183 episodes

Your Twitter feed is a dumpster fire, and dinner table discussions aren’t exactly what they used to be. That’s why in 2024, The Backbench is going to bring the issues that matter into focus — and have fun doing it. 
With the next federal election looming, host Mattea Roach (Jeopardy! Super Champion) and featured guests will help you make sense of Canadian politics with a mix of engaging, myth-busting, rug-pulling analysis and personal stories straight from the mouths of those caught in the crosshairs.
New episodes every other Tuesday. 

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

The Backbench Canadaland Politics

    • News
    • 4.2 • 982 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
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Your Twitter feed is a dumpster fire, and dinner table discussions aren’t exactly what they used to be. That’s why in 2024, The Backbench is going to bring the issues that matter into focus — and have fun doing it. 
With the next federal election looming, host Mattea Roach (Jeopardy! Super Champion) and featured guests will help you make sense of Canadian politics with a mix of engaging, myth-busting, rug-pulling analysis and personal stories straight from the mouths of those caught in the crosshairs.
New episodes every other Tuesday. 

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    State of Emergency Rooms

    State of Emergency Rooms

    We’re bringing you a special episode today from our friends at Commons. Over thirteen seasons, Commons has exposed Canada’s foundational reliance on monopolies, our addiction to real estate and the dark side of hockey. In their new season, host Arshy Mann is now dissecting the state of work in Canada to ask – how did we get here? And what can we do to fight back?
    Across Canada, emergency rooms have been shutting down, leaving desperate people in the lurch. And at the heart of this health care crisis, is a labour crisis.
    Nurses are leaving their jobs in droves, leaving hospitals understaffed and sometimes unable to carry out their most basic obligations.
    In this episode, we'll tell you how nursing went from a profession hailed as heroic to one in an utter state of crisis, all through the eyes of a woman who lived through it all.
    Featured in this episode: Nadira Ross
    Credits: Arshy Mann (Host and Producer), Jordan Cornish (Producer), Noor Azrieh (Producer), André Proulx (Production Coordinator), Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
    To learn more:
    “How Canadian hospitals became dependent on expensive, out-of-town nurses” by Tu Thanh Ha, Kelly Grant and Stephanie Chambers in The Globe and Mail
    “How nursing staffing agencies are costing Ontario hospitals untold millions” by Mike Crawley in CBC News 

    Sponsors: AG1
    If you value this podcast, Support us! You’ll get premium access to all our shows ad free, including early releases and bonus content. You’ll also get our exclusive newsletter, discounts on merch, tickets to our live and virtual events, and more than anything, you’ll be a part of the solution to Canada’s journalism crisis, you’ll be keeping our work free and accessible to everybody. 
    You can listen ad-free on Amazon Music—included with Prime.


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 27 min
    The Convoy Keeps Rolling

    The Convoy Keeps Rolling

    When the trucks moved out of Ottawa in 2022, our public discourse changed. Grievance politics thrived, and our political parties adapted.
    Supporters of the convoy splintered into different groups. They became very politically engaged in causes like the 1 Million March for Children, the Save the Children Convoy, Canadians for Truth and even a grassroots lobby group - Take Back Alberta. 
    As the organizers' trials reach their end, we look at the movement's lingering effects. Where are the members now? Do they represent a significant part of the country? How do we address this fundamental change in discourse?  
    To find out, Mattea Roach asked David Fraser, a CBC Ottawa reporter who’s been covering the convoy for years, and David Moscrop, a political scientist and columnist based in Ottawa.

    Host:  Mattea Roach
    Credits: Aviva Lessard (Producer), Sam Konnert (Producer), Caleb Thompson (Audio Editor and Technical Producer), André Proulx (Production Coordinator), Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
    Guests: David Moscrop, David Fraser
    Background reading:
    What is the ‘Save the Children Convoy’ and What Do They Really Believe? - Press ProgressAnti-LGBTQ+ ‘Million Man Marches’ Are Being Held Across Canada. Who is Behind Them and What Are They Really About? - Press ProgressHow Canada’s Right-Wing Pivoted From COVID-19 Conspiracies to Conspiracies About Gender in 2023 - Press ProgressWhat remains of the convoy protest one year later - The Globe and Mail2 years later, 'Freedom Movement' plans return to Parliament Hill - CBC News Freedom, politics, control and money — the many motivations of the 'Freedom Convoy '- CBC
    Sponsors: AG1, Douglas
    If you value this podcast, Support us! You’ll get premium access to all our shows ad free, including early releases and bonus content. You’ll also get our exclusive newsletter, and more than anything, you’ll be a part of the solution to Canada’s journalism crisis, you’ll be keeping our work free and accessible to everybody. 
    You can listen ad-free on Amazon Music—included with Prime.
    Want free shipping from The Canadaland Store? Use the code discount code SPRING24 at checkout for free Canada-wide shipping on any order until March 31, 2024.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 54 min
    The Hate U Post

