Front Burner

 
 

Front Burner

Front Burner is a daily news podcast from CBC News and CBC Podcasts that drops weekday mornings at 6 a.m. ET. Led by host Jayme Poisson, Front Burner is here to bring you a deeper understanding of the big stories shaping Canada, and the world.

Updated: Daily
Download episodes from this podcast for: 10 years

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

Can an ad boycott fix Facebook’s hate speech problem?

Over 800 companies, including Microsoft, Lululemon, Pfizer and Canada’s five biggest banks are pulling their ads from Facebook this month. They’re just a few of the companies responding to the Stop Hate for Profit boycott, led by civil rights groups who want white supremacist content and misleading climate and vaccine information off the platform. Today on Front Burner, we talk to McGill’s Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications and Big Tech Podcast co-host Taylor Owen on whether a threat to the tech giant’s bottom line is the right incentive to deal with hate speech on the platform.

Download Can an ad boycott fix Facebook’s hate speech problem?
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The politics of a dramatic COVID-19 surge in the U.S.

Today on Front Burner, CBC Washington correspondent Paul Hunter walks us through how the U.S. got to this point, President Donald Trump's role in it, and how even a mask has become a political statement.

Download The politics of a dramatic COVID-19 surge in the U.S.
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Maria Ressa on her conviction, press freedom and Duterte

On June 15, Maria Ressa, along with a former colleague of her news organization, Rappler, were convicted of ‘cyber libel’ in the Philippines. This, along with seven other charges, are widely seen as an encroachment on press freedom in the country by President Rodrigo Duterte’s authoritarian government. Today on Front Burner, a conversation with Maria Ressa on why she continues to pursue her journalistic work, despite possible jail time and the threats on her life.

Download Maria Ressa on her conviction, press freedom and Duterte
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Canada’s top court just sided with Uber drivers. What now?

Canada’s Supreme Court has sided with a former Ubereats driver in his quest to pursue a class action lawsuit against Uber. At the heart of that lawsuit lies a long-standing question: Should drivers become employees or remain, as Uber maintains, independent contractors? The latest ruling opens the door for that question to be answered - and with that, the potential for drivers to secure benefits that they are not entitled to right now. Today on Front Burner, we speak with labour law professor Veena Dubal on what this could mean for Uber drivers and the wider gig economy.

Download Canada’s top court just sided with Uber drivers. What now?
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In Saskatchewan, a domestic violence prevention law hits roadblocks

Saskatchewan has just become the first Canadian province to enact Clare’s Law, which aims to help prevent domestic violence by allowing police to warn people about a partner's violent past. But it’s already hit a stumbling block: the RCMP says it won’t take part. Bonnie Allen, a CBC national reporter based in Regina, walks us through the new law and talks about why it’s controversial – including among some anti-domestic violence advocates.

Download In Saskatchewan, a domestic violence prevention law hits roadblocks
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Lawyer Julian Falconer on Dafonte Miller’s fight for justice

In 2016 a violent altercation with an off-duty Toronto police officer, and the officer’s brother, cost Dafonte Miller his eye. On Friday, officer Michael Theriault was convicted of assaulting the Black young man. An Ontario Superior Court Justice acquitted Theriault and his brother of aggravated assault and obstruction of justice, but called their justification of self-defence “razor thin.” Today on Front Burner, Miller’s lawyer, Julian Falconer shares his thoughts on the long path to that single conviction, and the fight Black Canadians face to get justice for police violence.

Download Lawyer Julian Falconer on Dafonte Miller’s fight for justice
[mp3 file: runs 00:20:35]


Introducing This is Not a Drake Podcast

This is Not a Drake Podcast is a new series that uses seminal moments in Drake’s career to explore the history and evolution of hip-hop, R&B, and Black culture. It’s about the rapper who’s blurred genres and dominated the world stage, and the larger hip-hop movement that made him.The podcast dives deep into the evolution of gender dynamics in hip-hop, especially its relationship with Black women. More episodes are available at http://smarturl.it/notadrakepodcast

Download Introducing This is Not a Drake Podcast
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The NBA to restart in a COVID-19 hotspot

This week, the Toronto Raptors touched down in Florida. Soon, 21 other NBA teams will join them in the state, as the NBA gears up to restart the 2019-20 season in Disney World. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are surging in Florida. More than a hundred pages of health and safety protocols have been established, covering everything from prohibitions on doubles ping-pong, to intensive testing procedures. Today on Front Burner, freelance NBA reporter Alex Wong walks us through how this is all going to work, and whether it's worth it.

Download The NBA to restart in a COVID-19 hotspot
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:06]


One woman’s fight to free her husband from a Chinese jail

In an exclusive interview with the National’s Adrienne Arsenault, Michael Kovrig’s wife is speaking out for the first time. Vina Nadjibulla says Ottawa could do more to get her husband - and Canadian Michael Spavor - out of jail in China. Both men were arrested in December of 2018 - just days after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on behalf of American justice officials. Today on Front Burner, Adrienne Arsenault brings us more on Nadjibulla’s fight for her husband’s freedom - and how she is helping him stay resilient.

Download One woman’s fight to free her husband from a Chinese jail
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Should police be on mental health calls?

Ejaz Choudry. D’Andre Campbell. Rodney Levi. In the last few weeks, several Canadians struggling with their mental health have been shot and killed by police after authorities were called. Today on Front Burner, Jennifer Lavoie, a criminology professor who helps train police on how to handle mental health calls, talks to Josh Bloch about why this issue persists, and how it can be stopped.

Download Should police be on mental health calls?
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Covert calls for help – a hotline for migrant workers

COVID-19 outbreaks have ripped through farms in Canada, particularly in southern Ontario, taking a grim toll on migrant workers. Three have already died. Desperate for help, workers have been calling a hotline staffed by the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change – usually in secret. Today, the two people who staff that hotline give us an inside look at this crisis, as it unfolded.

Download Covert calls for help – a hotline for migrant workers
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:40]


COVID Alert: Canada’s incoming contact-tracing app

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants you to download an app. It’s called “COVID Alert” and it is a new voluntary contact-tracing app that will be available for download in just a few weeks. The app will first be tested in Ontario, before rolling out to the rest of the country. A lot of people are welcoming the app as a powerful tool to stop new coronavirus outbreaks. But it’s still too early to tell how many Canadians will be willing to sign-up to share their personal health information. Especially since companies like Google, Apple, BlackBerry and volunteers from Shopify were all involved in some way with its creation. Today, infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch talks about what a contact-tracing app means for Canada and shares his thoughts on privacy concerns.

Download COVID Alert: Canada’s incoming contact-tracing app
[mp3 file: runs 00:24:10]


Conservatives face off in leadership debate

On Thursday night, Conservative leadership hopefuls faced off in the only English language debate of the campaign. Candidates went toe-to-toe on issues like expanding the party’s base, climate, race and more. Today, CBC’s Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos provides her analysis as the race to become leader of the party enters a crucial stretch.

Download Conservatives face off in leadership debate
[mp3 file: runs 00:24:53]


Quibi: Why the $2 billion video app is failing

In the midst of a pandemic, two veteran executives launched Quibi — a video-streaming app intended for watching on the go. With nearly $2 billion in cash invested and a huge roster of A-list celebrities creating content, it seemed like a recipe for success. But two months later, the app has largely missed the mark, with subscriptions way below expectations. Today on Front Burner, we talk to Kathryn VanArendonk, staff writer for New York magazine, to find out why Quibi is failing.

Download Quibi: Why the $2 billion video app is failing
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The ‘other’ public health crisis

There’s another public health crisis killing Canadians in record numbers. In May, 170 people died from illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia. It's the worst death toll in the province’s history. And it’s not just B.C., people are overdosing all over the country, particularly in Ontario and Alberta. Garth Mullins is a documentarian and host of the award-winning podcast Crackdown. It was created to cover the opioid crisis from the perspective of drug users themselves. We spoke with Mullins back in April about how COVID-19 was affecting people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Today, we talk about what’s driving the unprecedented number of deaths… and why this long-running public health crisis isn’t being prioritized.

Download The ‘other’ public health crisis
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A riddle, a treasure hunt, and a mystery that may never end

Ten years ago, an eccentric Santa Fe art dealer named Forrest Fenn says he hid a treasure chest somewhere in the American Rocky Mountains – and then he wrote a poem with clues to tell people how to find it. Hundreds of thousands have tried. At least five have died on their search. And now, Fenn says the treasure has been found. But is the story really over? Today we’re joined by Robert Nott, a reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican who’s been on the Forrest Fenn beat for the past five years, and Zachary Crockett, a journalist who made a documentary for Vox about his own quest to find the Fenn treasure.

Download A riddle, a treasure hunt, and a mystery that may never end
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Protesting and police in the age of surveillance

We are living in a time of ubiquitous recording. There are cameras are everywhere; capturing the last moments of George Floyd’s life; recording the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta Police on Friday night; and documenting another angle of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam being punched by an officer during an arrest in Fort McMurray. There are also live streams of protests and civilian footage of the police response on the streets. But with cameras everywhere comes surveillance, too. Today we talk with Washington Post technology reporter, Heather Kelly, about the double-edged sword of having digital eyes everywhere.

Download Protesting and police in the age of surveillance
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'Cops' gets cancelled

After more than 1000 episodes, the reality television show COPS has officially been cancelled. For thirty years, COPS has broadcast police officers chasing down suspects and arresting them as entertainment. But according to Henry Molofsky, producer of the hit investigative podcast Running From Cops, the vision of crime and policing portrayed by COPS was often distorted. Today, Henry Molofsky discusses the legacy of the show.

Download 'Cops' gets cancelled
[mp3 file: runs 00:26:43]


Bon Appetit, race and food culture

Bon Appetit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport resigned on Monday over accusations of brownface. It involved a 2004 photo of Rapoport and his wife dressing up as Puerto Ricans. But according to more than a dozen former and current employees of colour who have since spoken out, the racism runs deeper than just that photo. Today on Front Burner, a conversation with culture writer Navneet Alang about this controversy, and what it says about who gets to tell stories about foods from different cultures.

Download Bon Appetit, race and food culture
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What ‘defunding the police’ means for Indigenous people

Last Thursday, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman was killed by a New Brunswick police officer. Chantel Moore was shot five times during what was meant to be a wellness check. Her death is one of several recent incidents of police violence against Indigenous people in Canada. As the Black Lives Matter movement shines a light on police brutality and calls into question the power and even necessity of police services across the world, today we talk about what defunding the police means for Indigenous people. CBC’s Angela Sterritt reports from Vancouver.

Download What ‘defunding the police’ means for Indigenous people
[mp3 file: runs 00:25:22]


Defunding police: what it means and how it could work

On the weekend, a majority of the Minneapolis city council declared their intention to disband the city's police force. The move comes in response to the killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin — a member of that force — and to other local instances of police brutality. Today on Front Burner, we talk about the growing "defund police" movement that says scaling down police budgets and spending the money on social services could be a way to protect civilian lives.

Download Defunding police: what it means and how it could work
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:43]


Work-from-home goes ‘pandemic’ to ‘permanent’

Twitter says its staff can work from home as long as they want. The head of Shopify says “office centricity is over.” OpenText is shuttering half of its offices, reducing its workforce and shifting 2000 employees to remote work. COVID-19 forced hundreds of millions of employees to temporarily work from home, but companies are starting to change their remote work strategies from “pandemic” to “permanent.” Today on Front Burner, NPR reporter Bobby Allyn explains what’s driving the enthusiasm for remote work in Silicon Valley, and the employee surveillance tools he calls a “morale destroyer.” Then, author and UN Happiness Committee member Jennifer Moss tells us who working from home is and isn’t working for.

Download Work-from-home goes ‘pandemic’ to ‘permanent’
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Black Canadians reflect on this week’s unrest

From the aggressive tactics of police at demonstrations in the United States, to the increasing demand to recognize systemic racism against Black communities and deal with police violence, to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 — it has been a chaotic and politically charged week. Today on Front Burner, we take a step back to listen to individuals who are deeply affected by the week’s events. Five Black Canadians share their reflections on worldwide protests following the death of George Floyd, who was killed by police, and the current attention towards issues of racial injustice and police brutality at home and abroad.

Download Black Canadians reflect on this week’s unrest
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State-sponsored hackers target vaccine research

While scientists worldwide are trying to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, reports show an uptick in state-sponsored medical hacking. Countries like China and Iran appear to be actively hacking vaccine research. Today on Front Burner: We talk to cybersecurity expert Priscilla Moriuchi about the fears that are driving these hacking efforts, and how they could derail vaccine research.

Download State-sponsored hackers target vaccine research
[mp3 file: runs 00:20:39]


Trump’s response in an unprecedented time

Demonstrations across the US protesting the death of George Floyd are coinciding with a global pandemic and an economic crisis. And it’s a moment when many Americans are calling on the president for leadership. Keith Boag, a longtime political correspondent and a contributor to the CBC on US politics, joins us to talk about how Donald Trump is responding to this critical moment — and what lies ahead as the November election date looms.

Download Trump’s response in an unprecedented time
[mp3 file: runs 00:24:32]


DeRay Mckesson on how to stop race-based police violence

Despite making up only 13 per cent of the population, black Americans represent about a quarter of all people killed by police. Today on Front Burner, we speak to civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson about the concrete steps he thinks could be taken to deal with the problem of race-based police violence.

Download DeRay Mckesson on how to stop race-based police violence
[mp3 file: runs 00:20:30]


Police crack down on protests against racism and police violence

This weekend, in at least 75 U.S. cities, demonstrators marched against racism and police violence in the wake of the video showing the last moments of George Floyd's life, with a Minneapolis police officer's knee on his neck. North of the border, thousands of people rallied in Toronto, some holding signs demanding "Justice for Regis." Regis Korchinski-Paquet is a black woman from Toronto whose death last week is now being investigated by Ontario's police watchdog. Today on Front Burner, we have three guests: journalist Ebyan Abdigir on the Toronto demonstration, CBC senior correspondent Susan Ormiston on the ground in Minneapolis and writer Joel Anderson on the American police response.

Download Police crack down on protests against racism and police violence
[mp3 file: runs 00:34:05]


BONUS: First ever charge against ‘incel’ terrorism

For the first time, police are treating an alleged incel-inspired killing as an act of terror. In February, a 17-year-old male was charged with murder and attempted murder in the broad daylight slaying of a woman at a North Toronto massage parlour. Last week, those charges were updated to terror charges. Today on Front Burner, former CSIS analyst Jessica Davis and University of Calgary law professor Michael Nesbitt on the significance of these new charges, what message they send, and what the potential consequences may be.

Download BONUS: First ever charge against ‘incel’ terrorism
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Hong Kong’s uncertain future

China’s ceremonial parliament, the National People’s Congress, endorsed a national security law for Hong Kong on Thursday. Many residents are concerned that the law will undermine civil liberties and might be used to suppress political activity. Today on Front Burner, journalist and lawyer Antony Dapiran on what this might mean for Hong Kong’s future, and whether this could signal the end of “one country, two systems” in the former British colony.

Download Hong Kong’s uncertain future
[mp3 file: runs 00:19:37]


Tow truck wars: Police allege fraud, arson and murder

York Regional Police announced an enormous bust taking down alleged organized crime rings in Southern Ontario’s tow truck industry this week. Police say that for the last three years, rival companies have used violence and intimidation to carve out turf, alleging they caused and staged collisions, worked with auto repair shops and rental companies to carry out fraud, set fires, and even killed in cold blood. Four people are dead and the investigation is ongoing. And police say that's just scratching the surface. CBC senior reporter John Lancaster has been covering this story. Today, we sort through the violent wreckage of the ‘Tow Truck Turf Wars’.

Download Tow truck wars: Police allege fraud, arson and murder
[mp3 file: runs 00:21:11]


Military exposes disturbing conditions in Ontario's pandemic-struck nursing homes

Cockroaches, rotten food, improper feeding of patients. These are just a few of the disturbing details emerging from a military report into five long-term care facilities in Ontario that were hit hard by coronavirus outbreaks. Today on Front Burner, CBC News correspondent David Common, who has investigated long-term care facilities since before the pandemic hit, walks us through the report.

Download Military exposes disturbing conditions in Ontario's pandemic-struck nursing homes
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:37]


Joe Rogan’s appeal and $100-million deal

Love him or hate him, Joe Rogan is one of the biggest names in podcasting. Now, he’s inked a $100-million deal with Spotify that could turn the podcasting industry on its head. Nick Quah, writer of the newsletter Hot Pod, and Devin Gordon, a journalist who’s written about Rogan for The Atlantic, join us to speak about Rogan’s appeal, and why this Spotify deal could be such a game-changer.

Download Joe Rogan’s appeal and $100-million deal
[mp3 file: runs 00:23:22]


Ontario is moving in the wrong direction—why?

On Saturday, images of thousands of people at a crowded park in downtown Toronto went viral, infuriating people across Ontario for the flagrant disregard of social distancing. It was a bad look for the city, where the spread of the virus is increasing as Ontario fails to meet testing benchmarks. With some COVID-19 restrictions relaxed in the province, experts say Ontario is moving in the wrong direction. So, what will the Premier Doug Ford do to fix it? CBC’s Ontario Provincial affairs reporter Mike Crawley joins us to explain.

Download Ontario is moving in the wrong direction—why?
[mp3 file: runs 00:21:24]


Fan culture and #ReleaseTheSnyderCut

After years of fervent campaigning from fans, director Zack Snyder’s cut of the 2017 Justice League movie has been greenlit for release in 2021. Culture critics John Semley and Tina Hassannia on why this campaign struck a cultural chord, and what it says about fandom today.

Download Fan culture and #ReleaseTheSnyderCut
[mp3 file: runs 00:17:55]


Alberta beef, outbreaks and the flaws of industrial farming

Canadian cattle farmers are having a hard week. The beef industry was already struggling after deadly mass outbreaks of COVID-19 hit the heart of Canada’s meat processing industry in Alberta, causing temporary closures, slowdowns in production and a backlog of cattle. Then on Tuesday, president Donald Trump mused about the possibility of terminating trade deals that allow for imports of live cattle into the U.S. Paula Simons is an independent senator from Edmonton and a former journalist who covered Alberta's cattle industry. She was also one of the first to speak out about food inspector safety during the pandemic. Today she shares her thoughts about Alberta beef, meat processing and why she thinks industrial farming needs to change.

Download Alberta beef, outbreaks and the flaws of industrial farming
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:48]


A practical guide to Canada's slow reopening

Across Canada, the economy is slowly reopening. This week, with physical distancing measures in place, restaurants can resume dine-in services in B.C., retail shops with street entrances in Ontario can open, and in some parts of Alberta, you can get a haircut again. But as restrictions loosen, Canadians will be asked to use their judgment to limit the spread of COVID-19. Today on Front Burner, infectious disease expert Isaac Bogoch with some advice on how to navigate those complications.

Download A practical guide to Canada's slow reopening
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:47]


Amazon whistleblowers on their journey from inspired to fired

Amazon has seen an incredible demand for its products during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, it is also facing a wave of criticism over not doing enough to ensure the safety of its warehouse workers. We speak with Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham - two former Amazon tech employees. They say they were fired, because they tried to raise awareness about the conditions at Amazon warehouses.

Download Amazon whistleblowers on their journey from inspired to fired
[mp3 file: runs 00:24:14]


How the 5G conspiracy makes COVID-19 fight harder

A series of cell phone tower fires in Europe and Canada have been linked to a conspiracy theory about 5G networks and the coronavirus — a theory that’s been boosted by celebrities and politicians, and that has deep ties to the anti-vaccine movement. Today, CBC Senior Investigative Reporter Katie Nicholson joins us to break down the conspiracies, and talk about how they could have serious implications for the fight against COVID-19.

Download How the 5G conspiracy makes COVID-19 fight harder
[mp3 file: runs 00:21:13]


Introducing Someone Knows Something: Donald Izzett Jr.

In Someone Knows Something Season 6, Debra has been searching for her son, Donald Izzett Jr. for 25 years. The last time she spoke with him was Mother’s Day. He had called from a road trip, but sounded upset, saying he needed money. Then the phone went dead. Donnie’s friend told police that he dropped him off in New Orleans. But Debra thinks he was murdered. And decides to investigate the case herself. Here's an excerpt from the first episode. Full episodes are available at hyperurl.co/skscbc

Download Introducing Someone Knows Something: Donald Izzett Jr.
[mp3 file: runs 00:08:04]


‘Big companies getting bigger’: The post-pandemic future of retail

We're still a long way away from getting back to the pre-pandemic normal. As shutdowns drag on in some cities across North America, some business owners are starting to close up shop for good. Today, the owner of the Storm Crow Tavern in Vancouver on why he gave up one bar to save his two others. And, writer Derek Thompson with the Atlantic on how the pandemic now could change retail - and by extension, urban streetscapes - going forward.

Download ‘Big companies getting bigger’: The post-pandemic future of retail
[mp3 file: runs 00:23:12]


COVID-19 unlocks wave of loneliness

Loneliness posed a public health crisis for many countries years before anyone heard of COVID-19. But how does loneliness manifest at a time -- not sure that's exactly what we're trying to say; suggesting instead: how is loneliness exacerbated when we are forced to isolate for weeks and months? Who is most vulnerable? And what are some of the long-term emotional implications of this lockdown? We explore the different types of loneliness this pandemic is unlocking with cultural historian Fay Bound Alberti.

Download COVID-19 unlocks wave of loneliness
[mp3 file: runs 00:23:09]


Bryan Adams backlash sparks conversation about xenophobia

Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams is facing a backlash after posting a rant about the origins of the pandemic on Instagram Monday. And although Adams doesn’t name China, or Chinese people, the comments are clearly about them. Today we focus on concerns about growing xenophobia towards East Asians in recent months, which include a series of racist attacks, with help from Susan Eng, director of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, and dance artist Ziyian Kwan.

Download Bryan Adams backlash sparks conversation about xenophobia
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:43]


Pro sports begin to climb back

This weekend marked the return of a major sporting event to North America, the first since the pandemic forced leagues into lockdown in mid-March. UFC 249 brought mixed martial arts fighters back into the octagon in an empty stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. As other major leagues make plans to open back up, Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur reports on the future of sports, post COVID-19. Will it ever be the same?

Download Pro sports begin to climb back
[mp3 file: runs 00:20:59]


Is COVID-19 an 'extinction event' for newsrooms?

