The Decibel

By The Globe and Mail

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 May 2, 2022


Context is everything. Join us Monday to Friday for a Canadian daily news podcast from The Globe and Mail. Explore a story shaping our world, in conversation with reporters, experts, and the people at the centre of the news.

Episode Date
Stress Test: Why millennials and Gen Z are Alberta-bound for a more affordable life

In 2022, the number of people moving to Alberta hit its highest level in almost a decade. At the same time, a record number of people left Toronto for other provinces. And it all comes down to affordability. In this episode, we’ll delve into the factors contributing to the rise in interprovincial migration and hear from Canadians who made the move - and how it’s worked out for them.

Mar 26, 2023
Former governor-general Michaëlle Jean on Canada’s role in Haiti

Haiti is in crisis, after months of cholera outbreaks, a fuel and energy crisis, and violence. The UN estimates that 500 people have died in gang violence incidents this year alone. And Canada is facing pressure – largely from the US – to intervene.

Michaëlle Jean is the former governor-general of Canada, and the former UNESCO Special Envoy to Haiti, where she’s from. Today, she tells us what led Haiti to this crisis, and what role Canada should have in the country.

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Mar 24, 2023
Canada races the U.S. on a ‘green economy’

Canada has committed to going net-zero by 2050 and a big part of making that goal a reality is by transitioning the economy from being fossil fuel dependent to a cleaner and low-carbon one. Canada’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland calls the change the most “significant economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution”.

So what will a ‘green economy’ look like for Canada? And how can it establish itself as a major player as it competes with the United States, its biggest ally and rival? The Globe and Mail’s climate change columnist Adam Radwanski explains.

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Mar 23, 2023
What’s behind a surge of cheating in universities

Allegations of academic misconduct at Canadian universities have risen sharply in the 2020 to 2021 school year as more and more students turn to hiring people to complete assignments and tests for them. The consequences for the student are clear: a permanent blemish on their academic careers and possible impact on their job prospects if they are caught.

But the wider trend is also a concern for Canadian universities as a whole, as their brand depends on maintaining academic integrity. Post-secondary education reporter Joe Friesen explains.

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Mar 22, 2023
The whistleblower on Chinese interference in Canada, in their words

The Globe and Mail has been reporting extensively on China’s interference in Canadian elections. This information came to light, in part, because of a whistleblower who wrote an Opinion piece in The Globe this weekend.

The Globe rarely publishes Opinion pieces by confidential sources. Today, David Walmsley, The Globe’s Editor in Chief, explains why he decided to publish this piece, and how he feels it contributes to the broader conversation of China’s interference in Canada. And, you’ll hear the entire piece from the whistleblower, in their own words.

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Mar 21, 2023
Former ambassador on why Canada needs a foreign agent registry

As revelations about China’s interference continue, so do calls for a foreign agent registry. The U.S. and Australia have registries like this, where anyone acting on behalf of a foreign entity has to disclose it. But the idea has its detractors.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, has been advocating for a foreign agent registry for years. He explains how it might work in Canada, why it’s controversial and how the registry could slow China’s interference campaign in Canada.

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Mar 20, 2023
The sounds of blind hockey

Oversized pucks clanging as they’re shot across the ice, the constant tapping of hockey sticks as players weave through oversized pylons. These are some of the sights and sounds of blind hockey.

Canadian Blind Hockey began in 2009 and now has 14 programs across the country. Canada’s winter game adapted for the visually impaired is an auditory experience and so The Decibel hit the ice to find out more about it.

The Globe’s sports reporter, Rachel Brady and Decibel producer Sherrill Sutherland laced up their skates and joined a youth Canadian Blind Hockey program to hear from parents, players and coaches.

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Mar 17, 2023
What Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse means for Canada

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank came swiftly after a panicked run on deposits. Despite the U.S. government enacting safeguards, there is anxiety in the markets wondering which bank might fall next.

But how safe are Canadian banks? Report on Business columnist Tim Kiladze is on the show to explain the fallout and what Canadian regulations are in place to try and contain it.

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Mar 16, 2023
When paying your mortgage doesn’t reduce your loan

Since the Bank of Canada started hiking its benchmark interest rate just over a year ago, there’s a growing number of mortgage-holders with monthly payments that no longer cover the principal or even the interest portion of their loan.

Rachelle Younglai covers real estate for The Globe and she recently reported that at CIBC, 20 per cent of mortgage-holders are seeing their loan balances grow instead of shrink. This represents $52-billion worth of mortgages. CIBC isn’t the only bank in this situation but it’s the only one that’s disclosing this information.

Rachelle is on the show to explain why this might be a cause for concern and what mortgage-holders should be thinking about.

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Mar 15, 2023
Why we need to think of health as an ‘us,’ not just a ‘me’

We often think of health as an individual action – drink more water, exercise, eat well. During the pandemic, we thought more about the health of people around us as well – with social distancing, masking and vaccinations. But there’s a lot more that goes into our health.

Today, we’re talking to the Globe’s health reporter Wency Leung about why it’s so important to expand our understanding of health beyond our bodies. Then we talk to Indigenous psychologist Dr. Rod McCormick about how he helps people connect with communities and nature to find healing.

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Mar 14, 2023
Are Canada’s big grocers to blame for your food bill?

Could the rising price of groceries be chalked up to corporate greed? That was the question at a House of Commons committee last week when the executives of Canada’s three biggest grocers testified. Loblaw Cos. Ltd. president Galen Weston, CEO of Empire Co. Michael Medline and CEO of Metro Inc. Eric La Flèche all refuted claims that they were gouging customers under the guise of inflation.

Food economist Michael von Massow says blaming Canada’s big grocers doesn’t explain the complex web of factors that have led to sustained food inflation. He helps untangle exactly what’s behind the rise, how much ‘greedflation’ is a part of it and how Canada could make things easier for consumers.

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Mar 13, 2023
Netflix’s big gamble on its future

Netflix is facing a backlash after announcing it’s cracking down on password sharing in Canada, among other countries. The company says 100 million of its customers worldwide share passwords, which Netflix claims is cutting into its revenue.

Kean Birch, director of the Institute for Technoscience and Society at York University, says that Netflix’s business model was bound to run into problems like this, as competition from other streaming services pulls content off the platform and draws users away. But will it work?

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email us at

Mar 10, 2023
B.C.’s groundbreaking plan to fund birth control

British Columbia revealed its 2023 budget on Feb. 28. It introduced a host of new spending measures including a first in Canada: A plan to make contraception universally available in the province free of charge.

Globe health reporter, Carly Weeks explains why reproductive health experts are celebrating the move and what this could mean for funding contraception in the rest of the country.

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Mar 09, 2023
Trudeau orders probes into Chinese interference of elections

After weeks of resisting pressure from all sides, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ordered two probes into Chinese election interference. This follows The Globe and Mail reporting on secret and top secret CSIS documents alleging a sophisticated strategy by China to disrupt the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

But criticism is still mounting on Trudeau around how transparent and public these probes will actually be. The Globe’s Ottawa bureau chief Bob Fife is back to tell us why Trudeau is changing his stance and how likely these probes are to shed light on the extent of China’s interference.

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Mar 08, 2023
What we know about the Alberta oil sands leak

The ground and water near Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in northern Alberta has become a toxic mess. A nearby oil sands site, run by Imperial Oil, has leaked industrial waste into the hunting and fishing grounds of the Indigenous community.

But the First Nation alleges Imperial Oil and the provincial regulators tasked with keeping the companies in line, hid the seriousness of the leak. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is only now learning of how badly their food and water could be contaminated. Energy reporter Emma Graney talks about who knew what when and how this major oil leak is destroying any trust between the public, regulators and oil sands companies.

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Mar 07, 2023
The news Google is hiding from your searches

Right now, one in 25 Canadians who use Google can’t find some news sites through its search bar. That’s because the tech giant has purposely blocked these searches in response to legislation put forward by the federal government.

The Globe’s Deputy Ottawa bureau chief Bill Curry is on the show to explain the bill taking the fight to Google and other big tech companies and what the government is trying to accomplish with this legislation.

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Mar 06, 2023
The drug giving new life to cystic fibrosis patients

For years, a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis has often meant an early death for patients. This week, Cystic Fibrosis Canada released its annual data report this week for 2021. A new drug, Trikafta, is keeping patients out of hospitals and off of transplant lists.

The Globe’s health reporter Kelly Grant explains why doctors are now talking about cystic fibrosis as a disease in transition and the hope of a new future for thousands of patients.

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Mar 03, 2023
Why police are rarely charged after killing or injuring someone

Canada has a high rate of police killings compared to similar countries like England, Germany and Japan. Officers are rarely charged when they kill someone, and they don’t even have to participate in the investigations into their conduct.

The Globe’s Nancy Macdonald spent months looking into hundreds of investigations into police officers, how often officers co-operate and the consequences of their silence.

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Mar 02, 2023
How Canada’s biggest bookshop got hacked

On February 8, Indigo’s website went down and customers couldn’t buy products in-store either. After scrambling to launch a new website with limited e-commerce abilities, the company announced a major breach of personal and financial information of employees.

The Globe and Mail’s technology reporter, Temur Durrani, has been speaking to employees about the life-long impacts of this breach, what is being done about it and why ransomware attackers are taking aim at Canadian companies and public institutions.

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Mar 01, 2023
ChatGPT isn’t as smart as we think

Artificial Intelligence and chatbots are having a mainstream moment. In November, the public was introduced to ChatGPT – a chatbot that can have seemingly human-like conversations with users. And after a “creepy” conversation between a New York Times tech columnist and Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot (which called itself “Sydney”) the debate around AI sentience has re-ignited.

But, behind all the awe, argues AI researcher, author and data journalist, Meredith Broussard, is a model that’s simply really good at math – and the technology that powers our AI today can often be biased, sexist and racist. She’s on the show to talk about how we should all be thinking about these problems in a tech innovation that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email us at

Feb 28, 2023
CSIS documents reveal a web of Chinese influence in Canada

Documents from Canada’s spy agency CSIS – viewed by The Globe and Mail – show how China was influencing Canada’s 2021 federal election by promoting candidates favourable to the regime, how it warned “friendly” Canadians about investigations and targeted Canadians with tactics like cyberattacks, bribery and sexual seduction.

These documents highlight a troubling web of China’s interference in Canadian political, financial and academic institutions. Robert Fife, The Globe’s Ottawa bureau chief, explains why these documents matter and what we can learn about how China is trying to influence Canadian affairs.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email us at

Feb 27, 2023
BONUS - In Ukraine with the Globe’s reporters on the ground

In a special bonus episode, The Globe and Mail’s Senior International Correspondent Mark MacKinnon and Europe Correspondent Paul Waldie join The Decibel host Menaka Raman-Wilms for an in-depth conversation on the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine. Mark and Paul share their perspectives, personal stories and insights in a year of covering the war. 

This episode was recorded as a livestreamed broadcast on and YouTube on February 24, 2023.

Feb 25, 2023
One year later: The stories of Ukrainian refugees

Since Russia invaded one year ago, eight million people have left Ukraine.

Olena Tsebenko, Sonya and Oliver Hawes and George Fedorov all left behind their homes on February 24, 2022. From births to deaths and marriages, they share their stories of how their lives have carried on in the wake of the war.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email us at

Feb 24, 2023
The growing crisis at the unofficial Roxham Road border crossing

An unofficial border crossing between Southern Quebec and New York state is at the center of a heated political debate. In December, almost 5,000 people entered Canada through Roxham Road, a stretch of road between the two countries that has seen an influx of migrants seeking to claim refugee status in Canada.

Both official opposition leader Pierre Poilievre and Quebec Premier Francois Legault are calling on Ottawa to close the unofficial border. On Tuesday Prime Minister Trudeau said he’s in talks with the U.S. but declined to get into specifics.

The reason why people are choosing this particular route is because of a loophole in an agreement between Canada and the U.S. called the Safe Third Country Agreement. Globe and Mail columnist Konrad Yakabuski explains what this agreement is and what may happen with it.

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Feb 23, 2023
How people are being cheated out of their new homes

Title fraud happens when someone poses as a homeowner to sell real estate they don’t own to an unsuspecting buyer – and while still rare, it’s on the rise in Canada. For victims, whether the buyer or the legitimate homeowner, the anguish of learning you’ve been defrauded almost always comes with a lengthy legal process to straighten things out. And without title insurance, the buyer may be out the cost of the house.

Salmaan Farooqui is the Globe’s personal finance reporter, and he’s explored why title fraud has gotten a boost thanks to the pandemic, despite all the paperwork and checks and balances built into the process of home-buying.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? E-mail us at

Feb 22, 2023
Why the Emergencies Act Inquiry says Trudeau was right

Just over a year after the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act, an inquiry has found that the Liberals acted appropriately, even though the Act gave them sweeping powers. This report – by Justice Paul Rouleau – marks the end of a commission that investigated the trucker convoy protest, the breakdown in policing and governing that lead to the Emergency Act being invoked.

Political columnist John Ibbitson discusses the importance of this report for our democracy, the political winners and losers and what he hopes will be done with Justice Rouleau’s recommendations.

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Feb 21, 2023
Inside Canada Soccer’s equal pay fight

Canada’s national women’s soccer team is protesting unequal treatment by the sport’s governing body. The players say Canada Soccer is not transparent with its finances, and that they won’t agree to be paid less than the men. The men’s team supports them.

On Thursday, the team was forced to play in the SheBelieves cup under threat of legal action. Federal MPs have noticed, and called for Canada Soccer to explain itself at a parliamentary committee.

Rachel Brady is The Globe’s sports reporter, and she’ll tell us about the dispute, the growing business case for equally funding women’s sport, and how that’s fuelling professional women’s soccer in Canada.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email us at

Feb 17, 2023
How to invest when the economy is on the rocks

Investing your money can grow your wealth faster than just saving it— or shrink it, if you put your money in stocks that fail, or have to withdraw your money from the market while it’s down.

Erica Alini, the Globe’s personal finance reporter and author of the newsletter MoneySmart Bootcamp, shares her tips for how to think about investing wisely.

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Feb 16, 2023
Why mushroom dispensaries are sprouting up across Canada

On Tuesday, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and NDP MP Alistair MacGregor held a news conference about medical access to psilocybin – better known as magic mushrooms. The psychedelic is illegal in Canada but there’s increased interest in the potential therapeutic benefits of the drug.

This is happening while still-illegal magic mushroom dispensaries have begun to pop up in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. The Globe’s Mike Hager went to one, and explores the business behind magic mushrooms.

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Feb 15, 2023
The flying objects being shot down over North America

In the span of nine days, we’ve seen the takedown of four flying objects over North America by U.S. fighter jets. It has both Canada and the U.S. on high alert with speculation of Chinese spying. The White House has had to tamp down questions of whether aliens could be involved. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Trudeau says the search for debris in Yukon, where one of the objects was taken down is currently under way.

The Globe’s senior parliamentary reporter, Steven Chase is on the show to tell us what we know so far about the mysterious flying objects and why all of a sudden, they’re being detected.

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Feb 14, 2023
Everything you need to know about fusion energy

Fusion – the act of deriving energy by smashing atoms together – has long been the stuff of science fiction. But thanks to a recent scientific breakthrough, there has been an increase in public excitement that one day, we might be able to use this as a continuous, clean source of energy.

The catch? We might not get the technology before our 2050 net-zero climate goals arrive.

Science Reporter Ivan Semeniuk explains exactly how fusion works and the Canadian efforts that are working to take this theory and turn it into a viable and widespread energy source.

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Feb 13, 2023
An impossible offer for Canadian children detained in Syria

The federal government has offered to bring some Canadian children being held in detention camps in Syria to Canada – but their mothers can’t come with them. This is part of an ongoing issue for the government over what to do about men and women who are suspected of joining the Islamic State terrorist organization — and what to do with their children.

The Globe’s Janice Dickson has been covering this issue since the Islamic State fell in 2019 and has spoken to one of the mothers facing this difficult decision.

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Feb 10, 2023
Is $200 billion enough to fix health care?

Ottawa announced Tuesday a proposed $46.2-billion injection in new federal health care funding for the provinces and territories.

For years, there have been calls to reform Canada’s health care system. People have died in emergency rooms waiting for care, 15 percent of Canadians don’t have a regular health care provider and there are ongoing issues facing long term care.

Will this new money help fix these systemic problems?

Health reporter Kelly Grant asked leaders in health care what they make of the deal, and she’ll detangle what this money can and can’t do for our ailing healthcare system.

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Feb 09, 2023
China’s long reach into Canada’s battery minerals industry

Canada is facing increasing calls to grow its critical mineral industry as the world pivots toward its net-zero goals and batteries are becoming increasingly important. But at the moment, Canada only has one functioning lithium mine and no refineries.

Compare that to China, which dominates the entire critical mineral industry globally and has extensive reach into Canada’s current operations. So what can Canada do to get going? Mining reporter Niall McGee explains how Canada has found itself in this position.

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Feb 08, 2023
A Canadian sniper on the battle for Bakhmut, Ukraine

A Canadian sniper, whose codename is Teflon, was set up in an apartment building in the destroyed city of Bakhmut, Ukraine, shooting waves of Russian soldiers. He says it was almost too easy: “I actually got to a point where I was like, can you stop? I’m tired of killing people ... I shouldn’t be killing people this easily.”

Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine, has seen heavy fighting for months because invading Russian forces see it as strategically important. The Globe’s Mark MacKinnon spoke with the sniper about his role in the war, and how the battle for Bakhmut has been playing out on the ground.

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Feb 07, 2023
Why investors are flocking to the daycare business

The federal government’s $30-billion pledge to bring daycare costs down to $10/day and to create 250,000 new spaces by 2026 isn’t only attracting families, it’s also getting attention from investors. As the government seeks to make more spaces, for-profit centres are quickly expanding to meet targets.

The Globe’s Dave McGinn, and The Globe’s independent business reporter, Chris Hannay, explain the appeal and why child care advocates are concerned.

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Feb 06, 2023
The McKinsey controversy explained

On Wednesday, Dominic Barton appeared before a parliamentary committee looking into the rise in outsourcing contracts awarded to McKinsey & Company, where Barton was formerly global managing partner. Barton was also a senior policy adviser to the Trudeau government and the Canadian ambassador to China.

Since 2015, the Liberal government has paid more than $116 million dollars to the private management consulting firm. That’s more than thirty times what the Conservative government before them paid over their ten years in office.

Bill Curry is the Globe’s Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief and has been following this story for years.

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Feb 03, 2023
B.C. decriminalizes some drug possession

As of this week, possession of 2.5 grams of some drugs in B.C. is decriminalized. The B.C. government says it is trying to reduce the number of people who die from overdoses in the province. Around six people die every day in B.C. from drugs – but many advocates don’t believe this decriminalization program will actually prevent people from dying.

Garth Mullins is an organizer with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, and host of the podcast Crackdown. He’ll tell us about B.C.’s plan, about the impact criminalization has had on him and people he knows, and what he thinks would lead to fewer people dying from drugs.

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Feb 02, 2023
Edmonton spiritual leader charged with sexual assault

John de Ruiter, a spiritual leader known for his piercing stare and who calls himself the ‘embodiment of truth’ was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual assault earlier this month. He’s now out on bail and intends to fight the charges.

De Ruiter is a leader of a multimillion dollar organization called The College of Integrated Philosophy. It’s based in Edmonton but has followers all over the world. Some have described the group as a cult.

The Globe’s Jana Pruden has been investigating the group for years. She has spoken to former members and attended a meeting to learn more about de Ruiter’s teachings. She’s on the show to explain what she’s learned about this tight-knit community and what these charges could mean for its future.

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Feb 01, 2023
What the Rogers-Shaw deal could mean for your phone bill

On Monday, Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc. and Quebecor Inc. extended a deadline to mid-February that would finalize the largest telecommunications takeover in Canadian history. The deal would see Rogers buy Shaw for $20-billion. In an already concentrated industry, Canada’s Competition Bureau has argued that the deal would be bad for consumers who already pay some of the highest cell phone bills in the world.

Telecom reporter, Alexandra Posadzki explains the implications of this deal and why, even though it has cleared significant legal hurdles, Canada’s Federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne won’t rush his signoff.

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Jan 31, 2023
What went wrong with the Liberals’ gun legislation

The Liberal government brought in Bill C-21 last May that would ban certain firearms. Amendments to the legislation have only confused the matter – some types of guns are banned in some of those amendments, but not in others – and the Liberals’ lack of communication is frustrating people on all sides of the issue.

