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These were the top New West news stories of 2023: Year in Review

The year in headlines from New West in 2023.
The New Westminster Senior A Salmonbellies kicked off their 2023 season with a win against the Nanaimo Timbermen at Queen’s Park Arena on May 25, 2023.

School board scandals, a Mann Cup run and an only-in-New West Price is Right delight – it’s been a busy year of news in B.C.’s first capital city.

What made the front pages in 2023?

The New West Record has reviewed the year that was and rounded up this year’s top news stories.


Dee Beattie scandal

In June, New West school trustee Dee Beattie admitted she was behind a fake Twitter account that came under fire for making "inappropriate comments" towards local parents and others.

The "fake account" in question was a Twitter account in the name of "Allan Whitterstone" (@alfromNW) that was exposed when New West parent Sarah Arboleda went public on Twitter with a thread suggesting that "Allan" — who had targeted parents, among others — was, in fact, Beattie.

After calls for her to resign from the school board and the New Westminster district parent advisory council, Beattie officially stepped down from her position in September.

Beattie’s resignation has triggered a school board byelection this February to fill the vacant seat – something to watch for in 2024.

Other education stories from 2023

With files from Julie MacLellan


The Salmonbellies were so close.

After defeating Langley Thunder, the Bellies earned a spot in the national lacrosse championship to face off against the Six Nations Chiefs in the 2023 Mann Cup this past September.

New West hadn’t been to the Mann Cup since 1991.

But the Bellies fell to Six Nations after a hard-fought five-game series.

Series coverage by New West Record reporter Theresa McManus:

Bonus: A Bellies Pale Ale is out right in time for the Mann Cup in New West


The Price is Right contestant enjoys a “priceless” trip to New Westminster (November/December): After Philip Fitzpatrick lost out on a trip to British Columbia that included a six-night stay at the Inn at the Quay, Tourism New Westminster launched a #SearchForPhillip social media campaign with the goal of bringing The Price is Right contestant to town. Fitzpatrick, accompanied by a longtime friend and travel buddy, visited New West from Dec. 5 to 9.

Homelessness soars to unprecedented levels with a 65% rise in New West (November): More than 200 people are homeless in New Westminster – a number that’s grown by 65 per cent in the past three years.

Columbia Square Plaza transformation: Thousands of new homes proposed in New West (June): A transformation of Columbia Square Plaza could see thousands of new homes, retail, and community and public spaces created on the prominent site in downtown New Westminster.

Could New West's loquat leaf oak be the only one in Canada? (February): A tree that’s native to Mexico – and possibly the only one in Canada – got a new home in New Westminster.

Samson V closed after oil spill on Fraser River (July): The Samson V was determined to be the source of an oil spill on the Fraser River.

Changes coming to Belmont Street parklet in uptown New West in 2023/2024 (March): The City of New Westminster’s capital budget includes $290,070 in 2023 and $4.2-million in 2024 for streetscape improvements on Belmont Street, Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue, including intersection improvements at Sixth and Sixth. The work is part of the Sixth Street Great Street initiative, which envisions a people-centred public realm.

Local business

Here are some of our most read local business stories of 2023.

Paddlewheeler Pub closes after 37 years on New West waterfront (October)

O Tannenbaum! New German restaurant opens in New West (February)

Ronsons Shoes liquidation store opens in New West - temporarily (March)

New West café struggles to stay afloat, seeks community’s help (May)

Meet the ‘angel’ behind New West’s newest bakery (March)

Breaking news

New West police investigating after pedestrian killed by truck (Feb. 20)

Fire crews battle blaze at New Westminster recycling plant (July 23)


And the New Westminster Record has gone online-only as we said farewell on Aug. 10 to our weekly print edition.

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