Canadian newsrooms have had serious financial woes for years now. But since the coronavirus pandemic began, layoffs, cuts and closures across the country have left many teetering on the brink of survival. Today, Craig Silverman, a Toronto-based media editor for Buzzfeed News, joins us to talk about how it got to this point and what can be done to stop the hemorrhaging.

Download Is COVID-19 an 'extinction event' for newsrooms?
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:54]


Who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party?

The race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, previously paused by the COVID-19 outbreak, is back on. The party will select its new leader in August, by mail-in ballot. Today on Front Burner, Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos analyzes the campaigns, and talks about how this current pandemic has changed the dynamics of the race.

Download Who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party?
[mp3 file: runs 00:23:38]


Cargill: North America's largest single coronavirus outbreak

North America's largest single coronavirus outbreak started at Cargill, a meat-packing plant located in High River, Alta. Over 1,500 cases have been linked to it, with 949 employees testing positive, and one death. Despite the harrowing statistics, the plant reopened this week. CBC reporter Carolyn Dunn on what led to the outbreak, and why there's such a push to keep the plant open.

Download Cargill: North America's largest single coronavirus outbreak
[mp3 file: runs 00:25:20]


Sex assault allegation lingers after Joe Biden’s denial

Former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden is denying an allegation that he sexually assaulted a Senate staffer twenty-seven years ago. The allegation was made by Tara Reade in March. Reade was among the women who came forward last year to accuse Biden of inappropriate touching. With the 2020 U.S. election coming up, CBC Washington correspondent Paul Hunter reports on how the Democratic Party is responding to the allegation against their presumptive presidential candidate.

Download Sex assault allegation lingers after Joe Biden’s denial
[mp3 file: runs 00:25:19]


In Brief: How does COVID-19 affect kids?

As the world continues to socially distance - a few countries are easing restrictions for children. But, it’s still unclear how COVID-19 affects kids. Some doctors are raising concern over a mysterious illness in a small number of children, which could be linked to COVID-19. Meanwhile, public health experts in Australia say kids may not be superspreaders after all.

Download In Brief: How does COVID-19 affect kids?
[mp3 file: runs 00:14:07]


'Too big to fail': COVID-19 and Canadian real estate

Could the "wealth-conjuring machine" that is Canadian real estate grind to a halt after the COVID-19 crisis exposed its worst weaknesses? That's the concern many who watch a sector that makes up a bigger part of the Canadian economy than oil and gas. Today on Front Burner, Bloomberg News' Vancouver bureau chief Natalie Obiko Pearson returns to explain how real estate became such a significant part of the Canadian economy, how Canadians went deeply into debt, and why now, the housing market in Canada could be "too big to fail."

Download 'Too big to fail': COVID-19 and Canadian real estate
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:49]


The puzzling unknowns of COVID-19

Until about 5 months ago, no one had heard of COVID-19. And, despite the overflow of information and research since then, there is much we still don’t know about the virus itself and the disease it causes. Today on Front Burner, we talk to special pathogens expert Dr. Syra Madad about some of the things we don’t know about COVID-19 and why this is such an unprecedented crisis.

Download The puzzling unknowns of COVID-19
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:07]


Canadian Peter Nygard, ‘pamper parties’ and rape allegations

Peter Nygard is a fashion mogul who made his fortune selling sensible clothing to middle-aged women. He was also known for throwing so-called “pamper parties” in the Bahamas and for a raging feud with a billionaire neighbour. Today, Fifth Estate co-host Bob McKeown and producer Timothy Sawa bring us their longtime investigation into Peter Nygard and report on the international rape lawsuit involving 46 women, including at least 17 Canadians. Nygard denies all allegations. None have been proven in court.

Download Canadian Peter Nygard, ‘pamper parties’ and rape allegations
[mp3 file: runs 00:21:12]


Quebec’s high-stakes plan to re-open

Quebec’s premier, François Legault, has announced a plan to re-open the province in May, and he says the province’s COVID-19 crisis is now under control — at least, outside long term care facilities. But is it really under control? And will reopening the province trigger deepen community transmission of the disease? CBC Montreal’s Kate McKenna and Jonathan Montpetit join us to talk about what’s happening in the epicentre of Canada’s coronavirus pandemic.

Download Quebec’s high-stakes plan to re-open
[mp3 file: runs 00:25:25]


The Last Dance and the making of Michael Jordan

During the '90s, at the height of the Chicago Bulls' success, Michael Jordan was arguably the most famous athlete in the world. But in retirement, the basketball phenomenon has largely stayed out of the limelight. That's why there is such excitement over a new television series chronicling Jordan's rise as an athlete, and his last NBA championship run. Today on Front Burner, Washington Post NBA reporter Ben Golliver on Michael Jordan's legacy, and why we're still talking about him today.

Download The Last Dance and the making of Michael Jordan
[mp3 file: runs 00:24:45]


Lawrence Wright predicts a pandemic in “The End of October”

When Lawrence Wright started writing a novel about a deadly influenza virus, he delved deep into researching the 1918 Spanish Flu, and more recent epidemics like SARS and MERS. Little did he know that by the time he’d release the book, we’d be living through a new and viscous influenza pandemic. Today on Front Burner, he shares his unique insight on COVID-19 given the knowledge he gained writing “The End of October”.

Download Lawrence Wright predicts a pandemic in “The End of October”
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:21]


In Brief: Ontario’s reopening roadmap, herd immunity in Quebec

As Ontario lays out its plans to reopen, Quebec Premier François Legault pushes "herd immunity" as part of the strategy to reopen his province. But that strategy was tried elsewhere and led to rapidly climbing death rates. Tonight on Front Burner, we look into how this could play out in Quebec. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch returns to help us out.

Download In Brief: Ontario’s reopening roadmap, herd immunity in Quebec
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13 hours, 22 killings: New details emerge in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is still coming to terms with the mass shooting that unfolded just over a week ago, taking the lives of 22 people. The RCMP has released a more detailed timeline, including information provided by a surviving witness — a woman who had been in a relationship with the gunman — speculation about how the gunman escaped a police perimeter, and more. But questions remain about the crimes and the RCMP’s response.

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When will this end?

Life began returning to German streets this week as the country took small steps to slowly re-open the economy. New Zealand is set to follow suit by bringing back businesses and school for young children next week. Here in Canada, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has announced plans to reopen his province in five stages starting in May, and many other political leaders are starting to talk about how and when strict COVID-19 restrictions might be phased out. Today we’re asking about what benchmarks need to be hit for Canada to re-open, with help from Jeremy Konyndyk, Senior Policy Fellow at the Centre for Global Development, and Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease specialist and chief of staff at Humber River Hospital.

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ICU workers on the job, in their own words

Since January, the staff at Markham Stouffville Hospital in Ontario have cared for hundreds of COVID-positive patients.Through a series of self-recordings and interviews, CBC's Wendy Mesley was able to access what life is like inside the hospital's intensive care unit. Today on Front Burner, she shares stories of the physical and emotional toll faced by front-line workers there, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In Brief: Why oil prices tumbled below $0

COVID-19 lockdowns have taken a major swipe at the dominance of oil…as the worth of a barrel of U.S. oil tumbled to less than nothing. That's the first time in history that the price has turned negative. So, what does that mean exactly - and how did it happen? To explain it all, we talk to CBC News national business correspondent, Peter Armstrong.

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Family stories lead to revelation: 31 deaths inside care home

On Tuesday, Front Burner learned that Ontario's Orchard Villa long term care home has one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls in the country — 31 residents have been killed by the virus. We spoke to family members who say the sick weren't segregated, and that they were left in the dark about what was happening inside. Advocates say there are serious systemic problems in Canada's long term care facilities, and that this pandemic is exposing the deadly consequences of allowing those problems to fester for years.

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Nova Scotia grieves after shooting rampage

There are still so many unanswered questions about what happened in Nova Scotia this past weekend. What we do know is that a lone gunman went on a 12-hour shooting rampage across the province. He set fire to five structures, impersonated a police officer and left at least 18 victims dead. Today, CBC News reporter Brett Ruskin joins us from Portapique, N.S., to report on one of the deadliest mass shootings in Canadian history.

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China’s ‘wet markets’ explained

Scientists are still trying to determine the origin of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but a predominant theory is that it began in a "wet market" in Wuhan, China. This has put the spotlight on China's wet markets, with growing calls to shut them down entirely. But, what are these wet markets, what makes them so controversial — and why do some think a ban is the only answer? Today on Front Burner, we take a deep dive into China's world of wet markets with Peter Li, China policy specialist for the Humane Society International.

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Introducing Unlocking Bryson's Brain

Bryson seems like a perfectly healthy baby. But soon doctors confirm his parents’ worst fears: something is wrong with Bryson’s brain. Despite dozens of tests over nearly a decade, doctors come up empty in their efforts to find a diagnosis.Then one day, everything changes. Scientists working at the cutting edge of genetics believe they know what's causing Bryson's disease — and think it could be reversed. Here’s the first episode of the new CBC podcast, Unlocking Bryson’s Brain. More episodes are available at hyperurl.co/unlocking

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Could COVID-19 survivor blood keep people safe?

As scientists worldwide scramble for COVID-19 treatments and cures, some see promise in antibody-rich plasma of survivors. In Canada and beyond survivors are donating their blood for new, fast-tracked, clinical trials. Today, CBC senior correspondent Susan Ormiston joins us from Washington, D.C., to explain why antibody-rich plasma could be useful in the fight against COVID-19.

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Flight 752 investigation paralyzed by COVID-19

For months, the families of those who died on Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 have been searching for more answers about what led to the downing of the plane. It’s been an uphill battle, made even more so by the spread of COVID-19 in Iran, and around the world. Today, CBC senior reporter Ashley Burke joins host Jayme Poisson to talk about the human impact of the delays.

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WHO under fire as U.S. halts funding

U.S. President Donald Trump has put the World Health Organization in the crosshairs, announcing Tuesday the U.S. would halt funding and accusing the agency of mismanaging the coronavirus crisis by being too deferential to China. Today on Front Burner, we take a closer look at the UN body, the organization’s track record and its limitations, with Guardian science writer Stephen Buranyi.

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In brief: Global scramble for PPE is 'utter cutthroat chaos'

As desperate countries around the world compete to secure as much personal protective equipment as they can, Canada is establishing a new supply chain to bring in millions of N95 masks and other supplies. Today, on Front Burner, CBC senior reporter David Cochrane explains how Canada's diplomats and consultants in China are working to set up a new supply chain amid the pandemic.

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Documents: government played catchup as COVID-19 threat mounted

As Canada’s fight against COVID-19 continues, questions are being raised about whether the federal government acted fast enough to prevent the spread of the virus. Now, documents show Canada two steps behind as the pandemic spread across the country. JP Tasker, a senior writer for CBC’s parliamentary bureau, joins us to talk about what he found in those documents — and what they reveal about the situation Canada finds itself in now.

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One doctor's view from the ER during the coronavirus pandemic

Dr. Brian Goldman is seeing more coronavirus cases at the emergency department of the Toronto hospital in which he works. Today on Front Burner, Dr. Goldman describes a shift in the pandemic, from the intense intubations, to the discomfort of the required personal protective equipment, to the compassion of younger colleagues concerned for his health.

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A son’s extraordinary mission to care for his mother

Concerns about deadly coronavirus outbreaks at long-term care homes are top of mind for a lot of Canadians. Today, we speak with a man who is going to incredible, and potentially life threatening, lengths to visit his mother at her nursing home in Toronto. With the facility on lockdown and a resident with COVID-19, there was only one way Brian Corcoran could visit and check-up on his mom, Margaret — get a part-time job on staff.

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In Brief: Testing saves lives. Why isn’t Ontario doing more?

Ontario has fallen far behind when it comes to testing residents for COVID-19; Quebec and BC are testing about twice as many residents, per capita. Today on Front Burner CBC science reporter Kelly Crowe explains how Ontario found itself in this predicament and how the province is trying to catch up.

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After the lockdown: Life returns to Wuhan

It’s a historic moment in Wuhan, China: After 76 days, the city where COVID-19 first emerged has ended its extreme lockdown, allowing people to enter and leave the city. We speak to a Wuhan resident who has just been able to leave her apartment complex for the first time since January, and to a journalist who tells us how government authorities are trying to prevent future spikes of COVID-19.

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Lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic

The influenza outbreak of 1918 was the deadliest pandemic in recent history, killing an estimated 50 million to 100 million people aroundthe world. And it bears some striking similarities to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Laura Spinney, science journalist and author of Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, talks about what we can learn from this century-old tragedy.

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In brief: Remembering John Prine

Legendary singer-songwriter John Prine has died at 73 due to complications caused by COVID-19. He was celebrated for the way he wrote about the human condition — from thoughtful reflections on heartbreak and loss, to funny quips about life’s absurdities. We remember him with Tom Power, host of CBC's q.

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Overdoses and COVID-19 on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

Self-isolation and physical distancing are straightforward public health orders for most Canadians, but it's a near-impossible challenge for people without adequate housing. That's clear in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, a dense neighbourhood with a large population of homeless people, who are now at risk of COVID-19. But the challenges don't stop there — the community has been battling another public health crisis for years: drug poisoning and overdoses. Today on Front Burner, Garth Mullins, host of the podcast Crackdown, tells us what that means for drug users.

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In Brief: anti-malaria drugs vs COVID-19, hype or hope?

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine - two drugs touted by U.S. President Donald Trump, who says they could be game changing treatments for COVID-19. But around the world health experts have tried to temper expectations for these medications. Today, on Front Burner, we talk to infectious disease specialist, Dr. Isaac Bogoch about these drugs and the testing being done to determine if they hold any promise at all.

Download In Brief: anti-malaria drugs vs COVID-19, hype or hope?
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Pregnancy in a pandemic

Questions about the impact of coronavirus on pregnancy are running through the mind of many expectant parents. But there is scant research into how COVID-19 affects pregnancy: the disease is just so new. Today on Front Burner, we talk to the head of labour and delivery at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Dr. Wendy Whittle, about what we know so far about pregnancy and coronavirus, and what hospitals are doing to operate safely.

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A COVID-19 surge is coming for Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has admitted that things are not looking good for the province, saying, “right now, today, there is very little separating what we will face here in Ontario from the devastation we’ve seen in Italy and Spain." He’s right to be concerned: the number of patients in Ontario’s ICU beds is doubling every four days. And according to public health officials, this is just the beginning. A surge is coming for Ontario. Today, we cover how prepared the province is and why it got this bad, with help from Mike Crawley, CBC’s Ontario provincial affairs reporter.

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Voices from inside: COVID-19 in Canada's prisons

For weeks, inmates, correctional officers and penal reform advocates have been sounding the alarm that Canada's prisons are sorely underprepared for the arrival of COVID-19. Canada's chief public health officer, Dr Theresa Tam, has called correctional facilities a "high-risk setting" in which a mass infection could have grave consequences. Three inmates and 18 employees in federal institutions have tested positive for the coronavirus, as have an inmate and a guard at the Toronto South Detention Centre. On today's Front Burner, freelance reporter Justin Ling walks us through how the government can stave off a prison outbreak, protecting both inmates and society at large.

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Why ‘V’ beats ‘U’ in the post-COVID economy

By most measures, COVID-19 has devastated the global economy. But how much worse could it get? And what can be done to help it recover? Today, CBC senior business correspondent Peter Armstrong drops by to explain what’s being done globally to keep the economy moving and what kind of outcomes could be in store for Canada, and the world.

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In Brief: Should you wear a mask?

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise around the world — and here at home. That has many wondering whether public health officials should revisit their policies on people wearing face masks. But as we learn, there are many questions with not so many definitive answers. Where is the science on wearing masks? Where should you wear a mask? How should you wear it? What about supply? Jayme Poisson tries to tackle some of these questions with Dr. Isaac Bogoch, on tonight’s Front Burner.

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Making rent during a pandemic

For many Canadians, rent is due on the first of the month. But nearly half of the households in this country have lost work due to the pandemic, and emergency government benefits are not yet in people’s pockets. Today on Front Burner, an anxious Vancouver tenant on her concerns about making rent, and Toronto lawyer Caryma Sa’d on what is being done to keep tenants housed as their incomes evaporate.

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In Brief: Breaking down Canada’s COVID-19 numbers

Early data is starting to give an indication of how Canada is doing in its fight against the spread of COVID-19. How deadly is the virus in Canada? How is the virus spreading across the country now? Who is most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill? And why are public health officials watching this week so closely? For answers, Jayme Poisson turns to CBC health writer Adam Miller on this episode of Front Burner.

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Government overreach during the pandemic crisis

Governments around the world are making extraordinary moves to get COVID-19 under control -- including the curtailing of individual freedoms. In most countries, people are willing to go along with these measures, as long as they’re temporary. But what about when leaders use the coronavirus to grab more power? Today, we’re joined by Anne Applebaum, a historian and staff writer at The Atlantic, who has concerns about the potential lasting consequences of some governments’ pandemic responses.

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How to deal with COVID-19 anxiety

Thanks to COVID-19, most of us are isolated, glued to the news and worried about how every little choice we make could spread the virus or get us sick. And while the threat of COVID-19 is very real, does that mean that we have to live in constant fear? Today on Front Burner, we talk to public health expert Tim Caulfield, professor at the University of Alberta and author of the upcoming book, Relax, Dammit! A User's Guide to the Age of Anxiety.

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Inside the COVID-19 'mayhem' at B.C.'s Lynn Valley Care Centre

The majority of B.C's 14 deaths related to COVID-19 have been from one place: the Lynn Valley Care Centre. As of Wednesday, 42 residents and 21 health care workers have tested positive for the illness and 11 people had died. Today on Front Burner, CBC Vancouver senior reporter Jason Proctor helps us understand how the outbreak there happened, and what impact it might have on other long-term care homes in the region.

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In Brief: Who qualifies for the COVID-19 aid package?

Parliament has approved a $107-billion aid package to help Canadians struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prime minister has said people will be able to access those benefits within 10 days of applying. But who qualifies? And how long will this aid last? Meanwhile, stricter measures are being applied on those returning to the country, but how will they be enforced? CBC parliamentary reporter J.P. Tasker joins Jayme Poisson to talk about that, on this episode of Front Burner.

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Trump pushes the economy while experts warn of COVID-19 deaths

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he "would love to have the country opened up, and just raring to go, by Easter," which is two and a half weeks from now. But many public health experts say the result could be an increase in COVID-19 deaths. Today on Front Burner, CBC senior correspondent Susan Ormiston on the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. — Trump's hopes to see the economy reopened in mere weeks, and what it could mean for a country the World Health Organization warned could become the new epicentre of COVID-19.

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COVID-19’s other frontline workers: grocery store staff

Even as most businesses in Canada have shut their doors, grocery stores remain open. And workers in those stores – who are often in low-wage positions – are worried about their own safety as COVID-19 continues to spread. Today on Front Burner, CBC reporter Haydn Watters talks to guest host Michelle Shephard about how grocery store staff are coping with the crisis, and what their companies are aiming to do about it

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On careless social distancing Prime Minister says "enough is enough"

The prime minister is firing off a warning today to Canadians who are not abiding by social distancing measures. He said “enough is enough” and asked people to “go home and stay home.” On tonight’s coronavirus episode, we will get you caught up on: The increasingly tough language coming from the federal government on social distancing. Questions about whether the Emergencies Act Measures act will go into effect. And how Canada is handling the return of tens of thousands of Canadians who have been stranded abroad.

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COVID-19, Hong Kong, and a warning from the future

In the global fight against the spread of COVID-19, Hong Kong has been recognized for its success keeping the number of cases low despite its proximity to China. Today on Front Burner, Shibani Mahtani, the Washington Post’s Hong Kong and Southeast Asia bureau chief, talks to guest host Michelle Shephard about how they did it, and what preparations are underway now for a second wave of imported COVID-19 cases.

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A few moments of joy during the pandemic

Things are not great. But people still are. And some good is happening. For example: competitive marble racing has gone viral because of the void left by professional sports. Artists are live streaming free concerts for fans. And in one of the countries hit hardest by COVID-19, people are taking to their balconies to sing songs in solidarity. So today, a mental break from our serious coronavirus coverage to hear stories that might bring some relief.

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Coronavirus: mortality, beds and respirators

As deaths and confirmed cases rise the number of ‘Acute-care’ beds and ventilators in Canada is causing concern. On this episode of Front Burner we zero in on Canadian deaths and discuss whether hospitals are ready to cope with the rise in cases. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch talks to host Jayme Poisson about the latest ‘outbreak modelling,’ and how many new cases, hospitalizations and critically ill patients we are prepared for. **Case and death numbers change quickly with this story. Please take that into consideration.

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Laid off? Gig gone? Closed? Government says COVID-19 help is on the way

COVID-19 has sent an economic shockwave through this country with countless livelihoods impact in the short term, and maybe permanently. To help, the federal government announced an $82-billion aid package. Today, one woman who has been laid off tells her story. And CBC senior business correspondent Peter Armstrong unpacks how the federal response is intended to help.

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Who gets the COVID-19 test, and why

Public health bodies like the World Health Organization tell us that widespread testing for COVID-19 is key to fighting the pandemic. But we’re also hearing that some provinces are planning to tighten criteria for who can get tested. Today on Front Burner, we speak to infectious disease specialist Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti about the testing strategy being used across Canada and how effective it is in flattening the curve.

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Coronavirus: The race to find a vaccine

With no clear end in sight, the urgent race for a vaccine is on across the world. This week, hopes for a vaccine grew as some biotech players are seemingly making progress. But, some experts caution that this process cannot be rushed - and that we are still far from seeing a vaccine on the market.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:13:35]


When social distancing is a matter of life and death

Government and public health officials are urging Canadians to practice social distancing. But what, exactly, does that mean? We speak to a man with cerebral palsy who says that for him, social distancing could make the difference between life and death. Then, a public health expert answers some of our questions about how to do social distancing right.

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Coronavirus: Canada closing border to most non-citizens

Canada is barring entry to all travellers who are not citizens, permanent residents or Americans, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today. Will the prime minister’s new measures have a meaningful impact? Why are American citizens allowed to enter Canada, while some border states are grappling with widespread community transmission? Adam Miller from CBC’s health unit is back to discuss.

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Peter Mansbridge on COVID-19, 9/11 and the 2008 market crash

It’s been an overwhelming few days of developments around the COVID-19 pandemic. As cases tick upwards, and more drastic measures are taken to curb the outbreak - CBC’s former chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge helps us set it in historical context with other global crises.

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Before the storm: Is Canada ready for COVID-19?

