An in-depth look at the issues, culture and personalities shaping Canada today.
How an incident in PEI put hockey's changing culture on display
If Keegan Mitchell had just kept his head down and played the game, none of this would have happened. And we'd all be worse off for it. But when the junior player stood up for his teammate who was called a racial slur, then broke the league's social media policy by condemning the matching suspensions the two players received, an otherwise ugly part of the game was dragged into the spotlight.
Now Hockey PEI is promising to do better, and players from the Hockey Diversity Alliance are reaching out to Mitchell to thank him for demonstrating how the culture can change. And where it starts.
GUEST: Keegan Mitchell, Sherwood Metros
Why are Toronto streets still so deadly?
Toronto's Vision Zero plan is now five years old. The city's residents are still waiting for it to work. On Boxing Day, the latest tragedy saw a car jump a downtown curb onto a busy corner, injuring several and killing a teenager. It would be shocking, if it weren't for the fact that barely a week goes by without a driver striking someone just minding their own business.
Why is Toronto so bad at this? Is it a lack of will, or a problem with how the city was built? What are other cities doing that Toronto isn't, and how fast can that change?
GUEST: Ben Spurr, transportation reporter, Toronto Star
Will the federal government finally do right by First Nations children?
Fifteen years ago, a human rights complaint was filed against the federal government over their fundamentally unequal treatment of First Nations children in the child welfare system. Earlier this month, after years of fighting it in court, the government agreed to a $40-billion settlement. And now as an April 1, 2022 deadline approaches, advocates for these children and families are holding their breath until the money actually comes through.
Why did it take so long? Why did the government go to court, even as it admitted how badly it has handled Indigenous issues? What will this money do, and can it ever make right what our government has done wrong?
GUEST: Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and professor at McGill University's School of Social Work
The strange origin story of psychedelics in Saskatchewan
In the 1950s, before they fuelled the acid-trips of the '60s, psychedelics were being passed around the Weyburn Mental Hospital in Saskatchewan. And not just among the patients—as well as being given to those struggling with mental illness, doctors and their spouses were using them on themselves—for "research purposes".
How did Saskatchewan become the world's psychedelic hub? What did we learn there that would inform the rise in use and then strict enforcement of these drugs in the decades to come? And how can it help us understand why these drugs are now making a return to therapy?
GUEST: Erika Dyck, historian of health, medicine, and Canadian society at the University of Saskatchewan and Canada Research Chair in the History of Medicine; author of Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD on the Canadian Prairies
Is a vaccine tax ethical? And how will we know when Omicron has peaked?
With hospitals under stress across the country, governments are pulling out all the stops to keep the health care system working. Ontario will allow internationally educated nurses to apply for accreditation. And Quebec has floated the idea of a tax on those who are eligible for vaccination but refuse. Is this ethical? Or is this a slippery slope?
Meanwhile, with testing capacity breached in many parts of the country, how will we even know when we are starting to turn the corner on this awful winter wave?
GUEST: Dr. Christopher Labos, cardiologist, master's in epidemiology, co-host of The Body of Evidence podcast.
The long fight to bring a miracle drug to Canadians
It's called Trikafta, and people living with Cystic Fibrosis describe it as a true game-changer. It can treat symptoms at the source rather than manage them endlessly every day. It was approved in the United States in 2019 but only arrived in most Canadian provinces a few months ago. Why did it take so long? How does this drug work? And is the approval process it went through a precedent of better days to come for Canada's health care system?
GUEST: Jeremie Saunders, host of Sickboy, living with Cystic Fibrosis
Need more like this!
Well presented, well produced
I love the variety of this podcast, everything is covered, climate change to public health to extraterrestrials!