Front Burner

Front Burner

By CBC Podcasts

Your essential daily news podcast. We take you deep into the stories shaping Canada and the world.


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.
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

B.C.’s ‘staggering’ money laundering problem

B.C.’s ‘staggering’ money laundering problem
20/06/22·21m 12s

Front Burner Introduces: Someone Knows Something: The Abortion Wars

Host David Ridgen joins victims' family members as they investigate cold cases, tracking down leads, speaking to suspects and searching for answers. In Season 7 of Someone Knows Something, Ridgen and investigative journalist Amanda Robb dig into the 1998 murder of her uncle, a New York doctor killed for performing abortions. They uncover a network of anti-abortion movements linked to violence in North America and Europe. Twenty years later, with debates about reproductive rights heating up in the U.S., could more violence be on the horizon? More episodes are available at
18/06/22·33m 18s

Toronto police more likely to use force against people of colour, data suggests

Toronto police are more likely to use force against people of colour, especially Black residents, according to race-based data released this week. The internal data on use of force and strip searches from 2020 also showed Indigenous people were, proportionally, more likely than any other racial group to be strip-searched after being arrested. Some academics, journalists and activists have been saying for decades that systemic racism is a problem in policing. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, a researcher and sociologist at the University of Toronto, talks to Frontburner about the need for more transparency from police forces across the country on race-based data, and ultimately, more accountability for systemic racism in policing.
17/06/22·23m 39s

Did Google make conscious AI?

Earlier this week, Blake Lemoine, an engineer who works for Google’s Responsible AI department, went public with his belief that Google’s LaMDA chatbot is sentient. LaMDA, or Language Model for Dialogue Applications, is an artificial intelligence program that mimics speech and tries to predict which words are most related to the prompts it is given. While some experts believe that conscious AI is something that will be possible in the future, many in the field think that Lemoine is mistaken — and that the conversation he has stirred up about sentience takes away from the immediate and pressing ethical questions surrounding Google’s control over this technology and the ease at which people can be fooled by it. Today on Front Burner, cognitive scientist and author of Rebooting AI, Gary Marcus, discusses LaMDA, the trouble with testing for consciousness in AI and what we should really be thinking about when it comes to AI’s ever-expanding role in our day-to-day lives.
16/06/22·26m 24s

Jacob Hoggard and consent in Canada

On June 5, after six days of deliberation, a jury found former Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard guilty of sexually assaulting an Ottawa woman. The jury also acquitted Hoggard of sexually assaulting a fan who was 16 years old during a separate encounter, and of a sexual interference charge related to accusations he touched her when she was still 15. What happened in the jury room is a secret, but consent and the credibility of the accusers were key points in the proceedings. Today, a summary of what happened at the trial, and a conversation with lawyer Megan Stephens about the tensions that continue to exist between criminal justice and accusations of sexual assault. WARNING: This episode contains graphic allegations and details of sexual assault.
15/06/22·29m 38s

Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf controversy

Golf's new breakaway tour, LIV Golf, is throwing the world of golf into chaos. LIV held its first tournament this week and is gunning to eclipse the PGA — golf's premier association and gatekeeper for almost a century. LIV's mantra is "golf but louder." The organization is flashy, more visible on social media, and is promising to be a new way for players and fans to experience the traditionally stuffy sport. The tournament has lured in some big names, including Phil Mickleson, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson, with the promise of way more prize money. But it's also drawing a lot of controversy because it's financed by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. Today on Front Burner, we're talking to The Athletic's Brendan Quinn about LIV Golf and what it means for golf and the PGA.
14/06/22·27m 43s

Unpacking Canadian airport chaos

If you've been to an airport in Canada recently, there's a good chance you've dealt with more than your average level of chaos. Some of the issues include hours-long security lineups, delayed or cancelled flights, passengers stuck on the tarmac and major congestion at border security. Many say most of the blame falls on two short-staffed government security entities, but some have also pointed fingers at COVID-19 testing rules, airlines and even out-of-practice travellers. Today on Front Burner, we will try to get a better understanding of the mess in Canada's airports right now with the help of two guests. Rosa Saba is a business reporter with the Toronto Star who has been following this story over the past couple of months, and John Gradek is a faculty lecturer and program coordinator for the aviation management program at McGill University.
13/06/22·26m 18s

Front Burner Introduces: The Village Season Three - The Montreal Murders

In the early 1990s, as AIDS tightens its grip on major cities around the world, the relative safety of Montreal’s nightlife becomes a magnet for gay men. But when they start turning up dead in hotel rooms, beaten lifeless in city parks, and violently murdered in their own homes, the queer community has more to fear than the disease. While the city’s police force dithers over the presence of a serial killer, a group of queer activists starts making connections, and rises up to start a movement that would end up changing thousands of lives. Hosted by Francis Plourde. More episodes are available at
11/06/22·45m 49s

Solving the mysteries of long COVID

Shortness of breath, fatigue and brain fog. Those are just some of the symptoms that many COVID long-haulers are still facing, even months after they first caught the virus. According to studies on the condition, one-third of people who’ve had COVID-19 could develop long-term problems related to the virus. Today, Dr. Priya Duggal, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, talks about the research she’s doing into the impacts of long COVID, who’s most likely to get it and why some people don’t take it seriously.
10/06/22·24m 12s

The reality of intimate-partner violence in rural Canada

On Sept. 22, 2015 in Ontario's Renfrew County, Nathalie Warmerdam, Anastasia Kuzik, and Carol Culleton were all killed by the same man — Basil Borutski. All three women knew Borutski or were intimately involved with him for a period. Their murders became one of the worst cases of intimate-partner violence in Canada's history. Even though Borutski sits behind bars — with likely no chance of getting out — a coroner's inquest into the murders is finally taking place. A panel of experts, community members and advocates are examining what went wrong and trying to come up with ways to keep it from happening again. Renfrew County is a microcosm of a problem often faced by women experiencing intimate partner violence in rural communities. CBC News found one in four cases of intimate partner homicide was in a rural, remote or northern area of the country. Today on Front Burner, we talk to CBC Ottawa reporter Guy Quinneville from inside the hearings and Pam Cross, a lawyer and key witness in the inquest, about the bigger problem of domestic violence in rural communities.
09/06/22·23m 42s

Boris Johnson survives ‘partygate,’ for now

On Monday evening, the U.K. Conservative Party held a vote to determine whether it should oust its leader, Boris Johnson. More than 40 per cent of his own MPs voted against him. This, after a damning report from senior civil servant Sue Gray, which added to a long list of revelations about the so-called ‘partygate’ scandal. The report details several parties with dozens of participants, excess drinking and physical altercations at 10 Downing Street — all during the height of COVID-19 restrictions in Britain. Today, CBC foreign correspondent Chris Brown brings us up to speed on Johnson’s scandals, and what this vote means for his leadership moving forward.
08/06/22·20m 23s

Why conspiracies surround the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, and its annual summit for the rich and powerful in Davos, Switzerland, have long been targeted by criticism from the left. But since the start of the pandemic, the forum has become a huge concern for many people on the right, including those who view the WEF as shadowy puppet masters at the centre of a complex web of conspiracy theories. Today, journalist Justin Ling — host of the CBC podcasts The Flame Throwers and The Village — joins us to unpack many of those conspiracy theories, and examine the potential consequences of mainstream Canadian politicians amplifying suspicions about the organization.
07/06/22·26m 20s

Young Thug and lyrics on trial

Atlanta rappers Young Thug and Gunna are among 28 people that a U.S. grand jury indictment accuses of being part of a criminal street gang. The alleged members of the Young Slime Life gang are charged under Georgia's racketeering law known as RICO, which is similar to federal laws introduced in the 1970s to combat the mafia. The 56-count indictment includes allegations of murder and attempted armed robbery. Some of the evidence of gang activity cited by prosecutors are lyrics from artists like Young Thug. Today, journalist and commentator Jacques Morel discusses why prosecutors are bringing lyrics into courtrooms, and why the practice seems to target Black men and hip hop artists.
06/06/22·22m 23s

The millionaires on a mission to pay more taxes

Last week, political leaders and elite business people gathered at the World Economic Forum's annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss solutions to problems such as climate change, the war in Ukraine and the growing global food crisis. But outside, among the usual crowds of protestors, were some unusual participants: members of the wealthy one per cent. They're part of a growing movement that is calling on governments to impose wealth taxes on the world's richest people. Today, Front Burner talks to Morris Pearl, the former managing director at the investment firm BlackRock and current chair of the group Patriotic Millionaires, about why he wants to pay much more in taxes and why it could alleviate many of society's biggest problems if more rich people wanted to do the same.
03/06/22·20m 44s

Grief, outrage after killing of Punjabi music icon Sidhu Moose Wala

The wildly popular Punjabi artist Sidhu Moose Wala was a pioneer in his genre, fusing traditional folk sounds with contemporary rap and trap music. Sidhu shaped his career in Brampton, Ont., calling the city his second home. Through his rich, soul-filled melodies, and his socially conscious and sometimes politically charged lyrics, he gave Punjab's youth, and the youth of the Punjabi diaspora, a new way to connect to their roots. On Sunday, Sidhu was gunned down near his family's home in his home state of Punjab. There has since been an outpouring of grief and anger. Today, Jaskaran Sandhu, co-founder of Baaz News, takes us through Sidhu's life, legacy and the questions surrounding his death.
02/06/22·23m 4s

Why Quebec's new language law is stirring controversy

Bill 96, Quebec's newly adopted language law, is meant to protect the use of French in areas such as education, government services, courts and the workplace. But there has been a fierce backlash against it from some Indigenous communities, advocates for immigrants and refugees, business owners, and experts who say it infringes on an array of human and legal rights. Some analysts have criticized the Quebec government for invoking the notwithstanding clause, which allows provinces to override Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to pass the bill. That could help set the stage for a broader fight between Quebec and the federal government, they say. Today, Emilie Nicolas, a columnist with Le Devoir and the Montreal Gazette and host of Canadaland's French-language podcast Detours, walks us through some elements of the new law that critics find contentious.
01/06/22·26m 19s

Collecting evidence of war crimes in Ukraine

An enormous effort is underway to gather evidence of alleged war crimes by Russian forces in Ukraine. Investigators from the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are on the ground, collecting accounts of extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances and torture, among other abuses. Today, Belkis Wille, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, talks about what she and her team have found so far, and why she believes it’s important that “people around the world, those in power, but also citizens of Russia, can actually read about what this war looks like and what abuses are being perpetrated.” WARNING: This episode contains graphic content and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.
31/05/22·24m 51s

Everything is expensive. Why?