From U.S President Donald Trump suspending most travel from Europe, to major sports leagues suspending their seasons — efforts to slow down the COVID-19 pandemic are ramping up. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch talks to host Jayme Poisson about whether Canada is doing enough.

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MH17 jet attack murder trial begins — suspects still at large

A trial has begun in Amsterdam for the murder of the 298 people killed in 2014 in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash over Ukraine. But the four men charged are still at large, and although Russia has been implicated in the downing of the plane, the Putin government has denied any responsibility. CBC's Chris Brown joins Jayme Poisson to talk about the victims' families' search for justice – and why the stakes are so high for Russia.

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Conservative kingmaker picks his candidate

The temperature of the federal Conservative leadership race has just been cranked up by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Kenney stepped out of Alberta’s legislature to give an unambiguous endorsement of Erin O’Toole, and a jab at rival candidate Peter MacKay. Vassy Kapelos, the host of CBC’s Power & Politics, joins us to discuss why Kenney is taking sides and how it might influence the race.

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Coronavirus: WHO says COVID-19 is a pandemic

What does it mean that WHO is now calling COVID-19 a pandemic? And what’s behind the idea of “flattening the curve”? Plus, Prime Minister Trudeau has announced measures to fight the outbreak, including $1 billion in spending. So is Canada doing enough? We’re joined by CBC senior health writer Adam Miller to explain all that and to break down the latest news.

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COVID-19 comes for the stock market

It was a historically bad day for global markets. The twin factors of COVID-19 and a collapse in the price of oil led to widespread panic and one of the worst days in the stock market in years, with consequences still to come. What just happened, and why are people freaking out? Manulife global chief economist Frances Donald is here to explain.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:19:50]


A radical program to address the domestic violence crisis

In Canada, domestic violence has reached crisis levels. But in Saint Paul, Minnesota, a radical domestic abuse intervention project is showing the way forward, and how to save countless lives. Katie Nicholson joins Jayme Poisson to explain the “Blueprint for Safety” program and how it’s protecting victims of domestic violence.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:50]


U.S. scrambles to contain COVID-19, and it's a problem for everyone

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have reached double digits. As efforts to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. continue, certain factors make it even more difficult. First, there's a shortage of test kits. Then there's the question of cost for patients. We look at the U.S. public health response with Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist who built her career studying pandemics.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:19]


Baby business Part 2: The parents

What happens when your fragile parenthood dream is not in your control? In the second part of our series on surrogacy in Canada, we look at how the surrogacy industry affects parents. The costs can reach more than $100,000. There’s a fear that they’re breaking the law. The pressure to not rock the boat is high. Jayme talks to Chris Glover and Chelsea Gomez about the ways surrogacy is not working for parents.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:07]


Baby business Part 1: The surrogates

As infertility rates go up in Canada, desperate couples are turning to surrogacy. But a new investigation reveals that because there are few federal regulations on the surrogacy system, the process isn’t working for everyone. Jayme Poisson speaks with Chris Glover and Chelsea Gomez, who spent months investigating surrogacy in Canada, in the first of a two-part series.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:29]


Police in Canada are using controversial facial recognition software

That photo you posted to Instagram? It might be a part of Clearview AI’s massive database of some 3 billion images, all scraped from the internet. The facial recognition app has experts worried about privacy overreach. Canadian police forces first said they’re not using Clearview — until it turned out they are. Toronto Star reporters Wendy Gillis and Kate Allen have followed this story closely, and they’re here to talk implications.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:23:56]


Biden versus Sanders II: Setting up Super Tuesday

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders got off to a strong start in the early primaries and caucuses, but former vice-president Joe Biden is right behind him in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. After a major victory in South Carolina, Biden has momentum heading into Super Tuesday — when 14 states vote for their preferred candidate. Today on Front Burner, Alex Panetta from CBC's Washington bureau joins us to explain what’s at stake.

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Introducing The Dose with Dr. Brian Goldman

The Dose is a new weekly podcast that answers everyday health questions like: What vaccines do adults need? Does your Fitbit actually make you fitter? Or, should I bother taking vitamins? Dr. Brian Goldman and the team behind White Coat Black Art bring you the best science from top experts in about the same amount of time as an appointment with your GP. Subscribe to The Dose at smarturl.it/thedosecbc

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[mp3 file: runs 00:16:59]


'The precipice of a pandemic'

From Iran to Italy to South Korea — there are new epicentres for the coronavirus. On Thursday, World Health Organization officials stressed the need for governments to have national preparedness plans and training in place for health-care workers.Today on Front Burner, infectious disease expert Isaac Bogoch returns to the podcast to talk about how the public health response needs to change to address the growing epidemic.

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A radical disability advocate's fall from grace

This week, a shocking report from L’Arche revealed Jean Vanier sexually abused at least six women. Less than a year ago, longtime Globe and Mail reporter Ian Brown wrote the obituary of Vanier. Brown wrote about how the beloved Canadian founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities for people with intellectual disabilities, will be remembered as a radical philosopher of disability. Today on Front Burner, Brown covers how the disturbing revelations have sent shockwaves through the disability and Catholic communities and beyond.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:19]


Debating Canada's energy and climate future

The shelving of the Teck Resources Frontier project — an oilsands mine twice the size of Vancouver — has many arguing over the right balance between climate action and resource development. Today on Front Burner, we get two viewpoints on Canada's energy future: former TransCanada executive Dennis McConaghy and Stand.earth program director Tzeporah Berman. McConaghy says Canada is punishing itself while the rest of the world continues to profit off hydrocarbons. Berman believes markets and political leaders are turning the page on fossil fuels and Canada needs to do the same.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:28]


Weinstein conviction: a watershed moment for #MeToo?

A New York City jury has found Harvey Weinstein guilty of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and of third-degree rape. Today, Megan Garber of The Atlantic joins Front Burner to unpack the court proceedings that led to Weinstein's conviction and discusses whether this trial is a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement

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The fight over public/private healthcare in Canada

A challenge to Canada’s public healthcare system resumes Tuesday in BC’s Supreme Court. Dr. Brian Day -- who runs two private healthcare clinics in Vancouver -- says Canadians should have the right to pay for private treatment and that a two-tier system will cut down on wait times for everyone. Critics say this could undermine the entire Canadian public healthcare system. The CBC’s Dr. Brian Goldman joins Jayme to explain.

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'No safe haven': The escalating crisis in Idlib, Syria

A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Syria's Idlib province. Nearly one million people have been displaced since a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive began in December, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee to ever-shrinking camps along the border with Turkey. Today on Front Burner, we talk to CNN senior correspondent Arwa Damon, who was just in Idlib, about what she saw on the ground. “These are families that have been displaced multiple times,” she tells Jayme. “What makes this time so much more different is that it’s almost as if there is a sense of finality to it … they’re going to reach a point where they can’t run anymore.”

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' $10B climate pledge

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said this week he will donate $10 billion to fight climate change — working with others "both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting thedevastating impact of climate change." Today on Front Burner, we ask: What can $10 billion do for the environment? Guest host Michelle Shephard talks to David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth, which describes the frightening consequences of global warming.

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Rail blockades cause political impasse for Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asking Canadians to show "resolve" as he seeks an end to the rail blockades locking up trains in Canada. Hundreds of millions of dollars in goods are sitting idle on the tracks and CN Rail is laying off hundreds of workers as protesters demand police leave the territory of a B.C. First Nation. Trudeau is calling for dialogue, but offering few other details about his path to resolution. Today on Front Burner, CBC senior writer Aaron Wherry tells us how Trudeau's record on reconciliation frames — and complicates — the way forward.

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Former Catholic priest alleges superiors covered up his sex crimes

In 2015, former Catholic priest Paul-André Harvey pled guilty to 39 counts of sexual assault and gross indecency against young girls. Before he died in 2018, he did something that sent shockwaves through his former Quebec diocese: he wrote a confession in which he alleged his superiors both enabled and covered up his crimes. Mark Kelley of CBC’s The Fifth Estate tells us about the role this confession is now playing in a class-action lawsuit, brought by Harvey’s alleged victims, against the church.

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2 lives shattered by airline tragedies, a conversation

Hamed Esmaeilion lost his wife and daughter in the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 in Iran. Renée Sarojini Saklikar lost her aunt and uncle in the bombing of Air India Flight 182. Today on Front Burner, they share a conversation about confronting grief, living with unanswered questions and looking for justice in the midst of tragedy.

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Wet’suwet’en: Why B.C. is a battleground for Indigenous land rights

It’s been a week of nationwide protests, blockades and arrests over the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a section of which would pass through traditional Wet’suwet’en territory in northwestern British Columbia. At the core of this conflict is a long-running dispute over who has authority over the land where the pipeline would be contructed. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Duncan McCue offers a close look at the pivotal 1997 court case that set the stage for this dispute: Delgamuukw vs. British Columbia.

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Guantanamo Bay, torture and the long road to a 9/11 trial

It's been almost 20 years since four jets were hijacked mid-air and crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, the Pentagon in D.C., and a field near Shanksville, Penn., killing nearly 3,000 people. Pretrials have begun, and a full trial date for the surviving alleged plotters of the attack is set for January 2021, at Guantanamo Bay. But the legal case — and the logistics of holding it at the notorious U.S. military base — are complicated. Today on Front Burner, longtime national security reporter Michelle Shephard on the preparations for what could be the trial of the century.

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Trudeau’s UN charm offensive in Africa

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off an eight-day charm offensive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this past weekend, attending a meeting of the African Union. Now, he’s Dakar, Senegal. And it’s all part of the government’s efforts to get Canada a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Today, CBC’s Catherine Cullen explains why the government’s gunning for this seat, and whether all the time and money put into this bid is really worth it.

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Wet'suwet'en RCMP standoff sparks national protests

The bitter fight over the construction of a natural gas pipeline in Northern B.C. continues to escalate. Over the last several days, the RCMP has moved in to enforce an injunction order to allow Coastal GasLink to get to work on the $6 billion project. Dozens of people have now been arrested, on Wet'suwet'en territory where the pipeline passes through, and at solidarity protests across the country. Today, CBC reporter Chantelle Bellrichard explains why the stakes are so high for everyone involved.

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Are taxpayer handouts over for Bombardier?

Today, the Canadian company Bombardier is more than $9 billion US in debt. Over the years, it has received billions in taxpayer bailouts. But after some big failures, layoffs and criticism over executive bonuses, this time around may be different.

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Front Burner Presents Uncover: Satanic Panic

Throughout the 1980s, Satanic cults were widely believed to be terrorizing and torturing children. There were hundreds of false allegations and countless lives torn apart — but never any real proof. Uncover: Satanic Panic from CBC Podcasts is out now. Subscribe at cbc.ca/uncover

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Canadian government emails defend herbicide linked to cancer by U.S. court

A CBC report has uncovered a series of internal government emails showing Canadian officials defending the use of glyphosate, frequently sold under the brand name Roundup. It's a herbicide that was at the heart of a landmark U.S. lawsuit in 2018 that linked the product to cancer. Monsanto, which makes Roundup, is appealing the decision, and its parent company Bayer says the weedkiller is safe when used as directed, citing more than 100 scientific studies backing that position. However, despite mounting concerns about its safety, glyphosate remains the most widely used herbicide in Canada. Today on Front Burner, CBC News writer Chris Arsenault talks to guest host Josh Bloch about why regulating glyphosate is so complicated.

Download Canadian government emails defend herbicide linked to cancer by U.S. court
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A controversial police probe into fatal BC train derailment

It’s been a year since a runaway train derailed near Field, B.C., killing the three crew members on board: Dylan Paradis, Andy Dockrell and Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer. But questions remain about what led to the crash of Canadian Pacific Railway Train 301. The only formal police investigation into the derailment was done by CP Rail’s own police force. CBC investigative reporter Dave Seglins has dug into the crash for his Fifth Estate documentary Runaway Train. Today on Front Burner, he talks about what he found, and what it can tell us about safety and accountability on railways across the country.

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One family’s fight to get airlifted out of Wuhan

When Megan Millward and her husband Lie Zhang left their home in Montreal to visit family near Wuhan for Lunar New Year, they had no idea they would be putting their small family, and two young children, at risk. When the coronavirus hit, the family were trapped under quarantine in the countryside of Hubei province and left with no idea about how or when they could return home. This Thursday, the federal government plans on airlifting Canadians out of Wuhan. Millward and Zhang want their family on that flight, but there’s no telling what will happen. Today on Front Burner, we hear their story.

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A call to govern media giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime

A new federal report proposes sweeping changes to Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications sector. The recommendations range from bringing online media platforms like Yahoo and Facebook under the scope of Canada’s Broadcasting Act to making sure that streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime are sufficiently promoting Canadian material. Today on Front Burner, CBC Entertainment reporter Eli Glasner joins host Jayme Poisson to explain what’s at stake.

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In the race to lead the Democrats, Iowa caucuses can make or break campaigns

Months of Democratic strategizing and in-fighting culminates on Monday in the first caucus of the party’s 2020 leadership race. Historically, the Iowa caucuses are the first hint of which candidate could take on the President in November. Today on Front Burner, Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel takes us to Iowa, where the momentum of caucusing could be the key to capturing the Democratic nomination.

Download In the race to lead the Democrats, Iowa caucuses can make or break campaigns
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'There was no plan': The long road to Brexit

Tonight, at 11 p.m. local time, it finally happens: Brexit. It's been almost four years since Britain launched a referendum on whether to leave the European Union. To remember the highs and lows of how the U.K. got to this point, we're joined by the BBC World Service's political correspondent Rob Watson. He walks us through the big moments of Brexit, like the big red Brexit bus, the resignations of two prime ministers, and the stockpiling of food. Plus we look ahead to what might come next.

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The fight over witness testimony at Trump’s impeachment trial

As early as Friday the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on whether or not witness testimony will be allowed at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. It could be a real game changer, especially in light of former national security adviser John Bolton’s new bombshell accusations against the president. Today on Front Burner, longtime CBC Washington correspondent Keith Boag explains the likelihood of testimony being heard and how it could possibly affect the outcome of the trial.

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An enormous open-pit mine and the future of the Alberta oilsands

Right now, there’s a proposal for a massive oilsands project awaiting approval from Justin Trudeau’s cabinet. The Teck Frontier mine is thought to be one of the largest oilsands mines ever proposed in Alberta. It’s projected to bring in billions of dollars of federal and province taxes. It’s also expected to have significant environmental impacts: from the destruction of old-growth forest, to an increase in carbon emissions. Cabinet has until next month to make a decision on whether or not to give it the greenlight. What happens next could act as a litmus test for the future of the Alberta oilsands. Today on Front Burner, Sharon Riley, Alberta energy and environment reporter with The Narwhal, explains the Teck Frontier oilsands mine.

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Contending with all of Kobe Bryant's legacy

NBA legend Kobe Bryant died on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people. The 41-year-old 18-time NBA all-star won five championships with the L.A. Lakers. His legacy is also complicated by the fact that in 2003 he was accused of sexual assault. The criminal charges were dropped after his accuser refused to testify in court. Today on Front Burner, we talk about Bryant's career and complicated legacy with Slate writer and podcast host Joel Anderson.

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How to fight a viral disease outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak has come to Canada. A man in his 50s who’d recently been to Wuhan, China is Canada’s first “presumptive case,” and is being treated in a Toronto hospital. Today, on Front Burner, we speak to infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch to learn what’s happening in this country and around the world to combat the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. He explains everything from front-line measures being taken by health professionals, to the co-ordination of international public health authorities, to the lab research being done to help us better understand and better fight this virus.

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An inside look at white supremacist group The Base

Last week, former reservist Patrik Mathews was arrested by the FBI on firearms-related charges. Front Burner first covered his story last summer, when he was being investigated by law enforcement for suspected ties to a militant white supremacist group called The Base. After a raid by the RCMP, Mathews disappeared. Because of his arrest, we have access to a trove of court documents from the FBI's investigation of Mathews. Today on Front Burner, we talk to Vice national security correspondent Ben Makuch about what we've learned from these documents, and what they might say about efforts to stop the growth of white supremacist groups.

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Putting the brakes on facial recognition technology

A leaked draft memo revealed recently the European Union is considering a temporary ban on the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces. And in the last few days, Google's CEO and the editorial board of the Financial Times have called for a moratorium on the burgeoning technology. Facial recognition is evolving and disseminating so quickly, that some are saying it's time to pump the brakes. Clare Garvie thinks that's the right idea. She studies facial recognition technology at the Georgetown Center on Privacy and Technology. Today on Front Burner, she explains how it's being used and its potential for abuse.

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As Wuhan virus spreads, fears about pandemic readiness

A new virus spreading out of China has caught the attention of infectious disease experts around the world. That's because it bears some strong similarities to SARS, the respiratory disease that killed hundreds of people including 44 Canadians in 2003. Whether this new coronavirus turns out to be more or less dangerous than SARS, experts say we need to better prepare for pandemics because they are coming for us — ready or not. Today on Front Burner, we talk to Dr. Kamran Khan, who heads up a medical data analytics firm that's trying to set up an early warning system for infectious diseases so doctors like him can spread information about pandemics faster than diseases can spread themselves.

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Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou extradition fight begins

Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing finally kicked off this week. It’s been just over a year since the Huawei chief financial officer was arrested on fraud charges. The arrest ignited a massive diplomatic rift between Canada and China, and a lot of international attention is focused on the Vancouver courtroom where a judge now must decide whether Canada will send the heiress to face the U.S. justice system. CBC Vancouver senior reporter Jason Proctor has been covering this story closely. Today on Font Burner he explains how extradition hearings work and how these proceedings might affect Canada’s already tense relationship with China.

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Miracles and money: A look inside televangelist Benny Hinn’s ministry

For decades, televangelist Benny Hinn has travelled the world, reportedly performed miracles on stage and raked in cash. In that time, CBC’s Bob McKeown has done several investigations into the controversial pastor’s so-called miracle healing as well as his finances. In The Insider: Tales from Inside the Benny Hinn Ministries, a new documentary for The Fifth Estate, McKeown spoke with Benny Hinn’s nephew, Costi, who’s left the ministry. Today on Front Burner, McKeown discusses what he learned about Benny Hinn’s ministries from his former followers.

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World’s biggest money manager sees profit potential in climate change action

Today on Front Burner, host Jayme Poisson talks to business professor Sarah Kaplan about the decision by the world’s biggest money manager, BlackRock, to make climate change central to its investment decisions, and whether corporations can lead on climate change action.

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One man’s fight for his right to die

Ron Posno knows how he wants to die: on his own terms and with help from a healthcare professional. He’s an advocate for people with dementia and a volunteer with Dying with Dignity Canada from London, Ontario. But he doesn’t qualify for a medically-assisted death right now. That could change. Starting this week, the federal government has launched two weeks of public consultations asking Canadians how they would like to amend the existing medically-assisted dying laws. This follows a Quebec ruling last September that found people should be able to access assisted dying even if death is not imminent. Today on Front Burner, we ask if dementia patients should be able to consent to an assisted death in advance.

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Who wants to lead the Conservative Party of Canada?

The race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada has officially started. There have been a lot of questions about who might run ever since Andrew Scheer quit last December. Today on Front Burner, host Jayme Poisson talks to Maclean's senior writer Paul Wells about how this isn't just about the leader the Conservative party wants — but also what kind of party it wants to be.

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Flight 752 fallout: the view from Iran

Today on Front Burner, as anti-government protests erupt in Iran over the shooting down of Flight 752, reports are coming out that live ammunition is being used in the police crackdown. We speak to a journalist on the ground in Tehran.

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Royal family tested by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ‘Megxit’

Today the top members of the royal family will meet to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s future role inside the British monarchy. It’s the first time the Duke of Sussex will be in the same room as his grandmother, the Queen, since the couple announced plans to step back as senior royals, gain financial independence, and split their time between Britain and North America. There’s a lot of anger in the United Kingdom about this, fueled by reports that the Queen was surprised by the news. So, today on Front Burner, we talk ‘Megxit” with former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt. He explains what the announcement means for the future of the British monarchy and what Canada has to do with it.

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Questions swirl after passenger jet ‘shot down’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that intelligence now indicates that a missile likely brought down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed in Iran - killing 176 on board, including 63 Canadians. Today on Front Burner, host Jayme Poisson talks to arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis about missile detection, and CBC senior writer Aaron Wherry about how the Canadian government might seek accountability.

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Tragedy in Iran: Canadians mourn enormous loss of life in jet crash

As the world sat on edge Tuesday night, fearful that increasing violence and belligerence between the U.S. and Iran could escalate into war, tragedy struck. But not the tragedy anyone was expecting. In an instant, 176 lives were lost when a Ukrainian International Airlines flight crashed just outside of Tehran, less than two minutes after takeoff. Sixty-three of those victims were Canadian. Today, on Front Burner, we hear from victims' loved ones from across the country and learn more about what might have caused the plane to go down.

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Life inside Australia’s devastating wildfires

Australia's eastern coast has been ravaged by wildfires that have killed at least 25 people, decimating precious ecosystems, and left an estimated 500 million animals dead. Today on Front Burner we hear from someone who knows what it’s like to see the sky burn orange and watch ash drop like rain. Jessica Friedmann, author of Things That Helped, hales from Braidwood, a small town in New South Wales, Australia. She’s written about her family’s experience with the wildfires. We speak to her today about why this wildfire season is so devastating and how she feels the government should be responding.

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Harvey Weinstein, NDAs and living in silence

Harvey Weinstein's criminal trial starts this week. The former movie producer faces charges of predatory sexual assault and rape, and has pleaded not guilty on all counts. Today on Front Burner, The National's Adrienne Arsenault brings us the stories of two women, not involved with the criminal case, who were both assistants to Weinstein. They've accused him of sexual misconduct, and allege he has used non-disclosure agreements to keep women silent for years.

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U.S. killing of top Iranian general stokes worries over wider conflict

In the days since the Trump administration ordered a lethal drone strike in Baghdad on Iran’s second-most powerful man, Qassem Soleimani, Iranian officials have promised “vigorous vengeance” against the U.S. and chants of “death to America” were heard in the Iranian parliament. On Sunday, as anti-war protests broke out across the United States, a funeral for Soleimani brought thousands of mourners to the streets in the Iranian city of Ahvaz. Today on Front Burner, as tensions ratchet up, we talk with national security expert Heather Hurlburt about what could happen next.

