Category Archives: Newsroom

Posts from the CKMS Newsroom programs, community shows, and associated news sites.

The CKMS Newsroom works to provide a deeper analysis of the issues that impact our communities, than which the mainstream news sources provide.

The CKMS Newsroom is comprised of volunteers and freelance journalists. The CKMS Newsroom is organised by the Newsroom Committee:
dan kellar (@dankellar) is the current lieutenant of news with Bob Jonkman as the technical expert and newsie.

From April 2020-March 2021 the CKMS Newsroom will be undertaking a “Local Journalism Initiative” project funded by the government of Canada, the Community Radio Fund of Canada, and CKMS.

A main goal of this LJI project is to fill-in the gaps left by local mainstream news outlets on many of the issues which have the most impact on our local communities. Specifically, we want this project to spread a more robust analysis around the intersections of homelessness and displacement, poverty and mental health, and the war on drugs and safer consumption initiatives.

We want our listeners to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of these interactions, so they may be more prepared to participate in addressing these issues.

The freelance journalists for the LJI project are:
LaShaina Blair-White, Shalaka Jadhav, Ivan Angelovski, Trish Holmes, Julian Ichim, Melissa Bowman.

CKMS Community Connections for 10 June 2022: Encampment Evictions with Dr. Erin Dej, Dr. Laura Pin, and Lesley Crompton

Dr. Erin Dej, wearing a T-Shirt with the words "but first, housing"
Dr. Erin Dej
Dr. Laura Pin
Dr. Laura Pin
Lesley Crompton
Lesley Crompton

Show Notes

Bob Jonkman is joined by Dr. Erin Dej, Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at Wilfrid Laurier University, Dr. Laura Pin, Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department, also at Wilfrid Laurier University, and Lesley Crompton, who works with the Unsheltered Campaign at the Civic Hub in Waterloo Region. They discuss the impending eviction of the people at the Victoria/Weber encampment, direct aid, government responsibilities, housing policy, and the role of academia.

The interview starts at 3m57s.

Online Resources:

Community Fridges

A community fridge facilitates access to high quality food. It is open 24 hour a day, 7 days a week and available to anyone who needs food at any time. Donations of fresh food or non-perishable items are welcomed.

Kitchener
The Kitchener Market Map
300 King Street East
Kitchener, Ontario
Waterloo
Cafe Pyrus Outpost Map
120 Roger Street
Waterloo, Ontario

CKMS Newsroom: The KW Community Fridge is solidarity through mutual aid

Podcast

Download: ckms-community-connections-2022-06-10-episode097.mp3 (50.1 MB, 52m05s, episode 097)

Index

Time Title Album Artist
0m00s Theme for CKMS Community Connections ccc CKMS Sunflower logo (yellow petals surrounding a black centre with white wavies all on a teal background)
CKMS Community Connections
Steve Todd
0m55s Abolition Now! Abolition Now! (black upper case letters drawn on an orange background surrounded by explosion lines)
Abolition Now!
The Soviet Influence
3m57s Dr. Erin Dej introduces herself, explains the role of critical criminology in social justice issues, and begins to explain the Point-In-Time count when technical difficulties arise.
6m33s Thieves of Joy The Soviet Influence | Thieves Of Joy (cartoon of a worker fighting an octopus with arms labelled Militia, Police, Black List, Injunctions, Employers Assn, RBA; the octopus head has a $ sign, there's a large knife labelled Socialist Ballot, and the cartoon caption is Say, Mr. Worker, haven't you been in the grip of this monster about long enough? Why not try the knife on him?
Thieves of Joy
The Soviet Influence
9m35s Dr. Erin Dej explains that what is happening in Waterloo Region with homelessness is happening across the country, and across the world. The Point-In-Time count shows a doubling of homelessness since 2018. Part of that is due to Covid, but there are a variety of factors that contribute.

Dr. Laura Pin introduces herself, and explains how Political Science influence policy action around social issues and homelessness.

Lesley Crompton introduces herself, and the Unsheltered Campaign which has been filling gaps in social services for food, water, sanitary facilities, and shelter. Talking to people with lived experience, and gathering stories. Identifying the “hidden homeless”, people who are not registered with the municipality for the shelter system. Extended families are excluded, but may have some of the same issues. The Point-In-Time count had to be done by the municipality in order to get funding from other levels of government, but contracted the service out to the assistive organizations like Unsheltered Campaign. There are issues dealing with the macro issues because so much attention is focused on the micro issues.