Inflation is obvious in Canada, but the reasons for it are a little more complicated. Prices at gas stations rose above $2 a litre in many parts of the country, while the cost of pasta is up 20 per cent at grocery stores. Canada’s official inflation rate hit a three-decade high in April, rising at a 6.8 per cent annual pace. But what’s behind these sticker-shocking prices can’t be explained by any one factor; the ongoing war in Ukraine, climate change and even some unprecedented monetary policy all contribute to the current situation. Today, CBC business reporter Pete Evans joins Front Burner to sort through the myriad reasons prices keep rising and why the current inflation in Canada doesn’t mean the federal COVID-19 stimulus was a mistake.
30/05/22·21m 43s

Texas, guns and America’s political paralysis

The gun debate in America is cycling through its usual motions in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas. Today on Front Burner, a look at the state of the U.S. government, and its unwillingness or inability to confront the large problems facing the country, from gun violence to climate change to income inequality. Canadian writer Stephen Marche's most recent book is called The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future. He thinks that the gun control debate is just one symptom of a wider disconnect that Americans, on both the left and the right, feel with their government. And he fears this is all heading in a dangerous direction.
27/05/22·23m 11s

A Sandy Hook mother on another school shooting

On Tuesday, an 18-year-old shooter barricaded himself in an elementary school classroom in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers. This, nearly 10 years after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In the years between the shootings, no meaningful national legislation on gun control has passed in the United States. Veronique De La Rosa's son Noah was the youngest victim at Sandy Hook. She tells Jayme Poisson that she had hoped what happened at her son's school would be a watershed, but that now, "it's become painfully obvious that thoughts and prayers are not the way out of every single one of these tragedies."
26/05/22·20m 14s

Monkeypox: Everything you need to know

Monkeypox was first detected in humans in 1970, but it has rarely spread beyond Central and West Africa, until now. As of Tuesday, 17 countries where the virus is not endemic have reported at least one case, including Canada. Given that COVID-19 is still a part of our day-to-day lives, the threat of another infectious disease spreading at a rapid rate feels unsettling at best. While there are many reasons to be aware of monkeypox, its symptoms and how it spreads, there are also plenty of reasons not to panic. Today on Front Burner, Dr. Boghuma Titanji, an infectious diseases doctor and scientist from Cameroon who is currently based at Emory University in Atlanta, delivers a primer on what you need to know about monkeypox. She also dispels some rumours about how it spreads and explains where we go from here.
25/05/22·22m 53s

How ‘carbon bombs’ could blow up climate action

A new investigation from the Guardian’s climate journalists shows that oil and gas investment continues globally on 195 projects that would each release more than one gigaton of carbon if the reserves were fully exploited. This, despite the fact that scientists say 60 per cent of oil and gas reserves will need to stay in the ground if we want to avoid heating the Earth by 1.5 C. If you add up all of the carbon that could be released from these oil and gas “carbon bombs,” Canada is in sixth place as one of the worst potential polluters. We’re home to nine sites that could release more than 27 gigatons of carbon. Canada is also home to three coal carbon bombs. Damian Carrington is the environment editor of the Guardian. He says the ongoing investment in these projects reveal an oil and gas industry that does not believe the world will achieve its climate goals.
24/05/22·22m 47s

Front Burner Introduces: Kuper Island

Kuper Island is an 8-part series that tells the stories of four students: three who survived and one who didn’t. They attended one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools – where unsolved deaths, abuse, and lies haunt the community and the survivors to this day. Hosted by Duncan McCue. More episodes are available at
23/05/22·32m 42s

A victory for equal pay in women’s soccer

On Wednesday, the United States Soccer Federation reached a landmark agreement that ensures the U.S. women’s and men’s national soccer teams are paid equally. The first of its kind, the deal puts an exclamation point on a wildly successful run for the U.S. women’s team, including four FIFA World Cup titles that date back to 1991 — and Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. But it only came about after a hard-fought battle led by the team’s star players. Today on Front Burner, staff writer at The Athletic Stephanie Yang is here to break down how that battle played out and what the result means for women’s sport around the world.
20/05/22·24m 53s

Jason Kenney resigns as UCP leader

He won a majority of his party’s support in the United Conservative Party leadership review, but it wasn’t enough for Jason Kenney to remain leader of the party he co-founded. Kenney stepped down last night after the results were announced, despite winning 51.4 percent of the vote, saying "it clearly is not adequate support to continue on as leader." Today, CBC Calgary Opinion producer and analyst Jason Markusoff walks us through Kenney’s spectacular fall from power and what this shocking result means for his party and the province of Alberta.
19/05/22·22m 18s

After the attack, a Black community in Buffalo grieves

On Saturday, a white gunman drove to the only supermarket in a predominantly Black area on the east side of Buffalo, N.Y. He shot 13 people — 11 Black, two white. Ten people died. Law enforcement officials have labelled the massacre a racially motivated hate crime. Many of those killed were pillars of a tight-knit community shaped by decades of segregation. Today on Front Burner, we talk to former Erie County legislator and former Buffalo city councillor, Betty Jean Grant, about how community members are trying to support one another through their grief and horror.
18/05/22·23m 37s

Can Canada cut ties with the monarchy?

This year is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which marks her 70 years on the throne and as our head of state. But as Elizabeth ages, she’s been stepping back and paving the way for her son, Charles, to become King. This week, Charles and his wife, Camilla, are coming to Canada — visiting St. John's, Ottawa and Yellowknife — on a trip they say will focus on Indigenous reconciliation and climate change. Today we’re exploring whether we should follow in the footsteps of other Commonwealth nations that have recently abolished the monarchy — notably, Barbados and Jamaica. According to a recent Angus Reid poll, 51 per cent of respondents said Canada should not remain a monarchy in coming generations. But abolishing the monarchy is a lot more complex than you might think. We’re talking about why that is with David Schneiderman, a law and political science professor at the University of Toronto, and Jordan Gray, a policy analyst with Indigenous Affairs Canada.
17/05/22·24m 10s

Controversial Michelin Guide comes to Canada

Right now, undercover inspectors from France’s prestigious Michelin Guide are visiting Canada for the first time, to decide if any of Toronto’s restaurants are worthy of a coveted Michelin Star. Getting that designation from the de facto gastronomical authority can propel a chef and their restaurant to stardom. But the Michelin Guide has also been plagued with allegations of bias, elitism, putting dangerous levels of strain on chefs, and ignoring how the workers making the food are treated. Today, food writers Nancy Matsumoto and Corey Mintz join us to hash out what the guide’s arrival in Canada could mean for a beleaguered industry — and whether it even matters.
16/05/22·23m 40s

How Shein dominates ultrafast fashion

Chinese fashion retailer Shein isn't just fast — it's ultrafast. The $100 billion company has captivated young shoppers by using social media to market its dirt-cheap clothing. However, despite all the success, not much is known about Shein's sales, supply chains or algorithms. Critics are now sounding the alarm over the environmental and social impact of Shein, and what its rise means for the future of fashion. Today, Vauhini Vara, a journalist who has written for the New Yorker, Wired and the Wall Street Journal, explains the alluring world of Shein, and what ultrafast fashion means for the planet.
13/05/22·34m 59s

Conservative leadership candidates spar in debate

Last night, six Conservative leadership hopefuls squared off in the first official debate of the race. Conservative MPs Pierre Poilievre, Leslyn Lewis and Scott Aitchison; former Quebec premier Jean Charest; Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown; and Ontario MPP Roman Baber shared the stage – and while they’re all supposed to be playing for the same team, things still got a bit scrappy. Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos was in Edmonton for the event and she joins Jayme Poisson to recap the night.
12/05/22·23m 18s

Canada’s Jeopardy! superchamp: Mattea Roach

Mattea Roach's 23-game winning streak on Jeopardy! is both an intellectual feat and the quiz show at its most entertaining. The Canadian superchamp responded to countless topics with 92 per cent accuracy, netting $560,983 US in winnings. But the 23-year-old also narrowly triumphed in a number of neck-and-neck games, brought personable quips and commentary to an often straightlaced stage and was visibly having fun in even the most high-pressure situations. Roach's winning streak ended with a $1 loss in Friday's episode of Jeopardy!. Today, she joins us to explain why her life felt directionless before getting the invitation, what she discovered about herself on set and why the show has become an intellectual institution.
11/05/22·22m 0s

Poison, pranks, prison: The making of ‘Navalny’

When Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist, was poisoned in 2020, he was relocated to Germany to recover. While he was there, he teamed up with a Bulgarian data-journalist named Christo Grozev, who claimed he had figured out who was behind the assassination attempt. Together, using advanced prank call technology, they managed to get an admission of guilt from a member of the team tasked with poisoning Navalny. There to capture it all was Canadian documentarian Daniel Roher. The resulting film, Navalny, is an up-close look at Navalny’s final months as a free man. Today on Front Burner, a conversation with Roher on what it was like to document Russia’s most famous political opposition leader as he recovered from an assassination attempt and made the decision to return to the country he wants to lead.
10/05/22·24m 2s

Lessons from Ireland’s abortion battle

If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade, 13 states have already passed what are known as "trigger" bans which automatically ban abortion. While it is still unclear if the leaked draft opinion represents the court's final word on the matter, as many as half of U.S. states are expected to bring in restrictions in the future should it be struck down. Meanwhile, some predominantly Catholic countries have recently made moves once thought impossible: legalizing or expanding abortion access. Today on Front Burner, a look at the long road to legal abortion in Ireland and the tragic impacts bans have had on generations of women. Caelainn Hogan is a freelance journalist based in Ireland and the author of Republic of Shame: Stories from Ireland's Institutions for 'Fallen Women'.
09/05/22·21m 51s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: Why the U.K. is outsourcing its refugees

The U.K.'s plan to send refugees on a one-way trip to Rwanda is causing outrage. In a controversial, multimillion-pound deal, the British government will send some asylum seekers to Rwanda instead of allowing them to stay in the U.K. This plan marks a major shift in how refugees are treated and could have a far-reaching implications for the rest of Europe — and for thousands of refugees fleeing war and persecution. This week, Nothing is Foreign explains how the deal works, why thousands of lives could be in jeopardy, why some are calling this immigration policy "neo-colonialism" and why critics say Rwanda isn't a safe haven. Featuring: Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action. Theogene Rudasingwa, former Rwandan ambassador to the U.S.
07/05/22·29m 43s

Lifting the Leafs’ losing curse

In a record-breaking 2021-22 NHL season, Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews scored more goals than any other Leaf in history, and the team finished with more wins than in any other season. But for some fans, those accomplishments will only make the loss even more painful if the Leafs can’t succeed in the playoffs. The Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, and haven’t won a single playoff series since 2004. Toronto is now tied 1-1 in its first-round series against the defending Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, after one decisive win and one wildly uneven loss. Today, a staple of the Maple Leafs fandom joins us to explain the modern history of Leafs losses, and why his growing frustration has given way to greater optimism than ever. Steven Glynn — better known as Steve Dangle — is the host of a podcast, Sportsnet live streams and a YouTube channel that’s been reacting to the Leafs for 15 seasons.
06/05/22·26m 10s

Will Ontarians choose Doug Ford again?

The rising cost of living and the lack of affordable housing are key issues in Ontario’s provincial election campaign which officially began this week. Another big issue is how voters feel about Progressive Conservative leader and incumbent Doug Ford. While Ford’s handling of the pandemic is likely to be part of what makes up the minds of voters, it is just one factor in who will form the next government. Today on Front Burner, we talk to Mike Crawley, the CBC’s Ontario provincial affairs reporter about what will sway Ontario voters.
05/05/22·24m 39s

Underground abortion groups in post-Roe America

An unprecedented leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court decision suggested plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that enshrined abortion rights across the country in 1973. If Roe v. Wade is reversed, abortion could be banned in as many as 26 states, some starting almost immediately. Today on Front Burner, we talk to journalist and Nomadland author Jessica Bruder about the networks of underground abortion providers and what comes next for people seeking help.
04/05/22·26m 13s

Why people are bailing on Netflix

For the first time in more than a decade, Netflix announced it has lost 200,000 subscribers globally, and the company says it may lose as many as two million more in the months ahead. But that loss doesn't just signal a change in how Netflix does business — it has ripple effects on streaming services everywhere and sends a strong message about how and what we want to watch. Today on Front Burner, we talk to Alex Weprin, media and business writer with The Hollywood Reporter about how the streaming wars could affect what you'll be watching next.
03/05/22·21m 0s

Live music is back, but touring is risky

Touring is often an essential aspect of a musician's career — perhaps now more than ever. Some bands rely on performance income because streaming plays net fractional pay, while for others it might be the only way they grow their audience. And while many COVID-19 restrictions have ended and music fans are flocking to stages, the virus is still making this very exposed way of life even more challenging. Today on Front Burner, producer Derek Vanderwyk speaks to independent musicians — including Charlotte Cornfield, Daniel Monkman and Zack Mykula — about the challenges of going on tour in 2022.
02/05/22·24m 7s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: The music Egypt doesn't want you to hear

