10 Maclean’s stories that defined 2021

This year saw our journalists cover the pandemic, the future of the Liberal party, class inequality, forgiveness and more

Vina Nadjibulla (Photograph by Eric Putz)

(Photograph by Eric Putz)

A promise to Michael

Vina Nadjibulla and other family members have been waging a seemingly impossible fight to free her husband from a Chinese prison. After two torturous years, what does Canada owe ‘the two Michaels’?

Read the feature by Shannon Proudfoot

Kamloops, B.C. Three bedrooms, with a three-bed basement suite Sold for $390,000 in June 2018 Listed January 2021 for $499,900 Sold March 11, 2021 for $560,750 (Photograph by Kathleen Fisher)

(Photograph by Kathleen Fisher)

Nowhere to buy

Soaring home prices, insane bidding wars and cancelled dreams have spread from urban centres into towns across Canada. How did everywhere become Toronto and Vancouver?

Read the investigation by Jason Markusoff

People sit on the blue chairs of the Promenade des Anglais before their removal to avoid public gatherings during the second national lockdown as part of the measures to fight a second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nice, France, November 12, 2020. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters)

(Eric Gaillard/Reuters)

Friend rentals and robots: How businesses are creating solutions for the loneliness epidemic

Companionship and cuddles are on sale as ‘the loneliness economy’ takes off amidst a spike in the rate of isolation

Read the story by Brian Bethune

Year One: The untold story of the pandemic in Canada

In March of 2020, Canadians started dying of COVID-19 and the country shut down. This is a comprehensive report on the country’s mishandling of the crisis of the century.

Read the sweeping, 22,000-word piece by Stephen Maher

(Photo illustration by Anna Minzhulina)

(Photo illustration by Anna Minzhulina)

The war inside the Canadian Armed Forces

In the wake of multiple exits by senior leaders after untested allegations of misconduct, fixing its badly broken justice system is now the most important mission facing the beleaguered military

Read the feature by Marie-Danielle Smith

(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Forgiving Jaskirat Sidhu

Who deserves absolution, and when, is one of humanity’s most vexing questions—one families devastated by the Humboldt Broncos tragedy can’t seem to avoid

Read the feature by Aaron Hutchins

Zachary Bonneau. (Photo illustration by Hsiao-Ron Cheng)

(Photo illustration by Hsiao-Ron Cheng)

Every 49 minutes

That’s how frequently people died of drug poisoning in Canada during one dreadful week last summer. Here, their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters share a message: the opioid crisis touches everyone.

Read the gripping feature by Michael Friscolanti

(Photograph by Ian Patterson)

The working class has had enough

How a once undervalued, ignored and politically silent group is fighting back

Read the analysis by Shannon Proudfoot

(Photograph by Christopher Katsarov Luna)

First it took his mom. Then his dad. Then, finally, him. The story of a family stolen by COVID-19.

So many people thought of the Saini family’s once-bustling Brampton, Ont. house as a second home. Now, it’s just another empty space.

Read the gut-wrenching story by Marie-Danielle Smith

Trudeau and the newly sworn in ministers in Ottawa on Oct. 26, 2021 (Courtesy of Alex Tétreault/PMO)

(Courtesy of Alex Tétreault/PMO)

The future of the Liberal Party—without Justin Trudeau

The biggest question in Canadian politics in 2022 is whether Trudeau will still be PM when the year is done. The Grits may be forced to consider life after him—and what they even stand for without him.

Read the political analysis by Paul Wells

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