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2022 Year in Review

While COVID was still a factor at the end of the year, 2022 saw the first significant return to normal after two years of lockdowns and travel restrictions. The pandemic was one of many stories covered by the Bay Observer in 2022.

January

As province passes the 30 Million mark for Vaccinations, there is still concern about the new Omicron variant. Still 1,200 people died of the disease. The city of Hamilton gets a black eye for boarding up hot air vents at City Hall in an effort to stop homeless people from congregating there. A convoy of trucks has descended on Ottawa, blocking streets and harassing residents with honking of air horns.

February

Ontario announces that license plate stickers and accompanying fees are a thing of the past. Prime minister Trudeau invokes the Emergencies Act in order to end the Truck Blockade in Ottawa and Canadian Border Points. COVID hospitalization is Hamilton continue to drop. On February 24, Russian troops invade Ukraine.

March

Ward 15 Councillor Judi Partridge announced she will not seek another term after 12 years on council. Hamilton passes a truck bylaw aimed at limiting large vehicles on residential streets. Former Mayor and MPP Bob Bratina announces he will run for Mayor of Hamilton.

April

The Red Hill Inquiry gets underway in Hamilton with Public hearings. The City of Hamilton reaffirms its mandatory vaccine mandate including possible termination of employees who refuse. The city auditor’s report outlines a litany of problems related to the delay in opening the Grightmire Arena in  Dundas. The future of the Hamilton Waterfront Trust comes under discussion amid waning Council support.

May

Canadian rock legend Ronnie Hawkins dies. The Ontario Election is in full swing. A six hour debate at Hamilton City Council results in a reprieve for un-vaxxed city staffers facing termination. Ray Liotta, best remembered for his role in the film, the Goodfellas dies at age 67. In the wake of two years of COVID, the province reports 22 Million medical and surgical procedures are backlogged.

June

Plans are unveiled to make Plains Road in Burlington more cycling-friendly. The Ford Government is returned with an increased majority. Neil Lumsden is named Minister of Culture and Sport, Donna Skelly to become Deputy  Speaker. Ward 14 Councillor Terry Whitehead announced he will take further medical leave after being sanctioned by council for aggressive behavior. In Burlington, Councillor Shawna Stolte gets into a row with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward over an apology to a former staffer.  Witnesses in the Red Hill Inquiry display poor memories when it comes to details. Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger announces he will not seek re-election.

July

Gary Moore, the former head of engineering during the construction of the Red Hill expressway testifies he did not share the results of a friction report on the highway because he found it to be inconclusive. Pope Francis visits Canada and apologizes for the Residential School scandal. Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson announces he will not run again. Several women are attacked while jogging on city trails. The Murdoch-owned New York Post withdraws its support for Donald Trump. Andrea Horwath announced her candidacy for Mayor of Hamilton. Sara Jama announces her candidacy to take over the NDP held seat.

August

CTV News fires national news anchor Lisa Laflamme, triggering widespread outrage and accusations of ageism. Ward 14 councillor Terry Whitehead announced he will not run again, ending a 19-year council run. Teenage Head guitarist Gord Lewis is stabbed to death in his apartment. The MacNab Street bus terminal is renamed in honour of former HSR boss Frank Cooke. Coyote attacks on the rise in Burlington. The province dissolves the COVID science table. CNN axes its Sunday morning media analysis show Reliable Sources and host Brian Stelter.

September

COVID travel restriction between Canada and the US are finally lifted. The two owners of Torstar announce they are dissolving their partnership after months of infighting. The fall fair season kicks off in Hamilton with large crowds after two years of COVID restrictions. Controversy over a transgender Halton shop teacher who shows up wearing enormous prosthetic breasts. The dismantling of the Hamilton Waterfront Trust is confirmed. Outspoken Conservative Pierre Poilievre  is elected leader of the party on the first ballot.

October

In what some have dubbed the dog-caught-the-car election, Andrea  Horwath wins the mayoralty over Keanin Loomis and Bob Bratina and is joined by eight new councillors as three incumbents go down to defeat. It is announced that the owners of the iconic Westtown Tavern may put it up for sale. Several new members of council vow to boycott Spectator reporters over news coverage that they say disaffected Kojo Damptey’s council campaign in Ward 14. The least likely of all the pioneers of Rock ‘n Roll to still be alive, Jerry Lee Lewis passes. McMaster’s new student residence will be named for Lincoln Alexander. The province announces sweeping changes in land use policy aimed at increasing the supply of housing.

November

A damning report on the trouble-plagued Ottawa LRT project results in the resignation of the city manager. Hamilton sports teams looking for new quarters after it is learned the First Ontario Centre will be closed for renovations. Province steps in to cancel Hamilton’s freeze of urban boundary. A 26-year sewage spill is discovered in Hamilton’s industrial area. A strike by CUPE education workers ends. Michael Andlauer, owner of the Hamilton Bulldogs, is touted as a possible purchaser of the Ottawa Senators. Burlington announced the Robert Bateman School project will cost $80 Million.

December

British tabloid press explodes in anger of Harry as Megan’s tell-all documentary series airs on Netflix. Hamilton Police announce a budget ask of $196 Million- a nearly 7 percent increase. Canadian baseball icon and hall-of-famer Ferguson Jenkins turns 80. Pierre Poilievre loses first electoral test as leader in Mississauga by-election. Hamilton Airport announced record cargo traffic. Peter Khill is found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of Jonathan Styres. A savage winter storm interrupts power for 400,000 Ontario homes. Hamilton given another year to complete dredging of Chedoke Creek in the wake of dispute with first nations activists. OPP officer Greg Pierzchala is killed in ambush shooting by wanted gunman. As the Democrats prepare to give up control of the House of Representatives the January 6 Commission releases its report. Children aged five and up are eligible for the bivalent COVID booster shot.

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