Starting in the mid-2000s, a pulsing fusion of EDM, rap and Egyptian folk – known as Mahraganat – has risen from the streets of Cairo and become a worldwide phenomenon. But Egypt's authorities are now cracking down on the music and the artists creating it, saying it's immoral and corrupting young people. We take you inside the culture and class wars of Egypt and explore what the banning of popular music says about the African country's image and its future. Featuring: Mahmoud Refat, music producer and executive of 100Copies Music. Fady Adel, Egyptian culture journalist.
30/04/22·24m 1s

Betting boom: Online gambling blows up

If you've tuned into the NBA playoffs, it seems like every second ad is for sports betting websites. That's because Canada recently made single-game betting legal, and in Ontario private companies like Bet365, BetMGM and FanDuel are allowed to operate in this multi-billion dollar industry. This booming business has seen companies partner with broadcasters, other media companies and celebrities to promote their platforms. But experts are worried that no one is looking after the betters. Today on Front Burner we talk to John Holden, an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, and an expert on the sports betting industry.
29/04/22·28m 21s

Trouble in the Magic Kingdom: Florida vs. Disney

Disney got into a battle with Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis over a recently passed education bill that critics call the "Don't Say Gay" law. After Disney's CEO spoke out against it, state lawmakers revoked the theme park's special tax status that it has held for more than half a century. Today on Front Burner, New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes explains how this became the latest flash point in America's ongoing culture wars.
28/04/22·24m 37s

Twitter enters the Elon Musk era

After two weeks of twists and turns, Elon Musk — CEO of Tesla, richest person on Earth, and a self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist" — has acquired Twitter for $44 billion US. The move has been cheered by some, and raised concerns among others that Musk may remove controls on the platform meant to clamp down on hate speech and harassment. Today, we speak to Kari Paul, a technology reporter for the Guardian US, about what it means for the mercurial billionaire to hold the reins of one of the world's most influential social media sites.
27/04/22·26m 45s

The next phase of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine

The port city of Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine, once home to around 400,000, has been effectively reduced to rubble by Russian forces, which have battered the city and surrounded its steel plant, where women and children are still trapped. A battered but stubborn force of Ukrainian soldiers is still holding out, made up of members of the Azov Battalion, a far-right group that has become part of Ukraine's armed forces. After Ukraine's early success in the north, especially its defence of the capital Kyiv, Russia has shifted its brutal campaign to other parts of the country. Today on Front Burner, we're talking to the Wall Street Journal's European security correspondent James Marson on Russia's changing tactics 61 days into its war with Ukraine — and what could happen next.
26/04/22·22m 44s

Inside a Pierre Poilievre Conservative leadership rally

It's still early in the Conservative leadership race, but candidate Pierre Poilievre seems to have momentum. He's drawing big crowds at rallies across the country with promises to make Canada "the freest country on Earth." Front Burner producer Allie Jaynes introduces you to some of the people who attended a Toronto event last week, and CBC Politics senior reporter Catherine Cullen gives context around those crowds and how Poilievre's brand of populism compares to past candidates.
25/04/22·35m 37s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: What’s at stake for Muslims in the French election

France is electing a new president this weekend — and once again the culture war over Islam is front and centre. Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate, has proposed a ban on Muslim women wearing headscarves in public, and she's in striking distance of upsetting Emmanuel Macron, France's current centrist president. With the debate over French identity and rampant Islamaphobia flaring up again, Nothing is Foreign host Tamara Khandaker speaks with guest, Rim-Sarah Alouane, a French legal scholar, who says it's "draining" to feel as a French Muslim that "you are never enough." So what does this moment mean for Western Europe's largest Muslim population? And just how close is France to the brink of a far-right future? Featuring: Rim-Sarah Alouane, a French legal scholar and civil liberties expert.
23/04/22·28m 9s

U.S. espionage trial looms for Julian Assange

In 2010, Julian Assange uploaded hundreds of thousands of U.S. intelligence documents to WikiLeaks, the website he co-founded. Twelve years, an array of allegations in the U.S. and Sweden, and an extended stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London later, a British judge has now approved his extradition to the U.S. to face spying charges. The order has been sent to the U.K. home secretary for final approval. Today, The Guardian reporter Ben Quinn joins us to explain how British courts arrived at this order, what recourse remains for Assange, and the chilling precedent his supporters fear an extradition could set.
22/04/22·21m 52s

Follow the money: A Freedom Convoy update

It's been two months since police cleared out the trucks and protesters who'd been occupying the streets around Parliament Hill. Several of the key figures involved in the convoy protests are in custody or out on bail, waiting for their trials to begin. Millions in donations have been seized, repaid or spent, but almost $8 million have not been accounted for. And many people in Ottawa — and across the country — are still waiting for answers and accountability. CBC Ottawa reporter David Fraser has been following the money and the latest from court. He fills us in on what we know now about how this protest became so entrenched.
21/04/22·25m 20s

Tactics or trolling: Elon Musk's play for Twitter

Elon Musk, the world's richest person, is making a play to take over Twitter. It's a platform he dominates already with 82 million followers. The bold but unconventional tactics he's employed are on brand for Musk; part tech billionaire, part internet troll. Today on Front Burner, we're talking to the Washington Post's Will Oremus about Musk's latest endeavour, some of his past controversies and whether it's even possible to hold the world's richest man to account.
20/04/22·31m 13s

Presidency within far-right’s grasp in France

On Sunday, French citizens will go to the polls to choose their next president. They have two choices: incumbent Emmanuel Macron, who is seen by many to have handled crises, like the pandemic, well but has struggled to shake the perception that he is out of touch and elitist. Or, longtime far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who has worked hard to reimagine her party, even though many of the core ideas — especially about immigration reform — remain. Some polls have the pair only a few percentage points apart — much closer than when they faced off in 2017. Sarah White, a Paris correspondent for The Financial Times, joins us to discuss why the race is so tight, and what it could mean if Le Pen wins.
19/04/22·21m 14s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: United in protest, Sri Lankans fight a political dynasty

Economically, Sri Lanka is on fire. Residents are dealing with ballooning food costs, hours-long lineups for fuel and power blackouts that last half the day. The country is facing record inflation and unemployment, the likes of which haven't been seen in 74 years. But the crisis has united a nation that's long been divided along ethnic and religious lines — all to oust the political family they blame for the disaster. This week on Nothing is Foreign, we hear from Sri Lankans who explain how their country landed in a $51-billion debt hole and the island nation's unprecedented protests. Featuring: Aritha Wickramasinghe, lawyer and human rights activist. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo.
18/04/22·30m 45s

The chaotic search for the Nova Scotia mass shooter

Nearly two years ago, denturist Gabriel Wortman, in a fake police cruiser and uniform, terrorized rural Nova Scotia and killed 22 people. Looking for answers, a public inquiry is now connecting the dots between how the killer evaded RCMP and the chaotic situation officers faced on the ground. For weeks, the Mass Casualty Commission has shared its findings, revealed critical documents, and gathered public testimony from witnesses. Today on Front Burner we hear RCMP testimony about how officers constantly felt a step behind the gunman – and how they eventually ended the rampage. CBC Nova Scotia reporter Elizabeth McMillan joins us to explain what happened on April 18 and 19, 2020 and what's still to come from the commission. (This episode originally played a clip that was misattributed. We've corrected the error.)
15/04/22·30m 25s

Etsy sellers go on 'strike'

Etsy wants a place among the giants of online commerce. The handmade and vintage item marketplace has seen sales explode during the pandemic, doubling since 2019 and passing $12 billion US last year. CEO Josh Silverman says it's competing to be "the starting point for your e-commerce journey." But some of the creators and sellers on Etsy say, amid this growth, the site has been shrinking their profits and devaluing their labour. Thousands of sellers are on what they call a "strike" this week, pausing their shops to protest growing fees. Today, a conversation with an organizer behind the effort, Gothic and Victorian dress- and costume-maker Kristi Cassidy.
14/04/22·23m 22s

Life under lockdown in Shanghai

For weeks, most of Shanghai’s 26 million residents haven’t been able to leave their apartments, due to a strict lockdown meant to curb a massive COVID-19 outbreak. There have been reports of food and medicine shortages, of unsanitary conditions in the city’s giant quarantine facilities, and of authorities forcibly separating parents from children who test positive. All of which is leading to rare public displays of anger against the government. Today, Reuters reporter Engen Tham joins us to explain what life has been like in Shanghai, why China is sticking to its “dynamic zero COVID” strategy, and where things could go from here.
13/04/22·26m 24s

Ivanka Trump, missing call logs and the Jan. 6 inquiry

Almost nine months ago, an investigation was launched into the Jan. 6 insurrection, and recently some of the people closest to Donald Trump have testified, including his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. But after hearing from more than 800 witnesses a few key questions remain — will the former U.S. president be called to testify? What happened to almost eight hours of missing phone records? Will this now move to the Department of Justice? Today on Front Burner, we talk to congressional reporter for Politico, Nicholas Wu, on the major revelations of this committee so far, what’s left to learn and where it all goes from here.
12/04/22·27m 54s

Jason Kenney’s political future on the line

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney addressed United Conservative Party members at a special general meeting on Saturday and made his pitch to stay on as party leader. UCP members can begin voting via mail-in ballot on the future of Kenney’s leadership this week, with results expected May 18. But the lead-up to this vote has been rife with party infighting. Today, Maclean's Alberta correspondent Jason Markusoff explains what’s preceded this leadership review, the discontent within the UCP and why Kenney may have reason to be concerned regardless of the outcome next month.
11/04/22·22m 2s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: Why the Global South refuses to sanction Russia

If you're sitting in the West, listening to Western politicians, the Ukraine-Russia war has a pretty clear narrative: Russia is the aggressor and should be sanctioned to the fullest extent, in solidarity with Ukraine. But how does the rest of the world view this war? Much of the Global South and some of the most powerful nations in the world, like China, India and Brazil, don't see the war in black and white. They're refusing to sanction or officially condemn Russia over the invasion. Why aren't they taking a side and what does that mean for how this war can end? This week on Nothing is Foreign, we speak with two geopolitical experts on the tightrope these countries are walking and whether we're witnessing a reordering of power among the biggest players on the world stage. Featuring: Swapna Kona Nayudu, associate at the Harvard University Asia Center and Indian foreign policy expert. Chidochashe Nyere, post-doctoral research fellow at the Institute of Pan-African Thought and Conversation at the University of Johannesburg.
09/04/22·26m 55s

Liberals unveil slimmer federal budget

The Liberals’ new budget doesn’t come with the hefty price tag of last year’s plan for pandemic recovery. But it isn’t thrifty either, pledging about $31.2 billion in net new spending over the next five years — mainly for housing, defence, and climate change. Today, CBC’s host of Power and Politics Vassy Kapelos joins us to break down the big-ticket items in the government's new spending plan, and look at whether it will help make life more affordable for Canadians.
08/04/22·22m 4s

The former worker who pushed for an Amazon union, and won

Last week, a group of current and former Amazon workers in New York’s Staten Island accomplished what some of the biggest unions in the United States could not: they organized Amazon’s first successful union vote in the country. The battle isn’t over yet: in a statement, Amazon said it is weighing whether to file objections. But today, we speak to Chris Smalls, interim president of the newly-formed Amazon Labor Union, about how he sparked a movement that succeeded where others have failed — and where that movement is headed next.
07/04/22·23m 35s

How Viktor Orbán is reshaping Hungary

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party won their fourth consecutive victory in Sunday’s election, even after a historic effort by opposition parties to come together and defeat the autocratic leader. Today, Justin Spike, Budapest Correspondent for the Associated Press, explains how Orbán has held onto power, changed Hungary, and what his latest victory could mean for the future.
06/04/22·26m 13s

The 'radical pragmatist' behind Canada's new climate plan

Long before federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault was leading the file in Canada's fight against the climate crisis, he was an activist — some might even say a radical one, most famous for scaling the CN tower in 2001 to bring attention to climate change. Now, he's the architect of the Liberals' latest plan to dramatically curb greenhouse gas emissions. It's Guilbeault's first big move in his new role, and it's getting a lot of attention — by those who think it goes too far, and those who think it doesn't go far enough. Today on Front Burner, we're talking to environmental writer Arno Kopecky about Guilbeault, the move from activist to politician and how his new climate plan measures up to expectations.
05/04/22·25m 26s

New allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine cast shadow over talks

Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine met in Turkey last week to discuss an end to the ongoing hostilities. Since then, Russian attacks have continued and Ukraine has brought forward new allegations of atrocities committed by Russian troops. Disturbing images have emerged from Bucha, a town outside Kyiv, showing charred streets and bodies left in the open. Residents say civilians were killed by Russian troops, and Ukraine’s foreign minister has called it a “deliberate massacre.” BBC diplomatic correspondent Paul Adams joins Front Burner to explain the latest out of the war in Ukraine, what’s on the negotiating table and whether a deal is possible amidst the devastation.
04/04/22·22m 8s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: Jamaica’s fight for slavery reparations

The demands are growing in Jamaica to get Britain to pay up and offer reparations for slavery. Anti-monarchy sentiments, protests and calls for reparations made for an uncomfortable visit for Prince William and Kate through the Caribbean last week. Jamaica's prime minister said the Commonwealth realm is looking to "move on" from the monarchy and become an independent republic. One of its most urgent demands — reparations for slavery — has been decades in the making but is now gaining momentum as more Jamaicans say the intergenerational trauma of slavery has shaped the nation in a way that must be rectified. This week, Nothing is Foreign takes a closer look at Jamaica's push for reparations, the long legacy of resistance against colonialism in the country, and the Royal Family's connection to the slave trade. Featuring: Matthew J. Smith, professor of history and director of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery. Bert Samuels, lawyer and member of Jamaica's Reparations Council.
02/04/22·28m 16s

In Rome, Indigenous delegates push for papal accountability

This week, First Nations, Métis and Inuit delegations from Canada travelled to the Vatican to share stories of the impact of church-run residential schools on their communities with Pope Francis and to call for an official apology from the very top of the Catholic Church for abuses committed at the schools, up to 70 per cent of which were run by the church. They got one. Pope Francis apologized on Friday for the conduct of some members of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada's residential school system. "It's chilling to think of determined efforts to instill a sense of inferiority, to rob people of their cultural identity, to sever their roots," he said. "This is something that unfortunately, and at various levels, still happens today — that is, ideological colonization. "All this has made me feel two things very strongly — indignation and shame." Journalist Brandi Morin joins us from Rome after listening closely this week to Indigenous leaders, youth and religious figures. She explains what delegates hope these meetings will lead to — and why they are only the start of reconciliation with the church.
01/04/22·20m 50s

Choose your fighter: The F-35 saga

After years of delays, Canada is upgrading its air force and replacing its fleet of aging CF-18 fighters with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II — a jet the Liberals once vowed they would never buy. The stealth fighter jet has long been touted as the future of aerial warfare, but the debate over buying a fleet has dragged on for more than a decade, starting under the Harper government. On the campaign trail in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the F-35 would be a "nightmare" for Canadian taxpayers. Today on Front Burner, we talk to Ottawa Citizen's Defence Reporter David Pugliese about why, after disavowing the F-35 fighter jet, the Liberals have decided to launch negotiations to buy 88 of them at an expected cost of $19-billion.
31/03/22·22m 50s

Convoy fallout: Ontario politician faces charges

Randy Hillier, a longtime member of Ontario’s legislature, is facing nine charges related to his participation in the Ottawa trucker convoy — and they could lead to jail time. Hillier’s protests against public health restrictions and spreading of misinformation about vaccines have also gotten him banned from Twitter and barred from speaking in the legislature. Today, we speak to CBC reporter Mike Crawley about how the long-standing Ontario politician became a high-profile voice in Canada’s anti-vaccine movement, and the trouble he finds himself in now.
30/03/22·20m 40s

Turf wars and disaster tourists: a refugee field clinic’s struggle

Medical workers from across Canada have volunteered and even paid their own way to provide aid to refugees at the Ukrainian border, taking a mission with disaster relief group Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT). The journey to set up a field clinic, however, has met unexpected obstacles from thieves, “disaster tourists” and organizational turf wars. Freelance journalist and former CBC reporter Margo McDiarmid spent five days with the team from CMAT as they persevered to deliver aid and grappled with the decision to enter a country at war. Today, she brings us the stories of the CMAT volunteers and refugees entering Poland.
29/03/22·26m 3s

As war in Ukraine rages, assessing the nuclear risk

A nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought,” warned NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last Wednesday. It’s a prospect that many in Canada haven’t had to consider since the end of the Cold War, but experts say the risk hasn't disappeared. A few weeks ago, Front Burner did an episode about no-fly zones, and how some experts argue that the U.S. shouldn’t enforce one in Ukraine because it could lead to an escalation that could put Russia and the United States, two nuclear powers, in direct conflict. Today, guest host Jason D’Souza speaks with nuclear weapons expert Tom Collina about the state of these major powers’ nuclear arsenals and the destruction they could cause. Collina, the director of policy at the Ploughshares Fund, says nuclear weapons are enabling Russia to “take Ukraine hostage and keep other nations out.
28/03/22·26m 29s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: How Chelsea FC’s sanctions raise questions of ethical sports ownership

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has delivered unprecedented success for his team, London's Chelsea Football Club, in the English Premier League. But with sanctions tightening around Abramovich, who is on the list of those deemed to be enabling Russian President Vladimir Putin in his war against Ukraine, the team's finances and ethics are under the microscope. And that scrutiny levelled at Abramovich has expanded to other Premier League clubs that are owned by countries with questionable human rights records, leaving fans and its millions of viewers around the world asking what team they're really supporting. Does the blinding gleam of trophies cover up bigger, darker and more complicated questions about ethical ownership in sports? This week, Nothing is Foreign looks into how oligarchs and countries have used "sportswashing" to launder their reputations, the tentacles that extend from England into Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and beyond, and the reckoning underway at the highest levels of sports and business. Note, this episode contains explicit language. Featuring: Mayowa Quadri, editorial officer at Versus and Chelsea FC supporter. Ben Jacobs, sports journalist and producer, CBS Sports.
26/03/22·36m 24s

Anti-trans bills sweep the U.S.

Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered child protective services to investigate parents of transgender youth seeking gender-affirming care. Even going so far as to say that this care should be categorized as “child abuse.” Abbot’s directive, although not actually law, was an alarming consequence of a rise of anti-trans bills being proposed at the state level across the U.S. In Alabama, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a doctor to provide gender-affirming care to minors. Today on Front Burner, Gillian Branstetter gets into the importance of gender-affirming care, and the impact of blocking trans youth from safely accessing it. We also explore the forces behind this Republican-led movement, and the kind of effort an opposition needs to mount to counter it.
25/03/22·29m 18s

A WNBA star, detained in Russia

For more than a month, one of the biggest women’s basketball stars in the world has been detained in Russia. Russian officials are alleging that Brittney Griner, a centre for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, brought cannabis oil into the country. Much remains unknown about Griner’s case — including whether there’s any evidence to those charges. But with Russia continuing its war in Ukraine, the timing could hardly be worse. Today, ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn joins us to talk about Griner’s detention, why so many WNBA stars go to Russia and the heated debate over whether talking more about Griner’s case would harm her — or help bring her home.
24/03/22·25m 11s

Will the Liberal-NDP marriage end in divorce?

According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an unstable world demands a stable Canadian Parliament. Trudeau pointed to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and financial and trade woes yesterday, before announcing a “confidence-and-supply” deal between the Liberals and NDP. Essentially, in exchange for moving forward on NDP policy priorities, the NDP will back the Trudeau government in votes that could defeat it until June of 2025. But the opposition Conservatives are already decrying the deal as a “power grab.” NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says the deal will end if the Liberals don’t hold up their end of the bargain. Questions remain about whether the agreement can create any kind of lasting stability, and whether it safeguards — or jeopardizes — the parties’ future influence. Today, a look at how this deal changes Canada’s political landscape with the reporter who broke the story, Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos
23/03/22·22m 25s

The state of Russia’s war in Ukraine

It’s been almost a month since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The UN Human Rights Office says at least 902 civilians have been killed between Feb. 24 and March 19, but warns that the real death toll is actually considerably higher as it has not yet verified numbers from several badly hit cities, including the besieged Mariupol. Still, as the war rages on, the capital Kyiv and much of the rest of the country remains in Ukrainian control. Today, the Wall Street Journal’s European security correspondent James Marson explains the state of Russia’s war in Ukraine now, where Russian forces have advanced, and the strength of the Ukrainian resistance.
22/03/22·23m 23s

The convoy left, but tensions remain

In February, as a massive trucker convoy rolled into Ottawa to protest COVID-19 mandates, another convoy set up outside the tiny town of Coutts, Alta., where protesters paralyzed a major U.S.-Canada border crossing for over two weeks. A month after those blockades were finally dismantled, CBC reporter Joel Dryden travelled to Coutts to look at the lasting rifts the protests created among residents — and why, even with most mandates now lifted across Canada, some protesters are staying put.
21/03/22·31m 9s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: South Korea’s ‘K-Trump’ gives voice to growing anti-feminist movement

South’s Korea incoming president, Yoon Suk Yeol, demonizes feminism, blames women for the country’s low birth rate and denies the existence of gender inequality. His campaign — which capitalized on the politics of grievance — has drawn comparisons to former U.S. president Donald Trump. So much so that he is also known as K-Trump. This week, on Nothing is Foreign, we hear from the women who are fighting for their voices, rights and safety and explore the roots of the country’s anti-feminist movement. Featuring: Jieun Choi, South Korean journalist. Haein Shim, artist and activist of Seoul-based feminist group Haeil.
19/03/22·32m 47s

Oligarchs, Putin and Russian power

Russia’s elite class of billionaire oligarchs have become major targets for Western sanctions over the war on Ukraine. Last week, Canada announced it was freezing assets and banning business from Russian figures including Roman Abramovich, who has been ordered to sell his Chelsea Football Club in the United Kingdom. The U.K. and European Union have taken similar measures against Abramovich and others, and the U.S. has convened a multilateral task force dedicated to sanctioning these elites. But while oligarchs traditionally wield outsized political influence in Russia, President Vladimir Putin has consolidated power over his decades in leadership. Questions remain about whether Russian billionaires — however incensed by the limits placed on their Western-style lives of excess — can pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war. Today, Forbes’ John Hyatt uses his experience on the billionaire beat to explain where the oligarchs’ wealth comes from, and what Western pressure on their wallets could mean for Putin.
18/03/22·23m 27s

The fight for ‘climate change reparations’

The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is scathing: it lays out the stark divide between rich and poor nations’ ability to withstand global warming’s worst effects. This, just months after COP26 in Glasgow, where many delegates and activists were asking rich nations most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions to pay for the losses and damages that many developing nations are already experiencing from climate change. Demands for a specific compensation fund were not met. Today, Canadian human rights lawyer Payam Akhavan is here to explain how some small island nations are looking at how they can use international law to make rich countries pay up. He’s a senior fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto, and a former UN war crimes prosecutor who has served on tribunals investigating genocide in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Now, he’s helped establish the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law, and is serving as the group’s legal counsel.
17/03/22·25m 37s

Conservatives are sick of losing. Who can win?

