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Front Burner

Front Burner


Your essential daily news podcast. We take you deep into the stories shaping Canada and the world. Hosted by Jayme Poisson. Every morning, Monday to Friday.


Anti-Canada rhetoric ramps up in India

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there are credible allegations linking India to the murder of a Canadian Sikh leader. CBC’s South Asia correspondent Salimah Shivji answers: how has Canada’s accusation played in the India media? What does the coverage tell us about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s politics? What could it mean for India’s Sikh community?
03/10/23·25m 18s

Front Burner Presents | The Naked Emperor | The Trial of Sam Bankman-Fried

Today we bring you a bonus episode of The Naked Emperor, our spinoff miniseries about the rise and fall of the crypto exchange FTX. As Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial kicks off in New York, host Jacob Silverman is back to bring you up to speed on the latest. What’s happened at the courthouse in the lead-up to the trial? And what’s expected in the weeks to come? Joining Jacob is Zeke Faux, an investigative reporter at Bloomberg, and the author of “Number Go Up: Inside Crypto’s Wild Rise and Staggering Fall.”
02/10/23·26m 33s

As crises mount can Trudeau get back on track?

A dispute with India over assassination allegations. A Nazi fighter in Parliament. Plus a housing and cost of living crisis. What damage has been done? Can Justin Trudeau find a path forward? Or will his party and the country lose faith? Catherine Cullen, senior reporter and host of CBC’s political podcast The House, answers those questions and more. 
29/09/23·22m 47s

Sexual misconduct crisis rages on in Canada’s military

One of Canada’s first military sexual assault cases to be transferred to a civilian court since late 2021 will never go to trial because it took too long to get there. Is this a foreshadowing of what’s to come, in addressing the Canadian Armed Forces’ decades-long sexual misconduct crisis?CBC senior reporter Ashley Burke explains. 
28/09/23·20m 15s

How did a Nazi fighter end up in Parliament?

Canada’s Parliament gave two standing ovations to a Ukrainian man who fought for a Nazi division. What is this division, why are its fighters in Canada, and why is it receiving modern day memorials? Ottawa Citizen journalist David Pugliese explains.
27/09/23·20m 0s

How Rupert Murdoch changed the world

How did Rupert Murdoch build one of the most successful and politically influential media empires in the world? David Folkenflik, media correspondent for NPR News, tells the story of Murdoch's astonishing rise, the growth of Fox News, how world leaders flew around the globe in hopes of his support, and — from sexual harassment to phone hacking — how his companies got embroiled in scandal.
26/09/23·32m 53s

Following the trial of accused killer of Muslim family

It’s been just over two years since four members of the Afzaal family were killed after a truck drove into them on a summer evening in London, Ontario. Now, 22-year-old Nathaniel Veltman is on trial for four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and terrorism charges for what prosecutors are calling an attack motivated by “white nationalism”. An earlier version of this episode incorrectly stated that Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in 2021. That date is incorrect. The killings happened in 2011. So far, the jury has heard testimonies from the detective that interviewed him, arresting officers, audio of the 911 call and have seen footage Veltman’s statements to police hours after the attack. Kate Dubinski of CBC London takes us through the details of the trial, what members of the Muslim community are saying about the case and the impact it could have on the country’s terrorism laws.
25/09/23·23m 2s

The Canada-wide protests over LGBTQ school rights

A call from a group called “1 Million March 4 Children” drew protestors in dozens of cities across Canada over LGBTQ-inclusive education and school policies. According to the organizers’ website, the day was supposed to be about advocating for the elimination of a number of things in schools: the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum, pronouns, “gender ideology” and mixed bathrooms. Coast-to-coast, they were met with counter-protesters who said they were there to defend LGBTQ rights. Today, Mel Woods, a senior editor with Xtra Magazine, recaps what they saw at the Vancouver protests and what turnout looked like across the country. Then we speak with Alex Harris, a grade 12 student in New Brunswick, about how the controversy over inclusive education policies and curricula is affecting LGBTQ students. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
22/09/23·25m 38s

Did India kill a Canadian Sikh leader in B.C.?

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot and killed outside his gurdwara in Surrey in June just after evening prayers. While the Sikh community has been urging investigators to get the bottom of what happened, it’s been quiet until a bombshell announcement from Prime Minister Trudeau on Monday: Canada believes there are “credible allegations” the Indian government was behind it. Since then it’s been a diplomatic firestorm. Diplomats are being pulled from both Canada and India and Canada’s allies are weighing next moves. But who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar and why do some, particularly members of the Sikh community, believe the Indian government wanted him dead? Jaskaran Sandhu from Baaz News and the World Sikh Organization takes us through who Nijjar was, the reasons he feared for his life and the long-standing tensions between India and the Sikh community. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
21/09/23·24m 14s

How politics made Libya’s flood more deadly

The port city of Derna, Libya, has been devastated by flooding, with thousands of people killed. Mediterranean Storm Daniel brought torrential rain to the region last week, but it was the collapse of two dams that caused some of the worst damage, with entire sections of Derna washed away. Now, as rescue turns to recovery, we speak with Anas El Gomati, director of Sadeq Institute, a Libyan think tank, about the political situation in Libya since Moammar Gadhafi was ousted, and how that may have contributed to the scale of the disaster. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
20/09/23·22m 41s

An interview with Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he "could have" and "should have" moved faster on making affordable housing a priority for his government, but asks how much worse the situation would be without his policies. The concession comes as his government faces the worst polling it has seen since coming to power. Host Jayme Poisson returns for this special in-depth interview where Trudeau answers questions including: why he waited until last week to enact a 2015 housing promise, why his support from young people is tanking and whether his government's attempts to force grocery stores to stabilise prices will amount to anything. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
19/09/23·38m 37s

What’s the future for global climate action?

It’s been a devastating summer of climate events in Canada, and the world. Canada saw its worst wildfire season on record, and the country was abnormally dry. There were also dramatic floods: on July 21st, Halifax got three months worth of rain in 24 hours. That’s the backdrop for the large-scale global climate action protests we saw this past weekend. Arno Kopecky is a longtime environmental journalist who attended the protests in Vancouver. After this summer, he decided that he wouldn’t just write about the environment, and the dangers it faces…he wanted to be part of trying to save it. Today on Front Burner, he’ll share what led to that decision, the challenges facing the climate action movement, and what it means to figure out how to respond in the face of escalating climate change. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
18/09/23·25m 3s

Why the GOP wants to impeach Joe Biden

On Tuesday, U.S. House Speaker, Republican Kevin McCarthy announced he is launching a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. Republicans accuse Biden and his son, Hunter, of business dealings that benefited their family while he was Vice President. Though McCarthy says he is acting on “credible allegations” that Biden is entrenched in “a culture of corruption,” months of committee investigations led by the GOP failed to uncover any evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Today, CBC Washington Correspondent Paul Hunter joins the show to discuss the inquiry, the allegations, and the politics driving it all. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
15/09/23·21m 52s

Modern ‘slavery’ faced by Canada’s migrant workers: UN report

“A breeding ground for contemporary forms of slavery.” That’s how a statement from a UN special rapporteur described Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program last week, focusing particularly on low-wage and agricultural workers. The TFWP allows Canadian employers to bring in workers from abroad if they couldn’t fill a position domestically, and Canada has recently expanded the program to allow more workers to stay longer. But migrant workers have complained about abuse and exploitation, as well as a reliance on employers that can leave them powerless. Today, UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery Tomoyo Obokata explains his findings from two weeks on a fact-finding mission in Canada, and why some migrant workers’ situations amount to debt bondage and slavery. Transcripts of this series are available here
14/09/23·23m 28s

After years of struggle, Canada’s men’s basketball levels up

Germany may have won gold this weekend, their first FIBA Men's Basketball World Cup ever, but it was Canada’s overtime upset against the United States in the bronze medal playoff game that has fans and sports writers breathlessly arguing that Canadian men’s basketball has finally hit the world stage. Today we’re talking about the long road to success, the volume of Canadian talent in the NBA and what this new victory means for Canada’s chances at the 2024 Paris Olympics with Oren Weisfeld, a freelance sports journalist in Toronto. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
13/09/23·22m 12s

Google on trial: U.S. takes on tech giant

On Tuesday, a judge in the U.S. will begin hearing arguments in what’s been called the first monopoly trial of the modern Internet era. At the heart of the case is whether Google used its search engine dominance to illegally throttle competition – an accusation Google denies, claiming “competition is just one click away.” Leah Nylen is an antitrust and investigations reporter with Bloomberg News, and today, she explains what the U.S. government is alleging, how Google is responding, and what this case could mean for the future of the Internet. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
12/09/23·22m 30s

The origins of “parental rights”

Over the last couple of months, the provincial governments in both New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have made controversial changes to their LGBTQ+ policies at schools. Parental consent is now needed when a student under 16 wants to use a different name or pronoun in the classroom. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has also been saying that schools should leave conversations about LGBTQ issues to parents. This is all happening at a time when the concept of “parental rights” is a top issue for U.S Republicans. A parental rights bill was passed in the Republican-held House earlier this year and more than two dozen statehouses have passed similar legislation. Today on Front Burner, the Washington Post’s Emma Brown on the origins of the parental rights movement in the U.S. and how it became a massive political force and how that might help us understand the implications in Canada. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
11/09/23·23m 59s

How Burning Man got stuck in the mud

This year’s Burning Man festivities were more chaotic than usual when rain poured down in the Nevada desert, turning the usually dry, dusty terrain into a thick sludge. Thousands of revelers were trapped onsite, as organizers encouraged attendees to shelter in place and conserve food, water and fuel until the grounds dried on Monday and roads were passable. Meanwhile, much of the reaction on social media had a whiff of schadenfreude. To understand more about Burning Man’s origins, how it has changed, and why it provokes derision amongst some outsiders, host Tamara Khandaker speaks with freelance journalist Keith Spencer, who’s written about – and attended – Burning Man. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
08/09/23·20m 45s

Greenbelt blowback continues to slam Ford government

Doug Ford’s Greenbelt scandal continues to deepen. In the past few weeks, there have been two high-profile political resignations, revelations about a mysterious consultant known as “Mr. X”, and another provincial watchdog who panned the Greenbelt land swap as rushed and flawed. It’s all related to Ontario’s decision to allow construction on previously protected farmlands, forests and wetlands that would allow a small group of well-connected developers to make an estimated $8.3-billion. Today we’re joined by Emma McIntosh. She’s an Ontario environment reporter at The Narwal, who has been closely following this story. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
07/09/23·24m 6s

China's boom changed the world. Now, it faces a slump

As Canada deals with high inflation and a housing shortage, the world’s second-largest economy is grappling with a nearly opposite reality. China has been booming for over 40 years as Beijing invested heavily to build up the country. But now, demand for housing is sinking amid overbuilding and developers mired in debt, and consumer prices have recently fallen into deflation. Today, Wall Street Journal China bureau chief Jonathan Cheng explains the signs that China’s economy is slowing down, and what it could mean for the boom that changed the world to come to an end. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
06/09/23·22m 15s

Pierre Poilievre’s tightrope walk at the Conservative convention

Conservatives from across the country will gather this week in Quebec City for their party convention. There are some heated issues on the agenda; like a policy pushing the party to oppose gender-affirming care for minors and one advocating for the right to refuse vaccine mandates, and there are less controversial resolutions on things like housing affordability and tax reform. Today, J.P. Tasker, a reporter with CBC's parliamentary bureau, walks us through what’s at stake for Poilievre in his first Conservative convention as leader, what the party’s grassroots is asking for and what it could mean for the future of the Conservative Party. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
05/09/23·22m 34s

Front Burner Introduces: CBC Marketplace | Our five-year fight to stop scam calls

As Canada’s top consumer watchdog, CBC Marketplace looks out for your health, your safety and your money. Hosts Asha Tomlinson and David Common bring you inside eight action-packed investigations, uncovering the truth about popular products and services — and pushing hard for accountability. Phone scammers have stolen millions from Canadian victims and the losses are staggering. This episode takes you inside an investigation the team has been working on for more than five years and introduces you to an inside man at an illegal call centre who’s putting his life on the line to help people. More episodes are available at:
04/09/23·27m 49s

Over 100 deaths, lethal substances, and a global investigation

This week – Ontario police charged Kenneth Law, of Mississauga, with 12 counts of counselling or aiding suicide. That’s on top of the two counts he was charged with when he was first arrested in May. Law is accused of running several websites that were used to sell sodium nitrite and other items that can be used for self harm. He’s alleged to have sent at least 1,200 packages to people in more than 40 countries, and is being investigated by police forces from the UK to New Zealand. Thomas Daigle has been covering this story extensively for CBC News. He’s here to explain this complicated case, and what we know about the man at the centre of it. If you or someone you know is struggling, here's where to get help: Talk Suicide Canada: 1-833-456-4566 | Text 45645 (between 4 p.m. and midnight ET) Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868, live chat counseling on Find a 24-hour crisis centre, via the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
01/09/23·24m 26s

ChatGPT in university: useful tool or cheating hack?

The ChatGPT hype cycle has died down a bit lately. There are fewer breathless headlines about generative AI’s potential and its risks. But in a recent American survey – one in five post-secondary students said they had used AI to complete school work. Today, a closer look at what this means for the academic experience with Simon Lewsen, journalist and the author of a recent piece in Toronto Life titled ‘CheatGPT.’ We discuss if AI’s use really constitutes an epidemic of cheating, or if it’s simply a new technological tool for students to take advantage of. Plus, how post-secondary institutions might adapt, and what might be lost along the way. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
31/08/23·20m 55s

As fires burn, N.W.T.’s premier calls out Ottawa

As wildfires burn in the Northwest Territories, premier Caroline Cochrane called out Ottawa for failing to respond to decades-long requests to address basic infrastructure gaps. And as the residents who were forced to evacuate know, things like safe road systems and strong telecommunication networks are essential for emergency management. Today we’re talking about how this lack of infrastructure combined with other barriers have affected access to vital communication on the ground. Ollie Williams is the Editor of Cabin Radio, an independent internet radio station and an online news service based in Yellowknife that’s become a beacon of information during the crisis. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
30/08/23·26m 45s

International students in Canada face discrimination, exploitation

Since new Housing Minister Sean Fraser said Canada “ought to consider” a cap on international students last week, the impact of the program on the housing market has dominated the affordability debate. This year, the number of international students entering Canada is expected to be 900,000, almost triple the total from a decade ago. Some, including the Prime Minister, have cautioned against blaming students for housing problems. But as some students are forced to live in unsafe housing or fall victims to scams, housing experts are questioning whether it’s ethical to welcome this many students until Canada fixes its planning failures. Today, York University gender, sexuality and women's studies professor Tania Das Gupta tells us what she’s learned about the experience of international students through her research into Punjabi migrants, and explains how Canada relies on their tuition and labour. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
29/08/23·23m 32s

What Prigozhin’s death means for Putin

Russian officials said on Sunday that genetic tests had confirmed that Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash last week. Just two months ago, Prigozhin led an armed rebellion in Russia, in a mutiny that lasted less than 36 hours. Now – many, including western intelligence, are speculating that this crash could have actually been an assassination – ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself. Today, the Washington Post’s Russia correspondent, Francesca Ebel, discusses Prigozhin’s death, what it means for the future of the notorious Wagner group, and Putin’s Russia. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
28/08/23·22m 17s

The fight for better sunscreen, from AOC to skincare influencers

Sharing your skincare routine, whether it’s on DermTok or Instagram, is a hugely popular trend on social media. These days, there is one product that you’ll hear talked about religiously: sunscreen. You’ll find dermatologists and skincare influencers alike evangelizing about the importance of cancer- and wrinkle-preventing SPF. But there’s another reason why sunscreen is top of mind this summer — it’s become a political issue in the United States, thanks to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She recently took to TikTok to talk about how few quality sunscreens are available in America, compared to Asia and Europe. And it’s not just the U.S. — it’s a problem that’s also playing out here in Canada. Today we’ll be talking about the rise of sunscreen as a skincare must-have and the fight for better SPF options with Julian Sass. He is a cosmetic research and development professional and a content creator focused on sunscreen in Montreal. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
25/08/23·23m 44s

How Meta’s news ban is affecting Canadians

On Monday, as people were still reeling from the devastation of the wildfires in B.C. and in the Northwest Territories, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lashed out at Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, over its decision to block news from its platforms in Canada. The ban started a few weeks ago, in response to the federal government passing the Online News Act, Bill C-18. It’s a law that’s meant to get tech companies like Meta and Google to pay news outlets when their content is posted on their platforms. But rather than comply, Meta is choosing to block the sharing of news content on its platforms. Today on Front Burner, Alfred Hermida, a digital media scholar and professor at the UBC school of journalism, tells us how the ban has been working so far, and the kind of political and community reaction it’s brought out. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
24/08/23·22m 59s

COVID-19 on the rise: What you need to know

Over the last month, the percentage of COVID tests coming back positive started going up again, and wastewater COVID signals are also rising, suggesting a fall COVID-19 wave could be starting in Canada. Today on Front Burner, Dr. Allison McGeer, infectious disease specialist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital and professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, discusses the state of COVID-19 in Canada and what you need to know. Looking for a transcript of the show? They’re available here daily:
23/08/23·20m 34s

Can the Liberals win back younger voters?

The Liberal cabinet retreat is underway in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, with ministers discussing fall priorities amid flagging poll numbers. Once a source of strength for the party, the Liberals appear to be losing ground with Canadians in their 20s and 30s who are concerned with affordability. Abacus Data says the Liberals have fallen over 10 points behind the Conservatives with millennial voters. Today, CBC senior writer Aaron Wherry explains how a leader once obsessed with the middle class ended up on the opposite side of affordability anger, and what the Liberals could still do to reclaim their 2015 image. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
22/08/23·23m 48s

Homes destroyed, people displaced as wildfires scorch B.C., N.W.T.

Unpredictable and unrelenting wildfires have destroyed blocks of homes, stores and buildings in West Kelowna and part of the Shuswap region in British Columbia. The province is currently under a state of emergency. 30,000 people are on evacuation order across B.C. and 36,000 more are under evacuation alert. This is happening against the backdrop of the country’s worst wildfire season on record, with ongoing evacuation efforts in the Northwest Territories, as fire approaches Yellowknife. Today, we head to Fort Providence in the Northwest Territories and Kelowna, B.C., to hear about the human cost of these unprecedented wildfires. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
21/08/23·27m 25s

Weekend Listen: The Dose

The Dose is a weekly look at the health news that matters to you. Dr. Brian Goldman brings you the best science from top experts in plain language. This episode answers listener questions about perimenopause and menopause symptoms and treatments. Dr. Shafeena Premji, a family doctor and medical director of Mahogany Clinic in Calgary, shares her best advice on how to manage symptoms and when to speak to a health-care provider. More episodes are available at:
19/08/23·28m 7s

Hawaii wildfires lay bare tensions between locals, tourists

For tourists interested in a beach vacation, Maui residents have a simple message: this is not the time to visit Hawaii. The wildfires that decimated the historic town of Lahaina, leaving at least 111 people dead and hundreds more still missing, have also laid bare the long-simmering tensions between native Hawaiians, and wealthy tourists and developers. Today we’ll be talking about why many Hawaiians have been asking tourists to stay out long before the fires and why many are afraid recovery will open the door to even more outside ownership. Savannah Harriman-Pote is an energy and climate change reporter and the lead producer of This Is Our Hawaiʻi, a new podcast from Hawai‘i Public Radio. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
18/08/23·23m 23s

Rudy Giuliani: from RICO prosecutor to RICO defendant

This week, Donald Trump and 18 of his associates were charged under the state of Georgia’s RICO Act. RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, and it was originally designed to crack down on organized crime. And while Trump’s at the center of these latest charges, a lot of the heat is also on his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The former mayor of New York made his name in the 80s as a federal prosecutor for using the RICO act to take down the city’s mob. So how did this tough-on-crime anti-mafia crusader end up being charged with a legal tool he himself pioneered? Today on Front Burner, VICE News reporter Greg Walters on what led Giuliani to this point, and what these charges in Georgia could mean for his future. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
17/08/23·22m 56s

Why is Alberta pausing new renewable energy projects?

It’s been a busy month in Alberta energy politics. In early August, the provincial government caught many by surprise with a six-month pause on any new solar and wind projects that would produce more than one megawatt of power. Since then, Premier Danielle Smith has doubled down on her vow not to go along with the federal government’s plan to get to a net zero power grid by 2035. Meanwhile, Canada is experiencing its worst wildfire season on record. Today, CBC’s Jason Markusoff discusses these recent developments and the politics at play. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
16/08/23·20m 19s

Niger, and an era of mutiny in Africa’s Sahel region

Last month, the African nation of Niger became the seventh government in Western and Central Africa to suffer a military takeover in the last three years. And as of today, virtually every country in Africa’s Sahel region is governed by a current or former military officer. The Sahel is a part of the world that was dominated by France through the colonial period — and many leaders of military governments that have taken over, from Mali to Burkina Faso, have identified the unresolved legacies of colonialism as a source of their dissatisfaction. For decades, Niger, and countries in the Sahel more broadly, have received enormous investment from both France and the U.S. They have been called a “strategic partner” by both nations in the fight against islamic extremism in West Africa. Niger specifically was long touted as West Africa’s last bastion of democracy. So what happened? Today, BBC journalist Beverly Ochieng, whose reporting has long focused on the region, on what’s happening in Niger, and whether this era of insurrection in the Sahel is evidence of an anti-colonial renaissance, or something a little more complicated. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
15/08/23·30m 59s

Ontario’s Greenbelt, Doug Ford and an explosive audit

Last Wednesday, Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk delivered a scathing report about the province’s plans to build on parts of the protected Greenbelt. While Premier Doug Ford had promised to preserve this vast network of vulnerable greenspace, he announced in November that the province would lift protections on thousands of acres to build more houses. The auditor general’s report finds there’s no evidence the land was needed to meet the government’s housing target and says that it was chosen under heavy influence from a small group of well-connected developers. The report goes on to say that those same landowners now stand to make a lot of money and could “ultimately see more than a collective $8.3 billion increase to the value of their properties”. To make sense of the report, we’re joined by an Ontario reporter with The Narwhal, Fatima Syed. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
14/08/23·24m 35s

Weekend Listen: Buffy

Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie has announced that she's retiring from live performances. For 60 years Buffy’s music has quietly reverberated throughout pop culture and provided a touchstone for Indigenous resistance. This five-part series, hosted by Mohawk and Tuscarora writer Falen Johnson explores how Buffy’s life and legacy is essential to understanding Indigenous resilience. In this episode, Buffy is traveling from gig to gig in the 60s, armed with her guitar and little else. She makes a splash on the coffeehouse folk scene, rubbing shoulders with artists like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Tectonic changes are around the corner, and her rising success comes with some hard lessons about who to trust — and what it means to be a Indigenous woman in the music business. More episodes are available at:
12/08/23·33m 7s

The Eras Tour, and Taylor Swift’s massive popularity

Taylor Swift has been on tour for months but finally, Canadian fans have been given a chance to see her here. She’s having not one or two but six shows at the Rogers Centre in Toronto next year and even though there are 300,000 tickets up for grabs, fans have been likening the scramble to the Hunger Games. Swifties may be known for their dedication but those outside the fandom might be wondering: what is it about Taylor Swift that commands this kind of hype? Elamin Abdelmahmoud, host of CBC Radio’s Commotion and known Swiftie, breaks it down for us. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
11/08/23·24m 3s

Metro workers on strike and a “Hot Labour Summer”

Right now, some 3,700 workers from 27 Metro grocery stores across the Greater Toronto Area are on strike – and they’re not alone. From British Columbia’s ports to Manitoba’s liquor stores to Hollywood, a wave of people across different industries have gone on strike this summer. Today on Front Burner, we head to a Metro picket line in East Toronto. We talk to workers there about what’s at stake for them as they strike, and take a closer look at what’s driving this recent labour unrest with McGill University’s Barry Eidlin, author of ‘Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada’ For transcripts of this series, please visit:
10/08/23·24m 58s

Worldcoin’s utopian aims, dystopian fears

A metallic orb scans your iris and turns it into a numeric code, providing a unique ID that confirms you as human. This is the process people in dozens of countries are undergoing for Worldcoin, a new cryptocurrency project that’s handing out free tokens and even local currency in exchange for biometric verification. The project claims it can prove our personhood online and enable voting, financial equality or even the distribution of a universal basic income. But even before its official launch late last month, Worldcoin was already facing accusations of deception, exploitation and crypto-colonialism in countries like Kenya and Sudan. Today, Jacob Silverman explains the utopian promises and dystopian fears surrounding Worldcoin. Silverman is co-author of Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud, and he’s also the host of Front Burner’s special series The Naked Emperor. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
09/08/23·24m 33s

Anti-LGBTQ backlash spurs debate in Canada’s Muslim community

In June, a group called YYC Muslims organized a large protest in front of Calgary's city hall. They were there to oppose what they call "gender ideology" in schools. They chanted, “leave our kids alone” saying they don’t want it imposed on young children. They were joined by seniors wearing T-shirts with biblical verses on them, and others sporting shirts with slogans about “government tyranny.” Counter-protesters were there too, many baffled by the unlikely alliances between the different groups of people there. This protest in Calgary is just one example of Muslim parents pushing back against LGBTQ representation in schools. Today, Omar Mosleh, a Toronto Star reporter based in Edmonton, walks us through this pushback, the people behind it, and how it has spurred a challenging conversation within the wider Muslim community in Canada. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
08/08/23·20m 34s

Front Burner Introduces: Stuff The British Stole | Season 3

Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today the Empire's loot sits in museums, galleries, private collections and burial sites with polite plaques. But its history is often messier than the plaques suggest. In each episode of this global smash hit podcast, Walkley award-winning journalist, author and genetic potluck, Marc Fennell, takes you on the wild, evocative, sometimes funny, often tragic adventure of how these stolen treasures got to where they live today. These objects will ultimately help us see the modern world - and ourselves - in a different light. This is a co-production between the ABC and CBC Canada. More episodes are available at:
07/08/23·42m 13s

How Shohei Ohtani is changing Major League Baseball

It has been five years since Japanese phenomenon Shohei Ohtani left Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball to fulfil his dream of playing for Major League Baseball in the U.S. The 29-year-old has been compared to the great Babe Ruth for his ability to bat and pitch with equal prowess. In fact, some say he’s the greatest baseball player of all time. Fans are flocking to his games to catch a glimpse of Ohtani in action, and he has sparked renewed interest in the struggling MLB. But as a player with the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani has had to get used to losing. The team hasn’t made the playoffs in nearly a decade and hit a 14-game losing skid in the 2022 season. With Ohtani’s contract coming to an end, Ben Lindbergh, a senior editor at The Ringer, explains why the player is so impressive, and where he could go from here. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
04/08/23·23m 39s

Congress, aliens and the search for E.T.

