About Me

Hey.

This is my personal website and grumbling dumping ground. I’m a Vancouver-based journalist who works for CBC Vancouver. I also tweet at @j_mcelroy.

This website exists because Journalism Thought Leaders (TM) say that young journalists should have their own postal code on the internet. More than that, it’s a motivation for me to write for pleasure on subjects that interest and amuse me outside of local news. Most journalists in their 20s keep up a blog as they freelance around, hoping that if potential bosses Google their name, they’ll see a dedicated and thoughtful person who desperately wants to be employed. Then they get a regular paycheque, and the blog’s output dissipates. But I’m trying the opposite approach, because…well…

If you’re interested in my background, I grew up in Victoria, B.C. and went to school at the University of British Columbia. There, I learned how to be a journalist at The Ubysseythe campus paper. It’s been the training ground of amazing Canadian journalists for decades, and I was fortunate enough to learn the craft alongside some great people, winning a few national awards along the way. At the same time, I did work for NBC during the 2010 Olympics, The Vancouver SunThe Tyee, and Maclean’s On Campus.

After graduating, I worked for The Province newspaper for six months, writing multiple stories a day and falling in love with the daily grind of local news. After that, I decided that the TV news business (and not worrying about the next round of inevitable buyouts) would be an interesting challenge. I worked for Global BC from 2012 to 2016, and then decided to take the jump to the CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster.

Mostly, I’ll use this site to talk about things that interest me which have nothing to do with the news cycle. Once in a while, I may do that thing where journalists talk about journalism, but mostly I’ll bore you in different ways. Like ranting about awful Disney movies from the 1970s.

Now shoo. Seriously, you have better things to do than stare at the digital representation of my narcissism for any longer than this.

*Pleasant photo above courtesy Gerald Deo

13 Comments

  1. Mary Ann

    Would it not be interesting if Alberta starting to play hard ball with BC. Consumers not purchasing items made in BC. Perhaps albertans not holiday in BC. What if the flow of oil slows down so that the mainland had to ration fuel. What happened to the concept of Canadians pulling together for the greater good of the country. We, as a country, are being held hostage by the green movement. We are losing billions of dollars in revenue that fund schools hospitals etc. We can’t keep taxing the corporations before they take their investments to other countries. I hope Alberta does retaliate if Kinder Morgans permits are slowed down. We need the jobs and the country needs the revenue.

  2. Robin Caldwell

    Hi Justin,

    I read your article on the protest of locating modular buildings in Marpole to shelter the homeless in the winter months.
    I applaud the City of Vancouver for proposing this solution,but on looking at the picture of the protesters, I realized
    that some of them, if not all, are partially responsible for the homeless situation, caused by rising rents and real estate values created by “new” Canadians and off shore buyers.
    I also believe they are more worried about the value of their homes by bringing homeless people to their neighborhood
    and are using the proximity to an elementary school as a smoke screen.
    Apparently the homeless people will be monitored and cared for by social workers and will not present a threat to children.
    I hope the City of Vancouver does not bow to their demands as it appears nowadays the visual minorities always
    get the upper hand.
    At the present time ,Justin, I am out of the country but I read the CBC news daily to keep in touch and will look forward
    to more of your columns

  3. Darrin Rose

    ‪hey man, I love that you’re doing this, and I love the Kids in the Hall. But KITH is an American HBO show that CBC bought.‬

  4. Bill Burt

    Read your story about kids commuting to school with great interest. For those of us who went to elementary school in the 60s walking to school was a way of life unless you had a bicycle. You walked with your friends trading stories and making plans. Surely that’s better than being dropped off 5 minutes before class half asleep. I’m not sure I buy into the “dangerous world out there” theory. Why can’t we teach them to walk facing traffic, look both ways before crossing and don’t talk to strangers. Worked for my generation.

  5. Brian Rosner

    I think that Mayor Robertson’s bank account should undergo a forensic type audit before he leaves office and starts collecting his huge City of Vancouver pension.

  6. Greg Fleck

    Justin good reporting but you missed the opportunity to hammer Robertson on the cities direct impact to housing costs And affordability

    Currently in Vancouver over 30% of the purchase price of a new condo is directly attributed to the city charges such as DCC CAC etc

    These have dramatically increased under his term

    The simple cost formula for costing is one third land, one third building and the last city charges

    He keeps blaming the Feds and Province when in fact he has been the major culprit

  7. Chriscampbell@telu.net

    Justin
    Hear you are off to Ucluelet.
    We drove there from Newfoundland in 1972. It has changed a bit since, but still serves as the community where working tofitians live, there are still fishing industry installations and now there is a whole range of tourist accommodations.

    Two weeks ago was our latest in many visits since we moved west 25 years ago.

