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  • VOCM Roundtables

     Moving Towards Marijuana…Are We Ready? 

    July 1 is fast approaching. Marijuana legislation will be in effect. There are still many questions, such as: How will marijuana be regulated? What are the health risks? How do we measure impairment?

    VOCM News Director Linda Swain met with a panel of guests to discuss what we know and what we still need to learn.

    Minister of Justice and Public Safety Andrew Parsons
    President of Association of Psychology NL, Registered Psychologist Dr. Janine Hubbard
    VP Programs with Safety NL Lloyd Hobbs
    Pharmacist Keith Bailey
    Prospective Entrepreneur Thomas Clarke

    Listen to the special roundtable discussion, originally broadcast January 25, 2018, below:

    VOCM News Director Linda Swain discusses the state of the province following the release of the 2017 Vital Signs report.

    She is joined by the  CEO of Stella’s Circle Lisa Browne, newly-elected Mayor of Bonavista John Norman, Vital Signs Lead Researcher Halina Sapeha, the Harris Centre’s Cathy Newhook, and the Community Foundation of NL’s Executive Director, Dr. Ainsley Hawthorn.

    Listen as the panel discusses the issues brought forward on the province’s unofficial report card.   First aired October 23, 2017.

    The three candidates in the St. John’s Mayoral Race sat with Paddy Daly and VOCM News Director Linda Swain for a Mayoral Candidates Forum on Your VOCM.

    Andy Wells, Danny Breen, and Renee Sharpe discuss the issues that face the province’s capital: issues that are important to you, the voter.

    Listen in to the candidates talk about their individual plans for the future of St. John’s, and answer the questions that need to be answered. First aired September 12, 2017.


    The startling number of Fentanyl related overdoses in the province comes as no shock to those who help people struggling with substance abuse issues.

    Tree Walsh is the Outreach Coordinator for SWAP, the Safe Works Access Program. Walsh says ten years ago the main drug of choice on the streets was oxycontin, but now people are using other potentially deadly drugs, including heroin, that are in some cases laced with Fentanyl. Dr. Bruce Hollett says there are many reason why people use drugs like Fentanyl, but they all agree there is one thing driving the production – money. Dr. Lisa Bishop is the interim dean at the School of Pharmacy at MUN. First aired May 12, 2017.



    A panel of new and native Newfoundlanders and Labradorians discuss the state of immigration in the province from the point of view of refugees, immigrants and those that work with them. First aired Feb 28, 2017.



    A discussion of the impact of Budget 2016, featuring MUN Political Scientist Stephen Tomlin, Charlene Brake from CBS, Tracy Murphy from Bay Roberts, Jon Parsons ( Social Justice Cooperative of NL ) and Damien Keating from Deer Lake ( on the phone ) who started a petition against the levy.







    A St. John’s man is speaking out about his experience with a family member’s eating disorder with the hope it will help others who are suffering. Wilf Curran’s daughter Lana passed away last month, she was 36. Lana had battled bulimia for about 20 years. While her situation was complicated by juvenile diabetes, Curran is sure it was the eating disorder that ultimately caused her death.

    Curran joined the Eating Disorder Foundation of NL when it started. He is still a member of the Board of Directors. Fred Hutton presents a special VOCM Roundtable: Lana’s Story.


    March 5-7, the Department of Gender Studies at Memorial University and the Safe Harbour Outreach Project hosted a three day event called Sex Work: Soliciting Reflections to encourage informed conversations about sex work.


    Left to right: Emily van der Meulen, Morgan M. Page, and Laura Winters.

    This roundtable featured three speakers involved with that event. Dr. Emily van der Meulen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology at Ryerson University. Her research interests broadly include the criminalization of sexual labour, gendered experiences of surveillance, and prison health and harm reduction.

    Morgan M. Page is a transsexual performance and video artist, writer, and activist in Montreal. She is a former sex worker and has been working in sex workers’ organizing for the past decade.

    Laura Winters is the Coordinator of S.H.O.P., the Safe Harbour Outreach Project, with the St. John’s Status of Women’s Council / Women’s Centre in St. John’s.

    The roundtable is moderated by VOCM News Director Fred Hutton and VOCM News Reporter/ Web Editor and Master of Gender Studies candidate at Memorial University, Zaren Healey White.


    This roundtable features Vince Withers, Chair of the Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Patricia Nash, Dr. Michelle Neary, and Stephanie Lee.


    OUTLOOK 2015


    Newfoundland and Labrador will face some significant challenges this year. With oil prices in rapid decline and two general elections slated for 2015, we assembled a panel to discuss what people can expect over the coming 12 months.


    Oil will play a big role in how the provincial government weathers this storm, so to discuss what is happening within the industry, we called on Rob Strong who has been working In the business since 1979.


    Allison Coffin is a per-course instructor at the Department of Economics at MUN. She teaches a course entitled Structure and Problems of the Newfoundland  and Labrador Economy.


    Operating a business in this economy will not be without its challenges. John Steele is President of Steele Communications, which operates 28 Radio Licenses in Nfld and Labrador. John is also President of Steele Hotels, with a combined workforce of approximately 600 employees.


    With federal and provincial elections scheduled in 2015, it is promising to be a very busy year. Stephen Tomblin is a professor in Political Science and Medicine at Memorial University.


    Listen below for the VOCM Roundtable discussion, Outlook 2015, hosted by Fred Hutton.




    Our year-end roundtable takes a look at 2014’s most prominent stories, discussed by the journalists who covered them. From the House of Assembly to the Supreme Court of Canada, here’s what our reporters had to say.




    The complete audio of a VOCM Special Roundtable Presentation with John Crosbie and Bill Barry, moderated by Fred Hutton, can be heard below.



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