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The Heard Podcast

The Heard Podcast

By MLA David Shepherd
Welcome to The Heard, a weekly podcast with MLA David Shepherd looking at how the decisions made under the Alberta Legislature dome, connecting with the issues that matter to you.
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The "Best Summer Ever"
Join MLA David Shepherd as he sits down with MLA Kathleen Ganley to discuss the recent events in Alberta including the government house shut down, the covid 19 variants getting out of hand and dissent within the UCP party.
May 12, 2021
Season 2 Episode 13 - Can I Afford Post-Secondary?
Join MLA David Shepherd and MLA David Eggen as they get into the steep tuition hikes students will be facing next fall.
April 26, 2021
Season 2 Episode 12 - Symbols Mean Something
Join MLA David Shepherd Critic for Health with special guest Thomas Dang MLS for Infrastructure. They talk about the "Freedom Rally", symbols of hate appearing in Alberta, and more of the governments continued lack of action in keeping Albertans safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 29, 2021
Season 2 Episode 11 - Where Are My Supports?
Host David Shepherd sits down with Deron Bilous to talk about the governments new budget 2021. Keep up to date with the latest news from the Legislature!
March 19, 2021
Season 2 Episode 10 - The Future Is In Your Hands Alberta
In this episode David Shepherd is joined by MLA Richard Feehan - Critic for Indigenous Relations and the chair of our committee on our Alberta's Future economic proposals. They discuss growing pressure on the UCP after business group joins call to cap food delivery apps, Kenney's risky reopening plans, the UCP leaving the door open for future coal developments and of course Alberta's Future. 
February 17, 2021
Season 2 Episode 9 - Get To Know Black History in Alberta
Join David Shepherd as he interviews Black folks in Alberta. Elmer Edwards - Was born in Amber Valley and grew up just north of Edmonton, and Mario Miles Sr. - Mario Miles is a long time football coach and founder of the Mill Woods Football Organization. He is the son of Rollie Miles a long time Edmonton Eskimo and Teacher in the Edmonton area Elmer Edwards - Was born in Amber Valley and grew up just north of Edmonton. 
February 9, 2021
Baby, It's Coal Outside
In this episode David Shepherd talks with Environment Critic Marlin Schmidt. They discuss transparent plan for covid19 variants, UCP MLA Pat Rehn not being held accountable for inappropriate expenses, the UCP coal development that has Albertans up in arms and more. 
January 27, 2021
Season 2 Episode 7- Alohagate
MLA David Shepherd sits down with MLA Heather Sweet to talk about the jet setting some of the UCP MLAs did over the break. 
January 19, 2021
Season 2 Episode 6 - Decisions, decisions
Join David Shepherd and MLA Sarah Hoffman Critic for Education as they delve through another week of UCP blunders and misses. 
December 17, 2020
Season 2 Episode 5 - Past The Tipping Point
On The Heard this week we have special guest MLA Janis Irwin critic for Women and LGBTQ Issues sitting with David Shepherd discussing the ever-growing COVID-19 problem and the governments failure to act. 
December 8, 2020
Season 2 Episode 4 - Leaving Alberta's Money On The Table
On this episode David Shepherd is joined by MLA Christina Gray the Labour & Immigration Critic. This week we dive into where has Kenney been hiding? , how does this province not yet have a mask mandate? , and Bill 47 among many more topics. Tune in for a new episode every week! 
December 2, 2020
Season 2 Episode 3 - Where's the Leadership?
Join MLA Critic for Health David Shepherd recapping a week in the legislature, and answering some listener questions.
November 24, 2020
Season 2 Episode 2 -Downloading Costs on Albertans
Join MLA David Shepherd as he and MLA Rod Loyola discuss the week in session. They go into separatism, Kenney speeding up his failed corporate handout, the new toll roads, insurance profits soaring, and the scathing report by the auditor general on the UCP finances. 
November 10, 2020
Season 2 Episode 1 - We're Back
Join MLA David Shepherd for his second season of The Heard. This season starts with Rakhi Pancholi and a discussion on what is happening in the legislature. This episodes big stories including child care, more layoffs and chaos in the health sector and a conversation on diversification of our economy.
November 4, 2020
Episode 34: The Bills Keep Coming
This week David chats with MLA Christina Gray about the changes proposed by the UCP that directly effect your pension.  He also delves into a new child care report and we hear the speech of Jesse Drwiega, winner of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Award, who's acceptance speech was censored by the UCP. Featured artist:  Kris Demeanor - The Rich Will Move to the High Ground
July 22, 2020
Episode 33: Dude! Where's My Doctor?