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Guns, gangs and racism in a Prairie city

Regina’s crime rate is nearly triple that of Toronto. The neighbourhood of North Central Regina is considered one of the most dangerous in the country. CBC’s Duncan McCue, along with the Fifth Estate, wanted to find out why. And so, this past autumn, he went to North Central and held a townhall, welcoming community members, grassroots activists and police. Today on Front Burner, Duncan McCue shares what he learned about the current impacts and root causes of Indigenous gangs in the Prairie city.

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Quebec begins controversial 'values' test for newcomers

Quebec Premier François Legault came to power saying he would protect the province's cultural identity by reducing its intake of immigrants. On Jan. 1, Legault fulfils part of his controversial plan — the implementation of a "values" test some potential immigrants will have to complete. Today, we talk with CBC reporter Ben Shingler about the policy, how it will likely play out, and the message it sends.

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A neo-Nazi connection, the U.S.-Mexico border, and beauty YouTubers

In over a year, Front Burner has covered a lot of stories. But we haven’t had time to follow up on all of them. Today, we revisit a handful, from the Canadian link to a militant neo-Nazi group called The Base, to the treatment of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the fallout from a feud between two incredibly famous beauty YouTubers.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:22]


K-pop's promise and peril

This was a banner year for K-pop. South Korean pop music — known for aggressively catchy hooks, flawless choreography and highly photogenic performers — had been popular in the West for decades. But 2019 seemed to be a turning point, as the biggest acts conquered the market outside Asia. The boy group BTS broke a Beatles record, with three Billboard number one albums in a single year. They sold out stadiums like London's Wembley, and performed on Saturday Night Live. The quartet Blackpink became the first female K-pop act to play Coachella. But at home in South Korea, the industry was tarnished by multiple scandals involving sexual assault, corruption and suicide. Today on Front Burner, Jayme Poisson talks to the Asia editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, Matthew Campbell, about what he learned seeing the K-pop machine up close.

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Greta Thunberg and the rise of the youth climate movement

She's the teenager who skipped school — and sparked a global protest. Today, Greta Thunberg is instantly recognizable by her stern demeanour and singular message: When it comes to climate change, listen to the scientists. But it was only last year that she was an unknown 15-year-old, protesting outside Swedish parliament. In the time since, she's dressed down heads of state at the UN, inspired millions of people to march in the global Climate Strike, and been named Time magazine's Person of the Year. But in 2019, it wasn't just Greta and the youth movement she inspires — there were other large-scale protests, led by groups like Extinction Rebellion. Today on Front Burner, Jayme Poisson talks to the Washington Post science and environment reporter Sarah Kaplan about whether these movements can produce real change in the year to come.

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Front Burner’s 2019 news quiz

This December, Front Burner hosted a live show at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. In this second part, host Jayme Poisson was joined by CBC personalities Peter Armstrong, Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Piya Chattopadhyay and Tom Power for a freewheeling news quiz.

Download Front Burner’s 2019 news quiz
[mp3 file: runs 00:19:08]


The year in news — live!

This December, Front Burner hosted a live show at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. In this first part, host Jayme Poisson was joined by CBC personalities Peter Armstrong, Elamin Abdelmahmoud and Piya Chattopadhyay to talk about the biggest news stories of the year.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:00]


Taking stock of Amazon's enormous ambition

Amazon is a giant company, but in reality, it's probably far bigger and involved in far more activities than most people are aware — think cancer research and police surveillance. Today on Front Burner, Wired writer Louise Matsakis, explains just how vast Amazon is and helps us grasp the implications of such a giant business. She brings insight into challenges that face Amazon, how the company could evolve in the future and why owner Jeff Bezos wants to colonize space.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:16]


Could suing over ‘smart guns’ curb Canadian gun violence?

In July 2018, a man went on a shooting rampage in downtown Toronto, killing two people and wounding 13 others. Now, a class-action lawsuit has been launched to sue gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, alleging the company did not follow through on an earlier U.S. agreement to equip its handguns with smart gun technology that would restrict who can use the weapon. Today on Front Burner, we hear from one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs and get a crash course in smart guns.

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Behind impeachment: Life in a Ukrainian war zone

The war in Ukraine and U.S. military aid was central to this week’s impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump. That war has left roughly 13,000 people dead with many more injured and internally displaced. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Russia correspondent Chris Brown will take us inside the conflict to explain why the U.S. military aid Donald Trump withheld had life and death stakes for the people who have lived through six long years of war.

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Impeachment, a Senate trial, and the 'dead chicken' strategy

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the articles of impeachment. President Donald Trump is expected to become just the third U.S. president in history to be impeached. But after the House vote, the proceedings move to the Senate, where there will be a trial. Today on Front Burner, CBC Washington correspondent Alex Panetta explains how some Republicans want the trial to be swift, while others are hoping for a full-on spectacle.

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Canada and the 'Afghanistan Papers'

The "Afghanistan Papers," released last week by the Washington Post, contain hundreds of interviews with high-ranking officials involved in the ongoing 18-year war in Afghanistan. The documents reveal that many insiders knew the war was dysfunctional and unwinnable. That comes as no surprise to CBC's Murray Brewster, who spent 15 months on the ground in Afghanistan covering the war. Today on Front Burner, he describes Canada's role in the war, the challenges the Canadian military faced there, and why he thinks there are still important questions to be answered about this country's involvement.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:12]


One year in Chinese detention: What life is like for 2 Canadians

It has now passed the one-year mark since two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, were arrested and detained in China. Both were accused by Chinese authorities of charges related to spying and stealing national secrets. Both were picked up mere days after Meng Wangzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech company Huawei, was arrested at a Vancouver airport in 2018. The ‘Two Michaels’ are still being held in detention centres where conditions are a far cry from Meng’s house arrest. Today on Front Burner, Jayme Poisson talks to the Globe and Mail’s Asia correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe about visiting the prisons where Spavor and Kovrig are being held, and what happens next with their cases.

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Andrew Scheer out amidst private school payment controversy

Andrew Scheer is stepping down as leader of the federal Conservative party amidst a controversy over his use of party funds to send his kids to private school and growing criticisms over his election performance. Today, Jayme Poisson speaks with Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos for insight on Scheer’s resignation and to find out what, and who, could be next for the party.

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Former hockey pros describe the sport's dark side

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has responded to a string of allegations about racism, bullying and physical abuse in the league, declaring "we will not tolerate abusive behaviour of any kind." The fallout began when player Akim Aliu described being called the n-word by his then-coach Bill Peters, who has since resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames. So, is this a moment of reckoning for hockey? Today on Front Burner, former NHLer Daniel Carcillo and former OHLer Brock McGillis talk about their experiences with the dark side of hockey culture, and how they think it can change.

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New NAFTA: What you need to know

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has signed the new free trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico. Today on Front Burner,Globe and Mail reporter Adrian Morrow explains what the new Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) accomplished for Canada and why it took so long to get signed.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:23:44]


Fall from grace: Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar against genocide charge

Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for freedom and democracy in Myanmar. But now — as the current leader of her country — she's in The Hague, before the International Court of Justice, defending her regime against charges of genocide against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim population. Today, on Front Burner, Mark Farmaner of the Burma Campaign U.K., brings us the story of the violent attacks against the Rohingya and why a once-revered human rights icon is now being called an apologist for ethnic violence.

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Amidst ‘profound political crisis,’ UK heads to the polls

The UK election campaign is entering its final days. On Thursday, the country will head to the polls for the third time in under five years. The incumbent Tory, Boris Johnson, is promising to “get Brexit done.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is proposing another referendum. Both leaders are grappling with grim popularity ratings. Today on Front Burner, BBC’s Rob Watson lays out the high stakes, saying “the UK has never faced a peacetime challenge like Brexit.”

Download Amidst ‘profound political crisis,’ UK heads to the polls
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Throne speech signals priorities, problems for minority government

On Thursday, Justin Trudeau kicked off Canada's 43rd parliamentary session with his government's speech from the throne, delivered by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette. Today, on Front Burner, Vassy Kapelos, host of CBC's Power & Politics, joins Jayme Poisson to discuss the speech, how it was received by the other party leaders and how likely the prime minister will be able to fulfil his promises considering his government's minority status.

Download Throne speech signals priorities, problems for minority government
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What an alleged 'prolific' fraudster reveals about identity theft in Canada

Today on Front Burner, the story of an alleged “professional” identity thief who is facing over 50 fraud-related charges, and accused of stealing the identities of some 20 women by creating forged identification documents and racking up big bills. In this episode, guest host Elamin Abdelmahmoud speaks with CBC senior reporter John Lancaster about how prevalent identity theft is, and how devastating it can be for Canadians.

Download What an alleged 'prolific' fraudster reveals about identity theft in Canada
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What Canadian universities gain, and lose, by accepting Huawei funding

The Chinese tech giant Huawei is in the news again. This week is the one-year anniversary since the company's CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested at a Vancouver airport, which triggered a massive diplomatic crisis between Canada and China. Also this week, Meng Wanzhou's father, the founder and CEO of Huawei, said the company's centre for research and development will be relocated from the United States to Canada. But that move isn't such a surprise. Huawei currently funds $56 million of academic research at Canadian institutions, a fact that worries tech and national security experts. Today on Front Burner, guest host Elamin Abdelmahmoud is joined by Peter Armstrong, CBC's senior business reporter, to talk about the risks and rewards of accepting Huawei's money.

Download What Canadian universities gain, and lose, by accepting Huawei funding
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United premiers could spell trouble for Trudeau

This week, provincial and territorial leaders from across the country gathered in a Toronto suburb to decide on a collective agenda to present to the federal government. On Monday, the premiers came out of the meeting striking a tone of unity, with a list of agreed-upon priorities to assist struggling resource-dependent provinces. Today on Front Burner, CBC's J.P. Tasker reports on what came out of the meeting, why Alberta Premier Jason Kenney won big and what a united group of conservative-leaning premiers might mean for the Liberals' legislative plans.

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Canada’s rules on e-cigarettes based on ‘unproven hypothesis’

There are fewer restrictions on vaping devices in Canada than on tobacco, cannabis or even alcohol. Health Canada made e-cigarettes widely accessible based on an understanding that they could be used as a smoking cessation tool. Now, Canada is investigating almost a dozen possible or confirmed cases of vaping-related lung disease and the U.S. is tallying up thousands of lung injuries and over 40 deaths.

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Understanding TikTok: From viral teen videos to Chinese political censorship

This week, TikTok was in the news for pulling a video critical of China's mass detention of Uighurs. Most of the popular Chinese-owned social media app's users are children and teens who share lip-syncing videos, dance crazes and comedy skits. But in today's episode, Alex Hern, technology editor at the Guardian, explains why — behind the memes and music — there are some real concerns about censorship, privacy and foreign influence.

Download Understanding TikTok: From viral teen videos to Chinese political censorship
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Liberals fight payments ordered for First Nations children

This week, the Liberal government was in a federal court, as part of its fight against an order to compensate First Nations children affected by the on-reserve child welfare system. The order is part of a Canada Human Rights Tribunal ruling that took nearly a decade to achieve. The government says the order is an unfair over-reach, and that it plans to deliver payment through a class-action lawsuit instead. Today on Front Burner, CBC Indigenous unit's Jorge Barrera on the long backstory to this week's court hearings, and the discrimination First Nations children face on-reserve.

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Secret documents show scope of China’s mass detention of Uighurs

The systematic detention of a Muslim minority for surveillance, indoctrination and psychological modification is taking place at re-education camps in China, according to leaked official documents revealed this week by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and CBC News . Today on Front Burner, The National’s Adrienne Arsenault delves into China’s crackdown of Uighurs, its aggressive international surveillance of the minority group and how the world is responding to these revelations.

Download Secret documents show scope of China’s mass detention of Uighurs
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How ‘alternative’ autism therapies lure in frustrated parents

In 2008, Sandra Hart wanted to get her son Christopher some extra help. He lives with autism and has limited verbal skills, and his mother was frustrated by mainstream medical treatments. Christopher saw a chiropractor for cranial adjustments, and later went for electro-dermal testing. Sandra Hart is not alone: alternative therapies are getting so popular, the Canadian Pediatric Society has created guidelines to help doctors deal with questions from patients. Today on Front Burner, CBC health reporter Vik Adhopia on the boom in “pseudo-scientific” treatments advertised to treat autism.

Download How ‘alternative’ autism therapies lure in frustrated parents
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Céline Dion’s surprising next chapter

Céline Dion is one of Canada’s most successful recording artists — and according to some, the country's most culturally unappreciated star. But lately, she has found herself in a strange new place: people aren't snickering at her music or even hiding the fact that they like her. In fact, she's become a meme-able national treasure, an even bigger LGBTQ icon and a fashion plate for cutting-edge designers — a veritable "Célinaissance." On Front Burner, guest host Elamin Abdelmahmoud is joined by Carl Wilson, a music critic for Slate and the author of Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, to discuss the Canadian icon.

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Jason Kenney’s government to fire man investigating his leadership race

A bill to fire Alberta's election commissioner has passed in a legislature dominated by United Conservative Party MLAs. That's while the commissioner is investigating the UCP leadership race, won by Premier Jason Kenney. The opposition is outraged. Today on Front Burner, we talk to Maclean's Alberta correspondent Jason Markusoff about how Kenney has been using his strong majority, and how the electorate may respond.

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Trudeau’s new cabinet trades sunny ways for damage control

On Wednesday, Justin Trudeau’s new cabinet was sworn in at Rideau Hall. The scene was a lot different from 2015 when Trudeau was coming in with a majority mandate and coming off a campaign based on hope and change. This time around the days of “sunny ways” are gone thanks to some high-profile scandals and deepening regional divides. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s John Paul Tasker analyzes how the government tried to address some of it’s biggest issues through it’s 2019 cabinet appointments.

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Understanding the 'Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself' meme

A conspiracy theory about the death of millionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been turned into a meme. The phrase "Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself" is appearing in tweets, TikToks, on live television, even on ugly Christmas sweaters. The New York City Medical Examiner's Office conclusively ruled Epstein's death in jail was a suicide. But that hasn't stopped the conspiracy theory from thriving on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum. Today on Front Burner, Anna Merlan, author of Republic of Lies: American conspiracy theorists and their surprising rise to power, on why she thinks this conspiracy theory has morphed into a widely shared, macabre meme.

Download Understanding the 'Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself' meme
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They see no future': Hong Kong pro-democracy leader

Violent confrontations at Hong Kong’s universities are yet another escalation in almost six months of demonstrations. Today on Front Burner, we talk to the former head of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong, Emily Lau, about the longstanding tensions between Hong Kong and China, what’s at stake for the protesters, and whether there’s an appetite for a peaceful solution.

Download They see no future': Hong Kong pro-democracy leader
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Don Cherry, hockey and Canadian identity

Hockey Night in Canada aired Saturday night without Don Cherry, while his firing stoked a national debate about hockey’s place in this country. Today on Front Burner, we talk to hockey fan Noha Beshir and retired sportswriter David Shoalts, who wrote Hockey Fight in Canada: The Big Media Faceoff Over the NHL.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:58]


From Nixon to Trump: How public opinion shapes impeachment proceedings

This week marks the first time in 20 years that public hearings could result in the removal of a U.S. President from office. In question is a whistleblower’s complaint alleging the U.S. President attempted to pressure the Ukrainian president into investigating his political rival by threatening to withhold military aid. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Washington correspondent Alex Panetta preps us for day two of the Donald Trump public impeachment inquiry by explaining why these hearings are so important, and what we can learn from past examples like Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

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Is Canadian content a casualty of the 'streaming wars'?

Disney Plus is the latest streaming service on the block, with a library stretching from those classic animated movies from your childhood, to new Marvel blockbusters. It joins Apple TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime. But this ever-growing number of digital companies don't play by the same set of rules as traditional broadcasters. They are largely tax exempt, and they don't have to follow Canadian content regulations. Today on Front Burner, Jayme talks to Tina Hassannia and John Semley, two culture critics who disagree on what streaming services mean for the home-grown screen industry.

Download Is Canadian content a casualty of the 'streaming wars'?
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Judges toss cases over police credibility concerns

Over the last five years, more than 50 criminal cases have fallen apart after a judge found a police officer gave false or misleading testimony, according to a CBC News investigation. Today on Front Burner, we talk to reporters Chris Glover and Stephen Davis about what they found when digging into judges' rulings in these cases, and what the possible consequences are.

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Don Cherry’s divisive legacy

On Monday, Sportsnet let go of Don Cherry after the hockey broadcaster called immigrants "you people", and claimed they don't wear poppies to honour Canadian veterans. This comes after a career filled with controversy, from anti-Quebecer sentiments to Cherry’s advocacy for fighting in hockey. Today on Front Burner, host Jayme Poisson talks to Postmedia sports columnist Scott Stinson about Cherry’s career, his controversial legacy, and what might happen next for Hockey Night in Canada.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:24]


How an Indigenous man’s murder forced a community to confront racism

Kristian Ayoungman, from Siksika First Nation in Southern Alberta, was shot and killed on a rural highway in March. CBC investigative journalist Connie Walker travelled to meet with the young man’s friends and family, as well as the leaders of the two communities he straddled. As she tells host Jayme Poisson, what she found was unexpected. Connie also reflects on her time at the CBC covering Indigenous communities across the country.

Download How an Indigenous man’s murder forced a community to confront racism
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Introducing Hunting Warhead

A new investigative series from CBC Podcasts and the Norwegian newspaper VG. Hunting Warhead follows an international team of police officers as they attempt to track down the people behind a massive child-abuse site on the dark web. Listen at hyperurl.co/huntingwarhead

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[mp3 file: runs 00:03:56]


Digital stick-ups: The evolution of ransomware

Ransomware attacks are changing. Cyber criminals are learning to target the most vulnerable systems including our municipalities, schools and hospitals. Today on Front Burner, tech journalist and friend of the podcast Matt Braga tells us why just changing passwords isn’t enough to keep critical data and services safe from cyber crime.

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From rallies to re-election: Trump’s path to victory

He’s a president under pressure. He’s facing impeachment, fending off lawsuits, and his approval rating is consistently below 50 per cent. But Donald Trump is also presiding over a strong economy, and a low unemployment rate. Today on Front Burner, CBC Washington Correspondent Paul Hunter on Trump’s next challenge… re-election. One year from voting day -- we look at Trump’s path to victory.

Download From rallies to re-election: Trump’s path to victory
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Western Alienation, Part Two: Climate collision

Today on Front Burner, the final installment of a two-part series exploring the growing political anger in Alberta and Saskatchewan. This time, Maclean’s Alberta correspondent Jason Markusoff explains how climate change has put Ottawa on a collision course with the West.

Download Western Alienation, Part Two: Climate collision
[mp3 file: runs 00:24:28]


Western Alienation, Part One: Now and Then

Today on Front Burner, the first installment of a two part series exploring the growing political anger in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Part one: deja vu. Jayme Poisson and political science professor Loleen Berdahl guide you through the history of western alienation. They explore how Trudeau senior, set the stage for the deep schisms Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dealing with today.

Download Western Alienation, Part One: Now and Then
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:57]


Deadspin and the zombification of news

Every member of the popular sports and culture website Deadspin’s editorial staff has resigned, after the firing of the site’s interim editor-in-chief. But tensions have been rising between Deadspin’s journalist and its executives since a private equity firm took over in April. Those executives issued an edict last week to “stick to sports.” Today on Front Burner, Slate’s Ben Mathis-Lilley discusses the mass exodus at Deadspin and what it says about the future of independent digital media.

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California’s fiery future

There are multiple wildfires burning in California right now as they did last year, and the year before. Six of the state’s ten most destructive wildfires have taken place in the last two years. And as the state gets hotter, and dryer, the fires are expected to get even more destructive. Today on Front Burner, the west coast bureau chief with the Atlantic’s CityLab, Laura Bliss, on her home state’s increasingly fiery future.

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'Flying coffins': Boeing CEO faces grilling over 737 Max

Two devastating crashes, five months apart, left 346 people dead. Both Ethiopian Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 went down shortly after take off. The victims' families are still looking for answers. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg testified in front of two committees in Washington this week about the 737 Max. Today on Front Burner, CBC correspondent Susan Ormiston tells us what he said, and how the families responded.

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Doug Ford returns from political exile

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is back in the public eye and is striking a more diplomatic tone in a bid to improve his dismal approval rating. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Ontario legislature reporter Mike Crawley explains how Ford’s government plans on turning things around and what’s changed.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:18]


Money, misinformation and Facebook’s plans for the future

On Monday, Facebook employees wrote an open letter to the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, protesting the decision to let politicians run false claims on the platform. Reporter Adi Robertson on where the company goes from here.

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The rise and fall of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi

On Sunday President Donald Trump announced that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during a U.S. raid in Syria. Today on Front Burner, Joby Warrick explains the significance of Baghdadi’s death and what this means for the future of ISIS. Warrick is a national security reporter for the Washington Post and Pulitzer-prize winning author of Black Flags: The Rise Of ISIS.

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2 generations of conservatives on the Conservative Party's future

In the aftermath of the election, two generations of conservative voices on what they think is threatening the Conservative Party, and what needs to happen if they want to win majority governments.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:59]


The view from the conflict zone in Syria

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced a permanent ceasefire on the Syrian border with Turkey. But can the peace be stable? The CBC’s Margaret Evans on her experience travelling there last week.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:18:20]


Election fallout: A divided Canada

Monday’s election results reveal stark regional divides in this country, from a Conservative blue Alberta and Saskatchewan to a resurgent Bloc in Quebec. Meanwhile, the Liberals eked out their win in part thanks to support in urban centres. Today on Front Burner, Parliament Hill writer Aaron Wherry on these different regions’ interests, and how can a fragile Liberal government balance these competing, and at times conflicting, interests.

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Liberals win minority government, now what?

"We're left with a more divided country than ever...it's going to be a really hard thing for the government to address." On Monday night, Canadians voted in a Liberal minority government led by Justin Trudeau. Today on Front Burner, Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos lays out what the election results mean, and what to expect next.

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Raptors preview and the NBA's China problem

It may be election day. But it’s also the eve of the Toronto Raptors season opener. So we’re putting Canadian politics aside for one day to talk to sports writer Alex Wong. The last time we spoke to Alex, it was the night of the Raptors NBA Championship victory. Today, he brings us a preview of the Raptors season to come. Plus, he explains the ongoing tensions between the NBA and China.

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What you need to know before election day, Part 2

Today, the Conservative and Green platforms are laid out in the second of our two-part series in preparation for voting day. Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos joins host Jayme Poisson to bring together what you need to know to cast an informed vote.