Crashed crafts, non-human biologics, and the Pentagon in possession of UFOs. Last week, former military and intelligence figures appeared as whistleblowers at a U.S. congressional hearing, testifying about the government’s apparent secrecy around UAPs: unidentified anomalous phenomena. But one former air force intelligence official, David Grusch, claimed the Pentagon collected non-human organic material and that he knew where it was keeping UFOs. Researchers searching the universe for alien life say this is far from proof they’re among us. Today, Seth Shostak explains. He’s the senior astronomer for the SETI Institute – the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence – and the host of its radio show and podcast, Big Picture Science. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
03/08/23·22m 31s

What’s driving polarization in Canadian politics?

Were the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests in Ottawa a “peaceful protest against a tyrannical ruler,” or a bunch of people driven by “lies and misinformation, disturbing the peace of everyone, and being bigoted”? These two conflicting perspectives help illustrate Canadian polarization in a new report from the Public Policy Forum, authored by journalist Justin Ling, titled ‘Far and Wider: The Rise of Polarization in Canada.’ Ling joins guest host Tamara Khandaker to discuss political polarization in Canada, what’s driving it, and how it’s impacting young Canadians. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
02/08/23·25m 17s

Where did Ron DeSantis’ campaign go wrong?

In January, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis seemed like a real contender to win the GOP presidential nomination over former U.S. president Donald Trump. His team pitched his Florida track record, electability and “war on woke” ideals as a Trump-like candidate without the baggage. But now, just two months into his White House bid, DeSantis’s campaign is in trouble. A New York Times/Siena College poll found the Florida Governor is trailing Trump by 37 percentage points nationally. Meanwhile, the campaign has undergone a reboot, firing staff, cutting costs and reevaluating its strategy. Today, Isaac Arnsdorf, a national political reporter for the Washington Post and the author of Finish What We Started, takes us through the hype, the strategy and where the DeSantis campaign has gone wrong. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
01/08/23·26m 47s

TikTok is coming for books, music and e-commerce

TikTok is one of the biggest, most influential social media networks in the world — and its parent company ByteDance is making moves to capitalize on its enormous cultural influence. The company has announced plans to launch a music streaming service, a book publishing division and an e-commerce platform, all of which would allow people to connect directly to the music, books and products they see in the app's most viral videos. It's a move that puts them in direct competition with tech heavyweights like Spotify, Apple and Amazon. What will this kind of vertical integration mean for the musicians, authors and content creators who are garnering those billions of views in the first place? Insider senior media reporter Dan Whateley breaks down ByteDance's big plans, and whether TikTok could truly become the "everything app" of the Western world. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
31/07/23·30m 32s

Supreme Court changes ‘tear the fabric’ of Israel

Despite months of mass protests, Israel’s far-right government pushed through a law weakening the country’s Supreme Court on Monday. Under it, the Court is no longer able to strike down some government decisions. Fears over the effect this and other planned changes could have on Israel’s democracy have driven hundreds of thousands of demonstrators to the streets, and a growing number of military reservists are refusing to report for active duty. Allison Kaplan Sommer is a journalist at Haaretz and host of Haaretz Weekly podcast. Today, she discusses where Israel goes from here, whether the country has fundamentally changed, and what this all means for Palestinians. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
28/07/23·23m 1s

A major shakeup in Ottawa, but why?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is almost entirely different than it was just two days ago. In Wednesday’s shuffle, all but eight of Trudeau’s 38 ministers stepped into new files. Some ministers were forced out after controversial missteps. Other star MPs got bigger economic assignments. And a number of new faces were sworn in from important election regions. Today, Catherine Cullen – the host of CBC’s political podcast The House – returns to explain why Trudeau has transformed his cabinet, and what it says about his strategy to stay in power. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
27/07/23·23m 26s

MDMA: from ‘club drug’ to the doctor's office

Australia is leading the way on normalizing the use of some psychedelics. The country’s medical regulator has approved M-D-M-A for use for people suffering from PTSD. Regulators in the US – just last month – published guidance into the use of psychedelics for possible use treating some medical conditions. How does a drug, known for its use on the dance floor, make its way to the medicine cabinet? To find out more about all this we have Rachel Nuwer on the pod today. She’s a freelance journalist and the author of “I Feel Love: MDMA and the quest for connection in a fractured world." For transcripts of this series, please visit:
26/07/23·31m 40s

Voices from inside Toronto’s refugee crisis

This summer a humanitarian crisis played out on the streets of downtown Toronto. With city and federal shelters at capacity, dozens of asylum seekers resorted to camping on the sidewalk, in the busy entertainment district, sleeping outside in the blistering heat and through thunderstorms, for weeks. Last week, the federal government announced a one-time $212 million dollar injection into an existing program that helps provide temporary housing to refugee claimants. And most of that funding goes to Toronto. But the city’s mayor and the Ontario premier want more funding and resources from Ottawa. While the funding is being negotiated, about 200 asylum seekers are now staying at two churches in North York, thanks to mostly Black-led community organizations and faith groups. Today on Front Burner, producer Shannon Higgins visits one of those churches to hear from the refugee claimants themselves. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
25/07/23·25m 44s

‘The Heat Will Kill You First’

Floods, fires, storms and droughts are all upending lives around the globe. And at the centre of it all is a warming planet. Heat – is the driving force. We are living through the Earth’s hottest month on record. Extreme heat has led to flash floods and property destruction in northern Italy and the Balkans, and fueled wildfires in Croatia and Greece. Nova Scotia’s dealing with historic flooding, much of B-C is engulfed in wildfires and parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest territories are under heat warnings. Our guest today warns: heat and the chaos it can unleash is serious and often deadly. Jeff Goodell is a climate reporter and contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine. He’s also the author of the book The Heat will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
24/07/23·25m 35s

Jason Aldean and country music’s culture war

Jason Aldean is one of contemporary country radio’s most played voices, and he’s no stranger to controversy. He’s been accused of misogynist comments, worn blackface at Halloween, taken an anti-mask stance during the pandemic and, last year, his wife’s transphobic comments got him dropped by his long-time PR firm. Now, his latest single, “Try That in a Small Town” is facing backlash. Depending on who you ask, it’s either an ode to old-fashioned community values, or a racist dog-whistle. Today, Elamin Abdelmahmoud, the host of CBC’s Commotion, is here to talk about the song, where the controversy is coming from, and how it all connects to a deeper divide that’s hounding country music. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
21/07/23·24m 2s

Conspiracy campaign: RFK’s presidential bid

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., John F. Kennedy’s nephew, is running for U.S. president. Like his forefathers, he’s vying to lead the Democrats – but his political focus is noticeably different. For decades, RFK Jr. has been spreading false information about vaccines, and has more recently been peddling conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and 5G. Vera Bergengruen, a senior correspondent at TIME, recently interviewed RFK Jr. Today, she explains why RFK is campaigning on conspiracy theories and how he reflects a conspiratorial shift in U.S. society. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
20/07/23·24m 16s

Forever chemicals are in Canadians’ air, water and blood

Forever Chemicals, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have been around since the 1940s and are used in everything from non-stick pans to take-out containers to cosmetics and fire retardant. But flash-forward to today and the long-lasting, man-made substances have been found inside Canadian blood samples – brought in through the air and dust we breathe, and even in our drinking water. And now the federal government is proposing to list them as toxic. Today on Front Burner, we’re asking why forever chemicals are seemingly everywhere, what can be done about them, and why it’s taken so long for the government to act. Joining us is Miriam Diamond, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Earth Sciences and School of the Environment. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
19/07/23·24m 49s

Actors, writers shut down Hollywood

The union representing almost 160,000 actors, SAG-AFTRA, is striking after negotiations fell through with the group representing most major Hollywood studios. The news comes about two months after 11,000 members of the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) announced their strike. Studios say the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of streaming services like Netflix, Crave and Disney+ has caused financial strain. Meanwhile, actors say the shift to streaming has led to decreasing residuals, meaning they aren’t being paid for repeats of films and television shows. They're also concerned about proposals from studios to use their images and likeness in combination with artificial intelligence to create new content without their involvement. Maureen Ryan, a Vanity Fair contributing editor and author of “Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood,” explains why Hollywood actors are striking and what it could mean for the future of television, film and the labour movement as a whole. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
18/07/23·31m 48s

Canada: the Anthropocene’s ground zero?

It's a well-established scientific fact that humans have had a massive impact on the planet. But has it been big enough to warrant the definition of a new geological epoch? It's an idea that's been hotly debated in the scientific community for years — and now, a group of researchers are arguing that a small lake in rural Ontario provides the best evidence for defining that new epoch. Crawford Lake, about 60 km southwest of Toronto, captures the history of the world in its sediment deposits, calcified like tree rings. Scientists say those layers show dramatic changes starting in the 1950s and that they mark a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene. Canadian Geographic contributing editor Alanna Mitchell explains the latest research, what makes Crawford Lake so special, and why defining the Anthropocene has been causing scientific controversy for more than two decades. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
17/07/23·22m 21s

Weekend Listen: 10 Minutes to Save the Planet

Our brains aren’t wired to save the world. But if you’re ready to make changes that actually stick, 10 Minutes to Save the Planet will show you the way. Co-hosts meteorologist and climate reporter Johanna Wagstaffe and broadcaster Rohit Joseph work through the UN’s 10 actions for a healthy planet, but in a way that won’t shame, overwhelm or bore you. Think of each episode as a bite-size guide to fight climate change, rooted in behavioural therapy. More episodes are available at:
15/07/23·12m 9s

A landfill blockade and demands to find Indigenous women’s remains

It's been a week since protesters began a blockade of the Brady Road landfill in Winnipeg. They're calling on the government to search the Prairie Green landfill — a privately owned dump outside the city — for the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, two murdered Indigenous women. But the government says that, despite police believing the two women's remains are there, the site won't be searched, primarily due to safety concerns. But for Cambria Harris, that's not good enough. Her mother Morgan, along with Myran and two other women whose remains were found at the Brady Road landfill, are believed to be the victim of an alleged serial killer, Jeremy Skibicki. He’s been charged with four counts of first-degree murder in connection to their deaths. In refusing to search the landfill, Harris says the government is perpetuating a long history of systemic racism that has led to the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) in Canada. With tensions flaring as the city seeks an injunction to remove the protesters, CBC reporter Josh Crabb takes us inside the story, and where things could be headed next. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
14/07/23·26m 43s

Has the Bank of Canada gone too far?

There’s a growing chorus of critics of the central bank’s decision to increase interest rates, as things like food and housing are keeping inflation up, and seem largely unaffected by higher rates. This comes as the Bank of Canada increased its key interest rate on Wednesday. It’s the 10th time the central bank has hiked the rate since March, 2022 — bringing it to five per cent. The move is all part of an effort to rein in high inflation, but that has come down significantly since its peak last year. Armine Yalnizyan, economist and the Atkinson Fellow On The Future Of Workers, explains on today’s episode. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
13/07/23·23m 55s

Jonah Hill and the rise of “therapy speak”

“Boundaries,” “trauma,” “holding space,” “gaslighting” — These are all examples of what’s known as “therapy speak”: Phrases and buzzwords that have made their way out of the therapist’s office, onto social media and into our everyday lives. But what happens when those same words are misunderstood or used in manipulative and harmful ways? That’s what many are asking after Jonah Hill’s ex-girlfriend, professional surfer Sarah Brady, posted screenshots of text messages from their past where the actor allegedly asked her to respect his “boundaries,” which included not posting swimsuit pictures or surfing with men. Today, we sat down with Rebecca Fishbein, a culture writer that’s been following the “therapy speak” phenomenon, to unpack the benefits and pitfalls of relationship discourse in a moment where so many use the language of psychotherapy. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
12/07/23·20m 23s

Will Threads be the Twitter killer?

After Twitter caused chaos by limiting how many Tweets users can see, the company behind Instagram and Facebook made a play for its audience last week. On Wednesday, Meta released Threads, an app also centered around short text posts. With its built in connection to Instagram accounts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Threads already has 100 million users. But Threads is already experiencing the same privacy concerns as other apps, and Twitter owner Elon Musk is threatening to sue over intellectual property. Today, Mashable reporter Matt Binder discusses whether it's possible for Threads to truly replace Twitter, and the good and bad of its audience fracturing across the internet. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
11/07/23·24m 30s

Nuclear power in an unstable world

In two parts of the world, the future of nuclear power plants and their remains are causing alarm for very different reasons. In Ukraine, Europe’s largest nuclear plant has become a battleground in the war. Further east, Japan is one step closer to releasing 1.32 million tonnes of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown into the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, for many, nuclear power is one of the tools we have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. Today, Jim Smith, a Professor of Environmental Science at Portsmouth University joins us to discuss whether nuclear power in an unstable world is a net positive, or a terrifying liability. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
10/07/23·25m 35s

Remembering Sex Ed legend Sue Johanson

Canadian nurse and sex educator Sue Johanson, who died last week at 93, was best known for her unapologetic and taboo-breaking advice on radio and TV shows like ‘Sunday Night Sex Show’ and ‘Talk Sex with Sue’ From opening a birth control clinic in a Toronto high school in the ‘70s and traveling school to school teaching sex ed seminars, to becoming a media sensation, Sue made it her mission to destigmatize sexual desire and health, one question at a time. We take a look back at her iconic life and career with her daughter, Jane Johanson, and sex advice columnist, Dan Savage, and explore why her work is even more relevant today. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
07/07/23·30m 56s

‘The Drugs Store,’ safe supply, and its backlash

Two months ago, Jerry Martin opened up a shop in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside selling a clean supply of drugs like cocaine and heroin. His store was shut down by B.C. police less than 24 hours later. Last Friday, Martin himself died from a suspected fentanyl overdose. For the last several months, safe supply has been the subject of fiery debate in the House of Commons. Conservatives like Pierre Poilievre say that safe supply policies lead to an increase in drug-related deaths. But many experts and B.C. officials disagree. Today on Front Burner, VICE News reporter Manisha Krishnan discusses the life and legacy of Jerry Martin, as well as the current state of safe supply policies in Canada. Two months ago, Jerry Martin opened up a shop in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside selling a clean supply of drugs like cocaine and heroin. His store was shut down by B.C. police less than 24 hours later. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
06/07/23·24m 32s

Did the Wagner mutiny weaken Vladimir Putin?

After Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Group’s rebellious march towards Moscow was cut short over a week ago, questions have been swirling about how it could happen and what it reveals about Russia’s stability right now. The Kremlin and Vladimir Putin have been working in overdrive to project an image of calm and control. But behind the scenes, a top general is missing and the military is facing Ukraine’s counteroffensive without Wagner’s crucial support. Is Putin losing his grip on power? Could what happened with The Wagner Group and its leader Prigozhin end up costing Russia the war? The Financial Times’ Polina Ivanova joins us to discuss the aftermath of the mutiny and what could happen next. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
05/07/23·22m 34s

Google, Meta to block news in Canada

It's a Canadian media power play unlike any other: Alphabet and Meta are fighting back against the Canadian government's Bill C-18. And caught in the middle is the news media.  The Online News Act – was supposed to make tech giants pay for posting news stories to their platforms.  Now Google and Meta say they aren't going to pay. Instead — they'll remove Canadian news from their sites and apps. It's a move that will make it more difficult for Canadians to access news. And may very well plummet news companies further into the red. This all comes as news companies are cutting back, looking at mergers, trying to get out of obligations of providing local news to Canadians. Chris Waddell joins Tamara Khandaker to sort through this. He's a former professor at  the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. He's also the publisher at J-Source, a website dedicated to the Canadian media industry. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
04/07/23·27m 13s

Front Burner Introduces: CBC Marketplace

As Canada’s top consumer watchdog, CBC Marketplace looks out for your health, your safety and your money. Hosts Asha Tomlinson and David Common bring you inside eight action-packed investigations, uncovering the truth about popular products and services — and pushing hard for accountability. CBC Marketplace has your back. More episodes are available at:
03/07/23·27m 47s

Sex, music and cringe – HBO’s The Idol

There’s been a lot of buzz about the latest show to fill HBO’s prestigious Sunday night slot, The Idol. Co-created by a team including Euphoria’s Sam Levinson and Canadian pop-icon the Weeknd, the series follows a pop star played by Lily Rose Depp who’s working on her comeback after a mental health crisis. For transcripts of this series, please visit: But what was initially sold as a sexy satire of the music industry’s dark underbelly has been panned by critics and mocked on the internet. Today, Vox senior correspondent Alex Abad-Santos and Lucy Ford, a culture writer with British GQ, take us through the series so far and why it’s garnering attention for all the wrong reasons.
30/06/23·26m 29s

Political revolt amid LGBTQ changes in New Brunswick

This month, New Brunswick’s Department of Education announced changes to a policy meant to protect LGBTQ students. As of Saturday, the minister responsible says staff can’t call kids under 16 by their preferred pronouns or names unless they have parental permission, though the actual text of the changes differs. Premier Blaine Higgs has added to the controversy with misleading comments about coming out as transgender being “trendy” and the risks of gender-affirming care. For these changes and a number of Higgs’ past moves, two of his cabinet ministers have resigned, and more than half the party’s riding presidents have signed letters that could trigger a vote on his leadership. Today on Front Burner, CBC New Brunswick reporter Hadeel Ibrahim and provincial affairs reporter Jacques Poitras explain the upheaval amoung LGBTQ advocates and Higgs’ own MLAs, and the fears for backsliding of rights beyond the province. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
29/06/23·24m 33s

Enduring the Wrap: “I was left broken.”

When Matthew Michel was 14, he was subject to a device called the Wrap for the first time, while in youth detention in Saskatchewan. It’s essentially a series of straps that bound his torso, legs and ankles. A shoulder harness would keep his body in a forward-sitting position, with his hands cuffed behind his back and clipped in. According to provincial records, Michel was in the Wrap 12 times. CBC investigative journalist Joseph Loiero talks about Michel’s story, wider concerns about the Wrap itself, and what its use might say about Canada’s youth detention system. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
28/06/23·24m 37s

What's behind the murder of a Sikh leader in B.C.?

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Gurduwara leader and Khalistani separatist advocate, was gunned down in his car just outside his temple last week after evening prayers. Now, as investigators search for two suspects and a possible motive, some in the Sikh community are saying they think the Indian government could have been behind it. The killing comes after similar murders of Sikh leaders over the past year in Canada and abroad. Independent journalist Gurpreet Singh joins us to talk about who Nijjar was, why he was afraid for his life and how this incident could impact the separatist movement and the greater Sikh community. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
27/06/23·22m 17s

What just happened in Russia?

After the Wagner Group’s leader made threats against Russian military leadership on Friday, Wagner mercenaries came over the border from Ukraine, captured a military headquarters, and marched toward the capital. The world discussed whether a coup was unfolding. But after just 36 hours of rebellion, Belarus announced it had brokered a deal for the Wagner Group to turn around, and for its leader to leave the country unscathed. It was a confusing end to a chaotic insurgency. Today, Washington Post reporter Mary Ilyushina returns to discuss why the Wagner Group stopped, why President Vladimir Putin was so soft on a “mutiny,” and what this could mean for the future of the Kremlin and the conflict in Ukraine. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
26/06/23·26m 55s

Weekend Listen: The Banned Teacher

From the host that brought you The Band Played On, The Banned Teacher is a new investigation, in a different city. He says it was consensual sex. She says it was rape. He was her music teacher. She was a teen. And it wasn't just once, with one girl. He had sex with students in closets, classrooms, and cars. The Banned Teacher begins with one victim's search for justice but turns into a full investigation by host Julie Ireton. Warning: This series contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault. More episodes are available at:
24/06/23·30m 18s

Can a new mayor fix Toronto’s problems?

Skyrocketing housing costs, decaying infrastructure, anxiety over public safety and budgets stretched thin. On June 26, Canada’s biggest city goes to the polls to decide who will lead Toronto’s approximately two-and-half-million residents amidst all these issues and more. For transcripts of this series, please visit: A lot of the problems that the Toronto mayoral candidates are going to have to confront are felt in cities across the country. Today on Front Burner, CBC Toronto municipal affairs reporter, Shawn Jeffords, discusses the problems Toronto’s facing and how the big names in the mayoral race are saying they’ll tackle them.
23/06/23·24m 15s

Five men, a tiny sub and a massive search

Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard officials are undertaking a desperate search in a vast swath of the North Atlantic, after five men in a small sub embarked on a risky dive to the wreck of the Titanic, 3,800 metres below the surface. Passengers each paid $250,000 for a spot in the cramped submersible, which has no chairs, one small portal, a consumer-grade gaming controller to operate the vessel, and a limited amount of oxygen to sustain life. On this episode, Timothy Bella, a national reporter with the Washington Post, shares the latest details of the search, the expedition that’s gone awry, and the company offering the pricey opportunity for tourists to see the Titanic for themselves, OceanGate. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
22/06/23·24m 28s

Boycotts, threats and the limits of corporate ‘Pride’

In recent years, Pride Month has seen a flood of corporations using rainbow logos and products to show LGBTQ support. Whether the brands are being helpful or opportunistic has been cause for debate. But this year, amidst a wave of hate against queer and trans people, boycotts and threats are leading some brands to walk back their Pride marketing and merch. Today, Xtra Magazine senior editor Mel Woods discusses whether corporate support for Pride matters, and what brands giving in to homophobic demands could signal about rising hatred. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
21/06/23·25m 7s

The political fallout from Paul Bernardo’s prison transfer

To the frustration and hurt of the families of Paul Bernardo’s victims, the notorious rapist and murderer has been moved from a maximum security prison to a medium security one. Conservatives are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene and move Bernardo back to a maximum security facility. They also want Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino to resign over how his office handled information about the transfer. Ashley Burke is a senior reporter at the CBC’s Parliamentary Bureau. She’s been looking into how the Liberals handled Bernardo’s move and the controversy that has followed. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
20/06/23·22m 42s

Why the internet is getting worse

There’s a growing sense that the internet – or at least the big sites we use all the time like Amazon, Facebook and Google – is becoming worse. Instead of seeing what’s best for us at the top of our searches, we’re seeing more and more of what makes the tech giant the most money pop to the top. Cory Doctorow calls it ‘Enshittification.’ He explains how it works. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
19/06/23·27m 59s

The Beatles and the future of AI music

Before his death, John Lennon recorded a demo of a new song, "Now and Then" on a cassette. His Beatles bandmates later tried to repurpose it for release, but abandoned the project in part because of the poor voice quality. This week, Paul McCartney revealed that, 43 years after Lennon's death, the song will drop – thanks to AI technology. It's just the latest example of artificial intelligence's increasing presence in the music industry. Fake Drake songs, AI-generated Kanye covers and posthumous Biggie collabs have raised alarm about copyright, and existential questions about songwriting and creativity. Today, Saroja Coelho speaks with the host of Vulture's Switched on Pop podcast, Charlie Harding, about what the technology means for the music industry and art itself. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
16/06/23·29m 10s

Money, sex, and populism: The life of Silvio Berlusconi

This week, Silvio Berlusconi died at the age of 86. He served as Italy’s prime minister three separate times, leaving a permanent mark on the country’s politics, media, and culture. Berlusconi created an empire for himself, based on money, sex and a willingness to push legal limits — and in many ways, he created a template for billionaire populist political leaders. For transcripts of this series, please visit: On this episode, Alexander Stille, professor of journalism at Columbia University and the author of The Sack of Rome: How a Beautiful European Country with a Fabled History and a Storied Culture Was Taken Over by a Man named Silvio Berlusconi, discusses how Berlusconi changed Italy and the world.
15/06/23·26m 29s

Donald Trump pleads not guilty, again

Former U.S. president Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to 37 federal criminal charges that he unlawfully kept national-security documents when he left office and lied to officials who sought to recover them. CBC’s Washington Correspondent Alex Panetta explains the evidence against him and the ramifications of this case for the next presidential election. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
14/06/23·26m 39s

As wildfires burn, climate debate stagnates

As smoke from wildfires in Ontario and Quebec blanketed the nation’s capital early last week, air quality advisories caused residents to wear masks and kids to stay inside for recess. Most debate in the House of Commons, however, remained around the economy and inflation – including arguments that climate change measures should be stopped or curtailed. Smoke and burning skies in Toronto, New York, Philadelphia and Washington have since sparked international conversations about our changing climate. Today, CBC senior writer Aaron Wherry joins us to discuss why – even as Canada itself burns – our environmental policy debate continues to stagnate around the merits of carbon taxes. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
13/06/23·24m 58s

On the front line of mass migration out of Sudan

After more than eight weeks of fighting, the power struggle between two rival military groups continues in Sudan. The conflict has turned the capital of Khartoum into a battleground. With hundreds of civilians killed and thousands wounded, people are migrating en masse to bordering countries in search of safety. Tens of thousands of people have headed southward into South Sudan, the world’s poorest nation. CBC News Foreign Correspondent Chris Brown spent several days at the border between the two countries. Today, he joins us to share what he learned from refugees and humanitarian workers about concerns the conflict’s spillover effects could destabilize an already vulnerable region. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
12/06/23·24m 17s

Front Burner Introduces: The Dose - How does drinking coffee affect my health?

