Latest

Paul and Ed's Excellent Adventure

World-famous environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy both grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. In fact, their childhood homes were less than 300 metres apart, and paperboy Paul delivered a daily dose of newspaper comic strips to eventual visual artist Ed. They return to their old home town and revisit their roots, including the site of the now-dismantled GM Plant # 1, where both of their fathers worked; and the new subdivision that's recently replaced Meadowvale School, where they both started kindergarten, so many decades ago.

Human Rights Under Attack: Gareth Peirce on The New Dark Age

For more than 40 years, Gareth Peirce has fought to expose miscarriages of justice and free the wrongfully accused. Based in London, she was instrumental in freeing members of the Guildford Four, who were falsely convicted of carrying out the IRA bombing of a British pub. More recently, she has been representing members of the new suspect community — Muslims falsely accused of being terrorists. Peirce warns eroding human rights under the guise of national security, is a profound attack on democracy.

True Crime Bloodline

From the investigative journalism of "In the Dark" and "Murdered and Missing", to the lurid horror of "Dirty John", to the eccentric storytelling of "My Favourite Murder", we're a culture hungrily consuming tales of murder and the criminal mind. It's a darkly popular form of entertainment in this era of podcasts and streaming docu-series -- particularly for women. Yet True Crime narratives have been hugely popular for more than 400 years.

The Sudbury Effect: Lessons from a regreened city

They said it couldn't be done, but Sudbury did it! Forty years ago, nickel mines and smelters around a relatively small city in Northern Ontario had created one of the most dramatic examples of environmental devastation in the history of this planet. The adjacent landscape was completely dead and totally blackened. Nothing could grow, and people were dying. These days, Sudbury boasts the cleanest air of any city in Ontario. Lakes — and there are 330 substantial lakes within the city limits — have come back to life. The surrounding countryside is almost completely green!
IDEAS AFTERNOON

Lonely Together: The plight of urban isolation

There have never been as many cities across the world as there are right now, nor with such high populations. Yet urban loneliness is a virtual pandemic, and one with huge social, medical and financial consequences. Why are cities the new capitals of isolation?

Messiah Revealed

Handel's Messiah is possibly the most famous and popular piece of classical music of all time. Yet it's full of secrets and surprises — it wasn't actually meant for Christmas and its words are largely drawn from the Old Testament, not the New. Ivars Taurins is the founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, and has conducted Messiah over 200 times. Robert Harris is a veteran CBC Radio producer. In nine movements, they reveal the hidden treasures of this celebrated piece.

The First Stone: Jesus, the Accused and Us

Variously called 'Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery', 'Jesus and the Accused', and the 'Pericope Adulterae', this story, found in the Gospel of John, still throws off reflections and refractions today. Jesus' message is stark: "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And the history of the text is unique. IDEAS producer Sean Foley asks: What happens in this story? Where did it come from? And what does it say to us about some of our deepest contemporary dilemmas?

Avenging Empire: My time in the IRA

Bank robberies, building explosives and prison hunger strikes. These were just part of Kieran Conway's life in the Irish Republican Army. Decades later, he's a well-known criminal lawyer in Dublin. This episode from IDEAS, producer Mary O’Connell looks at Conway’s political transformation from British admirer to IRA fighter.

What to expect when you're expecting ... Climate Change

Young couples face a complicated decision at a time when the dire consequences of climate change are becoming clearer, is it ethical to bring a child into the world? Science journalist Britt Wray talks with parents, prospective parents, ethicists, scientists, and children on this thorny question.

Stealing Home: A tribute to Jackie Robinson

The National Baseball Hall of Fame quotes trailblazer Jackie Robinson: “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Robinson’s life had a huge impact, especially when he broke down the colour barrier in Major League Baseball and American society. His rookie season still stands as one of the most politically profound events in the history of organized sport.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

Wrestling with the Stoics: Tips from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu philosopher

Michael Tremblay holds a black belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and competes at world championships. He is also a PhD student in philosophy at Queen's University, who’s studying Stoicism. In fact, he hopes to become a Stoic ‘sage’ himself, and focuses his work on the 1st-century Greek philosopher, Epictetus, whom he sees as a kind of life coach.