17m43s Direct aid provided by eg. Unsheltered Campaign, Going Mobile KW, 519 Community Collective provide food, food ingredients, and food preparation for people who have food insecurity. It is difficult to prepare a variety of meals from supplies from the food banks; it does not provide the recipients with the choice of what to eat. There is no confirmation of need, no means testing; treating people with dignity. Are people satisfied, well-nourished? It’s difficult to say. Is this Canada’s “Social Safety Net”? Aid agencies need a “Billing For Filling” initiative, billing the state for filling the gap. This goes back to social policy, social assistance for people who have disabilities or are unemployed; the rates are not enough for people to afford shelter and food. The single rate for Ontario Works (OW) is $750/month; the Ontario Disability Support Program is about $1150/month. These are not livable, humane rates.
24m30s At the Waterloo Region Council Meeting on Tuesday, 7 June 2022, there was a call for additional funding from higher levels of government. Housing requires intergovernmental relations and multiple levels of government to manage. But at the regional level there are lots of things that can be done, eg. a regional encampment protocol. While there is a need for additional funding, it’s not an excuse for making use of the powers the regional government has for taking action. Beyond food, there are other issues that require support. Shelter support for families in motels are the same facilities used for people displaced from encampments, but this does not work for many people. Waterloo Region contracts out these services to aid agencies. Lesley Crompton says we need an Auditor General to ensure that there is more public accountability and transparency between the Region and its service providers to ensure they’re doing what we think they’re supposed to be doing — Lesley doesn’t think they are.
29m21s There are upwards of 50 people living at the Victoria and Weber encampment. Regional Council seemed sympathetic, but not motivated to help. Premier Doug Ford has said that for people in this situation just need to get a job. But Dr. Dej says that lots of people in this situation have a job! They’re working, but it’s not enough to pay the rent. For those without work, it is difficult to get a job. How do people without a job get a bus pass to find work? How do they get equipment like steel-toed boots needed to get a job? How can people try to get a job when they’re in an encampment, likely sleep deprived from being in the same area with 50 other people, concerned for their safety, and unable to get good rest from sleeping on the ground. And even when people on social assistance do get work, their earnings are clawed back at %50, an effective tax rate much higher than anyone else has to pay. The provincial government is cutting its sources of revenue (license plate renewal), federal government isn’t pursuing foreign holdings tax which could be used to invest in affordable housing and social housing. Dr. Pin says that at the local government level, a vacant home tax or foreign ownership tax could raise revenues for social programs. People are working part-time, employers cutting hours to minimize benefits. But even people working full-time at minimum wage earn only about $2000/month before deductions, yet rents are around $1600/month. If we took an approach of housing as a human right it shouldn’t matter whether people work full-time, part-time, if they need child care, or if people have a disability and can’t work — people still have a right to decent and affordable housing. The Region of Waterloo’s housing policy has put forward a human rights approach to housing; the federal government in its national housing strategy has also put forth a human rights approach to housing. But how can we make this a lived experience for people experiencing homelessness? Yet the Region of Waterloo Council has not advanced this into a formal motion.
35m30s International Human Rights declaration indicate that people are not to be evicted from their housing, or even encampments. What legal ramifications are there for municipalities that break the International Human Rights declaration? Dr. Dej says that federally this has already been adopted. Yet municipalities don’t follow it. Instead, municipalities are adopting a criminalizatin of homelessness, and even a militarization of the efforts to evict people from encampments. We do have a national protocol for homeless encampments in Canada to follow for removing people from encampments developed by the former UN Rapporteur on Housing, Lailani Farha and Dr. Kaitlin Schwan that tells municipalities how to do it within our international human rights obligations. Recognize that people don’t want to live in encampments, they want to be housed. The challenge is that following this protocol takes time, but people want quick fixes. Yet removing encampments is not that quick fix people are looking for, it’s not going to end homelessness.
38m06s Lesley Crompton points out that people need more than just housing: They need wrap-around services such as cooking instruction, a social structure, mental health issues that need to be addressed. Some shelters have zero-tolerance for violence. But what is violence? Someone speaking exteremely loudly may be considered violent, and get evicted. At motels used for housing, the staff are not able to deal with mental health issues. People need on-going supports, but some municipal housing staff think that merely providing housing is enough. What can academics do to influence the outcome of the pending eviction? Dr. Pin recognizes her privilege; people from the region connect with her in ways that they don’t connect with people on the ground. The 30 June deadline for evicting people from the Victoria and Weber encampment is artificial, the site is not needed for construction until the fall. Dr. Pin suggests we push back against that deadline to give people more time to discuss with decision makers as to what they need. Dr. Dej suggests that we push as hard as we can to make sure that the voices of the people in the encampments are the ones that are heard. She has received criticism about the Point-In-Time counts and other academic pursuits, that money spent on academic studies would be better spent on housing directly. But there is a lot of power in that data, it can convince people in ways that people might be convinced otherwise. For example, Dr. Dej has researched, rigorous data that supports Lesley’s statements on the need for ongoing services. Use this as clout to amplify the voices of people on the ground.
43m33s How does this get to the politicians who make the decisions? Dr. Pin has been inviting councillors and staff into the Unsheltered Campaign meetings to hear what community organizations have to say on the issue. Dr. Pin’s graduate seminar prepared a report on comparative encampment protocols from a human rights perspective to provide the Region with data on how difference cities have put forward protocols to manage encampments, and providing some analysis to determine which protocols are more consistent with a human rights approach. Building relationships and capacity at the Regional level to do that kind of analysis. What can ordinary citizens do? Lesley Crompton says to take time to understand, to talk to people at the encampments, to talk to people who have been working for the people at encampments. The Region’s capacity of outreach staff is very limited, and does not give enough time to spend with the individuals at the encampments. Get involved, so you can then speak to the Region. This is an election year, and while there are no Regional or City councillors on the same page as Premier Ford, it is time for a change. CARE (Coalition Against Removing Encampments) is a grassroots organization that looks at other social justice issues, a coalition of other organizations. Dr. Pin mentions the Social Development Centre and the Civic Hub WR for people who are interested in connecting in a immediate way. Challenge the stigma that’s presented to the people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, recognize that the people in encampments are our neighbours and community members.
49m23s Bob thanks the guests, gives the credits for CKMS Community Connections, and introduces Dreamer by Rose Brokenshire.
50m35s Dreamer (photo of Rose Brokenshire among fluffy clouds)
(single)
Rose Brokenshire

CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs on Friday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

Got music, spoken word, or other interesting stuff? Let us know at office@radiowaterloo.ca or leave a comment on our “About” page.

CKMS logo with wavies coming out the sidesSubscribe to the CKMS Community Connections podcast!

CKMS | 102.7 FM | Radio Waterloo | Community ConnectionsSee all CKMS Community Connections shows!

Bonus Footage

YouTube: CKMS Community Connections for 10 June 2022

Show notes and podcast interview content is Copyright © 2022 by the participants, and released under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution Only license. Copy, re-use, and derivative works are allowed with attribution to Radio Waterloo and a link to this page. Music selections are copyright by the respective rights holders.

CKMS Community Connections for 14 March 2022 with Barbara Schumacher and Jim Stewart of WRHC

Show Notes

Screencap of a web conference with Barbara Schumacher (top) and Jim Stewart (bottom)
Barbara Schumacher and Jim Stewart of WRHC

Barbara Schumacher and Jim Stewart of the Waterloo Region Health Coalition join Bob Jonkman on a web conference to talk about the Ontario government’s creeping advances to privatized health care, the diminishing level of health care in Ontario compared to other provinces, ideas to improve public health care, the effects of having private hospitals, and an announcement of the upcoming Waterloo Region Health care Privatization Summit.

We had some technical difficulties during the live broadcast, but the podcast cleaned up nicely, although the web conference created some dropout in the audio at some points.

The interview starts at 5m08s.

Online:


Ontario Health Coalition | Protecting public healthcare for all

See also:

Upcoming Events

Previous shows with WRHC

Podcast

Download: ckms-community-connections-2022-03-14-episode093.mp3 (38.9 MB, 40m27s, episode 093)

