172 episodes

A weekly documentary show for people who love narrative podcasts. These are stories you can’t stop thinking about. That you’ll tell your friends about. And that will help you understand what’s going on in Canada, and why. Every week a journalist follows one story, meets the people at its centre, and makes it make sense. Sometimes it’s about people living out the headlines in real life. Sometimes it’s about someone you’ve never heard of, living through something you had no idea was happening. Either way, you’ll go somewhere, meet someone, get the context, and learn something new. (Plus it sounds really good. Mixed like a movie.) One story, well told, every week, from the award-winning team at the CBC Audio Doc Unit.

Storylines CBC STORIES

    • Society & Culture

A weekly documentary show for people who love narrative podcasts. These are stories you can’t stop thinking about. That you’ll tell your friends about. And that will help you understand what’s going on in Canada, and why. Every week a journalist follows one story, meets the people at its centre, and makes it make sense. Sometimes it’s about people living out the headlines in real life. Sometimes it’s about someone you’ve never heard of, living through something you had no idea was happening. Either way, you’ll go somewhere, meet someone, get the context, and learn something new. (Plus it sounds really good. Mixed like a movie.) One story, well told, every week, from the award-winning team at the CBC Audio Doc Unit.

    The impact of Ukraine’s new draft laws in Canada

    The impact of Ukraine’s new draft laws in Canada

    Early in the morning in Winnipeg, outside a grocery store, Dmytro is about to start his shift. Dmytro, who is in their mid-20s and identifies as non-binary, has only been in Canada for 18 months. They fled Ukraine when the Russian invasion was looming and could only leave the country because of a medical condition. 
     
    However, Ukraine amended its medical military exemptions, and Dmytro now fears they would be considered fit for duty. Plus, under Ukraine’s new conscription laws, they is required to return to Ukraine and register with a military enrollment office. Dmytro, though, wants to stay in Canada.

    A version of this story is happening across many Ukrainian diaspora communities, as the Ukrainian government wants Ukrainian men living in countries like Canada to return and fight.

    But many, like Dmytro, wish to remain where they are, as going home and putting on a uniform can mean being sent to the front and fighting in a war where there is a very real possibility of being killed.

    However, for the Ukrainian government and for many who chose to go fight, this war is an existential fight for survival, and they need all the soldiers they can get.

    In his documentary "Flight or Fight," John Chipman goes to Winnipeg, where the new conscription laws are sparking tensions among Ukrainians who fled the war, and those who stayed behind to fight. It’s a conflict over what it means to be loyal to your country. 

    Reported by John Chipman. Story Editing by Julia Pagel. The documentary originally aired on Sunday Magazine 

    Storylines is part of the CBC Audio Doc Unit

    • 27 min
    What The Puck? The strange story of a decades-old hockey rumour

    What The Puck? The strange story of a decades-old hockey rumour

    30 years ago, the Stanley Cup playoffs ignited a rumour that has been messing with Jane Macdougall’s life ever since. 

    It was June 14, 1994, and the Vancouver Canucks had made it all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers. The Canucks were magic on ice, so when they lost by just one goal, fans expected the team to come back blazing the next year. 

    Instead,1995 was a total letdown. The team seemed to have lost its chemistry and when a popular defenceman was abruptly traded, stories started swirling. The rumour became that the defenceman was having an affair with the goalie’s wife, destroying team morale and leaving the franchise flailing. 

    For nearly 30 years, Jane Macdougall (the goalie’s now ex-wife) has been dealing with the fallout of that rumour. She says she’s harangued about it constantly from all directions—strangers at parties, kids at her son’s school, even her accountant—they all have something to say about her “affair”. 

    But not only is the rumour false, it’s not even possible. 

    On this week’s Storylines, Acey Rowe tracks the Canucks rumour from locker rooms to chat rooms to NHL legends to figure out how a story like this snowballs, how it survived for 30 years, what really happened to the Canucks way back when, and what it is about sports fandom that makes rumours like this so common—because Jane Macdougall is far from alone. 

    Reported and produced by Acey Rowe. Story Editing by Willa Paskin and Evan Chung from the podcast Decoder Ring by Slate Magazine. Storylines is part of the CBC Audio Doc Unit.