Download What you need to know before election day, Part 2
[mp3 file: runs 00:26:17]


What you need to know before election day (Part 1 of 2)

Today, the Liberal and NDP platforms are dissected in the first of our two part series in preparation for voting day. Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos joins host Jayme Poisson to bring together what you need to know to cast an informed vote. Stay tuned for the Conservative/Green edition on Friday.

Download What you need to know before election day (Part 1 of 2)
[mp3 file: runs 00:26:27]


Why the UN is going broke

The United Nations is facing a severe shortage of cash, according to Secretary-General António Guterres. The cash flow problem is so dire that the UN is begging member states to pay their dues and have started austerity measures. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s UN reporter Melissa Kent explains why the UN is going broke and what the United States has to do with it.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:12]


Please Explain: The strategic voting edition

With one week to go before Canadians head to the polls, words like “strategic voting” and “coalition government” are dominating the news. CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier answers listener questions about Canada’s electoral system.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:02]


Consent, false accusation fear and #MeToo

Journalist Robyn Doolittle has a new book out called ‘Had it coming.’ It’s been two years since the first stories alleging sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein were published, sparking an unprecedented conversation about sexual assault. Now, what’s fair in the age of #MeToo? It’s a question Doolittle tackles in the book.’ Today on Front Burner, she talks about the #MeToo movement, what came before it, and why she thinks we need to talk about consent as a moral and ethical issue, not just a legal one.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:23]


Inside a Russian 'propaganda tour' of Syria

A Turkish military assault on Kurdish fighters is underway in northeastern Syria. It was made possible by a U.S. decision to withdraw American military personnel in that area. Today on Front Burner, CBC Moscow correspondent Chris Brown discusses how Russia, a country with a large military presence in Syria, looks to fill the gap left by the United States. He talks about his recent trip to Syria, escorted by the Russian military, on what he says was, "effectively, a propaganda tour."

Download Inside a Russian 'propaganda tour' of Syria
[mp3 file: runs 00:24:53]


How Hamilton became a 'cautionary tale' for hate

Hamilton, Ontario, has the most hate crime per capita in the country. Along with that, it has ongoing weekly protests at city hall by members of the yellow vest movement and far-right groups. CBC News reporter Samantha Craggs has been covering this story in Hamilton, as part of an ongoing series called “Exposing Hate”. Today on Front Burner, she explains why Hamilton has become a flashpoint for hate in Canada.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:13]


Salman Rushdie's journey across the U.S.

The last time Salman Rushdie won the Booker Prize, it was 1981. It's been 24 years since his last nomination. After his new book, Quichotte, came out, he was pleasantly surprised to find himself back on the list of nominees. "It's like, finally!" says Rushdie. "They remembered I was around." The new book is a retelling of Don Quixote, with an Indian-American salesman travelling across the United States on a quest. His journey touches on issues like the opioid crisis, our addiction to reality TV, and the end of the world. Rushdie joins Jayme Poisson to give his unique perspective on these hectic times.

Download Salman Rushdie's journey across the U.S.
[mp3 file: runs 00:19:25]


Recapping a crucial federal leaders debate

On Monday night, the six major federal party leaders faced off in an English-language debate for the only time in the 2019 election campaign. And the stage was packed: There were more leaders on stage in Gatineau, Que., than at any other point in Canadian political history. Today on Front Burner, Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos on the debate's highs, lows and takeaways.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:25:45]


Why ‘Joker’ is a polarizing film

This weekend, a new Joker movie hit theatres, polarizing critics and audiences with a gritty take on the DC super-villain’s origin story. The film also caught the attention of intelligence and law enforcement agencies who fear it could trigger public violence. Today on Front Burner, film critic Tina Hassannia unpacks the iconic character and the different sides of the rhetoric surrounding the movie. Warning: There won’t be major spoilers, but this episode will cover some of the film’s plot.

Download Why ‘Joker’ is a polarizing film
[mp3 file: runs 00:26:45]


Face to face with Canada’s party leaders

This week — as part of the CBC series Face to Face — five undecided voters got five minutes each with federal party leaders to ask the questions that matter most to them. The National's Rosemary Barton hosted the events, and followed up with questions for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Today on Front Burner, Barton reflects on what she learned from the exchanges, and what they might tell us about what's at stake with the upcoming federal election.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:45]


The controversial political life of Maxime Bernier

In the sixth and final Canadian leadership profile, Jayme Poisson speaks to the CBC’s Jonathan Montpetit about Maxime Bernier, the controversial head of the People’s Party of Canada.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:28:14]


Law forces NCAA to let some athletes finally get paid

U.S. college sports generated at least $14 billion last year. And while coaches get paid multi-million dollar salaries, players aren't paid at all, beyond the cost of attending the university. Now, a new law in California will allow student athletes to profit from the use of their name, likeness and image — essentially, to get endorsements. The NCAA has said the law will "erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics." But today on Front Burner, the Toronto Star's Morgan Campbell explains why he thinks these athletes are acting like professionals already, and should be compensated accordingly.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:23]


The refugees of Roxham Road, Canada's busiest 'irregular' border crossing

In 2017 an unprecedented number of people were crossing into Canada illegally from the United States at Roxham Road to claim asylum. And in just two years, about 50,000 migrants have entered Canada through this unofficial entry point. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Susan Ormiston returns to Roxham Road to unpack how it became internationally known as a de facto border crossing for those seeking refugee status in Canada.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:25:13]


One doctor’s fight against the ‘Wellness Industrial Complex’

Wellness is a multi-trillion-dollar industry. Vague assertions about detoxification and restoring balance can be used to sell everything from juice cleanses to coffee enemas. But obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter says a lot of these products are snake oil, and their claims are pseudoscientific. Today, Dr. Gunter on misinformation in the "wellness" industry, how it persists, and why she insists on debunking it wherever she can.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:02]


The underdog: A profile of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

When Jagmeet Singh became the leader of the NDP in 2017, he was the first person of colour to lead a major Canadian political party. There was a great deal of excitement around Singh, who is known for his ability to communicate genuinely and effectively - as demonstrated last week in the aftermath of Justin Trudeau’s brownface controversy. But the NDP leader has also been criticized for being ill-prepared for the job.Today, as part of our federal election profile series, Front Burner digs into the life and political career of Jagmeet Singh with the CBC’s Hannah Thibedeau.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:47]


Election panel: The promises and limits of ‘affordability’

Affordability policy pledges are front and centre in the Canadian federal election campaign. We’ve seen Conservatives and Liberals promise tax cuts. The Liberals and NDP promise to lower your cellphone bill. There are national pharmacare pledges from the NDP, the Liberals and the Greens. The Greens even propose a guaranteed annual income. And these are just a few of the policies on offer from the major parties. Today on Front Burner, Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos and national business correspondent Peter Armstrong on what these affordability promises accomplish, what they don’t, and the tradeoffs they may require.

Download Election panel: The promises and limits of ‘affordability’
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Democrats launch Trump impeachment process

On Tuesday, U.S. Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. Today on Front Burner, CBC's senior Washington editor Lyndsay Duncombe explains what happens next and what Joe Biden's son and Ukraine have to do with it.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:27]


Vaping sickness: what we know and what we don't

A young man in London, Ont., was recently put on life-support with a respiratory illness that's been linked to vaping. He was the first with that diagnosis in Canada, after more than 450 Americans fell ill, and eight died, also from vaping-linked respiratory illnesses. How much do we actually know about the health impacts of vaping nicotine or marijuana? Andre Picard is the health reporter for the Globe and Mail. He says the jury is still out. "Smoking is like jumping off the hundredth floor of a building," says Picard. "Vaping is like jumping out, we just don't know which floor yet."

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[mp3 file: runs 00:23:19]


Naomi Klein on climate strikes, Greta and the Green New Deal

Millions of climate strikers all across the world took to the street on Sept 20th. And there’s another strike scheduled on Sept 27th, as well. Today on Front Burner, we talk to Naomi Klein, author of the new book “On Fire: The Burning Case for the Green New Deal” about Greta Thunberg, the Green New Deal, and why she thinks mass mobilization around climate change may be the only thing that can help us avoid global warming’s most devastating effects: “If you don’t believe in social movements, and if they make you kind of queasy and they seem kind of messy, then you should feel really pessimistic, because it’s actually our only hope.”

Download Naomi Klein on climate strikes, Greta and the Green New Deal
[mp3 file: runs 00:25:39]


BONUS: Alleged RCMP spy case rocks intelligence services

Late last week, a director-general with the RCMP was arrested and charged with breaching Canada’s secrets law, for allegedly preparing to share a cache of classified intelligence material with a foreign entity or terrorist organization. Today on Front Burner, we speak with CBC reporter Catherine Tunney on what we know so far about what Ortis is alleged to have done, including his alleged contacts with a shady encryption company based in BC that was used by murderers and drug traffickers, and with former CSIS analyst Stephanie Carvin about what this could mean for national security.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:01]


Trudeau, blackface and experiencing racism in Canada

Today on Front Burner, we talk to the National Observer’s Fatima Syed, and to doctor Ritika Goel, about Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal, and why for so many Canadians of colour, it’s a familiar sort of racism.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:11]


Photo shows Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in brownface

A photograph of Justin Trudeau in brownface and wearing a turban at a 2001 “Arabian Nights”-themed costume party was published in TIME Wednesday night. Soon after, Trudeau apologized, saying he now realizes it was “racist.” Today on Front Burner, Vassy Kapelos, host of Power & Politics, joins us talk about the reaction to the news and political fallout for a leader who has positioned himself as a champion of diversity and inclusion.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:18:10]


Loneliness, suicide, substance abuse: Mental health in Alberta’s oilpatch

Today on Front Burner, an intimate look at mental health struggles amongst workers in Alberta’s oilpatch with the co-producer of a new documentary on the subject, ‘Digging in the Dirt.’

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Controversial candidates and big campaign promises

Not even one week into the federal election campaign and the major parties are already struggling with controversial candidates. Today on Front Burner, host of Power and Politics Vassy Kapelos and CBC senior reporter Katie Simpson join us to break down how the leaders are reacting and go through the latest platform promises.

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Please Explain: Where the major parties stand on climate change

In Please Explain, voters come on Front Burner to ask their biggest questions about the election. First up: Marieke Walsh from the Globe and Mail explains the party platforms on climate change, and how the carbon tax is doing for Canada.

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Understanding Vladimir Putin’s grip on power

Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Moscow Correspondent Chris Brown takes us through Vladimir Putin’s decades-long grip on power, and whether or not a popular protest movement and falling approval numbers could signal change for Russia's political future.

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Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale and its much-hyped sequel

This week, hundreds of fans gathered in London to celebrate the launch of The Testaments, the much-anticipated sequel to Margaret Atwood's best-selling novel, The Handmaid's Tale. Similar events took place around the world, and the novel has already been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Today on Front Burner, Slate's book critic Laura Miller on the political and cultural relevance of The Handmaid's Tale, and why there's been so much anticipation for its sequel.

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The paths to Canadian election victory

The federal election campaign is set to kick off today, and so does our weekly election panel. Today on Front Burner, Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos and CBC’s polling analyst, Éric Grenier.

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‘It's all or nothing for her’: From environmental lawyer to Green Party leader, a profile of Elizabeth May

With the next federal election just around the corner, and environmental issues top of mind for many Canadian voters, the Green Party is riding high on a rise in support. With this momentum comes a lot of pressure on the party’s long-time leader to deliver gains at the polls. Today, as part of our federal election profile series, we’re digging into the life and political legacy of Elizabeth May with Mia Rabson, an energy and environment reporter for The Canadian Press.

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Bianca Andreescu Brings a Tennis Grandslam to Canada

Tennis analyst Caitlin Thompson on how Bianca Andreescu won the U.S. Open this week, becoming the first Canadian to take a singles championship.

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Front Burner presents: Party Lines

Jayme introduces Party Lines, a new CBC podcast and a political primer for every kind of concerned citizen. The National’s Rosemary Barton and BuzzFeed News’ Elamin Abdelmahmoud are here to take you beyond the talking points and provide the insights you need to navigate the upcoming federal election. Head to cbc.ca/partylines for more.

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After the storm: two portraits of hurricane recovery

This week, Hurricane Dorian delivered catastrophic damage to the Bahamas. It was a Category 5 storm when it hit the island nation, with winds of up to 295 km/hr, and Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said it left "generational devastation." Today on Front Burner, in the age of intensifying storms, two very different portraits of hurricane recovery. Janise Elie of the Guardian describes the devastation of the Caribbean Island of Dominica by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Then, Rice University assistant professor Max Besbris talks about how Houston, Texas rebuilt after Hurricane Harvey that same year.

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A conversation with the 'Berlin patient,' the first person cured of HIV

In 2007, a man known as the "Berlin patient" was cured of HIV through a stem cell transplant. It was an incredible accomplishment that researchers all over the world scrutinized for years to come. He was the first and only documented case of a person who has been cured of HIV until March of this year, when a second patient was declared HIV-free from a similar treatment. Today on Front Burner, a conversation with Timothy Ray Brown, the "Berlin patient."

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The fight to control the Arctic

Who owns the Arctic? There are several countries who think they have a right to the North Pole or the rich territory around it. Russia has a military presence close by, and recently fired two missiles from the Arctic Ocean as a show of strength. Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, has called the Arctic "the forefront of opportunity and abundance" for the United States. And Canada is among the countries that have submitted scientific evidence bolstering a claim of sovereignty over the North Pole. Neil Shea recently travelled to the Arctic for National Geographic, and spent time with a group of Canadian Rangers responsible for bolstering Ottawa's claim. "There's a lot of oil and gas, and on the land, there's a lot of minerals," says Shea, who notes the Arctic land rush has been the result of climate change. "There's trillions of dollars of stuff that hasn't been accessible. But now that everything is melting, you have more opportunity to get at it."

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Justin Trudeau’s record vs rhetoric examined by Netflix’s ‘Patriot Act’

Today on Front Burner, with the federal election expected to be called soon, Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos joins us to talk about Justin Trudeau’s gamble on an interview with a U.S. comedian, Andrew Scheer’s position on gay marriage and abortion, and Maxime Bernier’s tweets about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Download Justin Trudeau’s record vs rhetoric examined by Netflix’s ‘Patriot Act’
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Meet Justice Abella, the judge called Canada's Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella was the first Jewish woman to serve on Canada’s Supreme Court, has an internationally-recognized legal legacy, and is the longest-serving judge on the bench. So why don’t more Canadian’s know who she is? Pulitzer prize-winning journalist David Shribman got a rare interview with the judge, as her time on the top bench winds down. Today on Front Burner, David tells us about the judge who’s been called Canada's Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Download Meet Justice Abella, the judge called Canada's Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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Can the Bloc Québécois return from the brink?

The Bloc Québécois was once a powerful federal political party, forming the official opposition in 1993 and holding around fifty seats in the House in the mid to late 2000's. But the last two elections have nearly wiped the Bloc from existence, and the party has had a revolving door of leaders. This year, Yves-François Blanchet took over the reins. Today on Front Burner, as part of our series on the federal party leaders, we take a look at who Blanchet is and what he stands for with Martin Patriquin, a freelance political journalist based in Montreal.

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What a landmark ruling means for the opioid crisis

This week, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $572 million US to the state of Oklahoma, in a landmark case that saw the court find the company liable for the state's opioid crisis. Johnson & Johnson says it will appeal the ruling. Purdue Pharma is also proposing to settle thousands of cases. These developments are the beginning of a far-reaching legal effort, in both the U.S and Canada, to hold drug makers accountable for the opioid epidemic. Today on Front Burner, we talk to journalist Zachary Siegel about what this ruling might mean for the thousands of cases soon to be before the courts.

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How Andrew Luck's retirement might shape the NFL's future

Over the weekend, star NFL quarterback Andrew Luck retired at the prime age of 29, citing his many injuries as the reason. The past few years have seen revelations about the physical toll NFL players face, including CTE and other potential brain injuries. Today on Front Burner, Globe & Mail sports columnist Cathal Kelly joins us to discuss how this shock retirement might shape pro football, and whether the sport is viable in the future.

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Why is the Amazon rainforest burning?

On Monday, Canada pledged $15 million to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest. That's on top of the $26.5 million the G7 pledged at the conclusion of this weekend's gathering in France. But why are so many of these fires ablaze in the first place? Today on Front Burner, we talk to Jake Spring. He's a Reuters correspondent based in Brazil and the host of the Foreign Correspondence podcast who has reported on the fires from up close.

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Depression in the first person

Anna Mehler Paperny first tried to kill herself when she was 24 years old, just as she was finding success as a journalist. In her new memoir, Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person, she talks unflinchingly about her experience with depression and tries to better understand the illness.

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What is the militant neo-Nazi group ‘The Base’?

An army reservist from a town near Winnipeg is being investigated by the RCMP and the Canadian Military for suspected ties to a shadowy militant neo-Nazi group called “The Base.” Today, we’ll talk to VICE national security correspondent Ben Makuch and VICE senior reporter Mack Lamoureux about the tactics and inner workings of the group, including its similarities to al-Qaeda. We’ll also touch on the Canadian military’s stance on extremism in their ranks.

Download What is the militant neo-Nazi group ‘The Base’?
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The 2 sides to Justin Trudeau: A pre-election profile

Elected on a campaign of "sunny ways" and "real change," the expectations were high for Justin Trudeau when he came into power in 2015. But after a series of scandals, the public perception of Canada's prime minister might be shifting ahead of the fall election. Today, we continue our series on the federal party leaders by speaking to CBC News political reporter Aaron Wherry. He has a new book out called Promise and Peril: Justin Trudeau in Power.

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A veteran mob reporter on organized crime in Canada today

Last week, a gunman in a white SUV pulled up to a restaurant on a busy Toronto street in broad daylight and shot the restaurant's owner dead. Police are saying the fatal shooting was targeted. And according to the Toronto Star's crime reporter, the victim may have had links to the mob. Today on Front Burner, Peter Edwards shares his thoughts on the brazen drive-by shooting, the connection to another shocking death from 2012, and the state of organized crime in Canada today.

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Climate change at centre of Elections Canada partisan ad controversy

This week, Elections Canada is at the centre of a firestorm over what it classifies a partisan issue during the federal election campaign period. Today on Front Burner, Elections Canada spokesperson Natasha Gauthier explains why the agency may deem climate change a partisan issue. Katie Gibbs, executive director of the non-partisan, non-profit Evidence for Democracy also shares her perspective on the controversy.

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Women's lives upended after cancer diagnosis linked to Biocell breast implants

In Canada and around the world, women who’ve been struck with a rare form of cancer are joining class action lawsuits against the manufacturer of the Biocell textured breast implant. Today, on Front Burner, CBC investigative journalist Valérie Ouellet explains how this particular breast implant flew under the radar for so long.

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Kenora, ON, closes sole homeless shelter in the midst of a drug crisis

Kenora Ontario, a small city in the province’s northwest, is in the midst of a drug crisis. In an attempt to address the situation, the city has temporarily shut down the only homeless shelter in the area. Some see it as a positive move, others see NIMBYism. Today on Front Burner, TVO reporter Jon Thompson, helps us understand the roots of the city’s drugs crisis and how it’s affecting the local population.

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“Troubling tactics” and the ethics report on Prime Minister Trudeau

A report from the Ethics Commissioner Wednesday said Justin Trudeau and his office used “troubling tactics” in the SNC-Lavalin case. The CBC’s Vassy Kapelos breaks down what it all means, two months before the election.

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Boris Johnson's U.K. hurtles toward Brexit deadline

As the United Kingdom hurtles towards the October 31 Brexit deadline, newly-appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson is playing hardball with the European Union, saying the UK is leaving deal or no deal. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s senior correspondent Susan Ormiston pops by to explain what could be next for Brexit.

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A former neo-Nazi on El Paso shooting and rise of white supremacy

Joining the neo-Nazi movement was a choice that Christian Piccolini says cost him his livelihood, his wife, and his sense of self. Following the mass shooting in El Paso, he speaks out about his former community, to warn people about the wide reach of white supremacist extremism around the world.

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Jeffrey Epstein’s death: The conspiracies and the fallout

It was already a story mired in controversy, but with the apparent suicide of accused sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein, the scandal has only deepened. Today, on Front Burner, we turn to Marc Fisher, senior editor at The Washington Post, to unpack the conspiracy theories that have erupted around Epstein’s death and what the latest developments mean for his victims.

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Why the China-U.S. trade war matters

Today on Front Burner, we sit down with the CBC’s Peter Armstrong to talk about the escalating U.S.-China trade war, and how it could affect the global financial market.

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Beyond the dimples: A profile of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer

He's called, "the smiling Stephen Harper," and he's known for his knack of bringing people together. But beyond his dimples, what do you really know about Andrew Scheer? Today, with the federal election fast approaching, we talk to Maclean's Ottawa bureau chief, John Geddes about the leader of the Conservative Party. We'll get insight into how he became such a unifier (hint: his favourite book is the self-help classic How to Win Friends and Influence People) and how that squares with his more divisive moments, such as his hardline stance on the United Nations migration pact. This is the first in a series of pre-election profiles we'll do about Canada's federal party leaders.

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'Pick up the book and read': Canadian poets on the legacy of Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison's literary and academic career was honoured with a Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her writing explored, celebrated, questioned and critiqued the space of black lives in America, up until her death on Monday at the age of 88. Today on Front Burner, we speak with Halifax's former poet laureate El Jones and former poet laureate of Canada George Elliott Clarke about the importance of her work, both as a source of art, and form of activism.

Download 'Pick up the book and read': Canadian poets on the legacy of Toni Morrison
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‘A sickening déjà vu’: Two US mass shootings in one weekend stuns reporter

This past weekend saw two back-to-back mass shootings in the United States: one in El Paso, Texas, and one in Dayton, Ohio. At least thirty-one people are dead. Dozens more injured. Today on Front Burner, we talk to writer Jennifer Mascia about gun violence and reform in America. She’s a reporter with The Trace, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to covering gun-related news.

Download ‘A sickening déjà vu’: Two US mass shootings in one weekend stuns reporter
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A Crucifix, A Mystery Illness and a Refugee

In nine months, Front Burner has covered a lot of stories. But we haven’t had time to follow up on all of them. Today, we revisit a handful, including the mystery illness that befell Canadian diplomats in Cuba, the law in Quebec to outlaw religious garb for public servants, and the odyssey of a Syrian refugee who moved to Canada after living in an airport for months. Plus, how a country rap oddity became the biggest song of 2019.

