An in-depth look at the issues, culture and personalities shaping Canada today.
Why public health communications are an utter disaster
We are in the home stretch of this pandemic, even if you wouldn't know it from anything Canadian officials tell you. Vaccines work, and hundreds of thousands of Canadians are getting theirs every day. We can look to the United Kingdom right now to see what happens when enough people get their shots. We know a lot more than we ever have about what's safe and what's not, how to protect ourselves and still find activities worth doing.
So why don't communications from public health reflect that? Why can't politicians and doctors give us hope, or at least a few carrots mixed in with the constant sticks? Do they not trust us with optimism? Worry we'll start breaking the rules early? Or is treating Canadians like obedient robots doing more harm than good?
GUEST: Matt Gurney, columnist with TVO and the National Post
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi talks power, pandemics and partisanship
He ran for mayor, and won three times, on a platform of bipartisanship, even as political squabbles were getting nastier by the day. He used social media to drive his campaign before 'going viral' became the goal of a comms staff. He took over the job of running a city that had never declared a state of emergency, then had to do it three times in his decade in charge.
Naheed Nenshi is leaving office after 10 years of being one of the most interesting politicians in the country. And no -- we didn't ask him what he wants his legacy to be. This isn't that kind of exit interview.
GUEST: Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary
How will babies born during the pandemic meet the world?
There are tens of thousands of infant Canadians who have never been held by anyone but their moms and dads; who have never played with another real live child or spent a second in daycare or with a babysitter. Sometime soon, when restrictions are lifted, all that will change. What do we know about how a year without socialization will impact these infants? How can parents help them enter a world they've never met? And what will we learn about how babies adapt from this unexpected global experiment?
GUEST: Dr. Sheri Madigan, University of Calgary, Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development
Forest vs. Highway: The eternal Canadian battle
The forest in question this time is a piece of land known as the Greenbelt. The highway, if it's built, would be known as Hwy. 413. If you think this is just a story about Toronto—you're wrong.
The fight over Hwy. 413 has arrived at the federal government's level. And how the government chooses to use the powers it has in this situation will decide the project's fate. And quite possibly the fate of the next big highway vs. forest battle.
GUEST: Emma McIntosh, National Observer
How the Liberals screwed up Bill C-10. And how they can fix it.
You know something's gone wrong when the government is promising to amend their changes to the broadcasting act to make sure it doesn't apply to, say, your personal Twitter feed. But that's what the federal government had to do this week after public outcry surrounding Bill C-10.
That is just one of the more obvious examples of the problems with this bill, which has been trounced by experts on both sides of the aisle. So what's in the actual bill? What did the government get wrong? And how can they fix it?
GUEST: Jesse Hirsh, metaviews.ca
How are you? I am fine: What we lose without small talk
How many strangers have you chatted with recently? Probably not a lot. And while your immediate reaction to that might be, "Great, I hate talking to strangers about nothing"—the research doesn't back you up.
Casual small talk plays a larger role in our well-being than we assume it does, and most of us are doing much, much less of it these days. What does that mean for our happiness? And for our pathetic attempts at chit-chat once we emerge back into a world full of random social interactions?
GUEST: Hannah Seo (You can read Hannah's piece in The Walrus)
Well presented, well produced
I love the variety of this podcast, everything is covered, climate change to public health to extraterrestrials!
I loved this. Thank you