The Globe’s senior political reporter Marieke Walsh tells us why these changes have been made to the legislation, why the government has been so quiet on it, and how likely this legislation is to work in reducing gun violence.

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Jan 30, 2023
What remains a year after the convoy protests

A year after tens of thousands of people descended on Ottawa, some in their big-rig trucks, a lot has changed. Border restrictions have been lifted. Same for vaccine passports and most masking requirements. But the alienation and anger that lay underneath the movement seems to remain.

Ottawa reporter Shannon Proudfoot discusses what some of the participants of the convoy think about it now, and whether another version of this protest could pop up again.

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Jan 27, 2023
Unicorns, camels and the tech crash

To cope with the rising interest rates and higher-than-normal inflation in the economy, many tech companies are changing how they do business, focusing on turning a profit over growing revenue or market share.

Technology reporter Sean Silcoff explains why for many years, forgoing profit was a good bet for startups, why that focus has led to mass layoffs in today’s shakier economic reality, and how some companies are thriving in these tough times.

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Jan 26, 2023
Arsenic in the air divides a small Quebec city

The residents of Rouyn-Noranda, QC have known about the arsenic emissions coming from the local smelting plant for years. More studies are coming out about health concerns for the residents – but Glencore, the company that owns the plant, is still allowed to emit significantly more arsenic than the rest of the province.

The Globe’s Eric Andrew-Gee went to Rouyn-Noranda and spoke with residents about the impact of these emissions and why it’s been allowed to go on for decades.

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Jan 25, 2023
Western allies debate sending tanks to Ukraine

Ukraine wants tanks – 300 of them to be precise. President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that western battle tanks could be the key to driving Russian troops out of his country. But the allies, including Canada, are still deliberating on whether they should send them.

Steven Chase has been covering the developments on this aspect of the war for The Globe. He explains why Canada alone can’t make the decision to send Ukraine our Leopard-2 tanks and why allies are worried this might be the escalation that provokes a Russian backlash.

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Jan 24, 2023
Why physically disciplining kids is still legal in Canada

In Canada, the criminal code allows for physical discipline of children, in certain circumstances. For almost half a century, advocates have been fighting to repeal the law, saying it violates children’s rights. Seventeen bills have been introduced in Parliament trying to strike the law down – and all of them have died before they could change the criminal code.

Now, two bills trying once again are before Parliament. The Globe’s Marsha McLeod explains why the law exists, and the vocal groups who’ve fought to keep it on the books.

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Jan 23, 2023
Are Alberta and BC good models for private surgery?

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced this week his government is increasing the use of private clinics for procedures like cataracts, diagnostic imaging and eventually hip and knee replacements. The move sparked a lot of criticism – but Ford says he’s following the lead of other provinces like B.C., Alberta and Quebec that are already doing something similar.

First, we’ll talk to The Globe’s provincial politics reporter Jeff Gray about Ontario’s plan. Then, we’ll talk to The Globe’s B.C. reporter Mike Hager about how that strategy is working in other provinces, and why B.C. is now moving away from private health care.

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Jan 20, 2023
Inside the life-or-death journey of one Venezuelan family

Over 7-million Venezuelans have left their homes since 2017, when Nicholas Maduro seized power and the state started to collapse. Most refugees have tried to start anew in nearby countries, like Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. But an increasing number are headed north on a dangerous trek that will take them to U.S.’s southern border. It’s a journey that is hugely shaped by policy decisions being made continents away.

Kerli Vasquez and her family are on this journey and met Doug Saunders, the Globe’s international affairs columnist, on the road. Doug tells us about the years they’ve spent trying to re-establish themselves in multiple different countries, and are now en route to try and reach the U.S.

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Jan 19, 2023
Canada’s new drinking guidelines

On Tuesday, Canada’s new guidelines for drinking and health were released from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction (CCSA). The guidelines say that three to six standard drinks put you at a moderate health risk— and you might be surprised by how much counts as a “standard drink.”

Dr. Catherine Paradis is a sociologist and the interim associate director of research at the CCSA. She’s back on the show addressing some of the questions listeners had after hearing her back in September, and outlining why she thinks labeling alcohol will help Canadians make more informed choices when drinking.

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Jan 18, 2023
What history can tell us about this economic moment

The economic forecast for 2023 is … less than rosy. Inflation is still running high. Central banks may continue to raise interest rates. And what everyone wants to know is: How long will this last before rates are lowered again?

Globe and Mail columnist Tim Kiladze says you can look back in history to get some clues. And they suggest that an investor’s best asset for the next while might be patiences.

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Jan 17, 2023
Why holiday travel chaos is the new normal

The holiday travel period was incredibly tumultuous – with passengers stranded, bags lost and thousands of flights cancelled. The airlines say the winter storms caused unprecedented disruptions, but The Globe’s transportation reporter Eric Atkins says the problems go beyond that.

He tells us the other factors that led to this chaos, how airlines are responding, and whether this is likely to happen again. (Spoiler: It is.)

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Jan 16, 2023
The hard-line plans of Israel’s new far-right government

Israel’s new far-right government is looking to overhaul the country’s justice system – going so far as seeking to create a law that would allow parliament to override the Supreme Court. If the changes happen, it could have implications on rights for the LGBTQ community, asylum seekers and also exacerbate tensions with the Palestinians.

Josef Federman is the News Director of the Associated Press for Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan. He explains why this is happening now and what these proposals signal about the direction the country is headed.

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Jan 13, 2023
Cheap grocery apps aiming to reduce food waste

There’s a growing demand for food waste apps from both shoppers and grocers. They’ve been touted as a new way for people to score deals as food prices rise, while cutting back on food being thrown out by retailers.

Susan Krashinsky Robertson is The Globe and Mail’s retailing reporter and she explains who uses these apps and what evidence there is that they actually help in getting food to people instead of it heading to the landfill.

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Jan 12, 2023
A virologist on COVID variant XBB 1.5

The XBB 1.5 variant of COVID is quickly becoming the dominant strain in the US, and we’re seeing more cases here in Canada too. The WHO has called it the most transmissible variant of the virus we’ve seen so far.

Some people are calling it ‘The Kraken.’ But not Dr. Angela Rasmussen. She’s a virologist at VIDO, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, and she’ll walk us through what we know about this variant, what we don’t know, and how concerned we should be.

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Jan 11, 2023
Andrew Coyne looks ahead to politics in 2023

Canada’s facing a stressed health care system, persistent inflation and a fraught geopolitical scene.

Globe and Mail columnist Andrew Coyne looks at the big issues that will likely be facing the federal government in 2023 and what this means for leaders Justin Trudeau, Pierre Poilievre and Jagmeet Singh, and the possibility of a federal election.

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Jan 10, 2023
Shopify's problems

Shopify began this year announcing to its workers that meetings of more than two employees were banned. Slack channels that were not work-related – the online equivalent of a water cooler and its associated chit-chat – had been deleted.

Those changes, along with last year’s sweeping layoffs and the company’s new product offerings, are part of an attempt to bring Shopify back to its glory days, just a few years ago. In 2020, Shopify became the most valuable company in Canada, but that’s no longer the case. In 2022, it lost two-thirds of its stock value.

Technology reporter Temur Durrani tells us what went wrong, what Shopify is trying to do about it, and how the tech sector is suffering from uncertain times.

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Jan 09, 2023
Disaster-proof your finances for 2023

2022 was a pretty turbulent year financially, with sky-high inflation, interest rates and housing prices. So you might be looking at the coming year and thinking about how to protect your finances against whatever 2023 might bring.

The Globe’s personal finance reporter, Erica Alini, recently wrote a MoneySmart Bootcamp newsletter to help people get a better handle on their money. Today, we talk to her about how to disaster-proof your finances and discuss budgeting, saving and debt.

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Jan 06, 2023
Why the surge of COVID in China looks a lot like 2020

Since China abandoned its COVID-zero policies, the country has seen a dramatic outbreak of infections. But exactly how bad things are remains murky, as contradictory reports of cases and deaths emerge.

But other countries are reacting nonetheless; Canada and others have put new travel restrictions on people arriving from China. There are fears that the rate of infection and the size of China’s population could make things dramatically worse. The Globe’s Asia Correspondent, James Griffiths, explains.

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Jan 05, 2023
The weight loss drug everyone’s talking about

Ozempic and other semaglutide drugs have been hailed as a very effective treatment for obesity, but shortages, affordability and doctors’ willingness to prescribe it are still keeping people who might benefit from it off the drug.

Health reporter Carly Weeks explains how the drug works and how it may force our society to rethink how we perceive obesity.

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Jan 04, 2023
How organ transplants could be changed by ... frozen frogs

Some animals survive harsh winter conditions by completely freezing and thawing in spring, like the wood frog. Researchers are looking to harness these abilities for humans – particularly for organ transplants.

Shannon Tessier is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and an investigator at the Center for Engineering in Medicine and Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. She tells us how animals freeze over and how it might be harnessed for organ transplants.

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Jan 03, 2023
2022: A look back on the year of the ‘freedom convoy’

What started as a protest against vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers turned into a catch-all occupation of pent-up pandemic grievances. By the time it was over, hundreds of people were arrested, Ottawa’s police chief resigned, and the Emergencies Act had been invoked for the first time ever.

Today, we look back at how this story dominated headlines throughout the year, from the first rumblings in January to the hot tubs and honking in February, the 21-year-old who won against the convoy in court, to the testimony from the Prime Minister in the fall.

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Dec 30, 2022
As missiles fall around her, this Kharkiv citizen continues to fight disinformation

As part of our picks of the top stories of 2022, we are re-airing this episode about a woman documenting the destruction of the war in Ukraine. This episode originally aired on March 2.

Maria Avdeeva is the research director of the European Expert Association, which analyzes Russian disinformation. With the sound of Russia’s attack in the background, Maria explains what’s happening in her hometown of Kharkiv, and why the decision to stay is her way of fighting the “Information War,” where disinformation is weaponized to change how the world understands the horrors unfolding in Ukraine.

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Dec 29, 2022
Should the Pope reverse a 500-year-old Church law?

As part of our picks of the top stories of 2022, we are re-airing this episode on the Pope’s visit to Canada and the Doctrine of Discovery, which originally aired on July 25.

Many Indigenous people would like the Pope to publicly renounce the Doctrine of Discovery. Bruce McIvor is one of them. He is a lawyer, a historian and the author of Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It. He explains what this doctrine is, how it went from a papal edict to a legal principle in Canada and why renouncing it would be a meaningful action for the Pope to take on his July visit to Canada.

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Dec 28, 2022
If you didn’t get a big raise, you probably got a pay cut

As part of our picks of the top stories of 2022, we are re-airing this episode on inflation, which originally aired on April 20.

With inflation eating into people’s bank accounts, some people are starting to wonder: Hey, is my paycheque shrinking? And according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, it is.

Economics reporter Matt Lundy explains how inflation is resulting in a pay cut for most Canadians and what – if anything – you can do about it.

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Dec 27, 2022
Move over Let It Go, we’re talking about Bruno

As part of our picks of the top stories of 2022, we are re-airing this episode about one of the top songs of the year. This episode originally aired on January 24.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who have ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ stuck in their head, and those who don’t … yet. The Disney song is a viral sensation and unexpected hit from the 2021 film Encanto.

Michael Birenbaum Quintero is an ethnomusicologist and Associate Professor at Boston University. Even he agrees it’s a catchy tune, and explores its musical influences along with the movie’s wider representation of Colombian and Latin American music and culture.

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Dec 26, 2022
What’s the holiday season without a little tradition?

Ranging from childhood phone calls, to serenading strangers, to feasting on the darkest day of the year, we explore how traditions help connect us and celebrate the season.

To end the year, we wanted to take a break from the endless cycle of bad news and share with you a series of stories about holiday traditions.

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Dec 23, 2022
Short on cash and power, Ukraine faces a dark Christmas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington on Wednesday. It’s his first known time outside of Ukraine since Russia invaded more than 300 days ago. He’s meeting with President Joe Biden, national security officials and addressing Congress. It’s a bid to shore up more weapons and money in order to fight the ongoing war.

The meeting comes at a time where Russian aerial attacks on Ukraine are ramping up. The main targets are power grids, which is leaving many in the country in the dark and cold for hours. The Globe’s European Bureau Chief, Eric Reguly is on the show from Kyiv.

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Dec 22, 2022
The YouTubers guiding immigrants in small-town Canada

Newcomers are turning to YouTube to learn about everyday life in places like Moncton NB, Kamloops B.C. or Swift Current, Sask. Canada’s goal of bringing in 500,000 new permanent residents every year by 2025 has a focus on settling new immigrants in small towns and different regions of the country – Instead of just the big city centres – and 2021 census data shows that shift is already happening.

So YouTube channels made by recent immigrants are helping those who arrive after them learn about where to get groceries, what kind of winter coat they need and even what people are like in a particular town. The Globe’s Dakshana Bascaramurty talked to some of these YouTubers.

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Dec 21, 2022
What we know about the mass shooting near Toronto

On Sunday evening, five residents of a high-rise condo building in Vaughan, ON were shot and killed. A 73-year-old gunman was also shot and killed by police. Court documents reveal that the shooter had a years-long history of legal disputes with the condo board. Police said three of the people killed were members of the board.

The Globe’s Dustin Cook tells us what we know so far about what happened and the gunman’s history with the condo board.

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Dec 20, 2022
The tiny town that might vote itself out of existence

In the community of Gaultois, Newfoundland, an upcoming vote will determine whether to keep receiving government services, or take a payout to relocate to the mainland, leaving behind their homes and dramatic beauty of their small island town.

Greg Mercer, the Globe’s Atlantic Canada reporter, tells us about the history of resettlement in Newfoundland, and how the people of Gaultois feel about deciding the town’s fate.

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Dec 19, 2022
A success story in Indigenous-led conservation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $800-million in funding for Indigenous-led conservation efforts at COP15, the biodiversity conference happening in Montreal. The Thaidene Nëné Indigenous Protected Area and national park is considered a success story in Indigenous-led conservation. It was established in 2019 after decades of discussion and negotiation between the federal and territorial governments and the local Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation.

Addie Jonasson was part of those negotiations. She tells us why this park is so important to the local wildlife, and its significance to the Indigenous peoples, and how this park could serve as an example for conservation efforts in Canada.

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Dec 16, 2022
FTX and Canadian crypto FOMO

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas on Monday. U.S. prosecutors charged Bankman-Fried with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy. He’s now in a Bahamian prison and could be extradited to the U.S. The company was founded in 2019 and went from being worth US$32-billion to bankrupt in mid-November.

Along the way, FTX built up a lot of hype and attracted a lot of investments worldwide. That included support from both Kevin O’Leary and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, which invested US$95-million in the company. The Globe’s technology reporter, Temur Durrani, explains what he learned about how the fear of missing out got so many to buy in.

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Dec 15, 2022
A promising young player, a devastating injury and Hockey Canada

Neil Doef was 17 when his life changed. As a promising young hockey player, he was competing at an international tournament when he was paralyzed. For the last seven years, he has been engaged in a lawsuit trying to get financial help from Hockey Canada and its insurer.

Grant Robertson, senior writer for The Globe and Mail, shares Neil’s story and addresses the questions Neil’s case raises about how Hockey Canada decides to use money from its National Equity Fund.

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Dec 14, 2022
Why NASA wants to go back to the moon

With its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, Artemis 1 marked the successful completion of the first step in a new era of space travel to the moon. It comes 50 years after the last astronaut bounced along the lunar surface.

Now, the goal is to make moon travel more routine and sustainable. Science reporter Ivan Semeniuk explains how NASA hopes to do this in the next decade, along with help from international partners like Canada, and what hurdles it’ll have to overcome to make the entire Artemis program as successful as its predecessor Apollo.

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Dec 13, 2022
A rare look inside war-torn Myanmar

Myanmar has been in a state of chaos since February 2021 when the military staged a coup following a democratic election. Thousands of people have been killed in this civil war, and the UN estimates that around a million people have been displaced in the country.

Siegfried Modola, a photojournalist and documentary photographer, spent weeks inside Myanmar for the Globe traveling with one of the rebel forces. That gave him a rare look into what’s going on in the country, the state of the civil war and what it means for the population.

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Dec 12, 2022
A behavioural psychologist explains why Canadians aren’t wearing masks

Healthcare systems across the country are under strain yet again, and this time children seem to be bearing the worst of the combination of influenza, RSV, and COVID-19. Health officials would like people to voluntarily mask to help stop the spread, but people across Canada seem to have given up on them.

Dr. Kim Lavoie is a psychologist at UQAM, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Medicine, and co-director of the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre. She’s on the show to explain why people just aren’t masking the way they used to.

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Dec 09, 2022
The billions of dollars in ineligible COVID benefits

The federal government paid $4.6-billion in COVID-19 benefits to ineligible recipients, and another $27.4-billion of payouts should be investigated to see if they met the program’s eligibility. That’s according to an Auditor-General report released on Tuesday. It says that while Ottawa did a good job quickly delivering money to Canadians, they’re doing a poor job identifying who needs to pay the money back.

The Globe’s deputy Ottawa bureau chief Bill Curry explains what we know about where the money went, and why billions of dollars are at risk of going uncollected.

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Dec 08, 2022
Why your groceries cost so much

Canadians have already seen the cost of groceries grow by over 10 per cent this year, and costs are expected to keep rising. A bag of the humble romaine lettuce can cost as much as $13. Now, experts are projecting that food costs for the average Canadian family will go up by $1,000 in 2023.

This week, the Committee of Agriculture held a hearing with representatives from major grocery retailers to discuss why prices are so high right now. Food reporter Ann Hui breaks down what we learned about the confluence of factors that are making grocery bills so hefty.

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Dec 07, 2022
How the Canadian justice system treats abused women

Two years ago, Helen Naslund was sentenced to eighteen years in prison for killing her husband, Miles, in 2011. They married young, in the early 1980s – he was twenty, and she was seventeen. He abused her and their three children for decades.

Today on the Decibel, Globe feature writer Jana Pruden shares Helen’s story and unpacks how the justice system treats women who have been abused.

For help with controlling behaviour or intimate partner violence, call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 1-866-863-0511. In Quebec, call SOS violence conjugale at 1-800-363-9010.

Watch for The Globe’s podcast series about Helen Naslund’s story, coming in 2023. 

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Dec 06, 2022
How to stop Indigenous identity fraud

Joseph Boyden. Michelle Latimer. Carrie Bourassa. There has been a growing list of people who are accused of pretending to be Indigenous.

Jean Teillet is a lawyer who was commissioned by the University of Saskatchewan to write a report about the issue of Indigenous identity fraud and to determine how postsecondary institutions can identify fraudulent applicants.

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Dec 05, 2022
What a more sovereign Alberta would mean for Canada

On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduced her sovereignty act, the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act, which would give her cabinet powers to not enforce federal legislation, policies or programs it deems harmful to Alberta’s interests. Smith has referred to the proposed law as a shield against Ottawa.

Today, we’re hearing from Alberta and Ottawa. Alanna Smith, a Globe reporter in Calgary, explains how this bill would work and what it means in Alberta. The Globe’s writer-at-large John Ibbitson discusses how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other federal officials might respond.

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Dec 02, 2022
A glut of office space in a hybrid work world

The office vacancy rates in two of Canada’s biggest cities – Toronto and Vancouver – have more than doubled since before the pandemic.

The Globe’s real estate reporter, Rachelle Younglai, explains what is driving that trend and which companies are feeling the strain of managing physical offices in a world of hybrid work.

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Dec 01, 2022
Zero-COVID protests break through the Great Firewall of China

Protesters in China are blaming zero-COVID policies for the deaths of 10 people in an apartment building in the city of Urumqi. Demonstrations erupted in dozens of cities around the country, including in Shanghai and the capital Beijing.

While protests do happen in China – despite the country’s reputation for absolute control – the way unrest spread online is remarkable given China’s internet firewall that censors dissent.

The Globe’s Asia Correspondent, James Griffiths is the author of The Great Firewall of China. He tells us how these protests are evading the censors, what the government is doing in response and what these demonstrations mean for zero-COVID policies in the country moving forward.

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Nov 30, 2022
Canada’s ambitious plan to bring in 500,000 immigrants by 2025

The federal government plans to bring in 500,000 immigrants per year by 2025 – but only around 200,000 housing units are being built per year. With a cost-of-living crisis, sky-high housing demand and struggling health care systems, immigrants are often left struggling to settle here in Canada.

Matt Lundy, economics reporter with The Globe’s Report on Business, explains what these challenges mean for people who have recently arrived in Canada, and how the federal government plans on tackling them.