Index

Time Title Album Artist
0m00s Theme for CKMS Community Connections ccc and show introduction by Bob Jonkman CKMS Sunflower logo (yellow petals surrounding a black centre with white wavies all on a teal background)
CKMS Community Connections
Steve Todd
1m07s Boy Beast & Fish | The Day Is Gone (two boys in silhouette playing on a grassy field)
The Day Is Gone
Beast & Fish
5m08s Introductions: Barbara Schumacher is a retired physician and the former Medical Director of the University of Waterloo Health Service; Jim Stewart is the chair of the Waterloo Region Health Coalition. WRHC is a chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition, a non-partisan public watchdog for health care. Provincial legislation is introducing privatization of health care by stealth; result of insufficient funding for the health care system. Canadian Doctors for Medicare has done studies of the administration of private health care: Canadian public health has half the administrative cost of private health care.
13m37s Ontario is dead last among the provinces in funding public health care: fewest hospital beds, fewest nurses, and funding hospitals at the lowest rate of any province. We need to look for ways to invest in public health, not take funds out and drive them into profit-driven “Independent Health Facilities”. Federal health care transfer payments have dropped from 50% to 20%. There is a massive reduction in provincial health care spending. Federal government transfer payments are intended to administer a provincial health care system, not deliver health care. In 2019 the Ontario People’s Health Care Act created a super agency with powers to restructure the public health care system, now there is a patchwork across the province, different in Waterloo Region from Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Sudbury.
17m14s How to make things better? Focus on public health care, we paid for this over decades, why throw it out? Comparing England, where NHS privatized, but the private company went bankrupt and left. How sustainable are private companies for delivering health care. But Scotland’s NHS rejected privatization and focused on public infrastructure and create a strategy for sustainability for the NHS in Scotland. As a result, Scotland is a world leader in reducing wait times, reduction of hospital acquired infections, and reducing re-admission rates. They used four strategies: 1) Redesign and transform capacity on population-based requirements; 2) Information (linked electronic health records); 3) Planning strategy, including continuous quality improvement; 4) Peformance Management Strategy, holding regional health units accountable when they don’t reach targets. Canadian Doctors for Medicare has a lot of studies on how our Canadian health care system can be reformed. Private health care is not the only alternative. Private clinics primarily focus on profit, that’s what they’re designed to do.
25m00s On 1 February 2022 the Ontario Health Minister, Christine Elliot, gave a press conference where she said “Let independent health facilities create private hospitals.” This is an alarming announcement, it speaks to the complete coring out of our public hospitals, having them recall diagnostic and surgical services, to be reconstituted in private clinics. In private hospitals the simple procedures and uncomplicated patients get drawn in the private system, then the public hospitals are left with the more expensive cases requiring more intense professional care, so public hospitals have expenses that far exceed those of private hospitals. Private hospitals also pull professional expertise out of the public system, but since there will be no additional doctors it leaves public hospitals with fewer resources. Private hospitals only benefit people who can afford it; poor people will go to underfunded, understaffed public hospitals. Public hospitals have a flat-fee system to compensate doctors; all neurologists or all obstetricians are paid the same. In a private system there can be a differential fee scale according to expertise. The public system doesn’t reinforce holding on to quality, we see physicians with specialized skills move to the US, draining the public care system. But some Canadian physicians find the private system in the US burdensome (health insurance costs, tracking down overdue payments, take orders from health insurance corporations) so their ability to deliver high-quality health care is diminished significantly, and they return to Canada.
30m33s WRHC is trying to warn the Region of Waterloo what is happening with privatization. They are holding an emergency summit on Tuesday, 5 April 2022, at 7:00pm register with Zoom. Speakers include Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition. Find out what’s happening so people can make a decision a the voting booth in June.
31m48s Discussing the politics of health care. WRHC is non-partisan, but there’s no need to have a political affiliation, almost all parties support the public health care system. It’s not a political position, it’s a social position. Discussing the scope of health care delivery: Eye care, hearing care, dental care, pharmacare, and mental health care. “Health care above the neck.” Pharmacare on a large scale gets better competitive pricing, but the strong Pharma lobby is holding us back.
36m16s Jim Stewart gives the WRHC contact info and Bob gives the credits as Extended Heatwarning plays out to the end of the podcast. Ponysapien (clouds over water, coloured with a spectrum of colours)
Ponysapien
Ponysapien

CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs on Friday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

Got music, spoken word, or other interesting stuff? Let us know at office@radiowaterloo.ca or leave a comment on our “About” page.

CKMS logo with wavies coming out the sidesSubscribe to the CKMS Community Connections podcast!

CKMS | 102.7 FM | Radio Waterloo | Community ConnectionsSee all CKMS Community Connections shows!

Bonus Footage

YouTube: CKMS Community Connections for 14 March 2022

Show notes and podcast interview content is Copyright © 2022 by the participants, and released under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution Only license. Copy, re-use, and derivative works are allowed with attribution to Radio Waterloo and a link to this page. Music selections are copyright by the respective rights holders.