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Flying cars, an artificial moon and Saudi Arabia's $500 billion vision for the future

Saudi Arabia's "Neom" is a planned futuristic city-state in the desert. The project is said to include flying cars, gene editing, an island of robot dinosaurs, an artificial moon — and the most comprehensive surveillance state on earth. The Wall Street Journal has viewed planning documents that provide unprecedented access into the Gulf nation's plan to turn a formerly barren strip of desert into the most lucrative plot of land on earth. Today we'll talk to the Wall Street Journal's Justin Scheck, who broke the story about the Saudi Crown Prince's vision for the future, and what it tells us about the kingdom's place on the world stage.

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Who is the alleged Capital One hacker?

A massive data breach at Capital One has led to the arrest of a Seattle-based woman who allegedly stole the private information of more than 100 million people, including 6 million Canadians. Today on Front Burner, Greg Otto, Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, brings us the story of accused hacker Paige Thompson and explains how the crime was done and why experts say a trail of clues was left for the FBI.

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Why B.C.’s orcas are at risk, and what’s at stake

There are, at most, only 76 southern resident killer whales left in the world. Right now, there’s growing concern about the fate of J17 - the matriarch of one of the most studied orca families, J pod - as she was recently spotted emaciated. Killers: J pod on the brink is a new CBC podcast that dives deep into what’s putting B.C.'s orca population at risk - from climate change to politics. Today on Front Burner, producer Catherine Rolfsen on why these marine mammals matter.

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How a failed terrorism case derailed one Canadian's life

In 2007, Hassan Diab was an unassuming sociology lecturer at Carleton University, when he was suddenly told French authorities were investigating him for committing a terrorist act in Paris in 1980. Diab has always claimed innocence — but the revelation was just the beginning of an 12-year ordeal, including a lengthy court case, extradition to France and three years spent in prison. An external review was ordered into his case, but Diab and his legal team are less than satisfied with its findings. On Front Burner, CBC senior reporter David Cochrane breaks down one of the most intensely fought extradition cases in Canadian history.

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What’s the big deal about Beyond Meat?

Beyond Meat, the popular meat substitute, can be found in at A&W, Tim Hortons, and most grocery stores these days. The company’s stock is at an all-time high. Today on Front Burner, writer Michael Grunwald analyzes why that is, how it relates to the climate crisis, and how all of this is inspiring pushback from industry and politicians alike.

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Fear, isolation and a cross-Canada manhunt

Today on Front Burner, the CBC’s Jason Proctor tells why the ongoing manhunt for two B.C. murder suspects has left many residents of Canada’s north feeling vulnerable and afraid.

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The key takeaways of Robert Mueller’s marathon testimony

Today on Front Burner, the CBC’s Paul Hunter on Robert Mueller’s very reluctant testimony on Capitol Hill, and why both sides of the aisle are claiming victory.

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Why do illegal weed dispensaries still exist?

It's been nine months since marijuana was legalized in Canada, and illegal dispensaries are not only prevalent across the country — but in many cases, thriving. Today on Front Burner, CBC investigative reporter Zach Dubinsky and Sol Israel from The Leaf News on illegal pot shops that brazenly defy the law and why they exist in the age of legal weed.

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The perpetual Marvel machine

Marvel Studios has announced plans for the latest phase of the Marvel cinematic universe, setting the world of deep superhero fandom abuzz. On Front Burner, we speak to Eli Glasner, CBC's national entertainment reporter and film critic, about what Western cinema gains and loses.

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A portrait of the mysterious Kim Jong-un

“He’s such a puzzle...and we don’t have all the answers.” As the world continues to try and figure out the puzzle that is North Korea, guest host Chris Berube talks to Anna Fifield, the Washington Post reporter who’s put together the most complete portrait leader Kim Jong-un yet. Her new book is “The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un”.

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Donald Trump, and the debate over the term “racist”

At a rally on Wednesday night, supporters of Donald Trump broke out in a chorus of "send her back!" chants, targeted toward Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born congresswoman from Minnesota. The chant came just days after the U.S. president took to Twitter, to attack four congresswomen of colour, suggesting they "go back and help fix the broken and crime-infested places from which they came." All of this has set off a debate in the media, on how to cover Trump and racism. On today's Front Burner, we talk to Adam Serwer, staff writer with The Atlantic, about journalistic objectivity, Trump, the media and the term "racist."

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FaceApp: Fact, fiction and fears

It's the AI-assisted photo editing app that has entertained millions of users around the world. Open FaceApp on your smartphone, upload of a photo of yourself, and you — like Drake, the Jonas Brothers and Steph Curry — can see what you might look like in your golden years. But just like everything we do online, when you take a closer look, it's more complicated than it seems. On Front Burner, we speak to Kaleigh Rogers, CBC's senior reporter covering disinformation online, about the facts and fears about FaceApp.

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The battle for green voters begins

With three months to go before the federal election, two parties on the left are trying to plant their flag as the party of environmentalists. The NDP recently introduced its "Canadian New Deal" which promises aggressive carbon targets and investments in energy efficiency. Meanwhile, the Green Party is surging in the polls, with its promise to double Canada's emission reduction targets. With the two parties battling for green voters on the left, analysts are beginning to wonder if there's room for both parties to thrive. Althia Raj is the Ottawa bureau chief for the Huffington Post. She's been speaking to voters in British Columbia about which party should get the environmentalist vote this fall.

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Canadian teacher home after ‘nightmare in Indonesia’

Neil Bantleman was teaching at a school in Jakarta, Indonesia when he and seven others were accused of sex crimes against students. He maintained his innocence despite being convicted in an Indonesian court. CBC's The Fifth Estate co-host Mark Kelley travelled to Indonesia to look into the case and found the serious flaws in the investigation and evidence presented against him. Now, Bantleman is back in Canada after being granted clemency. Today on Front Burner, Kelley talks to guest host Michelle Sheppard about what he found in the course of making The Fifth Estate's 2016 documentary Nightmare in Indonesia.

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What did Canadian peacekeepers accomplish in Mali?

“Organized crime, smuggling, drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism - you can sort of name it, and Mali is afflicted by it.” Swept up in part by Islamist extremism, the U.N’s peacekeeping mission in Mali is one of the deadliest in recent history. Canada has been part of this larger effort since last year. As it draws to a close, journalist Richard Poplak talks to guest host Michelle Shephard if it made good on Canada's promise to return to peacekeeping.

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The World Cup champions tackle equal pay

After their record-setting fourth World Cup win, the U.S. women's soccer team has found themselves at the centre of an ongoing debate about pay equity in sport. The team has been followed by a chorus of "equal pay" from the pitch to their celebration parade in New York City. These calls for equal pay have been heightened by the fact that the team generates more revenue than their male counterparts — selling more jerseys, tickets and signing more sponsorship deals. So how does a pay difference of as much as $730,000 persist? On today's Front Burner, we talk to writer and podcast host Shireen Ahmed for answers.

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‘Conversion therapy’ survivor shares his story

In 2014, Belleville, Ont. native Matt Ashcroft decided to attend a conversion therapy camp in the U.S. He says his father was homphobic and he wanted to mend their relationship. Now he’s a fierce advocate for a nationwide ban on the practice in Canada. Matt Ashcroft speaks to host Jayme Poisson about his experience and why he thinks conversion therapy should be scrapped.

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A conversation with Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Democracy versus dictatorship” in Venezuela. Why Canada should not release Meng Wanzhou. These are just some of the topics we cover in a feature interview with Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. She tells us about how she formed her political worldview, and how that worldview shapes Canada’s foreign policy: “Small-l liberalism … does also require that we stand up for the rules-based international order and multilateral institutions because only in a world where those rules exist … can our own liberal Canada thrive.”

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From memes to TV ads, how political third parties get their message out

You may not have heard of political third parties like Engage Canada or Canada Proud, but you’ve likely already encountered their messaging through a traditional television ad, a Facebook meme, or maybe even a person in a banana costume. Today on Front Burner, we talk to iPolitics reporter Marieke Walsh about who’s behind these groups, what kind of influence they may have, and the new rules governing their spending in the leadup to the federal election.

Download From memes to TV ads, how political third parties get their message out
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A reporter’s long, failed fight to keep his work on ISIS from the RCMP

For the last four years, Vice reporter Ben Makuch has been fighting to keep communications he had with a suspected ISIS fighter from the RCMP. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, and last week, Makuch and Vice lost their final appeal on this case. Ben Makuch talks to host Jayme Poisson about that journey, and what it might mean for press freedom in Canada.

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A primer on the Green New Deal in the U.S. and Canada

This week a new government report outlined the most pressing threats facing Canada due to climate change. The report warned of infrastructure failures, flooding and storm surges on the coasts, and melting shorelines and permafrost in the North. Global warming is a massive problem for Canada and the world. But some big solutions are being debated. One idea is the Green New Deal, an ambitious and controversial plan in the U.S. Today on Front Burner, Geoff Dembicki explains the Green New Deal and how the movement is translating here in Canada. He’s a Vancouver-based journalist who writes for The Tyee and Vice, and the author of "Are We Screwed? How a New Generation is Fighting to Survive Climate Change".

Download A primer on the Green New Deal in the U.S. and Canada
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Dumpster diving, forged signatures, and alleged immigration fraud

CBC News has learned about an alleged massive immigration scheme involving illicit job offers, hundreds of Chinese nationals, and dozens of business people in Saskatchewan. The story follows an investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency and court documents relating to a criminal trial for a married couple from the province. CBC investigative reporter Geoff Leo unravels the story.

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What the Taylor Swift controversy tells us about who really profits from recording artists' work

This weekend, pop superstar Taylor Swift penned a distraught Tumblr post in which she took the news of a business deal very, very personally. Her former record label, Big Machine, was sold to music mogul Scooter Braun's company for a reported $300 million U.S. The acquisition essentially hands Braun control of Swift's masters from her entire back catalogue. She claims this is her "worst case scenario," as she accuses Scooter Braun of "incessant, manipulative bullying." Today on Front Burner, Emily Yahr, pop culture reporter with the Washington Post, breaks down the origin of this feud, and explains why some of the most successful recording artists in the world are powerless when it comes to owning their own music.

Download What the Taylor Swift controversy tells us about who really profits from recording artists' work
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What’s the toll of tough U.S. sanctions on Iranians?

On Monday, news broke that Iran violated a key part of the 2015 nuclear agreement. This comes about a year after the U.S. unilaterally pulled out of the deal. Iran says it breached the agreement because Europe hasn’t done enough to counter the heavy U.S. sanctions imposed on the country. Today on Front Burner, The Independent’s Negar Mortazavi explains how the heavy sanctions are affecting regular Iranians and shares her opinion on the strategy of the United States.

Download What’s the toll of tough U.S. sanctions on Iranians?
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Families grieve, seek justice, after Ethiopian Air plane crash

This March, a Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashed in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board. 18 of them were Canadian, and several more were permanent residents. Now, six families from Canada who lost relatives are suing Boeing for alleged negligence in the Ethiopia Airlines crash. The CBC’s Susan Ormiston spoke to three of them, and brings us their reflections and lingering questions about what happened.

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“The place is a jail”: How kids are treated at the U.S.-Mexico border

There has been renewed attention on the treatment of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border over the last two weeks. First, accounts of inadequate food, water and sanitation at U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities where unaccompanied children are held awaiting shelter space sparked outrage. Then, a horrible photograph of the drowned bodies of a father and his young daughter in the Rio Grande river offered a stark reminder of the perils of crossing into the United States. Today on Front Burner, Bob Moore has reported on immigration and the border from El Paso, Texas for more than 30 years. He walks us through what kids go through on their way to the border and how they’re treated once they get into the country: “These are human beings who are paying the price of all this political failure.”

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The fight to make handguns illegal in Canada

Today on Front Burner, we speak to Toronto Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, who says he disagrees with his party’s stance to rule against a handgun ban. Is the fight to ban handguns in Canada over?

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After thirty horses die, questions about racing’s future

The death of 30 horses at the famed Santa Anita racetrack in California this season has sparked a public outcry over animal welfare. The facility is owned by The Stronach Group, a wealthy Canadian company. Today on Front Burner, L.A. Times contributor John Cherwa explains what it all means for the future of horse racing, and the Stronach family business.

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Sidewalk Labs offers a futuristic vision for Toronto, but at what cost?

After 18 months of consultation, Google sister company Sidewalk Labs has released its master draft proposal to develop a portion of Toronto’s waterfront. The proposal includes everything from an affordable housing plan, to sensored pneumatic garbage shoots, to a data privacy framework in the form of an independent urban data trust. Today on Front Burner, we talk to The Logic’s editor-in-chief David Skok about what’s in the report, and what questions we need to ask ourselves when we consider building smart cities.

Download Sidewalk Labs offers a futuristic vision for Toronto, but at what cost?
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What issues will shape the 2019 federal election?

With the House of Commons adjourned and the federal election just months away, summertime hours mean Members of Parliament and hopeful candidates will be out campaigning on the BBQ circuit. The writ drop is expected for September and voting day is slated for on or before October 21. So what issues are shaping the election so far? Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos joins us to explain.

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Canadian corporations dodged up to $11-billion in taxes

According to a new report from the Canada Revenue Agency, in just one year - 2014 - Canadian corporations did not pay up to $11-billion in taxes. That amount is part of the “tax gap”. It’s the difference between the taxes Canada knows it's owed and the taxes that are actually collected. Today on Front Burner, Toronto Star investigative reporter Marco Chown Oved explains how corporations get away with this, and why it’s such a persistent issue.

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Facebook’s plan for a new global currency

This week, Facebook announced it will launch a cryptocurrency in 2020. A new global currency, available to billions of people - is something like that legal? Or a good idea? Jon Porter from The Verge breaks it down.

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Controversial Trans Mountain pipeline approved, but will it get built?

The federal Liberal government has now approved the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline for the second time.This is a key step for the much-delayed pipeline project that’s meant to carry nearly a million barrels of oil from Alberta to B.C each day. But will approval actually mean construction? CBC Vancouver reporter Angela Sterritt and CBC Calgary business reporter Tony Seskus explain.

Download Controversial Trans Mountain pipeline approved, but will it get built?
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What would it take for Canada to meet its climate targets?

The Canadian government has already admitted that it probably won’t be able to meet its Paris climate targets, the international agreement Canada signed promising to significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. As part of a new CBC News project called In Our Backyard, reporter Connie Walker has been using climate modelling to investigate different policy options to find out what it would actually take for Canada to meet its goals. Today on Front Burner, she shares her findings.

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Your Guide to Canada’s Edible Pot Rules

The Canadian government has introduced rules around the sale of edibles and other weed products, like topicals. Sol Israel from The Leaf News walks us through what these new regulations look like, and why the new rules around edibles may have unexpected consequences.

Download Your Guide to Canada’s Edible Pot Rules
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BONUS: Hong Kong protests and fears of China’s long reach

Throughout the week hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents took to the streets to protest a proposed extradition bill. Many fear it will be used to target dissidents who speak out against the Chinese state. Protests escalated to violent clashes between police and young demonstrators. Today on Front Burner, Hong Kong Free Press reporter Jennifer Creery on what this means for the region’s fight to resist China’s influence.

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Raptors Win! Raptors Win! Raptors Win!

For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championships. They beat the Golden State Warriors Thursday night in game six of the championship, 114-110. It was a remarkably tense game, with sixteen lead changes throughout. Today on Front Burner, CBC reporter Devin Heroux from Oakland, California on what it was like to witness the incredible game, and sports writer Alex Wong on how it feels to finally see the Toronto Raptors become NBA champions.

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How a far-right hate group operates in rural B.C. and across the country

Far-right group Soldiers of Odin has been developing chapters across Canada and popping up at anti-immigration protests throughout the country. It’s a group that Canadian border security officials have said is not afraid to use violence and Facebook has recently banned in Canada for being engaged in “organized hate” online. Today on Front Burner, CBC’s Raffy Boudjikanian explains what the Soldiers of Odin are, how they are operating in Canada and why communities like Dawson Creek, B.C., are struggling to deal with them.

Download How a far-right hate group operates in rural B.C. and across the country
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The Uninhabitable Earth: A grim portrait of the future of climate change

Author David Wallace-Wells on his matter-of-fact book, “The Uninhabitable Earth,” and what happens if we don’t slow the pace of climate change.

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Is Ontario Premier Doug Ford a problem for the federal Conservatives?

In a rare move, the Ontario legislature will take a break until October 28th, one week after the federal election. So why the extended break? Political watchers say that might have to do with Premier Doug Ford’s dismal poll numbers, and how they might affect federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s chances this coming election. Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos explains.

Download Is Ontario Premier Doug Ford a problem for the federal Conservatives?
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Decades of sexual abuse at one Ottawa high school

Over the course of decades, dozens of students were sexually abused by three different teachers at one Ottawa high school. Some students spoke up and told other teachers. But it wasn't until 2016 that any criminal charges were laid. Senior reporter Julie Ireton has been investigating this story of historical sexual abuse for more than a year, for the new CBC podcast, 'The Band Played On.' Today on Front Burner, she describes what happened to these students, how it was allowed to go on for so long, and what can be done to prevent similar kinds of abuse today.

Download Decades of sexual abuse at one Ottawa high school
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Will Boris Johnson be the next UK Prime Minister?

UK Prime Minister Theresa May resigns as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7th. But she will stay on as a lame duck Prime Minister until her successor is chosen. Today on Front Burner, CBC Europe Correspondent Margaret Evans on who that successor might be, and what they'll have to grapple with as the country faces down Brexit: "It's a huge, huge mess in this country. People are angry, they're scared, they're tired of it."

Download Will Boris Johnson be the next UK Prime Minister?
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The lessons of the Central Park Five

A Netflix miniseries has rekindled interest in the case of the Central Park Five who became poster children for bias in the justice system and served decades for a crime they did not commit. Filmmaker Sarah Burns on why the case is critically important today.

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Why Kawhi Leonard is more than just a stoic NBA superstar

The Toronto Raptors face the Golden State Warriors for game three of the NBA Finals tonight. It's an exciting time for fans of Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard. Today on Front Burner, freelance sports writer Alex Wong helps us understand the man behind the calm exterior and shares his thoughts on whether Leonard will stay in the North when this historic series ends.

Download Why Kawhi Leonard is more than just a stoic NBA superstar
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Is Canada ready to combat election meddling online?

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould on Canada's plan to deal with interference and disinformation ahead of the fall election.

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Inquiry calls murders and disappearances of Indigenous women 'Canadian genocide'

Today on Front Burner, CBC's Chantelle Bellrichard and Jorge Barrera report on the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and explain why the report says this violence is part of a "Canadian Genocide".

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Will Canada's new air travel protections actually help?

This summer, Canada's new air passenger protection regulations will begin to come into effect. The regulations apply to all flights to, from and within Canada, and include specific financial entitlements for things like delayed flights and damaged luggage. Today on Front Burner, CBC National Business Correspondent Peter Armstrong explains Canada's new air passenger protections, which some critics say don't go far enough.

Download Will Canada's new air travel protections actually help?
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Robert Mueller breaks his silence

After two years of silence, Robert Mueller delivered his first public statement since being appointed as Special Counsel. He announced his resignation from the United States Department of Justice and reiterated the central findings of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, saying "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so." Today on Front Burner, Mueller biographer Garrett Graff on the man at the helm of the Trump-Russia investigation.

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'I don't know if I can do this again,' says Everest climber as death toll hits 11

Elia Saikaly has climbed Mount Everest eight times. He's reached the top three times. But after his most recent climb, Saikaly is wondering if he can ever go back again. He was one of many climbers caught in the 'traffic jam' at more than 8000 meters elevation - and the deaths he saw along the way made him ask himself if the suffering is worth it. Today on Front Burner, Ottawa-based filmmaker Elia Saikaly on his latest Everest climb and what he thinks can be done to prevent more deaths.

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Why Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott are running for re-election as Independent MPs

Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott are advocating for a less partisan political system and will run as independent candidates in the next election. Co-host of CBC's The National, Rosemary Barton, explains why they're doing it and what challenges might be ahead for them.

Download Why Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott are running for re-election as Independent MPs
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What the Cindy Gladue case exposes about the justice system

The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered a new trial for a man accused of killing Cindy Gladue. CBC's Kathleen Harris explains why the first trial raised so many questions about how Indigenous women are treated by the Canadian justice system.

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Where do abortion rights in Canada stand today?

With the United States in a renewed fight over abortion rights, it's led many to ask: where exactly do we stand in Canada? Today on Front Burner, we speak to reproductive health historian and pro-choice advocate, Shannon Stettner, about Canada's history with legal abortion, and whether reproductive rights are as protected as many think.

Download Where do abortion rights in Canada stand today?
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Environmental rollbacks and Jason Kenney's 'summer of repeal'

A new legislative session just started in Alberta, under the leadership of Premier Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party. They're looking to introduce about a dozen bills, most of which will serve to dismantle climate initiatives implemented by the previous NDP government. Premier Kenney has even named this time ahead as the 'summer of repeal'. CBC Calgary's Allison Dempster explains what's at stake for Albertans, and how this might set up a much greater confrontation between the province and the federal government.

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Could Iran and the U.S. be headed for armed conflict?

On Tuesday Iran's foreign minister accused the U.S. of playing a "very dangerous" game. He was referring to America's decision to move warships and bombers to the Persian Gulf and, more broadly, to the serious escalation of tensions between the two countries. Could the U.S. and Iran be headed for war? Today on Front Burner, Nader Hashemi, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver, shares his thoughts on how relations took such a serious turn

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$2-billion and counting. How the federal Phoenix pay system failed

The IBM-built Phoenix pay software was supposed to save millions of dollars a year by simplifying payroll for federal workers. Instead, it wreaked havoc on workers' T4s and pay stubs -- while the costs for taxpayers ballooned. Parliamentary reporter Hannah Thibedeau explains how we ended up here.

Download $2-billion and counting. How the federal Phoenix pay system failed
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Modi, Hindu nationalism, and what's at stake with India's election

The election in India, the world's largest in history, has just wrapped up after a month of voting. Many see it as a referendum on sitting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's last five years in power. New Delhi journalist Murali Krishnan explains who Modi is, and why his brand of populism raises the stakes of this election.

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Beef, bucks and beauty on YouTube

An online feud between two "beauty influencers," James Charles and Tati Westbrook, has racked up tens of millions of views on YouTube this week. Maybe you've never heard of them, but plenty of people have, and, according to Washington Post internet-culture reporter Abby Ohlheiser, this world is more influential than you might think: "Whether you like it or not, the future of entertainment and the future of industries touched by robust online communities ? are being shaped and changed by what's happening right now on these platforms."