    • 30 min
    The Detroit blue collar workers who may decide this year's election

    The Detroit blue collar workers who may decide this year's election

    At a union hall in Detroit’s industrial River Rouge neighborhood, workers have come together to vote for a new leader. The event feels festive, with a fire pit, a tent, and even 'walking tacos,' which are taco meat mixed into a bag of Doritos. But there are dark clouds on the horizon for the future of their industry.

    Many of these workers are employed by the Great Lakes Steel Works, a massive steel mill that provides raw materials for the U.S. automotive industry.

    These workers have a lot on their minds. The company that runs their plant, U.S. Steel, might merge with the Japanese steel company Nippon Steel. Then there’s the rise of EVs, which will potentially disrupt the U.S. automotive sector. Layoffs have already been happening. Four years ago, the steel mill shut its blast furnace, and more than a 1000 workers lost their jobs.

    People are worried about their futures, and how they see that future might impact the U.S. election.. Michigan’s 15 electoral college votes are critical for Biden's path if he hopes to get re-elected. Michigan is a swing state, which Biden won in the last election, but Trump took the first time he ran.

    To understand what’s on these Michigan workers' minds, Pete Mitton traveled to Detroit to better understand the dynamics of the upcoming election and the economic realities of the blue-collar workers there for this documentary 'Detroit Takes the Wheel'.

    Reported by Pete Mitton. Story Editing by John Chipman. This documentary originally aired on The Sunday Magazine.

    Storylines is part of the CBC Audio Doc Unit

    • 25 min
    Artificial intelligence at the ballot box

    Artificial intelligence at the ballot box

    In January, some New Hampshire voters thought they had gotten a robo call from Joe Biden, telling them to skip voting in the state primary. 

    The robocall voice at the other end of the phone wasn’t Biden at all. In fact it was a deepfake, created by a political consultant working for a longshot democratic challenger to Biden. The audio itself was made by a magician in Texas, using a simple website that created the deepfake using text-to- speech audio using AI. 

    The fake Biden robocall shows how easy it could become to use AI to disrupt an election but that isn't the whole story.

    In this episode of Storylines, producer Craig Desson takes us around the world to see how election officials, politicians and academics are grappling with how AI might impact our elections as hundreds of millions go to the polls this year. 

    The situation is troubling, but there are also ways AI brings new possibilities to democracies around the world. 

    Reported and Produced by Craig Desson. Story Editing by Joan Webber. Originally aired on Sunday Magazine. 

    Storylines is part of the CBC Audio Doc Unit 

    • 26 min
    The Boxer’s Brain

    The Boxer’s Brain

    Claire Hafner at 47, is among the top women boxers in the world. She’s just about ready for retirement but wants to win the Canadian title before hanging up her gloves. 

    However, a question hangs over the timing of when retirement will come. 

    Claire is also among a small group of women athletes who are participating in a landmark study on the effects of trauma in mostly combat sports. 

    Every year she gets tested for signs of head trauma to see if all those hits are leading to a long-term degenerative brain condition, known as CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

    In this documentary we follow Claire to Las Vegas where she’s undergoing a new round of tests, and if they show a sign of decline, she’s going to retire before attempting to win that last Canadian title. 

    At the end of the show we’ll hear another documentary about boxing, but this one with a surprising twist. We’re going to drop you into a chess boxing match in London,UK. You can win by a KO or by checkmate. That documentary was reported by Laura Lynch back in 2011 for Dispatches.

    Reported and produced by Katie Nicholson. Story Editing by Acey Rowe with help from Liz Hoath.

    Storylines is part of the CBC Audio Doc Unit

    • 31 min
    Return to Afghanistan

    Return to Afghanistan

    CBC producer Naheed Mustafa, then a freelance writer and broadcaster, landed at the Kabul airport on a blistering hot summer day back in 2008. She’d come to report on how the country had been transformed by the U.S. led war. 

    By that point a lot had changed. In Kabul Afghans felt free to come and go as they pleased, women wore burkas but they also wore jeans, tunics and pretty headscarves. There had been an election too, but at the same time, a violent Taliban resurgence was underway.

    Mustafa didn’t know it at the time, but that resurgence would continue until the Taliban recaptured the country. 

    It's been 10 years since Canada officially ended its mission in Afghanistan. Now, Mustafa is looking back at the documentaries she made, and listening to the voices of everyday Afghans living through a key moment in their country's history.

    Reported by Naheed Mustafa. Produced by Julia Pagel. Original Dispatches doc produced by Donna Cressman. 

    Storylines is part of the CBC Audio Doc Unit 

    • 27 min

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