For many of us, coffee is an essential part of our day. So what impact is it having on us, beyond just waking us up in the morning? To try to answer that question, Dr. Brian Goldman from the CBC podcast The Dose speaks to Thomas Merritt, a geneticist and professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury. More episodes are available at:
10/06/23·25m 40s

Politics roundup: David Johnston, budget tactics and byelections

MPs have just a couple weeks before Parliament is set to break for the summer, but there’s still a lot going on in Ottawa. David Johnston continues to fend off calls to step aside as special rapporteur on foreign interference, Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre is signalling Conservatives will continue to protest the Liberals’ budget in the Senate, despite its passage in the House of Commons, and the People’s Party of Canada leader is trying to make his return to the Parliament. On this episode, guest host Saroja Coelho dives into the top political stories with Catherine Cullen, host of the CBC political podcast, The House. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
09/06/23·25m 13s

Binance and its Canadian CEO sued in major crypto case

The biggest crypto exchange in the world is being sued by an American regulator accusing Binance and its Canadian billionaire founder of breaking a string of laws and misusing investor funds. Changpeng Zhao and his company say they will fight back “vigorously.” Today on Front Burner, Jacob Silverman, who you may know from our podcast The Naked Emperor, joins us to talk about what all this means for crypto’s future. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
08/06/23·23m 44s

Why some tenants are going on ‘rent strikes’

There are two rent strikes underway in Toronto, where some tenants have organized and are withholding rent to protest against above-guideline rent increases. But the strategy carries serious risks – including potential eviction. Today, we hear from one tenant in Thorncliffe Park on why he’s taking part in the strike, and Ricardo Tranjan of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives talks more about the radical tactic, and tenant organizing in Canada. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
07/06/23·24m 19s

As fires rage, Canada urged to get on ‘war footing’

Forest fire season has come in with a bang. A record-setting blaze in Nova Scotia, plus sprawling fires in Alberta and now Quebec have claimed homes and forced tens of thousands to flee. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned this week federal modeling shows we’re entering an especially severe wildfire season. He also pledged the Canadian government would be there with “whatever it takes to keep people safe, and provide support.” But do we have the capacity? What is the plan to fight the fires of the future? Wildfire ecologist Robert Gray explains why Canada should get on a “war footing” to address these climate-change enhanced super-fires. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
06/06/23·25m 12s

Inside the fundamentalist Christian movement that wants to remake Canadian politics

Warning: This story contains anti-trans comments and deals with suicide. Today on Front Burner, CBC investigative reporter Jonathan Montpetit goes inside a fundamentalist Christian movement deeply conservative in its social values and radical in its ideas for reform – one that came together in the pandemic, and has since joined the backlash to LGBTQ rights. You can read more on this story at This documentary was produced by Jonathan Montpetit and Julia Pagel at CBC’s Audio Doc Unit. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
05/06/23·34m 1s

Soccer star faces racist mobs, league inaction

Earlier this month, one of football’s brightest stars was targeted with an unprecedented amount of racist abuse during a game. Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Junior — the heir to the throne of Brazilian football — was called a monkey and abused with monkey noises by tens of thousands of fans during a game in Spain’s La Liga. But rather than punish those abusing the athlete, it was Vinicius who was shown a red card. In the aftermath of the incident, everyone from the Spanish press to the president of the Spanish football league seemed to blame the victim of the racist attack, rather than his attackers. On this episode, guest host Jodie Martinson talks to sports journalist Shireen Ahmed about one of the brightest stars in world sports, but also about the broader tradition of racism in soccer, and why it remains an ugly issue in the beautiful game. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
02/06/23·24m 37s

What do drone strikes in Moscow, Kyiv signal about the war?

Ukraine has been dealt some blows in the last month. Kyiv has seen the most air strikes since the start of the war, and the city of Bakhmut is almost entirely occupied by the Russians. However, a shift could be coming. After receiving billions of dollars worth of international military aid, Ukraine may be ready to launch its much anticipated spring counteroffensive. And after a drone strike hit an apartment block in a Moscow suburb, some are asking whether it’s already underway. Plus, tensions between the powerful mercenary organisation, The Wagner Group, and the Kremlin are increasing, after more than 20,000 of their soldiers were killed in Bakhmut. Could Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin be a threat to Putin’s leadership? Paul Adams, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, has been watching this all closely and helps us make sense of the latest developments — and where the war in Ukraine could be headed. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
01/06/23·23m 19s

Are the killer whales fighting back?

Orcas ramming boats and chewing on rudders pierced the hull of a yacht near Spain last week. They've also brought down three vessels in the surrounding waters in the last year. Many experts are suggesting the killer whales could be playing. Others have wondered whether a matriarch named White Gladis could be teaching her pod the behaviour, following a traumatic incident with a ship. The internet, meanwhile, can't stop joking about the orcas taking revenge on humanity. If this is a case of psychological projection, it might be because orcas have reason to be mad at us. Today, Raincoast Conservation Foundation senior scientist Peter Ross tells us about the health of the orca population including the one we understand best, the Southern Resident killer whales near our west coast, and discusses why humans see so much of themselves in these neighbours. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
31/05/23·22m 5s

The United Conservative Party holds onto power in Alberta

Danielle Smith and her United Conservative Party have been returned to power in Alberta, as voters reject the NDP and Rachel Notley's vision for the province. Smith overcame a slew of stumbles and hiccups in her first seven months as premier, and won over enough people to secure another four years in control for her party. On this episode, CBC Calgary's Jason Markusoff shares his analysis of how Smith won, what it means for Alberta, and for the rest of the country. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
30/05/23·22m 53s

The End of COVID?

COVID-19 disrupted almost everything about our lives when it struck. Now, as the WHO says the global emergency over the novel virus is over, how dangerous is the virus and what will it be like to live with it into the future? Helen Branswell is a world-respected reporter who has spent her career writing about infectious disease and global health. She writes for STAT News and takes us through the latest science. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
29/05/23·26m 36s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: How Argentina deals with crushing 104% inflation

Argentina's annual inflation rate reached a staggering 104.3 per cent in March. It's one of the highest rates in the world, resulting in a cost-of-living crisis for many in the country. It's not a new problem in Argentina, where the market has been volatile for decades, especially during the 1980s debt crisis.From bartering to stocking up on goods before inflation spikes, Argentines have found inventive ways to cope with this economic reality. But there's also been growing discontent with the government, and the country's relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — especially as a general election approaches this fall. This episode from Nothing is foreign looks at how people on the ground deal with this sky-high inflation rate, the historical conditions that led to this and what happens to a society when it's trapped in a cycle of debt and austerity. More episodes are available at:
27/05/23·29m 14s

Why JPMorgan is being sued over ties to Jeffrey Epstein

It’s been nearly four years since Jeffrey Epstein died in jail while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. Yet more of his ties to the world’s rich and powerful are still being uncovered, and attempts to obtain some measure of accountability continue. One route is through Epstein’s former bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., which is currently embroiled in two lawsuits, including one from the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein kept an estate. The Virgin Islands has issued subpoenas to a number of billionaires in connection with the case – including Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and more recently, embattled Tesla CEO Elon Musk. And there are new revelations about Epstein’s relationship with Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates. Today, Wall Street Journal reporter David Benoit speaks with guest host Alex Panetta about these lawsuits, Epstein’s history with America’s biggest bank and what we’re still learning about the convicted sex offender’s web, years after his death. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
26/05/23·23m 2s

Is a housing crash an affordability fix?

As some prospective home buyers watched prices climb to dozens of times their income during the pandemic, they pinned their hopes of ownership on a market crash. And for nearly a year starting last April, prices did fall – in Toronto, the average price of a home dropped about 18%. But now, for the last two months, prices have been on the rise again. So with houses still historically unaffordable, what would it take for Canada’s home prices to drop or crash toward affordability, and would the economic damage do more harm than low prices can help? Today, Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives senior economist Marc Lee explains the paths that remain to ownership for the low and middle class. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
25/05/23·19m 30s

A matter of trust: Election meddling inquiry rejected

Former governor general David Johnston — now serving as a special rapporteur — says a public inquiry into foreign interference in Canadian elections would not satisfy the public, because so much of the material is classified and can’t be shared. Will the decision to reject a public inquiry on foreign interference in Canadian elections darken the cloud of mistrust, or help clear it? On this episode, David Fraser, a reporter with the Canadian Press, details what Johnston is recommending instead of an inquiry. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
24/05/23·24m 22s

Crime is up, is bail reform the solution?

Violent crime is up in Canada. The country’s homicide rate jumped 42 per cent from 2013 to 2021, and attacks have increased on public transit. With crime in the headlines, public safety has become a real concern for many Canadians. Last week, federal Justice Minister David Lametti introduced new bail-reform legislation to address that anxiety. If passed, Bill C-48 would make it more difficult for some repeat violent offenders to get released from prison on bail. But reviews for the plan are mixed. Today, CBC parliamentary bureau reporter JP Tasker and Vancouver-based criminal defence lawyer Kyla Lee take us through the Liberals’ bail reform legislation and the political pressure campaign that preceded it. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
23/05/23·30m 39s

Front Burner Introduces: Let’s Not Be Kidding with Gavin Crawford

If laughter really was the best medicine, Gavin Crawford would have cured his mother of Alzheimer’s disease. As a son, his mother’s dementia has been devastating. As a comedian though…it’s been sort of funny. Honestly, how do you respond when your mom confuses you with her teenage crush and wants you to take her to the high-school dance? Well, you laugh. Because it’s the only thing you can do. In this seven-part series, Gavin tells the story of losing his mother — his best friend and the inspiration for a lot of his comedy — to a disease that can be as hilarious as it is heartbreaking. He’s joined by comedian friends who share their experience caring for family members with dementia. The result is a cross between an improv act and a support group. Part memoir, part stand-up, part meditation on grief and loss, Let’s Not Be Kidding is a dose of the very best medicine for anyone dealing with hard times. More episodes are available at:
22/05/23·35m 52s

Front Burner Introduces: The Secret Life of Canada - The Forgotten War

Not all Canadian history happens in Canada. Over 70 years ago, nearly 30,000 Canadians volunteered to fight in the Korean War. It was the third-deadliest overseas conflict in Canada’s military history — so why is it often referred to as “The Forgotten War”? In this episode from The Secret Life of Canada, friend of the pod and producer Eunice Kim joins in to explore what led to the conflict, why Canada got involved, the lasting impact of a war that technically never ended, and how some Korean Canadians are making sure we never forget. More episodes are available at:
20/05/23·48m 10s

Book bans and Black history in Florida

This week, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed yet another bill targeting the state’s education system into law. In this case, the law will defund state college programs that encourage diversity in higher education and limit the discussion of race in many courses. Under his leadership, Florida has become the epicentre of the culture war in America — a struggle that often focuses on classrooms and public education. On this episode, guest host Matthew Amha speaks with Alex Ingram, a high school teacher who taught in Jacksonville, Florida, for a decade, before deciding that teaching there had become untenable. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
19/05/23·22m 10s

The rise and fall of Vice Media

This week, Vice Media filed for bankruptcy. According to reports, the company may be bought for $225 million, plus its sizable debt. At its peak not long ago, Vice was valued at nearly $6 billion. It was shaping the media landscape, had a huge influence on culture, fashion, and how to draw young audiences to news stories around the world. On this episode, Reeves Wiedeman, writer with New York Magazine, explains how Vice rose to such stunning heights, and what contributed to its downfall. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
18/05/23·32m 37s

Hotter, faster, more destructive: wildfire’s new reality

Albertans are suffering an unprecedented wildfire season. Tens of thousands have been evacuated out of the path of massive blazes. Across the province, skies are smoky and air quality is poor. Author John Vaillant is watching it unfold with a terrifying comprehension of the science of these super fires and just how dangerous they can be. He has spent years investigating what happened in 2016 when parts of Fort McMurray burned to the ground. His new book, ‘Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast,’ explains why the fires we battle today are hotter, faster and more destructive than the fires of before. He joins Alex Panetta for a conversation about the future of fire in our changing climate. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
17/05/23·28m 48s

Canada closed a border loophole. Where will migrants go?

For a year and a half, almost 50,000 migrants had walked into Canada via Quebec’s Roxham Road to seek asylum. Then, at midnight on the morning of March 25th, Roxham Road – and the immigration loophole that made it a famous irregular border crossing – effectively closed. CBC Montreal reporter Verity Stevenson has been speaking to migrants who arrived at Roxham soon after the change, only to suddenly discover their journey would be cut short. Today, she brings us their stories, as well as what she saw in towns south of the U.S. border that are hosting hundreds of asylum seekers rejected from Canada. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
16/05/23·25m 11s

Inside a busy food bank: 'It’s the person across the cubicle'

The Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto had their worst month on record in March: more people used their services than at any other time in their 40-year history. This, at a time when Canada’s unemployment rate is at a near-record low. The situation is similarly dire at food banks across the country. So today on Front Burner, producer Imogen Birchard heads out to a food bank in Etobicoke, to find out who’s using the service now and what’s driving them there. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
15/05/23·27m 0s

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom changes the game, again

When it comes to classic video games, there are names everyone’s heard of. There's Mario. Donkey Kong. And of course there’s the Legend of Zelda. The game made its pixelated debut over thirty-five years ago and, in the decades since, the Zelda series has come to represent the spirit of adventure for millions of gamers. But, six years ago, the influential franchise managed to outdo itself with the release of Breath of the Wild – a game that redefined gaming for the modern age by giving players unparalleled control and creativity. Today, the long-awaited sequel is out. Lucy James, a senior video producer for Gamespot and Giant Bomb, joins Front Burner to explain the hype of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and the series’ influence on the highest grossing industry in entertainment. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
12/05/23·23m 48s

Have Congressman George Santos’ lies caught up with him?

Shortly after George Santos was elected to Congress in 2022, the New York Times found that he had fabricated almost every aspect of his life story – personally and professionally.  On Wednesday, this once rising star was hit with 13 charges including fraud, money laundering, and theft of public funds. Santos, echoing the words of former President Donald Trump, calls it a "witch hunt." Despite calls for him to resign, he vows to continue to serve in Congress and pledges he will run again in 2024.  Today, Washington Post national reporter Azi Paybarah joins us to explain Santos' lies, the criminal charges he now faces, and how the American political star-making machine can sometimes attract fraudsters. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
11/05/23·25m 42s

Canada-China tension high as diplomats expelled

A growing crisis between Canada and China has led to the expulsion of diplomats from both countries, following revelations that a Chinese official reportedly targeted Canadian MP Michael Chong’s family. CBC parliamentary reporter Catharine Tunney joins Front Burner to sort through what happened to Chong, what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government knew about the 2021 incident, and how the two countries are now handling it. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
10/05/23·20m 1s

Wildfires force Alberta state of emergency

The weather turned hot suddenly this year in Alberta and it is already remarkably dry. Wildfires, some burning out of control, have forced people to flee their homes, triggered a provincial state of emergency, and now there’s a request for the military to move in. CBC Edmonton host and producer Nancy Carlson is no stranger to wildfires in her home province. She covered the 2016 fires that swept Fort McMurray. She was evacuated last week when fires threatened her neighbourhood. Nancy explains what led to this season and how Albertans like her are managing with the threat of what’s already being called an ‘unprecedented’ fire season. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
09/05/23·24m 13s

AI ‘godfather’ on the tech’s global threat

Artificial intelligence is developing at such a rapid pace that leading figures in the field are warning about the mortal threats of losing control. Among the trio known collectively as the “godfathers of artificial intelligence,” two researchers – both Canadian – are calling out the economic, ethical and existential risks of the tech they pioneered. University of Toronto scientist Geoffrey Hinton recently announced he’d quit his job at Google to speak out, and Yoshua Bengio is calling to pause the development of powerful AI systems like GPT-4. Today, Bengio joins us to explain the near-term dangers of AI, and what it would take for the tech to be a threat to humanity. Bengio is a professor at Université de Montréal and scientific director at Mila - Quebec AI institute. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
08/05/23·28m 38s

The Cost of the Crown

On Saturday, pomp, circumstance and royal wealth will be on display in the official crowning ceremony of King Charles III. The ceremony’s estimated price tag is 100 million pounds and comes at a time when so many people are struggling to put food on the table. This has led to questions about just how wealthy the royal family is and why they aren’t footing the bill. Reporter David Pegg has worked with The Guardian on a comprehensive investigative series into the royal finances called Cost of the Crown. Today, he takes us through where the monarchy gets its money, explains the secrecy around the Windsor fortune and breaks down the confusion about what belongs to the royals and what belongs to Britain. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
05/05/23·28m 33s

The impact of the writers' strike, on screen and off

On Monday at midnight, over 11,000 television and film writers with the Writers’ Guild of America officially went on strike. The strike has triggered a sense of déjà vu in the TV world, in part because Saturday Night Live and late night talk shows are headed into reruns. But it’s also rekindling memories of the last major work stoppage in Hollywood: the 100 day writers’ strike in 2007 which caused a boom in reality TV and – by some estimates – cost the California economy over $2 billion USD. Lucas Shaw covers media and entertainment for Bloomberg, and today he’ll explain why writers are striking in an industry changed by streaming, and what parallels exist with other job action happening across the economy. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
04/05/23·21m 18s

Police, a private spa, and more from Ford’s Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced new measures to get more police “boots on the ground,” including covering the costs of mandatory training and scrapping the post-secondary education requirement to be hired as an officer. Ford has also been making headlines for his plans for the redevelopment of a parcel of public land on Toronto’s waterfront which include a sprawling private spa. Today, provincial affairs reporter Mike Crawley brings guest host Alex Panetta up to speed on both issues, and discusses the role Ford could play in Toronto’s upcoming mayoral election. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
03/05/23·24m 18s

Fugees star Pras snared in bizarre criminal conspiracy web

Pras Michel, the rapper known for being one third of the famed ‘90s-era group, the Fugees, has been convicted of 10 criminal counts connected to a web of international political influence, conspiracy, and embezzlement. As Front Burner guest Michael Ames wrote for Rolling Stone magazine, the wild story of includes former U.S. president Barack Obama, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and a wealthy Malaysian fugitive. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
02/05/23·30m 10s

Why the Alberta election race is neck and neck

Two women who have both served as Alberta premier are the leading candidates in a tight race to run the province. The United Conservative Party’s Danielle Smith, is facing rival Rachel Notley of the NDP. Elise von Scheel, provincial affairs reporter for CBC Calgary, explains why the race is shaping up to be a very close one. And how the changing demographics of Calgary could be a huge factor. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
01/05/23·24m 8s

Can China help bring peace to Ukraine?

For more than a year the possibility of peace in Ukraine has seemed out of reach. But this week, a new world leader stepped in with an offer to mediate. After months of waiting, this week Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping over the phone. Zelensky described the call as "meaningful" and as a potential step toward the elusive goal of peace. China says it plans to help facilitate communication between Russia and Ukraine. Emma Graham-Harrison is the senior international affairs correspondent for The Guardian and The Observer. She has lived in China and is currently reporting from Ukraine. Today, she takes us through what Xi Jinping is proposing, whether China could bring peace to Ukraine and whether there is reason to be skeptical.
28/04/23·20m 13s

Ryan Reynolds scores with Wrexham soccer gambit

Two years ago, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, the creator and star of the show, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, bought Wrexham AFC. The small Welsh soccer team had been languishing in the lowest possible division of football in the U.K. This week, the team celebrated a triumphant victory that earned it promotion out of the game’s backwater. On this episode, Richard Sutcliffe, a writer for The Athletic covering Wrexham AFC, discusses how the Hollywood touch has helped turn the relatively obscure team into a global sensation. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
27/04/23·26m 23s

How Tucker Carlson mastered Fox News fear and outrage

For over seven years on Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight leveraged immigration, vaccines and racial tensions to divide viewers’ worlds into “us” and “them”. Carlson became a kingmaker who could make or break Republican primary campaigns or set the policy agenda. Then, this week, the show’s incendiary reign atop cable news ended, when Fox News sent him packing. Today on Front Burner, New York Times political and investigative reporter Nicholas Confessore explains the political transformation that informed the world of Tucker Carlson Tonight, and what could be next for one of the most powerful voices in right-wing politics. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
26/04/23·28m 55s

Eight years after Myles Gray’s death, police finally testify

This episode deals with details of violence. In August 2015, 33-year-old Myles Gray was making a delivery for his wholesale florist business in B.C. when he confronted a woman who was watering her lawn in the midst of an extended drought. The police were called. Within an hour, Gray – who was unarmed – was dead. His list of injuries – including a fractured voice box, several broken bones, brain hemorrhaging and a ruptured testicle – was so extensive that forensic experts could not pinpoint the exact cause of death. The officers involved are speaking publicly for the first time since Gray’s death at a coroner’s inquest. CBC’s Rhianna Schmunk joins guest host Alex Panetta to explain what we’re learning about what happened to Myles Gray, and his family’s hopes for answers and accountability. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
25/04/23·22m 38s

‘Pentagon Leaks’ detail Canada’s military shortcomings

According to new reporting on the trove of leaked documents known as the ‘Pentagon Leaks,’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau privately told NATO officials that Canada will never meet a two per cent defense-spending target. A secret document, accessed by the Washington Post, also details criticisms leveled at Canada by its NATO allies. For transcripts of this series, please visit: On this episode, Amanda Coletta, who covers Canada for the Washington Post, discusses what the leaks mean for Canada’s military standing among its peers, and what shortcomings have been identified by those allies. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
24/04/23·24m 44s

The ‘15-minute city’ conspiracy spreads to Canada

The concept of 15-minute cities — where a person’s daily needs in a city are accessible within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride from their home — is a few years old. It’s been picked up by many cities to guide urban planning and design. But in recent months, the 15-minute city idea has also been seized on by people who fear it’s an elaborate conspiracy to limit individual freedoms, mobility, and to create barricaded sectors to keep them trapped. In this episode, Tiffany Hsu, a reporter who covers disinformation for the New York Times, breaks down the actual idea, where it came from, and how it got twisted into a dystopian conspiracy. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
21/04/23·26m 23s

What’s at stake in the federal workers’ strike?

Picket lines have been set up at major government buildings and ministers' offices across the country as more than a hundred thousand public servants go on strike. After nearly two years of bargaining without a contract, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) says Ottawa has failed to propose a reasonable agreement and wage increases that keep apace with inflation. But the government says the union's demands are untenable. Meanwhile, Canadians could see delays in accessing government services as passport office workers, immigration processing staff and most Canada Revenue Agency employees will be off the job in the biggest labour action the federal government has seen in nearly 20 years. Today, J.P. Tasker, a reporter with CBC's parliamentary bureau, walks us through the points of contention, how the government is responding and the possible consequences. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
20/04/23·19m 53s

Fox News settles voting case but ‘Big Lie’ remains

Fox News is the most watched news network in the United States. In the days after the 2020 Presidential election, it broadcasted Donald Trump’s ‘Big Lie”: that the election was stolen from him and voting machines were partly to blame. The company that makes some of those voting machines, Dominion Voting, pushed back suing Fox for defamation and settling for $787-million. Today, CBC’s Washington-based correspondent Alex Panetta takes us through what court filings revealed about how Fox’s most powerful people knew they were telling their audience was untrue, but did it anyway for ratings. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
19/04/23·22m 42s

The impact of anti-trans laws in the US

This year alone, hundreds of new laws targeting trans people have been introduced by Republicans in the United States. Many of them make it harder for doctors to provide gender-affirming care for young people, or ban it completely. On this episode, Ryan Sallans, a transgender author and consultant focused on gender diversity based in Nebraska, and Dr. Hussein Abdul-Latif, an endocrinologist who works with trans kids in Alabama, discuss the impact of the new bills. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
18/04/23·24m 50s

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation controversy, explained

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation has been pulled into the ongoing controversy surrounding allegations of Chinese meddling in Canadian elections. Last week, the foundation’s president and board of directors resigned en masse, saying in a media statement that “the circumstances created by the politicization of the foundation have made it impossible to continue with the status quo.” Today, Catherine Cullen explains how a $140,000 donation to the foundation in 2016 led to these resignations, the implications of the ongoing controversy, and the calls for further investigation. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
17/04/23·24m 32s

War secrets, infighting and spies: inside the Discord leaks

Last week, classified U.S. military documents largely about the Ukraine war started circulating around the internet and making headlines. But the files appear to have started out on Discord, a platform mostly known for its popularity with gamers, where some were posted months ago. And by Thursday afternoon, the FBI had swooped into a North Dighton, Massachusetts home and arrested Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Today, Julian Borger, a Washington-based world affairs editor with the Guardian, takes us through how and why this leak may have come out, how it compares to past ones and the real world consequences of the breach. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
14/04/23·25m 27s

Measuring a decade of Trudeau’s Liberal leadership

Ten years ago this week, Justin Trudeau took over the Liberals’ top job. He won it in a landslide. In his acceptance speech to the excited room, Trudeau swore that unlike Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, he heard Canadians’ pleas for something better, and vowed that he was going to devote his leadership to addressing the issues of “the millions upon millions of middle class Canadians and the millions more who work hard to join the middle class.” Now, a decade into Trudeau’s tenure, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is arguing that far from getting better, “everything feels broken.” Today on Front Burner, CBC senior writer Aaron Wherry looks back at the Trudeau of ten years ago, compares him to where he’s at today, and talks about what it means for his political future. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
13/04/23·30m 37s

Why movies about products are everywhere

Last weekend The Super Mario Bros. Movie had the biggest global opening weekend for an animated movie ever. The story of how Nike brought the world Air Jordans is also raking it in at the box office. And the internet was abuzz last week after the teaser trailer for Barbie dropped. It all begs the question: when did Hollywood movies start looking like a ten year old's Christmas list circa 1993? Host of CBC Radio's Commotion, Elamin Abdelmahmoud, joins us to dig into this growing trend of movies about products. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
12/04/23·23m 1s

Who attacked the Nord Stream pipelines?

In late September of 2022, the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines — which supply Russian natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe via the Baltic Sea — were hit by a series of underwater explosions. Against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing tensions that have resulted, officials soon concluded that it was an act of intentional sabotage. But by whom? More than half a year later, there's still no clear answer. Today, Washington Post reporter Shane Harris takes us inside this high-stakes whodunnit, explaining the various theories, and the evidence supporting or undercutting them — and how it all hinges on an unassuming 50-foot sailing yacht known as the Andromeda. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
11/04/23·26m 49s

Front Burner Presents | The Naked Emperor E4: It Takes a Village

Sam Bankman-Fried couldn’t have marketed FTX to the masses on his own. He had help – from the institutional investors who brought in the big bucks, to the celebrity endorsers who told the public that FTX was “a safe and easy way to get into crypto.” One FTX brand ambassador was Kevin O’Leary, from the reality show Shark Tank. Host Jacob Silverman questions O’Leary about his due diligence before accepting the multimillion dollar endorsement deal. We also hear from everyday investors and hopeful beneficiaries of SBF’s charitable largesse and learn how their hopes were dashed on the rocks of alleged fraud. Zooming out, we learn that a lot of people may be responsible for what happened to FTX and that the losses, especially in a big alleged financial fraud scheme, can reverberate widely. Fourteen years into the crypto experiment, we survey the damage and the successes, and ask what we can learn from the disaster that Sam Bankman-Fried left in his wake. For more episodes of The Naked Emperor, check out its podcast feed: For transcripts of this series, please visit:
10/04/23·35m 6s

Front Burner Presents | The Naked Emperor E3: Busted

In the weeks after FTX filed for bankruptcy Sam stuck to his story: he did not commit fraud. FTX’s post-collapse CEO claimed the company had been a managerial and financial disaster, writing that he had never seen “such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information.” In response to his cratering public image, Sam Bankman-Fried talked. A lot. He exhibited an almost reckless desire to tell his side of things, insisting he could explain – and vindicate – himself. It was an exceptionally bizarre move for someone who had lost not just his personal fortune, but potentially the funds of millions of customers. Even as U.S. prosecutors filed charges, and his former friends turned on him, SBF was unwavering. With the legal odds against him, why would SBF risk so much by refusing to shut up? Update: Since this episode was published, U.S. prosecutors have added a new charge against Sam Bankman-Fried, accusing him of conspiring to bribe one or more Chinese government officials. The charge has not been proven in court. For more episodes of The Naked Emperor, check out its podcast feed: For transcripts of this series, please visit:
07/04/23·32m 58s

Could B.C.'s plan fix the housing crisis?

