Dying for Shelter

“Legarde finds it hard to accept that Randy, 51, died alone directly in front of a homeless shelter. But what bothers her more than the circumstances of his death is that he was outside of that shelter, or others like it, every day for the last 10 years of his life. ‘It’s not the day he died that’s the problem; it’s the fact that was (his) best and only option,’ she said. ‘If we could have done better than putting people on mats on floor for years and years with no real path out, he wouldn’t have died anywhere at that age.'”

Omar Mosleh – StarMetro Edmonton – December 2019


GCL’s StarMetro reading list

As the obituaries start being written for the StarMetro papers, which will close in December, it should be remarked upon that they produced some wonderful longer pieces.

We shared several of these features and investigations here at Great Canadian Longform, including two pieces just this month.

Thanks to these reporters, our readers enjoyed in-depth slices of life in Edmonton and Vancouver that are a fading priority at city dailies. Hopefully in the new iteration of the bureau system the Star still gives these kinds of stories the amplification and attention they deserve.

Here are seven pieces for your reading pleasure, ranging from a cross-country journey, to the story of a strip club, to the resilience of families seeking justice for loved ones who have gone missing.


From StarMetro Edmonton:

What it’s like to ride the Greyhound for 27 hours, through three provinces and 55 stops
Hamdi Issawi, July 2018

How a fraudster got $12 million out of a Canadian university: They just asked for it
Claire Theobald, October 2018

Chez Pierre laid bare — how Edmonton’s oldest strip club is adjusting to a new era of adult entertainment
Omar Mosleh, September 2019

Visionary or villain, he’s the pied piper of Alberta’s Wexit. But is the movement heading in a dangerous direction?
Omar Mosleh, November 2019


From StarMetro Vancouver:

Their daughters vanished — and parents say police stopped looking. Now desperate families are searching on their own
Jesse Winter and Jeremy Nuttall, October 2018

Why B.C.’s atmospheric rivers are a growing concern
Ainsley Cruickshank, May 2019

First he mopped floors. Then this B.C. janitor put Canada’s potentially abusive employers on notice
Alex McKeen, November 2019


Featured image: via News Media Canada

How a fraudster got $12 million out of a Canadian university: They just asked for it

“The email started with an innocent “Hiya,” but the words that followed set off a chain of events that would tarnish a university’s reputation and send investigators on a months-long chase across the ocean and back. It’s been just over a year since MacEwan University was blindsided by an $11.8-million fraud. While the ruse itself was simple, the case that followed was anything but. Police had to navigate a complex money-laundering scheme that funnelled some of the stolen public funds through various accounts in two continents before reinvesting it in a real-estate deal in Richmond, B.C.”

Claire Theobald – StarMetro Edmonton – October 2018

What it’s like to ride the Greyhound for 27 hours, through three provinces and 55 stops

Hamdi Issawi – StarMetro Edmonton – July 2018