    The Wild Pacific Trail is remarkable and all hikers are blown away by their first visit! The aquarium is absolutely wonderful, even for a jaded marine scientist! The food experience at Norwoods etc is incredible.

    Of course a visit to Torino Brewing is essential on any afternoon!

    We cannot drive or camp on the beach like the first time, but not a great loss.

    We cannot drink through a disposable straw, but surely a leadership position. Remember a little bit of cash so you can buy your cleanable steel straw.

  8. Wendy Davis

    Hi Justin, what is your email address? Having some issues up here in Mount Waddington district with our representative posting racist posts on Facebook. Would like to send you screenshots. Thanks, Wendy Davis, Sointula, BC

  9. Nick McDonald

    Hi Justin, you may not remember me well but we spent a good amount of time together as kids; my name is Nick McDonald. In particular I remember you kicking my butt at preteen wrestling matches.

    I heard you this morning on CBC and looked you up, I’m intrigued with your website already and will be checking out your work. You must have worked very hard to get where you are.

    GZ – Nick

  10. Nick Thomas

    I believe it was your work that Daybreak South reported on this morning.

    I note your article on the CBC news website states the promise to “Complete Highway 1 upgrades to the Alberta border” is “ongoing”. I would argue that this is an EXTREMELY GENEROUS judgement of the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure’s performance on one of her main ministerial mandate priorities. Major projects announced by the previous government have been delayed and are still waiting to be put out to contract. For example Kicking Horse Canyon Phase 4 was supposed to go to contract in the spring of last year and start construction this spring. That contract still hasn’t gone out to tender, just as Chase West and Salmon Arm West haven’t (some preliminary work on the latter is being done – but the main contract hasn’t been put out to tender). Half way into this term the government has only announced one new project to upgrade the Quartz Creek bridge (with no details of start or end dates). Curiously an upgrade on that bridge was only completed last year – maybe that work revealed structural problems or perhaps someone realized that it was finally time to deal with one of the highway’s many serious accident black spots.

    I believe that a major factor in the delay is the time taken to set up BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc to enforce the Community Benefits Agreement on these highway construction projects. One highway project has (very recently) been contracted under that agreement – the Illicillewaet Brake Check upgrade that was supposed to start work in 2017! (I do realize that at least some of that delay must be the responsibility of the previous government.) BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc is also a responsibility of the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

    A couple of years ago Global News reported that a section of the Trans-Canada Highway was the ‘most lethal highway in the province’ based on their analysis of ICBC fatal accident data. However I sadly understand that this is a peripheral issue (if even that important) in the population centres of the Lower Mainland and Southern Island and, as such, a trivial issue for our politicians and journalists.

    Despite my disappointment on this issue, thanks for your otherwise valuable work on analyzing the government’s performance. If you want more information on the failure to upgrade the Trans-Canada (by either provincial party or federal government) I would be happy to help – I have plenty of evidence!

    Nicholas Thomas
    Box 2682
    Revelstoke BC
    V0E 2S0

    ——– Forwarded Message ——–
    Subject: Broken election promises
    Date: Thu, 30 May 2019 08:08:53 -0700
    From: Nick Thomas
    To: daybreakkelowna@cbc.ca

    Trying to find the list of election promises you discussed this morning on the internet.

    Disappointed that there was no mention in your report of the broken promise to ‘accelerate’ upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway between Kamloops to the Alberta Border. I guess this highlights that the appalling carnage on the highway sadly isn’t an issue in the places that matter – i.e. population centers where the votes are. All this government has achieved so far is to delay upgrades announced by the previous government. This seems to be because of the time taken to set up BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc to enforce the Community Benefits Agreement on contracts for upgrade projects.

    Nick Thomas
    Revelstoke BC

  11. Dmitrieff Family

    If you remember you did a review of the video “infomercial” made by Mayor Morden of Maple Ridge……would you like to do more of a follow up as to what is happening in our community….really bad!

  12. Dave Thomson

    In the early ‘90,s I took a charter fishing tip out of Kitamat. We overnighted at Hartley Bay and the next morning headed out to the south west. Needing a bio break, we stopped at an island and upon going ashore we found a grave yard that was not on any marine charts. There were about 10 graves with the oldest grave marker indicating that the person had died about 1867 and the most recent was of a child that died about 1906. All of the names appeared to be those of Russian settlers and this was further indicated by the Russian orthodox cross on one of the grave markers.
    My question is “Why is there no record of Russian settlements along the BC coast?” and why is there no history (at least as far as I has been able to find) of any settlements?
    I am saddened to think that this tiny grave yard will disappear without a trace or any remebrance of their existence when we seem to bend over backwards for every other historical group of early settlers.

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