Vancouver is just one of many cities in Canada in the middle of a housing affordability crisis. This week, B.C. Premier David Eby floated a new plan that would mean some big changes. In Greater Vancouver, the benchmark price for a single family home is over $1.8 million, and rents have gone up too. An average 2-bedroom apartment rents for $2,000 a month – if you can find one, with vacancy rates around one per cent. Today, Mike Moffatt, an Assistant Professor at the Ivey Business School at Western University, takes us through B.C.’s new plan and whether the policy could provide a roadmap for the rest of the country. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
06/04/23·26m 6s

Alberta premier under scrutiny over leaked phone call

A leaked phone conversation between Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and a pastor facing pandemic-related charges is raising questions about potential political interference. During the call, Smith tells the pastor she will discuss his case with justice officials. Smith has continuously denied that she or her office engaged in any inappropriate conduct regarding COVID prosecutions. Today, the CBC’s Jason Markusoff joins the show to talk about the leaked call, and the political implications in the leadup to a closely contested Alberta election. For transcripts of this series, please visit: Editor’s Note: This segment follows a Jan. 19, 2023 story that has been updated. As detailed in the Editor’s Note accompanying that story, while Crown prosecutors felt political pressure, CBC could not substantiate the content of emails referenced here or confirm their existence. Read the full note here:
05/04/23·22m 18s

Scathing report slams RCMP over Portapique mass shooting

Poor communication, a victim treated as a suspect and a police force that was unprepared — these are some conclusions about the RCMP’s handling of Canada’s deadliest mass shooting. Today’s guest, Angela MacIvor, an investigative journalist with CBC Nova Scotia, talks about how more than half of the commission's 130 recommendations focus on the RCMP, and asks whether the force will be forced to implement real change. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
04/04/23·26m 26s

What’s next after Donald Trump’s indictment?

Former U.S. President Donald Trump has faced multiple investigations, into claims of election interference in Georgia, his handling of classified material, and his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. But it’s the investigation into a hush money payment made to the porn star Stormy Daniels that has made him the first former President in U.S. history to face criminal charges. Today on Front Burner, CBC Washington correspondent Alex Panetta walks host Jayme Poisson through the potential implications of this extraordinary development. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
03/04/23·24m 22s

Front Burner Presents | The Naked Emperor E2: The Beginning of the End

We return to the beginning of Sam Bankman-Fried’s lucrative foray into crypto and ask: how did it all fall apart? Sam Bankman-Fried rose to the top of the crypto world with help from his friends. Gary Wang was a former fellow math-camper and brilliant programmer; Caroline Ellison was a former colleague at an elite Wall Street firm and an avid LARPer on the side. While still in their twenties, they were entrusted with billions of dollars of customer and investor funds. But in retrospect there were signs that maybe their enormous fortunes weren't created simply through their supposed technological and financial genius. For more episodes of The Naked Emperor, check out its podcast feed: For transcripts of this series, please visit:
31/03/23·36m 9s

How pride nights became an NHL culture crisis

Pride Nights began in the NHL about ten years ago. They're meant to send a clear message to LGBTQ+ fans to feel welcome spending money and time watching hockey. But since January, a growing number of teams and players are refusing to wear the rainbow-themed jerseys teams use for warm up skates and then auction off to charity. Some players say wearing the jersey is against their faith. Some teams have said they're concerned Russia would see participation as a violation of Putin's anti-gay laws and that would put their Russian players at risk. Now, league commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will need to decide whether Pride Nights should continue. Mark Lazerus writes about hockey for The Athletic. He says the NHL is failing to show leadership in this latest crisis of culture. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
30/03/23·29m 49s

Israel’s Netanyahu flinched, will he retreat?

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets and union strikes disrupted everything from flights to hospitals in Israel this week, as nearly three months of demonstrations reached a new intensity. The protests began in January, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government announced plans for a judicial overhaul that would curtail the Supreme Court’s powers. Netanyahu agreed to pause the legislation on Monday. But does that mean he’s looking for consensus, or just waiting for the fervour to die down? Today, Atlantic staff writer Yair Rosenberg returns to explain how Israel reached this democratic crossroads, and the paths that remain out of it. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
29/03/23·20m 41s

TikTok’s power and the push to ban it

TikTok is facing tough questions from many western democracies about the personal data it gathers and who has access to it. The app’s parent company is based in China and now US politicians want to make sure the country’s government can’t get access to Americans’ personal information. They aren’t liking the answers they’re getting. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
28/03/23·19m 42s

Chinese interference allegations escalate

Toronto-area MP Han Dong is denying allegations that he worked against the release of ‘the two Michaels’ in 2021. His denial comes in the wake of a story from Global News that alleges Dong advised a senior Chinese diplomat in Toronto to delay the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians being held in Chinese detention. Meanwhile, calls for a public inquiry into foreign election interference grow louder. Today, CBC’s chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton brings us up to speed on the latest escalation in allegations of Chinese government interference in Canadian affairs. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
27/03/23·25m 46s

Front Burner Presents | The Naked Emperor E1: The Hype

Sam Bankman-Fried wasn't like other crypto moguls: he drove a Toyota Corolla, he was an advocate for government regulation, he said he would give billions away to charity. That is, until he lost it all in what has been called “one of history’s greatest-ever destructions of wealth.” In episode 1 of Front Burner’s first spin off podcast series — The Naked Emperor — host Jacob Silverman, co-author of a forthcoming book about crypto and fraud, takes a closer look at the hype around SBF and FTX, and how it only grew, even as other crypto companies crashed around them. How powerful was Sam Bankman-Fried? And how did he initially manage to hang on, to thrive even, as other giants tumbled towards bankruptcy? For more episodes of The Naked Emperor, check out its podcast feed:
24/03/23·34m 51s


Front Burner is a daily news podcast from CBC that explores the big stories of the day with curiosity and an open mind. Hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Jayme Poisson who takes you deep into the narratives shaping Canada and the world.
23/03/23·1m 25s

Iraq still suffers, 20 years after invasion

Twenty years ago this week, a US military campaign called ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ began in the skies over Iraq’s capital, Badgdad. Overnight, cruise missiles were launched, and by the next morning coalition forces, led by the United States, were on the ground beginning their invasion of Iraq. Today, Mustafa Salim, a reporter with the Washington Post’s Baghdad bureau, reflects on the 20-year legacy of the US-led coalition’s invasion of Iraq, the great lie that facilitated war, and the chaos it all created. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
23/03/23·27m 40s

Revolt as France forces more work before retirement

Thousands of protesters hit the streets of Paris with renewed anger this week, as an unpopular raise to France’s retirement age became law. President Emmanuel Macron’s government announced plans to shift the age from 62 to 64 in January. Since then, demonstrations across France have included strikes from rail workers and garbage collectors, leading to piles of trash growing in Paris. On Monday, his government survived a resulting no-confidence motion by only nine votes. Today, New York Times correspondent Catherine Porter joins us to explain France’s unique identity of work-life balance, and the globally relevant reasons Macron risked his future to delay the country’s retirement. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
22/03/23·20m 37s

Will the banking crisis trigger a recession?

In the last two weeks, four banks in the United States and one in Europe have either found themselves teetering on the brink or completely collapsed. In response, other private banks and governments all over the world have rushed to try to contain the potential financial contagion. On Sunday, the central banks of Canada, the US, Asia and Europe all agreed to increase money available, which in turn would help banks lend more to each other so they can stay afloat. Today on Front Burner, we are talking to Canadian Jim Stanford. Just how bad this financial crisis could get? How comparable will it be to the 2008 recession? And will this mean for the average Canadian? For transcripts of this series, please visit:
21/03/23·26m 55s

U.S. abortion pill access threatened by Texas lawsuit

It’s been less than a year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and now abortions are banned in 13 states. And in several other states, abortion is prohibited after a certain length of pregnancy. But now the new frontier in the legal fight is all about the abortion pill as a Texas judge weighs arguments from anti-abortion groups who are suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These groups want the judge to order the FDA to withdraw its two decades-long approval of a drug called mifepristone that’s used in abortion pills. If this happens, it could curtail access to abortion pills across the entire country. Mary Ziegler, a professor at the University of California’s Davis School of Law, shares her thoughts on this case and other efforts that are contributing to the uncertain legal landscape for the abortion pill in the United States. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
20/03/23·25m 4s

Canadian ‘super pigs’ are a problem

They devour farmers’ crops, breed rapidly and can tunnel beneath the snow to survive: feral pigs have taken residence on the Canadian prairies and are wreaking destruction. Today, Megan Evans, the Executive Director of the Alberta Invasive Species Council, takes us through why the surge in swine is so serious, and why efforts to eradicate them have been so unsuccessful. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
17/03/23·20m 40s

Canada starts tackling caste discrimination

The Toronto District School Board has become the first board in Canada to officially recognize caste based discrimination. The caste system is thought to be among the oldest forms of social hierarchy of classification in the world, and has dominated the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years. It can dictate romantic relationships, job prospects, housing, and even lead to violence. Today, reporter Uday Rana explores the beginnings of caste in Canada, and the modern impact the ancient hierarchy has on Canada's South Asian diaspora today. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
16/03/23·23m 23s

Wrestler Kenny Omega’s Winnipeg arena homecoming

As a kid in the Winnipeg suburb of Transcona, Tyson Smith was obsessed with hockey and the Winnipeg Jets. He dreamed of being a professional goaltender. Decades later, Smith – now known as “Kenny Omega” – has made his way to the Jets’ home arena for a different reason: he’s performing as a professional wrestler. Omega is the headliner for a show with All Elite Wrestling, the wrestling company he helped build into the first direct competitor to the WWE in almost 20 years. Before he stepped into the ring, Omega joined Front Burner host Jayme Poisson to discuss the culture of wrestling in Winnipeg, his path to fame in Japan, his push to expand inclusivity and storytelling in the sport, and swirling rumours about what he’ll do next. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
15/03/23·31m 20s

The fallout from Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse

On Sunday, a group of U.S. government agencies made the extraordinary decision to ensure that everyone who had money in Silicon Valley Bank would be able to access that cash. The move comes on the heels of Friday’s collapse of the California-based bank following a bank run. Silicon Valley Bank is the second largest bank to fail in the U.S. – the first was Washington Mutual during the 2008 financial crisis. Felix Salmon is a Chief Financial Correspondent at Axios and the host of Slate Money. Today on Front Burner he joins us to explain why Silicon Valley Bank went under and what might happen next. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
14/03/23·27m 39s

COVID lab leak theory moves into the mainstream

Last week a US congressional committee began what could be a months-long probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Was it the result of a lab leak in Wuhan? And did Dr. Anthony Fauci and his team of experts carry out a cover-up in the early days of the outbreak? These are the questions the Republican-led committee are trying to answer. Today on Front Burner, The Atlantic’s Daniel Enger on the shifting narratives around the origins of COVID-19 -- and how it went from the fringes to the mainstream. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
13/03/23·27m 51s

Canada vs. Big Plastic: A legal fight about more than straws

This week, a federal court judge in Toronto heard arguments from a plastics lobby group and the federal government, in a challenge to a ban on single-use plastics like bags, straws and stir sticks that was introduced last year. On today’s episode, Lisa Erdle, microplastics researcher and the director of science and innovation at the U.S.-based 5 Gyres Institute, describes what’s at stake in the court hearing, the impact of plastics in the environment and what can be done to improve the situation. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
10/03/23·22m 19s

Outrage over silence as toxic oil tailings leaked

Since the Kearl mine in northern Alberta began production on Treaty 8 territory in 2013, the company has touted technological innovations that they say “enhance environmental performance.” Yet for months, wastewater from the mine’s tailings ponds, containing arsenic, hydrocarbons and sulphides has been seeping into the land. The company that runs the mine, Imperial Oil, first reported the leak in May 2022 to the provincial regulator. But Chief Allan Adam of the nearby Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation says his community only learned of the seepage last month. That’s created anxiety, says Chief Adam, because people have been hunting, fishing and trapping without knowing there was a risk of contamination. Drew Anderson, the Narwhal’s Prairies reporter, joins us today to walk us through how the leak happened, Alberta’s tailings pond debate and who’s accountable. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
09/03/23·22m 30s

Juarez to Roxham Road: A perilous migration

Last year, about 39,000 people entered Canada at Roxham Road, an irregular border crossing in Quebec, in search of asylum. It was a record number — and so far this year, the upward trend is continuing. The steady flow of migrants entering Canada at Roxham Road has become a political issue, but how to handle the stream of people seeking asylum at the border is an open question. On this episode, Paul Hunter, a senior correspondent with CBC News, takes us to the US-Mexico border in Juarez to see what we can learn from migrants there about the issue at America’s northern border and Roxham Road. Clarification: In this episode we discuss a video shown to senior correspondent Paul Hunter by a Venezuelan migrant couple Nelson Ramirez, and his wife, Yescee Urbina at an aid office in Juarez, Mexico. The video depicts a crocodile swimming with a human leg in its mouth.  We reported that the video was filmed during the couple’s journey through the Panamanian jungle. However, the video shown to CBC News was filmed a few years ago. Ramirez showed the video to convey the desperation and danger that migrants from Central and South America experience trying to seek asylum further north. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
08/03/23·24m 19s

Energy weapon, enemy state ruled out on Havana Syndrome

In 2016, a handful of American and Canadian government employees working in Cuba came down with mysterious symptoms: nausea, ringing ears, headaches, and minor memory loss. Their illness came to be known as Havana Syndrome. Theories about what caused it have included microwaves fired by Russia, insecticides, and even crickets. Now, a new report from US intelligence agencies rejects the idea that an enemy with an energy weapon is to blame. Shane Harris is an Intelligence and National Security Reporter for the Washington Post. He has spoken to sources who’ve seen the new report, and walks us through its findings. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
07/03/23·24m 5s

The push for answers over alleged election meddling

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once again resisted a call that’s been getting progressively louder in Ottawa: the call for a public inquiry into allegations of Beijing’s interference in our most recent elections. Opposition MPs on a Parliamentary committee have already voted in favour of an inquiry into foreign interference, although that motion is non-binding. Meanwhile, a number of reports, committee investigations and witness testimonies have either already been delivered, or are on the way. Today, CBC’s The House host Catherine Cullen explains the newest revelations, what big questions are still at play, and what avenues remain to get those answers. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
06/03/23·23m 42s

As Canadian soccer rises: turmoil, strikes and fights

Canada women's national soccer team currently ranks as one of the top ten teams worldwide. Despite their track record of victory, the team’s future success is now at risk. As the FIFA Women’s World Cup approaches, the team’s engaged in a very visible fight with their bosses that has meant strikes, on-field protests, and the resignation of the president of Soccer Canada. The turmoil comes because of what the players say is a shocking lack of funding and very different treatment compared to the men’s team. But the issue goes deeper than the women’s fight. TSN senior correspondent, Rick Westhead, takes guest host Daemon Fairless through the national women’s team’s fight, the controversial business deal that may be behind the federation’s money woes, and what’s at stake for the sport in Canada. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
03/03/23·28m 52s

Survival and loss in Turkey’s earthquake ruins

More than three weeks after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, aftershocks continue to shake devastated cities in Turkey. Officials say more than 44,000 people have died in the country, and the UN estimates 1.5 million people are without homes. One of the worst-hit cities in Turkey's southeast, Antakya, is largely uninhabitable after entire sections of the city collapsed into rubble. Today, The Sunday Times Middle East correspondent Louise Callaghan tells us what she saw in Antakya in the weeks after the earthquake, the stories of survival and loss she heard from residents, and the allegations that corruption and illegal construction amplified that destruction and casualties. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
02/03/23·22m 34s

Ex-CSIS boss on China’s alleged election meddling

Recent reports by the Globe and Mail and Global News, relying on Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) documents and unnamed intelligence sources, have detailed different ways the Chinese government has allegedly interfered with Canadian elections. On this episode, Dick Fadden, a former director of CSIS and a former national security advisor to both Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, walks us through the way the spy agency operates on cases like this, and what should be done now to ensure Canadian elections are free of foreign meddling. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
01/03/23·32m 25s

‘Dead pool’, drought and a drying Colorado River

The Colorado River – the lifeblood of the American southwest – is drying up. The river’s basin supplies water to 40 million Americans across seven states, plus two states in Mexico. It’s partly because of climate change, a major drought, and because of century-old rules that govern who has the rights to the water. And it’s a big deal: the Colorado River is a key source of drinking water, power production, and crop irrigation for agriculture that helps feed North America.  Today on Front Burner, guest host Jodie Martinson speaks with CBC Washington correspondent Alex Panetta, who recently got back from reporting in Arizona, about the politics of drought and how it’s fueling a fight over its most precious resource – water. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
28/02/23·24m 19s

Can Canada afford big corporate stock buybacks?

Loblaw Companies, the country’s biggest grocery chain, reported its finances for 2022 on Thursday. In a year when Canadians felt the squeeze from skyrocketing grocery bills increased by inflation, the retailer posted net earnings of $2.3 billion dollars. Also in 2022, Loblaw spent $1.3-billion on something called stock buybacks, which pulls shares off the market and tends to pump up the prices of those still held by investors and executives. Loblaw isn’t alone in carrying out billion-dollar share buybacks. Today, CBC business journalist Pete Evans returns to explain why so many buybacks are happening, and why critics say they’re happening at the expense of Canadian workers, customers and productivity. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
27/02/23·22m 57s

The AI chatbot: friend or foe?

Microsoft soft-launched its new AI-powered search engine in early February. After years of playing second fiddle to Google, the new Bing seemed to finally have something exciting to offer. More than a million people signed up on a wait list to try out the new feature. But it wasn’t long before some early testers reported that their interactions with the chatbot had taken an unsettling turn. For some, the bizarre interactions were disconcertingly similar to depictions of AI gone sentient straight out of science fiction. Today, Chris Stokel-Walker, a technology journalist and contributor to the Guardian’s TechScape newsletter, explains this latest chatbot, what the technology is doing and whether it’s as terrifying as it sounds.
24/02/23·26m 58s

China's alleged attempts at election interference, explained

Late last week, the Globe and Mail broke an explosive story with allegations that China tried to influence the 2021 election here in Canada. Then, on Tuesday, a parliamentary committee that was already studying allegations of foreign meddling in the 2019 federal election decided to widen its scope. Elections Canada, the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and Liberal cabinet ministers were all summoned to testify to answer questions about these new allegations to determine what the government and national security agencies are doing to protect democracy in Canada. Today on Front Burner guest host Jodie Martinson is joined by Catherine Cullen, the host of CBC's political podcast, The House, and a senior reporter in our parliamentary bureau.
23/02/23·30m 23s

Russia accused of war crimes over Ukrainian children

Russia has put at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in camps, according to a U.S.-funded report from Yale University. The report says the children are enduring pro-Russian re-education. Some are being adopted out to Russian families with fanfare from Russian officials, while others are allegedly receiving military training. Meanwhile, Ukrainian mothers have been making long and treacherous journeys in an attempt to retrieve their children. Today, Yale Humanitarian Research Lab executive director Nathaniel Raymond explains the findings of the report, why Russia's actions could amount to war crimes, and why he says the report should be read as a "gigantic Amber Alert."
22/02/23·22m 10s

Fear lingers after Ohio's toxic train disaster

Weeks after a train derailed and crews released and burned toxic chemicals, officials are reassuring residents of East Palestine, Ohio that the air and water are safe. Many residents, however, remain wary of the long-term effects of materials like vinyl chloride, with some reporting symptoms like skin and eye irritation and hoarseness. Simultaneously, a political conversation is unfolding about who or what to blame for the crash, with critics pointing to a lack of regulation and cost-cutting from rail giants as they post record profits. Today, a look at what's happening on the ground as residents return to East Palestine, and a look at why rail disasters like this continue to happen more than a decade after the fatal catastrophe in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.
21/02/23·27m 59s

Front Burner Introduces: The No Good, Terribly Kind, Wonderful Lives and Tragic Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman

News of the mysterious deaths of billionaire Canadian pharma giant Barry Sherman and his philanthropist wife Honey in December 2017 reverberated around the world. Five years later, with no arrests and little news from the police, their deaths remain shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories, with too many lingering questions. Not just who killed them, but what kind of life do you have to live that when you’re found dead, there are multiple theories, including some involving your own family? That’s the question journalist Kathleen Goldhar set out to discover, in The No Good, Terribly Kind, Wonderful Lives and Tragic Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman, as she explores who the Shermans really were and why too much money might have been what killed them in the end. More episodes are available at:
20/02/23·33m 50s

The mysterious case of ‘the TikTok tics’

Within the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors around the world noticed something strange. Suddenly, they were seeing a surge of young patients presenting with sudden, explosive tics. But in many cases, these tics didn’t fit the profile of a tic disorder like Tourette Syndrome. Doctors started searching for a shared source that was causing the outbreak, and that search led them to TikTok. Experts at the University of Calgary have been leading the research. Azeen Ghorayshi is a reporter with the New York Times. Today, she takes us through what researchers have found about why so many teens were affected, what the pandemic had to do with it and the role social media played in the spread.
17/02/23·25m 55s

Big Oil’s ‘monster profits’ and climate rollbacks

Last week, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called out oil companies for raking in “monster profits” and expanding production instead of focusing on renewable energy. 2022 was a record-breaking year for oil producers. According to the International Energy Agency, global gas and oil profits went from a recent average of $1.5 trillion to four trillion dollars last year alone. And in the wake of those profits many oil companies are walking back on climate-friendly pledges. Today on Front Burner, we’ll be talking about why Big Oil is raking in so much cash, how long a fossil fuel resurgence could really last. Geoff Dembicki is an investigative climate reporter who has been following this closely for DeSmog and the author of The Petroleum Papers.
16/02/23·25m 40s

What, exactly, is getting shot out of the skies?

It all started two weeks ago with a suspected Chinese spy balloon, which carried a payload about the size of three buses. A U.S. fighter jet shot it down after it floated across the continent. Then, the U.S shot down a second object: something airborne over Alaska that the U.S. said was likely not a balloon at all. And now, there’s been a third and a fourth object taken down above North America this month, in these cases over Yukon and Lake Huron. Today, Dan Lamothe explains the knowns and unknowns about these objects and what could be driving the decisions to shoot them down. Lamothe covers the Pentagon and U.S. Military for The Washington Post.
15/02/23·19m 30s

Will the legal weed business be okay?

