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Behind the camera

The reports that feature on this page were compiled over two semesters in the graduate Media Convergence program at St. Clair College, Windsor, Ont.

In this section:

Feature stories


Cryptocurrency: The latest economic trend

Mini documentary

Print Feature

Life in the time of opioid addiction in Windsor, Ont.

The bank did it again. Raised their costs. Transactions take ages and cross-border transfers are riddled with regulations and hidden costs. Isn’t there a better way?
An increasing number of people are questioning the banking industry. This has given rise to the emerging private monetary system of cryptocurrency.
As Bernard de Vaal explains, cryptocurrency is trendy, but is it smart?


In Windsor, Ont. — a city of about 220,000 people in the province's southwest — three libertarian-minded entrepreneurs have entered cryptocurrency’s world-wide mining, selling and blockchain technology race in what they hope will be a digital goldmine.

The front door of a middle-class Canadian suburban home yawns open, late on a weekday morning. The frail figure of a woman beckons me in. Clinging to her leg in the musty smelling hallway is a redheaded toddler who looks suspiciously at the visitor.

Stephanie Bertrand is a 36-year-old woman from Windsor, Ont. On her bony wrist sits a fading blue flower tattoo, the same shade as her eyes. Her skin carries deep blemished scars and when she smiles she reveals a set of brittle, decaying teeth.

Since the age of 22 she’s been exchanging vicious blows with her never-tiring arch rival. Addiction.

Stephanie Bertrand has been fighting a 16-year battle with addiction. Her greatest fear has been losing her four children. Stephanie’s home, Oct. 27, 2017, Windsor, Ont.


From left to right: Joshua Ndolo, CEO of Amani. Ian France, entrepreneur selling PRO-currency. Kevin Roy, mines cryptocurrency. Muharem Kianeiff, assoc. prof. of law at University of Windsor.


"I went down to the river and standing next to the river. I climbed over the railing and I was ready to jump in. I was ready for the undertow take me.

I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to get off of it. I didn't know how to stop it...."

Opioid addiction in Windsor, Ont. - Bernard de Vaal reports
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PAK reporting

Package reports are compiled as video, radio and print stories along with a social media drive to advertise the stories. To watch, click the video link. To read the print article, click "read more."

Student rally takes on Canada's biggest restaurant chain

NDP believe franchisees are being directed by the parent company, which it denies.

A student group is calling out big corporations that they believe are using loopholes in labour laws to offset profit losses as a result of the minimum wage hike to $14/hour.

Remembrance Day Parade. Riverside Branch 255 Windsor, Ont.

Remembering not to be forgotten - News article

 “T. Murray, Pat Phillips, Joe Prier, Charlie Johnston…”

The names of fallen comrades. Young cadets with stony faces avert their gaze in sympathy with veterans of wars long since forgotten. Long serving veterans, in military dress adorned with accoutrements. Their weakening fists clenched to keep the emotions stealthy.

Canadians' data also stolen in Cambridge Analytica data breach

“Malicious actors could have scraped your public profile information,” Facebook CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg

On April 9, Facebook will add a new tool for its over 2 billion users. It’s not new photo sharing capabilities or a virtual reality storefront. Users will be able to see if their private information was stolen.

Windsor's ailing bicycle route infrastructure

The City of Windsor has secured $1.7 million in funding for the city’s disjointed cycling network.

Whether you prefer riding with the breeze in your hair on the Riverside Drive waterfront trail or just love the sound of leaves rustling while pedaling on the Ganatchio Trail, Windsor’s leisure bike routes are a feast for bike lovers. Cycling to work however, is a completely different type of adventure.

UWill Discover brings humanities back into the fold

“Instead of putting out a call for abstracts, we put out a call for submissions,” said Phillipe Wernette, UWill Discover conference chair

It’s rare that pregraduate students are offered a platform to showcase their research in a conference setting. The UWill Discover Conference at the UofWindsor recently changed this for over 140 student authors.

Walkerville Holiday Extravaganza, 2017

Adding the spice of care at Walkerville Brewery.

Walkerville Brewery is spicing up the holidays with two sentimental favorites – coffee and beer – combined into one limited series drink they like to call Spiced Mocha Porter.

Windsor's first Mini Maker Faire

It’s called the greatest show-and-tell on earth

On show were automated embroidering, CO2 laser engraving and cutting, 3D printing and robots. Lots and lots of robots. The bonus: an interactive environment.

Surface flooding a possible headache for Windsor

The rising temperatures and forecast rain could test the city's storm sewers yet again.

“Sometimes people wouldn’t, couldn’t move their cars,” said City of Windsor engineer Mark Winterton. “When the plows came down, they pushed that large amount of snow and it didn’t push it right off the road but just onto the top of a catch basin.”

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All the podcasts were recorded at my home

Verifying the truth of the more controversial stories in your newsfeed.

In “Cooked up, shook-up or looked up” I put the latest controversial stories from your newsfeed on the stand and interrogate them till they crack. You wouldn’t want to get caught with a severe case of foot in mouth disease when showing off your scholarliness, now would you?

Episode One

On the stand today:

  • $240million spent on refrigerators for Air Force One

  • A-list celebrities speaking out against Obama, and

  • Indian farmers injecting fruits and vegetables with a dangerous prescription drug.

CUSULU Ep. 1 - by Bernard de Vaal
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Episode Two

On the stand today:

  • Pluto reclassified as a major planet

  • Vaccines are causing Autism, and

  • Trump punishes NFL by revoking their non-profit status.

CUSULU Ep. 2 - by Bernard de Vaal
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Episode Three

On the stand today:

  • The Church of the dark lord Lucifer opens in Colombia, South America.

  • A Good Old Party Candidate from Maine calls a Parkland school shooting survivor a skinhead and lesbian, and

  • Man kills a black bear in New Jersey while it was hibernating.

CUSULU Ep. 3 - by Bernard de Vaal
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Episode Four

I've actually recorded a whole music album in "my basement."

On the stand today:

  • A statue of a native American going up at the US embassy in Russia.

  • Swedish parliament rejects seven proposals for mandatory vaccinations.

Episode Five

On the stand today:

  • An alarming trend in people using insecticide to get high.

  • A quick lesson in online tools that help detect fake news and tips for self-checking

Radio is my first love. I devour podcasts.
CUSULU Ep. 5 - by Bernard de Vaal
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