The Big Story podcast

The Big Story

Frequency Podcast Network

An in-depth look at the issues, culture and personalities shaping Canada today.

423 Episoder

  • The Big Story podcast

    How WE charity convinced the world to look away from its scandal


    In Canada, the WE scandal was a big deal. So big, in fact, that the organization promised it would wind down its Canadian charity. And then, mostly, the story vanished. In the United States, however (where it had never promised to close anything), WE is growing rapidly. Why has one of the biggest scandals in Canadian non-profit history not even made a dent in WE's global ambitions? Why hasn't the American media taken up the story? And will we ever know what happened to the money?GUEST: Jesse Brown CANADALAND (Listen to CANADALAND's The White Saviors here)
  • The Big Story podcast

    Why are French immigrants flocking to Quebec?


    For centuries Quebec saw few, if any, immigrants from France. Over the past several decades that trend began to change, and in the past few years, it's been accelerating rapidly. So why are French ex-pats settling in the province en masse? What do they find when they get there? And from housing, to the workforce, to the currently booming economy: how might this influx change Quebec? GUEST: Eric Andrew Gee, Quebec correspondent, The Globe and Mail
  • The Big Story podcast

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  • The Big Story podcast

    From Peng Shuai to Kyle Beach, is sports ready to deal with the skeletons in its closet?


    In 70 days, the Winter Olympics will open in China. Probably, everything will proceed as though it's a normal games. But maybe not. For the first time, many athletes have been speaking out against China for silencing—or even disappearing—tennis player Peng Shuai after she made an allegation of sexual assault against a prominent Chinese politician. Meanwhile, the NHL is grappling with the fallout of a sex abuse scandal of its own. The NFL is confronting what appears to be years of racism and sexism from one of its most prominent coaches, and anti-vax rhetoric from its reigning MVP. Fans might still enjoy the spectacle, but it's clear the ugly underbelly of the games are increasingly on full display. The question is, will anyone do anything about it? Or does money still talk too loudly?GUEST: Donnovan Bennett, Sportsnet
  • The Big Story podcast

    Is the Smart City dream becoming a surveillance nightmare?


    A few years ago, the world was dotted with proposals for utopian Smart Cities, like Toronto's Sidewalk Labs. One by one, those ambitious dreams were scaled down or, in the case of Toronto, canceled altogether. But the technology behind them hasn't gone away—it's still being adopted in cities around the world. Only instead of being a part of a complex urban renewal project aimed at sustainability, it's mostly used for surveillance, by police and other organizations.What happened to the dream of the smart city—and what are we willing to trade for a little more convenience?GUEST: Anna Artyushina, research fellow in data governance; Ph.D. Candidate, Science and Technology Studies, York University
  • The Big Story podcast

    Why only dead Canadians will make us fund the military seriously


    In January of 2020 one of Canada's senior military men warned that domestic deployments in response to weather events were stretching the military too thin to properly prepare for exercises or deployments. Since then we've had a pandemic, a deadly heat wave, massive forest fires and a devastating flood. The  military has been called upon repeatedly and they've done all they can.But it's becoming clear that these crises aren't slowing down. And we're running out of personnel and equipment to properly respond to them. Why is Canada's military so poorly funded and equipped? How did we end up in this situation? And are the compounding catastrophes of the climate era waking us up to the need for more resources?GUEST: Matt Gurney, reporter and columnist (Read Matt's piece in The Line right here.)
  • The Big Story podcast

    Why it's almost impossible to clean up the ocean, but we have to try anyway


    There are dozens, if not hundreds, of projects underway to get plastic out of the ocean. They range from hands-on cleanups of beaches (Canada's effort here is one of the best) to incredibly complex solutions involving fleets of plastic scoopers working in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. None of them are perfect, all of them will miss a lot, but every one is vital.As we try to save the world's oceans over the next decades, there is still a place for both old-fashioned hard work, and daring dreams. But the resources we devote to each project will determine what gets done. So...what has the best chance of actually working?GUEST: Ryan Stuart, writing for Hakai magazine
  • The Big Story podcast

    Political parties are getting ruthlessly efficient at finding votes. Is it bad for democracy?


    In September's election, the federal Liberals won the right to govern with the support of less than a third of voters, a record low for a ruling party. They achieved this by hyper-targeting ridings they knew could change the result, and ignoring ones that couldn't. With the example of the past two elections to go on, other parties are following suit in aiming for maximum vote efficiency.What happens when the best strategy to win involves ignoring most of the population? Is this a natural outcome of a longstanding strategy, or a warning that our governments are getting less representative every time we go to the polls?GUEST: Stephen Maher, journalist and writer
  • The Big Story podcast

    Why the car of the future might be more dangerous to cities


    Everyone knows that in order to save the planet, electric vehicles need to replace internal combustion engines. And it's happening, at a more rapid pace than we might have expected. But something else is happening, too: As companies race to grab market share in the EV space, they are replicating recent trends that have made fuel-powered cars more dangerous to everyone not inside them. And since EVs are even heavier than traditional vehicles, that could be very bad news for pedestrians.What if the car of the future ends up just as bad as the cars of the present? Or worse?GUEST: Tim Querengesser, journalist and writer, CityHack
  • The Big Story podcast

    Why Abbotsford, BC faces crushing floodwaters


    A little more than a century ago, Abbotsford's Sumas Prairie was actually Sumas Lake. It might be about to return to that state, as massive storms, lake overflows and a pumping station threaten to fill the plains once again, covering homes, fields, crops, cattle and any humans who failed to heed the evacuation order.Why did Sumas Lake become Sumas Prairie in the first place? How did the complex conditions around Abbotsford combine to create a potentially lethal danger? How has it (so far) been averted? And what is it like living in and reporting on British Columbia, a province that is quickly becoming the front line of the climate crisis?GUEST: Tyler Olsen, Managing Editor, Fraser Valley Current
  • The Big Story podcast

    Why Doug Ford thinks the PC's road to reelection is a highway


    You may remember that focusing solely on transit and road messaging is something of a Ford family trademark. Ontario Premier Doug Ford's late brother Rob put it succinctly: "Subways, subways, subways!" Now that his party is staring down the barrel of a 2022 provincial election, Doug Ford has similarly put a laser-like focus on one message: Highways.The Conservatives want to build two new ones, long discussed but never actually paved: The 413 and the Bradford Bypass. How much will it cost? How much time will they really save commuters? What's with the whispering around Ford and his relationship with area developers? And can Ontario's Greenbelt deal with the environmental impact of these new roads?GUEST: Emma McIntosh, The Narwhal

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