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Abortion rights under attack in the U.S.

On Tuesday, Alabama's state legislature voted for a measure that would outlaw almost all access to abortion. Political watchers say this is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion in the U.S. Legislation to restrict abortion in the U.S. has been on the rise since President Donald Trump appointed two conservative-leaning Supreme Court judges. CBC's Lyndsay Duncombe has been covering this story from St. Louis, Missouri, and today on Front Burner she explains why pro-choice advocates worry that a woman's right to choose in America is at risk of being overturned.

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What ISIS can teach us about fighting far-right violence online

Today on Front Burner, professor Taylor Owen helps us understand the changing nature of online extremism and what we learned from dealing with ISIS.

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Two Newfoundlanders on the province's confounding election

With an election this week, two Newfoundlanders, CBC reporter David Cochrane and radio host Tom Power dig into the many issues facing the province, and how voter apathy has spread during the campaign.

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'Racist' letters on Senator's website trigger suspension

Last week Senator Lynn Beyak was suspended by her colleagues without pay for the remainder of this parliamentary session. Her punishment came after posting letters on her official Senate webpage that many, including the Senate's ethics watchdog, deem racist towards Indigenous people. Beyak says she's being punished for exercising freedom of speech. CBC's JP Tasker has been following this story from the very start and today on Front Burner he gets us up to speed.

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Quebec's secularism bill praised and denounced as hearings begin

This week, hearings were held on Quebec's secularism bill - which aims to ban public workers in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols. There were fiery exchanges: some say the bill institutionalizes discrimination, while others think secularism is crucial to keeping Quebec's distinct identity. Today on Front Burner, the CBC's Jonathan Montpetit brings us highlights from the debate - and we hear from a young Muslim woman who worries her livelihood will be affected by the bill.

Download Quebec's secularism bill praised and denounced as hearings begin
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How humanity put one million species at risk of extinction

Canadian co-author of the new UN report on extinction, Kai Chan, on how the loss of one species can ripple out to affect an entire ecosystem in ways that we often "don't know until it's too late"

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Taking stock of Doug Ford's spending cuts

Today on Front Burner, CBC Queen's Park reporter Mike Crawley on the cascade of cuts in Doug Ford's Ontario and how they might be felt in the province.

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How the Mark Norman trial could be "a huge political circus"

CBC defence reporter Murray Brewster on the upcoming trial of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, and why it might turn into a political circus, right before the next federal election.

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Huawei exec back in court as China dispute escalates

As Huawei's Meng Whanzou returns to court, CBC Vancouver's Jason Proctor on the repercussions from her arrest in December.

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Who gets to compete as a woman in sports?

Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya, from South Africa, has lost her appeal against proposed rules from track's governing body that require some female runners to lower their naturally high testosterone levels. It's a ruling that's expected to have huge implications on the future of women's sports. Today on Front Burner, Katrina Karkazis helps us understand why. She's a bioethicist who's been studying the regulation of hormone levels in women's elite sports for years.

Download Who gets to compete as a woman in sports?
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The push for regime change in Venezuela

Today on Front Burner - we speak to the CBC's Evan Dyer about an attempt to oust Nicolas Maduro as well as Columbia University Professor, Jeffrey Sachs, who says the United States, and others, need to stay out of this conflict.

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Liberals under fire for accepting Illegal SNC Lavalin donations

Journalist Harvey Cashore on the revelation of SNC Lavalin employees who made illegal campaign donations worth more than $100,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

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Severe flooding afflicts Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, again

"We can't go through this again." Thousands of people across Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick are dealing with serious floods this week. And not for the first time. Today on Front Burner, we hear from one Quebec mother on her family's difficult decision to leave their flood-ravaged home for good -- and a disaster prevention expert who thinks governments should buy homeowners out of their flood-prone houses.

Download Severe flooding afflicts Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, again
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Inside Canada's alt-right forums

Reporter Shannon Carranco got access to over 150,000 chat logs from a Canadian alt-right forum. What she found is frightening.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:44]


The unlikely rise of the Toronto Raptors

Twenty four years ago the Toronto Raptors were named the newest team in basketball - and the first franchise outside of the United States. In the years that followed, the team would go from widespread public indifference, to one of the most successful teams in the NBA. The Raptors are in the middle of their most successful period as a franchise; with six straight playoff berths under their belt, and a prospective finals push on the horizon. Today on Front Burner, we sit down with longtime voice of the Toronto Raptors, Jack Armstrong, to track the teams unlikely rise. For more about Armstrong visit https://hellojack.entripyshirts.com/

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One year after the van attack "incels" are unrepentant

One year after the deadly van attack in Toronto, the misogynistic online community that inspired the attack remains unchanged, says reporter Zack Beauchamp who spent a year investigating incels.

Download One year after the van attack "incels" are unrepentant
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Understanding the Sri Lankan attacks

Ever since Sri Lanka was hit by eight coordinated bomb blasts, there have been questions about who could be behind an act of terrorism that targeted churches and hotels and left more than 320 people dead. And while a local group was initially blamed, ISIS is now claiming responsibility. Sri Lanka's Prime Minister says there is some evidence linking the attacks to ISIS. Today on Front Burner, Amar Amarasingam, senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, breaks down what led up to this attack and explains why he fears that local divisions have been exploited by forces outside Sri Lanka's borders.

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How mistrust and fear make fighting Ebola more difficult

An Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed more than 800 people, and infected hundreds more. The crisis has worsened due to a local mistrust of the government and aid workers. Ebola treatment centres have been burned to the ground and many people are reluctant to see a doctor. Canadian doctor Vinh-Kim Nguyen tells us what he saw on a recent mission to the DRC for Doctors Without Borders.

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Will P.E.I. be the first province to go Green?

Across Canada, there's never been a Green Party government federally or provincially. But on Tuesday, that could all change when people on Prince Edward Island cast their ballots. If the polls are right, the P.E.I. Green Party is out in front, beating out the ruling Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. Kerry Campbell is CBC's P.E.I. provincial affairs reporter. Today on Front Burner, he joins guest host J.P. Tasker to walk us through how a Scottish-Canadian dentist leading a party that's never won before? could end up the next Premier of P.E.I.

Download Will P.E.I. be the first province to go Green?
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Why the Mueller report doesn't exonerate Trump for obstruction

The Mueller Report identified a series of episodes involving Trump that the special counsel considered potential obstructions of justice. But Robert Mueller chose to not charge Trump with a crime. CBC's Washington correspondent Keith Boag walks us through the long-anticipated report.

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How Notre-Dame Cathedral survived centuries of war and change

On Monday, as Parisians and tourists watched in horror, a fire ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral, destroying much of the historic church and its famous spire. Despite worries that the church will never be the same, about a billion dollars has been raised to pay for extensive renovations of the landmark. Today on Front Burner, as France mourns, French historian Paul Cohen explains how Notre-Dame Cathedral survived centuries of change in its over 850 years of history.

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Who is Jason Kenney, Alberta's next premier?

Jason Kenney will be Alberta's next premier after leading the United Conservative Party to a majority government in the province.Today on Front Burner, CBC Calgary's Allison Dempster breaks down last night's election results, and Maclean's Paul Wells shares a deep look at Jason Kenney's career so far, and how he came to be a driving force behind conservative political ideas in this country.

Download Who is Jason Kenney, Alberta's next premier?
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Sex assault reforms held up by senate "old boys," says former Tory leader

Today on Front Burner, former Conservative leader Rona Ambrose on why she thinks her bill on judges sexual assault training must pass, and soon.

Download Sex assault reforms held up by senate "old boys," says former Tory leader
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Winter is ending: Game of Thrones' impact on pop culture

HBO's Game of Thrones has just launched its eighth and final season. Since 2011, it has shaped everything from the way that television is broadcast to conversations about gender, politics, and power. Today on Front Burner, we break down the cultural significance of the show with Vox critic-at-large Todd VanDerWerff.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:20]


Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney on the Julian Assange arrest

On Thursday, Julian Assange was arrested and taken out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Oscar winner Alex Gibney made a film about Assange in 2013, and talks to us about the Wikileaks founder's last few years.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:35]


The long fight over a "secular" Quebec

Yet another Quebec government is proposing a bill designed to affirm the province's religious neutrality. The Coalition Avenir Quebec's Bill 21 seeks to ban public workers in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols. Thousands of people have turned out in protest -- but the idea is popular amongst the province's francophone majority. CBC Montreal's Jonathan Montpetit explains the long fraught history of legislating secularism and reasonable accommodation in Quebec.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:26:15]


NXIVM's Allison Mack pleads guilty to role in alleged sex cult

On Monday, NXIVM member and former Smallville actress Allison Mack pleaded guilty in a New York court to racketeering charges for her role in a cult-like group called NXIVM. Mack is one of several high-ranking NXIVM members who have been charged with manipulating women into becoming sex slaves for Keith Raniere, the group's leader, among other charges. Today on Front Burner, Josh Bloch, host of CBC podcast Uncover: Escaping NXIVM, reports on what we've now learned about the secretive organization.

Download NXIVM's Allison Mack pleads guilty to role in alleged sex cult
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Former Facebook insider's wake-up call to the "catastrophe" of big tech

The Canadian government is considering regulating social media giants like Facebook. This comes after the release of a report by Canadians electronic spy agency, showing how Canadians are vulnerable to foreign interference in this upcoming election. Today on Front Burner, Roger McNamee, the author of "Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe" explains how the business model of big tech is inseparable from its most negative effects.

Download Former Facebook insider's wake-up call to the "catastrophe" of big tech
[mp3 file: runs 00:24:02]


The political longevity of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is put to the test

Benjamin Netanyahu has been the Prime Minister of Israel for ten years. If he is re-elected and stays on in the job through the summer, he'll be longest serving Prime Minister in the country's history. But he faces a tough opponent in former military general Benny Gantz. Today on Front Burner, CBC's Derek Stoffel on Benjamin Netanyahu's political staying power.

Download The political longevity of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is put to the test
[mp3 file: runs 00:23:51]


A controversy over race, rap and country music

For weeks, the song "Old Town Road" by rapper Lil Nas X had been climbing the country music charts. After Billboard disqualified the hit saying it wasn't "country" enough, there's been a big conversation about genre, authorship and race. Brittany Spanos from Rolling Stone breaks it down.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:19:22]


Frustration, hypocrisy and the SNC scandal

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was protested by dozens of young women with political aspirations who were visiting the House of Commons. This came just hours after expelling Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from caucus. It's just one example of the kind of frustration that's surrounded the SNC-Lavalin controversy. CBC opinion columnist Robyn Urback and freelance journalist Jen Gerson share their thoughts on that, and what it means for Canadians' expectations of government.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:30]


How do anti-carbon tax provinces plan to fight climate change?

This week a new federal carbon tax on fossil fuels came into effect in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. These are all provinces that took a hard pass at creating their own version of a carbon pricing plan that would meet the Liberal government's standards. They're being called "The Holdouts". Today on Front Burner, CBC's J.P. Tasker walks us through how each province proposes to fight climate change without a carbon tax.

Download How do anti-carbon tax provinces plan to fight climate change?
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The story behind unsolved murders in Toronto's gay village

In this season of Uncover: The Village, reporter Justin Ling reveals the history of unsolved murder and missing persons cases in Toronto's gay village.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:42]


A secretly-recorded phone call, and the growing SNC-Lavalin scandal

CBC Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos breaks down the secretly-recorded phone call between former Attorney-General Jody Wilson-Raybould and former Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick - as the SNC-Lavalin controversy grows.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:32]


White supremacist and homophobic posts force UCP candidates out

Since the writ dropped in Alberta, two candidates have resigned from the United Conservative Party over Islamaphobic, white supremacist, homophobic and transphobic messages on social media. This is only the latest controversy for the party. The Jason Kenney campaign has been accused of supporting a 'kamikaze candidate' to help him win the leadership race in 2017, and the RCMP is looking into allegations of voter fraud. Maclean's Alberta correspondent Jason Markusoff says the scandals may not prevent Jason Kenney from winning the premiership. "This is an economically anxious province," says Markusoff. "Albertans are frustrated and anxious, they're looking for some change to make to liberate themselves from the status quo."

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The woman who hid Edward Snowden

When Edward Snowden showed up at her door, Vanessa Rodel had no idea who he was. Then she saw his face of the front page of the newspaper. Rodel and her daughter have just arrived in Canada as privately sponsored refugees. Vanessa tells the story of how she hid Snowden, who at the time was the subject of an international manhunt for leaking top secret information that exposed a global US spy program. She also talks about the price she paid to help him.

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Why Disney Absorbed Fox, Apple Wants to Make TV

After the merger of Disney and Fox, one movie studio controls almost 40% of the box office. The merger puts Disney in a position to compete with big tech companies like Netflix and Apple in the streaming game. But is it good for moviegoers and TV watchers? Film critic David Sims says 'bigness' can lead to bad outcomes for less profitable content like local news and art movies, but will increase our diet of superhero blockbusters. "It seems that these companies that have always existed in the movie business are looking at this industry and saying, we can only make a few kinds of movies anymore that can make money," says Sims.

Download Why Disney Absorbed Fox, Apple Wants to Make TV
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He survived a massacre and became living evidence

In 1982 a brutal massacre in a small farming community during the Guatemalan civil war left over 160 men, women and children dead. Over thirty years later, one of the men responsible for the horrific murders has been sentenced to more than 5000 years in prison by a Guatemalan Court. His name is Santos López Alonzo. Today on Front Burner, CBC's Nahlah Ayed explains how a little boy that Santos López kidnapped from the village after the massacre? would one day grow up and help put him behind bars.

Download He survived a massacre and became living evidence
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Mueller: no collusion, no obstruction, no exoneration

A summary of Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election is out. CBC Washington correspondent Keith Boag breaks down what we know so far, and the implications for the Trump administration.

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How far right influencers thrive on YouTube

The Christchurch mosque shooter formed his radical views online. Today, an examination of how far right communities spread their toxic messages on the Internet and how they use YouTube to do it.

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Could pharmacare in Canada be a reality?

This week's federal budget laid some initial groundwork for the possibility of a national pharmacare plan in Canada. But with a contentious election year ahead, there are still plenty of questions around how a strategy could be implemented. Today on Front Burner, Globe and Mail health reporter Kelly Grant explains how the pharmacare debate is unfolding and what we can expect from the Liberals in the coming year.

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Who will take on Trump in 2020?

CBC Washington reporter Lyndsay Duncombe guides us through the growing list of Democratic presidential candidates vying to run in 2020.

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Inside Alberta's 'House of Cards' scandal

Rachel Notley is expected to declare the date of the provincial election any day now. And within a matter of weeks, voters will cast their ballots to pick the next provincial government of Alberta. At the same time, one of the key parties in this race, the United Conservative Party, is at the center of a mounting political scandal. There are allegations that during the party's leadership race, Jason Kenney's campaign engaged in illegal practices. Over the weekend, Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell, investigative journalists at CBC Edmonton, reported on a cache of documents that show collaboration between Jason Kenney's campaign team and the campaign team for another candidate, Jeff Callaway. Today on Front Burner, Charles Rusnell breaks it down.

Download Inside Alberta's 'House of Cards' scandal
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The aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings and the rise of far-right extremism

Mass shootings at two mosques on Friday evening in Christchurch, New Zealand, were felt around the globe. We hear from Adrienne Arsenault, who is in Christchurch. And from Stephanie Carvin, a former analyst for CSIS, on the steady rise of far-right extremism in Canada.

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Brexit is still a mess

A few months ago we did an episode on Brexit. We talked about how the whole Brexit process has been a mess. Well, it's still a mess. This week there were three votes in the UK parliament. First, MPs voted down Prime Minister Theresa May's new Brexit deal with the EU. Then they said no to leaving the European Union without a deal in place. Then they voted to delay making a decision. Today on Front Burner, CBC's London reporter Thomas Daigle breaks down what is going on and what is at stake for the United Kingdom.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:30]


Why your cell phone bill is so high and what can be done about it

Canada has some of the most expensive cell phone plans in the developed world. It has to do, in part, with access to the country's wireless spectrum. As another round of wireless spectrum gets auctioned by the Canadian government, CBC National Business Correspondent Peter Armstrong helps us understand why cell phone plans are so expensive, and what can be done about it.

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Is the Boeing 737 Max 8 safe?

A growing list of countries have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 following a crash that killed 157 people, including 18 Canadians. Not even six months ago the same type of airplane plunged into the Java sea near Indonesia. Today on Front Burner, an aviation expert explains the mounting concerns over this Boeing model and CBC's Susan Ormiston reports from the Ethiopian crash site.

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Inside Canada's Crypto Mystery

Reporter Alex Posadzki on how the death of a Canadian cryptocurrency entrepreneur has caused the disappearance of about $180-million in digital currency.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:23:51]


Five lingering questions about the SNC-Lavalin scandal

We've heard from the key players in the SNC-Lavalin scandal. There's former Attorney-General Jody Wilson-Raybould, who said she was subjected to inappropriate pressure by the Prime Minister's office to intervene with the corruption case against engineering giant SNC-Lavalin. On the other side, Prime Minister Trudeau, his former principal secretary Gerry Butts and the Clerk of the Privy Council, all of whom say nothing outside the normal functioning of government happened. Today, we take a step back and navigate five lingering questions about the SNC-Lavalin scandal with CBC senior reporter David Cochrane.

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Despite reported 'cure', the fight against HIV continues

This week, a major milestone in HIV/AIDS research made headlines worldwide. A man known as the "London Patient" has seemingly been "cured" after receiving a bone marrow transplant from a donor with an HIV-resistant genetic mutation. It's only the second time in history a procedure like this has been executed successfully. But while some doctors are inspired by this week's breakthrough, others are more cautious in their optimism. Today on Front Burner, we track the historical battle against the virus and what it means for future progress with help from Canada Research Chair in HIV Pathogenesis and Viral Control, Eric Arts.

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'Nothing happened here beyond the normal operations of government.'

In his much anticipated testimony Gerald Butts, the Prime Minister's former principal secretary, laid out a counter-narrative to the allegations of political interference in the SNC-Lavalin case.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:27]


Accused of espionage, how a Canadian couple survived Chinese detention

On Monday, Chinese authorities accused two Canadians who have been detained since December of being spies. This news comes as Canada proceeds with a U.S. extradition request for Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou. But this isn't the first time Canadians have been caught in the middle of an escalating diplomatic dispute with China. Kevin and Julia Garratt know what it's like to live in Chinese custody under suspicion of espionage. Today on Front Burner, they describe what happened to them and share what they learned about China's judicial system during their two-year ordeal.

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What 'Leaving Neverland' means for Michael Jackson's legacy

"It's something we'll have to grapple with in an ongoing way," says Slate music critic Carl Wilson about the challenge of coming to terms with the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson in the HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland". He, along with Exclaim! magazine contributor A. Harmony, talk to host Jayme Poisson about what that might mean for Jackson's legacy as a pop music icon.

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The secret network that helped Rahaf Mohammed escape

Reporter Nahlah Ayed discovered a private group chat where women are helping each other flee repressive regimes

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:04]


How tensions grew between India and Pakistan

The relationship between India and Pakistan has historically been troubled, but this week, tensions escalated with both countries launching airstrikes against one another. "There's of course the larger significance of these two countries being nuclear states," says UBC professor M.V. Ramana, an expert on nuclear energy in India. He traces the historical conflict between India and Pakistan, and sets up what's at stake globally.

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'They did not stop.' Jody Wilson-Raybould details alleged political pressure

On Wednesday, Jody Wilson-Raybould told the Justice Committee she had been pressured by the PMO to get a deferred prosecution agreement for SNC Lavalin. "I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion," said Wilson-Raybould in her testimony. Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos explains how Wilson-Raybould says it all culminated in her removal from the office of attorney general.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:21]


Why R. Kelly's Charges Were a Long Time Coming

After years of allegations, singer R. Kelly faces ten charges of aggravated sexual assault. Music critic Lindsay Zoladz talks about the case, and why #metoo moved more slowly in the music industry.

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Jagmeet Singh wins divisive race in B.C.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has won a seat in the riding of Burnaby-South. It's just one of three byelections that took place across the country. The CBC's Briar Stewart and Hannah Thibedeau break down the political stakes of the Burnaby-South byelection, and what it might tell us about the upcoming federal election.

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Should Tech Companies Pay Us For Our Data?

Our behaviour online creates a lot of data that's useful for tech companies - what we buy, what videos we watch on YouTube, what movies we see on Netflix. Author Glen Weyl says if tech companies make money off this information, we should get paid for it.

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Why residential school survivors want an apology from the Pope

An unprecedented summit on the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church is taking place at the Vatican. For many victims, it's a chance to seek justice. That includes Evelyn Korkmaz, a residential school survivor calling on the Pope to apologize for the Church's involvement in residential schools. She tells host Jayme Poisson why and CBC reporter Jorge Barrera helps us understand the historical relationship between the Catholic Church and Canada's residential schools.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:25:04]


Explaining the Vancouver Measles Outbreak

With eight confirmed cases, Vancouver is facing Canada's worst measles outbreak in years. Dr. Natasha Crowcroft on why the infectious disease is having a worldwide comeback.

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What does United We Roll stand for?

On Tuesday a convoy of trucks arrived in Ottawa. The rolling protest is driven by Canadians who want pipelines, hate carbon taxes and are calling for more help for the Alberta economy. But there is another element: some in the group have also been protesting immigration and using hateful, racist, language. Today on Front Burner, CBC's David Common and Rosemary Barton explain the complicated politics around this protest.

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Trudeau's right-hand man resigns amid SNC-Lavalin scandal

On Monday afternoon one of the most powerful men in Ottawa resigned. Following allegations of political interference in a court case involving engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, Gerald Butts stepped aside as the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. Today on Front Burner, CBC Parliamentary reporter John Paul Tasker explains why Justin Trudeau's most senior adviser-and longtime friend- would resign while denying any wrongdoing.

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Should Canadian ISIS fighters be allowed to return home?

Two Canadian women have surrendered to US-backed forces after spending years in ISIS-controlled territory. Journalist Michelle Shephard made a documentary about a similar case last year. She says repatriation is a thorny subject for the Canadian government. "It really feels like the Canadian policy has been not to have a policy," says Shephard.