This week David sits down with Dr. Lorian Hardcastle to discuss in detail the UCP’s move to profit-centred, American-style healthcare. Dr. Hardcastle specializes in health law and is based in the Faculty of Law and Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.  Featured artist:  Nice Horse - Cowgirl
July 17, 2020
Episode 32 - What About This Deal Is Fair?
This week David Shepherd breaks down what defunding the police actually means,  UCP Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer dismissal of concerns about a disgraced appointee nomination and we’ve got a couple experts this week talking about the Fair Deal Panel. Why isn't it actually fair? What can we do about it? Featured artist: Shawnee - Don't Go
July 6, 2020
Episode 31: Hands Off My Pension
In this latest installment of The Heard, we’re talking about May job numbers, business support from the UCP, Kenney's wage subsidy and his current plans for our hard earned pensions. Special guest segment with Chrisitna Gray in discussion with Greg Meeker, former chair of the ATRF (Alberta Teachers Retirement Fund). We talk about how Bill 203: Pension Protection Act will reverse the changes brought in through Bill 22 to pension plan administration. It’s time we really get down to the question everyone has been asking. Why can’t the Premier keep his hands off my pension?  Featured artist: Titilope Sonuga - Ghost / How to Heal
June 22, 2020
Episode 30 - Black Lives Matter
On this week's episode of The Heard, David Shepherd is joined by local activist/influencer Camille Maclean, Abdul Majid, a social worker living in Edmonton and Feisal Kirumira an advisor on the City of Edmonton Antiracism Advisory Council.  They talk about the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s history and we delve into Alberta's own history of racism towards the black community. These are hard conversations but nothing changes unless we open the discussion. #BLM Featured Artist: Mouraine - Open Letter to America
June 12, 2020
Episode 29 - Our Parks Are Not Your Construction Site
Parks are important. Parks are our solace. They are our getaway and they hold a special place in so many Albertans hearts. This episode David Shepherd is joined with our environment critic Marlin Schmidt to discuss the suspension of environmental monitoring by the UCP government as well as a conversation with John Lawson on open coal mining in our parks. Featured artist: The Dungarees - Twenty Something
June 5, 2020
Episode 28 - State of the Arts
On this week's episode of David chats  with s Nicole Goehring, NDP MLA  and critic for the culture and Shannon McNally, the Artistic Director of the Lilac Street Festival in Calgary.  They break down repercussions of the UCP budget cuts to the arts, the struggles local artists have been facing, and the mounting obstacles that continue in light of recent developments. This week's hot topics include: the lack of leadership in health care as well as the delay in helping seniors. Featured artist: Nêhiyawak - tommaso
May 27, 2020
Episode 27 - An Urgent Conversation
This week we talk about Alberta's roller coaster of a reopening. Rachel Notley then joins David for an urgent conversation with an Alberta doctor about the UCP's attack on their profession as part of a Facebook Live last week. Viewers who tuned in were able to ask questions in real time, and we received valuable feedback from Dr. Armstrong who is a celebrated Edmonton family physician. Feature artist:  Dragon Fli Empire - On My Way
May 19, 2020
Episode 26 - Are We Ready To Reopen?
On this week's episode of The Heard we discuss testing the government's new TraceTogether app with a few questionable details, as well as delving into Alberta “reopening” and how scary that can be for those of us who think we are unprepared. David then interviews a local restaurant owner Katy Ingraham, who runs Cartago Yeg.  We tackle her concerns as well talk about how she’s preparing for this looming relaunch.  For more information on the NDP's Smart Relaunch Strategy check out: Featured artist: Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra & Edmonton Symphony Orchestra : Elgar - Nimrod
May 11, 2020
Episode 25 - I Told You So...
On this week's episode we’re talking rental support and banning evictions.  Our guests this week include MLA Lorne Dach from Critic for Agriculture and Forestry speaking up about the latest at the Cargill meat processing plant and MLA Lori Sigursdon Critic for Seniors on COVID-19's impact on  long-term care facilities. We also dip our toes into the rural physicians mass exit of Alberta and Bill 10.  Stay safe everyone! Featured artist: Physical Copies - Champion City
May 5, 2020
Episode 24 - Where Is My PPE?
