Where all news is local, and no topic is off-limits. Join us every week for a unique podcast that explores the most important stories of all: the ones right in your neighbourhood. A rundown of the best local journalism—big and small—from Village Media newsrooms across Ontario.
Restaurant impossible: The new reality
The state of the economy has been a hot button issue for some time now and a new study from Dalhousie University has some alarming data from the restaurant industry. Over 50% of restaurants nationwide are operating in the red and almost 10% of respondents are no longer eating out. Frisco and Scott get the goods on the survey from Dr. Sylvain Charlebois on everything from the effects of inflation to shrinkflation on eating out. Sit back, relax and enjoy another full serving of Inside the Village!
Justin Trudeau joins us on the podcast (sort of)
After a couple weeks off, Inside the Village is back in a big way. The Prime Minister paid a recent visit to Sault Ste. Marie, where he toured the local power utility, met with veterans at the Legion — and sat down with Frisco for a one-on-one interview. At the heart of their conversation was Bill C-18, the Liberal legislation that prompted Facebook to block all news content from the feeds of Canadian users. Considering that the Sault is home to Village Media, the largest online publisher in Canada, it was a fitting place to ask the PM whether the Online News Act was a huge mistake. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t think so. Frisco and Trudeau covered a lot of other ground during their chat, including green technology, the endless opioid crisis, and what he really thinks of Pierre Poilievre. Not into politics? Don’t worry. We saved some time on the show to talk about the world’s longest zucchini.
Shooting rampage devastates the Sault
Every week, Scott and Frisco bring you this podcast from Village Media’s headquarters in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. This week, their northern Ontario city was propelled into the national news for all the wrong reasons: a mass murder-suicide that claimed the lives of three innocent children and a 41-year-old woman. In this special episode of Inside the Village, they explore what happened, why it happened, and what can be done to help the community somehow recover. Their guest is Robin Kerr, executive director of Victim Services Algoma, the organization that works behind the scenes to help people most impacted by tragedies like this. Is it time for the province to finally declare an epidemic of intimate partner violence? If the events of this week aren’t convincing enough, nothing will be.
Do you miss Steve Paikin? Find him right here
The unionized staff at TVO, the province's public broadcaster, have been on strike for almost two months. Steve Paikin, the veteran host of The Agenda, is part of the bargaining team and isn’t holding out much hope that the labour impasse will end anytime soon. In the meantime, he has joined Village Media’s The Trillium — our Queen’s Park news site — as a guest columnist. We couldn’t be happier to have him. On the latest episode of Inside the Village, Paikin talks about the state of negotiations, the future of TVO, and what readers of The Trillium can expect from him in the weeks to come. For good measure, we also talk some baseball!
A safe place to drop off unwanted babies
Alberta was the first Canadian province to establish one, and now they’re expanding to Ontario: a safe location where mothers can surrender their unwanted babies — no judgment, no questions asked. City council in Sault Ste. Marie is the latest to examine the idea of setting up its own “Hope’s Cradle,” ensuring mothers and caregivers who find themselves in a desperate situation have a place to turn. Jordan Guildford is the founder of Gems for Gems, the Calgary-based charity that launched the idea. She joins Frisco and Scott to talk about how the program works, why it’s so important, and why people shouldn’t be so quick to criticize the moms who have used it. Also on the program: If you accidentally killed someone with your car — and police spent the next 15 years trying to solve the hit-and-run — could you keep living life as if nothing happened?
The bare minimum (wage)
Earlier this month, the minimum wage in Ontario increased to $16.55 per hour, up from $15.50. Though a slight improvement, that amount is still well below what is widely considered a living wage in the province. We break down the math with Randy Robinson of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, who also shares some compelling stats on why employers should think about being a bit more generous to their workers. Also on the podcast this week: OK Blue Jays? Not so much. Swept out of the playoffs by the Minnesota Twins, the Jays’ postseason run lasted a whole 27 hours. Bring on hockey season.