The Sunday Edition — July 15, 2018

Listen to this week's episode with guest host Nahlah Ayed.

'Abandoned by my country': Former hostage in Syria says Canada let him down

In 2013, Syrian rebels abducted Canadian lawyer Carl Campeau while he was working for the UN, and kept him hostage for eight months. Neither the UN nor the Canadian government would pay ransom for his release. Although he managed to escape, he continues to live in fear and feels abandoned both by his country and his employer.

U.S. diplomat questions Trump's belief in the free world on eve of meeting Putin

Ambassador Daniel Fried met Vladimir Putin several times himself during his four decades of experience in the foreign service. He tells us he wants to be optimistic about the Helsinki summit, but is concerned the U.S. will fall into Putin’s traps.

Why one school board believes studying music is essential for all

Music education has been under siege in Ontario over the past two decades. But not in Windsor, Ontario. Its Catholic school board has promised every student the chance to study with teachers who have degrees in music.

Think the '5-second rule' means it's okay to eat food you dropped on the floor? Think again!

If you pick up food within 5 seconds of dropping it, it’s safe to eat. Donald Schaffner, a food scientist at Rutger’s University in New Jersey, has put the theory to the test.

A mother's heart melts when a puppy penetrates a 'no pets' family

"Until one has loved an animal", wrote the great French author Anatole France, "a part of one's soul remains unawakened." That may well be true. But there are many people who are quite content to have their souls remain asleep, at least in the pet department. Our own Talin Vartanian used to be one of those people. Her essay is called "A Penny For Your Love."

Making bagpipes great again

Traditional bagpipe bands are in serious decline, as their players age out and die. But the Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band is bucking the trend, with weekend get-togethers to help young enthusiasts master the pipes. Maureen Brosnahan’s documentary is called, 'A Big Noise.'

Debut novel about Tamil asylum-seekers reveals Canada's 'split personality' about refugees

Award-winning writer Sharon Bala's debut novel, The Boat People, is about a group of about 500 Sri Lankan refugees who arrive in Canada only to face deportation and accusations of terrorism.

A café table of one's own

Gabriel Dancause decided to open a coffee shop that welcomes freelance knowledge workers — “digital nomads” in the “gig economy.” David Gutnick’s documentary is called “The Anti-Office.”

The Sunday Edition — July 8, 2018

Listen to this week's episode with guest host Gillian Findlay.

This searing novel about domestic violence is a damning exposé of India's big problem

Meena Kandasamy is an award-winning Indian poet, writer and activist. Her novel, 'When I Hit You: Or A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife', is as much memoir as it is fiction, inspired by her own violent marriage.
The Sunday Edition

'Excommunicate me from the church of social justice': an activist's plea for change

Frances Lee is a queer activist of colour, and a tireless campaigner for social justice. But these days Frances is fed up, and exhausted by the puritanical demands and strictures of fellow comrades.
The Sunday Edition

'Time is the great editor': Brian Brett chooses his literary executor

The award-winning memoirist, journalist and poet is facing a difficult health challenge, so he asked a young friend, writer Chris Oke, to be his literary executor. Chris’s documentary is called "The Great Editor."

Catherine MacLellan on her father's musical legacy

Catherine joins Michael to talk about growing up with a famous father and coping with his sudden death, and to perform songs with her collaborator Chris Gauthier from her latest album “If It’s Alright With You – The Songs of Gene MacLellan."

Donald Trump is the logical outcome of America's fascination with irrationality

In his new book, "Fantasyland," Kurt Andersen reveals an America founded by dreamers and magical thinkers.

What rumours reveal about our deepest hopes and fears

We live in the age of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” but rumours have been with us forever.

The Sunday Edition — July 1, 2018

Listen to this week's episode with guest host Gillian Findlay.

Children seeking asylum face extortion, rape and murder before they even arrive at the U.S. border

In 2015, Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli began volunteering as an interpreter for young Central American asylum-seekers facing deportation. She speaks with Gillian Findlay about the conditions children are fleeing, their dangerous journey across Mexico, and what happens once they enter the American justice system.

Trees are essential infrastructure in our towns and cities, say urban foresters

People need trees — particularly in our cities. Urban forests clean the air, lower stress levels, reduce energy costs and mitigate flooding. Gillian talks to three international tree experts about nurturing nature in the concrete jungle.

An unusual family finds joy, connection and love in a remote Inuit community

The Elverums have had more than the usual share of life's sadness and surprises, and their adopted community has been there for them every step of the way. Now the non-biological members of the family outnumber the biological. The Elverums’ experience is absolutely unique to the north. Jenny Kingsley's documentary is called "Meet the Elverums."

We will write ourselves into existence: Nick Mount on the rise of CanLit

Canadian writing was once thought too boring to bother about. But things have changed, with Canadian books winning international awards. According to Nick Mount of the University of Toronto, a big factor behind the boom in Canadian publishing in the latter half of the 20th century was the economy.

Everything you didn't know but were afraid to ask about 'O Canada'

Robert Harris delves into the murky and unexpected origins of our national anthem.

"I loved that boy, he was just like one of my own."

Alma Potter of Springdale, Newfoundland, cared for Marvin Swirsky when he was a little boy of 5. They hadn't seen or spoken to each other for 70 years. Then Alma tracked Marvin down. We listen in on a beautiful reunion.

The Sunday Edition — June 24, 2018

Listen to the full episode.

Suzie Leblanc: Setting Poetry to Music

In 2008, Canadian soprano Suzie Leblanc was traveling with friends, and made a stop in the very tiny "Great Village," on the north shore of the Bay of Fundy, just up the road from Truro, Nova Scotia. She happened upon a leaflet in the basement of a local church: a leaflet about Elizabeth Bishop.

Think the '5-second rule' means it's okay to eat food you dropped on the floor? Think again!

If you pick up food within 5 seconds of dropping it, it’s safe to eat. Donald Schaffner, a food scientist at Rutger’s University in New Jersey, has put the theory to the test.