Oshawa’s Top News Stories of 2015

Image (c) Ron Pietroniro / Metroland file photo Former Oshawa Councillor Robert Lutczyk

Image (c) Ron Pietroniro / Metroland file photo
Former Oshawa Councillor Robert Lutczyk

What were the top news stories in Oshawa in 2015?  We counted down our top five:

5:  Durham Region high school students received an unexpected vacation when Durham Region high school teachers on strike on Monday, April 20, 2015, after talks between the board and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation broke down.  After five weeks the Ontario government ruled the strike illegal, and on May 27, 2015, 21,000 Durham students went back to class.

4:  After the Supreme Court ruled that reciting prayer before council meetings violated the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, Oshawa Mayor John Henry defended the practice, saying the Lord’s Prayer would continue to be recited before the formal meeting commences in council chambers. After the story caught the attention of the Toronto Star, National Post and Global Television and was widely circulated throughout Ontario media, Council decided to vote on the issue.  And nine out of ten councillors, including Mayor Henry, voted to remove the Lord’s Prayer from meetings.

3:  The “Make a Difference — An Initiative to Address Poverty” campaign was launched as a pilot project to break the low expectations of children living in Oshawa’s twelve neediest schools.  Implemented by the Durham District School Board and community partners, the third year of this program saw substantially improved test scores, fewer absences, greater student pride, and more involved parents.  For a city that has the dubious honour of having one in five children living in poverty, this was an under-recognized achievement in the fight to break the cycle for Oshawa’s children.

2:  On May 31, 2015, the Oshawa Generals won the 97th edition of the Memorial Cup in Quebec, when rookie Anthony Cirelli scored 1:28 into overtime, taking a 2-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets.  Cirelli scored both of Oshawa’s goals, while goalie Ken Appleby deflected 37 of 38 shots in the game.  It was the fifth time Oshawa has won the prestigious Memorial Cup, and on June 2, 2015, the City of Oshawa celebrated the Generals with a downtown parade and celebration at the GM Centre.

1:  A three year legal saga drew to a dramatic close on December 1, 2015 when former city councillor Robert Lutczyk plead guilty to kidnapping and two weapons offences relating to the abduction of Oshawa City solicitor David Potts.   The bizarre case began when Lutczyk lay in wait for Potts outside his home in Courtice on the night of Oct. 15, 2012. Lutczyk, who blamed David Potts for a variety of issues in his life, abducted him at gunpoint, and threatened to shoot him.  Potts managed to escape, leaving Lutczyk in a 27 hour stand-off with police.  But the story isn’t over yet: Lutczyk’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 2016.

What was your top new story of 2015?  Share in the comments.

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