600 episodes

Context is everything. Join us Monday to Friday for a Canadian daily news podcast from The Globe and Mail. Explore a story shaping our world, in conversation with reporters, experts, and the people at the centre of the news.

The Decibel The Globe and Mail

    • News
    • 4.0 • 26 Ratings

Context is everything. Join us Monday to Friday for a Canadian daily news podcast from The Globe and Mail. Explore a story shaping our world, in conversation with reporters, experts, and the people at the centre of the news.

    Why aren’t there more public toilets?

    Why aren’t there more public toilets?

    When nature calls, you have to answer, and quickly. The last thing you’d want is to walk several kilometers to find a public toilet.. And yet, public bathrooms aren’t easy to find in many cities across Canada. Overall, Canada has 18 public toilets per 100,000 people, which puts it in 15th place globally. And for those facing homelessness or a medical condition, public toilets are crucial for their ability to move freely through urban spaces.

    The Globe’s urban affairs reporter, Oliver Moore, explains why good public toilets are so hard to find, how the pandemic created a two-tier system of access, and what Canadian cities are doing to address the scarcity.

    • 22 min
    In Chornobyl, after the Russian invasion

    In Chornobyl, after the Russian invasion

    On the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, troops occupied Chornobyl. Since the nuclear disaster in 1986, the 30-kilometer exclusion zone around the nuclear plant has been largely abandoned. But 38 years later, some Ukrainians still call the land home, including a handful of elderly residents and people who oversee the disused power plant.

    Janice Dickson, the Globe’s international affairs reporter, visited Chornobyl and the surrounding exclusion zone in April. She’s on the podcast to talk about what she saw there, and how Ukraine is dealing with the challenges of war, two years on.

    • 16 min
    A CEO battle, a Honduras factory, and the shirt in your closet

    A CEO battle, a Honduras factory, and the shirt in your closet

    Gildan t-shirts are everywhere. The ubiquity of their products has turned Gildan into one of the biggest clothing manufacturers and wholesalers in the world, bringing in billions in revenue every year. But recently, Gildan has been in the news about a fight between its former CEO and the board. And this boardroom drama has refocused attention on how the Montreal-based company makes its clothes so cheaply.

    Robyn Doolittle, a reporter with The Globe’s Report on Business, looked into Gildan’s work conditions at their factories in Honduras and explored the tension behind wanting cheap clothes that are ethically made.

    • 22 min
    How 2016 looms over the wildfires in Fort McMurray today

    How 2016 looms over the wildfires in Fort McMurray today

    It has been eight years since the infamous Fort McMurray wildfire that levelled several neighbourhoods and businesses. As wildfires are once again on the rise in Western Canada, the sky was a familiar smoky orange last week in Fort McMurray as a fire crept closer to the city.

    The Globe’s Calgary reporter, Carrie Tait, tells us about the current fire, and explains how for many residents and officials, they’re feeling the lingering effects of what happened in 2016.

    • 20 min
    Introducing: Machines Like Us

    Introducing: Machines Like Us

    In the last few years, artificial intelligence has gone from a novelty to perhaps the most influential technology we’ve ever seen. The people building AI are convinced that it will eradicate disease, turbocharge productivity, and solve climate change. It feels like we’re on the cusp of a profound societal transformation. Fifteen years ago, there was a similar wave of optimism around social media: it was going to connect the world, catalyze social movements and spur innovation. It may have done some of these things. But it also made us lonelier, angrier, and occasionally detached from reality.

    • 45 min
    Alice Munro, remembered

    Alice Munro, remembered

    The celebrated Canadian author Alice Munro died on May 13. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013 as a “master of the contemporary short story,” and the Man Booker International Prize in 2009.

    On today’s show, members of The Globe newsroom share their reflections on Alice Munro’s life and work, and columnist Marsha Lederman joins to talk about Munro’s impact and legacy.

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

NizkR ,

Huge fan

High quality stories with a Canadian perspective.

Danoftheforest ,

Finally! A Canadian perspective

An outstanding podcast on both domestic issues and global affairs. Tamara Khandaker is an excellent host, and the level of analysis is second to none.

EmmaMollyMay ,

A considered perspective

I’m a midwife in the US who has cared for many COVID+ patients this pandemic. I have to say that your episode on pregnant people in the ICU with COVID is one of the only times I’ve heard the voices of parents really highlighted in this pandemic. So many families have welcomed newborns after quarantine. It can be painful and scary and unnatural, even for asymptomatic parents.

I appreciate the fact that you not only made parents feel safe enough to share concerns about bonding but that you also centered those concerns. Thank you for that.

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