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Nov 29, 2022
Justin Trudeau testifies at the Emergencies Act inquiry

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s five-hour testimony wrapped up the final day of Emergencies Act inquiry.

Mr. Trudeau faced questions about his decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in February, 2022 in response to the so-called trucker convoy protests which had taken over a part of downtown Ottawa, and had blockaded border crossings in Windsor, Ontario and Coutts, Alberta.

Guest host Sherrill Sutherland and parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh breaks down Trudeau’s testimony and other top moments from the inquiry.

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Nov 28, 2022
Are we ready for the new medically assisted dying law?

In March, Canada will expand medically assisted dying to people with mental illness as a sole condition. This will make the country’s euthanasia law one of the most liberal in the world – just seven years after assisted dying first became legal.

A parliamentary committee has been hearing from experts since April about what needs to happen to make the right to die safe for all Canadians, and The Globe’s Erin Anderssen has been following the emotionally charged testimony.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or Crisis Service Canada at 1-833-456-4566, or visit

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Nov 25, 2022
How soaring B.C. wait times are hurting cancer patients

Cancer patients are facing lengthy wait times to see a doctor and get treated in British Columbia. These delays are not only stressful for the patient, they allow the disease to grow and become more complicated.

This is a massive change from a few decades ago when B.C. was seen as a leader in cancer care. Globe and Mail reporter Andrea Woo explains how these delays got so bad.

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Nov 24, 2022
What the World Cup buys Qatar

With World Cup host country Qatar getting bad press for its treatment of migrant workers, its stance on LGBTQ rights and its strict regulations on alcohol, it’s hard to imagine that it has a lot to gain from hosting this event.

But as the Globe’s Asia correspondent James Grifiths tells us from Doha, Qatar has already seen its relationship with other Gulf nations improve because of the World Cup, and the event might still be an important pivot in the country’s economy.

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Nov 23, 2022
Premier Danielle Smith takes on health care in Alberta

Danielle Smith harshly criticized health officials’ response to the pandemic in Alberta during her campaign to become premier – and she promised to change things. She’s now making major changes to health care in the province, firing the entire board of Alberta Health Services and replacing it with a single administrator.

Kelly Cryderman, reporter and columnist with The Globe’s Calgary bureau, says Smith is trying to strike a delicate balance – keeping the promises she made while trying to show the rest of the province that she is moderate enough to govern all of Alberta.

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Nov 22, 2022
Can big banks save us from climate change?

The year was 2021. And former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney had a dream. In Glasgow, he announced that wanted to bring together the world’s financial institutions to help solve climate change. It was called GFANZ – the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero and since it’s launch that year, it has grown to include more than 500 members that manage $150-trillion in assets.

But just ahead of this year’s COP27 in Egypt, the alliance started to crack. Report on Business reporter and columnist Jeffrey Jones explains why some banks are worried that Mark Carney’s GFANZ group might cause them legal headaches.

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Nov 21, 2022
Rupi Kaur wants you to start writing

Rupi Kaur is one of the most famous poets in the world. When she was just 21, she self-published her first collection of poetry, Milk and Honey. She’s written two more collections since, and her books have sold over 11 million copies.

Rupi is on the show to talk about how it all started, managing mental health in the pandemic and why she thinks other people should start writing.

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Nov 18, 2022
A doctor answers your questions about RSV, flu and COVID

As RSV, influenza and COVID circulate, health care systems that were already strained are struggling even more. Children’s hospitals in particular are seeing a surge of patients with RSV, and departments are overloaded. As doctors expect this season of respiratory viruses to continue, many are asking provincial health officials to bring back mask mandates – which so far hasn’t happened.

You – our listeners – have questions about this respiratory virus season. Dr. Leighanne Parkes, an infectious disease specialist and microbiologist with the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, is here to answer them.

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Nov 17, 2022
The peace deal to end ‘world’s biggest war’ in Tigray

Two weeks after a peace agreement between Ethiopia and Tigray was reached, humanitarian aid finally started to arrive in the Tigrayan region on Tuesday. It’s the first sign that Ethiopia’s blockade, cutting off food, medicine and communications, is ending. The brutal two-year-long civil war has led to the death of as many 600,000 people.

The Globe and Mail’s Africa Bureau Chief, Geoffrey York explains why this deal is so desperately needed, how the arrival of aid is a step in the right direction and why a number of factors still exist that could threaten its implementation.

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Nov 16, 2022
What the liberation of Kherson means for the war in Ukraine

The Globe’s Mark MacKinnon was in Kherson this weekend while residents celebrated Ukraine regaining control of the city from Russia’s invading forces. They had been under Russian occupation since the beginning of March, just days into the war, and life has been difficult.

Mark tells us about what he has been hearing from people and what this latest loss for Russia means for the broader conflict.

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Nov 15, 2022
How FTX went from $32-billion to bankrupt in a week

Sam Bankman-Fried was seen by many as the golden boy of the cryptocurrency world. He was the CEO of major crypto exchange FTX, which at its peak was worth US$32-billion. He was known to hobnob with celebrities and work with Washington on the thorny issues of regulating crypto.

But both his company and his reputation crumbled this week. Now people who had deposited their digital assets and cash on FTX are having issues getting their money back and investors in the platform have had to write off their investments as zero. Report on Business editor Ethan Lou explains the latest catastrophe in this very bad year for cryptocurrency.

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Nov 14, 2022
Why this climate scientist is worried the Bahamas won’t exist in 50 years

At the global climate conference COP27, a major discussion is a loss and damage fund. The idea is that wealthier countries that contributed more to climate change would put money towards a fund that poorer countries could use to recover after climate-induced disasters like hurricanes, floods or droughts.

But countries like the Bahamas are already feeling the impacts of climate change. Climate scientist and tropical storm expert Marjahn Finlayson tells us how climate change is affecting her home, and what responsibility countries like Canada have to help.

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Nov 11, 2022
Abortion rights’ impact on the Republican wave

Republicans were expected to dominate the midterm elections, but the anticipated ‘red wave’ did not pan out. Democrats did better than expected and some of that is being attributed to the support for abortion rights across the country. NBC News exit polls report that the largest number of people said inflation was the deciding issue for their vote – with abortion coming in a close second.

Rosemary Westwood is a public health reporter in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the host of a podcast called Banned, about the battle over abortion rights in the deep south. She explains what happened at the midterms and what it means for the future of abortion rights in the U.S.

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Nov 10, 2022
Why Doug Ford backpedaled in the dispute with CUPE

In an abrupt reversal, Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised to repeal the legislation that revoked the right to strike for educational workers in the province. That wrapped up the walkout by CUPE members after two days.

But negotiations between this union – and others – continue with the province and so questions remain in terms of how both parties will find a way out of this dispute without another work stoppage. Jeff Gray is one of The Globe’s correspondents at the Ontario legislature and he explains what factored into the swift change of events.

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Nov 09, 2022
The secretive Chinese ‘police stations’ in Canada

The RCMP are now investigating after a report from human rights organization Safeguard Defenders identified 54 so-called Chinese police “service stations” set up in 30 countries around the world – including three right here in Canada.

China says the stations are set up to assist Chinese nationals with things like renewing drivers’ licences. But Laura Harth, the campaign director for Safeguard Defenders, says the stations are part of an effort by the Chinese government to make Chinese people return that includes surveillance, intimidation tactics and harassing family back home.

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Nov 08, 2022
How Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law is having a big impact on the U.S.

Florida has brought in several policies recently that critics say target LGBTQ people, like the controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which prevents teachers from telling kids in Grade 3 or younger about sexual orientation or gender identity. Similar policies are being taken up across the US.

Brandon Wolf is with the LGBTQ civil rights group Equality Florida. He tells us about the impact of the “Don’t Say Gay” law, and what it means when so many Republican candidates for the upcoming midterms are using at a model for what they’ll do in their home states.

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Nov 07, 2022
School staff walk out to protest new Ontario legislation

The labour dispute between educational workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government has escalated this week. The union issued its strike notice on Sunday and the government responded with back-to-work legislation that included the controversial notwithstanding clause on Monday.

Talks broke down on Thursday afternoon after the mediator decided the two sides were still too far apart. The union has decided to proceed with a protest that the province’s legislation has made illegal. The Globe’s future of work reporter Vanmala Subramaniam explains why many union leaders across the country are keeping a close eye on what happens next.

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Nov 04, 2022
The convoy leaders speak at the Emergencies Act inquiry

This week, the Emergencies Act inquiry is hearing from convoy leaders who took over Ottawa’s downtown core earlier this year while they were protesting vaccine mandates. On Wednesday, a lawyer who represented key convoy organizers during the protests told the inquiry that organizers received leaked information from police.

Parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh tells us what else we’ve learned from convoy leaders who have testified so far.

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Nov 03, 2022
What COVID does to the brain

Neuroscientists are trying to figure out how the COVID virus, SARS-COV-2, is affecting the brain. Many people who have gotten COVID end up having lingering cognitive impairments of some kind, whether that’s brain fog, forgetting vocabulary, difficulty remembering or general sluggishness in trying to think.

Dr. Adrian Owen, who has a PhD in cognitive assessments in brain disorders, is a professor of neuroscience and imaging at Western University. His recent study looked at what kinds of cognitive issues people face and how it’s impacting them.

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Nov 02, 2022
The Canadians leading the far-right movement in America

There are a surprising number of Canadians involved in far-right politics in the U.S. Think Jordan Peterson, Steven Crowder, Gavin McInnes, Lauren Southern.

So why are there so many? And why do Americans care about what a group of Canadians have to say? International correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe discusses the power of Canadian commentators in America’s far-right movement.

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Nov 01, 2022
How your boss might be monitoring you

Electronic monitoring of employees has been going on for years, but it’s seen a serious boost during the pandemic. It can consist of tracking anything from location, online activity status, keyboard and mouse movements, URLs – some even take photos of employees from their computer cameras and take screenshots to ensure they are working. Ontario has legislation that now makes it mandatory for companies with more than 25 people to tell employees how they’re monitoring them and why.

Nita Chhinzer, professor in the department of management at the University of Guelph, explains the extent of this kind of monitoring in Canada, and how this Ontario law might change things.

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Oct 31, 2022
What new census data tells us about immigrants in Canada

New census data from Statistics Canada shows that immigrants now represent 23 per cent of the Canadian population, a new high. But these numbers only tell half the story. The challenges that immigrants face in getting into the country are numerous and complex.

Dakshana Bascaramurty digs into the new numbers and explains why some people will risk their lives to move to North America.

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Oct 28, 2022
Financial dos and don’ts for young adults in an uncertain economy

The Bank of Canada announced a 0.5 percentage point rate hike on Wednesday. It’s the sixth consecutive increase in the past year alone. These increases have made borrowing more expensive and saving more difficult for Canadians.

With all this economic uncertainty, The Decibel hosted a conversation live on Twitter with three personal finance experts to talk about how young people should prepare to weather this storm. Rob Carrick, Erica Alina and Melissa Leong talk mortgages, savings and their key piece of personal finance advice for young people who may be feeling anxious.

You can listen to the full Twitter space conversation here.

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Oct 27, 2022
A made-in-Canada solution to help Indigenous people in prisons

Indigenous people are over-represented in Canada’s federal prisons. One in three men in federal prisons identify as Indigenous, and the number is 50 per cent for women prisoners.

Officials have long said that healing lodges – minimum-security rehabilitation centres for Indigenous people – work, but there are only 10 in Canada. And while politicians pledge to build more, they haven’t in recent years. Reporter Patrick White discusses what’s behind the delay.

Join host Menaka Raman-Wilms for a conversation live on Twitter this Wednesday, October 26th, at 2pm ET. She’ll be chatting with the Globe’s personal finance reporter Erica Alini, Globe columnist Rob Carrick and money expert Melissa Leong about the latest interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada and what it means for young people’s money. We’ll cover rent, saving, debt and investing with practical tips you can use.

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Oct 26, 2022
Rishi Sunak takes on a fragile British economy

Rishi Sunak is set to become the UK’s next Prime Minister. This comes after Liz Truss resigned from the job after a tumultuous six weeks. Truss is the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British history. Now, Sunak must try to repair the very shaky economic situation that the country currently finds itself in.

Tom Rachman is a novelist and contributing columnist for The Globe based in London. He tells us why he thinks the problems in the UK all stem back to Brexit, about the mess Rishi Sunak is set to take on and what he could possibly do to fix the British economy.

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Oct 25, 2022
Recovery stalls in Prince Edward Island a month after Fiona

It’s been a month since post-tropical storm Fiona slammed into Atlantic Canada, causing huge amounts of devastation. In Prince Edward Island, thousands of trees came down, houses were destroyed, and people remained without power for weeks. Amidst a labour shortage, recovery efforts in the province are moving slowly.

The Globe’s Greg Mercer visited PEI recently and spoke to people picking up the pieces after Fiona about what comes next.

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Oct 24, 2022
What one annoying sound says about how we deal with homelessness

An anti-loitering noise device under a bridge in the small city of Oshawa, Ontario was put there by municipal officials to dissuade unhoused people from setting up camp. It’s raised questions about how cities should be dealing with homelessness at a time when housing is more out of reach than ever.

With municipal voting day coming on Monday across Ontario, Marcus Gee discusses the politics of addressing homelessness.

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Oct 21, 2022
What we’ve learned from the Emergencies Act inquiry so far

The public inquiry into whether the use of the Emergencies Act to stop protests in Ottawa this past winter was justified is under way. On Wednesday, we learned that the city of Ottawa and police were warned in advance that the trucker convoy protest was well-resourced and determined to remain on site until COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. But Ottawa police reportedly didn’t receive these warnings from the provincial police.

Parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh joins us to tell us what else we’ve learned in the first week of hearings.

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Oct 20, 2022
How to fight drones in Ukraine

In the span of two weeks, Russia has launched two major drone attacks on Ukraine. Scores of so-called “kamikaze drones,” purchased from Iran, have been attacking Ukrainian civilians and devastating power and water infrastructure.

Dr. Stacie Pettyjohn is a senior fellow and director of the defence program at the Center for a New American Security. She’s back on the show to tell us how these drones work and what air defence systems from allies might do to help Ukraine.

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Oct 19, 2022
Cold cases are being cracked with the help of ancestry sites

Finding a suspect based on their DNA alone used to be almost impossible: police could only search DNA databases of people who’d already committed crimes and been convicted. But the increase in popularity of online genealogy and DNA databases are changing what’s possible.

The Globe’s Colin Freeze has spoken to Canadian detectives who are using the same technique that caught the Golden State Killer to solve cold case crimes here in Canada.

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Oct 18, 2022
What you need to know about Buy Now, Pay Later

If you’ve bought something online recently, you’ve probably seen a payment option to spread out the purchase in installments. This is known as Buy Now, Pay Later and it’s popping up all over Canada with companies like Amazon, Adidas, Samsung and Sleep Country. But why is it all over the place all of a sudden?

Finance reporter and columnist Tim Kiladze looked into it, and he explains where it came from, how it affects credit, and how it encourages people to spend more money.

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Oct 17, 2022
The future of China’s economy

Next week, China’s ruling Communist Party is expected to announce an unprecedented third term for its leader, Xi Jinping. Mr. Xi has consolidated his power over the last decade, cracking down on billionaires, movie stars and businesses seen as going against party ideology.

Asia correspondent James Griffiths tells us about Mr. Xi’s vision for China and what his grip on the country means for the future of their economy.

Oct 14, 2022
Loblaw’s driverless trucks hit the road

There’s an experiment under way on the roadways around the Greater Toronto Area. Loblaw Companies Ltd. has partnered with autonomous vehicle company Gatik and is using five driverless delivery trucks to ship products around. And since August, they haven’t had a human ‘safety driver’ on board.

The Globe and Mail’s retail reporter Susan Krashinsky Robertson discusses how the technology for these driverless trucks works, why Loblaw is investing in the technology and what this means for shoppers and the grocery industry in Canada.

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Oct 13, 2022
Mass resignation at Hockey Canada

On Tuesday, the CEO of Hockey Canada, Scott Smith, left the organization and the entire board of directors resigned. The organization has been embroiled in controversy for months over its handling of sexual assaults, specifically the fact that Hockey Canada used funds – paid in part by registration fees – to settle sexual assault claims.

Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason has been writing on this for months. He explains the culture problem he sees at Hockey Canada and in hockey more generally, and what it might take to fix it.

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Editor’s Note: An earlier version of these show notes stated that Scott Smith had resigned.

Oct 12, 2022
Facebook, Meta and the future of social media

The company that owns Facebook might be in trouble. Meta’s stock has plunged nearly 60 per cent this year, Facebook has been losing active users, existing users are consistently complaining about the company’s other social media platform Instagram, and fresh upstarts with their own apps are gobbling up the public’s attention.

As Meta executives pour billions of dollars into the virtual reality world they call the Metaverse, The Globe’s technology reporter Temur Durrani explains the problems within Facebook, what they say about the state of social media more broadly, and what social media might look like in the future.

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Oct 11, 2022
Wild boars are in Canada and it’s no joke

Adaptable, smart and invasive. No we’re not talking about humans. We’re talking about wild boars. With their populations growing and sightings – even around big metropolitan areas – increasing, governments are rushing to find ways to contain them before they wreak ecological and agricultural damage.

Jana G. Pruden, a feature writer for The Globe and Mail, discusses what kind of damage these creatures can do and why letting hunters lose on them is not the answer.

This episode originally aired July 4, 2022.

Oct 10, 2022
Gen Z’s housing struggles are worse than generations past

In the second quarter of 2022 housing affordability in Canada saw its “worst deterioration” in more than 40 years. At the same time, rents across the country are skyrocketing. For young adults between the ages of 25-29, that means living on your own is more out of reach than ever – even if you’ve graduated from university and have a full-time job.

Personal finance reporter, Erica Alini crunched the numbers to get a snapshot of just how expensive it is for young adults trying to find a place to live right now.

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Oct 07, 2022
Ukraine’s breakthrough on the battlefield

The Ukrainian military has made substantial advancements in two regions of the country in the past few days. Those gains come as Russian President Vladimir Putin formalizes his annexation of four regions of Ukraine, where young male residents live in fear that they might be conscripted into the Russian army.

The Globe’s Janice Dickson is in Kyiv and has been travelling to different regions of the country for the past two weeks. She tells us how people in the annexed territories are feeling, and what the new advancements could mean for the ongoing war.

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Oct 06, 2022
How a tax cut for the wealthy almost tanked the UK economy

Liz Truss’s ‘mini budget’ didn’t get a mini reaction. The plan, which initially included a cut in personal income tax for the top earners, sent markets into a panic and sent the pound plummeting to near parity with the U.S. dollar — something that hasn’t happened since the mid-1980s.

But why did the markets react that way to a budget? And what was Truss trying to do in the first place? Lucille Perreault is a researcher at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, and she specializes in taxes. She explains the economics at work and what Canada can learn from the fallout.

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Oct 05, 2022
The NFT market has crashed, but NFT thefts are rising

After a meteoric rise, the value of NFTs plummeted. But here’s the weird thing: that’s when people started stealing them. In the span of a year, one report pegs the total theft at US $100 million.

The Globe’s Rita Trichur is on the show to tell us how people are being scammed out of the NFTs they paid so much for. And don’t worry, we’ll explain what an NFT is, too.

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Oct 04, 2022
A doctor answers your current COVID questions

We wanted to find out from you, our listeners, what you’re thinking about COVID-19 – especially as restrictions are disappearing and new vaccines are available.

Infectious disease specialist, Dr. Lisa Barrett is on the show to answer the COVID-19 questions you have right now, like: When you get sick, is there any way to tell if it’s COVID-19 or the flu or a cold? How long should you isolate if you have COVID-19? What’s the right time frame to get a bivalent vaccine – and what does bivalent mean?

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Oct 03, 2022
Land back and the next stage of reconciliation

It’s become something of a rallying cry to move reconciliation forward, repeated from British Columbia to Ontario to New Brunswick. But what exactly does “land back” mean? 

Bruce McIvor has written extensively on the struggles people face when trying to make a legal case for the return of their traditional lands — not least because he’s represented  some of them. He’s a partner at First Peoples Law, and the author of Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It. 

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Sep 30, 2022
Parties promise to limit immigration in Quebec election

Quebec is the one province where immigration is a ballot-box issue in provincial elections. In 2018, it was one of the deciding factors that gave François Legault of the Coalition Avenir Québec his win.

Now, the major parties are vowing to set different limits on how many permanent residents the province can let in without compromising its French identity. Meanwhile, its labour force is in decline and businesses are calling on provincial leaders to bring in more immigrants to help fill open jobs. Globe and Mail columnist Konrad Yakabuski unpacks the immigration debate in Quebec.