It’s been three straight election losses for the Conservative Party of Canada, and now three consecutive races to find a new leader. MPs booted Erin O’Toole as leader last month after he failed to best Justin Trudeau in an unpopular 2021 election. Now, the race to replace him as leader is underway, with the first week of the race marked by attacks, ideology and differing tactics for how to return the party to power. Five candidates have put their names in so far: Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, former Quebec premier Jean Charest, Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis and independent Ontario MPP Roman Baber. Today, Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos returns with an overview of the candidates, their strategies and what’s at stake for the party beyond just winning.
16/03/22·27m 15s

The risks of a no-fly zone over Ukraine

Russia is stepping up its bombing campaign against Ukraine. So for weeks, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has been making a desperate plea to the United States and its NATO allies to impose a “no-fly zone” over the country — to keep Russian warplanes out of the sky. But a no-fly zone hinges on the notion that if a Russian plane violates the terms, it will be shot down. And the idea of entering into armed combat with a nuclear power is a clear and potentially catastrophic risk for Western leaders. This week, Zelensky is planning a virtual address to Canada’s House of Commons and the U.S. Congress, in the hopes of winning more support in his country’s fight against Putin’s military. Today on Front Burner, we speak to University of British Columbia’s Allen Sens about the case for and against a “no-fly zone,” whether there’s a red line in this war, and the ways in which it could escalate.
15/03/22·26m 13s

Canada’s rental crisis

Rents in Canada are skyrocketing, and tenants are struggling to keep up. One in three Canadian households rent, and yet much of the public conversation around Canada’s housing crisis focuses on homebuyers. Today on Front Burner, Shaina Luck brings us her investigation for the Fifth Estate into Canada’s rental crisis: what’s driving prices up, the role of institutional landlords, and the absence of government action.
14/03/22·26m 5s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: How Russia is selling the war on Ukraine

Peering inside Russia – and it’s complex web of state propaganda – presents a very different view of the war in Ukraine and who the real victims are. As nations around the world condemn Russia’s invasion, many within Russia are supporting Russian president Vladimir Putin. How is Putin selling the war to the Russian people? Will thousands of anti-war protesters challenging the Kremlin make a difference to the government? This week, Nothing is Foreign takes you inside the alternate reality being created by Russian state propaganda, explores how fear and new laws have choked off dissenting voices and listen in on the difficult conversations between a Ukrainian son and a Russian father in the war over disinformation. Featuring: Alexey Kovalev, investigative editor of Meduza. Sergey Utkin, researcher and head of strategic assessment at Primakov Institute of World Economy and International relations. Misha Katsurin, Kyiv resident and creator of Yulia Zhivtsova, anti-war protester in Moscow.
12/03/22·31m 47s

What a ban on Russian oil means for Canada

Oil prices in Canada skyrocketed this week as sanctions on Russian energy effectively shut the world’s third largest oil supplier out of the market following its invasion of Ukraine. The United States and the United Kingdom moved to ban Russian oil imports. Even the European Union, Russia’s biggest oil customer, announced its plan to slash Russian oil imports by two-thirds this year. Although Canada has never really relied on Russian oil, the impact of sky-high oil prices is already being felt in Canada, as prices at the pumps remain at record highs across the country. It’s forcing a moment of reckoning inside Canada’s oilpatch, an industry facing a choice — transition away from fossil fuels or ramp up production. Today on Front Burner, we speak with CBC’s Kyle Bakx about the fork in the road for Canada’s energy future.
11/03/22·23m 11s

How Putin is weaponizing Ukraine's far-right fringe

As he declared his war on Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin made an odd promise to a country with a Jewish president and an annual Pride parade: He said he was doing this to "de-Nazify" the country. Sam Sokol, a reporter with Israeli newspaper Haaretz, was taken back to a time moments eight years ago — when Russian media advanced fictitious stories about Jewish communities targeted in Ukraine, around the time that Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula. Sokol is the author of Putin's Hybrid War and the Jews: Antisemitism, Propaganda, and the Displacement of Ukrainian Jewry. He has covered Ukrainian far-right movements in depth — and explained how those groups have been weaponized by Russian propaganda to legitimize the mass violence we are seeing today. He's joining us to separate Putin's rhetoric from Ukraine's reality, and to break down what all this means for Ukrainian Jewish communities.
10/03/22·24m 42s

Some good news on COVID-19 in Canada

As pandemic restrictions continue to lift across the country, we’re joined by Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, for a look at where we are with COVID-19 in Canada, and how to weigh the risk factors for yourself. (And we promise — there’s plenty of good news!)
09/03/22·23m 31s

The Ukrainians fleeing and resisting in Lviv

In a flash, a view of Ukrainian civilians fleeing down a street in Irpin becomes only concrete dust. The scene captured in a video Sunday shows a mortar shell falling in the street, killing three family members and a family friend — including two children. This is the kind of danger looming over the people of Ukraine. Some have decided to leave their homes and loved ones behind to risk an escape. Others who must stay are helping to ready a resistance to the overwhelming Russian military power. CBC senior correspondent Susan Ormiston is in the city of Lviv in Western Ukraine, where she’s been talking to Ukrainians, both those who are fleeing and those getting ready to fight. Today, she brings us to a train station, a border crossing, a bomb shelter and a barricade, and explains how Ukrainians have made these impossible choices — if they had any choice at all.
08/03/22·23m 12s

The information war in Ukraine

A new battlefield in Ukraine has opened up as each side fights to control the narrative of the ongoing war. Some experts say Ukraine and its allies are winning the information war by implementing a multifaceted strategy that includes pushing David and Goliath stories – even ones that may not be true – and creating a phone line where Russian parents can check in on their conscripted sons. On the other side, Russia – a country known for its relative success in shaping international media narratives – is clamping down. Today on Front Burner, Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow with the New America think tank, takes us to the front lines of the information war and explains why this fight matters.
07/03/22·24m 27s

Bonus | Nothing is Foreign: Compassion, hypocrisy and racism in the Ukrainian refugee crisis

More than a million people have fled Ukraine into countries to the west, as Russian attacks continue. The refugee crisis has spurred an outpouring of international support, as neighbouring European countries open their borders and homes. But the support this time is strikingly different from how some countries have responded to refugees from other conflicts — like Syria and Iraq — who were kept out, in some cases with violence. The distinction is especially stark, after stories have emerged of some Black and Asian refugees fleeing Ukraine facing violence, harassment and racism at the border. This week on Nothing is Foreign, CBC’s new, weekly world news podcast, we hear from people on the ground including those who have experienced discrimination and explore how governments can treat skin colour as a visa. Featuring: Tatiana, Alexandra, Nastia, Rubi, Ahmed, all refugees from Ukraine. Sara Cincurova, a journalist covering humanitarian issues at Ukraine-Slovakia border. Chris Melzer, the senior spokesperson of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Poland.
05/03/22·33m 10s

Putin’s Wars: A history in conflict (Part 2)

You can’t understand the chaos in Ukraine without understanding Vladimir Putin. The Russian president rose to power as a wartime leader, and that legacy has shaped his approach through decades. Ben Judah is the author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin, and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center. He spoke to us about how Putin sees the world and what his past could tell us about Ukraine’s future.
04/03/22·26m 53s

Modern Ukraine: A history in conflict (Part 1)

Before launching his latest military attack on Ukraine last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin waged a counterfactual war on a century of the country’s history. In a nearly hour-long address, Putin claimed that modern Ukraine was an invention of founding Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, and that Soviet Moscow gave Ukraine its independence in a historic mistake. Ukraine overwhelmingly voted for its own independence in a referendum in 1991. While Ukraine’s modern history has since been marked by corruption, Russian influence and episodes of violence, its people have also staged protests and even revolutions to protect their independence. Today on Front Burner, what two decades of Ukraine’s struggles with Russia tell us about why Ukrainians are still fighting today. Former NPR Moscow correspondent and current Wilson Center fellow Lucian Kim brings us the key events, many of which he reported on from Russia and Ukraine.
03/03/22·30m 1s

Russia’s economy in the crosshairs

Since Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday, Western powers have remained steadfast on one point: They will not engage Russia in a hot war to defend Ukraine. Instead, they are piling on an increasingly punishing slate of economic penalties. Today, we’re going to break down some of the key sanctions, and look at their current and potential impacts. First, Giles Gibson, a correspondent for Feature Story News, will give us a view from Moscow, where people are already starting to feel the effects of the penalties. Then, we’ll speak to Ian Talley from the Wall Street Journal about what exactly these sanctions are — and whether they’ll work to limit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions.
02/03/22·24m 4s

Epstein-linked modelling agent found dead in prison

On Feb. 19, Jean-Luc Brunel, a top French model scout and longtime associate of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was found dead in his Paris prison cell. The 75-year-old was being held on suspicion of sexually abusing minors and sex-trafficking. Allegations against Brunel date back to his time as the head of top-ranked modelling agency Karin Models in the '80s and '90s, when he had close personal relationships with Epstein and other powerful figures. The long-running investigation into Epstein revealed ties to Brunel and the role he may have played in a global sex-trafficking ring that potentially targeted thousands of underage women. Today on Front Burner, we hear from former models Heather Braden and Thysia Huisman, who say they were among Brunel’s victims while they were underage and living in New York and Paris in the ‘80s. Then, we talk to The Guardian’s Jon Henley about the circumstances surrounding Brunel’s death, which echo that of Epstein’s, who died by suicide in prison. Brunel's death has ignited a firestorm of questions, even conspiracy theories, as another purported sex trafficker dies before anybody gets answers.
01/03/22·31m 53s

Volodymyr Zelensky, from comic to wartime president of Ukraine

On Saturday morning, as war shook his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a defiant video to his Facebook page. Standing outside, on the streets of the capital, Kyiv, he said: “There has been a lot of fake information online that I am calling on our army to lay down their arms and to evacuate. Listen, I am here. We are not going to lay down anything. We will protect our country. Our weapon is truth. And the truth is, that it is our land. Our country. Our children. And we will protect it.” Today on Front Burner, with BBC World Service’s Kateryna Khinkulova, we trace Zelensky’s path from playing the president on TV to leading the country through a Russian invasion.
28/02/22·29m 25s

Front Burner Introduces: The Next Call - The Case of Nadia Atwi

From David Ridgen, the creator of Someone Knows Something, comes the new investigative podcast The Next Call. Tackling unsolved cases through strategic phone calls. In the case of Nadia Atwi, on December 8, 2017, Salwa Atwi arrived at her daughter Nadia’s home in Edmonton as part of their regular carpooling. But Nadia didn’t come outside, and the 32-year-old kindergarten teacher was never seen again. Edmonton’s Muslim and Lebanese communities pulled together to search in the days following. Initial searches seem promising, as Nadia’s car is found in a park with her phone inside, but four years later there is still no sign of her. More episodes are available at:
26/02/22·29m 31s

The view from Ukraine as Russia invades

Early Thursday morning, Russia launched a broad-scale invasion of Ukraine, attacking the country from three sides and targeting major urban centres. Today, we hear from two people on the ground there. First, we’ll speak to freelance journalist Olga Tokariuk, sheltering in an undisclosed location. And then BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet describes how the first hours of the invasion unfolded in the capital of Kyiv, and what may happen next.
25/02/22·27m 54s

The Ukraine-Russia crisis escalates

NOTE: This episode was recorded before Putin’s declaration on Wednesday evening that Russia would conduct what he called a “special military operation” in Eastern Ukraine. For months, tensions have been escalating between Russia and Ukraine. But this week, they ratcheted way up after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the expanded territorial claims of two Russian-controlled breakaway regions in Ukraine and ordered troops into the two territories. Today, Andrew Roth, The Guardian’s Moscow correspondent, joins us to break down a major week in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
24/02/22·27m 16s

Elden Ring and an unlikely video game phenomenon

The video game phenomenon set to release Friday isn’t a U.S. military shooter, a space epic or even a carjacking simulator. FromSoftware’s Elden Ring, a fantasy game from an auteur Japanese video game director, is part of a series known for its unwelcoming gameplay and frustrating difficulty. The cult following of previous games like Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls has exploded into mainstream popularity, with trailers for the series showing up on network television and before movies. To write the background for Elden Ring's world, FromSoftware managed to recruit author George R.R. Martin, who wrote the A Song of Ice and Fire novels that became the basis for Game of Thrones. Fans on the game's Reddit forums have said — some satirically, some genuinely — that they fear they might die before they get to experience Elden Ring. Today, to understand how a challenging niche game captured the world's attention, we'll talk with GameSpot managing editor Tamoor Hussain as he explains the allure of the game's desolate atmosphere, and how its difficulty level helped him through some real-life personal struggles.
23/02/22·24m 35s

Will the political fumes of the convoy protest linger?