    The Hate U Post

    Richard Warman used to take neo-nazis he found online to the human rights commission. He used an obscure provision called Section 13, which was repealed in 2014. 
    But it may be coming back.
    The long-awaited Online Harms Act includes a section allowing human rights complaints over online hate speech. Free speech advocates are worried, but some say it’s time trolls start behaving. 
    Who gets to decide what’s hate speech? Is this the end of online hate or the start of something more sinister? To find out, Mattea Roach asked Emily Laidlaw, a Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity Law and an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, and Richard Moon, a law professor at the University of Windsor. 
    Correction (March 18, 2024): This episode’s description originally stated that the proposed Online Harms Act would permit “users to sue each other for hate speech online.” In fact, it would allow the Canadian Human Rights Commission to consider complaints related to allegedly discriminatory online speech and to refer such complaints to the quasi-judicial Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
    Host: Mattea Roach
    Credits: Aviva Lessard (Producer), Sam Konnert (Producer), Caleb Thompson (Audio Editor and Technical Producer), André Proulx (Production Coordinator) Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
    Guests: Richard Moon, Emily Laidlaw
    Background reading:
    The government doubles down on censoring the internet - The HubOnline harms bill could spark 'an absolute tsunami of complaints' - National PostCarson Jerema: Don't believe the Liberals, online harms act targets free speech - National PostThe history of Section 13, the controversial hate speech law the Liberals just revived - National PostPoilievre says online harms should be punished with jail, 'not pushed off to new bureaucracy' - National Post#198 Punching Nazis... With The Law! - Canadaland
    Sponsors: Douglas, AG1
    If you value this podcast, Support us! You’ll get premium access to all our shows ad free, including early releases and bonus content. You’ll also get our exclusive newsletter, discounts on merch, tickets to our live and virtual events, and more than anything, you’ll be a part of the solution to Canada’s journalism crisis, you’ll be keeping our work free and accessible to everybody. 
    You can listen ad-free on Amazon Music—included with Prime.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 50 min
    Failing Universities 101

    Failing Universities 101

    Canadian universities are barely scraping by. Queen’s is in a whole lot of debt, Laurentian declared insolvency in 2021, Alberta universities are slashing budgets, and McGill and Concordia are in danger over an out-of-province tuition battle. On top of it all, the international student visa cap will limit revenues for cash-strapped universities. Combined, it could have huge implications for our knowledge-based economy.
    How did this happen? Where do we go from here? To find out, Mattea Roach asked Simona Chiose, the former higher education reporter at the Globe and Mail, and Alex Usher, the president of Higher Education Strategy Associates.
    Host:  Mattea Roach
    Credits: Aviva Lessard (Producer), Sam Konnert (Producer), Caleb Thompson (Audio Editor and Technical Producer), André Proulx (Production in Coordinator) Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
    Guests: Alex Usher, Simona Chiose
    Background reading:
    Ford government to provide $1 billion in funding to universities, colleges: sources - Toronto StarHe had 99.5% but still couldn't get in. How Ontario's most competitive university programs decide who makes the cut - Toronto StarMcGill, Concordia launch legal action against Quebec’s tuition hike for out-of-province students - The Globe and MailTwo post-secondary organizations express 'significant concern' over international student cap - CBC News
    Sponsors: Douglas, AG1
    If you value this podcast, Support us! You’ll get premium access to all our shows ad free, including early releases and bonus content. You’ll also get our exclusive newsletter, discounts on merch, tickets to our live and virtual events, and more than anything, you’ll be a part of the solution to Canada’s journalism crisis, you’ll be keeping our work free and accessible to everybody. 
    You can listen ad-free on Amazon Music—included with Prime.


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 44 min
    Why Are Conservatives Obsessed With Trans People?

    Why Are Conservatives Obsessed With Trans People?

