A look at The Canadian Press's coverage plans for the end of the year and beyond

Editors:

The Canadian Press has a long-standing tradition of preparing a comprehensive slate of stories running throughout the historically slow holiday period. This year, marked by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a national reckoning on Canada's treatment of Indigenous peoples and a federal election among other major events, is no exception.

Here is a list of year-end stories we are working on. Dates are subject to change.

If you have questions, please contact Acting Director of Continuous News Kevin Ward (kevin.ward@thecanadianpress.com), Acting Managing Editor Tim Cook (tim.cook@thecanadianpress.com), or Weekends and Special Projects Editor Michelle McQuigge (Michelle.McQuigge@thecanadianpress.com.

Wednesday, Dec. 1:

Is Quebec rights commission overstepping its authority? 

YEAR-Que-Rights-Commission

MONTREAL – The Supreme Court of Canada turned its attention to the world of comedy this year, ruling that a routine by Quebec comic Mike Ward had not discriminated against a well-known young singer who is disabled. The ruling in October was hailed as a victory for free speech, and in arriving at its decision, the high court sent a warning to the Quebec human rights commission that it was a stretch to expand its jurisdiction to cases alleging discriminatory speech by individuals. By Jacob Serebrin.

Friday, Dec. 3:

Truck drivers face wage crunch despite labour shortage 

YEAR-Trucker-Shortage

MONTREAL – Truck services are more in demand than ever, driven by the pandemic’s online sales surge combined with a massive labour shortage. So why do drivers continue to face stagnant wages and longer — often unpaid — delays at delivery points amid high job turnover? 800 words. By Christopher Reynolds. Moves Business. PHOTO

Saturday, Dec. 4:

Southern Alberta police force faces controversy, turmoil

YEAR-Lethbridge-Police 

It's been a tumultuous year for the Lethbridge Police Service in southern Alberta. Several officers faced allegations of conducting illegal database searches for personal use. And the province’s justice minister threatened to disband the force. The police chief has said change is on the way. By Bill Graveland.

Sunday, Dec. 5:

Ex-TV weather forecaster predicts climate catastrophe and hunger for UN

YEAR-UN-Food-Forecaster

OTTAWA – Jesse Mason grew up in Vancouver, passionate about the outdoors. He channeled that into a university degree in atmospheric science that eventually landed him a job as a television weather forecaster. That seemingly unlikely path led him to his current job, one with life-and-death implications for millions of people around the world. At the UN World Food Program, he’s charged with trying to get ahead of bad weather and climate catastrophes so the UN can prevent people from starving. By Mike Blanchfield. 800 words.

Monday, Dec. 6:

A look at the impact of Nova Scotia’s pioneering organ donor law 

YEAR-NS-Organ-Donation

HALIFAX – In January, Nova Scotia became the first jurisdiction in North America to implement presumed consent around organ donation. Under the law, all Nova Scotians will be considered potential organ donors unless they opt out. The move had its critics, and this story will look at what results the organ donation program has yielded in the law’s first year and whether fears of ethical problems have materialized. By Keith Doucette. 

Tuesday, Dec. 7:

Is mRNA a glimpse at the future of medicine?

YEAR-Vaccine-Technology

UNDATED -- Most Canadians didn't know much about messenger RNA technology when two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines first arrived on scene. The technology, while not new, seems poised to revamp the medical landscape from cancer treatment to vaccines for other infectious diseases. What does the future of mRNA look like, and how far can scientists take it? By Melissa Couto Zuber.

Wednesday, Dec. 8:

Securing the digital vaults: preparedness seen as key to preventing ransomware attacks

YEAR-Ransomware

OTTAWA — As more cybercriminals hack into systems and hold vital information hostage, federal officials are quietly working with partners across Canada to prevent the next ransomware attack through education, system assessments and tailored guidance. 700 words. By Jim Bronskill.

The race for sustainable jet fuel takes shape

YEAR-Green-Jet-Fuel

CALGARY – As Canada seeks to cut emissions from oil and gas, where does that leave the aviation sector? A look into the opportunities and challenges of sustainable jet fuel. 800 words. By Amanda Stephenson. Moves Business. PHOTO

Thursday, Dec. 9:

Gone in 60 seconds: Car thieves go high tech

Ont-Car-Thefts-Tech 

Car thefts are on the rise across Ontario, largely due to a rise in technology that allows thieves to steal vehicles within seconds. We will explore how this is being done, how big the problem has become, where the cars are going and what drivers can do to protect themselves. By Liam Casey. 