CKMS Community Connections for 11 March 2022 with Martin Asling of WR YIMBY

Show Notes

(Martin Asling)
Martin Asling of WR YIMBY
Martin Asling standing behind a banner with homes drawn on it and the words "Yes In My Backyard" in large letters. Trees and a lake are in the background.
Martin Asling from WR YIMBY at the KW Multicultural Festival. Photo: WR YIMBY

Bob Jonkman talks to Martin Asling of WR YIMBY (Waterloo Region Yes In My Back Yard) about housing in Waterloo Region, the Ontario Housing report, and WR YIMBY and Hold The Line‘s answer to some of the issues it presents.

The interview starts at 3m01s.

Online:

Resources mentioned in the show:

And Martin provided these links:

Listen to previous CKMS-FM shows with Martin Asling and WR YIMBY.

Podcast

Download: ckms-community-connections-2022-03-11-episode092.mp3 (41.4 MB, 43m04s, episode 092)

Index

Time Title Album Artist
0m00s Theme for CKMS Community Connections ccc CKMS Sunflower logo (yellow petals surrounding a black centre with white wavies all on a teal background)
CKMS Community Connections
Steve Todd
0m51s Texas Girl at the Funeral of Her Father (3/4 reverse photo of Rose Brokenshire against a cloudy sky)
(single)
Rose Brokenshire
3m01s Bob Jonkman and Martin Asling discuss WR YIMBY, housing in Waterloo Region, the Report of the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force and WR YIMBY and Hold The Line‘s response, and talk about housing affordability and some zoning issues.
41m45s Martin provides contact info, Bob gives the credits and a hint for next Friday’s show.

CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs on Friday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

Got music, spoken word, or other interesting stuff? Let us know at office@radiowaterloo.ca or leave a comment on our “About” page.

CKMS logo with wavies coming out the sidesSubscribe to the CKMS Community Connections podcast!

CKMS | 102.7 FM | Radio Waterloo | Community ConnectionsSee all CKMS Community Connections shows!

Bonus Footage

YouTube: CKMS Community Connections for 11 March 2022

Show notes and podcast interview content is Copyright © 2022 by the participants, and released under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution Only license. Copy, re-use, and derivative works are allowed with attribution to Radio Waterloo and a link to this page. Music selections are copyright by the respective rights holders.

CKMS News – 2021-08-14 – Supporting Youth through the housing crisis in KW – Part 2

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Host: Sherice Alishaw

The housing crisis leads to more barriers for the marginalized individuals within our community. Residents are facing an affordable housing crisis in Waterloo region. The low income housing waitlist is almost 6 years until you are able to be offered a unit. Marginalized members of this community are struggling to find and maintain stable housing in this region. 

On this episode of CKMS News, we interview Sandy Dietrich-Bell, CEO of OneROOF a youth shelter in Kitchener. Part 2 of the interview focuses on some solutions to the housing crisis and the barriers that youth  face while trying to obtain stable housing.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant project and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada and the CKMS Newsroom. 

Check out the archived versions of this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news, and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca

You can follow us on twitter @radiowaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-08-12 – Supporting Youth through the housing crisis in KW – Part 1

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Host: Sherice Alishaw

The housing crisis leads to more barriers for the marginalized individuals within our community. Residents are facing an affordable housing crisis in Waterloo region. The low income housing waitlist is almost 6 years until you are able to be offered a unit. Marginalized members of this community are struggling to find and maintain stable housing in this region. 

On this episode of CKMS News, we interview Sandy Dietrich-Bell, CEO of OneROOF a youth shelter in Kitchener. We discuss the barriers that marginalized members of our community face while trying to obtain stable housing as well as how the community can come together for a solution to this housing crisis. 

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant project and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada and the CKMS Newsroom. 

Check out the archived versions of this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news, and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca

You can follow us on twitter @radiowaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-08-11 – Impacts on housing affordability – Short term rentals and “bandit signs” in Waterloo Region

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Host: Trish Holmes

This episode of CKMS News examines the growing number of short-term rentals (e.g., AirBnB) in Waterloo Region and the impact of this on our long-term rental housing market and the need for data collection specifically targeted to gather information about the housing stock.  We talk to the Waterloo By law office and a Kitchener City Councillor about lack of regulations and the lack of data.

The episode also explores the bandit signs advertising house buying, that are illegally displayed alongside roads and high traffic areas throughout our Region. We talk to the Kitchener bylaw office about the signs and what can be done about them.