A few days ago, Canopy Growth Corporation, one of weed's biggest players, announced significant cuts and the closure of its headquarters in Smith Falls, Ontario, resulting in 800 layoffs for the town's biggest employer. Canopy reported a net loss of $267 million this quarter, bringing the struggling company's losses in the first three quarters of the year to $2.6 billion. Today on Front Burner, Solomon Israel, a reporter with MJBizDaily, joins us to discuss the closure and what this means for a slowing cannabis industry.
14/02/23·26m 56s

How Toronto’s 'boring' mayor resigned in scandal

An hour after the Toronto Star published an article about his affair on Friday, mayor John Tory was standing before reporters at Toronto City Hall. He offered his resignation. During his over eight years in office, some praised Tory as a boring mayor, a return to normalcy after the explosive Rob Ford years. But his critics have also accused him of presiding over a historic decline in Toronto, pointing to decaying services and failures for the most vulnerable. Today, a conversation with Canadaland editor Jonathan Goldsbie about why Tory resigned this quickly, and what will become of his increasingly complicated legacy.
13/02/23·22m 45s

Front Burner Introduces: The Africas VS. America

In 1985, at the height of the Black Power era, police dropped a bomb in a Philadelphia neighborhood. Their target? A family of Black radicals known as ‘MOVE,’ who found themselves ensnared in a city — and nation’s — domestic war on Black Liberation. Over seven episodes, host Matthew Amha investigates the events that culminated in the MOVE bombing, and the long afterlife of a forgotten American tragedy. More episodes are available at:
11/02/23·53m 19s

The sex tape and Pamela Anderson’s side of the story

Last year, a TV show called Pam and Tommy dramatized the turbulent marriage between Canadian actress/model Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. It’s the latest in a string of documentaries and shows that revisit and reframe the cultural conversation around famous women of the ‘90s and 2000s who were often wronged in the name of entertainment. But for Pamela Anderson, Pam and Tommy was not vindication. Now the Baywatch star is speaking out against the project, and telling her own story, with an intimate new Netflix documentary called Pamela, a love story. Today on Front Burner, Constance Grady, senior correspondent on the Culture team at Vox, joins us to cover the documentary and share her thoughts.
10/02/23·25m 3s

Brother in Syria, sister in Canada, ‘helpless’ after devastating earthquake

Alaa Alakel says the night after major earthquakes struck her home country of Syria was maybe the worst night of her life. She is a student in Toronto and waited sleeplessly by her phone for news from her family back home in Idlib. Rescue teams continue to search for survivors of the earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday. It’s the deadliest earthquake in the last decade and, as of Wednesday, the death toll has risen to over 12,000. Among the hardest hit areas was Idlib province, a rebel-held part of Syria that was home to intense fighting over the last decade of conflict in the region. And the earthquakes are only the latest in a string of humanitarian disasters that have broken apart families and devastated communities. Today on Front Burner, we’re joined by Alaa Alakel and her brother, Mohammed Alakel. Mohammed spoke to us from his family's home in a camp in Barisha, a village in northwest Syria. And Alaa translated from Toronto.
09/02/23·21m 32s

Trudeau’s $196B pitch to fix health care

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with all 13 of Canada's premiers on Tuesday to pitch his plan for increased health-care funding to provinces and territories. The measures would amount to over $46 billion in new funding and – combined with what Ottawa was already planning to pitch in – totals almost 200 billion in total federal health-care spending over the next decade. Today, CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton breaks down the details of the proposal, discusses why many provinces and territories say it isn't enough, and recaps the latest from Ottawa.
08/02/23·22m 36s

The real story behind ‘Women Talking’

Canadian director Sarah Polley’s new Oscar-nominated film Women Talking is set in an isolated religious community where a group of women and girls must decide how to respond to sexual assault in their community. Over two days, they debate: should they do nothing, should they fight, or should they flee? Polley has been clear that her story is fiction. It is based on a novel by Miriam Toews, a Canadian author who grew up in a Mennonite family. But before the book and the film, there was a real community where women woke up with foggy memories and physical pain. That community is the Manitoba Mennonite Colony in Bolivia. Journalist Jean Friedman-Rudovsky traveled there over a decade ago to speak to women about what had happened to them. She says what they told her still haunts her to this day. *A warning: today’s episode contains graphic details involving sexual assault.*
07/02/23·23m 54s

The big microchip problem

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last month, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger made a prediction about how the world will vie for resources in the coming decades. For years, Gelsinger said, much of geopolitical relations have turned on access to oil reserves. But in the future, he thinks a more important factor will be where microchips are made. Intel is a prominent figure in the computer chip business, but some 90 per cent of the world’s most advanced chips are currently made by one company in Taiwan. And according to Chris Miller, if the TSMC plant in Taiwan was destroyed the disruption of everything from smartphones to cars could be the biggest manufacturing shock since the Great Depression. Miller is an Associate Professor of International History at Tufts University, and he recently released the book Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology.
06/02/23·23m 1s

Front Burner Introduces: Love, Janessa

Behind every catfish, there’s the bait. Who is Janessa Brazil? Stolen images of an adult entertainment star are being used to con victims out of thousands of dollars, breaking hearts in the process. Journalist Hannah Ajala embarks on a quest to find Janessa, in this 8-part true crime series. And who is responsible for catfishing scams? Produced for the BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts by Antica Productions and Telltale Industries. More episodes are available at:
04/02/23·36m 36s

Why a weight loss drug went viral

Ozempic is a brand name for a drug that's prescribed to help manage Type 2 diabetes. But it's also being used in Canada as a treatment for obesity, something that some doctors – and a lot of people on TikTok – are talking about. There's a lot of questions about the risks and benefits of Ozempic when it comes to weight loss, and so much interest that there's been supply shortages of the drug, particularly in the United States. Elaine Chen is a cardiovascular disease reporter at STAT News. She covers metabolic conditions including diabetes and obesity. Today, she discusses why some people are calling this new drug a gamechanger and how it is challenging the way the medical community treats people who live with obesity.
03/02/23·19m 18s

Inside Canada’s safe sport ‘crisis’

This week, a parliamentary committee questioned Gymnastics Canada CEO, Ian Moss, about his organization’s response to allegations of misconduct against a national team coach. The national gymnastics federation is just the latest in a growing list of sports organizations that have faced scrutiny for their handling of allegations of abuse and misconduct. Many have called it a safe sport crisis. While Ottawa says it’s taking the issue very seriously, critics – including Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan – say the government hasn’t done enough. Macintosh Ross is an assistant professor of kinesiology at Western University, where he studies human rights abuses and the Olympics, and a member of Scholars Against Abuse. Today he shares his thoughts on why an independent inquiry is necessary to shift the culture in Canadian sport.
02/02/23·24m 23s

Israel's government moves to the far-right

Over the past month, Israelis have taken to the streets in massive demonstrations. They're opposed to Prime Minister Netanyahu's new plan to limit the power of the Supreme Court and worry about what that means for minority rights and Israeli democracy. Today, we will talk about the make-up of Netanyahu's new coalition government and why that has protestors so concerned. We'll talk about Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir who has been convicted of incitement to racism and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich who has described himself as a homophobe. Yair Rosenberg is a staff writer for The Atlantic and he'll explain what's behind the government's shift rightward, what it means for democracy, and how it moves Israelis and Palestinians even further from a two-state solution.
01/02/23·25m 29s

Will tanks end or escalate the war in Ukraine?

Last week, after months of requests, Germany agreed to send German-built tanks called Leopard 2s to Ukraine, to help in their fight against Russia. That decision opened the door for other countries to send their Leopard 2s, including Canada – which will send four. The US also jumped in, agreeing to send 31 of its M1 Abrams tanks. All in, over 300 tanks are being sent to the country. Now, Ukraine is asking for more weapons – including long range guided missiles – faster. But this begs the question: how will an influx of heavy weaponry change the situation on the ground? Could this mean an end to the war? Or could it mark the start of a new, increasingly violent and dangerous impasse? Rajan Menon is the Director of The Grand Strategy program at The Defence Priorities think tank. He’s also a senior research scholar at Columbia. He gives his take on how this next phase of the war could play out.
31/01/23·26m 56s

Tyre Nichols’s death and the cycle of police violence

29-year-old Tyre Nichols was on his way to his mother’s house when Memphis police pulled him over. Police body cam footage and other video show officers punching, pepper-spraying, hitting him with a baton, and kicking him. He died three days later in hospital. Officials in Memphis have fired the five officers who were involved, who are all Black, and charged them with second-degree murder. They’ve also disbanded the special unit the officers were part of that had been created to bring down crime in certain neighbourhoods. Today we’ll be talking about how Americans have reacted to yet another police beating of an unarmed Black man. We’ll also talk about what needs to happen to fix the ways police treat Black Americans.
30/01/23·29m 57s

Decoding Everything Everywhere All At Once

This week, it was announced that Everything Everywhere All At Once was leading the Oscars with eleven nominations in total. It’s a mind-bending movie about a Chinese-American immigrant family with a laundromat that’s facing a tax audit. It’s a high-concept science fiction with a multiverse storyline, but it’s resonating with people for touching on issues like intergenerational trauma, the experiences of queer children of immigrants, and even existential nihilism. Today we’ll be talking about why this movie has so much significance, especially for people in the Asian community, with three guests. Frankie Huang is a freelance writer and illustrator. Mallory Yu is a producer and editor for NPR's All Things Considered. And Jeff Yang, is the co-author of RISE: A Pop History of Asian America From the Nineties to Now and author of the upcoming book, The Golden Stream: The Movies that made Asian America.
27/01/23·26m 18s

He was a ‘danger to the public.’ Why was he released?

WARNING: This episode contains disturbting details about the deaths of two women and an Indigenous girl, in addition to allegations of sexual assault. Key First Nation member Noelle O’Soup died at just 14 years old. Police found her body in an apartment in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where they also found the bodies of an unnamed woman and a man immigration officials deemed a “danger to the public” – but released from custody anyway. CBC Vancouver reporter Michelle Ghoussoub has been investigating that man’s nearly three-decade criminal history, including selling fentanyl and accusations he used drugs to lure women for sex. She found the man had received an order for deportation, and that this wasn’t the first time a woman had died in his presence. Today, Ghoussoub discusses why O’Soup’s family is outraged at authorities' responses before and after her death, and how the case fits into a surge of violence against vulnerable women in the Downtown Eastside.
26/01/23·19m 50s

Bans and blowback: Assessing the Liberals' gun bill

In the weeks following the 2020 killings of 22 people in Portapique, Nova Scotia — the deadliest shooting rampage in Canadian history — the federal government began introducing steps to limit the types of guns people can own and use. There were orders in council, which began with a list of more than 1,500 firearms, before more were added, and later a piece of proposed gun control legislation, Bill C-21. That bill had two readings in the House of Commons, before a major 478-page amendment was added. The changes have drawn more criticism to what was already a contentious bill, as some question whether it’s too broad and will affect too many types of guns. On today’s episode, we’re joined by Kieran Oudshoorn, a producer with CBC’s audio documentary unit, to walk through Liberal government’s plans for gun control.
25/01/23·27m 10s

Wagner Group: Putin’s ‘shadow private army’

Wagner Group is a private army that's been violently advancing Russian interests internationally – but in the shadows – for years. Now as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has stalled, the fighters-for-hire have taken centre stage to fight on Russia’s side. The mercenaries have been involved in some of the bloodiest battles of the entire war. Mary Ilyushina is a reporter covering Russia for the Washington Post. Today on Front Burner, she joins guest host Jodie Martinson to explain the evolution, and growing influence, of the Wagner Group in Russia and other parts of the world.
24/01/23·27m 33s

McKinsey contracts top $100M under Justin Trudeau

Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took power, the federal government has awarded consulting firm McKinsey over $100 million dollars in contracts. Early this month, Radio-Canada reported that Ottawa’s use of the firm has skyrocketed since 2015, and that sources inside Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada were concerned about McKinsey’s growing influence on their policy without public knowledge. Since then, a parliamentary committee has voted for a probe into the contracts. Opposition MPs have raised concerns about the Liberals’ relationship with Dominic Barton – the former global head of McKinsey who advised Ottawa on the economy, and was later appointed ambassador to China. Today on Front Burner, a comprehensive look at the revelations from Radio-Canada’s reporting on McKinsey. Then, a conversation with journalist Paul Wells about the global trend toward governments relying on consulting, and what it means for our democracies.
23/01/23·34m 7s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: Inside a secret school for girls in Afghanistan

World news, local voices. Nothing is Foreign is a weekly trip to where the story is unfolding. Hosted by Tamara Khandaker. Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, there has been a crackdown on the rights and freedoms of women in the country. This episode of Nothing is Foreign shares the courageous story of a teacher in Afghanistan and her students — a secret class of girls between grades 7-12 in Kabul — who are defying Taliban laws that prevent girls and women from getting an education. More episodes are available at:
21/01/23·28m 28s

How much booze is too much booze?

According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, people should limit their alcohol consumption to just two drinks per week to avoid certain cancers and other health issues. The new health guidelines significantly reduce the number of drinks considered risky — the previous recommendation capped weekly consumption at 15 drinks for men and 10 drinks for women. On today’s episode, Tim Naimi, director of the Canadian Institute For Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria and a member of the scientific advisory panel that contributed to the new guidelines, tells us what’s behind the changes.
20/01/23·23m 7s

How a Canadian-led company became a public enemy in Puerto Rico

In 2017, Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, and its aging electrical grid. In the hurricane's aftermath, and after decades of neglect and underfunding, the island's public electrical utility, PREPA, went bankrupt. In 2020, the government made the controversial choice to hand control of the grid over to the private sector. They awarded a 15-year contract to a new Canadian-American company, LUMA Energy. And since LUMA Energy took over the electrical grid, the company has been a source of controversy, and faced harsh criticism on the island. There have been weekly protests against LUMA Energy, reggaeton star Bad Bunny has called the company out at concerts, and the governor of Puerto Rico has called on the CEO to resign. Today, CBC senior investigative reporter Jonathon Gatehouse and Front Burner producer Allie Jaynes explain how Luma Energy and its Canadian co-parent became embroiled in controversy and what it all means for Puerto Rico's access to reliable electricity. Update: After this episode was released, five changes were made to the content. We originally reported that a penalty leveled at the Canadian co-parent company ATCO was described as the largest of its kind in Canadian enforcement history. The penalty was among the largest of its kind. We also reported that a company called ASL could have made up to $100 million on a contract. The $100 million figure represents the capital costs of the project and not the profit. Additional information provided by Luma after publication was added at the end of the episode. The headline was changed in the online and podcast version of this story. When published, the headline was "How a Canadian company became a public enemy in Puerto Rico." The headline is now, "How a Canadian-led company became a public enemy in Puerto Rico," to better reflect the leadership of the company. Two sentences were altered following the receipt of additional information provided by LUMA Energy, after publication, that specified when a private firm was hired to make electrical repairs at Escuela Rafael Rivera Otero, and by whom.
19/01/23·35m 13s

Ford pushes for-profit care amidst healthcare crisis

This week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford unveiled a plan to significantly increase the number of surgeries being done outside hospitals, which are struggling with a major backlog of operations. Many of the procedures — including things like cataract, hip and knee operations — will be performed by for-profit clinics. The plan has drawn criticism from several groups, including five major Ontario health care unions, which say it will divert frontline staff and funding away from the public health care system.
18/01/23·22m 33s

The Proud Boys on trial

This week, five leaders of the violent far-right group Proud Boys are on trial in Washington D.C., charged with seditious conspiracy for conspiring to overthrow the government, in the U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021. Andy Campbell is the author of We Are Proud Boys and reports on extremism as a Senior Editor at HuffPost. He’s been covering this story from the courtroom. And he’s with us today to explain how the case could reveal the inner-workings of the group, their connections with Republicans, and how the American government has responded to the threat extremist groups pose to democracy.
17/01/23·27m 19s

When will this seasonal ‘tridemic' end?

Seasonal viruses including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have come back with a vengeance, after sparing the public through most of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, new COVID subvariants threaten to be the most transmissible seen yet, and appear to be on the rise. This triple-whammy 'tridemic' is straining the healthcare system and many families — especially those with young children who skipped a couple years of viral infection. Today we're joined by Dr. Allison McGeer, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, to figure out when an especially tough sick season will ease up.
16/01/23·22m 6s

Cooking with gas: the great stove debate

This week, a kitchen appliance became the latest target of the culture wars after a recent study linked gas stoves with an increased risk of asthma in children. American politicians from Democratic Senator Joe Manchin to Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz made passionate statements in defense of their gas stoves, all because a consumer watchdog had begun looking into options for phasing out gas stoves. It all follows decades of research that shows cooking with gas comes with health risks and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. We're joined by Vox's Rebecca Leber, a senior reporter who covers climate change.
13/01/23·23m 55s

Frenemies: The Prince, the monarchy and the media

Prince Harry's lifelong discomfort – and even downright hatred – of the press has been a major theme during the publicity tour for his new memoir, Spare. The book has made headlines with allegations about how those closest to the crown use the press for their own ends. Today we explore the delicate and deeply entwined relationship between the monarchy and the media and hear an inside view about how the system works.. Katie Nicholl is Vanity Fair's royals correspondent and author of The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown.
12/01/23·31m 37s

Virus surges amid China's 'zero-COVID' reversal

A little over a month after China was enforcing some of the world’s strictest COVID-19 policies, the country has now removed most of those restrictions. This followed unusually widespread and sustained protests in December. Mass testing and quarantining has ended. On Sunday, China lifted international travel restrictions for the first time in three-years. But while the government’s numbers on COVID-19 cases and deaths remain low or unavailable, accounts from inside the country indicate the virus is spreading faster than ever. Today on Front Burner, Wall Street Journal China bureau chief Jonathan Cheng gives us a look at what’s happening in Beijing after China’s policy reversal.
11/01/23·26m 0s

The road to Brazil's 'January 6' moment

Supporters of outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ransacked the country’s capital buildings this week in a show of defiance against the country’s recent election results. New President Lula da Silva accused his predecessor for inciting the violence and vowed to punish those who took part. Journalist Gustavo Ribeiro has watched and reported for years on false claims from President Jair Bolsonaro that Brazil’s election system is faulty. He describes how Bolsonaro has created a deeply divided Brazil.
10/01/23·20m 55s

Tesla’s stock is tanking. Here’s why

Not long ago, Tesla seemed unstoppable. But Elon Musk's electric vehicle juggernaut closed out 2022 as the worst-performing stock among the most valuable tech companies — and its shares have dipped even lower since then. Today, Patrick George — a contributing writer with Vox Media's The Verge and an editor with The Autopian — joins us for a look at where things went south for Tesla, and the hurdles the company faces going forward.
09/01/23·25m 45s

Damar Hamlin: the NFL’s money, violence and responsibility

During a high-profile Monday Night Football game this week, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin made a tackle that nearly ended his life, live, in front of millions of people tuned into the TV broadcast. Hamlin was resuscitated after medical staff applied CPR. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Centre where he has remained in critical condition. According to today's guest, Jerry Brewer, national sports columnist with the Washington Post, the tackle barely ranked on the scale of how brutal the game can be. He says team owners and the league need to do more to provide immediate and long term healthcare for players.
06/01/23·30m 8s

Will Canada make web giants pay for news?

Bill C-18 would require big digital platforms like Facebook and Google to pay Canadian media outlets for posting or linking to their news content. According to Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, the measures would fairly compensate Canadian media, keeping journalism healthy and strengthening democracy. According to critics, the bill would line the pockets of big broadcasters and threaten freedom of expression online. And as for platforms like Facebook – its parent company Meta has threatened to remove news content in Canada altogether. Today on Front Burner, a conversation with University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist about why he believes this bill could harm both the internet and the media for Canadians.
05/01/23·23m 11s

The arrest of misogynist influencer Andrew Tate

Andrew Tate, the controversial influencer and self-declared misogynist, was arrested on Thursday in Romania on charges of human trafficking, rape, and forming an organized crime group. Depending on your social circles — and your algorithms — you may not have heard of Andrew Tate before. But he has quickly risen from relative obscurity to become one of the most-discussed people on social media. His controversial video clips, including some where he describes hitting and choking women, have been viewed billions of times. Today, we dive into the story of Andrew Tate: who he is, his arrest, and what it means that a man known as the “king of toxic masculinity” could gain so much fame and influence.
04/01/23·27m 16s

A look back – and ahead – at the war in Ukraine

Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed US congress and is now pushing a "no-compromises" path toward ending the war in his country. But neither Ukraine nor Russia have shown any signs of compromise in the ten months of conflict, and as the fighting rages on, peace seems out of reach for now. Today on Front Burner, BBC diplomatic correspondent Paul Adams explores how far apart the Russian and Ukrainian sides are, what their standings are internationally and what that could all mean for a new year of war.
03/01/23·27m 44s

What’s ahead in Canadian politics

It’s 2023, and Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now been in power for more than seven years. This year promises more challenges for a government prone to controversy and scandal: a choking economy, potential fallout from using the Emergencies Act, a widely-criticized gun control bill, and an increasingly complex international stage. Meanwhile, the NDP are trying to leverage their deal that props up the Liberals’ minority government, and new Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is determined to put Trudeau at the center of the issues Canadians are struggling with. Today on Front Burner, a conversation with our chief political correspondent, Rosemary Barton, about how these issues could shape Canadian politics in 2023.
02/01/23·24m 28s

Front Burner Introduces: The Outlaw Ocean: From the Sea, Freedom

The high seas are beyond the reach of international law – and beyond the beat of most reporters. But Pulitzer-Prize-winner and former New York Times journalist, Ian Urbina, has sailed into uncharted territories. Urbina sets out on a years-long quest to investigate murder at sea, modern slave labour, environmental crimes and quixotic adventurers. Part travelog, part true-crime thriller, this 7-part series takes listeners to places where the laws of the land no longer exist. The Outlaw Ocean is brought to you by CBC Podcasts and the LA Times and produced by The Outlaw Ocean Project. More episodes are available at
30/12/22·52m 19s

Front Burner Introduces: Run, Hide, Repeat

Pauline Dakin’s childhood was marked by unexplained events, a sense of unseen menace, and secretive moves to new cities with no warning. When Pauline was a young adult, her mother finally told her what they were running from – organized crime, secret police and double lives. It was a story so mind-bending, so disturbing, Pauline’s entire world was turned upside down. Run Hide Repeat is the story of Pauline’s life on the run, her quest for the truth – and her search for forgiveness. Based on the best-selling 2017 memoir, this powerful 5-part journey spans decades and an entire country — and it will leave listeners questioning what’s real and who they can trust. More episodes are available at:
29/12/22·33m 48s

ENCORE: Chelsea Manning, in her own words

In 2010, during the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic records were released, revealing civilian death and disaster on the ground for both conflicts. It was one of the largest and most explosive leaks in U.S. history and included every incident report the United States Army had ever filed about Iraq or Afghanistan. The mass leak pulled back the curtain on both wars, igniting an intense debate over the role of the U.S. military and about what information the public deserves to know. And at the centre of it all was Chelsea Manning. Manning was a young American military intelligence analyst on her first tour in Iraq who was secretly struggling with her gender identity. She became so disillusioned by the horrors of war that she decided to risk everything to publicize highly-sensitive military information. Now, more than a decade later, Manning is speaking out about her experience as a whistleblower in a new memoir called README.Txt. She joins Front Burner from New York. This episode orginally aired on November 14th, 2022.
28/12/22·43m 16s

ENCORE: A conversation with Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet

NBA superstar Fred VanVleet had a long road to becoming a beloved Toronto Raptor. He suffered a terrible loss growing up in Rockford, Ill., when his father was shot and killed when he was just five years old. As a young man coming out of Wichita State University, the point guard went undrafted in 2016 and had to fight his way onto the roster of the lone Canadian franchise in the league. But only a few years later, VanVleet was a key member of the team that won the 2019 NBA championship. Now, VanVleet is the undisputed leader of the Toronto Raptors. In this special episode of Front Burner, we meet VanVleet at the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto to hear about his unexpected journey from underdog to all-star, and why he's partnered with the University of Toronto's undergraduate business program to launch a needs-based scholarship for Black and Indigenous students. This episode orginally aired on September 28th, 2022.
27/12/22·39m 55s

Hope for democracy in 2022

Just over a month into 2022, Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, and set the tone for what looked like an ominous year for global democracy. High-stakes elections in Hungary, Brazil, the U.S., Israel, and the Philippines put core issues of democracy on the ballot, and it was anyone’s guess how things would turn out. In some cases, authoritarianism made gains. But some regimes best positioned to challenge democracy for its global influence also saw policy failures, and signs of public resistance. Today, Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp on why 2022 was a surprisingly good year for democracy, and how it exposed the fundamental weaknesses of authoritarian political models.
23/12/22·37m 13s

Donald Trump’s very bad week

It’s been a historic week in Washington, D.C., for Donald Trump. On Monday, the January 6 House Committee wrapped up its investigation into the capitol insurrection and after months of speculation over whether they would, referred the former president for potential prosecution. And on Tuesday, a different U.S. committee voted to release six years of Trump’s secret tax returns. CBC’s Susan Ormiston has been covering this story. Today on Front Burner she joins us to unpack these two big developments and to explain what this could all mean for a Trump 2024 presidential run.
22/12/22·23m 37s

The good, bad and ugly of pop culture 2022

Pop culture in 2022 started with a bang (or slap) when Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Oscars, and things only got weirder from there. From Brendan Fraser's comeback to Harry Styles possibly spitting on Chris Pine at the Venice Film Festival, there were a lot of "did that really just happen?" moments in 2022. Today, we're joined by the hosts of CBC's pop culture podcast Pop Chat to discuss Bennifer, the return of whale tails and everything in between.
21/12/22·35m 39s

A backlash to B.C.’s drug policies?

B.C. is on track to have another record-breaking year for toxic drug deaths. But as people continue to die, a backlash appears to be growing to the province’s current strategies for tackling the crisis. A recent polarizing documentary, Vancouver Is Dying, as well as a recent video by federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, have pointed fingers at B.C.’s slate of harm reduction policies. But many drug policy experts argue just the opposite. Today, Moira Wyton, a health reporter for the Tyee, joins us for a look at the state of BC’s toxic drug crisis, the criticisms coming from both ends of the spectrum, and where things go from here.
20/12/22·25m 45s

A nuclear fusion energy revolution?

After decades of research, in early December scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California made a historic breakthrough in nuclear fusion by generating more energy than it took to create it. It’s a major scientific step because, according to experts, nuclear fusion has the potential to deliver clean and abundant zero-carbon energy. Richard Carlson is the director of energy policy at an environmental charity called Pollution Probe. Today on Front Burner, he'll explain how nuclear fusion uses the same process that powers the sun and why it could be a game changer for clean energy, if we can figure out how to harness it.
19/12/22·19m 50s

Avatar: The forgotten blockbuster

James Cameron has directed Titanic, Terminator, and Aliens. But he says the project that kept him from giving up on filmmaking entirely was Avatar. But for all of the film’s initial success Avatar’s lack of cultural impact has become a running joke over the years – there’s even a Buzzfeed quiz called: “Do You Remember Anything At All About Avatar?” Now today, 13 years later, its sequel, The Way of Water, arrives in theatres. CBC Entertainment reporter Jackson Weaver takes us through the first film’s fall from grace, what the sequel’s all about, and whether James Cameron has another big commercial hit on his hands.
16/12/22·20m 49s

Elon Musk’s Twitter culture war

On Sunday, Twitter owner Elon Musk joined comedian Dave Chappelle on stage and was roundly booed. Musk responded on Twitter saying, “Technically, it was 90% cheers,” and that “It’s almost as if I’ve offended SF’s unhinged leftists … but nahhh.” Musk has said that he’s politically a centrist, but the tweet is just one recent example of how he’s adopted partisan language in a social media culture war. Musk has distributed Twitter records that are supposed to reveal biased censorship, indulged in far-right talking points about COVID-19 and unbanned white nationalist accounts. Today, a discussion with the Atlantic’s Charlie Warzel about how and why Musk is aligning himself with different factions of the right. Warzel writes the Galaxy Brain newsletter about tech, media and politics.
15/12/22·22m 33s

AI art and text is getting smarter, what comes next?

In recent weeks, the latest versions of AI art-creating tools, along with a compelling new AI chatbot have flooded social media. The tools can be fun, with people creating artistic and enhanced selfies using Lensa, strange concept art with DALL-E 2, or exploring the way the chatbot, ChatGPT, creates seemingly original and complex prose in seconds. But the new tools are also a demonstration of how powerful AI has become, and hint at a relatively near future where it could convincingly replace human workers. Today, Will Knight, senior writer with WIRED, joins us to discuss what’s behind these popular new AI tools, some of their pitfalls, and the impact they’re already having on society.
14/12/22·25m 28s

‘Fear’ and ‘panic’: stories inside Canada’s ERs

A surge of respiratory illness is putting pressure on an already overloaded healthcare system in many places across the country and making it even harder for many Canadians to get examined by their family doctors, at walk-in clinics and even in the emergency room. Today we’ll be hearing personal stories from people who say they’ve struggled to get timely access to the medical care they desperately needed. Julia Murray is a mom in Conception Bay South in Newfoundland whose 3-year-old son Jack came down with an awful fever in early December. Bianca Gallant of Memramcook, New Brunswick, says she recently had a 14 hour wait in a Moncton ER that ended in her needing emergency surgery.
13/12/22·27m 5s

What’s driving supermarkets' record profits?