Sep 29, 2022
A nuclear scientist on Russia’s threat of nuclear war

Russia has one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world, and Russian President Vladimir Putin and those in his inner circle have threatened to use nuclear weapons if Russian territory is threatened. Similar comments have been made before, but many experts are looking at these threats differently in light of the so-called referendums taking place across four regions of Ukraine.

Cheryl Rofer worked for more than 30 years as a nuclear scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Now, she writes about national security and about the war in Ukraine. She’ll explain what kind of nuclear weapons Russia has, and what it would mean if Putin decides to use them.

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Sep 28, 2022
An Iranian woman’s death in custody sparks global protests

Protests are spreading across Iran – and the world – after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. Mahsa was picked up by Iran’s morality police on Sept. 13 for allegedly not wearing the proper hijab. Three days later, she was dead. People have taken to the streets demanding justice for Mahsa, and, more broadly, justice for women living under Iran’s strict hijab laws.

Jasmin Ramsey is the deputy director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran. She tells us why this incident has caused so much outrage, what Canada and other international communities are doing in response and whether change to the Iranian regime will come from these mass demonstrations.

Sep 27, 2022
How two Canadian women were switched at birth

In September 1969, two baby girls were born in a tiny hospital in rural Newfoundland, a few hours apart. A simple accident led to both of their lives being changed forever.

Over 50 years later, the truth serendipitously revealed itself and their lives changed again. Freelance journalist Lindsay Jones unravels the mystery of how these two women were switched at birth.

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Sep 26, 2022
Putin doubles down on the war in Ukraine

This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin called up 300,000 reservists in a partial mobilization for the war in Ukraine. That sparked protests in several cities in Russia, and a flood of people trying to leave the country. This is happening just before referendums are set to take place in four regions of Ukraine currently occupied by Russia – and many suspect Putin will use the referendums to claim the regions as Russian territory and further escalate the war.

The Globe’s senior foreign correspondent Mark MacKinnon is back on The Decibel to explain what is happening in Russia right now, what the repercussions of Putin’s escalation might be, and what it means for the broader conflict.

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Sep 23, 2022
The good and bad of slowing inflation

Inflation is on the decline for the second straight month. New numbers from Statistics Canada show that inflation slowed to 7 per cent in August – down from 7.6 per cent in July and 8.1 per cent in June. While these numbers point to an easing in prices for consumers, not everything is cheaper – yet.

Economics columnist for The Globe’s Report on Business, David Parkinson tells us what items are getting less expensive, why groceries are still so high and whether what the Bank of Canada is doing to tamp down inflation is working.

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Sep 22, 2022
A senator sent inauthentic documents to stranded Afghans

In the final days of a chaotic government effort to rescue people from the Taliban last summer, Senator Marilou McPhedran and one of her staff members sent travel documents to a family attempting to flee Afghanistan. The documents, called facilitation letters, were supposed to help the Afghans bypass checkpoints that had been set up around Kabul’s airport, so they could catch one of the last evacuation flights out of the country. A year later, the people who received those documents are still stuck in Afghanistan. And the Canadian government has at last explained why: the facilitation letters they received from the senator and her office were not authentic, and the people named on them had not been approved to come to Canada.

The Globe’s Marieke Walsh explains what happened, how government officials are responding, and what this means for the people still stuck in Afghanistan.

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Sep 21, 2022
What happened to $10-a-day daycare in Ontario?

In March, Ontario became the last jurisdiction in Canada to sign on to the national Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. The $30-billion commitment by the federal government aims at bringing down the cost of daycare to an average of $10 per day by 2026. While all provinces and territories are working out the kinks of their rebate programs, Ontario’s rollout has been particularly plagued by delays and confusion.

The Globe’s Dave McGinn has been following the child care agreement and its rollout across the country. He tells us which jurisdictions are doing well according to child care advocates and why Ontario is falling behind. Plus, we hear from parents about their experiences trying to navigate the system.

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Sep 20, 2022
Soaring energy bills in the UK as winter looms

On Oct. 1, natural gas bills in the U.K. will go up by 80 per cent. Most households rely on natural gas for heat, and this means their energy bills would increase from an average of £1,971 to £3,549 a year. For one third of people in the country, that would mean falling to below the poverty line. The new Prime Minister Liz Truss’s plan is to cap energy bills and pay the difference to energy companies, but estimates say the plan could cost more than £100-billion.

Europe correspondent Paul Waldie tells us what this crisis means for the people and businesses in the U.K. and what’s being done to fix it.

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Sep 19, 2022
New details emerge about the Saskatchewan stabbings

Initially, residents of James Smith Cree Nation did not want to welcome the reporters into their community following the mass stabbing attack that left 10 people dead on September 4, 2022. But after suspect Myles Sanderson died in police custody, things changed.

Globe reporter Nancy Macdonald was allowed into the community and she worked with colleague Jana G. Pruden to help construct a better understanding of what happened prior to the tragedy. Jana explains what they’ve discovered from their reporting and how members of the First Nation are finding ways to move forward.

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Sep 16, 2022
Behind the scenes of the Ukrainian counteroffensive

After months of fighting the Russian invasion, Ukraine has gained significant ground in Kharkiv Oblast, a province in the northeast of the country. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said this week that they have retaken more than 6,000 square kilometres in September.

The Globe’s senior foreign correspondent Mark MacKinnon spoke with a commander of a special forces unit that was integral in this counteroffensive, and he visited some of the places newly liberated from Russian control.

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Sep 15, 2022
Why storms are more destructive now

There seem to be a lot of serious storms these days, and those storms are causing more and more damage. The storm that hit southern Ontario in May claimed the lives of at least 10 people, and caused millions of dollars worth of damage.

The storms we are seeing in Canada are changing – but not how you might expect. David Sills, a severe storms specialist and executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University, explains what changes he’s seeing in storms, how prepared we are to handle the damage from them, and the connection one of these storms has to a producer here at The Decibel.

Sep 14, 2022
Fighting inflation, one grocery bill at a time

While Canada’s overall inflation is ticking down, the cost of food continues to rise. Inflation for groceries rose in July to 9.9 per cent.

Lisa Noonan and Filomena Bilotta are both administrators of the Canadian Savings group on Facebook, where they teach the 100,000+ members how to fight back against inflation in the grocery store. They explain how you can push back against your ever-rising grocery bill.

Sep 13, 2022
What Pierre Poilievre’s landslide victory means for Canada

In case you missed it: listen to Menaka’s conversation with columnists Robyn Urback and John Ibbitson about the Conservative Party’s new leader, Pierre Poilievre. They explore what Poilievre’s win says about the Conservative party, what Poilievre stands for and how other federal parties will have to respond to counter his popularity.

This is a recording of a live event broadcast on Twitter Spaces on Monday, September 12.

Sep 12, 2022
The expansion of selling plasma in Canada

Plasma is a critical part of some medicines but Canada currently only gets 15 per cent of its supply from Canadians. That means we’re dependent on the paid-plasma international market for 85 per cent of it. 

So to secure a domestic supply, the Canadian Blood Services has reversed course on its historic position of only administering a voluntary donation system and signed a deal with for-profit Spanish company Grifols, who will collect Canadian plasma by paying people. Report on Business reporter Chris Hannay explains the controversial partnership.

Sep 12, 2022
The Conservative leadership race is Poilievre’s to lose

The Conservative Party of Canada will announce a new leader on Saturday evening. This comes after more than half a year of campaigning. Scott Aitchison, Roman Baber, Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis and Pierre Poilievre were all competing for the job, but it’s widely expected that Pierre Poilievre will win the race.

The Globe’s writer-at-large and longtime political columnist, John Ibbitson explains why Mr. Poilievre is the favourite to win, what it signals for the future of the Conservative Party and the broader implications to Canadian politics.

Sep 10, 2022
Queen Elizabeth dies at 96

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday at the age of 96. She was on the throne for 70 years, making her the longest-reigning British monarch in history. Her rule was marked by modernizing the monarchy, increased philanthropy, timeless fashion and the occasional joke.

While the Queen was widely beloved, the popularity of the monarchy has been waning here in Canada and elsewhere. Vicky Mochama, royals writer and contributor to The Globe, tells us about the Queen’s life and legacy, and how we might reckon with the monarchy now that she is gone.

Sep 09, 2022
Why sports betting ads are everywhere

A federal law banning single-sports betting was reversed last year through Bill C-218, leading to a proliferation of sports betting companies operating in Canada – along with an explosion in sports betting ads on social media, billboards, and in televised sports games.

Ben Mussett looked into how this change comes at a time when other countries, like the U.K., have decided to curb sports betting advertising because of concerns about addiction and problem gambling.

Sep 08, 2022
Grief and fear in Saskatchewan after mass stabbing

Two days after a stabbing rampage in Saskatchewan, police are still looking for Myles Sanderson, who, along with his brother Damien, are suspected of killing 10 people and injuring 18 others. On Monday the RCMP confirmed that Damien Sanderson was found dead.

The attacks happened in 13 different locations on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby town of Weldon. The Globe’s Alanna Smith visits the communities and tells us about the attacks, the possible motive behind them and how the community is responding to the tragedy.

The Hope for Wellness Help Line is available to all Indigenous people across Canada at 1-855-242-3310. Orchat online at 24/7 in English, French, and upon request in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut

Sep 07, 2022
Study permit delays leave international students in limbo

As of Aug. 15, nearly 170,000 study permit applications were pending with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Although plans have been made to get many of these students to the start of their classes on time, many might have to be kept waiting.

Will Tao is an immigration lawyer based in British Columbia who focuses on international student study permits. He tells us why we’re seeing so much delay in processing these permits and how the system often leaves applicants from the global south behind.

Sep 06, 2022
City Space: Supply alone won’t fix our housing crisis. Here are three other factors

If we want great cities, people from all walks of life need to be able to live in them. But even with experts predicting that rising interest rates will drive national housing prices down by as much as 23 per cent by the end of this year, most of us would still consider those adjusted prices totally unaffordable. While most of the housing crisis  conversation has centered on supply — just build build build — there’s a lot more going on that’s causing the problem. In our last episode of the season, Adrian talks to three experts about other housing crisis factors that don’t always get the spotlight. Guests for this episode are Andy Yan, an urban planner and director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program; Naama Blonder, a Toronto-based architect and urban planner with Smart Density and  Rachelle Younglai, The Globe’s real estate reporter.

Sep 02, 2022
A new measure of unhealthy drinking

If you have three or more alcoholic drinks in a week, you’re putting your health at risk. That’s according to a new report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction (CCSA). The government of Canada’s current recommendations are more than a decade old. Armed with new information from almost 6,000 studies, the CCSA is proposing an update to Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines.

Dr. Catherine Paradis is the interim associate director of research at the CCSA. She’s also the co-chair of this new report. She tells us what we’ve learned about how alcohol impacts our health, the new guidelines the CCSA hopes Canadians will follow and why they want mandatory portion labels on alcoholic drinks.

Sep 01, 2022
A cry for kelp: How this seaweed can help fight climate change

Kelp has traditionally been harvested for food, but we’re discovering other new ways we could be using kelp as well … like in packaging, to replace plastics, or even in animal feed to reduce the methane released by cows.

National correspondent Wendy Stueck went out on a kelp harvest, and tells us why kelp farming could help coastal communities’ green economies, and be used as an innovative and sustainable new material.

Aug 31, 2022
Do sugar taxes work?

As of Sept. 1, sugar sweetened beverages like pops, iced teas and energy drinks in Newfoundland and Labrador will be a bit more expensive. The province is bringing in a sugar tax, and it is controversial. The government says the goal is to make its residents healthier, as the province has some of the highest rates of diabetes and obesity in the country. Opponents say that the tax will only impact the poorest in the province or won’t make a substantial difference.

Dr. Yann Le Bodo is a research fellow with the French School of Public Health, and he’s part of an international consortium of researchers looking into whether sugar taxes are effective or not. He tells us what the research is saying about sugar taxes and whether they actually lead to a healthier population.

Aug 30, 2022
Investigating the explosion that rocked a small town

An explosion rocked downtown Wheatley, Ontario last year, injuring 20 people, destroying property and terrifying residents and shaking buildings kilometres away. The cause is assumed to be an “orphan” natural gas well tucked away near a building’s basement, one of many thousands left behind after the last 150 years of oil and gas drilling in Ontario.

And while not all orphan wells have been uncovered, the building’s owner had been sounding the alarm about the noxious, highly-flammable gas leaking out of this one for months.

Globe energy reporter Emma Graney tells us about what went wrong in Wheatley, and why experts tell her another explosion like it is “all but guaranteed.”

Read more on The Globe’s investigation here.

Aug 29, 2022
Stress Test: Returning to the office will cost you and not everyone's willing to pay

Your boss wants you back in the office, but after two years of remote work, you’re not sure you want to go. Whether you measure the cost in time or money, going back to work can be pricey. Many Canadians have grown to love their work from home lifestyle, and they’re eager to keep it. In the first episode of our new season, we hear from a 20-something who’s job-hunting because his employer is asking employers to return to the office two to three days a week. We also hear from a manager in her early 40s on why she decided to close her office for good. Plus, The Globe’s future of work reporter Vanmala Subramaniam speaks with Roma to discuss changes in the workplace and what to expect going forward.

Aug 26, 2022
Filling Canada’s labour gaps with migrant workers

In April, the federal government announced that it would expand Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program to allow employers to hire even more low-wage workers from abroad. The move is designed to help ease some of the labour shortages in a number of sectors.

Advocates for migrant workers argue that the TFW program allows employers to exploit migrant workers because the person’s employment is tied to a work permit. There have been complaints about low wages, bad living conditions and dangerous work.

The Globe’s future of work reporter Vanmala Subramaniam tells us about what the program is and why it’s expanding. Plus, we’ll hear from former migrant worker-turned-advocate Gabriel Allahdua about what it was like to work this type of job and why he’s advocating for migrant workers to have a pathway toward permanent residency.

Aug 25, 2022
Zellers is back – will it survive this time?

When Hudson’s Bay Company announced last week that it’s bringing back the discount store Zellers, people flocked to social media to share their memories of Zeddy the mascot, of the Zeller’s diner, and the Zeddy ride. HBC is hoping that nostalgia translates into foot traffic and dollars. The company is trying to modernize and stay relevant in a climate where department stores are shuttering.

The Globe’s retail reporter, Susan Krashinsky Robertson, is here to tell us about this move to bring back Zellers, how else Hudson’s Bay Company is trying to offload millions of square feet of real estate and what the market looks like for Zellers now that the discount market has become even more competitive.

Aug 24, 2022
Why Germany needs Canada’s help with its energy

Germany’s energy crisis could worsen as temperatures dip and Russia threatens to cut off the pipeline delivering natural gas to the country. So German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has come to Canada for a three-day visit, expected to end in a green energy deal signed by both Scholz and Prime Minister Trudeau in Stephenville, Newfoundland on Tuesday.

Claudia Scholz, a business reporter at Germany’s business daily Handelsblatt visiting the Globe on a Burns Fellowship, sets up why Germany hasn’t been able to make more energy at home, why we’re talking about exporting hydrogen – and not natural gas – and why they’ve come all the way to Canada to get help for Germany’s energy crisis.

Aug 23, 2022
The problems with outsourcing healthcare

Dr. Alika Lafontaine is the Canadian Medical Association’s new president, and an anesthesiologist. He takes on the job at a time when emergency rooms are buckling across the country. Nurse shortages are persisting. Backlogs are still jamming up hospitals. And the pandemic hasn’t relented.

So now politicians are scrambling to figure out ways to quickly fortify health care systems that have been cut back for years. Privatizing parts of the system is a part of the conversation in some areas, like in Ontario. But Dr. Lafontaine is skeptical that this is the answer.

Aug 22, 2022
Stress Test: Tempted to buy a home with siblings or friends? Here’s what you need to know

Most people buy homes with their partners or by themselves. But others are ditching the traditional paradigm. Today, we’re talking about unconventional homebuyers: family members, friends and others that team up to get into the property market. We hear from two sisters who are trying to buy a house together – and who are struggling to get into the market even after joining forces. Plus, Roma speaks with Leah Zlatkin, a mortgage broker at Mortgage Outlet and expert at, about what you should know before buying a home with others and why legal agreements are critical for those considering buying as a group. 

Aug 19, 2022
How a warming climate is hurting our sleep

A study from the University of Copenhagen looked at billions of records taken from sleep-tracking wristbands across 68 countries suggests that people are already losing 44 hours of sleep a year because of hot nights. And with record-breaking temperatures happening more frequently because of climate change, Kelton Minor, lead author of the study, tells us the extent of this problem, who is most affected by it, and why it’s so important for people to get a good night’s sleep.

Aug 18, 2022
Taiwan’s bargaining (micro)chip

Recent visits to Taiwan by U.S. House Rep. Nancy Pelosi and a delegation of five U.S. lawmakers earlier this week have set the stage for rising tensions in the Taiwan strait.

Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory and sees U.S. visits as encouragement for Taiwan’s pro-independence movement. But there’s a crucial industry on the self-governing island critical to both China, the U.S. and the entire global economy. Taiwan makes 90 per cent of the world’s advanced semiconductors. The hyper-miniscule components are used in everything from your phone, computer, car and even military fighter jets. So important is Taiwan’s involvement in the industry that some argue it could even deter a war.

The Globe’s Asia correspondent James Griffiths is on the show to talk about how Taiwan came to dominate the industry and why it’s crucial to the delicate geopolitical situation today.

Aug 17, 2022
Why we need parasites

You’re never far from a parasite, no matter where you are. They’re responsible for illnesses like malaria that cause death around much of the world; the word itself is a derogatory term for something freeloading and disgusting.

They’re also very important to the health of ecosystems.

Parasite ecologist and University of Washington associate professor Chelsea Wood makes her case for parasite conservation, and why they’re actually beautiful, complex forms of life that need to be protected.

Aug 16, 2022
Why do CEOs get paid so much?

The CEOs of the 100 largest Canadian companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange saw their compensation go up 23 per cent in 2021. Some chief executives took home pay packages that were valued around in the tens of millions of dollars or more.

So how do boards of these publicly-traded companies decide on these huge sums? And what do the shareholders of these companies think of it all? David Milstead, The Globe’s Institutional Investment reporter, takes us inside the complex world of executive pay.

Aug 15, 2022
City Space: From tipping to farming: How we should change the way we think about food

Today we're bringing you an episode of City Space, a Globe and Mail podcast about how to make our cities better, hosted by Adrian Lee.

Cities are filled with seemingly endless options when it comes to food. But we’re also increasingly disconnected from what we eat and how it makes its way to our plate. In this episode, we’re taking a look at how the pandemic has given us the opportunity to rethink our relationship with food, both in terms of the restaurant industry and farmed food that fills our fridge. Adrian speaks to Corey Mintz, a food writer and critic about his new book The Next Supper: The End of Restaurants As We Knew Them, and What Comes After. Corey shares how the pandemic has changed the restaurant industry, from tipping to labour demand, and what diners should think about next time they eat out. Plus, we hear from Carolyn Steel, architect and author of Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World. Carolyn shares how cities have lost some of their essential connections to the food that fuels their citizens, and what we can do about it.

Aug 12, 2022
The $100,000 curry chicken

With so many ups and downs in headlines and our personal lives, what often brings us together is food. Food has a way of supporting, nurturing and healing. To explore the depths of how food connects us, we cook with chef and author Suzanne Barr.

Barr teaches us how to make her famous Caribbean curry chicken and reflects on how the dish that’s so close to her heart helped launch her cooking career, celebrate her Jamaican culture and encourage more women to take charge in professional kitchens. We hope you not only learn a new recipe, but also how a meal can shape your home and history.

It’s Food Week here at The Decibel. We take a special look at what keeps us alive – and, some say, makes life worth living. We’ll look at food from different angles, from the ethics of eating so-called ‘smart animals’, to how the war in Ukraine showed us the fragility of our food system, to the business of potatoes. Plus, we’ll take you into the kitchen to cook something delicious.

Let us know what you think by emailing us at

Aug 11, 2022
Unearthing our love for the humble potato

Potatoes! They’re affordable, accessible, ultra-versatile, and most importantly, delicious. But a case of potato warts found on two farms in Prince Edward Island last November has wreaked havoc on the local potato economy. The wart led the Canadian government to restrict exports of all P.E.I. potatoes to the U.S. for months. Even though potato warts aren’t unsafe to eat, over 300 million pounds of potatoes were destroyed.