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-08-09 – Working through hesitancy to bring residents together at the Waterloo Night Market

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Host: Krista Henry

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on how people live their lives. How we work, shop, conduct business and experience entertainment have been transformed. As we continue to emerge from long-periods of restrictions, organizations such as the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area are trying to re-ignite the passion for coming together again for events that bring people together in a real way. Tracy Van Kalsbeek executive director of the UWBIA speaks about bringing people back to uptown.

Events are vital in the country’s economic recovery and the mental wellness of countless community members. However is there hesitancy in going back to normal with events? We explore the importance of such events and speak with Waterloo resident Sarah about comfort in participating in the community as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca.

 

CKMS NEWS – 2021-08-09 – In Conversation with Fitsum Areguy on finding a rhythm as a journalist during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Host: Shalaka Jadhav

Fitsum Areguy is a Black activist and writer who grew up in Kitchener. He draws on years of experience as a community worker and advocate for youth rights and disability justice. Voted Waterloo Region’s ‘Best Local Writer’ in 2020, he has published in Canadian Dimension, The Waterloo Region Record, Briarpatch Magazine, The Community Edition, and Korea Expose. His interests focus on human rights, misuses of power, and community development, connecting local stories to provincial, national, and global issues through reporting and analysis.  Fitsum is also the co-founder and project director of Textile, a literary publication and writing mentorship program, where Fitsum and I work together.  

As the pandemic has impacted workers across every and any industry, we talked about the importance of upholding the complexity of local stories, finding a rhythm as a journalist during the pandemic, and of course, the launch of InsideWaterloo, an independent media initiative publishing investigative and personal stories of identity and belonging not otherwise covered by traditional media in Waterloo Region.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca.

Music for this episode was courtesy of Dylan Prowse.

CKMS News -2021-08-05 – Impacts of COVID-19 on women in the workforce

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Host: Krista Henry

Recent numbers released fromStatistics Canada indicated that 1.5 million women in Canada lost their jobs during the first 2 months of the pandemic. This led to unemployment rates as high as 20% among women, compared to13% among their male counterparts. 

The YWCA Canada has since developed a Feminist Recovery Plan which emphasizes that women’s rights and gender equity could see the biggest rollback if left unchecked. 

Rosalind Gunn, Director of Marketing and Communications of the YWCA Cambridge and Jennifer Gordon, Director of Advocacy at YW Kitchener-Waterloo discuss the impacts of the global pandemic their organizations have seen on women in the workplace in the Waterloo region.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the

Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca.

CKMS News -2021-08-02 – Expanding operations at Bingemans

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Host: Namish Modi

This piece features an interview with president of Bingemans in Kitchener, Mark Bingeman. This piece is a follow-up to our interview with Explore Waterloo Region CEO Minto Schneider from last week. 

In our discussion with Bingeman, we discuss how the pandemic has affected Bingemans, one of the biggest hospitality organizations in Waterloo region. Bingemans has several types of facilities including banquet halls, water park, arcade, bowling alley and much more. 

As of July 16, Bingemans was allowed to open many more of its indoor facilities as Ontario moved into Step 3 of its reopening plan. 

Bingeman is happy that the company is bringing back staff who may have been laid off during COVID while he expects bigger events like Oktoberfest to come back in Fall, in a modified, covid friendly form. 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-07-31 – Relationships in the Age of COVID

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Host: Krista Henry

How do couples cope with the stressful events of the COVID-19 pandemic? How will singles embark on dating as we emerge from months of lockdown measures? Waterloo region based clinical psycho- therapist, Janine Fisher to talk about the effects COVID-19 has had on clients in her community. 

Fisher gives helpful advice for couples and singles on how to move forward as we embark on another phase of the new normal.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca.

CKMS News – 2021-07-30 – Local non-profits adapt to continue serving the community

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Host: Krista Henry

COVID-19 has impacted billions of lives around the globe since March of last year. During these unprecedented times, the role of non-profit organizations has been key in combating the impact on our most vulnerable populations. As businesses grappled with adapting services, so too did local non profits.

CKMS News spoke to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region and the Wilmot Family Resource Centre to learn more about how they adapted, lessons learned and key takeaways moving forward.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca.

 

CKMS News – 2021-07-30 – The Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre announces new location

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Host: Krista Henry

After 15 years on King Street West in Kitchener’s downtown core, the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre announced its new location. The 54-year old organization will be moving to 715 Fischer-Hallman Road after construction is completed.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre – known to many for its annual festival in Victoria Park – provides a wide variety of services for new immigrants to the community and operates an interpretation and translation business that saw service volumes rise to nearly 20,000 service requests last year.

