How Three Sisters (and their Mom) Tried to Swindle the CRA out of Millions

“The Saker sisters seemed to be the model of rural ingenuity…upstanding community members and principled entrepreneurs.” In reality, they were fraudsters, grifting the Canadian government, all the while fooling the public with a veneer of success and a sniff of social responsibility in their food operations. Even the judge couldn’t resist the urge to respond in kind during their trial.

In her ruling, she said it was clear there were, in fact, no cupcakes being made by the Saker sisters and their mother. “What was being baked here was a scam of epic portions, made with equal measure of deceit, arrogance, gall and massively misguided creativity,” she wrote. “It is my hope that the Canadian public will never be subjected to this kind of recipe ever again.”

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Jun 21, 2022
Length: 17 minutes (4,359 words)

The Hunt for B.C.’s Most Notorious Fisherman

Jason Markusoff tells the story of an incredibly brazen fish thief. After being caught numerous times, the puzzling element is why he does not just stop.

Poaching, however, takes investment, knowledge and constant effort to evade detection. All the energy Steer has wasted ducking authorities could have been spent leasing a licence, working hard and going legit, observes Kelvin Campbell, a veteran B.C. crab fisherman. “It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s almost like he likes to get caught.”

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Apr 21, 2022
Length: 18 minutes (4,616 words)

The Nurse Imposter

Brigitte Cleroux faked her nursing credentials, and over decades, treated hundreds of patients across Canada. Sarah Treleaven attempts to follow the trail of fraud and deceit.

Cleroux was already two decades into a life of pervasive dishonesty, one that had repeatedly resulted in punishment and humiliation. And yet she continued along her path, perpetually moving on to the next con. She had been both charged and sanctioned, but nothing seemed to stop her.

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Apr 11, 2022
Length: 17 minutes (4,344 words)

A brilliant scientist was mysteriously fired from a Winnipeg virus lab. No one knows why.

“She was escorted away by the RCMP more than two years ago, sparking international controversy. What really happened to Xiangguo Qiu?”

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Feb 15, 2022
Length: 15 minutes (3,959 words)

We Gave Them Our Leftover Frozen Embryos. Now, We’re a Family.

“I had gone into this process hoping to find our embryos a loving family. But now we were finding a loving family for ourselves, too.”

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Oct 1, 2021
Length: 17 minutes (4,372 words)

Murray Sinclair on Reconciliation, Anger, Unmarked Graves—and a Headline for this Story

“I’ve been accused many times over the course of my career of giving into the system and becoming part of the tools of oppression. And what I said to people was, talk to the others within the system and ask them: ‘Is he really going along to get along?’ And they’ll tell you: ‘He’s not. He’s causing a disturbance every day he walks in the office.’”

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Aug 18, 2021
Length: 8 minutes (2,185 words)

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.”

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Aug 4, 2021
Length: 20 minutes (5,045 words)

‘I Am Mine’: This is What Alzheimer’s is Like At 41

“A swift and merciful end to Jo’s life is also the only deliverance Robin can see from this choice she doesn’t want to make, and the eventuality Jo never wanted for himself. “

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Sep 18, 2018
Length: 25 minutes (6,403 words)

Does Thomas Chan Belong in Prison?

“There is no moral certitude in this story, no clear bad guys or good guys. There are only the devastated real people it happened to, the Sullivans and the Chans, and swirling around them a bunch of lawyers, the judges, the activists, politicians, and journalists like me.”

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Nov 24, 2020
Length: 24 minutes (6,231 words)

Where People Fall from the Sky

There’s a small section of South West London in which bodies — usually black or brown bodies — fall from the sky. For Maclean’s, Shannon Gormley reports on the dangers migrants face as they attempt find safety and greater economic opportunity in a new country. While some attempt travel secreted away in transport trucks, others choose the wheel well of a jetliner traveling to London Heathrow Airport in a treacherous, and almost always fatal bid to improve their fortunes.

Source: Maclean’s
Published: Jan 2, 2020
Length: 25 minutes (6,290 words)