262 episodes

COMMONS is a documentary podcast that proves Canada is anything but boring. Each season, host Arshy Mann guides you through the country’s dark underbelly, bringing you stories about crime, corruption and all manner of misdeeds.
This season will unmask the ever-present war on workers. And the many, many ways that workers have banded together to fight back against it.


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

COMMONS Canadaland Beyond

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 70 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

COMMONS is a documentary podcast that proves Canada is anything but boring. Each season, host Arshy Mann guides you through the country’s dark underbelly, bringing you stories about crime, corruption and all manner of misdeeds.
This season will unmask the ever-present war on workers. And the many, many ways that workers have banded together to fight back against it.


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

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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    WORK 5 - The Westray Disaster

    WORK 5 - The Westray Disaster

    This episode was originally published on November 24, 2021. 
    Twenty-six men were working underground when an explosion tore through the Westray Mine in Nova Scotia. Their friends and colleagues went into the wreckage to try to save them.
    The story of Westray is one of managerial malice and the heroism of everyday people. But why is it that governments let this happen over and over again, at the expense of so many lives?
    Featured in this episode: Vernon Theriault, Tom Sandborn
    To learn more:
    Westray: My Journey From Darkness to Light by Vernon Theriault and Marjorie Coady
    “Hell’s History” by Tom Sandborn in The Tyee
    The Last Shift by CBC’s The Fifth Estate
    Additional music from Audio Network
    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.

    • 48 min
    WORK 6 - Emptying an Ocean

    WORK 6 - Emptying an Ocean

    The closure of the cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador was the most devastating mass layoff in Canadian history. And its impacts are still being felt to this day.

    The collapse of Newfoundland cod is a story of man-made environmental calamity that turned into economic devastation. It’s a story of a government ignoring the knowledge of working people, in favour of the so-called expertise of industry, to disastrous effect.

    But this isn’t just history. It’s prophecy. It’s a vision of what may come if we continue to ignore the ecological limits of this planet in the pursuit of profit.

    Featured in this episode: Bernard Martin, Jenn Thornhill-Verma, Ryan Cleary, Glen Winslow

    To learn more:

    Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland’s Saltwater Cowboys by Jenn Thornhill-Verma

    Lament for an Ocean: The Collapse of the Atlantic Cod Fishery by Michael Harris

    Managed Annihilation: An Unnatural History of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse by Dean Bavington

    Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

    Credits: Arshy Mann (Host and Producer), Jordan Cornish (Producer), Noor Azrieh (Producer), André Proulx (Production Coordinator), Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)

    Additional music from Audio Network

    Sponsors: Rotman, AG1

    WORK 4 - Reaping the Whirlwind

    WORK 4 - Reaping the Whirlwind

    Migrant farm workers are the backbone of Canada’s agricultural economy. But because they can be fired and deported at will, their voices are rarely ever heard in this country.
    But Gabriel Allahdua is one of the few who can now speak up. And the story he has to tell is startling.
    It’s a story of racism and labour exploitation that goes back decades, even centuries. And it’s a prophecy of what is to come — that the hardships inflicted on migrant farm workers are only a trial run for the rest of us. 
    This is the second episode in a two-part series on farm labour. 
    Featured in this episode: Gabriel Allahdua, Chris Ramsaroop
    To learn more:
    Harvesting Freedom: The Life of a Migrant Worker in Canada by Gabriel Allahdua with Edward Dunsworth
    “‘Overtly racist’: Lawsuit challenges Canada’s migrant farmworker system” by Jillian Kestler-D'Amours in Al-Jazeera
    “Former Ontario seasonal farmworker speaks out about exploitation, files class action lawsuit” by Jon Woodward in CTV News
    “The Canadian state and the racialization of Caribbean migrant farm labour 1947–1966” by Vic Satzewich in Ethnic and Racial Studies
    Credits: Arshy Mann (Host and Producer), Jordan Cornish (Producer), Noor Azrieh (Producer), André Proulx (Production Coordinator), Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
     
    Additional music from Audio Network
    Sponsors: Rotman, 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.

    • 41 min
    WORK 3 - Bitter Harvest

    WORK 3 - Bitter Harvest

    The creation of the Canadian Farmworkers Union, as it would come to be called, was the first step in a struggle that continues to this day.
    Because even now, farmworkers have far fewer rights than almost any other class of worker. And even today, the men and women who grow our food are subject to horrific working conditions and racial discrimination.
    But to understand why the situation remains so bad, we need to go back in time to a moment when there was progress and hope. A moment when it looked like things might truly change for the better.
    This is the first episode in a two-part series on farm labour. 
    Featured in this episode: Raj Chouhan
    To learn more:
    A Time To Rise by Anand Patwardhan & Jim Munro
    Union Zindabad!: South Asian Canadian Labour History in British Columbia by Donna Sacuta, Bailey Garden & Anushay Malik
    “Charan Gill: An ‘Epic’ Life of Advocacy” by David P. Ball in The Tyee
    “1983: The Year BC Citizens and Workers Fought Back” by Rod Mickleburgh in The Tyee
    Credits: Arshy Mann (Host and Producer), Jordan Cornish (Producer), Noor Azrieh (Producer), André Proulx (Production Coordinator), Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
     
    Additional music from Audio Network
    Sponsors: Douglas, Athletic Greens 
    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.

    • 34 min
    WORK 2 - State of Emergency Rooms

    WORK 2 - State of Emergency Rooms

    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
    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 
    Credits: Arshy Mann (Host and Producer), Jordan Cornish (Producer), Noor Azrieh (Producer), André Proulx (Production Coordinator), Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)
     
    Additional music from Audio Network
    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.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
70 Ratings

70 Ratings

St.Giroux ,

Excellent journalism, lackluster production

This season on corruption features the excellent investigative reporting I’ve come to expect from Canadaland and its affiliated shows, however, elements of the production make Commons an aggravating listening experience. Audio packages and soundbites fluctuate from inaudibly quiet (see: Barack Obama in the first minutes of episode 3; many of the bed music interludes), to in-the-red loud at other moments. In one single segment, around 20:00mins in ep. 3, host Arshy Mann’s voice goes from too-quiet to too-loud with no interlude. It’s a fantastic show, but the listening experience both in headphones and external speakers, is poor.

edge8880 ,

Wannabe Woke

Trying way to hard to be “woke” and only catering to the racial narrative

hangel11 ,

Laziest journalism ever

Decent narration but you do an episode on fighting in hockey and you choose to rehash the Derek Boogard story?? I believe this case has been well covered, no? A writer for the NY Times wrote a mediocre book about it that was a bestseller. This is a polarizing and exhaustive topic, and one that deserves to be treated with care.
Instead we get the one story everybody has heard already. I think the topic, and your audience deserves better. Way to phone it in.
Why don’t go out on a limb and cover the Theranos story next episode?

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