NEWS
09/17/2016 11:00 EDT | Updated 09/18/2017 01:12 EDT

Weekly wrap: Fentanyl, creep catchers and a shaker

News stories involving animals always seem to be popular and this week, many readers were drawn to the story of a humpback rescued from fish farm ropes — the whale thrashed in distress for 12 hours before rescuers were able to set it free.

The story was one of our most popular in the British Columbia section of the CBC News website this week, and for good reason: the 10-metre-long juvenile humpback suffered deep cuts but rescuers are hopeful it will recover.

Meanwhile, our readers also care about hard-hitting journalism that delves deep into issues that touch the lives of ordinary Canadians. 

Facing fentanyl head on

This week our investigative team took an in-depth approach to the multiple facets of the fentanyl crisis hitting families across the country. 

The powerful painkiller is said to be up to 100 times more potent than morphine or heroin. A dose the size of a grain of salt has killed hundreds across Canada, and forced B.C. to declare a public health emergency in April.

The series started last weekend, and one of the stories our readers read the most was about what happened when our reporters phoned every drug rehab facility in British Columbia about finding treatment care.

This story about a fentanyl addict trying to find a treatment bed also seemed to hit a nerve with our audience. Bryson Diaz has overdosed 11 times in his 23 years but hasn't been able to access publicly funded treatment. 

Vancouver firefighters have been racing to revive fentanyl addicts with does of the opioid antidote naloxone — they're usually first on the scene responding to medical calls after someone passes out on the street in the city's Downtown Eastside.

Vigilante justice

Meanwhile, another set of stories captured our audience after a vigilante pedophile-hunting group claimed to have caught a RCMP officer meeting with one of the group's decoys, who had posed as a 14-year-old girl online.

RCMP later arrested one of their own on allegations including child luring and sexual exploitation, but not until after Creep Catchers publicly named the wrong officer. 

Shortly afterwards, a deputy sheriff in Kamloops was facing four child-sex charges after a similar group there caught him in a sting. 

If you have the time today, do read Jason Proctor's analysis on why 'justice as entertainment' means never having to say you're sorry. Jason makes the case for why our boring, old justice system pales in comparison to the exciting world of vigilantism. 

Lastly, it wouldn't be B.C. without an earthquake reminding all of us that we should all be prepared for The Big One. It could be decades before it hits but the threat looms large in the minds of West Coast residents.

This week's shake happened in Oliver, B.C., where an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 to 4.2 shook people out of their beds for up to 25 seconds. 

If anything, it's a good reminder for all of us to get our earthquake kits ready — and possibly include a bike in those kits.

Each week we put together a list of some of the stories you might have missed: those which dominated the news agenda; those which passed it by; and some we just can't resist retelling.