The streets in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa are now mostly cleared after more than three weeks of intense protest. But the debate inside Parliament carried on into Monday night as MPs voted to pass the Emergencies Act. Still, the impact of those convoy protests that led to the unprecedented use of this emergency law could last beyond just this week. Today, Aaron Wherry, of CBC's Parliamentary Bureau, talks about the potential effects of the convoy protests on the Conservative Party, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the health of our political discourse writ large.
22/02/22·27m 8s

Overreach at centre of Emergencies Act lawsuit

As police clashed with protesters near Parliament this weekend, a different fight was playing out inside the House of Commons: a debate over the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act. The federal Liberals invoked the act last Monday, granting temporary powers to the government to handle ongoing blockades and protests against pandemic restrictions, including clearing protesters and freezing associated bank accounts. The Liberals say it was a necessary move to end illegal protests; some opponents, meanwhile, argue it was an overreach that sets a dangerous precedent for cracking down on future protests. The House of Commons is set for a vote that could strike down the emergency powers tonight. But the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is one of multiple groups taking the federal government to court over the act’s use. Today, executive director and general counsel Noa Mendelsohn Aviv on what the CCLA fears the normalization of emergency powers could mean for Canadian democracy.
21/02/22·24m 29s

Front Burner Introduces: Welcome to Paradise

Anna Maria Tremonti has been keeping her past a secret for over 40 years. As one of Canada’s most respected journalists, she has a reputation for being fearless. She’s reported from some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones. But there’s one story she’s never made public: when she was 23 years old, she married a man who became physically abusive. This is the first time Anna Maria has told anyone—including family or close friends—the details of what she endured. Working with her therapist, she reveals the intimate details of a past she’s kept to herself for most of her life. If you or someone you know is affected by intimate partner violence, you can find a list of resources at More episodes are available at:
19/02/22·31m 12s

Inside the Ottawa convoy protest as police move in

In this special edition of Front Burner, we take you to the heart of the convoy protest that has been choking our national capital. Jayme Poisson goes inside a key supply camp in Ottawa and accompanies Steve Day, former head of the Canadian Armed Forces’ JTF-2 special-operations task force, to other protest sites to examine the challenges law enforcement could face. We also talk to protesters about why they’re digging in.
18/02/22·49m 24s

The enduring appeal of Jackass

Twenty-two years ago, an aspiring actor named Johnny Knoxville teamed up with a group of filmmakers, misfits and daredevils from the underground skateboarding scene — including Jeff Tremaine, Spike Jonze, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Steve-O, and many more. They dared each other to do a series of wild pranks and captured the whole thing on camera and the Jackass universe was born. Their meteoric rise to superstardom is the stuff of legend — and controversy. Now, two decades and many injuries later, they’re still at it. Even as the rest of the world has changed around it, Jackass has managed to stay relevant. Last week, the fourth and potentially final instalment hit theatres and quickly became the number one movie in North America. Today on Front Burner, we talk to senior editor at Rolling Stone, David Fear, to bring you the story of Jackass — a tale of everlasting friendship and chaos.
17/02/22·27m 33s

Skepticism around inquiry, charges in N.S. massacre

After multiple delays, public hearings finally begin next week as part of the inquiry into the largest mass shooting in Canadian history. From 10 p.m. on April 18, 2020, well into the next day, a man disguised as a Mountie stalked across nearly 200 kilometres of rural Nova Scotia shooting neighbours, strangers, acquaintances and torching houses. He ultimately killed 22 people. One survivor of the rampage was Lisa Banfield, the killer’s common-law spouse, who — along with her brother and brother-in-law — has since been criminally charged with supplying the shooter with ammunition. Now, the brother-in-law’s lawyer says the charge against his client is “an effort to distract attention away from the incompetence of the RCMP.” Today, CBC Nova Scotia reporter Elizabeth McMillan is here to discuss those charges, which will soon be going to trial, and the looming inquiry, which some families are worried will continue to keep them in the dark.
16/02/22·27m 55s

Taking the public temperature on COVID-19

Nearly two full years have passed since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Now, from the Coutts border-crossing blockade in Alberta, to the streets around Parliament Hill, it’s obvious that there are some people with very strong opinions out there about how the disease is being handled. But beyond the noise of these chaotic protests, how exactly do Canadians feel about how we’ve weathered COVID-19? And how do they feel about the protests? David Coletto is the CEO of the polling firm Abacus Data, which has been asking people across the country for their thoughts. He breaks down what the numbers tell us so far. The margin of error for the data discussed in today’s episode is about 2.5 to 2.6 per cent.
15/02/22·25m 0s

Russia, figure skating and a doping scandal

Russian prodigy Kamila Valieva made figure skating history last week, becoming the first woman to land a solo quadruple jump at the Olympics. In fact, Valieva landed two quadruple jumps as she led Russia to the women’s team gold. But just two days later, the medal ceremony for the event was suddenly delayed — and we’ve since learned that Valieva tested positive for a banned heart medication in December. The Court for Arbitration in Sport has now ruled Valieva can still compete in the women's individual event, but there will be no medal ceremony if she lands on the podium. Shortly before the ruling, we spoke to freelance journalist Gabby Paluch about how this case fits into a history of Russian doping, and about the story behind the notoriously tough coach that’s both making and breaking young stars like Valieva.
14/02/22·27m 28s

Front Burner Introduces: Nothing is Foreign

World news, local voices. Nothing is Foreign is a weekly trip to where the story is unfolding. Hosted by Tamara Khandaker. This episode takes you inside El Salvador to hear from locals to see how the promise of a cryptocurrency paradise by a self-professed 'world's coolest dictator' is running up against the reality of regular people just trying to survive. More episodes are available at:
12/02/22·27m 29s

U.S. right-wing media adopts the ‘Freedom Convoy’

Canada’s trucker’s and the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests have inspired similar protests around the world, from France to New Zealand to Australia. But it’s especially drawing the adoration of Conservative commentators in the United States -- like Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. The ‘anti-mandate’ and ‘anti-lockdown’ movement has also become the obsession of the darker, more alt-right corners of the internet. Today on Front Burner, a conversation with CBC’s Washington correspondent Alex Panetta on how the trucker protest is playing out in the U.S. media, and Jared Holt, a domestic extremism researcher at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, on how it’s manifesting in right-wing online spaces.
11/02/22·26m 39s

Amir Locke: Minneapolis grapples with another police killing

Minneapolis streets are once again filled with protesters demanding justice after the Feb. 2 police killing of a 22-year-old Black man. Amir Locke was fatally shot by police who were executing a no-knock search warrant unrelated to Locke. Since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, Minneapolis has been at the forefront of the movement to radically reimagine policing and community safety. But after Locke’s death, many in the city are asking how much has really changed. Today, Solomon Gustavo, a reporter for the MinnPost and a contributor to The Daily Beast, explains what we know about the killing of Amir Locke and where efforts to reform or disband the Minneapolis Police Department stand now.
10/02/22·26m 4s

How police responded to Ottawa's 'unprecedented' protests

For nearly two weeks, a core group of protesters has refused to leave Ottawa’s downtown core. Police estimate more than 400 trucks remain parked in the so-called “red zone.” Some businesses in the area have had to close their doors and some residents describe feeling intimidated. Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has called the situation “unprecedented.” The mayor, Jim Watson, has called the situation “out of control,” and said the protesters are “calling the shots.” Today on Front Burner, CBC Ottawa reporter Judy Trinh talks about how police initially responded to the protest in the capital, how the response has changed and where things could go from here.
09/02/22·26m 23s

Under the big tent: Conservative division in Canada

Just over a week ago, Conservative centrist Erin O’Toole was ousted after just 18 months as party leader. His sudden departure has triggered the third leadership race since Stephen Harper lost in 2015. This upheaval is in line with the party’s long-standing power struggles. For decades, the Conservatives have fought among themselves for the soul of the party. Between populists and elites, town and country, east and west. Today on Front Burner, we’re talking to Macleans writer Paul Wells on the complicated push-pull of the modern Canadian Conservative movement and what’s next for the party.
08/02/22·28m 36s

Artists on Spotify are mad about more than Joe Rogan

Since Neil Young stepped away from Spotify over allegations that the platform was peddling COVID-19 misinformation, other artists have begun to speak up about their problems with the platform — problems that go right to the heart of the digital gig economy. Artists on the platform are paid fractions of a penny per stream. And during the pandemic, when touring is near impossible, many are fed up. We hear from Belly’s Gail Greenwood and Polaris Prize-winning artist Cadence Weapon about why there’s so much frustration with Spotify. Then Ben Sisario, music industry reporter for the New York Times, breaks down why artists are speaking up now — and what the alternatives are.
07/02/22·21m 41s

Recordings reveal duelling realities of trucker protests

Protesting truckers and their supporters have been communicating via a walkie-talkie app called Zello. On the show today, we bring you the sound of their actual conversations, which reveal a wide gulf between how they see themselves, and how their critics view them.
04/02/22·35m 20s

Erin O’Toole turfed as Conservative Party leader

Erin O’Toole is no longer leader of the Conservative Party after a caucus vote on Wednesday afternoon: 73 members of the 119-member caucus voted for his removal. Candice Bergen will take over leadership of the party in the interim. The ouster comes just 18 months after the last Conservative leadership race brought O’Toole to power. Today, CBC’s John Paul Tasker explains what happened, how the party got to this point, and the challenges ahead
03/02/22·26m 12s

Inside Beijing’s ‘closed loop’ Olympic Games

In 2015, Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Since then, COVID-19, deteriorating relations with the West, allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang and a resulting diplomatic boycott put a damper on the Games. Yet China plowed forward, promising to put on a spectacular show while keeping out COVID-19, through the use of tight, non-negotiable safety measures. Today, we’re talking to The National’s Adrienne Arsenault from inside the rigid operation created to keep Beijing’s 21 million residents safe from COVID-19 — and to keep the world’s athletes, journalists and Winter Olympics' staff fenced in.
02/02/22·25m 53s

A patent-free vaccine for the world

Texas-based scientists Maria Elena Bottazzi and Peter Hotez won't make a cent off the vaccine they developed — and they don't want to. Dubbed "the world's COVID-19 vaccine," Corbevax is cheap and relatively easy to manufacture, and there's no patent on it. After multiple hurdles in the team's efforts to fund and develop the jab, Corbevax was recently approved for emergency use in India. Today, we're speaking to Bottazzi and Hotez about the story behind Corbevax, what the skeptics have to say, and why they believe their shot can be a powerful tool in the fight for vaccine equity.
01/02/22·23m 11s

Thousands protest COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa

There were raucous protests in Ottawa this weekend as thousands of protestors converged on the capital calling for an end to vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions. The protest was loud, filling the city's centre with the sounds of honking vehicles, and disruptive: the Rideau Centre shopping mall closed early on Saturday and will remain closed into Monday as crowds of maskless protesters showed up in defiance of public health orders. There were also some displays of disturbing imagery: swastikas and Confederate flags were spotted in the crowd, and Ottawa Police say they're investigating incidents of desecration at the National War Memorial. Today, CBC senior parliamentary reporter Travis Dhanraj is back to break down what he heard and saw on the scene.
31/01/22·28m 2s

Front Burner Introduces: Sorry About The Kid

How do you forget your favourite person in the world? Alex remembers everything about the day a speeding police car killed his brother. But his brother, alive? Those memories are lost. And now, 30 years later, Alex wants them back. In this emotional four-part series, Alex unearths his childhood grief — with help from family, friends, and a therapist who witnessed his brother’s death. What happens when trauma and memory collide? Sorry About The Kid is a deeply personal meditation on the losses that define us. Hosted by Alex McKinnon. Produced with Mira Burt-Wintonick (WireTap, Love Me). More episodes are available at
29/01/22·30m 11s

