Smart, witty, and thoughtful political conversations that break from the limits of the 24-hour news cycle and the 280 character limit. Listeners will come away with a deeper understanding of the history and implications of the issues that shape us and our environment, anchored in discussions about public policy, and supported by research. Open to Debate is a space for agreeable disagreement based on the belief that such exchanges are essential to the health of our democracy.
What does the targeted harassment of journalists mean for journalism and democracy?
Threats and harassment directed at journalists in Canada are on the rise. A vicious coordinated campaign of hate targeted at a handful of women, especially racialized women, in recent weeks stands out as particularly troubling. As the far-right continues to organize and grow in the country, and as cynical politicians and media elites fan the flames, the implications of these campaigns press beyond the borders of news media and into the territory of our democracy. Protecting journalists and uprooting hate requires an immediate, coordinated, and sustained counter-movement. The effort must also be adequate to the task. Those who choose violence cannot be met with tolerance, since infinite tolerance undermines the foundations of inclusion. But to understand what is to be done, we must start by understanding the nature and extent of the problem. So, we ask: What does the targeted harassment of journalists mean for journalism and democracy?On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Erica Ifill, race and equity expert, co-host of the Bad and Bitchy podcast, and founder of Not In My Colour – an anti-racism and equity consultancy.
What is the future of public healthcare in Canada?
The crisis in healthcare across the country has opened the door for "reform." In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford is pushing "innovation." In recent days, he’s taken that message to Atlantic Canada, too. But what does "innovation" mean? It could mean further starving the public system of the resources it needs. It could mean privatisation. It could mean introducing a two-track system. Supporters of a strong public system aren’t inclined to give conservative reformers the benefit of the doubt, nor should they be.Understanding the future of healthcare in Canada requires us to understand the challenges the system faces and the battle between those who wish to renew the public system and those who wish to undo it. Those are the questions we’ll dig into as we ask: What is the future of public healthcare in Canada?On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Vivian Stamatopoulos, associate teaching professor at Ontario Tech University and LTC advocate.
What can artificial intelligence do?
Artificial intelligence is embedded in our daily lives whether we notice it or not. It shapes how we live, work, and play. Shopping, gaming, healthcare, cybersecurity, travelling, social media, policing, war and plenty of other facets of contemporary life feature AI technology – and there’s more on the way. And while discussions of AI tend towards questions about sentience – and robot overlords throwing off the yoke of human rule and taking over – the more immediate and pressing concerns of use, abuse, equity, and privacy still need to be answered.Shaping AI to serve human needs and the public good requires that the community take part in determining the boundaries and ethics of the technology. Determining those uses and limits starts with understanding its applications. So, in this episode we ask: What can artificial intelligence do?My guest on this episode of Open to Debate, is Yves Jacquier, Executive Director of Ubisoft La Forge.
What do cattle have to do with climate change?
The agriculture sector is a significant global source of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, the United Nations suggested eating less meat was a key step in lowering such emissions – especially beef. But while the sector contributes to climate change, it is also an essential component of our food security, biodiversity, and meeting daily nutritional needs. Understanding how beef consumption fits into our fight against climate change requires us to dig into Canada’s cattle industry, how it operates, and how it fits into domestic and global food and ecological systems.While it’s easy to say “Eat less beef,” there’s more to it than that. To sort out just what that entails, we ask “What do cattle have to do with climate change?”On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Dr. Tim McAllister, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and host of the podcast Cows on the Planet.
How are you doing-er?
In February, 2021, we took a deep breath and mixed things up by checking in with one of our favourite comedians as we celebrated our 40th episode. At the time, we’d been in the pandemic for a year. Now, we’ve been at it for over two years and we’re approaching 70 episodes. So, what better time to check back in with one of our best-loved guests.Last time, we asked “How are you doing?” It would be lazy to ask the same question, so this time we ask: How are you doing-er? On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Brittlestar— Stewart Reynolds—comedian, video-maker extraordinaire, and, according to his website, The Internet’s Favourite Dad* (*still unproven).
How should we put ourselves back together post-pandemic?
The pandemic isn’t over. Someday, it will be. But we aren’t there yet. We are, however, at a critical juncture – a fork in the road at which we can choose another path forward. Today, we ought to be devoting much of our attention to an analysis of how we can rebuild or remake our social, political, and economic institutions in ways that serve us more effectively, sustainably, and equitably. Rebuilding or remaking our institutions requires us to think critically about what has worked in the past, for whom, and what might work better in the future. It requires us to ask a basic question and to be willing to follow where it leads us. It requires us to imagine something different. So, we ask: How should we put ourselves back together post-pandemic?On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks once more–for a record-setting fourth time–with Amanda Watson, feminist theorist, lecturer at Simon Fraser University and author of The Juggling Mother: Coming Undone in the Age of Anxiety.
Love this show! It's so great. I listen to it religiously.
Listened to a few episodes. Nothing new here just the rants you continually hear from the “usual suspects”.
Guy talks about himself too much.