The Current

What does life look like post-pandemic? The Current asked Canadians across the country

Canada's Road Ahead takes us on a virtual road trip across the country, to speak with Canadians about how the pandemic has changed their lives, and what they see in their future.

Virtual road trip asks Canadians how the pandemic has changed their lives

Canada's Road Ahead is a virtual road trip that asks Canadians about their experience of the pandemic. (CBC)

After months of life in a pandemic, will the experience have a lasting impact on the lives of Canadians? And what do they think those changes might look like?

The Current's virtual road trip, Canada's Road Ahead, set off across the country in January 2021, hearing from Canadians about how the pandemic has affected their lives, and what the road ahead might look like.

Scroll through the stops below, and click the links to read and hear more.

Amid pandemic, bakery owners find love and hope in community

The Current

4 months ago
2:16
Marlene and Steve Bishop run a bakery in Gander, N.L., which has suffered a drop in business as the local airport slowed down during COVID-19. They filmed a little of their daily life for CBC Radio, and spoke about how the pandemic has affected them, and what lies ahead. 2:16
 

The pandemic brought Newfoundland's famous Gander Airport to a standstill, posing an economic risk to the town that relies on it. But while the local community has rallied around small businesses like Steve and Marlene Bishop's Gander Bread Box, airport CEO Reg Wright warns that regional airports need more federal support. If they don't get it, services to smaller communities will be affected, like "dots just wiped off the map," he said.

Listen and read more here: Gander was built around its airport. With flights grounded, residents say local businesses are suffering

‘Keep persevering, keep pushing’: St. FX student following basketball dream

The Current

3 months ago
2:20
Azaro Roker came to study in Antigonish, N.S., from the Bahamas. He misses his family, but is working hard towards his dream of becoming a professional basketball player. He filmed a little of his daily life for CBC Radio, and spoke about how the pandemic has affected him, and what lies ahead. 2:20
 

In Antigonish, N.S., students at St. Francis Xavier University discuss trying to find the normal in a fairly abnormal year. As they step out into the working world, legendary basketball coach Steve Konchalski is retiring after a successful career spanning 45 years at the university. The pandemic means that retirement comes with relatively little fanfare. He talks about coaching his players through a difficult year, and helping them realize their potential on and off the court.

Listen and read more here: Graduating in a pandemic, these N.S. students reflect on what they've learned in a 'chaotic' final year

Amber Jenkins's restaurant, the Bluefin in Souris, P.E.I., burned down in May 2020. (Pat Martel/CBC, Brian Higgins/CBC)

Amber Jenkins managed to keep her restaurant afloat in the early months of the pandemic last year, until a fire destroyed the entire building. But with the support of her local community, Jenkins has bounced back. She tells us how that recovery was possible, while Dalhousie University's Michael Ungar discusses what her story can teach us about resilience.

Amber Jenkins tells Matt Galloway about the night she got a message saying her restaurant was on fire. 1:50

Listen to the full interview and read more here: This woman's restaurant burned down in the pandemic. Here's what her story shows us about resilience

River Ward, left, helps prepare meals at the Natoaganeg Community Food Centre in Eel Ground First Nation, N.B. The organization is fostering a sense of unity among the community during the pandemic. (Submitted by River Ward)

The COVID-19 pandemic has slashed millions of jobs — and with it, many Canadians' ability to put enough food on the table. But in one New Brunswick First Nation, where access to food has been an issue for years, a local food centre is bringing community members together and helping them build for the future.

Listen and read more here: How the pandemic brought a N.B. First Nation together to tackle food insecurity

Stanstead, Que., residents Laura Wood, left, Jasmine Wood, and baby Elizabeth Gatley stand on their town's side of the Canada-U.S. border. Gatley's great grandmother, Melinda Wood, stands on the Vermont side. This is how the family has been meeting since the Canada-U.S. border, which runs through Stanstead, closed due to the pandemic. (Spencer Van Dyk/CBC)

The COVID-19 crisis has kept many of us away from family and friends. But in Stanstead, Que., that divide is even more acute, because the U.S.-Canada border — closed tight during this pandemic — runs right through the town. We hear how that border closure is impacting the community, and how residents came together for a rare long-term care success story.

Listen here: How the pandemic divided a Quebec town along the U.S.-Canada border

Deborah Swyer-Burke is part of a group of Sudbury, Ont., volunteers providing clothing and food to individuals experiencing homelessness. Advocates for the homeless are calling for more affordable housing to address homelessness in the long term. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Like many places in Canada, homelessness is a growing problem in Sudbury, Ont. In 2018, around 3,000 people in Sudbury experienced some form of homelessness, or were at risk of becoming homeless. And as the pandemic amplifies the challenges that people without shelter face, advocates say the solution lies in bolstering the city's stock of affordable housing.

