New Year’s Day celebrants test the waters off Whiffin Spit during Otter Point Fire Rescue’s annual Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1. More than 80 brave souls brought in 2017 with a quick dip into the frigid waters. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

YEAR IN REVIEW: January

Here’s what happened this year in January

Sooke war veterans and schools received a visit from a bit of Canadian royalty when B.C. Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon stopped by to say hello.

Guichon toured Journey Middle School and Edward Milne Community School, followed by a luncheon at the Royal Canadian Legion, where she met with every veteran in the legion hall thanking them for their service.

Also in January:

• RCMP checking on a burned-out vehicle on the Pacheedaht First Nation reserve in Port Renfrew found human remains inside. Police later deemed the death as foul play. No charges were ever laid.

• A network of freeways and rail lines needled through every stretch of Vancouver Island, a massive bridge near Campbell River connecting the Island to the mainland and trains rolling in and out of Sooke around the clock . It’s all part of the Vancouver Island Party’s grand vision of a more connected region, one it hopes, if elected as government, will create the Island as the 11th province.

• B.C. school districts will receive $50 million in interim funding from the provincial government to help pay for up to 1,100 new teachers across the province, and in the Sooke school district that could mean 18 new teachers.

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600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

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B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

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Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

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Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

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Building a close-knit community in Sooke

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