    Alberta Premier and UCP leader Danielle Smith has unveiled what many are describing as some of the strictest anti-trans policies in the country. Shortly after, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, who famously stated he would lead a “mind your own damn business party,” didn’t mind his own damn business and supported Smith’s move in interfering with trans kids' access to healthcare. 
    Why is it that conservatives are so obsessed with trans people? Mattea Roach asked Hannah Hodson, former Candidate for the Federal Conservatives, and Mel Woods, senior editor at Xtra Magazine.
    Host: Mattea Roach
    Credits: Aviva Lessard (Producer), Noor Azrieh (Producer), Caleb Thompson (Audio Editor) Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
    Guests: Hannah Hodson, Mel Woods
    Background reading:
    Alberta’s New Policies: Anti-trans, Anti-evidence from The TyeeThe cruelty and calm of Alberta's attack on trans rights from Xtra MagazineThe 1st openly trans Conservative candidate calls out party's new gender policies from the CBCAlberta premier’s pronoun policy spurs concern from law expert about vulnerable children from Global NewsPremier Smith says Alberta's gender identity policies are based on a concern about 'what will happen' from CTV NewsConservatives tell MPs not to comment on Alberta transgender policies, prioritize parental rights, internal e-mail shows from The Globe and Mail
    Sponsors: AG1, Douglas
    If you value this podcast, Support us! You’ll get premium access to all our shows ad free, including early releases and bonus content. You’ll also get our exclusive newsletter, discounts on merch, tickets to our live and virtual events, and more than anything, you’ll be a part of the solution to Canada’s journalism crisis, you’ll be keeping our work free and accessible to everybody. 
    You can listen ad-free on Amazon Music—included with Prime.


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 52 min
    Could Canada Be Complicit in a ‘Plausible Genocide’?

    Could Canada Be Complicit in a ‘Plausible Genocide’?

    The ICJ court ruled that Palestinians in Gaza face a “real and imminent risk” of genocide, and laid out the provisional measures Israel must take in order to prevent it. Canada has a legal duty to take steps to prevent genocide - yet their relationship to Israel may compromise their obligations to the Genocide Convention. What will it take for Canada to pivot on its special relationship with Israel? And might Canada be complicit in genocide?
    Host:  Mattea Roach
    Credits: Aviva Lessard (Producer), Noor Azrieh (Producer), Caleb Thompson (Audio Editor), Annette Ejiofor (Managing Editor) Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
    Guests: Amanda Ghahremani, Farida Deif, Mark Kersten
    Background reading:
    Ratification of the Genocide ConventionStatement by Minister Joly on South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice Ruling by UN’s top court means Canada and the U.S. could be complicit in Gaza genocide from The ConversationClaims that Israel is imposing 'apartheid' on Palestinians put new pressure on Trudeau Liberals from CBC News. South Africa’s legal effort to declare Israel’s actions ‘genocidal in character’ poses dilemma for Canada from The Globe and Mail.Canada should halt weapons shipments to Israel, arms control advocate says from The Globe and Mail.International law, not history, holds the promise of protecting life in Gaza from the Toronto Star.
    Sponsors: Douglas, AG1
    If you value this podcast, Support us! You’ll get premium access to all our shows ad free. You’ll also get our exclusive newsletter, discounts on merch, tickets to our live and virtual events, and more than anything, you’ll be a part of the solution to Canada’s journalism crisis, you’ll be keeping our work free and accessible to everybody. 
    You can listen ad-free on Amazon Music—included with Prime.


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
982 Ratings

982 Ratings

Wellthenok ,

Mattea is a great host.

I’m almost finished episode #63. Please give Riley Yesno a bit of a break or at least rotate through less often. She comes with a lot of obnoxious, antidotal opinions. Most of your other guests sound more thought through, wise and knowledgable in specific topics. People are more likely to reconsider their own opinion from the other guests than someone spouting out words like they’re trying to set a record. I’m not sure how to say this nicely but I don’t mean anything personal, it’s more my opinion on what tone sounds good on a podcast.

Retro27 ,

This went downhill

I used to enjoy this show… until they started using sources like “The Breach” with thinly veiled antisemitism. I guess that’s what counts as being “progressive” in 2023. 😢

KamikazeCanuck150 ,

Unsubscribing

I like Mattea better as a host and have been listening for a couple years but the last episode was so ridiculously one sided. What’s the point of just having 3 people with the exact same opinion just having an agree fest with each other? It’s clearly a divisive subject so they should have been able to find some other nuanced opinion but she just wants people who agree with everything she says. Now that I see that I won’t be able to take this show seriously anymore.

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