COVID is going to be around for a while: experts

YEAR-COVID-End

UNDATED – A perceptible shift of concerns from both public and politicians will mark the end of the pandemic rather than bells and banners, say experts. Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Toronto, said while vaccines are extremely important, strong political leadership and policy is what will help bring the virus under control. By Hina Alam.

Friday, Dec. 10

Eating disorders overwhelm the system to help with them

YEAR-Ont-Youth-Eating-Disorders

In the last year, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has seen a 35 per cent annual increase of admissions to its eating disorder program, while its inpatient psychiatry unit has been at or over capacity. We look at what’s behind the increase and the efforts to tackle the issue. By Noushin Ziafati.

Saturday, Dec. 11:

Coal debate put focus on Alberta's mountain playgrounds

YEAR-Alta-Coal 

EDMONTON – Coal mining in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains has been a topic of debate in the province this year, as the government waits to hear from Albertans about how or if they want the industry in their beloved summits and foothills. The issue has opened a discussion in the province about whether its landscape can support endlessly increasing demands from both industry and recreation. By Bob Weber.

Sunday, Dec. 12:

Fix health-care backlogs and ease health-worker burnout? There is a way.

YEAR-Health-Backlogs

OTTAWA -- COVID-19 has thrown Canada’s already struggling health-care system into chaos, forcing impossible choices when it comes to how to rebuild once the pandemic has ebbed. A Harvard professor from the former Soviet Union with an affinity for Canada claims he has the silver bullet solution: make surgeons work weekends. 800 words. By Laura Osman.

Pot holes: Unveven distribution of cannabis stores a challenge for industry

YEAR-Cannabis-Clusters

TORONTO – Dozens of municipalities across Canada have opted out of allowing cannabis stores to set up shops within their borders. Elsewhere, clusters of pot retailers are popping up but sales aren't climbing even as stores cluster. We look at how the irregular distribution of cannabis stores is impacting licensed producers and consumers. 800 words. By Tara Deschamps. Moves Business. PHOTO

Monday, Dec. 13: 

News Diary: Some of the top news events of 2021

YEAR-Diary

UNDATED — An in-brief look at some of the most significant news events of the last 12 months, in chronological order. Moves ONLINE OUT, will be sent online Dec. 31. Moves National.

The Canadian Press will move a package of year-end photos on Tuesday, Dec. 7 to accompany the year-end news diary. The photos can be used with the diary or as a stand-alone package. A detailed advisory on the timing of the package will be sent to photo subscribers.

_

Bubble to Beijing: Canada's weird curling season

YEAR-CUR-Strange-Season 

A curling season that ended with the naming of Canada's representatives at the Beijing Olympics began in an unusual fashion, with Calgary hosting seven high-profile events over three months in a "curling bubble" to protect against the spread of COVID-19. 700 words. By Gregory Strong. Moves: Sports

Are tourism hunters back in Canada this year?

YEAR-Wildlife-Hunting

OTTAWA – The ban on tourists coming to Canada because of COVID-19 has boosted the country’s wildlife population significantly. There are thousands more bears, moose and other animals usually shot by hunters, many of them Americans who have been prevented from coming to Canada for two seasons due to travel restrictions. A look at how things might change now that tourism is set to pick up with reopened borders. By Marie Woolf.

Tuesday, Dec. 14:

Dog days: The fallout of the pandemic puppy boom

YEAR-Pandemic-Puppies

TORONTO — COVID-19 lockdown led to a surge in demand for canine companionship. But as vaccination has allowed Canadians to reemerge from their homes, many new dog owners are struggling to figure out how Fido fits into their routines. We talk to pet professionals about how the “pandemic puppy” boom has given rise to behavioural challenges and animal welfare concerns. By Adina Bresge.

Indigenous people far more likely to die of opioid deaths 

YEAR-Indigenous-Opioid-Deaths 

VANCOUVER - Figures show the number of opioid deaths of Indigenous people in several parts of Canada has increased dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the government is working to combat systemic oppression of Indigenous Peoples, it has yet to adequately address the country’s overdose crisis for the same population, experts say. By Brieanna Charlebois. PHOTO. 