Adrian Lee is a content editor at the Globe and Mail’s Opinion section, and has come to consider the economic and cultural importance of the spud.

It’s Food Week here at The Decibel. We take a special look at what keeps us alive – and, some say, makes life worth living. We’ll look at food from different angles, from the ethics of eating so-called ‘smart animals’, to how the war in Ukraine showed us the fragility of our food system, to the business of potatoes. Plus, we’ll take you into the kitchen to cook something delicious.

Let us know what you think by emailing us at

Aug 10, 2022
How supply chains starve us, and how to fix it

In the past two years alone, the number of severely food insecure people doubled to 276 million, according to the UN, because of issues like inflation and supply chain problems related to the invasion of Ukraine.

Evan Fraser, professor of geography and director of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, continues to stay optimistic despite a global food system long plagued with wealth inequality, political instability and the ongoing climate crisis. He tells us how more people can be fed through changes in policies, green innovations in agriculture and other changes to how we farm food.

It’s Food Week here at The Decibel. We take a special look at what keeps us alive – and, some say, makes life worth living. We’ll look at food from different angles, from the ethics of eating so-called ‘smart animals’, to how the war in Ukraine showed us the fragility of our food system, to the business of potatoes. Plus, we’ll take you into the kitchen to cook something delicious.

Let us know what you think by emailing us at

Correction: An earlier version misspelled the name of the Institute where Dr. Fraser is director. We regret the error.

Aug 09, 2022
Octopus: friend or food?

As the global demand for octopus meat rises, a company in Spain is set to open the world’s first ever octopus farm. But scientists and philosophers warn that it would be a mistake to farm these clever cephalopods. By opening the farm, they say, we’d be opening the door to consequences we may not yet even conceive of.

Erin Anderssen, a feature writer for the Globe, joins us to talk about what makes the octopus such a compelling character, and why learning about them has challenged the way she thinks about eating meat.

This is the first episode of Food Week here at The Decibel. A special look at what keeps us alive – and, some say, makes life worth living. We’ll look at food from different angles, from the ethics of eating so-called ‘smart animals’, to how the war in Ukraine showed us the fragility of our food system, to the business of potatoes. Plus, we’ll take you into the kitchen to cook something delicious.

Let us know what you think by emailing us at

Aug 08, 2022
City Space: How online shopping is changing our city streets – and what comes next

With e-commerce largely replacing brick-and-mortar stores, how we shop is having real, physical effects on how our cities work. So in this episode, we’re looking at all things retail: As consumers, have we become addicted to convenience? How are businesses able to offer us even quicker delivery times than ever before, sometimes within even 15 minutes – and what is that doing to our main streets? What is the “last mile,” and why is it so important for making sure we’re taking care of the environment? Adrian speaks to Josué Velázquez Martínez, the director of the MIT Sustainable Supply Chain Lab, about the ins and outs of how products get to where they need to be – and why e-commerce, if done more thoughtfully, could actually be better for our planet. Plus, we hear from Alex Bitterman, a professor and the chair of Architecture and Design at Alfred State University of New York, about the rise of “dark stores”: private warehouses in the heart of our cities that allow for extra-speedy delivery times, while simultaneously threatening to snuff out our main streets.

Aug 05, 2022
You have Monkeypox questions. We have (some) answers.

Monkeypox cases are climbing worldwide. In July, the World Health Organization declared the virus a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” And in Canada, as of Aug. 3, there are almost 900 cases, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. With this worrying news, many people have questions.

The Decibel put a callout on social media to find out what our listeners wanted to know about the disease. To get answers, we asked The Globe and Mail’s health reporter, Wency Leung, who’s been following the outbreak closely. She walks us through what we know so far – including the severity of the disease, who it’s affecting, and the availability of vaccines today.

Aug 04, 2022
Are we actually heading into a recession?

New GDP numbers in the U.S. have set off the latest set of worries about whether we’re heading for a recession, even if Canada’s numbers aren’t that bad.

Globe and Mail journalist David Parkinson has been covering business and financial markets for more than three decades. He explains how recessions are defined, which economic indicators we should be watching and just how worried people should be.

Aug 03, 2022
Scammers are taking advantage of the overheated rental market

This year alone, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Canada went up almost 14 per cent on average – and many rental markets, like Calgary or Guelph, Ont. are even hotter. Experts point to those priced out of buying a home thanks to inflation, and university students finally able to resume class on campus during the pandemic. All of this creates the perfect environment for scammers to swoop in.

Globe reporter Patrick Egwu, who almost fell victim to a rental scam himself, tells us how these scams work and what to look out for when looking for a place.

Aug 02, 2022
Stress Test: Retirement might look different for Gen Z and millennials. Here’s how to plan for it

Today we're bringing you an episode of Stress Test, a Globe and Mail podcast about personal finance, hosted by Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw.

We’re talking retirement – why it’s changing, and how to plan for it. We hear from Vicky (25), Irina (34) and Brent (36), who each have different visions of retirement and what they’re doing – or not doing – to plan for it right now. Plus, Rob speaks with Shannon Lee Simmons, a Toronto-based certified financial planner whose core clients are millennials and Gen Z, about shifting views of retirement and how you can best prepare.

Jul 29, 2022
Outrage over Hockey Canada’s fund to settle sexual assault claims

Hockey Canada told federal hearings Wednesday that it has paid $8.9 million since 1989 to settle 21 cases of alleged sexual assault, with the bulk of that money, $7.6 million, coming from a special fund built through registration fees that wasn’t disclosed to parents and players.

Grant Robertson’s investigation into the National Equity Fund exposed it publicly, and thanks to two days of parliamentary hearings, we now know a lot more. Grant explains how this fund functions and how it allowed Hockey Canada to keep quiet allegations of a group sexual assault for years.

Jul 28, 2022
Why Canada is violating its own Russian sanctions

Canada is getting heat for granting a Montreal company an exemption from Russian sanctions. The company fixes turbines used in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which supplies natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Ukraine is not happy with Canada, saying that granting this exemption sets a “dangerous precedent” that will only “strengthen Moscow’s sense of impunity”. But Germany pushed hard for this decision because the pipeline in question supplies more than 50 per cent of the country’s natural gas. Meanwhile, Russia has been reducing gas flow to Europe which is sending the country deeper into an energy crisis.

The Globe’s parliamentary reporter Steven Chase explains what the sanction controversy is all about and how Canada is involved, why Canada sided with Germany and what that means for the war in Ukraine.

Jul 27, 2022
Why bonds might be more important than stocks

The bond market moves three times as much money as the stock market. But it’s boring. The “sure thing” with a steady if modest return and low risk. So we hardly ever hear about it. But in this unprecedented economic era, where supply chain woes meet inflation and the threat of recession during a global pandemic, even the bond market has suffered.

To demystify the world of bonds, The Globe’s feature writer Ian Brown is here. He speaks to us about how bonds work, how they play into today’s economy, and why the foundation they’re built on may be cracking.

Jul 26, 2022
Should the Pope reverse a 500-year old Church law on his trip to Canada?

It is largely anticipated that Pope Francis will deliver another apology to Indigenous people while in Canada this week. But are there actions he could take while here to further reconciliation?

Many Indigenous people would like the Pope to publicly renounce the Doctrine of Discovery. Bruce McIvor is one of them. He is a lawyer, a historian and the author of Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It. He explains what this doctrine is, how it went from a papal edict to a legal principle in Canada and why renouncing it would be a meaningful action for the Pope to take while here.

Jul 25, 2022
Stress Test: How TikTok changed the vibe of personal finance advice

Today we're bringing you an episode of Stress Test, a Globe and Mail podcast about personal finance, hosted by Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw.

Gen Z and millennials are getting a lot of their money advice from TikTok, where personal finance videos have more than 5.8 billion views. In this episode, we look at why the social media platform is resonating, how to use it effectively and what advice you should be wary of on the app. We hear from a 25-year-old TikTok user from Mississauga, Ont., about how he started getting personal finance advice from the platform. Plus, Roma speaks to Ellyce Fulmore, aka, a TikTok content creator from Calgary, Alta. Ellyce, who identifies as queer and neurodivergent, shares how her experience helps her create personal finance advice for audiences traditionally ignored by the financial industry.

Jul 22, 2022
The most important revelations from the January 6 hearings

The January 6 Committee hearings have shared several surprising revelations and explosive testimony over the last few months. To make sense of it all, we recap some stand out moments so far in the committee’s efforts to figure out exactly what happened when supporters of then-president Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.

Adrian Morrow is The Globe and Mail’s US correspondent. He’s on the show to share the most important things we’ve learned so far and what to expect now that the hearings are coming to an end.

Jul 21, 2022
The court case challenging Canada’s public healthcare

On Friday, B.C.’s Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision that access to medical care should be based on need and not the ability to pay. The court sided with the B.C. government’s argument that allowing private care would endanger the public system. For 13 years, orthopedic surgeon and president of Cambie Surgery, Brian Day has argued that patients should have the right to pay out-of-pocket for medically necessary care when wait times in the public system are too long. Even though the court disagreed, this case could still end up at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Colleen Flood is the director of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics and University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa. She’s on the show to talk about the implications of the case and what she thinks can be done to help with the long wait times Canadians are currently facing in the healthcare system.

Jul 20, 2022
What we learned from the Nova Scotia shooter’s spouse

More than two years after Canada’s worst mass shooting, we’ve finally heard from someone who was there at the start. Lisa Banfield, the shooter’s common-law spouse, spoke last Friday at the inquiry into how the RCMP handled the incident. She provided insight into what happened in April, 2020, and described a chilling portrait of intimate partner violence.

The Globe’s Greg Mercer tells us about what Banfield witnessed, the shooter’s violent history, and why some of the victims’ families walked out during her testimony.

Jul 19, 2022
Sri Lanka's crisis and its relationship with China

Sri Lanka is in crisis right now. After months of fuel, medicine and food shortages, protestors have taken to the streets – and the homes of the country’s leaders. The now-former Prime Minister’s house was set ablaze. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to Singapore, then resigned. Normally a good friend and funder of projects under his government, China’s government has gone silent as the former president lost the confidence of the country.

But until now, China has spent billions investing in infrastructure projects in countries, including Sri Lanka, as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. The Globe’s Asia Correspondent James Griffiths says that China will be closely watching the unrest and will be evaluating whether Sri Lanka will stay within its sphere of influence.

Jul 18, 2022
City Space: How can cities prepare for climate change?

Today we're bringing you an episode of City Space, a Globe and Mail podcast about how to make our cities better, hosted by Adrian Lee.

Climate change isn’t just coming, it’s here. And cities are uniquely susceptible to its effects because of their population density and infrastructure. So how can they better prepare for the increasingly devastating impacts of the climate crisis? In this episode, we explore the concept of climate resilience — how prepared are cities to anticipate, prepare for and respond to natural disasters? We hear from Thaddeus Pawlowski, an urban designer, professor and managing director at the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at Columbia University, who was on the ground helping New York City rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Plus, Adrian speaks to Toronto’s former Chief Resilience Officer Elliott Cappell about how he helped Toronto develop a plan to deal with climate disasters and what gives him hope for our future.

Jul 15, 2022
Decoding the Bank of Canada’s supersized interest rate hike

The Bank of Canada raised the benchmark interest rate by one percentage point on Wednesday. The surprise move is the biggest hike since 1998. The aggressive increase is larger than economists were expecting. The goal is to cool inflation, which hit 7.7 per cent in May – the highest it’s been in almost four decades.

The Globe’s Mark Rendell covers the Bank of Canada. He’s on the show to explain what the central bank is trying to accomplish with this hike, what it means for recession worries and if it will be enough to get inflation under control.

Jul 14, 2022
Three solutions for airport chaos from a former airline exec

Things are not going well at airports around the world and Canada has taken a particularly bad turn. On Monday, 70 per cent of flights from Canada’s largest carrier Air Canada were delayed – the highest percentage in the world.

Duncan Dee is a former Chief Operating Officer for Air Canada. He also worked on a panel that reviewed the Air Transportation Act in 2016, looking closely at what could be improved at Canada’s airports. He’s on the show to talk about what he thinks should be done immediately in order to help with delays and bottlenecks.

Jul 13, 2022
The Rogers outage fallout

On Friday, Rogers’ cellphone and Internet surfaced suddenly stopped working, leaving almost 12 million Canadians disconnected. And it wasn’t just Rogers’ direct customers who were affected — Interac’s debit system for e-transfers and retail payments were out of commission for most of the day, and some emergency services lost their connection too.

The Globe’s telecom reporter, Alexandra Posadzki, joins us to talk about what went wrong, how the outage could affect Rogers, and what the government’s response was in a meeting held Monday afternoon between telecom executives and François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Jul 12, 2022
Coping with the coming COVID summer surge

Two and a half years into the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be sick of talking about it – but COVID-19 is not through with us yet. Case counts are higher than the first two pandemic summers, and as staffing shortages become more and more common in hospitals, emergency departments are becoming overwhelmed. And yet; with mask mandates gone almost everywhere, few public health restrictions remain.

Wency Leung, the Globe’s health reporter, is on the show to talk about why experts are calling for a return to indoor masking, and what we can expect from a new round of vaccines.

Jul 11, 2022
City Space: Hybrid work is here to stay. What will that mean for our downtown cores?

Today we're bringing you an episode of City Space, a Globe and Mail podcast about how to make our cities better, hosted by Adrian Lee.

If you’re a white-collar worker, chances are your office setup looks different than it did before the pandemic. After our two-year-long global experiment with remote work, many employees say there’s lots to like about it, with a number of companies now offering hybrid workplaces. All that empty office space is going to have an effect on the rest of our cities. In this episode, Jennifer Barrett, a senior planner with The Canadian Urban Institute outlines three ways that vacant offices could affect our downtown cores and what she hopes will be our way forward. We take a look at what Calgary is doing – since it was dealing with a vacant-office crisis even before COVID-19 – with the help of The Globe’s deputy national editor for cities and real estate James Keller. Samantha Sannella, the managing director for strategic consulting at global commercial real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield, also joins us to talk about how Calgary’s revitalization plans for their downtown could inspire other Canadian cities, and whether plans to convert offices into housing are realistic. Finally, Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, explains why so many people want this office revolution in the first place, and how this represents an opportunity to shift away from the white, male-centric ways in which workplaces were originally designed.

Jul 08, 2022
What’s going on inside the Assembly of First Nations?

On Tuesday, First Nations chiefs in the Assembly of First Nations voted against continuing the suspension of National Chief RoseAnne Archibald. Archibald was suspended on June 17, after being accused of bullying and harassment by staff, who she then accused of corruption.

Niigaan Sinclair, professor and acting head of Indigenous studies at the University of Manitoba, explains the work of the AFN, how this situation has overshadowed that work, and what role the AFN has – and should have – in advocating for First Nations people.

Jul 07, 2022
Trudeau, the RCMP and a question of interference

Just 10 days after the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting where 22 people were killed, RCMP commissioner Brenda Lucki allegedly pressed senior officers to publicly release information about the kinds of firearms that were used in the shooting. The reason? To help bolster Liberal gun legislation. The commissioner, the former public safety minister, and the Prime Minister all deny there was political interference – but a paper trail strongly suggests that someone is lying.

Globe columnist, Andrew Coyne, is on the show to explain what happened, why it matters, and why Trudeau’s Liberals keep finding themselves in familiar hot water.

Jul 06, 2022
Tuberculosis in Canada? The story behind a recent outbreak

It’s often thought of as a disease from a bygone era, but in some parts of Canada, tuberculosis is still very much with us. When the hamlet of Pangnirtung experienced an outbreak last year, local health officials were left begging for help to bring in resources to the remote community.

Kelly Grant, the Globe’s health reporter, is on the show to talk about the explosion of tuberculosis cases in Nunavut, how nurses begged the territorial government for help, and why delays might have resulted in preventable infections.

Jul 05, 2022
Wild boars are in Canada and it’s no joke

Adaptable, smart and invasive. No we’re not talking about humans. We’re talking about wild boars. With their populations growing and sightings – even around big metropolitan areas – increasing, governments are rushing to find ways to contain them before they wreak ecological and agricultural damage.

Jana G. Pruden, a feature writer for The Globe and Mail, discusses what kind of damage these creatures can do and why letting hunters lose on them is not the answer.

Jul 04, 2022
Graduating from pandemic high school

Westview Centennial Secondary School in the northwest of Toronto is celebrating the graduating class of 2022. On Thursday, about 180 students are crossing the stage to get their diplomas. While this is a common rite of passage for teens across the country, these students had anything but a normal high school experience. The pandemic meant online learning, no sports, taking care of younger siblings and little in-person interaction with friends. Westview is also located in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood – one of the hardest hit by COVID-19.

The Globe’s education reporter Caroline Alphonso is joined by Decibel producer Sherrill Sutherland as they spend a day at Westview to find out how they feel about graduating. They bring us some of their stories of triumph, struggle and hope which all made up their pandemic-era high school experience.

Jun 30, 2022
The fight to overturn abortion bans in the U.S.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday, abortions were immediately outlawed in several states. But this week, the procedures were allowed to resume in Texas, Louisiana and Utah. While this is seen as a win for pro-choice advocates, these measures are only temporary. And, it’s only a matter of time before abortion will likely be illegal in more than half of U.S. states.

Rosemary Westwood has been following the battle over abortion rights in the Southern U.S. for the past six years. She’s the host of Banned, a podcast about the Mississippi case that led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. She’s on the show to explain how the U.S. got to this point, the people behind the fight on both sides of the issue and what their plans are now that Roe v. Wade is gone.

Jun 29, 2022
Hockey Canada, allegations of sexual assault and a culture of secrecy

A woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by eight Canadian Hockey League players in 2018. The public did not hear about this until 2022, after TSN broke the news that Hockey Canada settled a civil lawsuit with the woman. Now the government has cut off funding for the national organization until more details of their investigation are provided to a parliamentary committee.

So, how is it that an alleged gang sexual assault was kept silent for that long? Taylor McKee is an assistant professor of Sports Management at Brock University, where he studies the intersection of sport and society, as well as the history of violence in hockey. He tells us how hockey has built a culture of secrecy and what that means for a sport deeply connected to Canadian identity.

Jun 28, 2022
The cultural and economic force that is K-pop supergroup BTS

The superstar K-pop group BTS announced recently that they are taking a temporary break as a group and pursuing individual projects. This moment was a big deal for their millions of fans worldwide, the company that brings in billions of dollars managing them and for South Korea, which considers its members cultural ambassadors for the country.

Hannah Sung, co-founder of Media Girlfriends, host of the podcast At The End of the Day and BTS fan, explains what makes this group so popular and why they’re so influential.

Jun 27, 2022
Celebrating Pride in small-town Canada

Today, Pride celebrations in big cities include parades and parties which attract millions of participants around the world. But for many smaller cities and towns across Canada, public Pride events are relatively newer, smaller and sometimes hard-won.  Chelle Turingan is the co-director of the documentary Small Town Pride. They join us to talk about the joys and challenges queer folks face in small Canadian towns and how, despite it all, they manage to organize Pride events.

Jun 24, 2022
Was the Emergencies Act the right tool to use against the truckers?

Feb. 14, 2022, marked the first time the government has had to invoke the Emergencies Act. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did so in response to the continuing trucker convoy protests. And in doing so, he also automatically launched a review into that decision.

The committee looking into the government’s justification for using the Act is about to take a summer break, but in the last few months it has grilled a number of senior cabinet ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. Senior Political Writer Campbell Clark looks at what we’ve learned so far and explains why this has been a frustrating exercise in democratic accountability.

Jun 23, 2022
What to know about monkeypox’s spread

Monkeypox, an endemic disease for a number of Central and West African countries, is having its largest outbreak outside of that region. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 2,500 cases of the disease in 37 countries

Canada’s share of that is 168, as of June 17th when numbers were last released by PHAC. Yap Boum from Doctors Without Borders tells us about monkeypox in Central and West Africa. Then Helen Branswell, senior writer at STAT News, whose beat is infectious diseases, updates us on how monkeypox’s spread is different in Europe and North America, and why the World Health Organization might label it a “public health emergency of international concern” at its meeting Thursday.

Jun 22, 2022
Why protecting the Amazon can be deadly

British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira went missing in the Amazon on June 5. They are now confirmed dead and multiple people have been arrested. They both spent decades working in the area, reporting on and working with local Indigenous communities – work that many people in the country say has become more and more dangerous.

Lucy Jordan, Brazil correspondent for Unearthed, knew Dom Phillips. She says that the area the two men were working in has become very dangerous. And Julio Lubianco, a journalist with LatAm Journalism Review, explains what this case says about the safety of journalists and activists in Brazil.

