CBC’s Cross Country Checkup with Rex Murphy highlights busy weekend

Sunday afternoon’s live broadcast of CBC’s Cross Country Checkup with Rex Murphy headlined a busy weekend at MacDonald Island Park that included a visit from Hayley Wickenheiser on Saturday.

Murphy, one of Canada’s pre-eminent public commentators, hosted the live broadcast of CBC’s long-running open-line radio program from the floor of the Suncor Community Leisure Centre, as he was joined on stage by special guest Melissa Blake, Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Murphy presided over a discussion on the role of the oil sands in Canada’s future, and took questions and comments from people across the country and in the audience. An estimated 500,000 people listen to CBC’s Cross Country Checkup every Sunday, making it the most popular radio program in Canada.

“We want to hear from the people of Fort McMurray and about what it’s like to live and work in Fort McMurray,” said Murphy. “It is time that people living here are able to speak directly to the rest of the country.”

“I was very proud to represent our region on a national stage,” said Blake. “The oil sands can be a very divisive topic, but my hope is that listeners better understand who we are and all the great things our community has to offer. Many thanks to those who contributed to the conversation, those who watched us live in person, MacDonald Island Park for hosting the event, and of course to CBC’s Rex Murphy for inviting us to share our story.”

On Saturday, MacDonald Island Park in association with the Host Committee and the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association hosted Hayley Wickenheiser, team captain of Canada’s national women’s hockey team, as part of the Investors Group Hockey Alberta Female Atom Provincial Championships.

Wickenheiser dropped the puck at the opening ceremonies, signed autographs, addressed the public and the media at a news conference, and delivered remarks at the tournament banquet where she also engaged in a question-and-answer session with players. An Officer of the Order of Canada and a three-time Olympic gold medallist, Wickenheiser also visited teams in their dressing rooms prior to them taking the ice.

“The support that this community – from minor hockey to the host committee to MacDonald Island Park – put together for this tournament was incredible. It’s truly impressive,” said Wickenheiser. “If you haven’t seen MacDonald Island Park, you need to.”

To see images from the weekend, including Hayley Wickenheiser’s visit and CBC’s Cross Country Checkup with Rex Murphy,visit the MacDonald Island Facebook page.

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