Listen and read more here: 'We can help solve this': Sudbury housing advocate calls for long-term solutions to end homelessness

When Christie-Mae Quives posted updates about her husband Lester's recovery online, she received positive comments from all over the world. (Christie-Mae Quives/Facebook )

As COVID-19 raged through Steinbach, Man., last November, Filipino-Canadian Lester Quives got sick and ended up in a coma. When his wife Christie-Mae shared their story online, she received an outpouring of support from around the world. We hear their story, and talk to Filipino advocate Kris Ontong about how his community has fared in the pandemic. Plus, we talk to Steinbach Mayor Earl Funk about the deadly spike in cases in the fall, and lockdown protests that made it that much harder to get it under control. 

Listen and read more here: When this Filipino-Canadian shared news of her husband's COVID-19 plight, the whole world listened

Joe Savikataaq Jr., the mayor of Arviat, Nunavut, has been speaking to residents over the local radio every night during the pandemic, to help keep their spirits high. (Submitted by Joe Savikataaq Jr.)

In normal times, the hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut would be bustling with activities, and neighbours would be striking up conversations in the street. But after it became the epicentre of the territory's COVID-19 outbreak, residents were locked down for more than 100 days straight, and were forced to stay apart. A local radio broadcast has been bringing the community together virtually, and keeping spirits up with everything from live music, to game shows, to traditional teachings and messages from elders.

Listen and read more here: How radio is lifting spirits in a Nunavut hamlet hit hard by COVID-19

Not being able to be on the ice is pretty hard

The Current

1 month ago
2:53
Junior hockey is a big part of life in Estevan, Sask. — but not this year. With the upcoming season cancelled due to COVID-19, we talk to “devastated” young player Owen Simmons and his mom, Jennifer. They filmed a little of their daily life for CBC Radio, and spoke about how the pandemic has affected them, and trying to stay focused on where the road ahead could lead. 2:53

Junior hockey is a big part of life in Estevan, Sask. — but not this year. With news this week that the upcoming season has been cancelled due to COVID-19, we talk to "devastated" player Owen Simmons and his mom Jennifer; hockey fan and billet dad Andrew Tait; and Estevan Bruins head coach Jason Tatarnic.

Listen here: Young Saskatchewan player 'devastated' by cancelled hockey season

Advocate calls for N.W.T. elders to be able to age in place

9 days ago
2:12
Margaret Leishman, of Kakisa, N.W.T., explains what it means for seniors to be able to grow old in their own communities. 2:12

Many elders in the N.W.T. must move hundreds of kilometres to access care facilities as they age, cut off from their land and loved ones. We talk to elder and advocate Margaret Leishman in Kakisa, N.W.T., who wants more support for elders to age in place. Angela Grandjambe, housing manager for Fort Good Hope, tells us about a new facility that has just opened to allow seniors to stay close to their communities.

Margaret Leishman, an elder and advocate in Kakisa, N.W.T., describes what ageing in place means to her. 0:29

Listen and read more here: N.W.T. seniors often move vast distances for care. Some elders want support to age in place, with loved ones

Jessica Rejman, centre, with her fiancé Tyler Ross. (Submitted by Jessica Rejman)

In Fort McMurray, Alta., the devastation of last year's floods was compounded by the pandemic, and ongoing economic uncertainty. We talk to Jessica Rejman, who in the past year has dealt with flood damage, postponing her wedding, and facing the loss of her job in the energy sector; and Dan Edwards, who runs the Wood Buffalo Food Bank.

Listen and read more here: Fort McMurray grapples with fallout of floods, economic uncertainty, and now a pandemic

Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall is a gold rush-themed casino in Dawson City, Yukon, with live stage shows and staff wearing period costumes. (Annie Kierans/CBC)

Low COVID-19 case numbers and a high vaccination rate are starting to make life feel normal again in Dawson City, Yukon. But for locals who work in the city's tourism industry, it's vital that the rest of the world can visit again soon.

Listen and read more here: Life almost back to normal in Yukon, but tourism sector needs the world to catch up

Orchardist Sukhdeep Brar inspects cherries on his Summerland, B.C., property in 2020. His business is facing labour issues again this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Wine and fruit producers in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley faced lots of challenges last year, due to the pandemic. Border restrictions meant it was tough to find workers to bring in their harvest, and they had to come up with new ways to sell their goods. Although people had high hopes for a better new year, some businesses say they're facing the same challenges as in 2020. On the final stop in our virtual road trip, we speak with Brarstar Orchards owner Sukhdeep Brar, Okanagan Crush Pad Winery co-owner Christine Coletta, and Summerland Sweets general manager Len Filek.

Listen and read more here: B.C. orchards, wineries 'just hoping for the best' as another COVID summer approaches

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