The Loop is your guide to the ins and outs of Edmonton. Host Tara McCarthy takes you behind the stories from the CBC Edmonton newsroom, to dig deeper and bring you closer to your city and community.
Condemning racism at recent rally
A rally held at the Alberta legislature last weekend was to protest COVID public health orders, but images and footage circulated of protestors carrying lit tiki torches through the streets of Edmonton. The torches are a symbol of white supremacy used by the Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, and more recently at a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Then this week, news came out about another attack on a Muslim woman in Edmonton. These messages and actions of hate have no place in our city, province or country. It has led to calls that provincial leaders speak out to denounce these racist acts. Seeon Smith is a long-time advocate for multicultural tolerance and understanding. He joins The Loop to talk about how the recent rally goes deeper than white supremacy. CBC is currently running a pop-up bureau in Red Deer with reporter Heather Marcoux covering stories in the community. She looks at the need for greater overdose prevention support in the central Alberta city. Plus, why four Somali-Canadian sisters started their own publishing company, and Edmonton students share what Blackness means to them.
(Students featured from J.D. Bracco School are: Khalid Mohammed Ali, Maliyah Kok, Mitchell Emmanuel, Dominnik Despres, John Tamakloe, Lamara Frazer, Jermaine Clarke, Zion Valani, Ibrahim Ali, Joaquin Harriott, Destiny Leacock, Redwan Yusuf, and Ange Louke.)
Public outcry as homeless forced out into cold
Edmontonians are voicing their anger, heartbreak and frustration over a video posted on social media last weekend. It shows uniformed police officers ordering homeless people out of the Central LRT station in -21 C weather. An Indigenous-led outreach initiative called Bear Clan Patrol was there, providing people with clothing and food. Officers are heard telling them to leave because they’re eating and not wearing masks, saying “this isn’t a restaurant,” without supporting them to find somewhere warm to go. Councillor Aaron Paquette talks about what needs to be done to better support citizens experiencing homelessness in Edmonton. CBC investigative reporter Jennie Russell looks at why Alberta’s whistleblower legislation needs to change. Local hip-hop artist Arlo Maverick discusses his new single that aims to further the conversation around policing in Black communities. Plus, hear how a community initiative has provided thousands of people with free meals.
BONUS: In conversation with D’orjay The Singing Shaman
This year has already been a big one for Edmonton musician D’orjay The Singing Shaman. She’s receiving a lot of attention for her debut album, New Kind of Outlaw. Her songwriting doesn’t shy away from getting vulnerable and exploring her lived experiences. At the same time, there are important discussions taking place about racism in country music after a video surfaced of chart-topper Morgan Wallen using a racial slur. Tara and D’orjay had plenty to talk about that we couldn’t fit into The Loop this week, so this bonus episode provides their full conversation on her debut success, as well as racism and gender issues in the music genre.
Challenges with changing restrictions
As COVID restrictions ease in the province, some are happy to be back at work, returning to restaurants, and scheduling sports practices again. A handful of Albertans also threw caution to the wind — a video surfaced this week of a group flouting dining rules at a local restaurant. On the other side of it, many managers and organizers are wading through another set of new restrictions, while others have come to the realization that reopening is no longer a feasible option. In this episode, Jay Ouellette with Edmonton Youth Basketball talks about how sports organizations are working through last-minute changes, and Lisa Caputo discusses why it was time to close the doors at Cibo Bistro permanently. CBC reporter Min Dhariwal takes a look at how the farmers’ protest in India is resonating with people in Edmonton. Plus, a conversation with local musician D’orjay The Singing Shaman about her debut album’s success, as well as racism in country music. And we think we’ve figured out the best new name for Edmonton’s CFL team.
Clearing the COVID contact tracing backlog
As Albertans prepare for an easing of COVID restrictions next week, some business owners are ready to get back at it and some people look forward to working out at the gym again or dining at a pub. However, others think it’s too much too soon as news continues about the presence of variant strains in the province. It brings up questions about whether we know how and where COVID cases are spreading, so CBC reporter and associate producer Stephen Cook takes a look at where we’re at with contact tracing in Alberta. Rowan Ley with the University of Alberta Students’ Union explains how a colony of penguin snow sculptures got the conversation started about cuts to post-secondary education. CBC reporter Josee St-Onge explores the fascinating story of what an antique shop owner discovered when he purchased an estate belonging to the late Madame Rac, a beloved Edmonton piano teacher. Plus, a new local radio station brings Indigenous music and language to Edmonton airwaves.
Pandemic leads to troubling trend in heart health
This week marked one year since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Canada. Numbers are coming down in Alberta, but there are still over 8,000 active cases in the province and many restrictions remain in place. The pandemic has affected lives in many ways, some for better and some for worse. This week, CBC reporter Janet French looks at how the pandemic is interfering with stages of care for heart patients, while reporter Travis McEwan explores how bridge housing in Edmonton provides a safe place to stay and support to people struggling with homelessness. Local fashion blogger Marielle Elizabeth just had an article featured on Vogue’s website. She joins Tara to discuss welcome changes in the style and sustainability of plus-size fashion. Plus, a new bakery business delivers bread and biscuits by bicycle.