CBC Edmonton's top news stories of 2014
Expense scandals, mass murders, and a controversial switch in political loyalties made Edmonton headlines in 2014. Here are CBC Edmonton's picks for the top stories of the year.
1. Alison Redford’s resignation, Sky Palace and government planes
The $45,000 trip to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral was the beginning of a series of scandals in 2014 that brought down Alberta’s first female premier and threatened to end the Alberta Progressive Conservatives' 43-year grip on power.
Redford stepped down in March. A week later CBC News broke the story about how a luxury penthouse was being built for her on top of the Federal Building. More revelations followed about Redford’s use of government planes, which culminated in a scathing report from Auditor General Merwan Saher.
Saher famously used the term “aura of power” to describe why people failed to raise questions about expenditures in the premier's office.
2. Mass murder in Edmonton
3. Travis Vader
4. Jim Prentice becomes premier
Since then, Prentice has worked to erase the excesses of the Redford era. He even put the government planes up for sale, a move the PCs have resisted since Ralph Klein was premier.
5. Collapse of the Wildrose Party
6. Changes in foreign worker regulations
It’s no secret to anyone who lives in Alberta. The province is home to thousands of temporary foreign workers. Following a number of stories outlining abuses of the program, federal employment minister Jason Kenney put limits in place. Businesses in Alberta were outraged and said they would have to start limiting hours to deal with the labour shortage. When he became premier, Jim Prentice vowed to raise the issue with the prime minister.
7. Terrible Oilers
The last time the team was in the playoffs was 2006, when they made it to the Stanley Cup finals. Since then, coaches have been hired and fired, first overall draft picks have been selected and the team still dwells at the bottom of the NHL standings. Last week, veteran hockey writer Jim Matheson tweeted that this is the worst he’s seen in 35 years of covering the team.
Meanwhile, the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings sated the city’s desire for a championship team by winning the Memorial Cup.
8. Pipe bomb airport incident
An event that happened on Sept. 20, 2013, but wasn’t made public until January, became one of the biggest stories of the year. Skylar Vincent Murphy, then 18, was caught with a pipe bomb in his bag at Edmonton International Airport, but was allowed to board his flight. after security confiscated the device. The breach raised questions about security protocols and whether authorities deliberately withheld information from the public.
9. Two killed in mass stabbing at the Loblaw warehouse
10. Ground finally breaks on downtown arena
Other big stories in 2014:
- Suncor worker Lorna Weafer killed by a bear
- Metro LRT line to NAIT delayed
- Crash landing of Air Canada Express plane at Edmonton International Airport
- Debate over Bill 10 and gay-straight alliances