Jun 21, 2022
What the government can do to fix inflation

For many months now, people have been calling on the federal government to do something about skyrocketing prices. Last week, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled the Liberals’ plan to tackle inflation, which is now creeping up to nearly 7 per cent.

But is it enough? And what tools does the federal government actually have to help correct prices in grocery stores and at the pump? Bill Curry, the Globe’s Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief, explains the limits to the levers that the governing Liberals can pull on for this economic quandary.

Jun 20, 2022
Rescuing the most vulnerable in Ukraine’s eastern region

Mykola Kuleba is the former children’s ombudsman of Ukraine and he’s now the head of an organization called Save Ukraine. He’s been co-ordinating evacuation missions all over the country – and right now, those are focused in the eastern region.

He’ll tell us what that work looks like, and what kind of toll, being in the middle of a war zone, is taking on the country’s most vulnerable.

Jun 17, 2022
Panic at the crypto

Cryptocurrencies have taken another dive this week. And this crash follows seven months of declines, even for the big names in the game. Bitcoin, for example, is down more than 60 per cent from its peak in November. And on Monday, a crypto trading platform froze all activity, further rupturing the price of a lot of digital currencies.

Globe and Mail columnist Tim Kiladze explains why even with such a volatile sector that has constant ups and downs – this crash matters and what retail investors with money caught up in crypto should do.

Jun 16, 2022
The front line defence against floods that no one’s fixing

They’re the front line in defending British Columbia from flooding – but no one can agree who’s responsible for them. Dikes, levees, whatever you want to call them, we need them. But there are over 100 in B.C. that are “orphaned” – and when the next flood comes, the people behind them could be in trouble.

The Globe’s Justine Hunter toured one of these “orphan dikes” with flood-management engineer Tamsin Lyle. They discussed where these dikes came from, what needs to happen to fix them and what we risk if we do nothing.

Jun 15, 2022
Where development clashes with conservation

Ontario’s proposed Highway 413 would cut through the habitat of several species at risk in the province. Critics are concerned it would harm local waterways as well, far beyond the actual highway itself, highlighting the ongoing push-and-pull between the federal and provincial governments across Canada, and between species protection and development.

Science reporter Ivan Semeniuk is back to walk us through how this struggle is playing out around the proposed highway and what it says about Canada’s efforts to protect its biodiversity.

Jun 14, 2022
Divulging salaries can help shrink the pay gap

When it comes to the issue of salary gaps, some experts say one solution is to make salaries more transparent. In 2021, the federal government introduced new legislation that would do just that: the Employment Equity Act requires federally regulated companies to disclose salary data. June 1st was the deadline for employers to submit their first rounds of data.

Erica Alini, the Globe’s personal finance reporter, joins us to break down how this legislation might impact salaries – even those not covered by the bill – and offers advice on how you can take this kind of data to your employer when it comes time to negotiate a raise.

Correction: This episode had previously and mistakenly referred to the Pay Equity Act, rather than the Employment Equity Act.

Jun 13, 2022
Swan Lake and the future of ballet

Siphe November is one of the most talented ballet dancers of his generation. At just 23, he’s the National Ballet of Canada’s youngest principal dancer and only the second black principal dancer in the company’s 70-year history. His ballet technique, the passion he brings to his performances and his magnetic pull both on stage and off make him a worthy star. With his popularity on Instagram, his move into choreography where he weaves together different genres of dance, his rise in the ballet world signals an artform that’s evolving.

Sherrill Sutherland is a producer on The Decibel and also a ballet fan. She talks to Siphe November about his latest role in the National Ballet’s production of Swan Lake, the importance of Black representation in ballet and where he wants to take his career and the artform in the future.

Jun 10, 2022
Why we can’t air condition our way out of extreme heat

Last year, a heat dome in B.C. led to the deaths of 619 people. It’s the deadliest weather event in Canadian history. Temperatures rose to above 40 degrees and stayed high even at night. On Tuesday, the province’s coroner service released a report with recommendations to prevent deaths in the future.

Frances Bula is a frequent Globe contributor who reports on urban issues in British Columbia. She’ll explain how the urban landscape contributes to the deaths, what’s being recommended to help cool B.C. buildings and what the rest of Canada can learn from it all.

Jun 09, 2022
How Boris Johnson survives scandal after scandal

Boris Johnson has been called the Teflon prime minister, because no scandal seems to stick to him. He has a long history of being at the centre of scandals, dating back to his time as a journalist when he was fired for fabricating a quote. As a politician, he’s been criticized for lying several times but he has somehow managed to get out of all of those unscathed.

Globe’s Europe correspondent Paul Waldie is back to tell us about Johnson’s uncanny ability to skirt scandal and why this Partygate scandal he’s embroiled in now might be the thing that brings him down.

Jun 08, 2022
Why the Nova Scotia shooter wasn't stopped by police sooner

As we learn more about Canada’s worst mass shooting, the families of the people killed are so frustrated with how the inquiry’s going that they’ve started to boycott the proceedings. Senior RCMP officers have been spared cross-examination as they detail the series of missteps they made in April, 2020.

The Globe’s Greg Mercer has been following the inquiry, and he tells us how the RCMP didn’t believe the reports they received from the public, lacked training in their own communications systems, and gave commands after having several drinks.

Jun 07, 2022
Inside Canada’s music industry with rapper Cadence Weapon

You may know Rollie Pemberton by his stage name, Cadence Weapon. He’s the Edmonton-born rapper, who won the Polaris Music Prize in 2021, is known for his music with a political bent. Though he’s long been a writer of poetry – he was Edmonton’s poet laureate in 2009 – he’s now adding a new title to his list of accomplishments: non-fiction writer.

In his new book, Bedroom Rapper: Cadence Weapon on Hip-Hop, Resistance and Surviving the Music Industry, Pemberton charts his path through the music industry. He joins Globe Associate Arts editor Aruna Dutt for a conversation on creativity in the pandemic and emerging with a new album – and now a book – to live audiences.

Jun 06, 2022
‘Leaving the door open’ for rehabilitating mass murderers

Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976. Now, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to jail someone for life with no reasonable hope for parole. That includes mass murderers, like the man who pled guilty to killing six worshippers at Quebec City mosque in 2017.

The recent ruling has raised questions about where the rights of prisoners and victims’ families begin and end. Sean Fine, the Globe’s justice writer, discusses the court’s reasoning behind its unanimous – yet controversial – decision to strike down a 2011 tough-on-crime law brought forward under Stephen Harper’s government.

Jun 03, 2022
Depp v. Heard and what it means for #MeToo

On Wednesday, a jury sided with actor, Johnny Depp in his defamation case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. The verdict follows a six week-long trial (which aired live on Court TV) that captured the public’s attention. It spawned hashtags with billions of views on TikTok, memes and even a skit on Saturday Night Live.

During the trial, intimate and often ugly allegations about Heard and Depp’s relationship were on full display. That included allegations of abuse – which both accused the other of doing.

While this case became a media spectacle involving two celebrities, it also brought to light the very real issue of intimate partner violence. The Globe’s Robyn Doolittle has reported on sexual violence and gender discrimination since 2015 and she’s also written a book on #MeToo. She is joined by Nicole Bedera, a sociologist who researches sexual violence and how it relates to our society and culture. They discuss the implications of the case and what it means to the broader conversation about #MeToo and the issue of intimate partner violence.

Jun 02, 2022
Putting a federal disability benefit back on the table

On May 26, Canada’s Minister of Employment, work force Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough said the Liberal government plans to retable the Canada Disability Benefit before the end of June.

Disability advocates had been calling on the federal government to table this bill since it was introduced last summer. The legislation would help support people living with disabilities and dealing with poverty. According to Statistics Canada, one in every four people with a disability are low income.

Michelle Hewitt, the co-chair of Disability without Poverty, explains what supports are currently available to disabled Canadians, why this benefit is needed now, and the importance of including disabled voices in its creation.

Jun 01, 2022
Why people are hitting unsubscribe on streaming platforms

Netflix recently reported their first loss of subscribers in over a decade. In the first quarter of 2022, 200,000 accounts left the company. That was just in the first quarter of this year – they’re forecasting a drop of 2-million more subscribers in the second quarter. Netflix is not alone. While streaming services and subscription services more broadly (like fitness apps, grocery delivery, and meal kits) saw a surge of consumers at the beginning of the pandemic, there are now signs of subscription fatigue.

Mahdis Habibinia reported on the story for The Globe’s Report on Business. She explains why this fatigue is setting in, what companies are doing about it and why, even though many of us are overwhelmed with the amount of choice, subscription-based services are likely here to not only stay, but actually increase in number.

May 31, 2022
Why birds sing

Today we decided to take a bit of a reprieve and head down to a park, very early in the morning, to hear the dawn chorus – the symphony of birdsong that happens at daybreak. Since the pandemic started, more and more people have taken up birding as a way to escape the day-to-day and engage with the natural world.

Globe columnist Marcus Gee found that he too has been enjoying the relaxation that birding provides more since the pandemic started. He has also been honing his skills at identifying birds by song. This led him to ask: Why do birds sing at all?

May 30, 2022
How archaeologists look for unmarked graves in Indigenous communities

It’s been one year since Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation announced they had found 215 unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Dr. Kisha Supernant is one of the people at the forefront of the effort to look for unmarked graves. She’s a Métis archaeologist and chair of Unmarked Graves Working Group with the Canadian Archaeological Association. She explains how she does this work, what happens after potential graves are found, and what needs to happen next.

May 27, 2022
Why guns are so tied to American identity

The United States is grappling with another mass shooting. At least 19 children and two adults were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. This marks the 27th school shooting and the 213th mass shooting this year in the U.S. The tragedy has set off another round of partisan arguments with each side blaming the other, leaving many with a sense of despair that these events will just keep on happening.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Shribman tell us how America has come to find itself stuck in this intolerable position that has led to guns being the number one killer of Americans under the age of 20.

May 26, 2022
How learning platforms tracked kids during online school

A new report from Human Rights Watch found that some online learning platforms are tracking children in ways they say actively or passively infringe on a child’s privacy rights. The trackers buried in a website or an app can monitor a kid’s keystrokes, searches and doodles, as well as their physical location using GPS.

Hye Jung Han is a children’s rights and technology researcher, an advocate with Human Rights Watch, and lead researcher on this report. She’ll explain how the report on 164 online learning platforms endorsed or used by governments in 49 countries found out what data is being collected from kids in online learning platforms, and how it’s being used.

May 25, 2022
Connie Walker’s latest investigation: Her own family's history

Journalist Connie Walker has been reporting on Indigenous stories for most of her career. From missing and murdered women to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she has covered on some of the biggest stories in Canada in the last few decades. But it wasn’t until last year that she decided to look into her own family’s past. 

The urge to dig into her deceased father’s past appeared after her brother shared a story in the wake of the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in B.C. Connie talks about the importance of healing through sharing the truths, what she found out about her own family’s secrets and her new podcast, Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s.

May 24, 2022
Stress Test: Is the middle class dead for millennials and Gen Z?

As a bonus episode today, we're bringing you an episode of Stress Test, a podcast about personal finance from The Globe and Mail, hosted by Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw.

Many millennials and Gen Z’s have done everything “right” - they’ve graduated, found good jobs, are paying off their debt and saving money. So why is it so hard to live the middle class lifestyle their parents and older peers had at their age? In this episode, we hear from Cody, a 33-year-old living in Hamilton, Ont., who is frustrated at not being able to achieve many of his financial and life goals despite being a fiscally responsible adult. Plus, Rob talks to Paul Kershaw, a professor at the University of British Columbia and founder of Generation Squeeze, a group that researches intergenerational fairness, about why many millennials feel like the middle class is dead.

May 23, 2022
Why is it so hard to unite the right in Alberta?

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he will resign as leader of the United Conservative Party following the results of his leadership review. He received support from 51.4 per cent of party members. 

Carrie Tait, a Calgary-based reporter in The Globe’s Alberta bureau, explains that while a few frontrunners have emerged to replace Kenney, uniting the right in the province remains a difficult road. 

Read more about Alberta politics here.

May 20, 2022
A journalist’s death and rising tensions in the West Bank

On May 11, a prominent Palestinian-American journalist was shot and killed in the West Bank while reporting for Al Jazeera. Her name was Shireen Abu Akleh. She was widely respected for her work and had over 25 years of experience covering the region. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blames Israel for her killing. Israel initially said Palestinian gunmen may have been responsible but now say it could have been errant Israeli fire. They are now calling for an investigation. Some fear a conclusive answer on who killed Shireen may never come.

Josef Federman is the News Director of the Associated Press for Israel, Palestinian territories and Jordan. He’s on the show to explain what has been going on in Jenin, the city where Shireen Abu Akleh was reporting from when she died, what we know so far about who is responsible for her death and how the investigation is playing into an already heated conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

May 19, 2022
Why this year’s avian flu is much deadlier than usual

As this year’s deadly avian flu spreads from poultry to wild animals, there are reports of birds suffering from neurological symptoms, dropping dead from trees and twitching uncontrollably. Nearly two million birds have already died from the avian flu this year in Canada alone.

Wildlife pathologist Dr. Brian Stevens joins us to explain how this strain is different, what experts are watching out for, and how to prevent further spread.

May 18, 2022
The stock market is tumbling. A recession is probably next

Global markets are not doing well. And people are losing a lot of money. Even big technology companies like Netflix are starting to suffer. Their stock is down by nearly 70 per cent this year. And that has some wondering … is the market bubble bursting (a pandemic pop) for real this time?

Report on Business reporter and columnist Tim Kiladze is on the show to explain why there’s so much uncertainty, how inflation and interest rates are playing into it and why investors should prepare for more than a short-term market blip.

May 17, 2022
Why getting in to see a doctor is so hard in Canada

Universal health care is a point of pride for many Canadians, but the system has had flaws for decades. One big issue is getting in to see a doctor. The Commonwealth Fund estimated that 56 per cent of Canadians waited more than a month to see a specialist in 2016 or simply to get an appointment with a family doctor – if they even have one.

Dr. Robert Bell has worked in healthcare for over 40 years, as an orthopedic surgeon, former CEO of University Health Network and as a former deputy health minister in Ontario. He’s on the show to tell us what he thinks needs to be done to make the health care system more accessible to Canadians.

Plus, you can read more from the Globe’s Opinion series called Fixing Healthcare here.

May 16, 2022
The fight to end forced sterilization of Indigenous women

Indigenous women are still being forcibly sterilized in Canada. That’s one thing that Sen. Yvonne Boyer wants Canadians to know. The senator, who is Métis herself and was formerly a nurse and a lawyer, has been fighting to raise awareness of this issue. She is also a part of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights that is currently examining the issue.

Sen. Boyer discusses how her background inspired her to devote her life to ending forced sterilization procedures, how it’s part of the systemic racism Indigenous women face in Canada’s health care system and why addressing it is an important part of Canada’s reconciliation efforts.

May 13, 2022
Resilience, inherited trauma and living with the Holocaust

Even 75 years after the Holocaust, anti-Semitic crimes are still happening in Canada. And their presence highlights why education is still important, and uncovering family history is a powerful way to learn about the past.

The Globe’s western arts correspondent, Marsha Lederman, joins us to talk about her new book Kiss the Red Stairs and the responsibility she feels to share her family’s stories as the child of Holocaust survivors.

May 12, 2022
The Russian mercenary group accused of atrocities in Ukraine

Several of the atrocities happening in the Ukraine war are being linked to a mercenary organization called the Wagner Group. The Kremlin-linked mercenaries have operated in countries in the Middle East and in Africa as well, and are often trailed by allegations of human rights abuses.

Sean McFate, former mercenary and now senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, explains how this group operates, why mercenaries might become more common in the future and how Wagner members he speaks to feel about what they’re doing.

May 11, 2022
One year of The Decibel: Updates on our biggest stories

The podcast turns one year old today! And in our first year, a lot happened: Russia started a war in Ukraine, thousands of unmarked graves were found at some residential school sites in Canada, Justin Trudeau won another federal election, inflation became a very hot topic and the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread, especially with the arrival of the Omicron variant.

In today’s episode, we look back at some of the biggest stories from the last 365 days and give you updates on what’s happened since we first covered them.

May 10, 2022
What’s causing the massive delays at Canada’s international airports?

Canada’s international airports have experienced major delays getting passengers on and off their flights, as people begin returning to air travel in numbers not seen since before the pandemic.

The staff that get travellers through all those lines at the airport – security screening, customs, baggage drop-off – have not returned to the airport in enough numbers to stave off long lines. Transportation reporter Eric Atkins explains why you won’t want to cut it fine if you’re boarding a plane in the near future.

May 09, 2022
Mark MacKinnon isn’t celebrating his ban from Russia

A couple weeks ago, The Globe and Mail’s senior foreign correspondent Mark MacKinnon found out he’s now banned from entering Russia. He joins a long list of Canadians who can no longer enter the country, like our Prime Minister, basically every member of Parliament, and some Canadian mayors.

This is part of a tit-for-tat between Russia and Western countries like Canada, after the West imposed sanctions on hundreds of Kremlin-affiliated people and organizations. Many of the Canadians who are part of this Russian list are proud of it, or laughing it off. MacKinnon is not.

May 06, 2022
How getting an abortion in Canada differs from the U.S.

In the wake of the news that the U.S. Supreme Court has drafted a ruling that would reverse Roe v. Wade, effectively ending safe and legal abortion in some states, some abortion advocates in Canada are sounding the alarm. But just how accessible are abortion services in Canada?

Martha Paynter is the author of Abortion to Abolition: Reproductive Health and Justice in Canada, and a registered nurse working in Nova Scotia. She explains what changes have occurred recently when it comes to abortions in Canada and what barriers still remain.

May 05, 2022
Buck-a-ride, new highways and other Ontario election promises

The Ontario provincial election campaign is officially underway and election day is June 2nd. The campaign promises have been coming in thick: $1 per ride transportation from the Ontario Liberals, new highways from the Progressive Conservatives, and hiring more nurses and personal support workers from the NDP, to name a few.

Queen’s Park reporter Jeff Gray sets the scene for this month’s campaign, telling us what the major parties are offering voters.

May 04, 2022
The carbon footprint of an electric vehicle’s battery

One billion dollars was promised towards building electric vehicles in Ontario on Monday – just the latest investment from government into the industry that hopes to do away with gas-powered engines, and replace them with batteries.

People have long talked about electric vehicles, or EVs, as being a crucial element in getting emissions down to net-zero; but, as the Globe’s mining reporter Niall McGee points out, an electric vehicle’s carbon footprint is more than just a pinky toe. While actually driving an EV does not create emissions in the way that gas-powered cars do, the environmental impact of mining the minerals for the cars’ batteries is significant.

May 03, 2022
The toll shooting war takes on photojournalists

Making a career out of holding a camera lens up to the frontlines of conflict, photojournalists can find themselves in tough - if not precarious - situations. The Globe’s new documentary, Shooting War, features nine photographers known for their work in conflict zones.

Santiago Lyon, featured in the documentary, worked with the Associated Press for 25 years covering conflicts around the world. He talks about the physical and mental toll capturing wartime images can take and the work he is doing now as the head of education at the Content Authenticity Initiative to counter misinformation.

May 02, 2022
A family flees Kabul, then Kyiv

Jawed Haqmal risked his life for the Canadian military. Now, he is waiting for the Canadian government to let him know if he can move to the country he once helped. Jawed is one of many Afghan nationals fleeing the Taliban who have been battling government bureaucracy to get to Canada for over six months now.

Janice Dickson, a parliamentary reporter for The Globe, provides an update on Jawed’s journey and some context on the different challenges Afghan refugees face compared to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Apr 29, 2022
Canada’s first count of trans and non-binary people

New data from the 2021 census has been released. For the first time, the Census has counted Canada’s transgender and non-binary populations after making some controversial changes to its questions about sex and gender.

Dr. El Chenier, a history professor at Simon Fraser University and founder of Boldly Nonbinary, talks about why this data is important and how it could be miscontrued.

Apr 28, 2022
Elon Musk is set to own our ‘digital town square’

Elon Musk has agreed to buy Twitter, the social media platform for US$44-billion on Monday, just a week after the company’s board tried to block the takeover.

The Globe’s technology reporter, Temur Durrani, tells us who is financing the deal, what Twitter’s users and advertisers think of it, and why it matters even if you’ve never written a single tweet.

Apr 27, 2022
The mixed emotions of going back to the office

It may be time to dust off your dress shoes and button-down shirts. Canadians are slowly returning to the office after two years working from dining tables and home offices. The Globe and Mail recently surveyed over 400 people about heading back to the office, and their responses were … emotional.

The Globe’s future of work reporter, Vanmala Subramaniam, joins the podcast today to talk about the takeaways of the survey. How are Canadian white-collar workers feeling about this – and what can employers learn from time spent at home?

Apr 26, 2022
Buying a $50-million trip to space

The age of private space travel is upon us. For a paltry few tens of millions, you could buy your own ticket to visit the International Space Station. A 10-day trip with Axiom Space cost Canadian businessman and philanthropist Mark Pathy US$50-million to be exact.

Ivan Semeniuk, The Globe’s science reporter, got the chance to interview Mark while he was floating around the ISS. Ivan joins the show to talk about what Mark is doing with his time in space, why he decided to pay the large price tag to go and what this could mean for the future of space tourism.

Apr 25, 2022
Trouble is brewing in the craft beer world

There’s no shortage of craft breweries in Canada. Over the past decade, they grew at an explosive rate, from just a few hundred breweries in 2008 to almost 1,200 in 2020. While this is good news for beer lovers, brewers face an oversaturated market and are struggling to turn a profit.

Globe reporter Jason Kirby explains how the industry got here, why the pandemic exacerbated the problem and how the craft brewery landscape will change in the coming years.

Apr 22, 2022
How Edmonton hopes to get mosquitos to buzz off

Warmer weather means summer, picnics, camping … and mosquitoes. Edmonton is particularly famous for their mosquito season. But with a focus on environmental sustainability, the city is ditching the pesticide spraying they’ve used for years to control mosquitoes, instead turning to a more natural solution – bats and dragonflies.

Dr. Ken Fry is an Entomology Instructor in the School of Life Sciences & Business at Olds College in Alberta, and grew up in Edmonton. He studies pest control management and mosquitoes, and tells us why it’s so hard to get rid of these pesky bloodsuckers – and why learning to live with them is the better solution.

Apr 21, 2022
If you didn’t get a big raise, you probably got a pay cut

With inflation eating into people’s bank accounts, some people are starting to wonder: Hey, is my paycheque shrinking? And according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, it is.

Economics reporter Matt Lundy explains how inflation is resulting in a pay cut for most Canadians and what – if anything – you can do about it.

Apr 20, 2022
Pierre Poilievre’s populist appeal

Pierre Poilievre has been known as the federal Conservative’s attack dog. He’s often hyper partisan in Parliament, not afraid to pander to the base and support controversial movements, like the truckers convoy that occupied Ottawa earlier this year.

And yet the career politician has tapped into a populist vein and is gaining attention by talking about issues like housing, inflation and cryptocurrency. But is it enough to allow him to win the Conservative leadership race? And then, resonate with the wider public? Globe and Mail columnist Robyn Urback talks about why Poilievre’s messaging is finding its audience right now.

Apr 19, 2022
Baking a birthday cake in a war zone

When your country is invaded, how do you keep your family’s spirits up? In besieged Kharkiv, Ukraine, Natalie Slyusar focused on trying to give her son a regular 16th birthday – complete with a homemade chocolate cake. But baking’s a lot easier said than done while a war rages around you.

This beguilingly simple story reveals a lot about how we get ourselves and our loved ones through the hardest parts of life. Natalie recounts what it’s like for a family to cope with an invasion.

Apr 18, 2022
The pandemic surge in sexually transmitted infections

Sexual health testing took a nose dive during the pandemic, as health care workers and resources were diverted towards the fight against COVID-19. And as Globe reporter Zosia Bielski tells us in this episode, when it comes to sexually transmitted infections: “Less detection equates with more spread.”

Now, we’re paying the price: the rate of STIs, from gonorrhea to HIV, has risen precipitously in many places across Canada. Zosia explains why the conditions of the pandemic – from the shame of breaking lockdown rules, to online schooling – have accelerated a decades-long trend of rising STIs in Canada.

Apr 14, 2022
Separatism’s new shape in Quebec

On Monday, a by-election in a Montreal suburb ended in defeat for the Parti Quebecois, the province’s champion of separatism for the last fifty years. And yet 35 per cent of Quebeckers still believe in independence for Quebec.

The Globe’s Quebec correspondent Eric Andrew-Gee explains why that isn’t translating into support for the PQ anymore.

Apr 13, 2022
Why Canadians aren’t getting their COVID booster

On Monday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Kieran Moore gave a COVID-19 update after being silent for almost a month. The province will expand PCR testing and antiviral drugs for certain people, Dr. Moore said, while the current surge in cases will likely continue into mid-to-late May.

Ontario is not alone. Much of the country is facing a sixth wave of the pandemic. While vaccines remain an important tool for preventing serious disease, less than half of Canadians eligible for a third shot have bothered to get one.

Health reporter Carly Weeks has been following the vaccination uptake in Canada since the beginning of the pandemic. She tells us how there’s been a lack of clear messaging around boosters, why more Canadians should be getting a third (or even fourth) dose and what a COVID-19 vaccination schedule may look like in the future.

Apr 12, 2022
What scares Sarah Polley?

Most people want to shy away from life’s hard moments. But not Canadian actor and filmmaker Sarah Polley. In her first book, Run Towards the Danger, she shares six personal essays that explore some of the most difficult moments of her life.

Sarah discusses the slippery nature of memories, how her relationship with her body has changed and what it’s been like to have the world read about vulnerable moments from her private life.

Apr 11, 2022
Inside the federal budget lockup

The federal government has laid out a budget with $56-billion in new spending over six years. On the day the budget is released, journalists get to see the document in advance of the Finance Minister’s announcement – if they join what’s called a “lockup.”

The Decibel was in the lockup at a hotel in downtown Ottawa, where Globe journalists explained the main takeaways from the budget, covering spending in the areas of housing, defence, reconciliation, finance, immigration, inflation and more.

You’ll hear from the Globe’s Bill Curry, Steven Chase, John Ibbitson, Rachelle Younglai, Kristy Kirkup, Kathryn Blaze Baum, Mark Rendell, and Patrick Brethour, as well as Scotiabank Economics Director Rebekah Young.

Apr 08, 2022
In Bucha and Chernihiv after Russia withdraws

This week, Ukraine took back some key areas in the northern part of the country from Russian troops – including the cities of Bucha and Chernihiv. While we’ve heard reports of atrocities from inside these war zones, it’s only now that journalists and other officials are getting to see the damage and death with their own eyes.

The Globe’s U.S. correspondent, Nathan Vanderklippe, is one journalist getting the full picture from the ground in Bucha and Chernihiv. He tells us what it’s like in these two cities where the Russian army has destroyed buildings and killed civilians. Plus, we hear from a police officer in Chernihiv, Oksana Ohnenko, on her efforts to help the people of her city and her perspective on what it’s been like living through this war.

Apr 07, 2022
The myth of universal health care in Canada

As we enter the sixth wave of COVID-19, hospitals are bracing for yet another surge. After two years of weathering wave after wave, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff are “burnt to a crisp,” as one Hamilton, Ont. doctor put it. The problems with Canada’s hospitals – from surgery backlogs, to “hallway medicine,” to staffing shortages – stretch back long before the pandemic.

Globe and Mail investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle set out with reporter Tom Cardoso to find why Canadian hospitals were so poorly equipped to handle an influx of patients. What she found, Robyn explains, is how the very foundation of Canada’s universal health care system led to the problems that plague it today.

Apr 06, 2022
Wastewater is filling the COVID-19 data gap

COVID-19′s sixth wave is here. Quebec’s institute of public health says the sixth wave began in mid-March. On Monday, Ontario premier Doug Ford said the province is in the midst of a “little spike” but that it’s manageable. Hospitalizations are up by about 30 per cent since the week before. And in Alberta, the province’s Health Minister Jason Copping acknowledged an uptick in case positivity rate.

With PCR tests not as widely available as they once were, scientists and public health officials have found another way to track COVID-19: wastewater, or sewage.

Dr. Lawrence Goodridge is a professor of food microbiology at the University of Guelph who is leading a team of people testing wastewater. He’s part of Ontario’s wastewater Surveillance Initiative which samples 170 locations across the province accounting for more than 75 per cent of the population. He tells us what the samples are telling him right now, and why this tool is an important one for this pandemic and for the future.

Apr 05, 2022
This Métis elder spoke directly to the Pope. Here’s her story

Pope Francis has apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system – an apology long awaited by Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This comes after a week of meetings between a delegation of Métis, Inuit and First Nations and the Pope and other members of the Catholic Church.

Angie Crerar is an 85-year-old elder of the Métis Nation of Alberta. She spoke to Globe reporter Willow Fiddler in Rome after hearing the Pope speak on Friday. She talked about what the Pope’s apology means to her and Canada’s ongoing journey of reconciliation.

Apr 04, 2022
What the latest climate plan means for Canada’s oil and gas sector

The federal government has released yet another climate change plan oriented toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. What’s different this time? This latest Emissions Reduction Plan is a sector-by-sector blueprint that specifically puts pressure on the oil and gas sector to cut its emissions by 42 per cent by 2030.

Adam Radwanski is The Globe and Mail’s climate change columnist. He talks about what is required from companies and from the government to meet these goals, and whether the plan is ambitious and feasible enough to give people hope that Canada can actually meet its targets for once.

Apr 01, 2022
Canada’s tech sector has a brain drain problem

Employment is growing across Canada’s economy, but nowhere near the rate of the tech sector. Jobs in STEM jumped nearly 200,000 since the pandemic. Specifically, jobs in computer systems design are up 22 per cent. It’s good news for skilled tech workers, but not for small to mid-sized Canadian tech companies. That’s because big American tech companies are scooping up Canada’s top tech talent. And with the rise of remote work, competition is even stiffer.

Matt Lundy is an economics reporter and Josh O’Kane is a technology reporter at The Globe and Mail. They explain why Canadian tech companies are struggling to compete, what it means for Canada’s tech industry and what needs to be done to retain Canadian talent.

Mar 31, 2022
What’s next for making $10-a-day child care a reality in Canada?

On March 28, it was announced that Ontario had finally signed onto the federal child-care deal. With all provinces and territories now signed on, families across the country will eventually be paying only $10 a day for child care. To make this possible, the federal government is investing $30 billion to open 146,000 new child-care spots by 2026, but that investment may be useless if we don’t have the early childhood educators to fill them.

The Globe’s Dave McGinn has been reporting on the federal child-care deal. He talks to us about why early childhood educators have been leaving the industry in droves, and what needs to happen to make this plan work.

Mar 30, 2022
Kamal Al-Solaylee on the war we chose to forget

The UN has called it the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Yemen’s now seven-year-long war has killed almost 400,000 people, mostly children younger than five years old. Millions of people in the country are at risk of famine.

And the war, between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition trying to push them out, rages on.

Kamal Al-Solaylee was born in Yemen. He’s a journalist, author, professor, and Director of the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at the University of British Columbia. He explains that the war is deliberately forgotten by the world, why that is, and why he thinks Canada’s millions in aid to Yemen doesn’t tell the full story of our role in the conflict.

Mar 29, 2022
What students think about the end of masking

Almost every province in Canada has now removed its mask mandates in public schools. But many are questioning if now is the right time, and some are even challenging the decision.

Today we hear from Sophia Alexanian, a 16-year-old high school student from Toronto, who co-founded a group called Ontario Students for COVID Safety. She organized a province-wide school walkout to protest the end of the mask mandate in schools.

We also talk to Caroline Alphonso, an education reporter for The Globe and Mail. She talks to us about how the conversation about removing the mask mandate in schools is playing out across Canada.

Mar 28, 2022
Hate crimes in Canada are up. What’s being done to stop them

Hate crimes in Canada are up. Recent data out from Statistics Canada showed that in the first year of the pandemic, incidents reported to police increased by 37 per cent from the previous year. 2,669 hate crimes were reported to police in 2020 – the highest number since data became available in 2009.

But in Canada, charging someone for a hate crime rarely happens. A Globe and Mail investigation found that of the 13 largest municipal and regional police forces, laying charges for a hate crime varied from a low of 6 per cent to a high of 28 per cent.

A new task force co-chaired by Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the RCMP wants to create national standards to help front-line officers better identify and solve hate crimes. Mohammed Hashim is the executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and he’s on the show to tell us why hate crimes are a growing issue in Canada and how the task force will work to combat it.

Mar 25, 2022
The dangers women and children face after fleeing Ukraine

Women and children make up the vast majority of people who have fled the invasion of Ukraine – now over 3.5 million. And while they are no longer at risk of bombing, shelling and other attacks, their journey to safety remains fraught.

Globe and Mail reporter Janice Dickson spoke to us from Slovakia, which shares a 100-km border with Ukraine and has accepted a quarter of a million refugees. Janice tells us about what she saw at the border, the homes these women and children are leaving behind and what dangers they need to avoid moving forward.

Mar 24, 2022
What the Liberal-NDP deal means for Canadian democracy

The Liberals and NDP have set aside their differences and come to a partnership agreement – a pledge from the Liberals to act on major NDP policy issues in exchange for the NDP’s support of the Liberal government on votes that could trigger an election. This deal will keep the Liberal government in power until 2025. It also means we may soon see forward movement on dental care, Pharmacare, housing, and climate policies.

Dr. Lori Turnbull is the director and an associate professor at the School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University. She joins us to talk about what this deal is really about, how it affects the Liberal, NDP and Conservative parties, and what it means for the future of Parliament.

Mar 23, 2022
Why Muslim women are being turned away from school in India

Videos showing Muslim students begging to be let into a school while wearing hijabs has gone viral in India, sparking protests. Several of the students petitioned the government to reverse the decision to ban hijabs in schools, the latest in a series of policies targeting Muslims throughout the country.

Neha Bhatt is an award-winning journalist and author in Delhi and a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail. She explains how India’s politics and history have led to this moment, and why some people are concerned these acts of discrimination could be leading towards genocide.

Mar 22, 2022
The case for fighting Russia in court

An international court has ordered Russia to stop the war in Ukraine, but the attacks carry on. So what was the point of this case? What impact does the order actually have on the war in Ukraine?

Harold Hongju Koh was one of the lawyers representing Ukraine in the case against Russia, and he’s also the Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale University. He tells us about the arguments they brought forward, Russia’s response (or lack thereof), and makes the case for international law, even if the way it’s enforced isn’t always clear.

Mar 21, 2022
Putting a name to the hidden pattern behind domestic abuse

Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by an intimate partner, and yet the topic of intimate partner violence (IPV) – more commonly referred to as domestic abuse – is rarely talked about. Because of this, many of the red flags that precede physical violence are often missed. These warning signs can include a pattern of controlling behaviour, which is called coercive control.

Elizabeth Renzetti is a columnist for The Globe who has been reporting on and off on violence against women for over 30 years. She tells us about the stigma surrounding IPV, how to recognize coercive control and the debate surrounding the criminalization of it.

Warning: This episode discusses domestic violence and may be upsetting to some listeners.

If you think you, or someone you know, may be suffering from intimate partner violence, you can find support through the following resources:

Crisis lines for each province and territory

Assaulted Women’s Helpline: Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511

Canadian Women’s Foundation

Shelter Safe

SOS in Quebec: 1-800-363-9010 or text 1-438-601-1211

Mar 18, 2022
The conflict in Ukraine puts Joe Biden to the test

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a stirring speech via video to U.S. Congress on Wednesday, once again calling on the U.S. to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, transfer more military equipment to his military and put Russia under a complete trade embargo. Zelensky’s speech is being called historic, but what Mr. Zelensky is pleading for may never happen.

David Shribman is a contributing columnist at The Globe and a Pulitzer Prize recipient for his coverage of U.S. politics. He tells us about the power of Mr. Zelensky’s speech, how it compares to his address to Canadian Parliament on Tuesday and why, despite strong support for Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden most likely won’t ever deliver on President Zelensky’s requests.

Mar 17, 2022
To the moon? Where GameStop and other meme stocks landed

It’s been a year since companies like GameStop and AMC were making headlines for their eye-popping stock price spikes. And while the heights of the craze have passed, a lot of retail investors who got caught up in the momentum are still advocating for their stock picks – and risking a lot of money on their convictions.

Business reporter Joe Castaldo recently looked into who these meme stock investors are, why they still believe in the movement a year later and just how much money they’ve lost.

Mar 16, 2022
Three Ukrainian families find refuge in a Polish home

Poland’s capital, Warsaw is struggling to cope with the huge number of people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Of the more than 2.6 million refugees that have left, 1.7 million – and counting – have ended up in neighbouring Poland. Warsaw’s mayor says 300,000 have settled in the city so far. The city has set up a number of sprawling shelters including one at an expo centre for up to 20,000 refugees. Thousands of residents have also taken to social media to offer rooms.

Kasia Smith is one of them. She’s a Polish-Canadian living in Konstancin, just south of Warsaw, with her husband and three kids. They have welcomed three Ukrainian families to stay with them for as long as they want. The Globe’s Kathryn Blaze Baum interviewed Kasia along with the families and she’s on the show to bring us their story.

Mar 15, 2022
What ‘no-fly zone’ really means

It’s a plea that has been heard around the world: Ukraine wants its allies to set up a no-fly zone in its airspace. They believe it would give them the tactical advantage in the war that Russia started. But so NATO, U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders have decisively said no to the idea.

But what would establishing a no-fly zone over the country actually look like? Who would be responsible? What’s exactly the case for – and against – it? Dr. Stacie Pettyjohn is a senior fellow and director of the defence program at the Center for a New American Security. She talks us through the complexities of the no-fly zone concept.

Mar 14, 2022
1.4 million refugees arrived in Poland. What happens now?

In two weeks, more than 2.3 million refugees have fled Ukraine because of the ongoing war. It is the fastest exodus since the Second World War. Poland has seen the largest influx of refugees with more than 1.4 million people arriving in the country since Feb. 24.

The Globe’s Europe correspondent Paul Waldie has been reporting from border towns in Poland since the war began. He tells us how these towns are handling so many people coming in, the few long term options available for refugees and why the Polish government needs to figure out a plan to help people resettle.

Mar 11, 2022
The early favourites in the Conservative leadership race

The race to become the next federal leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is kicking off, not long after the ousting of Erin O’Toole.

Chief political writer Campbell Clark says “blast from the past” Jean Charest could have a shot at the top job, but likely isn’t the favourite. He’ll tell us who the early favourites are – including Charest, Pierre Poilievre, and Leslyn Lewis – and what this election might reveal about the identity and direction of the Conservative Party.

Mar 10, 2022
This doctor wants to write prescriptions for housing

According to Statistics Canada, more than 235,000 people experience homelessness in any given year, with 25,000-35,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. During the pandemic, health issues were exacerbated for people experiencing homelessness. Shelters were often crowded and faced outbreaks. One study found that homeless people were over 20 times more likely to be admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and over 5 times more likely to die within 21 days of a positive test result.

Dr. Andrew Boozary is the executive director of social medicine and population health at the University Health Network in Toronto. He tells us why homelessness is a failure of policy – not individual choice – and how he’s working to fix it.

Mar 09, 2022
Unpacking Putin’s end game

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has shocked the world with his full-scale invasion of Ukraine. But many within Russia don’t know what’s going on just across the border, due to the government’s censoring or shutting down of independent and social media. Russia last week passed a new law making it illegal to spread “fake news” that Human Rights Watch says “criminalizes independent war reporting.”

International Affairs columnist Doug Saunders helps us understand what people in Russia are hearing about the war, the two different ways they could react to sanctions, and what Putin might do next.

Mar 08, 2022
1.7 million warned they may have to pay back CERB relief

Three million people lost their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic. In response, the federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The program provided $2,000 a month for up to seven months to people living in Canada that had stopped working because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government paid out $81.6-billion to almost 9-million people.

Two years later, 1.7 million people may have to pay some of that money back. And it’s not because of a mistake they made on their application. Erica Alini is a personal finance reporter at the Globe and she tells us why some people are being asked to pay back money, how to figure out if you are one of those people and how this isn’t the first time there’s been confusion around CERB.

Mar 07, 2022
Canada's pushback against Putin

Canada is not a big player on the international stage. But as a medium-sized power, it has been working with the EU, the U.S. and the U.K. to deliver a series of economic sanctions that have been ratcheting up the pressure on Russia’s economy. But what about helping Ukraine and Ukrainians directly? And where is Justin Trudeau’s red line in terms of what he won’t commit Canada to doing in this war?

The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife explains the various levels of measures that the federal government has enacted since the invasion of Ukraine began and where things might go next.

Mar 04, 2022
On the ground in Ukraine as the war takes a turn

Russia is gaining ground in its invasion of Ukraine. On day 7 of the war, Russia occupied Kherson, a key city in the southern part of Ukraine. Russia started targeting densely populated areas like Kyiv and Kharkiv with heavy shelling, destroying buildings and killing civilians. On March 2, Ukraine’s emergency service said the Russian invasion has killed more than 2,000 civilians in the country.

Senior international correspondent Mark Mackinnon is in Lviv, Ukraine. He is back on the show to tell us what Russia’s gains mean for the people of Ukraine and whether they have a chance at holding Russian troops back. Plus, he tells us about his journey out of Kyiv as the invasion on Ukraine began.

Mar 03, 2022
As missiles fall around her, this Kharkiv citizen fights disinformation

Maria Avdeeva is the research director of the European Expert Association, which analyzes Russian disinformation. With the sound of Russia’s attack in the background, Maria explains what’s happening in her hometown of Kharkiv, and why the decision to stay is her way of fighting the “Information War,” where disinformation is weaponized to change how the world understands the horrors unfolding in Ukraine.

Mar 02, 2022
Ukrainian refugees find help in tiny neighbouring Moldova

As fighting rages on in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands are seeking refuge in a number of neighbouring countries. On Feb. 28, the head of a UN agency said that more than 500,000 people have fled since the start of the Russian invasion. Cars have lined up for more than 10 kilometres at certain checkpoints, while others have had no choice but to walk – sometimes, for 50 km – to escape.

Moldova is one such country accepting refugees. According to the Moldovan Border Police, 70,000 people from Ukraine have entered the country since the start of the conflict. International correspondent Nathan Vanderklippe reports from that tiny, landlocked country about the people fleeing Ukraine and how bordering countries are responding to the crisis.

Mar 01, 2022
Behind the food fight over rising grocery prices

Last week, Frito-Lay, which makes Lays potato chips, but also others like Miss Vickies and Doritos, stopped sending their chips to any of the stores owned by Loblaw. And since Loblaw is the biggest grocer in Canada, that’s a lot of stores: there’s Loblaws, of course, and No Frills, Valu-Mart, Provigo if you’re in Quebec – even Shoppers Drug Mart.

Today, the Globe’s retailing reporter, Susan Krashinsky Roberston, will break down what the two companies are fighting over and why a lot more of these tough negotiations might be going on behind closed doors.

Feb 28, 2022
How Black porters made Canada a fairer place

From the late 19th century up until the 1960s, travelling by sleeping car train was the height of luxury. Porters tended to a passenger’s every need. They were almost exclusively Black men who worked long hours for low pay and often faced racial discrimination. But these men fought for better treatment and after years of organizing, signed a collective agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway in 1945. The battle to unionize both in Canada and the U.S. paved the way for the Civil Rights movement and the creation of a Black middle class.

David MacAndrew Clarke worked as a porter for CPR in the late 1960s. He tells us what it was like working on the train and how his father and the generation of older porters before him dealt with discrimination and fought to make the job better. Plus, Marsha Greene and Arnold Pinnock of the creative team from the new CBC show, The Porter talk about unearthing this sometimes forgotten history and what it was like turning it into a drama for a wider audience.

Feb 25, 2022
An inquiry into Canada’s worst mass shooting


It’s been almost two years since the mass shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia, that killed 22 people. An inquiry into the tragedy that will make recommendations on how to prevent it from happening again began its public phase on Tuesday.

“Nova Scotia has not been able to fully come to terms with this massacre,” Atlantic Canada reporter Greg Mercer says. He’ll explain the criticism families and politicians have of the inquiry and what we’ve learned about the shooting and its perpetrator since it happened.

Feb 24, 2022
Russia makes its move in Ukraine

After a fiery speech on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops across the border into Ukraine’s breakaway regions that make up the Donbas region. Western nations are reacting by imposing sanctions on Russia, with Germany going so far as to stop the certification of the NordStream 2 natural gas pipeline that Putin had hoped would deliver fuel to Europe, bypassing Ukraine.

So is this move a prelude to a wider invasion? Or has the invasion started? The Globe’s senior international correspondent, Mark MacKinnon, discusses the role of diplomacy now that this conflict has moved into a more inauspicious stage.

Feb 23, 2022
One Black man’s quest for parole after 30 years in prison

When Renford Farrier was given a life sentence for killing a man, he believed he’d be out on parole after 10 years. Thirty years later, he’s still in prison and believes racism is partly to blame.

A Globe analysis found that Indigenous, Black and other racialized men are less likely than their white counterparts to be paroled within the first year they’re eligible.

Investigative reporter Tom Cardoso explains what that analysis found, and interviews Farrier about his time in prison, why he thinks racism played a role in being denied parole, and what he plans to do when he is finally released.

Feb 22, 2022
Dr. Bonnie Henry on what B.C. did differently during the COVID-19 pandemic

British Columbia’s health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced on Feb. 15 that the province would be easing COVID-19 restrictions. This includes removing capacity limits at gyms, restaurants and nightclubs – even dancing is back. But the province isn’t getting rid of their vaccine passport and that has set B.C. apart from places like Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba – provinces that have decided to end vaccine mandates.

It’s not the first time British Columbia has been on a divergent path from how other parts of the country have responded to COVID-19. Dr. Henry has been praised and criticized for how she’s brought the province through the pandemic. She’s on the show to tell us what’s behind some of her decisions, where she sees the pandemic going in the near future and what it’s like being the face of public health measures.

Feb 18, 2022
The new expanded powers banks have under the Emergencies Act

A big part of the federal government’s plan to end the convoy protests and blockades includes targeting the flow of money to them. Banks were granted expanded powers and liability protection as part of the Emergencies Act announcement on February 14.

But how comfortable are Canadian financial institutions with policing their own customers and freely sharing information with law enforcement? Banking reporter James Bradshaw has been speaking with officials at the big banks and explains exactly how they think they’ll be proceeding under these new powers.

Feb 17, 2022
Canada vs. U.S.: Inside women’s hockey’s greatest rivalry

Canada’s women’s hockey team is going for gold at the Beijing Olympics. They’ll face off against their rivals: Team USA. It’s the sixth time these teams have met in an Olympic final. While these two teams have dominated since women’s hockey was introduced to the Olympics in 1998, other countries have struggled to keep up.

Globe sports reporter, Rachel Brady, is in Beijing covering the Olympics. She’s on the show to tell us why Canada and the U.S. keep meeting in the finals, what needs to be done for women’s hockey to continue to grow and why there are still so few opportunities outside of the Olympics for these elite athletes.

Feb 16, 2022
What Trudeau, Ford are doing to end the convoy protests

Three weeks into the convoy protests, political leaders on all levels of government are looking at what levers they can pull. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford is keeping the province in a state of emergency. And Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is attempting to negotiate with the truckers who remain in residential neighbourhoods in the capital.

Jeff Gray, The Globe’s Queen’s Park reporter, gives us an update of what happened over the weekend and explains the various moves Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario’s Doug Ford have made in recent days as the public’s patience wears thin on the ongoing protests and blockades at various border crossings and in Ottawa.

Feb 15, 2022
How Colombia makes Valentine’s Day bloom in Canada

Valentine’s Day and red roses go hand-in-hand, and for those of us heading to local shops across Canada to pick up a bouquet, you might be surprised to learn those flowers most likely came from Colombia. The country is the second-largest flower exporter in the world, and they ship about 650-million stems overseas just for Valentine’s Day.

Yader Guzman is a freelance photographer based in Bogota who documented the journey of some of these flowers for The Globe. He tells us how they go from greenhouses in Bogota to local stores in Canada and how this became such a huge industry for Colombia.

Feb 14, 2022
Meet the 21-year-old who silenced the Ottawa truckers’ horns

Life for Zexi Li has been a bit of a roller coaster these last few weeks. The Ottawa resident lives just a few blocks away from Parliament Hill, which meant that after the trucker convoy rolled into town the soundtrack to her life was horns. Protesters had been blaring their truck horns from 7 a.m. to as late as 1:30 a.m., until lawyer Paul Champ approached Zexi and a civil suit led to an injunction that muted the honking.

Globe reporter Erin Anderssen spoke to Zexi after an Ontario Superior Court justice granted a 10-day injunction against the use of horns by the protesters. Zexi shares what it’s been like living amongst the cacophony, how she slept and why she agreed to be the public face of the proposed class-action suit.

Feb 11, 2022
The top leaders of the “Freedom Convoy” protest

The occupation of streets in downtown Ottawa and blockades at two border crossings to the US, including our busiest in Windsor, Ont. continues.

Reporter Colin Freeze tells us more about who the leaders are of the Freedom Convoy, including those fundraising millions of dollars to support it.

Feb 10, 2022
The secrets behind a medal-contending ice dance performance

Canadians fell in love with the Olympic sport of ice dancing after Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold at both the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. But they’ve since retired and reigning world bronze medallists, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, are hoping to capture the hearts of fans and place on the podium.

Timothy Moore, a videographer for The Globe, spoke with Gilles, Poirier and one of their coaches, Carol Lane, to learn about how they construct their highly technical rhythm dance routine, what they think about when they are performing and why they decided to wear bright orange spandex on the world stage.

Feb 09, 2022
Court orders honking halted in Ottawa

On Monday afternoon, a judge granted a temporary injunction to stop the incessant honking in downtown Ottawa by protestors dubbed the “Freedom Convoy.” The injunction is part of a proposed multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit started by a 21-year old resident of the city. The question is: will it work?

It’s been more than 10 days now since trucks and protestors took over the capital’s downtown neighbourhoods around Parliament. And the movement spurred other protests around the country this past weekend, against vaccine mandates and public health restrictions more generally. But none established the kind of presence Ottawa has seen.

Parliamentary reporter Janice Dickson details the experience of downtown Ottawa residents, and how city government and police have handled the ongoing situation.

Feb 08, 2022
How the James Webb Space Telescope will take us back in time

It has taken billions of dollars and more than two decades to build, but the successor to the Hubble Telescope is in space and waking up. Thanks to its ability to observe infrared light, the James Webb Space Telescope is able to see way beyond Hubble’s range and further back in time.

Science reporter Ivan Semeniuk explains how this new telescope works, what scientists hope to learn from it and why Canada’s contributions are critical to the mission’s success.

Feb 07, 2022
Beijing Olympics: sports, politics and a cocktail-making robot

The 2022 Winter Olympics are on in Beijing. It’s the first city in the world to host both a winter and summer Games (the latter of which happened back in 2008). These Games are shaping up to be much different. COVID-19 restrictions and a diplomatic boycott by a number of countries put a bit of a damper on the hype.

Asia correspondent James Griffiths is in Beijing. He tells us what it’s like inside the Olympic bubble and how politics are playing into these Games.

Feb 04, 2022
Where the Conservative Party of Canada goes from here

The vote was 73 to 45. And with that, Erin O’Toole’s leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada is over. This dismissal comes after months of internal strife as MPs questioned the direction of the party under Mr. O’Toole.

Conservatives now have to launch a leadership race to decide the direction of their party, without tearing it apart. Political columnist and writer-at-large John Ibbitson argues that the in-fighting in the party that is Canada’s Official Opposition is not just bad for their supporters, but bad for the country as a whole.

Feb 03, 2022
How Boris Johnson might survive his boozy scandal

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on a whirlwind trip to Ukraine as his political fate is being fought in the country’s Parliament and in its press. A report, by senior civil servant Sue Gray, highlighted excessive alcohol consumption by staff and said that some of the gatherings at 10 Downing Street represented a failure in leadership during a time when the rest of the country was under strict lockdowns and expected to be doing their part to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Now, Europe Correspondent Paul Waldie tells us what was in the report, what’s been left out, and why it might not be enough to oust a political survivor like Boris Johnson.

Feb 02, 2022
Trudeau’s tough line, O’Toole’s ‘changing message’ on protesting truckers

Over the weekend, Ottawa’s Parliament Hill and downtown area saw thousands of protestors arrive as part of the “Freedom Convoy,” originally sparked by a new vaccine mandate that would impose the same restrictions on unvaccinated truckers as other travellers across the border.

A smaller number remained in the capital city on Monday, blocking roads and blaring truck horns. Parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh joins from just a few blocks away to tell us what’s happened on Monday and how federal party leaders are responding.

Feb 01, 2022
Setting the stage for an arts comeback

The arts industry has been decimated by COVID-19 lockdowns. Performance arts like theatre, ballet and live music have been particularly hard hit. According to the Canadian Association for Performing Arts, one in four workers in the sector lost their job in 2020.

Then, there’s the audience. For those who love going to see plays, listening to a favourite band live or experiencing any form of art in a social setting, the pandemic has meant losing that world.

Kate Taylor is a cultural columnist and visual art critic for the Globe. She tells us how people are feeling in the industry, the hopes for a comeback and how art might one day look back and reflect on this unprecedented time.

Jan 31, 2022
The promises and limitations of the new COVID-19 pill

There’s a new treatment for COVID-19 in Canada. If taken at the right time during the infection, it can help keep people who have caught the virus out of the hospital. But there are some caveats. In fact, there are a lot.

Carly Weeks is one of The Globe’s health reporters and she explains how the new pill from Pfizer works, who can take it and why it’s already in short supply.

Jan 28, 2022
The Bank of Canada’s plan to cool inflation

In a surprising twist, at least in Bank of Canada news, the central bank decided on Wednesday to keep its key interest rate at a record low of 0.25 per cent. It was widely expected that the bank would announce a rate hike in order to cool Canada’s soaring inflation.

The Governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklem, did say interest rate hikes are coming in the near future – and that means borrowing costs are also going up.

Mark Rendell covers the Bank of Canada, finance and economics for The Globe. He explains what the Bank of Canada’s recent decision means. Plus, he’ll get into just how our central bank works and its role in making our economy run smoothly.

Jan 27, 2022
Why protesting truck drivers are heading for Ottawa

Truckers are now subject to the same rules as other travellers at the border, which means they can be refused entry or required to quarantine if they are unvaccinated. Even though, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, there’s no reason to think truckers are less vaccinated than average, the new vaccination mandate has become the subject of vigorous political debate. It even spurred a protest in the form of a group of truckers and their supporters headed to Ottawa, calling themselves “the Freedom Convoy.”

But as parliamentary reporter Kristy Kirkup explains, what’s driving the delay and shortages of some products in stores across the country is more complex than any one policy.

Jan 26, 2022
Why some Nunavut elders spend their final years alone in Ottawa

Sending a loved one to an assisted-living home is never an easy choice. For the people of Nunavut, the majority of whom are Inuit, it’s even harder. The territory has 36 beds for elders in four different communities. That means 21 of its 25 fly-in communities are without any options for elder care that don’t involve sending a family member away. And some families – whose elders need more intensive care – must choose between providing all of the care themselves, or sending their loved ones to Ottawa, where there is a long-term care home that houses Inuit elders.

Kelly Grant, the Globe’s national health care reporter, went to Nunavut to provide an in-depth look at health care in Nunavut and the challenges its residents face accessing it. While there, she found that the lack of elder care in the territory was one of the most common complaints and one of the hardest issues to solve.

Jan 25, 2022
Move over 'Let It Go,' we're talking about Bruno

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who have “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” stuck in their head, and those who don’t … yet. The Disney song is a viral sensation and unexpected hit from the 2021 film, Encanto.

Michael Birenbaum Quintero is an ethnomusicologist and Associate Professor at Boston University. Even he agrees it’s a catchy tune, and explores its musical influences along with the movie’s wider representation of Colombian and Latin American music and culture.

Jan 24, 2022
Hot desks are not cool with office workers

In the Before Times, millions of white collar workers would get up every weekday morning, get dressed, commute into the office and work at their desk for the day. Since the pandemic, working from home has become more common. That’s resulted in a lot of unused office space across the country.

As companies start to think about what work will look like as pandemic restrictions ease, one trend seems to be emerging: Hot-desking. This is the idea that there are no assigned seats in an office. Instead, an employee books their spot before coming in through an app.

While the idea saves companies’ money, the question of whether employees will be happy in this environment is up for debate. Vanmala Subramaniam is the Globe’s Future of Work reporter. She tells us why this trend is gaining traction now, what workers told her about their experience with it and how hot-desking will transform post-pandemic office life.

Jan 21, 2022
Russia and Ukraine at the brink of war

Senior international correspondent Mark MacKinnon is back in Ukraine, as officials from Canada and the U.S. — as well as military equipment from Britain — fly in to show support for Ukraine and try to dissuade Russia from invading.

There’s not much indication it’s working, and as Mark explains, while there are more talks scheduled for later in the week, hope of a peaceful solution seems to be fading fast.

Jan 20, 2022
Who betrayed Anne Frank?

The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the most widely read first-person accounts of the Holocaust. The question of how Anne and her family were discovered has haunted readers for decades. In a new book, The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation, author Rosemary Sullivan details what an investigative team found when they set out to answer: who tipped off the authorities to Anne’s hiding spot?

Turns out, it’s more complicated than you’d think. Marsha Lederman, the Globe’s Western Arts Correspondent, interviewed Sullivan about her book, and explains what they found, and what we can learn from this story today.

Jan 19, 2022
Why last year’s hottest stocks are cooling off

The pandemic promised a gold mine for companies like Zoom, Shopify, and Peloton. And at first, these companies did see a boost in their stock value. But the ground started to shift at the end of 2021 and now these stocks, which are often darlings of retail investors, are seeing substantial drops.

Report on Business reporter and columnist Tim Kiladze explains what has led to this investor whiplash and how a lot of trading on the stock market has become detached from the actual value of some companies.

Jan 18, 2022
Canada's 'Bitcoin Widow' finally speaks

When Gerald Cotten died suddenly in 2018, he was only 30 years old, but fabulously wealthy thanks to founding Quadriga, one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges. Or at least, that’s how it seemed. His death coincided with growing concerns about the legitimacy of Quadriga.

After investigating, the Ontario Securities Commission said Quadriga was run like a Ponzi scheme. More than Quadriga clients collectively lost more than $200 million.

Jennifer Kathleen Margaret Roberston was Cotten’s wife, and was there when he died. And despite being at the centre of a huge scandal, she’s never spoken publicly about her husband’s fraud or death – or the suspicion it cast on her – until now.

Telecom reporter Alexandra Posadzki and ROB reporter Joe Castaldo interviewed Robertson about her memoir, Bitcoin Widow: Love, Betrayal and the Missing Millions. They bring us that interview, and their expertise as journalists who’ve been covering this story from the beginning.

Jan 17, 2022
Thinking through Quebec’s unvaxxed tax

Quebec is the first jurisdiction in Canada to propose a ‘health contribution’ tax for people who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This has sparked a debate about whether some government pandemic measures are going too far into the realm of being punitive.

Dr. Devon Greyson, an assistant professor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, has been studying vaccine hesitancy since 2015. They break down the ethical considerations of this controversial piece of proposed public health policy.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this text misidentified Dr. Greyson as an associate professor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

Jan 14, 2022
Facing the challenges of kids, school and Omicron

With kids heading back to classrooms and daycares after the holiday break, there’s plenty of anxiety in the air. Omicron has proven to be highly transmissible and that means these communal settings are at high risk for spread of the virus.

We hear from parents and teachers about how they’re feeling. Plus Dr. Janine McCready, an infectious diseases physician at Michael Garron hospital in Toronto tells us what we know about Omicron and kids so far, and the tools that are needed to keep transmission down in both schools and in the wider community.

Jan 13, 2022
Giving new life to a dying language in Canada

There are only nine students but the kids of Taigh Sgoile na Drochaide – or the Bridge Schoolhouse in English – represent the future of Gaelic fluency in Canada. This is the first Gaelic-immersion school in the country and the people who founded it hope one day it’ll be the first of many.

Greg Mercer, who reports on Atlantic Canada for The Globe and Mail, shares the story of how this school sprouted up from a small community that is passionate about regaining its Gaelic roots.

Jan 12, 2022
Novak Djokovic’s Australian saga

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is known for being among the best male tennis players in the world. Off the court, he’s known for his anti-vaccine sentiments. The Australian Open granted him a medical exemption that would allow him to compete, but when he attempted to enter the country on Thursday, January 6, he was detained at the border. He was released on January 10, but his future at the Open remains uncertain.

Caitlin Thompson, co-founder of Racquet and publisher of Racquet Magazine, a print quarterly on the culture of tennis, explains why Djokovic was detained, and what makes him such a polarizing figure in the tennis world, and why this may not be the end of the story.

Jan 11, 2022
Omicron’s toll on workers