This week, David talks about the challenges facing post-secondary students, the government’s failure to protect workers from the COVID-19 outbreak at the Cargill meat processing plan, and the latest on issues of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Our guest this week is Joshua Bergman, a registered nurse. He offers a firsthand account of what it’s like working on the front lines during this pandemic. Featured artist: 100 mile house - Test the Timber
April 23, 2020
Episode 23 - To Business or Not to Business
This week we’re talking about the economic challenges our province is facing during the pandemic and some of what Albertans are facing.  We cover Marie Renaud’s call for better support for folks on AISH and income support, the closure of the emergency support program, and job losses as a result of the pandemic. David Shepherd is joined by Ian O’Donnell the executive director of the downtown business association to talk about what he’s hearing from the business in his area and what he would like to see from the government to support small businesses. Featured artist: Seth Anderson - Highway Lights
April 15, 2020
Episode 22 -The Isolation Episode
On this week's episode, David delves into what’s going on in healthcare and what that means for folks as we get through this pandemic all from the comfort of his own self-isolation. Then he talks with Nancy King, a parent living in Fort McMurray whose daughter is seeing the impacts of the laying off of Educational Assistants, especially as she is about to graduate high school. This is one not to miss. Featuring: Mickey Green - I Think He Wants Her In a White Dress
April 3, 2020
Episode 21 - Corona & Cuts
On this week's episode David is joined by co-host MLA Heather Sweet as they discuss budget, cuts and corona. Later, they have a conversation with an ER Dr. Darren Markland covering all the need to know information on this pandemic. Finally, we speak with a Marsha Levy, a Calgarian who tested positive for Covid-19 and is in the middle of recovery.  This is not one to miss.  Featured artist: Paul Woida - All The Lights
March 22, 2020
Episode 20 - A Fiscal Fairytale
This week, David Shepard is joined with fellow MLA Rakhi Pancholi. We’re talking big government moves this week, touching on drop in oil price, coronavirus, and the trickle down effect that the UCP budget cuts have had on families. Featured artist: Khaled Rahime - Faker (feat. Hide)
March 14, 2020
Episode 19 - All Pain and No Gain
This week, David and his guest MLA Christina Gray break down some initial thoughts on Jason Kenney's  2020 budget. Also, an Edmonton emergency room doctor talks about how the budget will impact people needing care. Featured artist:  Audrey Ochoa - Low Interest Rate
March 2, 2020
Episode 18 - Hands Off Our Health Care
This week we focus on women’s health and are joined by Women's Issues Critic Janis Irwin and 2 other women who tell their stories on how Jason Kenney’s cuts to Alberta health care have affected them. This episode also features Labour Critic Christina Gray to talk about her new campaign to fight for the pensions of hard-working Albertans. Visit   Featured artist: Tenille Townes - Somebody's Daughter
February 22, 2020
Episode 17 - So We Got a Letter...
In this episode we dig into mounting frustrations about how the government is and isn’t supporting Albertans. David speaks to the mother of a fifth grader who wrote a powerful letter questioning Jason Kenney’s priorities, and dives into the controversy surrounding the government’s relations with indigenous communities with Richard Feehan, the former Indigenous Relations Minister. Featured artist: Two World Creatives - The Vibe
February 15, 2020
Episode 16 - Cuts, Costs & Community
This week David is talking AHS review, UCP changes to AISH and how this is hurting folks with disabilities, and Black History month.  Featured Artist: Celeigh Cardinal - When All is Said and Done
February 8, 2020
Episode 15 - Jobs, Economy, Pipelines
Jason Kenney and the UCP ran on a simple message - Jobs. Economy. Pipeline. But 9 months into their first term, Alberta is losing jobs and facing slower economic growth than previously expected. In this week's episode, David sits down with Treasury Board & Finance Critic Shannon Phillips and Energy Critic Irfan Sabir to talk about the challenges we're facing and why UCP policies don't seem to be delivering on their core promise. Plus Irfan talks about his journey from new Canadian to MLA for the diverse community of Calgary-McCall. Featured artist: Jazzlib - Communication Counselling
January 25, 2020
Episode 14 - Consult Your Physician
On the podcast this week, David chats with two patients with auto-immune diseases who take us through the UCP governement's changes to the use of biosimilars as a treatment method. Later he speaks with Dr. Vitesh Sheopershad, a physician in Airdrie who used to practice in Slave Lake. He breaks down the impacts of the changes in the billing structure on patients and doctors alike.  Featured artist: GhostBoy and their cover of Dolly Parton's 9 to 5
January 18, 2020
Episode 13 - Climate, Climate, Climate
We're back! This week David speaks with MLA Marlin Schmidt, NDP Opposition Environment and Parks Critic, and Dr. Audrey Reid, Climate Scientist and University of Alberta instructor as they break down everything you need to know about climate change and what you can do to be a part of the solution.  If you love what you hear, don't forget to leave us a review on the platform of your choosing. It will really help ensure more people get to hear these important discussions.  Featured music: Renelle Ray - Jamais capable
January 11, 2020
Episode 12 - A Session in Review
Join David Shepherd for our last episode of the season, as he looks back at the fall session with special guests, MLA Kathleen Ganley and MLA Heather Sweet. Help spread the word about this show this holiday season. Tell everyone you know about the show. Like, share, and subscribe! See you in the new year!
