Smart, witty, and thoughtful political conversations that break from the limits of the 24-hour news cycle and the 280 character limit. Listeners will come away with a deeper understanding of the history and implications of the issues that shape us and our environment, anchored in discussions about public policy, and supported by research. Open to Debate is a space for agreeable disagreement based on the belief that such exchanges are essential to the health of our democracy.
Should we adopt vaccine certification programs?
In Canada and around the world, anxious, weary populations are looking forward to returning to something that will approximate normal life. That return is predicated on, among other things, mass Covid-19 vaccination efforts that continue along slow and steady.
As more of us get the jab, states, including Canada, are considering vaccine certification programs for domestic use, foreign travel, or both. But concerned individuals, including health, privacy, and social science experts, are raising a number of concerns with the idea. While a vaccine “passport” might intuitively seem like a good idea, it’s fraught with risks and trade-offs, leaving us to ask: Should we adopt vaccine certification programs?
On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Françoise Baylis, University Research Professor, bioethicist, and author of Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing.
Why are our wireless and broadband bills so high?
In Canada, wireless and broadband prices are too damned high. Why? The recent news of a merger attempt by Rogers and Shaw gives us a hint—and a look into the world of telecom strategy and oligopoly. Indeed, observers would be forgiven for thinking the country is a handful of telecom companies in a trenchcoat, perhaps with an airline or two crammed in there. But there’s more to it than that—a bit more, anyway.
Understanding wireless and broadband policy requires us to dig into the state of the industry, competition or a lack thereof, the question of nationalization, the role of the Competition Bureau and the CRTC, and more. Eventually, we get to answer the big question: Why are our wireless and broadband bills so high?
On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Michael Geist, Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law.
What is the future of Canada's left?
Canada’s political left is facing a series of choices. What kind of movement should it pursue in the face of contemporary challenges at home and around the world? How can left-wing parties win at the local, provincial, and federal orders of government? Should communists, socialists, and social democrats work together -- and, if so, when and how? Also, to what extent does the leading social democratic party in Canada, the NDP, serve as a vehicle for successful left politics?
Answering these questions requires us to start by understanding what it even means to be “left-wing.” It requires us to trace the history of Canada’s left, to look around the world, and to embrace the tensions, even contradictions, of contemporary left politics. It also requires us to ask: What is the future of Canada’s left?
On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Christo Aivalis, historian, writer, left YouTuber, host of the podcast Left Turn, Canada, and author of The Constant Liberal: Pierre Trudeau, Organized Labour, and the Canadian Social Democratic Left.
How can we solve our long-term care crisis?
In early March, Ontario surpassed 7,000 Covid deaths, over 3700 of which occurred in the province’s long-term care facilities. Around the country, suffering and death in care homes is part of an emergency that has long been ignored -- an emergency that pre-existed the pandemic.
Precarious work, low pay, inadequate staffing, neglect, abuse, unreasonable waitlist times, poor communication, and the urge to put profit before people condition much of the long-term care sector. Because of that, the most vulnerable among us suffer and die. Things could be different. So, how can we solve our long-term care crisis?
On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Vivian Stamatopoulos, associate teaching professor at Ontario Tech University and LTC advocate.
How are you doing?
We have been at...all of this for about a year now. Maybe it feels longer for you. Maybe it feels shorter. Maybe time has lost all meaning. Whatever the case, on this episode of Open to Debate, we are taking a deep breath and mixing things up as we celebrate our 40th episode and process 12 months of pandemic life.
How do we simultaneously celebrate this podcast and process what the last year has meant? Well, mostly we make jokes for about an hour. And talk about trains. How else would we proceed?
So, without further delay: How are you doing?
On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Brittlestar -- Stewart Reynolds -- comedian, video-maker extraordinaire, and, according to his website, The Internet’s Favourite Dad* (*unproven).
How should we talk about public health during a pandemic?
Throughout the pandemic, the quality and success of communications from government, public health officials, elected representatives, and others tasked with keeping us in the loop have been, let’s say, inconsistent. There have been highs and there have been lows. Quality has varied across jurisdictions. And it shows.
While approaches to good communication work may vary, there are some strategies and tactics that ought to be more common. For instance, meeting people where they are, rather than expecting them to come to you. That is precisely what this week’s guest does. He answers the question: How should we talk about public health during a pandemic?
On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Dr. Naheed Dosani, palliative care physician, Lecturer in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and health justice activist.