Five Freedoms: Freedom from Lies

Freedom of the press is a Holy Grail in western societies, supposedly giving us the facts about what's happening in the world. But in an era of fake news, post-truth and a 24-hour news cycle, what are journalists to hang onto? A discussion with journalists Susan Ormiston and Desmond Cole, and writer Linda McQuaig.

Five Freedoms: Freedom from Want

Poverty has always been a defining issue in the quest to build a better world. How do we go about making things more equitable, making sure that wealth is distributed to those in need and creating opportunity for the weak to become strong? Journalist Sally Armstrong, healthcare activist James Orbinski and former diplomat Paul Heinbecker discuss a thorny issue.

Five Freedoms: Freedom from Oppression

Oppression takes many forms. It can be political or cultural, or even social. There’s the weight of inherited oppression, and there’s the question of how oppression shapes who we are — both individually and collectively. This episode features a discussion with Bhutila Karpoche an Ontario politician of Tibetan heritage, Eloge Butera  a government lawyer and a refugee from Rwanda, and Christina Gray a Dene-Metis lawyer. 

Five Freedoms: Freedom of Speech

Fanned by the internet, the war over our right to say anything at all has created silos of intolerance. Fewer people are listening to differing points of view. And with less dialogue, nothing changes. But are there things that should not be said? A discussion with former politician Sheila Copps, human rights lawyer Micheal Vonn and journalist Althia Raj.

Five Freedoms: Freedom to Believe

Faith and spiritual traditions have always shaped our ideas of right and wrong, both in the private and the public sphere. How do the values that come from faith shape secular society — and should they? And are social values necessarily secular? Journalist Haroon Siddiqui, Sto:Lo First Nation writer Lee Maracle, and writer Michael Coren debate the issues.
Ideas Afternoon

Joseph Conrad, Prophet of a Global World

Seen from today, the novelist Joseph Conrad's early 20th century views on the world, particularly on race, can be offensive. But at the same time, his observations were deeply prescient of modern times. V.S. Naipaul, who was also a harsh critic, once about how Conrad managed, a hundred years ago, to "meditate on my world, a world I recognize today"? A feature interview with Harvard historian Maya Jasanoff, who tackles that question in her acclaimed biography of Conrad.

Rethinking the Beaver: Why beavers and humans have to learn to get along

Four centuries of fur-trade trapping nearly wiped beavers off the North American map. Now they're back, big time, and we're discovering that sharing the landscape with such tenacious ecosystem engineers isn't always easy. We're also learning that there are compelling reasons to try to coexist with this iconic species. Contributor Frances Backhouse explores how two control freaks — humans and beavers — can get along.

How rethinking capitalism may save the planet

The evidence is in: if the earth is to survive catastrophic climate change, the economies of the world can't continue to grow infinitely. Maintaining the status quo makes ecological viability impossible. But imagining a world without capitalism also seems to be impossible. Doing so would require fundamentally rethinking our idea of prosperity and how we value work. In lecture and conversation, mathematician and philosopher David Schweickart asks whether there is another way forward for capitalism, one in which the choice isn't between the economy and life itself.

The Accommodating Space: A Hotel Check-In

A guest checks into a Las Vegas hotel suite, and makes it a fortress, staging a mass shooting on the city below. It's a horrific act that seems to subvert the very ethos of hotels — places of hospitality and calm. Yet hotels contain multitudes. They are sites of fantasy and functionality, pleasure and trouble. Their spaces are public and private, workplace and bedroom. They exist to house us temporarily, in luxury or in squalor.

The Enright Files on the transformative, confounding power of poetry

Poetry may not have the same place in our culture that it once had, but it remains an art form of singular power to those who immerse themselves in it. It has the capacity to inspire and enthrall, and to befuddle and infuriate. It can electrify a society, make you see the world with fresh eyes, or simply leave you mystified. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations about the power of poetry to change the world or drive you to distraction.

The Audience Talks Back: The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures

On the CBC Massey Lectures tour, each lecture concluded in an audience discussion with Tanya Talaga - most of which was never broadcast. In the original broadcast of the Massey Lectures, we invited you - the radio audience - to send in your questions for Tanya Talaga, so on this episode: Tanya Talaga in conversation with Greg Kelly about her experience of delivering the Massey Lectures, also responding to some of the questions you sent in, plus some of the best of those audience discussions from the tour.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

The Sewers of Paris and the Making of the Modern City, Part 2

Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was of course disease and plague — as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how germs and diseases are spread led to sanitation and sewers — and to the modern city. The rebuilding of Paris in the mid-19th century was a great civic achievement and a new idea of society only made possible because it was built on sewers. Philip Coulter goes underground in the City of Light to visit the City of Smells.
CBC Massey Lectures

The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures: All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

The Jezebel Problem: What 'bossy' women should know about language

PhD graduate Laura Hare taught herself Biblical Hebrew so she could analyze male and female speech patterns in the original text of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament). She found the women characters consistently using language that shows deference to men. Some of these signs of deference exist in women’s speech today in North American English. The only female biblical character who fully speaks ‘like a man’ also became an archetype of evil — Queen Jezebel. 'Ideas from the Trenches' producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic find out what Laura Hare's discoveries mean for the present day.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

Lonely Together: The plight of urban isolation

There have never been as many cities across the world as there are right now, nor with such high populations. Yet urban loneliness is a virtual pandemic, and one with huge social, medical and financial consequences. Why are cities the new capitals of isolation?

Human Rights Under Attack: Gareth Peirce on The New Dark Age

For more than 40 years, Gareth Peirce has fought to expose miscarriages of justice and free the wrongfully accused. Based in London, she was instrumental in freeing members of the Guildford Four, who were falsely convicted of carrying out the IRA bombing of a British pub. More recently, she has been representing members of the new suspect community — Muslims falsely accused of being terrorists. Peirce warns eroding human rights under the guise of national security, is a profound attack on democracy.

What to expect when you're expecting ... Climate Change

Young couples face a complicated decision at a time when the dire consequences of climate change are becoming clearer, is it ethical to bring a child into the world? Science journalist Britt Wray talks with parents, prospective parents, ethicists, scientists, and children on this thorny question.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

Wrestling with the Stoics: Tips from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu philosopher

Michael Tremblay holds a black belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and competes at world championships. He is also a PhD student in philosophy at Queen's University, who’s studying Stoicism. In fact, he hopes to become a Stoic ‘sage’ himself, and focuses his work on the 1st-century Greek philosopher, Epictetus, whom he sees as a kind of life coach.

The Accommodating Space: A Hotel Check-In

A guest checks into a Las Vegas hotel suite, and makes it a fortress, staging a mass shooting on the city below. It's a horrific act that seems to subvert the very ethos of hotels — places of hospitality and calm. Yet hotels contain multitudes. They are sites of fantasy and functionality, pleasure and trouble. Their spaces are public and private, workplace and bedroom. They exist to house us temporarily, in luxury or in squalor.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

The Sewers of Paris and the Making of the Modern City, Part 2

Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was of course disease and plague — as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how germs and diseases are spread led to sanitation and sewers — and to the modern city. The rebuilding of Paris in the mid-19th century was a great civic achievement and a new idea of society only made possible because it was built on sewers. Philip Coulter goes underground in the City of Light to visit the City of Smells.

Paul and Ed's Excellent Adventure

World-famous environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy both grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. In fact, their childhood homes were less than 300 metres apart, and paperboy Paul delivered a daily dose of newspaper comic strips to eventual visual artist Ed. They return to their old home town and revisit their roots, including the site of the now-dismantled GM Plant # 1, where both of their fathers worked; and the new subdivision that's recently replaced Meadowvale School, where they both started kindergarten, so many decades ago.

Paul and Ed's Excellent Adventure

World-famous environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy both grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. In fact, their childhood homes were less than 300 metres apart, and paperboy Paul delivered a daily dose of newspaper comic strips to eventual visual artist Ed. They return to their old home town and revisit their roots, including the site of the now-dismantled GM Plant # 1, where both of their fathers worked; and the new subdivision that's recently replaced Meadowvale School, where they both started kindergarten, so many decades ago.
Ideas Afternoon

Joseph Conrad, Prophet of a Global World

Seen from today, the novelist Joseph Conrad's early 20th century views on the world, particularly on race, can be offensive. But at the same time, his observations were deeply prescient of modern times. V.S. Naipaul, who was also a harsh critic, once about how Conrad managed, a hundred years ago, to "meditate on my world, a world I recognize today"? A feature interview with Harvard historian Maya Jasanoff, who tackles that question in her acclaimed biography of Conrad.