The price of food is soaring and so are the profits of Canada’s major grocery stores, raising questions and concerns among consumers, politicians and economists about their conduct. A parliamentary committee is scheduled to question officials for Metro and Save-On-Foods about their prices today and representatives from Loblaws and the owner of Sobeys defended themselves at the committee last week, saying they are not taking advantage of inflation to drive profit. Today on Front Burner, we’re talking to Jim Stanford, an economist and the director of a progressive think tank called the Centre for Future Work, who says grocery stores are profiting off of inflation, at the expense of struggling Canadians and that they are far from the only industry doing it.
12/12/22·28m 56s

Germany’s alleged Day X coup plot explained

In what’s being called the largest anti-extremism operation in modern German history, thousands of police officers conducted raids across the country on Wednesday. An active soldier, a judge and even an aristocrat were among 25 people arrested. Police say 27 more are suspected of allegedly plotting to overthrow the state in an armed coup. The group is thought to have been inspired by right-wing extremist conspiracy theories. But this is just the latest example of politically-motivated crime in the country. Today on Front Burner we’re talking to the political editor of Der Spiegel, Ann-Katrin Müller, about the details of this alleged plot, who’s behind it, and the state of right-wing extremism in Germany.
09/12/22·23m 10s

Questions about ‘miracle’ drug used for breastfeeding

Domperidone, a gastrointestinal medication, is often prescribed off-label to breastfeeding women in Canada to help increase their milk supply. Many have described it as a “miracle drug” that has helped them feed their babies. But, as a CBC investigation has found, some also believe that withdrawal after they stopped taking the drug left them in severe psychological distress — and even, in some cases, suicidal. Today, Tara Carman — a senior reporter with CBC’s national investigative unit — walks us through her team’s findings. **UPDATE** - An earlier version of this episode said 120 million prescriptions for domperidone were filled in 2020, based on data from Health Canada. After publication of this story, Health Canada corrected their publicly available data to reflect that 1.7 million prescriptions were filled in that year, representing around 120 million tablets. This episode now reflects that change.
08/12/22·28m 26s

Alleged serial killer behind Indigenous womens’ deaths

Winnipeg Police are alleging that a serial killer murdered four women earlier this year. Investigators believe that each of the man’s alleged victims died between March and May, and – despite only having identified three of the women – that all are Indigenous. The accused is now facing four counts of first-degree murder. Today, CBC Winnipeg reporter Stephanie Cram helps us understand more about the lives of the alleged victims, and how communities are grappling with further loss in a province some advocates call “ground zero” for violence against Indigenous women and girls.
07/12/22·26m 12s

MAID and mental illness: Will feds hit pause?

With concerns mounting over the upcoming expansion of medical assistance in dying to include mental illness as the sole condition in March 2023, we ask Liberal Member of Parliament Marc Garneau if the federal government will listen to growing calls from mental health experts and hit pause on the controversial change. Marc Garneau is the Member of Parliament for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount and the co-chair of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying. It’s a committee that is looking into this issue for the federal government.
06/12/22·34m 48s

Kanye West and the mainstreaming of antisemitism

Kanye West’s recent comments praising Hitler and the Nazis are just the latest examples of a wave of antisemitism that appears to be penetrating further and further into mainstream U.S. society. Today on Front Burner, Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp on the long roots of American antisemitism and the threats Jewish people are currently facing in the U.S. and Canada.
05/12/22·30m 19s

Protests and Xi Jinping’s zero-COVID dilemma

This fall, chaos broke out at the world’s biggest iPhone factory. The Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou employs hundreds of thousands of workers. Nicknamed “iPhone City,” the factory is operating on a closed-loop system under China’s zero-COVID policy. That means its workers eat, sleep and live at the plant in what authorities say is an effort to prevent expensive lockdowns and avoid outbreaks. But in October, the virus got in. As the company clamped down to control the spread, videos surfaced online of workers scaling fences, streaming towards the exits and hitching rides to escape the factory. The chaos at iPhone City is just one example of the growing discontent over life in zero-COVID China, which has sparked widespread protests across the country. Today, Lily Kuo, the China bureau chief with the Washington Post, shares how the demonstrations are challenging China’s leadership in a way not seen since the Tiananmen protests in 1989. Then, Sue-Lin Wong takes us through what the protests say about President Xi Jinping’s grip on the country. She’s the host of the podcast, The Prince: Searching for Xi Jinping and The Economist’s China correspondent.
02/12/22·31m 57s

New Alzheimer's drug met with hope and caution

Two pharmaceutical companies, Eisai and Biogen, have published the results of an 18-month human trial for their new drug, lecanemab. It's meant to treat people with early stages of Alzheimer's disease, a devastating condition that causes the majority of dementia cases and affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians. The results of the lecanemab trial are promising — the condition of people who were given the drug declined at a rate that was 27 per cent slower than those who were given a placebo. It's a glimmer of hope for those facing Alzheimer's disease, but questions about the new drug remain. Today, Mike Crawley, a reporter with CBC's health unit, is here to explain how the drug works and what it may mean for people living with Alzheimer's disease.
01/12/22·22m 54s

ISIS detention camps a ‘ticking time bomb’

For years, relatives of suspected ISIS fighters — including the families of many foreign fighters — have languished in massive detention camps in northern Syria. These camps, home to tens of thousands of children, have become the sites of a violent, festering humanitarian crisis, with no clear end in sight. Now, that crisis may be about to get much worse. The camps are guarded by a U.S.-backed Kurdish military group, which is now being bombed by Turkey. They say if the Turkish offensive continues, they’ll have no choice but to abandon the camps to go fight. Experts fear this could have disastrous consequences — including a possible resurgence of ISIS. Today, BBC investigative reporter Poonam Taneja, who is on the ground in northern Syria, joins us for a look at the camps and the disastrous situation that could unfold in the region.
30/11/22·24m 36s

The backlash to Doug Ford’s housing plan

On Monday, Ontario passed the “More Homes Built Faster Act” – a controversial part of Premier Doug Ford’s plan for 1.5 million new homes in the next decade. Bill 23 includes measures like reducing developer fees that cities say are crucial for services and infrastructure and permits triplexes on single residential lots. Ford has also already given the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa extraordinary powers, including overruling majority votes in city council in certain circumstances. And the Ford government is moving to open up parts of the province’s Greenbelt for development – a supposedly permanently protected area that Ford said he wouldn’t “touch.” Today, CBC Toronto reporter Ryan Patrick Jones joins us to explain the controversies over Ford’s housing plan, and why critics say it’s the wrong kind of vision for a growing province.
29/11/22·21m 58s

Trudeau takes the stand in Emergencies Act inquiry

Friday marked the end of the public hearing portion of the Emergencies Act commission. It was a blockbuster week of testimony, featuring the highest echelon of decision-makers in the country including the most senior cabinet members, Canada's top spy and the prime minister himself. David Cochrane is a senior reporter with CBC's parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. He's been closely watching the commission. Today on Front Burner he explains what major revelations have come to light over the last few weeks.
28/11/22·25m 18s

Can persuasion bridge the political divide?

In an era of polarization, is it still possible to change people's minds about politics? That's the question Anand Giridharadas sought to answer in his new book, The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy. The journalist noticed a crisis in the U.S. that he saw echoed around the world. In what Giridharadas describes as "the great write off," those who believe in liberal democracy are giving up on the idea that they can win people over and dismissing their political opposites as unreachable. In his book, Giridharadas speaks with experts on reaching people — organizers, activists, politicians, cognitive scientists, and even a cult deprogrammer — and takes a critical look at his fellow American progressives. If democracy stands a chance, he concludes, pro-democracy forces need to believe in the power of persuasion at least as much as anti-democratic forces do. Today on Front Burner, Giridharadas takes host Jayme Poisson through what he's learned about changing minds without diluting ideology, making ideas widely appealing, and why persuasion is so critical to maintain healthy democracies.
25/11/22·38m 12s

Big plans and controversies: Alberta’s Danielle Smith charts a path

Danielle Smith has been premier of Alberta for about six weeks. Her anti-Ottawa rhetoric and proposed sovereignty act ignited the leadership race. Then, on the day Smith took office, she commented that unvaccinated people were the "most discriminated against group.” A First Nations leader in Alberta has even called into question her claims of Indigenous heritage. Smith took to television Tuesday evening to address the province and lay out her agenda. Now, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of who she is as a leader and where she plans to take the province. Today, CBC’s Jason Markusoff is here to explain what has happened during Smith’s first weeks as premier.
24/11/22·23m 35s

Canada and China, in the spotlight and shadows

On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia last Wednesday, a tense face-to-face confrontation between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping drew international headlines. Xi accused Trudeau of leaking the contents of their previous discussions to the media. The encounter was a decidedly public reflection of the countries' fraught relations when mounting allegations of Chinese meddling in Canada are causing further strain. Earlier this month, a Global News report alleged China funded Canadian candidates to influence the 2019 federal election. Last week, a Hydro-Québec worker was charged with spying for China. And the RCMP say they're investigating what have been called Chinese "police" stations set up inside Canada. Today, CBC senior writer J.P. Tasker returns to explain the allegations, how Parliament is responding, and how Canada could change its path forward with China during this historic low point in relations.
23/11/22·26m 10s

Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift trouble

Last week, Ticketmaster pre-sales for Taylor Swift's Eras tour quickly devolved into chaos, with site crashes, many people waiting eight hours or more in online queues, and tickets going for upward of $40,000 US on secondary sales sites like Stubhub. This is far from the first incident to prompt widespread outrage against Ticketmaster. Sky-high prices for Blink-182 and Bruce Springsteen concerts have been among the sore spots. But the Swift fiasco is shining a new light on the company's virtual monopoly over wide swathes of the live music industry, prompting many — including several U.S. lawmakers — to call for the company to be investigated and broken up. Today, Jason Koebler — editor-in-chief of Motherboard, VICE's technology site — joins Front Burner to break this all down.
22/11/22·29m 22s

‘Signs of collapse’ and ways to fix health care

There's a lot of bad news in Canadian health care. We're still in the midst of a pandemic, RSV and flu season are hitting families hard, and headlines across the country have been dominated by reports of staffing shortages, severe burnout, overrun emergency rooms, and long wait times for surgeries. Front-line health-care workers and patients are raising alarms about a system breaking under the pressure. Dr. Brian Goldman is the host of CBC Radio's White Coat, Black Art and CBC podcast The Dose. He's also an emergency physician in Toronto and has spent a lot of time thinking about the issues that plague the system. Monday on Front Burner, Dr. Goldman joins us to talk about possible solutions and why some in the field are worried about a health-collapse, rather than a crisis.
21/11/22·26m 45s

World Cup 101: The stars, underdogs and favourites

After nearly three decades of trying, Canada qualified for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and proceeded to not score a goal. But Canada could write a new chapter in its soccer history, starting Sunday, when the Qatar World Cup kicks off. We've covered the controversy surrounding soccer's biggest tournament — from human rights abuses to allegations of bribery, and corruption at FIFA. Today, we're focusing on the tournament itself. Roger Bennett is back to give us a primer on the favourites, the underdogs and some of the big storylines expected to unfold on the pitch in Qatar. He's the founder of the Men in Blazers Media network, co-host of the Men in Blazers podcast and co-author of the newly published book Gods of Soccer.
18/11/22·27m 7s

Mental illness and assisted death: a front-line doctor’s fears

This spring brings a significant update to medical assistance in dying, known as MAID, in Canada. On March 17, 2023, Canadians with a mental illness as their sole condition will be eligible. This evolution is controversial. The change also has some doctors who have been at the forefront of helping people die medically, called MAID providers, feeling increasingly uncomfortable. Dr. Madeline Li is one of them. She is a psychiatrist and a MAID provider who developed the MAID framework for the University Health Network in Toronto. She joins Front Burner today to share her concerns.
17/11/22·25m 4s

The impact of 8 billion people on the planet

On Tuesday, the human population reached eight billion people, according to an estimate by the United Nations. While population growth has slowed in recent years, it still took about a decade to add the last billion people. Meanwhile, humankind is continuing to do irreparable harm to the planet, including climate change, accelerated species extinction and ecosystem collapse. We’re also straining the planet’s ability to sustain this many people, as revealed by water scarcity for billions of people — all while people in more affluent countries are responsible for far more than their fair share of the harm. Today we’re joined by Céline Delacroix, adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Health Sciences and the Director of the FP/Earth project with the Population Institute, to discuss how it got to this point, what it means for people and the planet, and where we go from here.
16/11/22·19m 57s

The collapse of the ‘Crypto King’

In the last two years, cryptocurrency exchange FTX spent millions of dollars on advertisements with the likes of NFL quarterback Tom Brady and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David. FTX also sponsored Major League Baseball, the Mercedes Formula One racing team and Canadian businessman Kevin O’Leary. Earlier this month, Bloomberg ranked the platform’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, as one of the world’s 100 richest people. He was sometimes referred to as the “King of Crypto.” But now, after financial leaks triggered mass withdrawals and a halt in trading, Bankman-Fried is worth effectively nothing. FTX has gone from a recent $32-billion US evaluation to bankruptcy. Today, CBC News senior business writer Pete Evans returns to explain how one of the world’s three biggest crypto exchanges was brought down so quickly.
15/11/22·23m 44s

Chelsea Manning, in her own words

In 2010, during the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic records were released, revealing civilian death and disaster on the ground for both conflicts. It was one of the largest and most explosive leaks in U.S. history and included every incident report the United States Army had ever filed about Iraq or Afghanistan. The mass leak pulled back the curtain on both wars, igniting an intense debate over the role of the U.S. military and about what information the public deserves to know. And at the centre of it all was Chelsea Manning. Manning was a young American military intelligence analyst on her first tour in Iraq who was secretly struggling with her gender identity. She became so disillusioned by the horrors of war that she decided to risk everything to publicize highly-sensitive military information. Now, more than a decade later, Manning is speaking out about her experience as a whistleblower in a new memoir called README.Txt. She joins Front Burner from New York.
14/11/22·43m 16s

Do the midterm results spell trouble for Donald Trump?

Going into the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, things didn’t look good for the Democrats. Inflation is high, approval ratings for U.S. President Joe Biden are low, and traditionally, the sitting president’s party loses seats in the midterms. So, it seemed like Republicans would clean up, and pundits and politicians predicted the electoral map would reflect a red wave. But the Democrats performed better than expected, and the wave didn’t materialize. The dismal performance by the GOP has sparked introspection within the party and amplified questions about whether Donald Trump is its secret weapon, or the kiss of death. Today, CBC’s Alex Panetta takes us through what the midterm results might mean for the future of the Republican party and its devotion to Donald Trump.
11/11/22·19m 7s

Qatar and a World Cup controversy

This month's FIFA World Cup is a big one for Canada. It's the first time in 36 years that our men's team has qualified to compete, and the last World Cup before Canada shares hosting duties in 2026. But in the decade since Qatar won its bid to host this year's tournament, allegations of bribery, discrimination and human rights abuses have threatened to overshadow the game. Qatar criminalizes same-sex relationships and a report from the Guardian says at least 6,500 migrant workers have died since its successful bid. As players and fans grapple with how to protest, we're joined by Roger Bennett of the Men in Blazers podcast. He's just co-authored a new book called Gods of Soccer and is co-hosting World Corrupt, a podcast that dives deep into FIFA corruption and the World Cup in Qatar.
10/11/22·24m 27s

Why can Canadian premiers suspend your rights?

In Canada, if a government really wants to, it can take away many of the rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If a provincial government is willing to risk the potential blowback, it can use Section 33 of the charter, the notwithstanding clause, which allows a government to temporarily override some of its protections and freedoms. And while once quite taboo, the notwithstanding clause is being increasingly, and controversially, used as a legislative tool by provinces like Ontario and Quebec. Last week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford tried to take away education workers' right to strike by invoking the clause. Then, on Monday, the union agreed to return to work after Ford promised to repeal the legislation that had imposed a four-year contract on it. Today on Front Burner, John Michael McGrath, writer and columnist at and the co-host of the TVO podcast #Onpoli, explains why the notwithstanding clause exists and why critics argue it's being misused.
09/11/22·22m 9s

What’s sending more kids to the hospital?

This fall, most Canadian kids returned to school and daycare with few or no COVID-19 measures. Beyond the coronavirus itself, that's meant all sorts of other viruses have started circulating more widely among children — which is, in some ways, a return to normal. But some are spreading earlier in the season than usual, and hospitals across Canada are reporting a surge in child admissions. Data from Ontario says triple the seasonal average of kids have been heading to the province's ERs with respiratory illnesses. Today, Dr. Fatima Kakkar returns to explain what's driving the surge of kids' admissions, and address parents' concerns over drug shortages and their children's immune systems. She's an infectious diseases pediatrician at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal.
08/11/22·19m 43s

As COP27 begins, a new picture of our climate future emerges

David Wallace-Wells, the acclaimed science journalist and author of The Uninhabitable Earth, says the past few years have given him reason to feel both "buoyant optimism" and "abject despair" about the future of climate change. As the COP27 climate summit kicks into gear, we're speaking to Wallace-Wells about both — and we're going to start by talking about the good news. While we aren't currently on track to keep global warming down to the levels the scientific community has called for, the worst-case scenarios are also looking far less likely than they did even a few years ago. There's more and more evidence that the actions the world has taken so far really have made a difference — and that we still have significant capacity to determine the kind of world that lies ahead.
07/11/22·26m 15s

The convoy protesters take the stand

This week the leaders of the self-described "Freedom Convoy" protest in Ottawa were brought in front of the inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act. And for some of them, those facing charges, it won't be the last time they'll be held to account. We learned a lot. About the chaos, the infighting and the money. Plus, even more about what the police did, and didn't do to tackle the protest. Host of CBC's Power & Politics, and our good friend, Vassy Kapelos joins us from Ottawa to get us up to speed. We will also spend a bit of time talking about the mini-budget Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland released yesterday.
04/11/22·29m 49s

A high-stakes labour fight in Ontario

For many people, Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s showdown with CUPE education workers has become about much more than one fight with one union. Experts say that what the Ontario government chooses to do here — and how the public responds — could have ripple effects for labour disputes, and the right to strike, across the country. That’s because the Ford government introduced legislation this week that would prevent these workers from striking before they even start, and do it using the highly controversial notwithstanding clause, which allows provinces to temporarily override some parts of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Today, we’ll first speak to Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, about what’s been happening on the ground in Ontario. Then we’ll speak to Charles Smith, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Saskatchewan’s St. Thomas More College, about whether this could set a precedent for labour fights across the country.
03/11/22·21m 57s

How the midterms could shape U.S. politics for years

On Tuesday, the U.S. holds its midterm elections. That means all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs, as are about a third of the Senate's seats. These midterms are significant. It's the first big round of elections since Joe Biden became president, since rioters stormed the Capitol and since Roe v. Wade was overturned. The results could impact American policy for years to come. Today, CBC Washington correspondent Paul Hunter talks about some of the tight races, and what makes them so consequential.
02/11/22·22m 51s

Elon Musk owns Twitter. Now what?

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has only been “Chief Twit” of Twitter since Thursday night, but he’s already fired four top executives and dissolved the company’s board. Musk had repeatedly tried to pull out of his $44-billion US deal to acquire Twitter since April, leading to legal action from the company. Now, as Musk and his investors take private ownership of the company, his messages about free speech and lighter moderation have been joined by an assurance to advertisers that Twitter won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape.” Today on Front Burner, Washington Post tech analysis writer Will Oremus details the chaos unfolding inside Twitter as Musk begins his reign, and discusses what the ownership of social media by billionaires such as Musk could mean for our online future.
01/11/22·22m 37s

Lessons from the Cuban missile crisis

Sixty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world the closest it’s ever been to a full-scale nuclear war. The story that’s often told about those 13 days is one of American might triumphing over the USSR — but that’s not what really happened. The true story of that crisis is actually about a relationship between two men who decided to secretly work together, to avert a global disaster. While we’re certainly not in another Cuban missile crisis today, experts believe this is the closest the U.S. and Russia have come to a nuclear conflict since that time. So today, we’re going to tell the story of those 13 days in 1962, and look at whether they may hold lessons for today. Our guest is Andrew Cohen, a professor at the University of Carleton’s school of Journalism and Communication, and the author of several books including Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History.
31/10/22·28m 26s

Kanye West’s words and consequences

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, made a name — and a fortune — for himself making and saying whatever pops into his head. But for nearly a decade the things he says have increasingly become rooted in bigotry, ignorance and hatred. His recent and repeated antisemitic statements emboldened a group of people to throw Nazi salutes and unfurl a banner above a Los Angeles highway that read "Kanye is right about the Jews." His comments also resulted in the termination of his hugely lucrative partnership with Adidas and he was dropped by CAA, one of the world's major agencies. Despite this he remains one of the most influential and deeply embedded cultural figures of the 21st century, a reality that is hard to shake for many people. Today on Front Burner, Elamin Abdelmahmoud, a longtime chronicler of Kanye, senior culture writer at Buzzfeed and host of the CBC podcast Pop Chat joins us to discuss the rap star's long history of saying things he shouldn't, absorbing the consequences and coming back.
28/10/22·28m 45s

‘A slow death': Haitians face mounting crisis

After three years without cases, cholera is spreading through Haiti’s poorest neighbourhoods as they struggle for access to clean water. At the same time, nearly five million Haitians are facing acute hunger. Gangs have seized the majority of Haiti’s capital, a critical fuel terminal, and the nation’s politics remain unstable after the assassination of the president in July last year. It’s these compounding crises that have led the unpopular current government to call for international intervention from the US, Canada and the UN – a controversial move in a country with a long history of foreign meddling. Today on Front Burner, independent Haitian journalist Harold Isaac explains how citizens are enduring yet another desperate situation, and why they’re starting to feel like they’re on their own.
27/10/22·20m 23s

The problem of unelected leaders

Conservative Rishi Sunak has just become the third leader of the U.K. in two months, and he's got a mandate to rule until 2025. But many are questioning the process that led to him, and his predecessor Liz Truss, becoming prime minister in the first place: neither was chosen by British voters in a general election. They voted for a different Conservative MP, Boris Johnson, back in 2019 — before he was pushed out by a series of scandals. And they may not get to choose another prime minister until 2025. This is not an uncommon situation in parliamentary democracies. B.C., Alberta and Manitoba now all have leaders that weren't voted in by the general public. Is this a bad thing? A bug, or a feature? And if it is a problem, what should be done about it? Today, Aaron Wherry, a senior writer with CBC's parliamentary bureau, is here to dive into all of that.
26/10/22·23m 42s

The fate of the Amazon at stake as Brazil votes

Roberto de Oliveira Alves is a cattle farmer in the Brazilian Amazon. He’s also a staunch supporter of incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro. And like many others in the state of Rondônia his land is being carved out of the Amazon rainforest to make space for ranchers and farmers to expand. With the final round of Brazil’s presidential election coming up, scientists warn that the fate of the Amazon is on the ballot, too. Tens of thousands of illegal fires have already decimated parts of the precious ecosystem, and activists warn if Bolsonaro wins again, even more of the Amazon will go — a loss that could have a devastating impact on climate change. CBC’s International Climate Correspondent Susan Ormiston recently got back from Brazil, and today on Front Burner she explains what’s at stake for the Amazon when the country votes on Sunday.
25/10/22·22m 20s

What is ‘The Freeland Doctrine’?