The trucker convoy heads to Ottawa

Across Canada this week, groups of truckers opposed to a vaccination mandate for cross-border truck drivers have been making their way to Ottawa to protest. But as the convoy has gained momentum, others — some with violent messages — have latched onto the movement. Today, we'll first hear from Harold Jonker, a trucker leading one of the convoys to Ottawa. Then, we'll speak to CBC senior parliamentary reporter Travis Dhanraj about the broader context around this story, and how it's playing out politically.
28/01/22·35m 40s

Why Spotify chose Joe Rogan over Neil Young

Neil Young's music is being pulled from the streaming platform Spotify. That's after he told the platform to either remove his music, or take action on vaccine misinformation — specifically from podcast host Joe Rogan. Spotify ultimately sided with Rogan, saying Wednesday it would begin removing Young's catalogue but that it hoped he would come back soon. "We want all the world's music and audio content to be available to Spotify users," the company said in a statement. "With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators." The Joe Rogan Experience is the world's biggest podcast, famous for its long-format, wide-range interviews with eccentric and sometimes controversial guests. But its host has come under fire for his relentless questioning of widely shared scientific agreement about COVID-19. Nicholas Quah, podcast critic for Vulture and New York Magazine, joins us to explain the rise of vaccine skepticism on Rogan's show — and the reasons why Spotify may have taken this side.
27/01/22·24m 38s

Dangerous crossing: The winter path to asylum

They looked like a family. Four people, including a baby, were found dead in a snowy Manitoba field last Wednesday, just metres from the North Dakota border, where they were believed to be heading. Authorities believe they had been part of a larger group travelling to the United States, in temperatures that felt like –35 C. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called their deaths "mind-blowing” and "tragic," and said he was working with the United States to crack down on people who facilitate undocumented travel over the border. But two people who’ve travelled the route — in the opposite direction — say what the system really needs is more compassion for people who are out of options. Razak Iyal and Seidu Mohammed, two former refugees from Ghana who now have the right to stay in Canada permanently, share their stories of making it to Canada from the United States in 2017. And CBC Manitoba reporter Ian Froese tells us what questions we’re still trying to answer about the four people who died last week.
26/01/22·24m 15s

Boris Johnson’s ‘partygate’ scandal

For over a month now, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been embroiled in a scandal involving gatherings at 10 Downing Street while the country was under lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19. One Conservative MP has crossed the floor to the Labour Party, while another has called for his resignation, saying to Johnson in Parliament, "In the name of God, go." Senior civil servant Sue Gray has been conducting an inquiry into the alleged rule-breaking, and that report looms. Today, CBC's Europe correspondent Margaret Evans explains what's led up to this point, and whether it could cost Johnson his job.
25/01/22·25m 40s

A path for Halifax to defund the police

A Halifax committee tasked with defining what it means to defund the police has released its final report: a 219-page document that recommends numerous reforms and reimagines our communities' relationship with law enforcement. Last week, committee chairperson El Jones presented the report to Halifax's Board of Police Commissioners. While the document doesn't recommend a specific amount of money to be cut, it takes an in-depth look at shifting some responsibilities away from police — namely sexual assault reporting and responses to mental health crises. Today, Jones walks us through the report's rethink of how to keep our communities safe and examines the common ground between supporters and opponents of defunding.
24/01/22·22m 24s

Rhetoric and reality in the fight for Ukraine

Today, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after a week of escalation over the future of Ukraine. Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly was in Ukraine earlier this week, expressing Canada's support for the country. But Ottawa Citizen defence reporter David Pugliese says Canada's military actions paint a different picture. In fact — Canada's moves on the ground reveal a limit to the government's willingness to help in Ukraine's looming fight. We're also joined by Eilish Hart, the English-language news editor for the Latvia-based news site Meduza, who explains why that means Ukraine is getting ready to go it alone — and how regular Russians may curtail the Kremlin's actions.
21/01/22·23m 18s

Microsoft’s $70B bet on the future of gaming

If you've played Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, or even Candy Crush, you're among the 400 million people who play a game from Activision-Blizzard every month. On Tuesday, the company was purchased by Microsoft for $68.7 billion US. It's the biggest tech deal in history, over 15 times what Disney paid for the Star Wars franchise and LucasFilm. And the cost for Microsoft could be more than just cash. Activision-Blizzard has become notorious for allegations of discrimination and abuse. Last year, the company got hit with lawsuits from state and U.S. federal employment watchdogs, over its "frat house" culture. Today on Front Burner, we're talking to Polygon's Nicole Carpenter about how this unprecedented mega-deal will change the gaming landscape as we know it, and how the video game giant itself is trying to outrun its own toxic history.
20/01/22·20m 18s

Cannabis vs. COVID: What the research is showing

A study last week from two Oregon universities has generated a lot of buzz, after findings suggested that some cannabis compounds may be able to block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering human cells. It adds to a growing body of research on cannabis and the coronavirus, as studies from around the world — including from Canada — have found that the cannabis compound CBD may be effective in helping treat some of the virus’s most deadly symptoms. Today, Katie MacBride, a health science reporter at the online magazine Inverse, joins us for a deep dive into what the research says — and doesn’t say — about cannabis and COVID-19. CORRECTION: This episode misstated that mRNA vaccines are designed to attach to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. To be clear, mRNA vaccines instruct the body's cells to make harmless copies of the spike protein, causing the body to produce antibodies which then attach to the proteins.
19/01/22·24m 36s

Sex abuse lawsuit looms for Prince Andrew

As a U.S. judge has ruled a sex abuse lawsuit can proceed against Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, who last week was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages. The lawsuit is being brought by Virginia Giuffre, who has long claimed she was sex-trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, and that she was raped by Andrew as a teenager. Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking late last year. The prince denies the allegations against him. Today, ITV royal news editor and host of the Royal Rota podcast Chris Ship explains what's led up to this moment, what can be expected as the case moves forward, and what it means for the legacy of the Royal Family during the Platinum Jubilee year.
18/01/22·24m 3s

A landmark conviction for Syrian war crimes

On Thursday, a former Syrian colonel in Bashar al-Assad’s forces was convicted in a court in Germany for crimes against humanity. Anwar Raslan was sentenced to life in prison for overseeing the murder of at least 27 people and the torture of at least 4000 in a Damascus prison. The case marks the world’s first criminal prosecution of state-sponsored torture in Syria. Today, we hear from Wafa Mustafa, the daughter of one man believed to be forcibly disappeared by the Syrian regime, and Sara Kayyali, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch who has been investigating human rights abuses in Syria, who says while this conviction is important, “justice doesn’t start and end in European courts.”
17/01/22·26m 27s

Pros, cons of Quebec’s proposed anti-vax tax

This week, Quebec Premier François Legault announced a new reason for people to get their jabs: His government would place a significant tax on the unvaccinated. The announcement came a day after Legault accepted the resignation of the province's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda — leading some to ask if this bold plan was merely a distraction from the political strife within the province. CBC Montreal’s Sarah Leavitt explains what exactly has been going on in Quebec under the Omicron wave. We then talk about the tax and if it’s even a good idea. For some frustrated with people who won’t get the shot, the controversial proposal was welcome news. But bioethics scholar Bryn Williams-Jones at Université de Montréal disagrees. He tells us why, in his view, this kind of tax is a legal and moral minefield.
14/01/22·22m 18s

No-vax Djokovic vs. Australian immigration

On Monday, world tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic won a legal battle to stay in Australia and defend his title at the Australian Open — for now. The unvaccinated player's visa was revoked when he arrived at the border despite a vaccine exemption granted by Tennis Australia. His visa was ultimately reinstated but Australia’s immigration minister reserves the power to overturn that decision, revoke his visa and kick him out. If deported, Djokovic could be banned from Australia for up to three years. Djokovic’s personal stance as “anti-vaccine” isn’t winning him any friends in a country hit hard by the pandemic, with strict vaccine protocols and seemingly endless COVID-19 lockdowns. Today on Front Burner, we’re talking to Canberra-based journalist Kishor Napier-Raman on how the tennis star’s decision to stay unvaccinated has turned into a massive political headache for the Australian government and has triggered a fierce debate about whether he should be allowed to stay.
13/01/22·24m 18s

The Base Tapes: recordings from inside the neo-Nazi group

When an anti-fascist infiltrator left The Base in 2020, he took 80 gigabytes of files with him. Those screengrabs, videos and audio detail the neo-Nazi organization from its beginnings, including around 100 hours of vetting calls with white supremacists hoping to join. Today, The Fifth Estate host Gillian Findlay guides us through that audio, the first-ever interview with the infiltrator who calls himself Tradian and what the recordings all tell us about "accelerationist" ideology. Plus, FBI recordings of Base member and former Canadian Armed Forces reservist Patrik Mathews after he fled to the U.S.
12/01/22·23m 40s

‘Deflated, defeated’: a nurse’s view from the front lines

After working as a nurse — in a job she loved — for more than 20 years, Nancy Halupa says she now thinks about quitting every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated nursing shortages, and at the Toronto hospital emergency department where Halupa works, she says experienced nurses like herself are being stretched too thin. And there's more. Patients swear at her. She's been called a Nazi. Sometimes, tears come when she doesn't expect them, and other times, she finds her emotions walled off. Today, Jayme Poisson hears Halupa's perspective on the difficulties of being a nurse in a Toronto emergency department now. "I just don't know how much longer I can work like a robot," Halupa says. "And I feel like that's what we're doing, we're just robots and we're doing an assembly line of patients."
11/01/22·26m 39s

Will the NFT boom last?

The NFT market is booming in early 2022, with estimates easily surpassing a billion dollars in transactions. But hype from a die-hard community is colliding with concern for the tech’s impact. Celebrities are both boosting digital tokens and laughing at the very concept of NFTs. Projects are providing access to exclusive clubs and selling virtual land, but also scamming buyers and disappearing. Meanwhile, concerns about energy usage by blockchains are causing groups such as BTS fans to erupt in protest. As investors speculate over JPEGs while some struggle for necessities, social media discussions are devolving into class warfare. Today on Front Burner, we look at what's driving the hype and the hate. Andrew Hayward, senior writer for crypto-focused news site Decrypt, explains how NFT culture has grown and changed, and why we can expect the tech to have a more mundane — but more useful — future.
10/01/22·22m 51s

The 15 year fight to treat Indigenous children as equals

For decades, First Nations children on reserves had to live with less child welfare funding than other kids in Canada. And that led to kids being taken from their communities at higher rates, often for problems that could have been solved with better supports. This week, after years of court battles, the federal government made a $40 billion promise to First Nations leaders. $20 billion of that will go to compensate kids who were unnecessarily removed from their homes on reserve or in the Yukon. The other $20 billion will go to long-term reform of the on-reserve child welfare system. Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and a professor at McGill University's School of Social Work, has made it her mission to make sure First Nations kids get care that matches up with care received by other kids in Canada. Today, she talks about the long fight for this agreement, and why she’s still waiting to celebrate.
07/01/22·22m 11s

Dozens die in custody after public intoxication arrests

“Alcoholism is an illness, it’s not a crime and it certainly shouldn't be punishable by death.” That’s a message from Jeannette Rogers, whose son, Corey, died in police custody in Halifax in 2016. He is one of 61 people that a CBC investigation found had died after being detained for public intoxication or a related offence since 2010. In many cases, the investigation found that those arrested weren’t properly monitored, or their deteriorating health conditions were not addressed. Today, CBC investigative reporter Kristin Annable shares some of the stories of those who died, and talks about how deaths like these might be prevented.
06/01/22·21m 18s

The U.S. Capitol riot and American democracy one year later

On Jan. 6, 2021 — the same day Joe Biden’s presidential win was to be certified — an angry mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. At least four people died, dozens were injured and the country's worsening political divisions were exposed. In the days and months that followed, the events of Jan. 6 have been debated, disputed and broadly characterized as a threat to American democracy. To get to the bottom of how it happened and who was responsible, a bipartisan committee made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans was established to investigate. Today on Front Burner we’re talking to longtime Washington correspondent Paul Hunter about what that investigation hopes to accomplish and to take the pulse of American democracy one year later.
05/01/22·24m 43s