We spoke to COO of the Multicultural Centre, Lucia Harrison to learn more about their relocation and what the organisation has been up to recently.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

 

CKMS News – 2021-07-19 – Cambridge’s Baitul Mosque hatefully ransacked

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Host: Namish Modi

This piece features interviews with Baitul Mosque volunteer Nabeel Rana, Cambridge mayor Kathryn McGarry and Coalition of Muslim Women KW President Sarah Shafiq. 

The mosque in the Galt area of Cambridge was severely vandalized this week in an act of hate, and Rana estimates the damage at about $15,000 to $20,000. 

The vandalism is under investigation by the Waterloo Regional Police.

The Cambridge community has come together to support the mosque while the vandalism comes off the heels of the murder of four members of a Muslim family in London last month.

Radio Waterloo published a piece on the incident in London a few weeks ago, as well.

Update: 1 man has been arrested so far in connection to this incident.


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-07-15 – Impacts on tourism from COVID19 and the start of recovery in Waterloo Region

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Host: Namish Modi

This piece features an interview with Explore Waterloo Region CEO Minto Schneider. In the interview, we touch on how hard the tourism sector has been affected throughout the past 17 months and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Several hospitality and tourism places, like museums and theme parks haven’t been fully open for two summers now. Schneider discusses the importance of Step 3 in Ontario, which begins on July 16, as well as touches on just how important health and safety protocols continue to be. 

Schneider doesn’t have an estimate on financial losses over the last year due to COVID, but imagines it is very high. 

Many businesses were initially upset about Waterloo Region being held in step two of Ontario’s reopening, but further understood the reasoning. The region was held back in the province’s reopening because of a number of Delta variant virus cases in the area. 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS NEWS – 2021-07-09 – On the Myth of Revitalized Urban Spaces: Considering the Case of Goudies Lane

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Host: Shalaka Jadhav

Robyn (Burns) Moran and Lisbeth A. Berbary are academic workers in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo.  In early 2021, they published their article “Placemaking as Unmaking: Settler Colonialism, Gentrification, and the Myth of “Revitalized” Urban Spaces”, taking up the example of Goudies Lane, a corridor in downtown Kitchener which stretches from Queen Street North to Ontario Street. 

Their work on Goudies Lane came out of Robyn’s dissertation research, where Robyn foregrounded her interest in anti-gentrification with support from her supervisor, Lisbeth, in thinking through the related theory and methodology.  Particularly during the pandemic, when public spaces have seen increased use, they have also seen increased surveillance as a consequence of placemaking: so how public are these public spaces? 

Together, Robyn and Lisbeth talk through the growing tensions between public space, public memory, and how colonialism engages at those intersections by walking through their methods, findings, and presenting key reflections.  

Read Robyn (Burns) Moran and Lisbeth A. Berbary’s Placemaking as Unmaking: Settler Colonialism, Gentrification, and the Myth of “Revitalized” Urban Spaces

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca.

Music for this episode was courtesy of Dylan Prowse.

CKMS News – 2021-07-08 – Final recommendations for controversial Prime Ministers’ path project in Baden

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Host: Namish Modi

This piece features an interview with Guy Freedman, president of the First People’s Group, who consulted on the Prime Minister’s Path in Baden. The interview took place on July 5. 

The group released its recommendations on June 30 in preparation for a Special Council meeting for the Township of Wilmot on July 5, 2021.

The first People’s Group advises removal and cancellation of the whole PM’s Path in Baden, including all existing statues which lie behind the administration building. The final decision will be up to the council. 

Over the past couple months, The First People’s Group has engaged the public in terms of the future of the Path. There was a large response to the engagement with 461 responses in the community engagement forum. The future of the path became further in question following the discovery of unmarked graves of children all over Canada.


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News -2021-07-02- Waterloo Region Weekly Roundup

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Host: Melissa Bowman

Today’s Waterloo Region Weekly Roundup episode focuses on the June 22nd Region of Waterloo council meeting. This was a rather full agenda as it was the last council meeting prior to the summer break.

Topics discussed at this meeting included the Climate Action Plan, several housing projects, and an update regarding the Region’s child care plan since closing the 5 regionally owned centres last year. There’s also a discussion regarding plans for the Charles Street terminal redevelopment and ReallocateWR’s proposal for an Indigenous Community Hub on that land.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-06-27 – Ongoing anti-racism work in Baden

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Host: Namish Modi

This piece features an interview with Township of Wilmot council member Cheryl Gordijk.

