The Overcast’s Top 10 Stories from 2018

In case you missed it: We published hundreds of stories; a story a day in 2018. These 10 got the most reads and reaction.

Also, to clarify a few common queries in 2018:

  • No, Editor Chad Pelley, and columnist and regular contributor Chad Bennett are not the same person. Chad may be a relatively uncommon name, but we’re not all the same.
  • Yes, there will be another burger Battle in February.
  • Yes, The Overcast has quietly terminated its Borealis Music Prize. The intention of the award was to shine a spotlight on local music at the end of every year, and help sell a few albums. However, the music prize consistently raised more negative sentiment among local musicians (in terms of things like who made the juried long or shortlist) than celebratory sentiment and albums sales among local music consumers. The music prize was a considerable investment of time, work, and money we can pour into something better received in the community, and with more impact. Something less subjective and polarizing, of more benefit to the wider community.

A Tsunami of Seniors Might Crash Our Healthcare System
By Chad Pelley 

Newfoundland & Labrador has the most rapidly aging population in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, the number of people 85 and over has grown by 127% between 1993 and 2013. They predict that by 2036, people over 65 will constitute a quarter of our population. This sudden surge in senior healthcare needs will burden our already over-burdened healthcare system to the point of maybe doing lasting damage.

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Calling BS: Newfoundlanders Are NOT The Country’s Friendliest Canadians
By Face Palmer

2018 was the year we crucified international icon, chef Anthony Bourdain, for what his episode on  Newfoundland did and did not show (as if a single 45-minute episode could cover it all). It was the year we made gay youth feel unworthy of a crosswalk, the year elected officials were evicted from the House of Commons for bullying (at age 40+). In May, The Overcast’s cover story was “1 in 8 minorities feel discrimination in NL.” This submission from “Face Palmer” asked a contentious question: are we really as friendly as we see ourselves?

Read The Story Here

Contraver-Sea: Why The Grieg Aquaculture Project In Placentia Bay Is Such A Big Deal
By Chad Pelley

Aquaculture can be done right, with great environmental benefits, or done wrong, with great ecological damage. The Grieg aquaculture project in Placentia Bay will be the largest aquaculture project in our province, maybe the country, so our government’s unchecked enthusiasm for another potentially ill-fated mega-project has people worried.

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Follow Up: Are Food Banks Willing And Able To Distribute Wild Game?
By Chad Bennett

One of our cover stories this fall pushed for the implementation of a “Hunters Feeding the Hungry” program in our province, modeled after similar programs in North American, where hunters donate excess meat to food banks. A few easily amended glitches make this somewhat illegal in our province; meanwhile food bank shelves are consistently bare or stock with low quality foods. Upon the release of this story, all media outlets in the province spoke about the program. Minster Byrne implied that food banks in NL are not interested in or able to donate wild game. So we had Chad Bennett asked around to test his claim.

Read the Story Here

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Labra-Doorway: Labrador Could Be The Future Trade Route Of Global Commerce
By Chad Bennett

Labrador Northwest Passage

The northwest passage is poised to be the future trade route of global commerce. Once a mythical door to the east, then an impassable ice channel, climate change is melting ice and poising the northwest passage to be the future trade route of global commerce. China and Russia in particular are eyeing it. Depending on how our province prepares for this, Labrador could be the Atlantic arctic gateway, or a sidelined recipient of the fallout.

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No Regular John: How Bonavista’s Mayor Is Building Up The Peninsula
By Badge

In Bonavista, residents, not tourists, are building the unprecedented boom in the area’s population and cultural magnetism. This article lays out the vision and successful strategy of its notably young new mayor, John Norman, in revitilizing rural Newfoundland. Or Bonavista anyway. He says himself what is working for him might not work everywhere.

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Snelgrove Trial Appeal Could Affect Canada’s Legal Definition Of Consent
By Emily Deming

Snelgrove rape trial

In the most infamous court case in recent NL history, modern law proved incapable of conjuring a guilty charge for a cop who drove a drunk woman home, entered her home, and had unconsentual sex with her, all while on duty. Emily Deming’s continued and in-depth coverage on the trial in 2018 revealed that the jury was never allowed to consider section 273.1(2)(c) of the criminal code, which reads “no consent is obtained … where the accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority,” and how a decision on the trial’s appeal would affect the legal definition of consent in our court system.

Read the Story Here

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The Story Of Ross Larkin: The New Face Of Newfoundland Cuisine
By Chad Pelley

Ross Larkin is the chef de cuisine at Raymonds, which means he’s in charge of the kitchen at the most renowned restaurant in our province, maybe even the country. If that isn’t impressive enough, this June he did something no other local chef has done to date, when he won Top Chef Canada. This article chronicles his culinary journey from a kid working in his grandfather’s restaurant to the unlikely way he was taken under the wing of chef Jeremy Charles at Raymonds.

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The Truly Surprising Story Of Mary Brown’s
By Chris Donaldson

Mary Brown's

Everyone’s had a feed of Mary Brown’s, it needs no introduction. But did you know Mary Brown was a real woman, from Virginia? It’s true. It’s also true that Mary Brown might have  never set foot here on the island. This is the story of two lads from Newfoundland, and how they brought Mary’s recipe to Newfoundland, paving the way for a chain that has never slowed down — it has enjoyed 40% growth in the last 2 years.

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NL Women Face Nation’s Biggest Wage Gap Despite Being Better Educated Than Men
By Stephanie Smith

The headline kind of says it all: More women than men graduate every year with degrees in fields like medicine, business, science, and education. Yet 66% of minimum wage workers in our province are women. The article explores why and what can be done as a few first steps to remedy this.

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