Schools move online as parents, Omicron rage

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 appears to be less severe than previous variants. But it's wildly contagious, so many more people are getting it, meaning hospitalizations are going up. It was in this context on Monday that Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a series of new measures, including shutting down indoor dining, cinemas and gyms. Social gatherings will be limited to five people indoors and 10 outside. Ontario schools are also moving online until at least Jan. 17. Quebec had already announced a similar measure. Today, host of CBC's White Coat, Black Art and The Dose, and emergency room physician Dr. Brian Goldman on Omicron, school closures and what such restrictions might actually accomplish.
04/01/22·21m 51s

Debt jubilee: The case for cancelling debt

Canadians have loaded up on personal debt through more than half a century of financial crises — and it’s happening again. During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, cash from federal benefits allowed many people to pay down their credit card balances. Last year, however, huge mortgages pushed Canada’s household debt-to-income ratio back toward its all-time high, rising above 177 per cent in the third quarter of 2021. Economist Michael Hudson says this kind of debt buildup chokes economic growth and gives undue power to creditors like banks. He also says it demands a reset: cancelling our debts. Today, Hudson explains the millennia-old practice of debt cancellation and how it could help modern economies.
03/01/22·33m 39s

How AEW changed the wrestling landscape in 2021

We all know what pro wrestling is: scripted stories, exploding barbed wire death matches, and very real athleticism and danger. And for the last four decades, WWE has stayed in the cultural lexicon as the biggest name in the pro wrestling world. But now, a new contender is rising. All Elite Wrestling, founded in 2018 by 38-year-old Tony Khan, is gaining serious momentum — thanks to the help of the new generation of Canadian wrestlers like Winnipeg’s own Kenny Omega. Today on Front Burner, managing editor at Sean Ross Sapp on the legacy of WWE and the changing face of wrestling with the rise of its adversary, All Elite.
30/12/21·25m 8s

Front Burner Introduces: Boys Like Me

Why are lonely, young men a growing threat to our safety? In 2018, a Toronto man drove a van down a busy sidewalk, killing 11 people and injuring many more. He was linked to the "incel" movement, a dark online world fueled by violent misogyny, extreme isolation and perceived rejection. In the wake of the attack, Evan Mead discovers a disturbing connection to the perpetrator. They were former high school classmates; both outcasts, existing together on the fringes of social acceptance. How did two young men who started in similar circumstances, end up on such drastically different paths? More episodes are available at:
29/12/21·37m 8s

Encore: Wellness culture's link to COVID denialism

This episode originally aired Oct 4, 2021. Journalist Matthew Remski explains why new age spirituality is such fertile ground for anti-vaccine movements.
28/12/21·25m 26s

Encore: The Mighty Ducks, Inspector Gadget and the search for crypto billions

This episode originally aired Oct 18, 2021. Cryptocurrency traders are relying on a stablecoin — a digital cryptocurrency backed with real-world assets — with ties to a Mighty Ducks star and the co-creator of Inspector Gadget. Today, we look at the search for the supposed billions of dollars backing its value, and what a shortfall could mean for the entire financial system.
27/12/21·24m 47s

Encore: Pandemic burnout is real

This episode originally aired April 5, 2021. Today on Front Burner, Anne Helen Petersen explains the forces behind burnout and why more and more Canadians are struggling with it one year into a global pandemic that has altered the way many of us work and live.
24/12/21·20m 43s

A volunteer’s tragic end, his killer’s remorse

For those using drugs in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Thomus Donaghy was a lifeline, committed to saving those on the brink of overdose. On the night of July 27, 2020, Donaghy, a volunteer at the Overdose Prevention Society, had just saved another life. Moments later, he lost his own. Today, the stories of two men whose lives were shaped by a city in the grips of an overdose epidemic, the tragic circumstances that brought them together that night, and why Maximus Roland Hayes, the man who killed Donaghy, wants to make sure his life wasn't lost for nothing. Our guests are CBC Vancouver reporter Jason Proctor, and Sara Blyth, the executive director of Vancouver’s Overdose Prevention Society.
23/12/21·23m 25s

A pre-holiday Omicron update

Omicron is spreading rapidly in Canada. Barely two weeks after the first cases of the coronavirus variant were identified in Ontario, it became the dominant strain in the province, and experts say that will soon be the case across the country. Even as Canada is reporting some of the highest daily case counts seen throughout the whole pandemic, some doctors say the real numbers could be several times higher because of the difficulties many people face in accessing tests. Today, Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, explains the latest research on Omicron from around the world — and how that research can help inform your choices around holiday gatherings.
22/12/21·22m 26s

Why The Matrix still resonates today

The Matrix was a blockbuster hit when it came out in 1999. Now, more than 20 years later, the film still feels relevant — whether it’s people talking about “taking the red pill” or theorizing that we’re all really living in a computer simulation — the movie starring Keanu Reeves as Neo and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus permeated the culture. With the Matrix Resurrections opening in Canada on Wednesday, Jayme Poisson speaks with John Semley about why the film made such an impact then, and how its influence is still felt today. Plus, Charley Archer explains why the original movie, made by two trans women Lilly and Lana Wachowski, is an iconic piece of trans art.
21/12/21·27m 42s

Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial

Longtime Jeffrey Epstein companion Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial in New York City this month, facing decades in prison over allegations of sex trafficking and conspiracy, all related to her relationship with the convicted sex offender and financier. Maxwell maintains that she is innocent. Victoria Bekiempis is reporting on the trial for the Guardian. As the trial approaches its conclusion, she explains the prosecution’s case, the accuser’s testimony, and how the defence pushed back.
20/12/21·24m 48s

Toxic tailings: Oilsands water could be released

Extracting bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands requires water — lots of it. And for decades, oilsands companies in Canada were banned from releasing the used water back into the environment. So as the industry skyrocketed, the reservoirs of water grew. There are now more than 1.4 trillion litres of toxic wastewater stored in these tailings ponds. Experts say that could be a disaster waiting to happen. The federal government is working on regulations that would eventually allow companies to treat and release the water back into rivers and lakes. Business reporter Kyle Bakx explains why some are questioning the safety of that plan — while others say it’s absolutely necessary.
17/12/21·24m 4s

As Omicron spreads, governments scramble

With the holidays approaching and the Omicron variant spreading rapidly in Canada, people are reconsidering their response. In a busy week of Omicron warnings, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said cases are expected to “rapidly escalate”; in her fiscal and economic update, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland committed a $4.5 billion “variant response” contingency; and Canada advised against all non-essential international travel. Provinces are expanding testing and booster access. Today on Front Burner, a discussion with Globe and Mail health columnist André Picard about our pandemic cycle of delay and panic, and the lessons and tools that still might make us better prepared for Omicron.
16/12/21·24m 26s

How Succession keeps winning

HBO’s Succession came out of the gate quietly back in 2018. And even as critics raved over its stylish production, intricate plotting and viciously sharp humour, it took a while to catch on. Now, it’s easily one of the most influential and discussed TV shows in a long time. Structured like a chamber drama set in the corridors of elite power and influence, it revolves around the highly successful but highly dysfunctional Roy clan and their sprawling right wing media empire. The central conflict is between the brilliant and ruthless patriarch Logan Roy and his ambitious but flawed children, each vying for his love and attention while at the same time plotting to dethrone him. This week, its third season came to a dramatic end so today on Front Burner we talk to writer and showrunner of CBC’s Pop Chat podcast, Amil Niazi and Vulture’s Jackson McHenry on what makes Succession so compelling, and how it’s become a cultural institution. Warning: this episode contains major spoilers.
15/12/21·28m 39s

Quebec teacher removed from classroom over hijab

The debate over Quebec’s controversial secularism law, known as Bill 21, has been reignited after a teacher was told she can no longer teach her Grade 3 class, because she wears a hijab. Fatemeh Anvari was hired this fall at Chelsea Elementary School, during a period of confusion over whether English school boards had to enforce the religious symbols ban. Now, in the wake of a recent court decision on the ban, Anvari has been forced out of classroom teaching. Today, we’re speaking to Montreal teacher Maha Kassef about the far-reaching consequences of Bill 21 for both teachers and students. Then, CBC reporter Jonathan Montpetit gives us the latest on the court and political battles surrounding the law — and how they call into question our understanding of how much Canada’s constitution really protects individual rights and freedoms.
14/12/21·25m 11s

A fake nurse’s long history of impersonation

For a year, a 49-year-old woman in B.C. posed as a nurse at a Vancouver hospital, even assisting in gynecological surgeries, despite not actually being a nurse. Brigitte Cleroux has since been criminally charged, but it turns out she has a long history of impersonations dating back decades and spanning multiple provinces. Now, former patients are left with serious questions about the care they received, and how she was able to even get the job in the first place. Today, CBC Vancouver’s Bethany Lindsay tells us more about those patients, and CBC Ottawa’s Shaamani Yogaretnam explains Cleroux’s decades of impersonations.
13/12/21·23m 21s

Drake’s out. What now for the Grammys?

On Monday, as the Recording Academy began its final round of voting for the 2022 Grammy winners, people learned Drake was off the ballot. Drake and his management had asked the Academy to pull his two nominations. He still hasn’t offered an explanation, but this is the latest in a series of tensions between Drake and the Grammys: he’s questioned their relevance in his lyrics, defended The Weeknd after a snub and even criticized the Academy while accepting a trophy. Today on Front Burner, music journalist and host of Marvin’s Room A. Harmony joins us to explain why so many Hip Hop artists are expressing frustration with the Grammys, and whether a show with limited recognition of Black talent can remain relevant.
10/12/21·26m 21s

Did NATO make a mistake in Ukraine?

Russia has sent almost 100,000 troops near the Ukraine border in recent weeks. Observers believe the state is trying to extract certain concessions from Europe, particularly assurances from NATO that Ukraine will never be able to join the security group. Janice Gross Stein was a founding director of the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto. She argues that NATO’s "strategic ambiguity" toward Ukraine gave the country false hope we had its back — so now, we’re partly seeing the fallout of promises we couldn’t keep.
09/12/21·24m 47s

Europe reels under latest COVID-19 wave

Just when Europe thought it had beat COVID-19, it’s once again an epicentre of the pandemic. As countries struggle to fight off yet another wave of the virus many governments in the E.U. are bringing in strict new lockdowns, and in some cases contemplating vaccine mandates. But these efforts are meeting fierce — and sometimes violent — resistance. Today, the host of the Berlin podcast Common Ground Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson walks us through what’s fuelling this latest surge across Western European countries — vaccine hesitancy, a more aggressive variant, general distrust in government, or all of the above?
08/12/21·20m 44s

What’s really driving inflation? Politics vs. reality

You’ve probably noticed that prices of practically everything — food, gas, haircuts, housing — have been going up lately. Canada’s inflation rate is now the highest it’s been in 18 years. In Parliament, the Conservative party has been pointing fingers at Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, and calling on them to quit racking up deficits. They’ve even come up with a nickname for the problem: #Justinflation. But economists say this isn’t a normal inflation problem and warn normal solutions may not work.
07/12/21·25m 17s

Canada’s QAnon ‘Queen’ and her escalating rhetoric

For months, a B.C.-based QAnon conspiracy influencer named Romana Didulo has been amassing followers online, declaring herself the “Queen of Canada.” In the summer, her audience began distributing cease-and-desist letters across North America on her behalf, demanding a stop to COVID-19 restrictions. Recently, her rhetoric escalated when she urged her followers to “shoot to kill” anyone who administers vaccines to children. The RCMP have visited her since, and one of her followers in Laval, Que., was arrested after allegedly posting threats about his daughter’s school. Today on Front Burner, Vice World News reporter Mack Lamoureux discusses this influential QAnon figure, her active base of followers and law enforcement’s response.
06/12/21·24m 59s