Gordijk speaks about the anti-racism rally which took place in Wilmot in early May, as well as the presence of hateful posters plastered around the township recently. After this interview, the person who was allegedly responsible for the posters was ruled out for charges by Waterloo Regional Police.

Gordijk also talks to CKMS about hate-motivated issues in Wilmot over the last year. Mayor Les Armstrong shared a White Lives matter post on Facebook in 2020, hate graffiti was seen in Baden, while the SJAM statue has been a strong source of contention.

The interview took place on June 4 2021. 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-06-26 – Sarah Shafiq of the Coalition of Muslim Women KW on combating anti-Muslim hate.

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Host: Namish Modi

This piece features an interview with Coalition of Muslim Women KW director of programming and services Sarah Shafiq. The interview was on June 22, a little more than two weeks after the murder of four members of a Muslim family in London.

It was determined that the motivation for the attack, by 20-year-old white man Nathaniel Veltman, was hate-motivated.

Shafiq discusses the mission of the coalition, as well as what the organization has done to support the nine-year-old boy who lost the rest of his immediate family.

Shafiq also touches on the importance of allyship and what non-Muslims can do to help combat islamophobia.


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News -2021-06-25- Pride in Waterloo Region – An interview with Spectrum’s Cait Glasson

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Host: Namish Modi

This piece features an interview with Spectrum of Waterloo Region president Cait Glasson.

Spectrum is Waterloo Region’s first rainbow LGBTQ community space.

Glasson discusses Waterloo Region and the actions that have been taken around the community to recognize Pride Month in June.

The interview took place June 22. 

Glasson says there is more work to be done, but positive strides have been made of late, including the Waterloo Region Catholic District School Board raising the Pride flag for the first time. 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News -2021-06-21- Overt and systemic racism in the region

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Host: Sherice Alishaw

With the increase in awareness about acts of racism and racist structures resulting from the Black Lives Matters and Defund The Police movements, there have been many opportunities for people and institutions to learn and adapt their behaviour, but are our communities actually learning the lesson? Racism and racial profiling are still rampant within our communities highlighted again in a recent incident which saw the unlawful arrest of a Black Cambridge woman after police mistook her for another person. 

In this episode, we speak with Jeneka Johnson, a member of our community who suffered racial profiling at the hands of a potential landlord. We discussed her story and what had transpired the day she tried to inquire about an apartment in the Kitchener Waterloo area. We also have an open discussion about ways you can promote equality within your community. 

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This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant project and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-06-15 – Waterloo Region Weekly Roundup – A Better Tent City update

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Host: Melissa Bowman

Today’s Waterloo Region Weekly Roundup episode focuses on two weeks of discussions at Woolwich council regarding the possibility of A Better Tent City moving to a new proposed location on Spitzig Rd.

A Better Tent City is the community of residents currently housed in tiny homes at Lot 42 in Kitchener. They must find a new home by June 20th and have found a willing landlord through the Hamilton Diocese with their land on Spitzig Rd. Tune in to hear more about the proposal, thoughts from residents who support this and those who oppose it, and also the discussion among councillors.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News -2021-06-14- Small business adapting during COVID restrictions

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Host: Namish Modi

This piece features interviews from early June with two small business owners in the Waterloo Region.

Bon Apatreat bakery owner Chantelle Villeneuve and The Branches  (formerly Queen Street Yoga) owner/director Leena Miller Cressman. Each of the businesses has adapted during a very tough time.

Villeneuve was forced to close her storefront in 2020, but developed a brand new website and delivered treats herself for the past few months. Bon Apatreat will be opening its new storefront location in the Driftwood Plaza in Kitchener. 

Queen Street Yoga, which has run online classes since the onset of the pandemic, rebranded and is now called The Branches. They plan to run outdoor classes, in their new location when permitted.

Villeneuve and Cressman discuss the challenges and tribulations of running businesses during COVID-19. 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-06-10 – Discussing mental health and the pandemic

Host: Sherice Alishaw

During this global pandemic, stress levels in our communities has risen. Many Individuals in the community that are already struggling with their mental health, are now having a hard time coping with the added stress and anxiety. 

On this episode of CKMS News, we interview a community member, Kelly Maeve, who is diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) and discuss how the pandemic has affected our mental health.

Kelly also speaks about some of the strategies she has employed as the pandemic has progressed.

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant project and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca