An in-depth look at the issues, culture and personalities shaping Canada today.
What happens when police won’t ID a murder suspect?
Usually, when someone is charged with murder, their name is all over police statements, and then all over the media. But when police neglect to release that information—and some forces have been doing that more and more frequently—the murder itself can go missing. From the media, from the conversation, and eventually from the statistics kept that guide community safety policies.
Why have police begun withholding the name of people accused of murder, and what are the ramifications for the criminal justice system and vulnerable communities?
GUEST: Alyshah Hasham, Toronto Star courts reporter
Here’s the thing about vaccine lotteries: They work.
When Alberta announced last week it would join several U.S. states in offering the chance of life-changing prizes to citizens who get their Covid-19 vaccine, they were chasing a simple truth: For some reason, we tend to value the remote chance of a big reward far more than the certainty of a small one.
This is something that governments and companies are proving true right now as they try all sorts of things to help everyone get vaccinated and get life back to normal. And it begs the question: If it works for vaccines, what else could governments entice us to do by dangling a lottery lure? And what's happening in our brains when we do it?
GUEST: Adam Rogers, senior correspondent at WIRED
How Medicine Hat became Canada’s first certified ‘zero homeless’ city
Across Canada, in every municipality, there are people experiencing homelessness. It happens everyday. But what really matters is what happens to those people after they become homeless.
Homelessness can quickly become a cycle, a self-fulfilling prophecy, a chronic condition. And in many places policy treats it that way, creating benchmarks for people to clear before they qualify for assistance, or tracking people living on the streets as numbers instead of names. What if there was a better way? What if that better way was actually easier and cheaper? And what if it was not some far-left Canadian municipality leading the way, but a conservative stronghold in Alberta?
GUEST: Jaime Rogers, Manager of Homeless and Housing Development, Medicine Hat Community Housing Society
B.C. has a blueprint to save its oldest forests. Will it use it?
The months-long blockade at Fairy Creek is something of a tipping point for the province's NDP government's attempt to balance its environmentalism and its logging interests. Before his party was re-elected, Premier John Horgan pledged to follow a report with recommendations to protect B.C.'s old-growth forests, of which only three percent remain.
Almost a year later, none of the recommendations have been acted upon and the blockade that has led to hundreds of arrests shows no signs of stopping. Will the province agree to a deferral? Will that buy it time to figure out a solution? Logging vs. the environment is a decades-old fight in the province, but the government has run out of time to find a solution that pleases everyone.
GUEST: Sarah Cox, B.C. Investigative Reporter, The Narwhal
How close is America to the end of democracy?
That's not hyperbole. Many Americans (and Canadians, and citizens around the world) hoped that once Donald Trump was out of office, and Joe Biden became president, the country would experience a snap-back towards political normalcy. That hasn't happened. And driven by their fears of being ousted by Trump's base, Republicans around the country are continuing to push the United States towards the brink.
How did this happen? When did Trumpism become the entire identity of the Republican party? Can America wake up to the threat posed to its most crucial institutions, or is it already too late?
GUEST: Peter Wehner, contributing writer at The Atlantic, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Peter has worked in the three Republican presidential administrations previous to Trump's.
What does Bill 96 mean for Quebec? And for the rest of Canada?
It's a gigantic update to Quebec's language laws, which have been part of the cultural fabric of the province for 50 years—and the proposal even goes so far as to update Canada's constitution.
But does Bill 96 actually protect French in Quebec? Does it help newcomers learn and use the language? Will it make it easier for badly-needed immigrants to Canada to choose to settle there? And does taking such measures to protect French do a disservice to the many Indigenous languages that are at risk of disappearing across the country?
GUEST: Toula Drimonis, CULT MTL.com