According to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, history isn't over. Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, Freeland refuted the post-Soviet idea of "the end of history" — that after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the world was set on a path to unity and stability under free trade and liberal democracy. Freeland said the thinking of the era was "hubris," and that Russia's attacks on Ukraine are a reminder that autocracy and instability have risen once again. Freeland proposed an idea that some — though not her — are calling the "Freeland doctrine." In her vision, Canada would favour trade with countries that share our values, because we've learned that the influence of free trade isn't stopping autocracy. Today, journalist Paul Wells takes us through Freeland's proposal, and discusses whether there will be political will to make these costly choices for liberal trading partners.
24/10/22·24m 13s

'Not illegal': Ousted B.C. NDP leadership candidate speaks out

On Wednesday night, B.C. NDP leadership candidate Anjali Appadurai was disqualified from the race, clearing the path for the coronation of her competitor, David Eby, who will become the province’s premier. After an investigation, Appadurai was disqualified for allegedly having "engaged in serious improper conduct'' by working with third parties for membership drives on her behalf and for allegedly soliciting ”fraudulent memberships.” Appadurai says her removal was a political hit job and that the NDP was threatened by her team's ability to out-organize her opponent. Today on Front Burner, Appadurai joins us.
21/10/22·27m 1s

Who wins, who loses in the fight against inflation

Most businesses and consumers expect a recession is on the horizon, according to a survey put out on Monday by the Bank of Canada. Next week, the central bank is expected to hike interest rates — again — to bring down inflation. But continuing to hike interest rates could actually help provoke that feared recession, leaving some wondering what the alternatives are. Jim Stanford is an economist and director of the progressive think-tank the Centre for Future Work. He's also the author of a new report that argues against the Bank of Canada's "one-sided" approach to inflation. Today on Front Burner, he tells Jayme Poisson why he thinks this potential recession is a choice that will hurt regular people, and offers other tactics to ease the sting of inflation.
20/10/22·27m 1s

It was unprecedented. Was it also unjustified? That's up to the Emergencies Act inquiry

It's been eight months since convoy protesters took over downtown Ottawa and obstructed trade at U.S. border crossings. And now, over just six weeks, as commissioner of the Emergencies Act inquiry, Justice Paul Rouleau has one job — to get to the truth behind the federal government's unprecedented use of emergency powers that were used to clear anti-vaccine mandate protesters from the capital. Just days into the public hearing, lines have been clearly drawn between those who believe the government was justified in invoking the Emergencies Act, and those who think it was an unnecessary overreach. Today on Front Burner, host of CBC's Power & Politics Vassy Kapelos is here to get us caught up on what's been revealed so far and to explain what we can expect to come from all of this testimony.
19/10/22·28m 1s

The case for a ‘good enough' peace in Ukraine

Even though the Kremlin has been pummeling Ukrainian cities and towns with relentless air and missile raids over the past week, many observers say Russia is losing its war with Ukraine. Last month, Ukrainian forces retook a reported 6,000 square kilometres of territory in the south and east of the country, reversing months of Russian gains in a matter of weeks. But given those setbacks for Russia, and given that Ukraine is still facing high civilian death tolls and displacements as the war continues — should we be hearing more right now about the possibility of peace negotiations? Today, Gerard Toal — a political geographer and a professor of government and international affairs at Virginia Tech — makes the case for an imperfect peace deal with Russia.
18/10/22·21m 3s

Inside a human smuggling network in Canada

This year, the number of Central and South American migrants trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border reached a record two million people. Whether people wade through the Rio Grande or trek across the desert for days, the trip is becoming more treacherous. Nearly 750 people have died trying to cross the border this year so far. Now, some are trying a different route through Canada. A CBC investigation found smuggling networks operating in Toronto and Montreal are priming the flow of people through a region called the Swanton Sector, and making thousands of dollars per run across the border. Today, investigative journalist Jorge Barrera takes us through what his reporting uncovered.
17/10/22·24m 5s

The cheating scandal rocking pro chess

Last month, Hans Niemann, a 19-year-old grandmaster chess player and rising star, defeated the reigning five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen in a round robin tournament game. After the match, Carlsen, who is also a grandmaster, dropped out of the competition and posted a tweet insinuating that Niemann had cheated. The accusation has rocked the chess world, and Niemann has confessed that he has cheated in online games in the past. But there is no evidence of him cheating in over-the-board games played face-to-face, let alone in the match against Carlsen. Today on Front Burner, Nate Solon, a chess master, data scientist and co-author of the book Evaluate Like a Grandmaster, brings us up to speed on the scandal.
14/10/22·24m 49s

The Oath Keepers on trial

The Oath Keepers are a far-right militia, founded in 2009 by Stewart Rhodes. He’s one of five members currently on trial in Washington, facing charges of seditious conspiracy and other felonies related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Prosecutors say they planned to stop the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden following the 2020 election. Explosive, secretly recorded, audio from an alleged insurrection planning meeting was played last week in court. Today, we’re joined by Andy Campbell, senior editor at HuffPost and author of the new book We Are Proud Boys. He explains who the Oath Keepers are and what’s been revealed at the trial about how the deadly attack may have been prevented.
13/10/22·19m 45s

From grade ‘A’ to gone, why Hockey Canada caved

After months of pressure by MPs, corporate sponsors and its own members across the country, Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday that its CEO and entire board was stepping down. A parliamentary committee has been probing Hockey Canada’s handling of 2018 sexual assault allegations since July. During that time, further allegations of group sexual assault have emerged, and Hockey Canada has confirmed a fund that draws from minor hockey memberships was used to settle claims. A new wave of financial and political pressure began last week, after then-interim board chair Andrea Skinner spoke to the committee. Her defence of the organization’s leadership included giving CEO Scott Smith an “A” grade for his performance – drawing laughter from some MPs. Today on Front Burner, CBC senior reporter Ashley Burke joins us to explain why Hockey Canada resisted the push for new leadership for so long, and what still needs to be done before we see substantial change in hockey culture.
12/10/22·23m 23s

Britain: Rough month or road to ruin?

In her first month as leader of the ruling Conservatives, U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss plunged the British economy into chaos. A major tax cutting plan for top earners and corporations — meant to stimulate the economy as energy costs soar — terrified financial markets so deeply, it sent interest rates skyrocketing, drove the pound into the ground, and required an urgent intervention from the Bank of England. Truss changed course, and the economy is back from the brink, but Britain's fragile state post-Brexit begs the question: Is the U.K. ok? Today on Front Burner, Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London and the author of the upcoming book The Conservative Party after Brexit, gives a rundown of Britain's recent turbulence and the turning points that lead to this moment.
11/10/22·31m 1s

Front Burner Introduces: The Outlaw Ocean

The high seas are beyond the reach of international law – and beyond the beat of most reporters. But Pulitzer-Prize-winner and former New York Times journalist, Ian Urbina, has sailed into uncharted territories. Urbina sets out on a years-long quest to investigate murder at sea, modern slave labour, environmental crimes and quixotic adventurers. Part travelog, part true-crime thriller, this 7-part series takes listeners to places where the laws of the land no longer exist. The Outlaw Ocean is brought to you by CBC Podcasts and the LA Times and produced by The Outlaw Ocean Project. More episodes are available at
10/10/22·55m 1s

How virgin B.C. forests fuel a ‘green’ U.K. power station

Drax Power Station is Britain's largest power plant, burning wood pellets to create electricity. In 2021, the company received two million pounds a day in subsidies from the U.K. government. But while the industry pitches the pellets as a renewable source of energy, critics say the fuel source is making the climate crisis worse. A new investigation by CBC’s The Fifth Estate found Drax catapulted a small industry it says is green into an international operation that's dependent on logging in areas that include B.C.'s old growth and primary forests, with the support of B.C.’s NDP government. Today on Front Burner, Lyndsay Duncombe explains what her reporting uncovered.
07/10/22·21m 53s

The long fight for women’s rights in Iran

Since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s morality police on September 16th, protests have erupted throughout Iran and in some 160 cities around the globe — with some of the biggest protests happening here in Canada. Despite violent crackdowns on the demonstrations in Iran, protesters are still coming out to the streets. And women have remained at the forefront, at times burning their headscarves, or chopping off their hair. But this is far from the first time that women have led protest movements in the country. So today we’re taking a look at how the Mahsa Amini demonstrations fit into a long history of women’s activism in Iran — and whether or not this time feels different. Our guest is Mona Tajali, an associate professor of International Relations, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Agnes Scott College. She’s also the author of the recent book Women’s Political Representation in Iran and Turkey: Demanding a Seat at the Table.
06/10/22·27m 25s

What happens when McKinsey comes to town?

What do the Houston Astros, the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco, the makers of OxyContin and the Quebec government all have in common? They’ve all hired McKinsey & Company, a prestigious management consulting firm that has been around for nearly a hundred years. It’s a firm with a client list as long and rich as its history and has a lot of power. McKinsey promotes itself as a values-driven organization, but it’s also highly secretive. Today on Front Burner, host Jayme Poisson speaks with Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe, the authors of a new book, called “When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm.”
05/10/22·29m 20s

'Most hated' leaders split Brazil’s election vote

In an election that's divided Brazil, Sunday’s vote ended up even more split than polls predicted. Many pollsters had signalled that incumbent Jair Bolsonaro would lose the election on the first ballot, but the far-right populist far outperformed their predictions. Meanwhile, his leftist nemesis, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, failed to reach the 50 per cent of votes needed for victory — triggering a head-to-head run-off vote on Oct. 30. Today, Brazilian Report editor-in-chief Gustavo Ribeiro joins us to explain why these candidates are both the “most loved and most hated” politicians in Brazil and why Brazilians remain divided between these opposite ends of the political spectrum.
04/10/22·21m 19s

Trudeau and Poilievre face off in Parliament

The fall sitting of parliament is in full swing, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau facing off for the first time against new Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre. And the hottest topic for debate remains how to deal with the affordability crisis. Today, Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos is back on the pod to talk about what’s on the agenda in Ottawa, and the shape this new session is taking.
03/10/22·23m 55s

Quebec’s election and a political crossroad

For decades, Quebec voters made the choice between the provincial Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois (PQ). But in 2018, that changed. François Legault led the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) to a landslide victory by offering voters an option between the Liberals' federalism and the PQ's focus on sovereignty. On Monday, the province heads back to the polls for its first election after the pandemic, amid a health-care crisis and two very controversial bills about individual rights. While Legault is still projected to win a majority, the bigger question is who will form the official opposition. Today, CBC's Jonathan Montpetit takes us through what happened in the campaign for premier, and what the results could say about the consolidation of conservative nationalism in the province.
30/09/22·23m 13s

Are we headed for a recession?

There have been some gloomy economic headlines lately as stock indexes like the TSX and Dow drop and Canada’s unemployment rate goes up for the first time in months. This, as central banks continue to raise interest rates to combat inflation, which — while showing signs of slowing — remains high. Today, CBC business reporter Pete Evans brings us a closer look at whether a recession is near, and the role that central banks — including the Bank of Canada — play.
29/09/22·20m 40s

A conversation with Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet

NBA superstar Fred VanVleet had a long road to becoming a beloved Toronto Raptor. He suffered a terrible loss growing up in Rockford, Ill., when his father was shot and killed when he was just five years old. As a young man coming out of Wichita State University, the point guard went undrafted in 2016 and had to fight his way onto the roster of the lone Canadian franchise in the league. But only a few years later, VanVleet was a key member of the team that won the 2019 NBA championship. Now, VanVleet is the undisputed leader of the Toronto Raptors. In this special episode of Front Burner, we meet VanVleet at the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto to hear about his unexpected journey from underdog to all-star, and why he's partnered with the University of Toronto's undergraduate business program to launch a needs-based scholarship for Black and Indigenous students.
28/09/22·39m 25s

Anger over military draft grips Russia’s home front

From rare, violent protests to long lines at the border — and even a shooting at a draft office in Siberia — Russia remains gripped by anger over its first military mobilization since the Second World War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the draft of hundreds of thousands of men last Wednesday, following significant military defeats in Ukraine's northeast. Simultaneously, Putin renewed threats of nuclear retaliation. And soon after, the Kremlin orchestrated referendums over independence in Eastern Ukraine which Western leaders have denounced as a sham. Today, the Guardian's Moscow correspondent Andrew Roth untangles why Putin is betting on this even more aggressive strategy in Ukraine, and what it could mean for his grip on the home front.
27/09/22·21m 40s

Fiona’s path of destruction

After Hurricane Fiona lashed the Caribbean last week, it landed in Canso, N.S., Saturday morning as a post-tropical storm. It then began its path of destruction through Atlantic Canada. While the level of devastation in Canada doesn't compared to places like Puerto Rico, Fiona has still caused significant damage throughout parts of the Maritimes. It’s torn through homes, flooded streets, toppled power lines and caused at least one death. Today, Halifax-based CBC reporter Brett Ruskin joins us to talk about Fiona’s devastation in Atlantic Canada, and how people are coping.
26/09/22·23m 18s

N.S. mass shooting hearings are over, questions remain

The public hearings into the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history end today. Since February, the Mass Casualty Commission has heard evidence about the gunman and the warning signs reported to the RCMP in the years leading up to April 18, 2020, when he went on a rampage, killing 22 people in Nova Scotia while disguised as a Mountie. The inquiry has encountered multiple delays and controversies, leaving some victims’ family members to say they now have more questions than answers. Today, CBC Nova Scotia's investigative reporter, Angela McIvor, takes us through what the commission hearings have revealed and what questions remain.
23/09/22·26m 29s

The sordid saga of Hunter Biden’s laptop

You’ve probably heard about Hunter Biden’s laptop. The laptop and the trove of data on it belonging to U.S. President Joe Biden’s youngest son first surfaced publicly just weeks before the 2020 presidential election. At the time, it was largely discredited as foreign meddling and a disinformation campaign intended to sway the presidential race. Since then, several media outlets have verified that at least some of the data on the laptop is real. Meanwhile, the laptop has taken on a life of its own. Depending who you ask, it's either a distraction, or the key to unlocking untold stories of political corruption and shady dealings overseas. New York Magazine journalists Olivia Nuzzi and Andrew Rice spent six-months looking into the laptop: what’s on it, the cast of characters responsible for its public release, and the legal investigations that have followed. Today, Andrew Rice joins us to share what they found.
22/09/22·28m 8s

The takedown of harassment site Kiwi Farms

Notorious stalking and harassment site Kiwi Farms has been hacked and taken offline again, less than a month after the website security and hosting provider Cloudflare dropped it, citing an "unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life." Kiwi Farms had risen to prominence after Canadian trans activist and Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti was swatted in her London, Ont. home this past summer. Sorrenti organized a pressure campaign to remove Kiwi Farms from the internet, calling it "a matter of public safety for every single person online." Today, Alejandra Caraballo of the Harvard Law Cyberlaw Clinic explains how Kiwi Farms was able to operate for so long, and outlines the efforts to keep it offline.
21/09/22·22m 28s

A ‘sovereignty act’ for Alberta?

In Alberta, the centrepiece of United Conservative Party leadership hopeful Danielle Smith’s campaign is a controversial proposal called the Alberta Sovereignty Act. Smith says the act would allow the Alberta legislature to choose not to enforce any federal law or court order it believed ran counter to its interests. But many legal experts have decried the proposal as unconstitutional, and some critics — including members of her own party — have claimed that it would unleash economic chaos in the province. While Smith’s proposal is new, resentment with Ottawa is not — and for decades, provincial politicians have been promising action to protect Alberta’s interests from federal political intervention. Today, we speak to the CBC’s Jason Markusoff about the Alberta Sovereignty Act and the enduring appeal of that concept.
20/09/22·23m 47s

What kind of King will Charles be?

People in London waited in kilometres-long lines for the chance to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest reigning monarch who died on Sept. 8, during her lying-in-state. Hundreds of leaders, dignitaries and royals travelled from around the world to attend her funeral. Queen Elizabeth II was just 25 when she took the throne in 1952. At 73, King Charles III — the Queen's son and longtime heir — is the oldest monarch to assume the British throne. Today on Front Burner, Stephen Bates, author and former religious affairs and royal correspondent for The Guardian, takes us through what's shaped King Charles's character and what his reign could mean for the future of the British monarchy.
19/09/22·24m 37s

How abortion is shaping the U.S. midterms

Earlier this week, U.S. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would place a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks. While the bill isn’t believed to have a high chance of passing in the immediate future, it does further crank up the heat around the abortion debate ahead of the November midterm elections. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — which protected the constitutional right to an abortion — Democrats have seen a renewed surge in popularity, buoying their hopes of holding onto one or both chambers of Congress in November. But questions remain about whether Democratic wins would actually guarantee greater protections for abortion rights. Today, CBC Washington correspondent Paul Hunter is here to sort through all of this with us.
16/09/22·25m 49s

Grief, questions remain after Sask. mass murder

After a manhunt that spanned four days, the main suspect in the mass stabbing that injured at least 18 and left 10 people dead in northern Saskatchewan was arrested last Wednesday. Shortly after, he died in police custody after going into what RCMP call "medical distress." His death means we may never know the motive of the attack. But questions remain about why, despite being a wanted man, he remained at large for months before — and days after — the stabbings. Today on Front Burner, CBC Saskatoon reporter Dan Zakreski walks us through all the updates on the attacks, the chase and the investigation.
15/09/22·21m 52s

How war, industry and religion shaped Tolkien's Middle-earth

Amazon has tapped into the power of J.R.R. Tolkien, spending around $715 million US on its new series, The Rings of Power, reportedly the most expensive TV show ever made. What is it about Tolkien's fantasy realm of Middle-earth that has held our attention for so long, since his early writings in the 1930s? Today on Front Burner, we're talking to historian Dominic Sandbrook — co-host of The Rest is History podcast — about how Tolkien's world strikingly mirrors our own, from war, to modernity, to greed, to the fight to save the environment.
14/09/22·31m 2s

Understanding Pierre Poilievre: Part 2

Now that Pierre Poilievre is leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, how will he lead? Today, in the second part of our two-part deep dive on Poilievre, the Globe and Mail’s Shannon Proudfoot returns to talk about the leadership campaign he ran, the criticism he’s faced and where the Conservative Party could go from here. Plus, we hear from more supporters on the floor of the convention about what they think Pierre Poilievre’s Canada will look like, his "angry" reputation and whether they think he’ll change, now that he’s leader, to broaden his appeal.
13/09/22·39m 15s

Understanding Pierre Poilievre: Part 1

On Saturday, Pierre Poilievre was named the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Jayme Poisson was on the floor at the event, and heard from those overjoyed at the result. Today, we bring you those voices, and take a closer look at Poilievre’s life and career, to help you understand who he is. Tomorrow, we’ll examine his leadership campaign and how he might lead.
12/09/22·34m 54s

Queen Elizabeth at the end of an empire

Queen Elizabeth took the throne at the age 25, and stayed there through seven decades, 15 British prime ministers and the longest reign in U.K. history. From the earliest days as Queen, Elizabeth grappled with the British Empire transforming into a Commonwealth with more self-determined nations. But in more recent years, the Queen also ruled through the death of Princess Diana, numerous royal family scandals, and political upheaval like Brexit. Today, royal historian Carolyn Harris gives us a look back at how the Queen dealt with a colonial legacy, and a look forward at how the monarchy could change without her.
09/09/22·25m 22s

Inside Ukraine — a country living with war

The view of the war from inside Ukraine varies depending on where you are. For two weeks, CBC News senior correspondent Susan Ormiston has been crossing the country where the war has become a normal part of life for some. In the capital of Kyiv, businesses are re-opening, communities are rebuilding, and some who fled at the start of the war have returned. Meanwhile, in Kherson and Kharkiv, fierce fighting continues as Ukraine’s counteroffensive reportedly ramps up. The Ukrainians say they’re making good progress, but Russia denies this, saying Ukraine is suffering heavy losses. An ongoing media blackout makes it hard to get a clear picture. Today on Front Burner, Susan Ormiston shows us the complicated reality in Ukraine as the war grinds on.
08/09/22·25m 6s

U.K. teens joined ISIS, Canada accused of coverup

It's been seven years since British teen Shamima Begum, then 15 years old, entered Syria with two school friends to join ISIS. One of Begum's friends has since gone missing, and the other was reportedly killed in an airstrike on Raqqa. Begum herself disappeared for years before encountering a journalist in al-Hawl prison camp in 2019, begging to return to the U.K. for the safety of her child, who subsequently died. Now, the BBC says the man who smuggled the girls into Syria was actually a double agent, providing information to Canadian intelligence as he trafficked for ISIS. A new book by U.K.-based writer Richard Kerbaj also accuses Canada of asking British officials to help cover up the connection. BBC journalist Joshua Baker has been interviewing Begum for the upcoming podcast, I'm Not A Monster: The Shamima Begum Story. Today, what he's learned about Begum's journey and Canada's involvement from a dossier on her alleged smuggler.
07/09/22·24m 56s

A mass killing in Saskatchewan

Eleven people have died, including a suspect, and at least 18 injured after a brutal attack that started in James Smith Cree Nation, Saskatchewan on Sunday. Two brothers, Damien and Myles Sanderson, were charged with first-degree murder and were being sought for the attack. On Monday, the RCMP confirmed Damien, 31, has been found dead, while Myles, 30, is still at large. The RCMP have asked residents across the province to remain vigilant. At this stage of the investigation, they believe some victims were “targeted by the suspects” while others were attacked “randomly.” Today on Front Burner, we talk to CBC Saskatoon’s Dan Zakreski on what we know so far about the suspects, the victims, and the investigation into the attack.
06/09/22·20m 24s

Front Burner Introduces: Pressure Cooker

John and Amanda have lived on the fringes their whole lives. They’re on welfare, living with John’s grandma, and struggling with addiction to opioids and Dungeons and Dragons. They’ve followed crooked paths to this point. John played in heavy metal bands and dabbled with Satanism. Amanda left home and discovered heroin before her 18th birthday. The couple converts to Islam in an attempt to turn their lives around. But things take a wild turn when a mysterious figure enters their lives and draws them into a web of conspiracy, deception and terror. More episodes are available at
05/09/22·36m 11s

Death threats, aliens, Boney M: inside a tour with Canada's 'QAnon Queen'

Death threats, hotel rooms left empty for supposed visits by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and hours upon hours of the song Rasputin by Boney M. These are the conditions former followers say they endured on a cross-country RV tour with Romana Didulo, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Canada." Didulo became a well-known QAnon conspiracy figure, with claims she was the rightful ruler of Canada, but she originally didn’t appear in public. Now, she’s touring the country with supporters in RVs, including a stop in Peterborough, Ont., last month where her followers tried to arrest the city’s police. Vice World News reporter Mack Lamoureux spoke to former tour “staff” members, including some that Didulo reportedly abandoned in the middle of Newfoundland. Today, what they allege about the abuse they suffered, and why both Lamoureux and some experts increasingly believe the group has the makings of a cult.
02/09/22·26m 48s

How Serena Williams changed the game

On Wednesday night, Serena Williams won her second round match against no. 2 ranked Anett Kontaveit, to advance in what could be the last pro tournament of her career. Earlier this month, Williams hinted that it might be time to say farewell to her illustrious tennis career. For two decades, the star has dominated the sport, winning 23 grand slam singles titles, 14 women's doubles and two mixed doubles slams. Cecil Harris, sports journalist and the author of 2020's Different Strokes: Serena, Venus and the Unfinished Black Tennis Revolution and the host of podcast All-American: Venus and Serena, explains why many say Williams is “the greatest of all time” in the tennis world.
01/09/22·25m 13s

The verbal ambush of Chrystia Freeland and political anger in Canada

On Friday, a man in Grande Prairie, Alta., accosted Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and swore at her repeatedly as she entered the city hall building. A video of the incident, posted online, shows the man yelling at Freeland, calling her a "f--king bitch" and a traitor, and following her in close proximity as she boards an elevator. RCMP say they are investigating the altercation, which has provoked widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum. And it’s also sparked broader conversations about the increasing sense of danger many politicians are feeling of late when interacting with the public — particularly in an era when the spread of conspiracy theories and disinformation are on the rise. It’s also raising questions about the line between when yelling at a politician is a dangerous or destructive act — and when it’s an expression of a healthy democracy. Today, we break it all down with Aaron Wherry, a senior writer with CBC’s Parliament Hill bureau.
31/08/22·25m 13s

More than 1,000 dead in calamitous Pakistan floods

Devastating flash floods in Pakistan have submerged one-third of the country, according to its climate minister. Officials say more than 1,100 people have died since monsoon season began in June and an estimated 33 million people have been affected. BBC correspondent Farhat Javed recently visited Manoor Valley in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where locals tossed her a handwritten note asking for help: "We need supplies, we need medicine and please rebuild the bridge, we are left with nothing now." Manoor Valley is just one of many remote regions hit by torrential rain and cut off from the main roads — making it difficult for rescue teams to reach. Millions of people are now waiting for food, shelter and clean drinking water. Today on Front Burner, Javed tells us more about what she saw and about the disaster unfolding in a country already dealing with political and economic instability.
30/08/22·20m 45s

Two Afghans on their frustrated efforts to come to Canada

It’s been just over a year since the last Canadian plane airlifting people out of Afghanistan left Kabul in the wake of the Taliban takeover. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, this country has successfully resettled more than 17,600 Afghans since August 2021 – and the government has committed to resettle 40,000. But many who helped Canadians during the war are still stuck there. Today, two Afghans explain the dangers they now find themselves in because of their previous work with Canadians, and their frustrations in trying to come to Canada. Plus, a Canadian veteran on his efforts to help Afghans through the complicated process.
29/08/22·28m 21s

A car bomb’s impact on a Russia at war

On Saturday, a car bomb killed pro-war Russian commentator Darya Dugina on the outskirts of Moscow. Dugina was the daughter of ultranationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin, whose influence on Russian President Vladimir Putin is widely debated — leading to speculation the bomb was meant for Dugin himself. Today on Front Burner, The Guardian's Moscow correspondent Andrew Roth explains who Dugin is, the competing theories for who was responsible for the car bombing, and what impact the attack could have on how the war in Ukraine is fought.
26/08/22·22m 8s

Germany needs energy. What can Canada offer?

This week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Canada as part of his mission to shore up alternative sources of energy to reduce Germany's dependence on Russian natural gas. Scholz finished the trip in Newfoundland, where he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to form what Trudeau called the “Canada-Germany hydrogen alliance.” Meanwhile, Scholz also said he wanted more liquified natural gas from Canada. Today, CBC’s Peter Cowan and J.P. Tasker explain what happened during this trip and what it means for the future of Canadian energy.
25/08/22·21m 21s

The myth behind 'nobody wants to work anymore'

Many employers continue to struggle to fill vacant positions, despite the end of most pandemic restrictions — and the underlying explanations for this vary depending on who you ask. A common notion is that people just don’t want to work anymore. But when Canada’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in decades, does the data really bear that out? Today on Front Burner, economist and Atkinson Fellow Armine Yalnizyan debunks common myths and explains how the current labour crunch has roots stretching back well before the pandemic — and what to expect moving forward.
24/08/22·22m 24s

Ontario mulls private solutions for public health-care crises

It's a perennial debate: what role should the private sector have in Canada's public health-care system? The fact is, it's already part of the ecosystem. Now, Doug Ford's government in Ontario is mulling the use of more private surgery clinics to alleviate pressures facing the public system. The move is receiving praise by some, while others raise concerns over how an expanded role of for-profit health care could have negative effects downstream. Today, Dr. Danyaal Raza explains those concerns. He's the former board chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, an assistant professor with the department of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto and a family physician.
23/08/22·22m 15s

Can work-from-home go on forever?

The pandemic-era work-from-home experiment has gone on for over two years now and for some, it’s proven to be effective. For others, the isolation that comes with remote work hasn’t been easy. As some employers ask their workers to finally return, we dive into the debate around working from home — and what a successful hybrid model could look like. We’re talking to writer Anne Helen Petersen, co-author of Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home.
22/08/22·27m 46s

Electric vehicles and an Ontario mining conundrum

The United States’ new and historic climate law is being hailed by some Canadian politicians and environmental advocates as a chance to turn Canada into a global hub for electric cars and their components. That’s thanks in part to money and incentives which could potentially give a boost to companies mining in Canada for the minerals used to make electric vehicle batteries. If that sounds like a big green win for Canada — it is. But it’s also more complicated than that. Today, we’re taking a look at one example where the promise of mining for nickel to power electric vehicles is presenting a climate conundrum: the Ring of Fire, a mineral-rich but ecologically sensitive region in northern Ontario. Our guest is Emma McIntosh, The Narwhal’s Ontario environment reporter.
19/08/22·24m 53s

The fatwa on Salman Rushdie, 3 decades later

The writer Salman Rushdie is still recovering in hospital from a brutal attack at a literary event last Friday. A young man rushed onstage and stabbed Rushdie nearly a dozen times, leaving him with injuries so severe he may lose an eye. While Rushdie himself has never been attacked like this before, this isn't the first attempt on his life. He has been targeted by death threats ever since the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie's death in 1989. The fatwa was over Rushdie's 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, parts of which some Muslims consider blasphemous. The uproar over the book led to huge protests in many countries, pushed Rushdie into hiding for nearly a decade, and led to the deaths of several people around the world. In England, where Rushdie was based, many people believe it also transformed U.K. society — particularly relations between British Muslims and non-Muslims. Today, we're looking back at The Satanic Verses affair and its long-term impacts with Mobeen Azhar, a BBC journalist and filmmaker. He's made a documentary about it, The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On, and a podcast, Fatwa. We'll also hear from celebrated British novelist and playwright Hanif Kureishi, who is a longtime friend of Rushdie's.
18/08/22·29m 11s

What we’ve learned since the FBI raided Trump’s Florida home

In the wake of the FBI raid on former U.S. president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida earlier this month, more details have emerged about what federal agents are investigating, including potential violations of three different federal laws, one of which is the Espionage Act. One unsealed document shows that the FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents, including some with the special designation of “sensitive compartmented information,” a category meant to protect the country’s most important secrets. Today, we’re speaking to Aaron Blake, senior political reporter for the Washington Post, about what we’ve learned since the law enforcement agency's search, and what we still don’t know.
17/08/22·22m 40s

Everything is expensive Part III: Rents

Rents are on the rise in Canada, making it harder for tenants to find a place that fits their budget. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s definition of "affordable" housing is a place that costs you less than 30 per cent of your household's income. But in Vancouver, where the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom is now $3,597 — you'd have to earn more than $150,000 for that rent to be affordable. In Toronto, your household would have to make more than $135,000. On today's episode of Front Burner, Andy Yan, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University in B.C., breaks down what's happening with rents and what could be done to help make them more affordable.
16/08/22·20m 0s

Afghanistan, one year after the Taliban takeover

One year ago, the Taliban effectively re-took control of Afghanistan. Chaos followed in the capital, as thousands of people desperate to get out of the country converged on the Kabul airport. As this was taking place, U.S. forces continued their withdrawal, which marked the end of a 20-year war. Today on Front Burner, we’re talking to Kabul-based journalist Ali M. Latifi about this iteration of the Taliban’s rule one year on, the ongoing impact of economic sanctions and what daily life is like for many in the country now.
15/08/22·27m 45s

TikTok is changing the music industry — and music

With its immense catalog of sounds — from old tracks to new and every remix in between — TikTok has evolved beyond its early days as a space for lip-syncing videos and dance trends into a cultural "tastemaker," and a driving force for the music industry. The app is now partnering with Ticketmaster to help users find and buy concert tickets right on the app. With its recent filing to trademark "TikTok Music" in countries including the U.S., New Zealand, and the U.K., there's evidence that TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, could try to compete with streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music. Today on Front Burner, Insider media reporter Dan Whateley joins guest host Jason D'Souza to break down how TikTok has caused a paradigm shift in music — down to how it's written — and what its plans might be to leverage the app's power over the industry.
12/08/22·26m 24s

Could the new U.S. climate bill hold lessons for Canada?

Despite its name, the Inflation Reduction Act is in large part a climate bill, with $369 billion US earmarked primarily for investments in green innovation in the U.S. and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Senate narrowly granted its approval last weekend, paving the way to a House of Representatives vote where political observers anticipate it will pass and be signed into law by President Joe Biden. Today on Front Burner, guest host Jason D'Souza speaks with Time magazine senior climate reporter Justin Worland to learn more about how the historic — albeit watered down — climate investment, before hearing from Eddy Pérez with the Climate Action Network Canada to better understand how Canada's efforts now stack up against the U.S.
11/08/22·25m 31s

The latest on Canada's monkeypox outbreak

Monkeypox cases in North America continue to climb. Last week, the U.S. declared monkeypox a public health emergency. Here in Canada, the number of cases is approaching 1,000. The disease can be painful and the self-isolation period can be lengthy. Right now, men who have sex with men remain the most at risk of infection. Today on Front Burner, Dr. Darrell Tan, a clinician scientist in the division of infectious diseases at Saint Michael's Hospital and associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, discusses symptoms, transmission, treatment and the vaccine.
10/08/22·26m 29s

The ‘sextortion’ of Amanda Todd

After her death by suicide in 2012, Amanda Todd’s name became closely linked with cyberbullying in Canada. From the ages of 12 to 15, the teen was relentlessly harassed and exploited online by more than 20 social media accounts that extorted her for sexual images. On Saturday, nearly 10 years after her death, a 44-year-old Dutch national, Aydin Coban, was convicted of extortion, possession of child pornography, child luring and criminal harassment against Todd. Today, Eva Uguen-Csenge — who helped cover the trial for CBC Vancouver — explains Amanda Todd’s story, and the significance of this guilty verdict now. A warning that this episode contains descriptions of child sexual exploitation.
09/08/22·20m 47s

The unexpected rise of Quebec’s Conservative party

Quebec's Conservative party — unaffiliated with the federal Conservatives — had long been essentially a fringe party in the province, with no seats in the legislature, no invitations to major debates and little funding. But since former talk radio host Éric Duhaime took over last year, the party has become a contender in Quebec politics, at some points polling as high as nearly 20 per cent. A recent CBC News investigation found that of the first 54 candidates the party has announced, nearly 30 per cent have used their social media accounts during the pandemic to amplify medical misinformation, conspiracy theorists or to engage with far-right extremists. Today on Front Burner, CBC's Jonathan Montpetit joins guest host Jason D'Souza to talk about the Quebec Conservative party under Duhaime's leadership, the supporters the party is attracting and the impact the party could have on Quebec politics.
08/08/22·22m 17s

The chaotic trial of InfoWars’ Alex Jones

For many years, far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has touted that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a fake. The parents of its victims have been targeted because of Jones's claims that they were "crisis actors" in a plot to force gun control. Now, two of those parents are suing the InfoWars host for compensation and punitive damages. Today Dan Solomon, senior editor at Texas Daily, tells us more about the surprising turns that went down in the trial and what's at stake for Jones's conspiracy media empire.
05/08/22·30m 58s

Tension in Taiwan as China reacts to U.S. visit

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan may have been brief, but it wasn’t short on controversy. She's the most senior U.S. official to visit Taiwan in decades — but many worry her visit will fan the flames of an already tense relationship between the self-governed island and China, which claims Taiwan as its territory and opposes any engagement by Taiwanese officials with foreign governments. Ahead of Pelosi's visit, China ramped up military drills near Taiwan, and Beijing has vowed to hold even more military exercises over the next several days. Some experts are calling it the most hazardous escalation between the two regions since the 1990s. Today Christian Shepherd, a Washington Post correspondent based in Taipei, explains how tensions between China and Taiwan got to this point, and why Pelosi’s visit was so controversial.
04/08/22·22m 26s

As Meta struggles, Zuckerberg puts employees under the gun

As the global economy slows down, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pushing employees to speed up. The Facebook and Instagram parent company set a record in February, losing the most stock value in a single day in U.S. history. But Zuckerberg has continued sinking billions of dollars into his vision of a “metaverse,” pressed for faster updates to compete with TikTok, and is upping the pressure on employees. According to reports of an internal Q&A in June, Zuckerberg told employees: “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.” Today, The Verge deputy editor Alex Heath explains the many threats to Meta that make this “the most pressure” it's ever faced, and how struggles across the tech sector are causing an unprecedented shift in its lavish culture.
03/08/22·24m 10s

Inuit ask Pope for justice over accused priest

Last week, Canada asked France to extradite a Catholic priest accused of crimes against Inuit children in Nunavut decades ago. RCMP have said Rev. Johannes Rivoire is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant related to a sexual assault charge laid in February. Rivoire had previously been charged with sexually abusing children in Nunavut, but those charges were stayed in 2017. In Iqaluit on Friday, as part of the Pope's final stop in his "penitential pilgrimage" in Canada, a delegation once again called on the pontiff to personally intervene. Today, we're talking to investigative journalist Kathleen Martens about the long fight to put Rivoire on trial. This episode will also feature clips from Martens's exclusive interview with Rivoire for APTN.
02/08/22·25m 19s

Front Burner Introduces: The Kill List

When human rights activist Karima Baloch is found drowned off the shores of Toronto, an investigation into her mysterious death leads all the way back to Pakistan, the country she had recently fled. In this six-part series, host Mary Lynk explores the rampant abductions and killings of dissidents in Pakistan, the dangers that follow those who flee to the West, and a terrifying intelligence agency with tentacles around the globe. How did Karima die? And would Pakistan really carry out an assassination far beyond its borders? This is a story that a powerful state doesn’t want you to know. More episodes are available at
01/08/22·51m 58s

How Shopify’s pandemic bet led to losses and layoffs

This week, days before a call to investors that announced net losses and a “transitional” period for the company, Canadian tech giant Shopify laid off 1,000 employees – 10 per cent of its workforce. Not long ago, Shopify’s numbers told a very different story. The online shopping juggernaut hit it big during the pandemic, at one point becoming the most highly valued company in Canada, with a market cap of $177 billion. CEO Tobias Lütke announced this week that during the pandemic the company made a bet – that online shopping would “permanently leap ahead” by years – and hired accordingly to meet the growing demand. “It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off,” he said. To break down where the company goes now – and what this says about the tech industry more broadly – Temur Durrani joins us from the Globe and Mail.
29/07/22·18m 57s

Hockey Canada’s sexual assault crisis deepens

Hockey Canada has settled 21 sexual assault claims. For nine of those cases, it used a fund that draws in part from players' registration fees, paying out $7.6 million dollars. The scope of Hockey Canada's settlements was just one revelation from parliamentary committee hearings this week, where MPs probed the organization's handling of an alleged group sexual assault in 2018 involving national junior players. Today The Athletic's Dan Robson, a hockey writer who has reported extensively on this issue, joins Front Burner to discuss why Hockey Canada's promise to change is being met with skepticism.
28/07/22·27m 16s

Phil Fontaine’s long fight for a papal apology

Decades ago Phil Fontaine helped open Canada's eyes to the horrors of the residential school system. And he's since spent years pushing for an apology from the top of the Catholic Church. Today he reflects on hearing Pope Francis say "sorry" for the second time. "My big issue right now is, what to do about this issue of moving beyond the apology," said Fontaine, who is a residential school survivor and served three terms as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Access to church records, how to handle unmarked graves and the return of Indigenous land are key issues for Fontaine. Also in this episode, Mabel Brown, a survivor who traveled from Inuvik, N.W.T., to see the Pope speak, shares what the apology means to her.
27/07/22·23m 22s

Spies, grain and fuel: A Ukraine war update

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been raging since Feb. 24. The war has triggered a global food and fuel crisis, because Ukraine is a major exporter of grain, and Russia is a major exporter of oil to Europe. In recent days, however, a deal was struck to lift a blockade and allow grain to be exported from Ukraine. Russia also agreed to restart the flow of natural gas, fuel that is absolutely vital for countries like Germany. At face value, both moves appear as if Russia is taking a more conciliatory tack. But is it? Ukraine is also making advances to take back parts of the country it lost early in the war. But does it have the capacity to do that swiftly enough to turn the tide of this war? Its efforts are being hindered by reports of Russian infiltration in Ukraine’s sprawling spy service, the SBU. Last week, Ukraine’s president dramatically shook things up by firing two of his top officials — one of them his childhood best friend and the head of the intelligence agency. So we’re talking to the Wall Street Journal’s James Marson to unpack the latest developments and to get a better idea of who is winning — and where things could go from here.
26/07/22·25m 59s

The political resurrection of Danielle Smith

There was a time when former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith was in the political wilderness, cast out by a stunning floor-crossing that alienated and angered many Alberta conservatives. Now, it seems the former political pariah is back in the fold, as she makes her play to replace Jason Kenney as leader of the United Conservative Party and become Alberta's next premier. She’s drawn big cheers at the Calgary Stampede and brought in big dollars to her campaign with her anti-mandate and anti-Ottawa message. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Jason Markusoff is here to discuss Smith’s past political downfall and her current political resurrection.
25/07/22·25m 2s

Nathan Fielder’s awkward comedy revolution

On This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Nathan for You and HBO’s new comedy The Rehearsal, Nathan Fielder has played a stiff, socially inept agitator that can barely get through a conversation. The amount that Fielder’s real personality informs his character is a mystery. But Fielder has used his bizarre comments and awkward silences to destabilize his interviewees, joining a wave of comedians that try to get authentic reactions in an age of careful-crafted “reality” television. And now, on The Rehearsal, Fielder is adding a layer of absurdity, as he helps people rehearse difficult social situations with paid actors and perfect sets of real locations. With the second episode of The Rehearsal out today, New York Magazine features writer Lila Shapiro joins us to discuss how Fielder’s over-controlling personality is paradoxically creating some of the most spontaneous moments on television.
22/07/22·29m 10s

Your 4th dose questions answered

Canada's latest COVID-19 surge is being fuelled by the BA.5 variant. It's prompting some public health officials to make fourth jabs of a COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults. While most provinces are already offering fourth doses to their most vulnerable residents, some — such as New Brunswick, Quebec and P.E.I. — are urging the general adult population to sign up as well. However experts are divided about the urgency at which Canadians should receive a second boost, and when. Prof. Raywat Deonandan is an epidemiologist specializing in global health at the University of Ottawa. He breaks down what we need to know about the future of COVID-19 vaccination.
21/07/22·21m 12s

How to fix urban heat islands

Often when we think about lethal heat, we picture things like forest fires. But the fact is, one of the most dangerous places to be during a heat wave is inside a city. And considering that nearly three-quarters of Canadians live in urban areas, that's a big problem — and one that will only get more dangerous with time. Today, CBC Montreal reporter Jaela Bernstien breaks down what "urban heat islands" are, and who is most vulnerable to their deadly impacts. But this story isn't all doom and gloom. There are also lots of ways to fight urban heat — even some that are cheap and quick — and we'll be looking at those too.
20/07/22·20m 43s

Everything is expensive Part II: Interest rates

You’ve heard this here before: Everything is so crazy expensive these days. In May, Canada’s inflation rate was 7.7 per cent, the highest it's been since 1983. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem warned that the rate is expected to climb higher than eight per cent this week. In response, Canada's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate last week by 100 basis points, or one percentage point, to 2.5 per cent — the biggest hike in more than two decades. Today, CBC business writer Pete Evans explains the impacts this move could have on the debt levels of Canadians, the economy writ large, and the concern that a recession could be just around the corner.
19/07/22·24m 6s

James Webb telescope reveals galaxies far, far away

Last week, NASA revealed five images from the James Webb Space Telescope which gave the sharpest look at the universe’s cosmic history. The images, which showed stunning visuals of orange and red gasses, spinning galaxies and dying stars, are the first to show in detail what the universe looked like billions of light-years away. The telescope, which was launched last December, is a collaboration between NASA and the European and Canadian space agencies and is designed to be successor to the older Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists and viewers alike have been in awe of these images. Today on Front Burner, we unpack the enormity of these visuals, what they mean for space research and why so many are emotional over these images with science writer Shannon Stirone.
18/07/22·29m 20s

The life and death of Quebec Hells Angels boss 'Mom' Boucher

The notorious former Hells Angels boss Maurice "Mom" Boucher died of cancer on Sunday. He was serving a life sentence in prison. Before being convicted, he was at the centre of the violent biker wars that took place in Quebec in the 1990s. Today on Front Burner, we discuss this vicious chapter in Canada's history and how Boucher made a name for himself. Julian Sher, an investigative journalist and a former producer at the CBC's Fifth Estate joins us. For years, Sher covered the biker wars and Boucher's role in them. He's co-written two books on the Hells Angels in Canada and around the world.
15/07/22·27m 46s

How safe are abortion rights in Canada?

The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had secured constitutional protections for abortion in the country for nearly 50 years, raises questions about whether something similar could happen here. Canada has its own historic Supreme Court ruling that protects abortion rights: R. vs. Morgentaler. It still stands. But is it ironclad? Or could it be overturned, too? Today on Front Burner, we explore the history of abortion rights in Canada, just how protected they really are, and how much sway the anti-abortion movement has here. We talk to Kelly Gordon, an assistant professor at McGill University and co-author of the book, The Changing Voice of the Anti-Abortion Movement: The Rise of Pro-Woman Rhetoric in Canada and the United States.
14/07/22·29m 56s

‘Uber files’ expose a ruthless rise to the top

The global rise of Uber's ride-sharing service — and the subsequent crushing of taxi services in many countries — has largely been portrayed as an inevitability. But a trove of 124,000 leaked, confidential documents reveal ruthless dealings inside the company as it expanded across the globe, and suggest that its rise was far more than an organic product of market forces. The "Uber files" — first leaked to the Guardian and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — show how the company broke laws, secretly lobbied governments, and put drivers at risk as it climbed to the top. Today, we're diving into those files with the Washington Post's Doug MacMillan and with CBC reporter Frédéric Zalac, who looked at what the documents expose about Uber's dealings in Canada.
13/07/22·33m 18s

How the Supreme Court is reshaping America

At one point, a majority of Americans had confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court, and many viewed it as a fundamental part of the country's democracy, one that could rise above partisan politics. Now, polls indicate that confidence in the institution has sunk to an all-time low. Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court — currently composed of six conservative and three liberal-leaning judges — are viewed as increasingly politicized. Those include the overturning last month of the landmark abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade, but they also include cases that could have major impacts on climate change, the separation of church and state, and American democracy as a whole. Today, we take a look at those cases — and to what extent Americans now see the Supreme Court as legitimate — with Rhiannon Hamam, a public defender in Texas and a co-host of the podcast 5-4.
12/07/22·26m 36s

Rogers outage and Big Telecom's control in Canada

A massive network outage at Rogers Communications shut down mobile and internet services across much of Canada. Millions of people found themselves offline, but the widespread impact of the outage also meant business owners couldn't process debit card payments and many 911 services couldn't receive incoming calls. The mass disruption has put Canada's telecommunications sector under the microscope. Three companies dominate the market and underpin some of the most basic services that are relied upon across the country. Today, Ben Klass, a member of the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project, explains the stranglehold that Rogers, Bell and Telus have on Canadian telecommunications and what, if anything, can be done about it.
11/07/22·22m 19s

Bye-bye, Boris Johnson

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was known as a "Teflon" leader for his ability to withstand scandal after scandal. But after surviving "Partygate'' and a slew of other missteps, Johnson finally met a scandal he couldn't outrun. Johnson said on Thursday he would step down as prime minister after more than 50 of his own government officials resigned. But he's also pledged to stay on until a new Conservative leader is chosen. Today, the New Statesman's Rachel Cunliffe explains what finally led to Johnson's downfall, what his resignation speech really means and what it all says about the state of British democracy.
08/07/22·27m 40s

Patrick Brown out, claims corruption in Tory leadership race

A scandal's brewing in the Conservative leadership race. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has been disqualified from the race over allegations that his campaign broke financing rules. But he's denying these claims, and accusing the party establishment of corruption in favour of rival candidate Pierre Poilievre. Today, Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos on the latest in the increasingly messy race to lead the Conservative Party.
07/07/22·23m 6s

Canada’s emergency rooms are in crisis

Health-care workers are calling attention to a crisis unfolding in Canadian emergency rooms. Staff shortages and a lack of hospital beds are causing long waits, shortened operating hours and even temporary ER closures across the country. Meanwhile, workers say more patients are coming in for problems neglected during the pandemic. Patients' stories are dramatic. Two weeks ago in Red Deer, Alta., a woman with abdominal pain said she waited six hours to get an ultrasound, and was told to find her own way to another hospital to have her appendix removed. In May and June in St. John's, the wife of a man with Alzheimer's says he waited 20 nights in emergency before getting a hospital bed. Today, a conversation with a veteran emergency physician about the new and long-standing factors stretching Canadian ERs to the limit. Dr. Brian Goldman is the host of CBC's White Coat Black Art and the author of The Power of Teamwork.
06/07/22·24m 20s

Sex assault scandal plagues Hockey Canada

What a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and eight CHL players reveals about an organization plagued with allegations of systemic abuse. After settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit with a sexual assault complainant, Hockey Canada is facing mounting scrutiny. High-profile sponsorships are in jeopardy and the federal government is freezing funding until a parliamentary committee investigation gets to the bottom of what happened. The lawsuit brought forward by a woman, now 24, alleges she was sexually assaulted by eight Canadian Hockey League players — including former world Junior players — in a London, Ont., hotel room after a gala. The suit was quietly settled in May for an undisclosed amount of money. Today on Front Burner, a conversation with Katie Strang, a senior investigative writer with The Athletic about the details of the case, and what it will mean for Hockey Canada, accountability and sexual assault.
05/07/22·25m 54s

‘Freedom Convoy’ protests returned to Ottawa. What's next?

As many came out in Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day weekend, others turned out to protest for their definition of freedom — like thousands did in the winter when the so-called Freedom Convoy took over an area around Parliament Hill, protesting vaccine mandates and other COVID-related restrictions. But now, most of the COVID-restrictions have been removed, so what does this movement stand for? Today, CBC News senior investigative journalist Jonathan Montpetit on what happens to the anti-mandate movement when the mandates are mostly lifted.
04/07/22·22m 45s

Front Burner Introduces: Buffy

Buffy Sainte-Marie is one of the most prolific singer-songwriters of the past century. For 60 years her music has quietly reverberated throughout pop culture, and provided a touchstone for Indigenous resistance. In this five-part series, Mohawk and Tuscarora writer Falen Johnson explores how Buffy’s life and legacy is essential to understanding Indigenous resilience. More episodes are available at
01/07/22·40m 52s

COVID's latest subvariants: What you need to know

The Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are spreading quickly. They already make up a majority of new COVID infections in the U.S., and it appears they are much better at getting around immunity. Research from Harvard Medical School shows the BA.5 subvariant “may escape antibody responses. The spread of these subvariants has coincided with the lifting of mask mandates and the relaxing of many public health measures nationwide. To provide you with details about the latest COVID-19 variants and the state of the pandemic here in Canada heading into the summer, we are joined once again by Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton.
30/06/22·21m 41s

The Liberals face a summer of discontent

The Liberal government faced tough questions this session on everything from accusations they pressured RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki on the Portapique investigation, to their decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in the winter, to inflation. Today, CBC Parliamentary Bureau senior writer Aaron Wherry explains why those questions won’t just disappear over the summer, and why the Liberals are “arguably in as difficult a stage as it has maybe ever been, which is a funny thing to say for a government that’s been through some pretty major crises.”
29/06/22·28m 1s

Uvalde massacre: What police did and didn’t do

More than a month after 19 students and two teachers were murdered in the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, questions about what happened during the 77 minutes prior to law enforcement entering the classroom the gunman was occupying are starting to be answered. The picture that is being painted of the police response by journalists and investigators is one of miscommunication, confusion and inaction. Who is to blame for what Texas Department of Public Safety director Steve McCraw has criticized as an “abject failure,” depends on who you ask. Today on Front Burner, as anger and scrutiny continues to grow among the families of the victims, politics reporter with The Texas Tribune, James Barragán, tells us about what is known about the police response so far and what’s left to uncover.
28/06/22·26m 28s

The end of Roe v. Wade, and what comes next

The constitutionally protected right to abortion was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, leaving millions of women in the U.S. with less control over their own bodies than they had the day before — and for nearly 50 years before that. Despite right-wing jubilation over the ruling, overturning Roe v. Wade may not be widely popular in the U.S.; recent polling by CNN suggests about two-thirds of Americans didn’t want it to happen. But there are so-called trigger laws on the books in at least 13 states that ban or severely limit abortion and come into effect virtually as soon as Roe v. Wade was overturned. Other states may also move to restrict or ban abortions soon. Today on Front Burner, UC Davis legal historian Mary Ziegler — author of Dollars for Life: The Anti-Abortion Movement and the Fall of the Republican Establishment — discusses why the conservative-majority court overturned Roe v. Wade, why modern abortion bans have dangers not seen since the 1970s and what widespread criticism of the decision means for the perceived legitimacy of the court.
27/06/22·24m 7s

'A dagger in my heart'

WARNING: This episode deals with sexual assault Rick Boguski's brother Darryl has cerebral palsy, is blind and has autism. And on April 20, Darryl's 62nd birthday, Rick was told by the RCMP that his brother had been identified as one of five victims of sexual assault that allegedly occurred at Shepherd's Villa, a group home for the severely disabled in Hepburn, Sask. The suspect, Brent Gabona, had cared for Darryl at the home for years. Since then, Gabona, 52, has been charged with five counts of sexual assault and three of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability — which court records say occurred between 1992 and 2006. But other families who had loved ones in his care wonder if there may be more victims, and are pressing the RCMP to dig deeper. Today on Front Burner, CBC's Jorge Barrera shares what he learned after his conversations with Rick — and with Gabona himself.
24/06/22·22m 43s

Anti-LGBTQ threats loom over Pride

It's Pride month, but a string of violent threats and extremist confrontations are looming over the celebrations. Police arrested 31 members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front near a Pride event in Idaho, saying the men were planning a riot. Proud Boys and other extremists have protested and stormed drag performances. And a teen in Mississauga, Ont., was arrested and charged for allegedly threatening a mass shooting at an event in Florida. Today, a conversation about the forces behind a right-wing surge in anti-LGBTQ sentiment, and how the rhetoric is driving real-world threats. Guest Parker Molloy spent years with progressive media watchdogs, and she's been covering recent threats in her newsletter The Present Age.
23/06/22·26m 20s

The Jan. 6 case against Donald Trump

Did Donald Trump break the law in his attempt to stay in power after 2020? That's what the Jan. 6 House committee is trying to prove — with lots of evidence and dozens of witnesses, including some of Trump's closest allies and even family. This week, Republican state representatives from Arizona and Georgia testified that Trump tried to pressure them to find votes and overturn the election. This week, on the fourth official day of public hearings, more evidence was presented showing the lengths Trump, and some in his inner circle, went through to push the "big lie" that the 2020 election was rigged. Today on Front Burner, the Washington Post's Aaron Blake — on the evidence, the unanswered questions and what it would take for a criminal indictment against the former president.
22/06/22·25m 43s

Crypto is crashing. Why?

After many months of hype, the cryptocurrency market is crashing. Last week, the trading and lending platform Celsius Network paused all withdrawals, citing extreme market conditions. Another trading platform, Coinbase, laid off nearly 20 per cent of its workforce warning of a potential extended "crypto winter." Some $2 trillion in value has been wiped out. Today, how that wipeout has been felt by one cryptocurrency investor. Plus, an explanation of why this crash is happening now, and what could be next, from New York Magazine business and economics reporter Kevin Dugan.
21/06/22·24m 27s