Canada Reads·CBC Books

Canada Reads 2017: Watch the Day One replay

Canada's battle of the books kicked off with some passionate discussion. Watch the first round of debates.

The opening round of this year's Canada Reads kicked off Monday, March 27, and the panellists wasted no time getting into passionate, sometimes fiery, dialogues about their books.

Each panellist was given the opportunity to make an opening pitch for their respective book, then put on the defensive when the question turned to whether their book was truly the one that Canadians need to read right now. Monday's debates — which touched on many themes, including inclusivity, climate change and understanding the human condition — were so engaging that some of the panellists said they ended up voting differently from how they originally thought they were going to.

You can watch the replay of the Day One show below:

The Day Two show will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, March 28.

The debates also air on CBC Radio One at 11:05 a.m. ET, CT, MT, PT; at 1:05 p.m. in Atlantic Canada; and at 1:35 p.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador. The show will air on CBC TV at 4 p.m. local time.

The contenders and their chosen books are:

Chantal Kreviazuk defending The Right to Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Humble The Poet defending Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Measha Brueggergosman defending Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Candy Palmater defending The Break by Katherena Vermette
Jody Mitic defending Nostalgia by M.G. Vassanji

How do ties get broken on Canada Reads?

Canada Reads is a live show that lasts for 54 minutes. Once we get to the vote, we have a finite amount of time to finish the show. For that reason, we have a very clear process to quickly break ties.

When two books tie with two votes each, we go to the person who didn't vote for either of the tied books. This can create a situation where someone is saving their own book (e.g. Cameron Bailey saved Ru on day one of Canada Reads 2015), but it does not always create that situation (e.g. Clara Hughes broke a tie between The Hero's Walk and Minister Without Portfolio on day one of Canada Reads 2016).

The other tie that's possible is a five-way tie on day one, where each book has one vote against. In that case, we go to the online poll to see which book the audience has voted to save. The person who voted for that book now gets to cast a new vote, which is the tiebreaker.

These are the rules of the game. 


During the show, it was mentioned that The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King was voted off on Day One of Canada Reads 2015. The book, defended that year by Craig Kielburger, was actually voted off on Day Two.


During the show, it was stated that The Break has been the #1 bestselling book in Canada for the past two weeks in a row and is on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list. Media outlets aggregate book sales data using different sources. The Break has been the top seller in Canadian fiction according to tracking service Bookmanager, used by CBC Books. However, over the past seven weeks, it has never been higher than #2 on the Globe and Mail Canadian Fiction bestsellers list, which uses BNC SalesData.