Plenty for podcast panel to ponder
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
What does a walrus have in common with a Manitoba winter, safer-consumption sites for those addicted to drugs and federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre? Not much really, but a special year-end/start of 2023 episode of the Niigaan and the Lone Ranger Podcast managed to cover all of those topics and several others.
Free Press columnist Jen Zoratti and Free Press investigative journalist Katrina Clarke join hosts Niigaan Sinclair and Dan Lett for a wide-ranging discussion about the stories that impressed them most in 2022, and where those stories might be headed as we head into a new year.
The panel was united in its concern that Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government continues to refuse to establish safer-consumption sites to prevent overdoses among drug users. Clarke recently returned from a trip to Hamilton, Ont., where she visited such a facility and talked to the people who credit it with saving their lives.
The panel was equally united in its conclusion that the death of Freya — a young female walrus that appeared along the coasts of several western European nations from August 2021 to August 2022 — was a surprisingly moving story that touched on many of the great threats and challenges facing humankind.
Freya became a media sensation while swimming in waters not normally populated by walruses. So much so, that eventually, she had to be euthanized by Norwegian officials out of concern that she was a threat to public safety. Freya had, indeed, sunk boats in the Oslofjord attempting to find a place to sunbathe. Her death was widely condemned by wildlife advocates.
The panel was less united in its assessment of the political ceiling for Poilievre, who is trying to mobilize a huge constituency of voters with hardline conservative and libertarian sensibilities. Lett was confident he would fail, but others thought that increasing radicalization among right-of-centre voters would provide traction for the Tories.
Niigaan and the Lone Ranger can also be heard on all major podcast-streaming platforms.
Born and raised in and around Toronto, Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school with a lifelong dream to be a newspaper reporter.