YEAR-News-Story: The news story of the year. Moves National.

Wednesday, Dec. 15:

Does Atlantic Canada need its foghorns?

YEAR-Foghorns

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. - In February, the foghorn at the Chebucto Head lighthouse in Nova Scotia fell silent. The contraption emitting the mournful howl needed repairs, and the Canadian Coast Guard deemed the fix unnecessary -- ships have fancy GPS navigation systems now, it was argued. After considerable public outcry, the coast guard launched consultations with mariners about the foghorn’s utility, but there is no escaping the questions about whether nostalgia is reason enough to justify the survival of the warning signals. By Sarah Smellie.

Small northern community carves out future

YEAR-Nunavut-Carvers 

GJOA HAVEN, Nvt. — A small community in western Nunavut is home to some of the most famous carvers in the territory. Gjoa Haven is known for its shaman-style carvings, which often take the form of intricately crafted faces with bug eyes. By Emma Tranter.

YEAR-Newsmaker: The newsmaker of the year. Moves National.

Thursday, Dec. 16:

Gross misconduct: Sexual assault allegations rock sports world

YEAR-Sports-Scandal

The Chicago Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal cast an unflattering light on how issues of abuse are dealt with in high-level sports. The problem goes well beyond hockey, with track and soccer among other sports dealing with sexual misconduct or assault allegations against coaches. Moves: Sports

Calling it quits: Pandemic leads people to back out

YEAR-Quitting

With almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic under our belts, many of us seem to be giving up. Some people have quit their jobs. Some have quit their marriages. Experts discuss burnout across the country. By Fakiha Baig.

Friday, Dec. 17:

'Thrash colonialism:' Indigenous skateboard company thrives

YEAR-Indigenous-Skateboards.  

A Regina-based skateboarding company uses art on their decks to educate people about Indigenous history and to "thrash colonialism." The company was started by an inter-generational residential school survivor. By Mickey Djuric.

Saturday, Dec: 18:

Pandemic stress shows up in teeth, dentists 

YEAR-Cracked-Teeth

VICTORIA - The stress and anxiety of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is revealing itself in people’s mouths, say dentists who are seeing increasing cases of patients with cracked, broken and damaged teeth over the past 20 months. By Dirk Meissner. PHOTO

Sunday, Dec. 19:

Businesses worry of debt cliff amid uncertain economic future

COVID-Economy

OTTAWA—Things are looking up for the Canadian economy heading into the new year, but not all is well. The ranks of long-term unemployed is well above pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, many small businesses have 12 months to repay emergency federal loans to get some of the amount forgiven. But with an uncertain economic future, worry is now building that many of those businesses, and the workers they employ, will fall off a looming debt cliff if they can’t get an extension for repayment. By Jordan Press. Moves: Business

Hate groups have links to anti-vax movement: network

YEAR-COVID-Hate

VANCOUVER — Far-right and hate groups have infiltrated the anti-vaccination movement, says the executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. Evan Balgord, whose group tracks the movements, says some of those protesting vaccine passports and health restrictions can be traced to 2015 protests against Canada's anti-Islamophobia legislation. By Nick Wells.

Monday, Dec. 20:

The 2022 midterms: how bad will it be for Democrats? 

YEAR-US-Midterms

WASHINGTON — It's conventional political wisdom that's as old as the hills in the United States: the president's party never does well in the midterms. But Glenn Youngkin's convincing Republican win in the gubernatorial contest in Virginia, paired with a stronger-than-expected GOP showing in New Jersey, has some Democrats on Capitol Hill all but manning the lifeboats in advance of next year's elections — and some observers wondering whether Joe Biden, less than a year removed from his inauguration, has become a serious liability. 800 words. By James McCarten.

One year since the first vaccines

YEAR-Vaccine-Anniversary

UNDATED -- December marks the one-year COVID-19 vaccine anniversary for many health care workers. What do they remember about the day they received their first doses, and how did their lives change in the months following? By Melissa Couto Zuber. With photo.

Tuesday, Dec. 21:

Canadian tennis stars among best in world

YEAR-TEN-Climbing-Canada

Canadian tennis took another step forward in 2021, with rising star Leylah Fernandez reaching the U.S. Open final and Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov continuing their climb up the men's rankings. 700 words. By Gregory Strong. Moves: Sports

The last of Quebec’s hydro megaprojects? 

YEAR-Que-Megaprojects

MONTREAL - Quebec is renowned for its massive hydro dams, which have left it enviably positioned in the race to reduce global carbon emissions. Premier Francois Legault likes to talk about making the province the “green battery of North America.” But when Hydro-Quebec’s Romaine 4 hydroelectric project comes into service, scheduled for 2022, it will likely be the last major dam built in the province for a long while. By Morgan Lowrie. 

Radio station raises Indigenous voices

YEAR-Indigenous-Radio

NCI FM or Native Communications Inc. started airing in Manitoba in 1971 and is now the largest Indigenous radio network in Canada. From providing bingo games, a “cuzzin” call-in show and Metis music, we look at what the station means for Indigenous communities. By Brittany Hobson.

Wednesday, Dec. 22:

Erin O’Toole and his Conservative caucus

YEAR-Conservatives

OTTAWA – A look at the challenges facing Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole as he works to keep the party united after a disappointing election result and a caucus with divided opinions on everything from climate change to COVID-19 vaccines. By Stephanie Taylor.

Homeless camps increasingly common

YEAR-Homelessness 

A look at homelessness across the country and encampments that have sprouted up in various cities. Health officials had warned about conditions at a camp on the edge of Wetaskiwin, Alta., and we speak to people there about living in tents in the winter. By Alanna Smith and Bill Graveland.

Thursday, Dec. 23:

Justin Trudeau’s third mandate

YEAR-Liberals

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau managed to hang on. Now what? A look at the challenges the Liberal minority government faces in the year ahead. By Joan Bryden.

Friday, Dec. 24:

Manitoba Tories look to rebound

YEAR-Mba-Politics. 

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives voted in a new leader and premier this year. Can the party rebound with an election less than two years away. By Steve Lambert.

Training to be the best during COVID

YEAR-OLY-COVID-Challenges

Damian Warner went from training in an unheated hockey arena to standing on the podium at the Tokyo Olympics as the decathlon gold medallist. Warner needed to find a novel way to get around COVID-19 restrictions to prepare for the Games, and he wasn't the only one. By Lori Ewing. Moves: Sports.

Saturday, Dec. 25:

B.C. forcing out illegal marijuana growers 

YEAR-Marijuana-Growers 

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's government has convinced numerous illegal cannabis growers to begin selling legally in an effort to squeeze out illicit cannabis from the marketplace. By Nick Wells. PHOTO.

Can teachers help with child's mental health?

YEAR-Teachers-Psychologists. 

The mental health of children has been an issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Are teachers prepared and qualified to help? By Daniela Germano.  

Sunday, Dec. 26: 

Why does Canada get less for more when it comes to building transit?

YEAR-Transit-Infrastructure 

OTTAWA -- The high cost of Canadian light rail compared to our European counterparts is often chalked up to our harsh weather and high construction costs. In fact, the world’s top experts say it comes down to politics. 800 words. By Laura Osman.

From commitment to action for the finance industry on climate

YEAR-Climate-FinServices

TORONTO – Canada's financial industry has been making climate commitments throughout the past year on everything from funding green energy to moving to net-zero. The pledges cover a lot of ground but also leave some notable gaps. The next step is moving ahead with those plans, with some early results expected next year and others not for a long time yet. 800 words. By Ian Bickis. Moves Business. PHOTO

Monday, Dec. 27  

Police shootings in 2021

YEAR-Police-Shootings. 

A look at the number of police shootings that happened in Canada in 2021 with a comparison to previous years. By Kelly Geraldine Malone

See also. 

YEAR-Nunavut-Police-Shootings. 

Police officers in the North are often moved to different detachments in the territories. But what happens when they are involved in a shooting or charged with a criminal offence? We look at what support these officers get, given their isolation, and how residents respond to having them stay in their communities. By Emma Tranter.

Will we be ringing in 2022 together?

YEAR-New-Year-Gatherings

UNDATED — A look at how Canadians are celebrating New Year’s Eve and the shifting mores surrounding get-togethers in post-vaccination social life. By Adina Bresge.

Tuesday, Dec. 28:

Live music venues face uncertainty over unvaccinated musicians

YEAR-MUSIC-Unvaccinated-Musicians

TORONTO – As live music venues across the country look towards getting back to business, some have faced ethical questions around what to do when a musician they’ve booked turns out to be against getting vaccinated for COVID-19. A look at how the industry is dealing with a health and business decision that could put the confidence of concertgoers in jeopardy. By David Friend. 800 words.

Alberta NDP make push ahead of 2023 vote

YEAR-Alta-Notley.  

EDMONTON -- Alberta Opposition Leader Rachel Notley aims to put the finishing touches in 2022 on a revamped NDP team and policy book to capitalize on a very unpopular premier and regain power in the spring 2023 vote. By Dean Bennett

YEAR-Female-Athlete: The female athlete of the year. Moves Sports.

Wednesday, Dec. 29:

Jason Kenney looks to rebuild

YEAR-Alta-Kenney

EDMONTON -- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney hopes to move on in 2022 from a very bad horrible no good year that started off with him defending Alohagate and ended with some on his own UCP team urging him to say goodbye. By Dean Bennett.

Newfoundland’s father of confederation — in three dimensions 

YEAR-3D-Smallwood

ST. JOHN’S - Newfoundland’s father of confederation, Joey Smallwood, had a strange obsession with 3D lenticular images — particularly of himself. Today, hipster Newfoundlanders also have a weird obsession with those old Smallwood propaganda pieces, snapping them up at antique stores and from vintage sellers on Instagram. A look at what motivated Smallwood and why modern-day collectors find the images so alluring. By Sarah Smellie.

YEAR-Male-Athlete: The male athlete of the year. Moves Sports.

Thursday, Dec. 30:

Incel terrorism expected to increase post-pandemic: experts 

YEAR-Incel-Terror 

VANCOUVER — Experts who have watched the growth of the so-called incel movement, or involuntary celibate, say governments should be concerned with online rhetoric from the group that authorities have classified both as a terrorism threat and a mental-health crisis. Incel forums suggest that lifting the pandemic restrictions could result in more suicides, violence and acts of terror. By Brieanna Charlebois, PHOTO.

Reconciliation meets a reckoning

YEAR-Reconciliation

OTTAWA – This was the year when many non-Indigenous Canadians were forced to confront the realities of residential schools in a way they might have previously ignored. What did this do for the goal of reconciliation? By Stephanie Taylor.

See also:

B.C. marks two years since UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 

YEAR-UNDRIP-Implementation 

VANCOUVER - British Columbia has marked two years since passing legislation that created a framework to align provincial laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation and Indigenous leaders weigh in on what the draft action plan and the first series of agreements signed between the province and First Nations signal about their changing relationships. By Brenna Owen. PHOTO. 

YEAR-Sports-Team: The sports team of the year. Moves Sports.

Friday, Dec. 31:

Lesson from COVID: Redesign long-term care

YEAR-COVID-Long-Term-Living

WEST VANCOUVER — The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a rethink of how long-term care facilities are designed to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases that can easily spread in crowded quarters, isolating residents and closing them off from family visitors. A long-term care facility in West Vancouver is awaiting the district's approval of a "household of 12" design that would move away from the dormitory approach to one that would allow for easier management of illnesses like influenza or future pandemics. Experts say such sites are the way forward after thousands died in care homes across the country. By Camille Bains. PHOTO.

Saturday, Jan 1:

Meet the technology workers moving into Calgary’s offices

YEAR-Calgary-Downtown

Calgary’s downtown will look different as workers head back into the office in 2022. A growing number of tech companies are taking up space once occupied by oil and gas. 650 words. By Amanda Stephenson. Moves Business. PHOTO

Sunday, Jan. 2: 

Paying personal support workers more 

Ont-PSW-Wages

For over a year, Ontario has repeatedly extended a temporary wage increase for personal support workers. Premier Doug Ford says he intends to make it permanent, but unions say the uncertainty is straining the long-term care workforce. We look at what’s complicating the policy that advocates say would make the essential job more attractive to workers. By Holly McKenzie-Sutter.

Monday, Jan. 3:

Forestry practices among stressors for Pacific salmon in decline: experts 

YEAR-Salmon-Habitat 

VANCOUVER - Pacific salmon populations are declining to historic lows due to the cumulative impacts of climate change and habitat degradation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada says. Agricultural and forestry practices are among the stressors, and changing how forests are logged in B.C. could help salmon-bearing streams become more resilient in the face of intensifying heat waves and drought. By Brenna Owen. PHOTO

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