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Category: Canada

The Grant Notley Plane Crash

The Grant Notley Plane Crash

Every reporter wants to cover the biggest story of the day, the week, the month, or best of all, the year, even if it’s a story that breaks their heart. If they would rather that someone else cover it, they’re in the wrong business. Sometimes tragedy is part of the journalistic experience, whether it’s the victims of an angry grizzly bear, the gross mistreatment of a foster child, or a terrible accident – like the Humboldt bus crash. In those…

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Stumbling Into a Career

Stumbling Into a Career

Along with marriage, the choice of what occupation to follow is likely the most important decision we make in our lives. People often spend 40 years in a particular line of work, approximately 40 hours a week, so it is crucial that they actually enjoy what they are doing or at least don’t hate it. I’ve known many people who realized from a very young age what profession they wanted to work in someday and quite a few others who…

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The Grant Fuhr Story

The Grant Fuhr Story

Like many journalistic investigations it began with a tip. Edmonton Oiler star goaltender Grant Fuhr apparently has a long-term serious cocaine problem, I was told. The Hall of Famer had also spent some time in a drug treatment centre recently and his frustrated ex-wife may be willing to talk about it, the person added. My source was impeccable, but second hand, so there was a lot of work to be done to confirm or disconfirm the story because in Canada,…

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The Killer Bear of Whiskey Creek

The Killer Bear of Whiskey Creek

It was the year of the bear. It seemed like there was a serious bear attack on a person in Alberta virtually every other week in the summer of 1980. It was so bad that it became a joke around the Edmonton Journal newsroom that the paper should establish a Bear Bureau, just to keep up. One enormous and ferocious grizzly bear deservedly drew most of the attention in the end with three savage attacks that severely injured four people,…

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Festival Express

Festival Express

“I don’t know where you’ve been all week, but we’ve been at a party.” – Janis Joplin I always enjoy Canada Day because I love this country the way every immigrant does. On this July 1st I will celebrate it by telling the tale of my favourite Canada Day – 1970 in Winnipeg, two years after I emigrated to Canada and five years before I became a citizen. That day is part of a larger narrative – the greatest rock…

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Like a Rolling Stone

Like a Rolling Stone

Sometimes I just can’t make up my mind. That’s when I leave things up to fate. It was late September 1970, and I had been hanging out at my parents’ place in West Orange, New Jersey, for about a month. It was my second visit that year and it was clearly time to move on. But where to? I could hitchhike back to Edmonton and see if I could land a job, but I was also tempted to head north…

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