December 14, 2019
Episode 11 - A Patient, A Nurse, and A Doctor
This week, David sits down with three people at different intersections of the Alberta health care system. Marilyn Kontz, a woman with Crohn's disease who talks about how detrimental the UCP's changes will be on her treatment. Elly O’Greysik, an RN who peels back the curtain on life as an ICU nurse and how Jason Kenney's cuts to nursing will impact us all. And finally, Dr. Kathleen Moncrieff, a family physician in Calgary, who gives us a sense of how the UCP is affecting doctor's abilities to put their patients first.
December 6, 2019
Episode 10 - The Whites of Their Eyes
Our host is away this week, but we managed to find two great guest hosts in Shannon Phillips and Thomas Dang, who were more than willing to talk about how the UCP corruption scandal evolved this week, what it's like to be a backbencher, and what the UCP backbenchers are probably thinking these days.
November 29, 2019
Episode 9 - Nice Investigation You Have There... Shame if Something Happened to It
After a very busy week in the Legislature, David sits down with Christina Gray for a candid conversation about the NDP Leader's ejection from the House and the UCP's highly controversial decision to fire Alberta's ethics commisionner, who is currently investigating Jason Kenney's leadership campaign.
November 23, 2019
Episode 8 - This Budget Is Bad For Your Health
This week, we dig into what's happening to our public health care system with Nicole Heron, a nurse with extensive experience in addictions and harm reduction, critical care and LGBTQ health. They talk how new legislation with affect the quality of health care for all Albertans, and what their colleagues are afraid will happen under the new government. Plus, David talks about the latest Alison Redford-esque scandals in the UCP.
November 16, 2019
Episode 7 - Thrown Under the Omnibus
This week, we brought in a mother, retired teacher and university student to hear their emotional reactions to the UCP's budget. Plus, David unpacks two especially large pieces of omnibus legislation introduced in the House, and asks the question: what is the government trying to hide?
November 1, 2019
Episode 6 - The Cost of Kenney
It's been an incredibly busy week in Alberta politics, from the Federal election to Jason Kenney dropping his first budget. We took time to speak to former Finance Minister Joe Ceci to breakdown what goes into writing a budget, and then collected some early analysis from the Alberta NDP MLAs on it's impacts. 
October 26, 2019
Episode 5 - Sapporo is an Alberta Beer
This week we dig in to what's happening in the world of tech in our province with former Minister of Economic Development and Trade Deron Bilous and entrepreneur and advocate Ashlyn Bernier. Plus, we talk about how family members of the victims of the Humboldt bus crash ended up at the Legislature, and why they're so angry with the UCP government.
October 19, 2019
Episode 4 - Questions about Questions
The Alberta Legislature is back in session, and you had some questions. David sat down with two new MLAs for a candid chat about all the debate drama, what it means to be partisan and how they got into politics. (Shoutout to Bawulf!)  Plus, we dissect an exchange between Rachel Notley and Jason Kenney.
October 11, 2019
Episode 3 - I Was Promised a Puppy
The way to Rachel Notley’s heart? Puppies. On this week’s episode she talks with Dave about music, being a honey badger, and why the heck she ran for office in the first place.
October 4, 2019
Episode 2 - Dollars and Sense
Jobs and the economy is top of mind for many Albertans, so this week we talk to Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips and NDP Finance Critic about the upcoming budget and what we’ve been hearing at Alberta’s NDP budget town halls. We also get a bit nerdy with economist Mark Anielski and delve into the UCP’s blue-ribbon panel, equalization and Alberta’s past and present fiscal picture.
September 27, 2019
Episode 1 - Back to School
In the inaugural episode of The Heard Podcast, NDP MLA David Shepherd talks all things education with his guests, Education Critic, MLA Sarah Hoffman, and Allison Pike, President of the Alberta School Councils' Association.  Want your music featured in the outro? Drop me a line at or hit us up on Twitter @theheardpod ! 
September 17, 2019