Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Locker Talk lineup for February 2

Here's the lineup for this week's show on Access 7 in Regina. It airs tonight at 9:00 and Saturday at noon. Not sure if there's a great demand for me to resume posting these, but what the heck!

Locker Talk Guests for February 2/16
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

  1. A Regina skip celebrates her first provincial women’s curling championship. Guests: Jolene Campbell (skip) & Ashley Howard (third).
  2. A profile of the University of Regina track and field team. Guests: Joy Becker & Liam Nystuen (Cougar track athletes).
  3. An update on the 2015/16 season for the Traveland RV Pilot Butte Storm Junior B hockey club. Guest: Cohen Yano (Storm forward).
  4. Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month. For January.
  5. An update on the 2015/16 season for the University of Regina women’s basketball team. Guests: Sidney Dobner (Guard) & Mykaela Kleisinger (Guard).
  6. A profile of the Regina Speed Skating Club. Guests: Bill Christ (Head Coach) & Kali Ann Friesen (Skater). 
  7. The Blair Necessities.  Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Prayers for La Loche

I'm not a politician, nor do I aspire to be one. I'm not usually one to climb atop a soapbox (unless the subject is the Green Bay Packers), but I'm having a hard time processing the events in La Loche today without feeling a combination of sadness, frustration and anger.

First, of course deepest sympathies go out to the people of La Loche, particularly those directly impacted by today's tragic events. The rest of us are rightfully shocked and sympathetic, but those feelings will diminish as we return to daily life in Regina, Ottawa and elsewhere. Here's the problem: I firmly believe the school shooting in La Loche is more than a terrible tragedy. It's a cry for help.

I've never been to La Loche. In fact, I've only spent one day out of my entire life in the northern part of this province. But, I've been privy to a fair bit of information about the situation up there. What happened today isn't a gun control issue. It isn't necessarily a political issue. It's more. Way, way more.

Suffice it to say our northern communities are no strangers to high rates of poverty, crime, substance abuse, violence and teen suicide (triple the per capita numbers of anywhere else in the province). And this isn't solely a Saskatchewan problem. Similar scenarios are playing out in northern communities across Canada.

So, what's being done about it? To be fair, governments have tried and continue to try. Cross ministerial and cross jurisdictional consultations have happened and programs have been launched. All the stakeholders have been invited to the table. But still, the pain continues. And it's not going away anytime soon.

Part of the problem is we're talking about a small and geographically spread out population base in the north. It's easy to forget about them while enjoying a glass of chardonnay in Wascana View or Lakeview. Small populations also don't carry a lot of votes. Then, have you ever tried to get politicians and/or bureaucrats from various levels of government to agree on anything? Good luck with that. And there's also a very real distrust of government types from "down south" within northern communities.

So, what's the answer? Lord, I wish I knew. But I do know that we all have a stake in this. (Trust me, when the powder keg goes off in the north, you'll feel it wherever you are.) We need to find solutions that are driven by the local communities. The people of La Loche and the north are the experts on what's happening in their backyards. Let's treat them like it.

But of course, solutions without resources behind them amount to lip service. And that's when the vicious cycle of distrust, despair and hopelessness is nurtured. Let's get everyone to the table (with chequebooks in hand), including the youth - especially the youth - and keep them there until some strategies are developed and committed to.

We have a new government in Ottawa. Let's see if Mr. Trudeau's "Sunny Ways" include the people of northern Saskatchewan. The mayor of La Ronge is running for the SaskParty government in the upcoming provincial election. Let's see if
Thomas Sierzycki can convince his colleagues to address the problem. Let's see if the NDP can hold the government to account on this issue. Let's encourage the people of the north to put aside their (well-earned!) distrust of the southern political machinery in order to build a brighter future for their communities.

For now, sympathy and compassion must rule the day. The Premier should visit the community. Tears will be shed and speeches will be made. But then, the real work must begin. 

Let's do something before another mother has to bury a son or daughter because someone saw the only solution available to them at the end of a gun barrel. Or a needle.

I'm going to borrow a hashtag from the Toronto Raptors NBA team. I think in this case it's also an expression of solidarity with our northern neighbours.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Locker Talk Lineup for June 23

A little late this getting this posted - sorry!  Here's the lineup for last week's show. On the bright side, I suspect it will air again this week; Tuesday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at noon. Plus it'll be available via Access' On Demand menu for a long, long time!

Locker Talk Guests for June23/15
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. The Regina Water Polo Armada is celebrating a very successful 2014/15 water polo season, and looking ahead to next year. Guests: Jacob Brentnell, Stephen Gloade & Katie Campbell (Regina water polo athletes).

2. The Regina Lawn Bowling Club gets set to host a fundraiser for KidSport Saskatchewan. Guests: Ernie Meid (Event Organizer) & Adrian Miller (KidSport Regina).  

3. The Film Room. Locker Talk sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo offers his thoughts on a sports cinema classic. This time: The Color of Money

4. A look back at some of the highlights of the 2014/15 Regina high school athletic season. Guest: Angela Tillier (RHSAA Commissioner).  

5. Panel discussion. A look back at some of the major local sports stories over the past season, and a look ahead to what’s in store for the rest of 2015. Panelists: Carlo Palazzo (Locker Talk correspondent) & Drew Dalby (104.9 The Wolf announcer). 

6. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.
( http://blair-necessities.blogspot.ca

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Locker Talk Lineup for June 16

It's the second last show of the broadcast season! You can literally feel the excitement coursing through your television screen.  Here's the lineup for the show, airing tonight at 9:00 on Access channel 7 in Regina. Also available On Demand afterwards.

Locker Talk Guests for June16/15
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2015 Swervin’ Mini Indy Laps for Life charity fundraiser. Guest: Merv Armstrong (Organizer).  

2. An update on the 2015 Western Major Baseball League season for the Regina Red Sox. Guest: Scott Douglas (Head Coach).

3. The Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum will host a special event in September, featuring former Roughrider players who chose to stay in Canada after their CFL careers ended. Guest: Carol Lafayette-Boyd (Event Organizer).

4. Organizers and participants are getting ready for the national U19 rugby championships coming to Regina in July. Guests: Krista Culling & Grant Canfield (Planning Committee Chairs) & Julia Folk (Team Canada rugby player).  

5. A preview of Merciless, the June event put on in Regina by High Impact Wrestling, and a look ahead to the popular Pile ‘O Bones Rumble in August. Guests: Alexander Prime & Bucky McGraw (HIW wrestlers).  

6. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Locker Talk Lineup for June 9

We're into the final countdown now, with only three shows left in the broadcast season. Here's the lineup for this week's instant classic. If you missed it Tuesday night, it'll air again Saturday at noon on Access channel 7 in Regina.

Locker Talk Guests for June 9/15
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2015 Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. Guests: Sheila Kelly (SSHF Executive Director) & Kim MacDougall (2015 Inductee).

2. The Campbell Tartans celebrate a 7th straight city high school track and field team championship. Guests: Darren Peters (Head Coach), Michaela Allen & Chloe McEachern (Campbell Track Athletes).  

3. Locker Talk Fitness File. The summer edition! With hosts Daniel Ince & Michelle Espino (Driven Lifestyle Group). 

4. An update on the season to date at Regina’s King’s Park Speedway. Guest: Stacey Getz (Regina Auto Racing Club President).  

5. The Regina Riot is poised to take a run at its first Western Women’s Canadian Football League championship. Guests: Thomas Retzlaff (Assistant Coach – WR) & Amery Deren (Defensive Line).  

6. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.