamamoto are all set to return to the fray. However, current West Vancouver Sea-to-Sky MLA Joan McIntyre announced she will not seek a third term in 2013.
McIntyre joined 11 MLAs who have said they won't run for re-election.
In North Vancouver-Lonsdale, Yamamoto is set to be challenged by NDP candidate and City of North Vancouver councillor Craig Keating.
The race could have far-reaching ramifications in North Vancouver, as a Keating victory would create an absence on council.
In North Vancouver-Seymour, Thornthwaite is set to run against first-time NDP candidate Jim Hanson.
The provincial contract with the B.C. Teachers' Federation is set to expire on June 30.
The current contract, which was signed after a protracted negotiation that included a three-day walkout by teachers, gave teachers seniority provisions but no wage increases.
West Vancouver is set to host the 2013 Pacific Coast Amateur Golf tournament on July 22-26 at the Capilano Golf and Country Club.
As July gives way to August, the nation's finest lawn bowlers roll onto the pitch for the 2013 Canadian Lawn Bowling Championships, scheduled for Aug. 18-24 at the West Vancouver and North Vancouver Lawn Bowling Clubs.
Each event is earmarked to receive $5,000 in sponsorship from the provincial government.
The City of North Vancouver is preparing to craft an official community plan this year.
The draft is scheduled to be written during the summer with the final document due to be completed this fall.
The OCP is designed to deal with environmental and financial security, integrating transportation with prudent land use, and achieving a healthy community.
The Lions Gate secondary wastewater treatment plant may come into focus with a final design this December.
The $400-million facility, scheduled for completion by the end of the decade, would use a biological process to remove about 90 per cent of dissolved material from liquid waste.
The plant's planned location at the base of Pemberton Avenue is a cause of concern for District of North Vancouver Coun. Doug MacKay-Dunn who suggested rising ocean levels and more frequent hurricanes could flood the plant.
North Shore councils have appealed to the federal government to share the cost of the federally ordered rebuild, but an arrangement has yet to be reached.