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Twitter trolls target Canadian pipeline, immigration debates

CBC/Radio-Canada journalists crunch the data on more than 9-million troll tweets and reveal foreign campaigns to influence Canadians' opinions. Retweets focused on issues like pipelines and immigration. Jeff Yates joins us to explain what he learned. Elizabeth Dubois from the University of Ottawa paints the wider picture of how troll activity is changing.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:02]


An essential timeline of the Mueller investigation

The talk around Washington these days, is that the Mueller investigation is winding down. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into whether there was collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election has dominated the headlines since 2017. Nobody knows for sure when it will wrap. But we do know that this story has taken a long and winding road. Today on Front Burner, CBC Washington correspondent Keith Boag breaks down the most essential elements of the saga.

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A widening scandal and SNC-Lavalin's history of alleged corruption

With Jody Wilson-Raybould's resignation from the Liberal cabinet, the scandal involving SNC-Lavalin and the Liberal government continues to grow. CBC investigative reporter Dave Seglins guides us through the troubled history of the engineering company that's at the heart of the political firestorm.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:24]


Who is Venezuela's rival president?

Juan Guaidó is touring Venezuela this week, meeting with journalists and citizens. But while Canada acknowledges Guaidó as the official president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro says the job is still rightfully his. The CBC's Adrienne Arsenault and Evan Dyer on the latest from Caracas.

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Catching up on the SNC-Lavalin Liberal scandal

Ottawa is reeling after a story broke late last week alleging that the Prime Minister's Office pressured former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the prosecution of Quebec-based engineering company SNC-Lavalin. Today on Front Burner, CBC's David Cochrane breaks down the scandal and explains why this could be very problematic for Justin Trudeau and his closest allies.

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The aftermath of the Quebec mosque shooting

"I can't even venture to guess how long it'll take for people to feel safe again." CBC reporter Catou MacKinnon covered the shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City on January 29, 2017. Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six counts of first degree murder and six counts of attempted murder. Ahead of his sentencing, Catou tells host Jayme Poisson about the lasting impact the incident has had on the Muslim community in Quebec City's Sainte-Foy neighbourhood.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:26:07]


Russia, America and a new nuclear arms race

Nuclear weapons expert and Obama adviser Jon Wolfsthal on how the treaties that once prevented a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, could be unravelling today.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:20]


Cuts and leaks in Doug Ford's Ontario

It's only Wednesday, but Ontario premier Doug Ford has already had a jam-packed week. On Monday, an unnamed civil servant was fired and the police were notified in relation to a leak from inside the ruling Progressive Conservative government. That leak put controversial healthcare policy proposals into the hands of the opposition party. Today on Front Burner, Toronto Star Queen's Park bureau chief Robert Benzie breaks down what Doug Ford has been up to as premier of Ontario and explains why the politician has captured the attention of Conservatives across the country.

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How a Canadian watchdog turned the tables on an undercover operative

In December a digital privacy watchdog began receiving mysterious emails from businessmen who didn't seem to exist. John Scott-Railton from the Citizen Lab joins us to try and understand why his group was targeted by what they believe to be undercover operatives.

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Is more oil on rails safe for Canada?

Oil is being put on trains and moved across Canada in increasing numbers. Today on Front Burner, Winnipeg Free Press reporter Dylan Robertson explains why a lot of people are attributing this to a lack of pipeline capacity and breaks down what he's learned about how safe it is to transport oil by rail.

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What an Omar Khadr Google search warns us about misinformation online

This week, a Google search result listing Omar Khadr as a Canadian soldier gained a lot of traction online, inciting anger from many people, including Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer. CBC technology reporter Matt Braga tracks how the former Guantanamo Bay detainee showed up in the search in the first place and how easily misinformation can become politicized.

Download What an Omar Khadr Google search warns us about misinformation online
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Inside the Humboldt Broncos crash sentencing hearing

This week, the truck driver who caused the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is facing his sentencing hearing. CBC reporter Susan Ormiston joins us from Melfort, Saskatchewan to talk about how the victims' families are feeling about the possibility of some closure and to explain how complicated it could be for the judge to decide Jaskirat Singh Sidhu's punishment.

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Serial killer Bruce McArthur pleads guilty

On Tuesday, Bruce McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder and we heard never-before-released details about the evidence in the case. But as we hear from freelance reporter Justin Ling, there are still lots of unanswered questions about how McArthur committed his crimes and what comes next.

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How Canadian reporter Daniel Dale fact-checks Trump

Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale tries to fact check everything U.S President Donald Trump says. It keeps him working at all hours and his reporting has drawn attention all over the world. Dale talks about how he builds his database of false claims, which is up to 4,210 as of today, and why he believes pointing out Trump's dishonesty is crucial journalism.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:49]


Canada fires off-message ambassador to China

Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, was forced to resign after making multiple comments that were out of step with the federal government's stance on the Canadian arrest of Chinese Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Today on Front Burner, CBC's Katie Simpson breaks down what happened and why it is such a big deal.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:24:12]


El Chapo's Canadian connections

One of the world's most notorious drug lords, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, is on trial in New York and a star witness just revealed a lot about Chapo's Canadian operation. The National Post's Brian Fitzpatrick explains what court documents have shown.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:18:16]


B.C.'s serious money laundering problem

The toll of British Columbia's money laundering problem is climbing, with recent reports suggesting that about a billion dollars a year have been laundered through the province's casinos.This week, the federal government promised it will do more to help B.C. finally clamp down. Today on Front Burner, CBC Investigative journalist Eric Rankin explains the long-term problem and breaks down how the money is tangled up in organized crime, illegal drugs, and even real estate.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:54]


Deciem and the death of Brandon Truaxe

Brandon Truaxe, the founder of Canadian skincare company Deciem, has died after a year-long public unravelling. He built 'The Abnormal Beauty Company' into a worldwide brand through a combination of radical pricing and social media marketing. But his increasingly erratic behaviour, documented on his company's Instagram account, ultimately cost him his position as CEO. Senior business reporter Aaron Saltzman takes us inside Truaxe's story.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:28:54]


Women accuse former RCMP doctor of sexual assault

Canada's national police force is once again at the centre of disturbing allegations. Multiple women have come forward accusing a former RCMP doctor of sexually assaulting and harassing them decades ago when they were new recruits. CBC investigative reporter Dave Seglins explains what happened and why the RCMP is being accused of covering up sexual assaults from the '80s and '90s.

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Karen Wang, race and Canadian politics

"If you just say 'vote for me because I'm Chinese-Canadian', it didn't work. It hasn't worked, and it won't work." Former NDP MP Olivia Chow is a seasoned politician who has strong connections to the Chinese-Canadian community. She reflects on ex-Liberal candidate Karen Wang's race-based comments against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, and the role of race in Canadian politics.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:18]


How Yemen's cyberwar could shape future conflicts

Yemen's brutal civil war has produced the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, with thousands dead and millions facing starvation. But there's another dimension to the conflict - the battle over who controls the country's internet. CBC technology reporter Matthew Braga explains how that conflict could influence future wars.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:15]


Wet'suwet'en protests highlight Indigenous pipeline divide

The debate over a natural gas pipeline in Wet'suwet'en territory continues this week following protests over the arrest of 14 people at a blockade in the remote B.C. community. CBC reporter Chantelle Bellrichard recounts the moment the RCMP broke the barricade and explains why a pipeline project is dividing a number of B.C. Indigenous groups.

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The inside story of Rahaf Mohammed's escape from Saudi Arabia

Canada has granted asylum to Rahaf Mohammed, a Saudi teenager who fled to Thailand to escape alleged abuse from her family. CBC's senior correspondent Susan Ormiston shares the inside story of Mohammed's plight and her plans for the future.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:26:03]


Was a Canadian's death sentence in China an act of diplomatic retribution?

A Chinese court has sentenced Canadian Robert Schellenberg to death for drug smuggling. His retrial was announced a few weeks ago, amid growing tensions between Canada and China. The CBC's Asia correspondent Sasa Petricic explains how this death sentence is being seen as retribution for the arrest of Huawei's Meng Wanzhou.

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Three views on Maxime Bernier

Maxime Bernier says the People's Party of Canada will be on the ballot across the country in the upcoming federal election. But for a lot of people, the new fiscally-conservative libertarian party is still a big mystery. To find out more, we went to one of his political rallies and spoke to three Canadians who showed up to hear the former cabinet minister speak.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:17:08]


Amid desperation, Canada targets Venezuelan 'dictatorship'

As Venezuela struggles with food shortages and hyperinflation, journalists Adrienne Arsenault and Evan Dyer describe the conditions on the ground and how Canada is responding. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland has condemned the country's government, saying it is "fully entrenched as a dictatorship."

Download Amid desperation, Canada targets Venezuelan 'dictatorship'
[mp3 file: runs 00:22:47]


Europe's lessons for Trump's border wall

As the debate rages in the U.S. over funding for Donald Trump's proposed wall on the country's southern border, we ask CBC correspondent Nahlah Ayed just how effective Europe's barriers have been in stopping the flow of migrants. Ayed has travelled across Europe to investigate the recent proliferation of border walls as part of her reporting on the migration crisis.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:01]


How benzos and Xanax culture propel the opioid crisis

Why have benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax been involved in a large number of Canadian opioid overdose deaths? Zachary Siegel, a journalist and fellow at Northeastern University, breaks down benzos, why they're having a moment in the rap world and what role the drug plays in the overall overdose crisis.

Download How benzos and Xanax culture propel the opioid crisis
[mp3 file: runs 00:23:35]


China's plans to dominate space

"By 2045, China wants to become the strongest space power and space technology-based power in the world," says Namrata Goswami, an expert on China's space program. One step towards that goal is the launch of a research mission to the far side of the moon, where right now a Chinese rover is at work exploring. It was a complicated technological feat, and Goswami says it's just the beginning of the country's plans.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:18:15]


Uber and the perils of the gig economy

"The fact that these three judges really got this power imbalance between workers and this huge behemoth multi-national corporation...was just really breath-taking." Labour law professor and gig economy expert Veena Dubal talks about the significance of the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision to let a proposed class action lawsuit against Uber proceed, and how it fits into a larger picture of gig economy workers around the world trying to get recognized as employees.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:19:26]


Jagmeet Singh is fighting for his political life

"This is his biggest political test to date. It will decide the fate of Jagmeet Singh." With a federal election looming, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is under intense pressure to win a seat in the House of Commons in the upcoming Burnaby South byelection. Today on Front Burner, CBC National News reporter Hannah Thibedeau breaks down how things are looking for Singh and explains what's at stake for the future of the entire New Democratic Party.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:00]


Why the US Government is Still Shut Down

The United States government is entering the thirteenth day of a government shutdown that some predict will last for weeks. So how does this end? CBC correspondent Paul Hunter warns we are in uncharted territory. "There's no path out, and that's the problem right now."

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:15]


Can you trust your home smart speaker?

"I have a love-hate relationship with it." CBC senior technology reporter, Matthew Braga, explains how smart speakers work, why companies like Google and Amazon want you to have one in your home, and what privacy issues you should consider before setting up a Google Home or an Amazon Echo on your kitchen counter.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:10]


What's Canada's place in a chaotic world?

"The power that we have comes from influence, it comes from trying to convince countries to do things," says co-host of The National, Rosemary Barton. She joins Jayme to reexamine a series of events that challenged Canada's position in 2018 - from the chaos of the Trump presidency, to the diplomatic rift with China caused by Canada's arrest of Huawei's chief operating officer.

Download What's Canada's place in a chaotic world?
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The year in opinion

"We must engage with people who don't agree with us," says Simi Sara host of The Simi Sara Show. She joins Buzzfeed's Elamin Abdelmahmoud and The Globe's Adrian Lee for a chat about the stories that generated the most discussion and opinion in 2018.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:23:12]


How Fortnite blew up in 2018

"What Fortnite has done is break all the rules around what makes a successful video game," says Tom Power, host of CBC Radio's q. Fortnite has over 200 million registered users, and is reported to have brought in two billion dollars in profits for Epic Games this year. Since its launch in 2017, it's also become a pop culture phenomenon. So how did a free-to-play game become such a cultural and economic powerhouse? Tom Power helps us understand the game, and even teaches host Jayme Poisson how to play.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:18:19]


The terrible, no good year for Quebec sovereignty

"For 40 years, sovereignty has been in elections by default because either the party in power or the party in opposition was a sovereigntist party ? that is no longer the case," says long-time Quebec journalist Martin Patriquin. While the question of sovereignty remains front of mind for many Quebecers, this year it wasn't an issue in a Quebec election for the first time in decades. Today on Front Burner, Patriquin sheds light on why the province's separatist movement is struggling, but why it will endure.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:15:17]


Asylum in Canada explained

"Canada doesn't have a refugee crisis. Canada has a crisis of will in terms of what we want to do," says refugee and immigration lawyer Zool Suleman about the influx of people crossing the American border to seek asylum in Canada. The country's budget watchdog has now confirmed the federal cost of asylum seekers making irregular crossings and warned of a growing refugee claimant case backlog. But what does that really mean? Today on Front Burner, we shed light on a confusing system and an issue that's often clouded by rhetoric.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:00]


B.C. alleged terrorism case called a 'travesty of justice'

"From the justice system's point of view, you also have these bigger questions about how to conduct terrorism investigations, and investigations into these elaborate societal issues where we have fears about the crimes that people might commit." Today on Front Burner, senior reporter for CBC Vancouver, Jason Proctor, explains why a B.C. couple accused of planning a bomb plot had their convictions stayed due to entrapment and abuse of process by the RCMP.

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How and why the "yellow vest" protests spread

Economist correspondent Sophie Pedder says the 'yellow vest' protests in Canadian cities are different in some ways from the movement that inspired them in Paris.

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What does $1.6B in federal cash mean for the oil and gas sector?

"People are frustrated and they're upset and frankly, they're scared," says CBC business correspondent Peter Armstrong about workers in the oil and gas industry following months of record-low oil prices. On Tuesday the Canadian government announced a $1.6 billion support package for the struggling energy sector. Today on Front Burner, Armstrong explains what's at stake for Canada's oil patch and breaks down how far the funds will really go.

Download What does $1.6B in federal cash mean for the oil and gas sector?
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Who decides if you're dead?

"In the vast majority of circumstances, families and care providers in the intensive care unit are on the same page," says Dr. Brian Goldman on Taquisha McKitty's case. The 27-year old woman has been declared brain dead by five doctors, but is breathing with the assistance of a ventilator at the request of her family. Their fight to keep her alive is now before the Ontario Court of Appeal. Dr. Goldman, emergency physician and host of CBC Radio's White Coat Black Art, explains how the case sheds light on the complications of defining death.

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Will Doug Ford's friend become Ontario's top cop?

CBC Queen's Park reporter Mike Crawley says there's been pushback against the recent appointment of Ron Taverner, a friend of Ontario premier Doug Ford, to take over the provincial police force. Many worry Taverner's appointment could hurt the OPP's independence from political influence.

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How Thunder Bay police fail Indigenous people

"When the agency that's supposed to protect you is also an agency that you fear, there is really little place for you to find shelter," says Jorge Barrera, a reporter with CBC's Indigenous Unit, in relation to a disturbing new report about the Thunder Bay Police Service. Ontario's police watchdog Gerry McNeilly says "systemic racism" exists at an institutional level inside the police force. And the consequences of this racism are so severe that he's recommending nine cases involving the deaths of Indigenous people be re-opened and re-investigated. Today on Front Burner, we look at how Thunder Bay Police failed Indigenous people.

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Will controversial "Border Security" show get a government reboot?

CBC reporter Catharine Tunney says the reality TV show starring Canada's Border Services Agency was controversial. The show included footage of drug busts and interviews at ports of entry. It was not renewed after three seasons, but could come back. Correction: No additional lights were used during airport scenes of Border Security and the program aired for three seasons, not four and the name of the program in the introduction was corrected. This episode has been changed to reflect that.

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How the Huawei arrest is playing out in China

"The tone here is that this is an an innocent woman. So why would you treat her like a criminal? And the idea is, if you have handcuffed someone you have presumed their guilt," says Nathan VanderKlippe, the Globe and Mail's Asia correspondent. Tensions between Canada and China are high after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou and the subsequent detention of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig. Today on Front Burner, Nathan explains China's side of the diplomatic dispute and breaks down how this story is playing out in Beijing.

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Race, policing and a 'disturbing' pattern

"If a few white people were being killed at the rate that we are being killed...we wouldn't be having this conversation today," says Desmond Cole, in response to an Ontario Human Rights commission report on policing and race in Toronto. The report's findings include that a black person in Toronto is nearly 20 times more likely than a white person to be shot and killed by police. Cole is a writer and activist who focuses on race and policing.

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Taking the pulse of weed legalization

"This really is the beginning of a cultural shift," says Solomon Israel, cannabis reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press. Nearly two months into cannabis legalization he breaks down the complaints - from low quality to short supplies - and the positives - including the benefits that legal weed provides for medical research.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:19:52]


Spying, industrial espionage and the arrest of Huawei's CFO

"It's incredibly hard to overstate the significance of this arrest." CBC's economics reporter Peter Armstrong breaks down why Canada's arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou for extradition to the U.S. is such a big deal.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:43]


Was banning 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' the right call?

"In the context of this song it seems weird to not engage a little bit with the words and the lyrics," says writer Stacy Lee Kong after broadcasters, including the CBC, pull the song 'Baby It's Cold Outside'. The song is being criticized for what some believe to be problematic lyrics, in the wake of the #MeToo movement. But is taking the holiday tune off the radio the right call? Alan Cross, a longtime music journalist also joins the discussion.

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Stopping the flow of Chinese fentanyl into Canada

"If we were doing something killing thousands of Chinese, we would hear from them loud and clear," says former Canadian ambassador to China, David Mulroney. He argues that Canada needs to pressure China to do more to stop the flow of fentanyl, and questions why PM Justin Trudeau didn't apply more diplomatic pressure at the G20 this week.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:18:11]


The political cost of carbon taxes

As COP24 tries to set rules for how the world deals with environmental issues, we look at why the Canadian government has chosen carbon pricing as a key tool in addressing climate change. CBC reporter Nahlah Ayed gives us an overview of what's happening at COP24, and energy economist and Simon Fraser University professor Mark Jaccard explains why carbon pricing is a costly political move.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:19:17]


After millions in gambling debts, questions remain for MP

On Nov. 22, Raj Grewal said he would resign from his seat as the Liberal MP for Brampton East for 'personal and medical reasons'. Since then, new information has come to light...including a gambling problem, and a RCMP investigation into Grewal's finances. On Friday, Raj Grewal posted a video that addressed many of these allegations, and how he may not be resigning after all. Toronto Star parliamentary reporter Alex Ballingall explains what we actually know about the case.

Download After millions in gambling debts, questions remain for MP
[mp3 file: runs 00:18:40]


Should we break up Facebook?

This week, lawmakers all over the world sat down to grill Facebook about privacy and fake news. Canada's reps were especially harsh on the tech giant and one MP posed a tough question: Is Facebook just way too big? Breaking up a major American company isn't common. But in the past - banks, telecom companies, and even an oil giant were broken up by the U.S. government. Could that happen with tech giants today? Tim Wu, professor at Columbia Law School and author of The Curse of Bigness, breaks it down.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:18:47]


After seven months trapped inside an airport, a refugee calls Canada home

Hassan Al Kontar is now safe in Canada. But for seven long months, the Syrian refugee was stuck inside the transit area of Kuala Lumpur Airport, terrified of being deported back to Syria. Today, Hassan shares how he survived being stranded, the psychological toll of two months in detention in Malaysia, and how a group of Canadians changed this life by raising money to bring him to Whistler, B.C., as a privately-sponsored refugee.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:21:04]


Is Canada ready for Russian election meddling?

There's a lot of evidence to suggest that social media accounts tied to the Kremlin tried to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election, the Brexit vote, the last French election, and several elections across Europe. Turns out, they've been active in Canada too. Journalist Justin Ling tells us how Russian accounts have tried to spread misinformation and propaganda here, and how the Canadian government is responding, with the election one year away.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:10]


GM Oshawa closure casts new light on bailout

On Monday, General Motors announced it is pulling out of Oshawa, Ontario, where it employs more than 2,500 people. This comes years after a major Canadian bailout pulled GM back from the brink. The National's Jonathon Gatehouse breaks down corporate bailouts the Canadian auto sector has received and explains how that fits into Canada's broader relationship with buoying big business.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:31]


What will it take to build Trans Mountain? What will it take to stop it?

Reconsideration hearings for the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline continue this week in B.C. This is the same pipeline that the federal government bought for $4.5-billion, only to have a Federal Court of Appeal delay construction because the review didn't consider oil tanker traffic, or consult enough with Indigenous groups. UBC professor Kathryn Harrison lays out what it might take to get the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion through, and what it could take to stop it.

Download What will it take to build Trans Mountain? What will it take to stop it?
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Will Canada act after Jamal Khashoggi's murder?

As the political fallout of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder becomes clearer, we look into Canada's response to Saudi Arabia with help from Canadian Press reporter Andy Blatchford.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:12:16]


Explaining Drake and Pusha T's beef

On Tuesday, rapper Pusha T had a concert in Toronto interrupted by a brawl in the audience. Fans threw beer at him and tried to jump on stage. And now, a man is in life-threatening condition after being stabbed. Pusha T and Canadian rapper Drake have been in a public feud since last spring, and Pusha has accused Drake of paying members of the rowdy audience. Author and Drake biographer Dalton Higgins on how this beef developed.

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Why Did Canadian Diplomats Get 'Phantom Concussions' in Cuba?

Nausea, debilitating headaches, loss of balance. Those are just a few of the symptoms that a group of Canadian and American diplomats became ill with last year in Cuba, even though none of them were physically hurt. Now, Canadian diplomats afflicted by the "Havana Syndrome" are calling on the federal government to get to the bottom of the mystery. Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders explains.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:59]


Viola Desmond's unfinished work

The $10 Canadian bill honouring civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond goes into circulation this week. The bill is being celebrated by many across the country. But for some, including El Jones, this is also an opportunity to reflect on the racism that remains today in Viola Desmond's home province of Nova Scotia. El Jones is an advocate for black communities in Nova Scotia, and Halifax's former poet-laureate.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:15:58]


McGill 'hazing' survivor reflects on St. Michael's sexual assault allegations

Police are investigating alleged assaults and sexual assaults at St. Michael's College School, including one reportedly involving members of the football team holding down another student and sexually assaulting him with a broom handle. D'Arcy McKeown was the victim of a similar 'hazing' incident at McGill University. He speaks out about his experience.

Download McGill 'hazing' survivor reflects on St. Michael's sexual assault allegations
[mp3 file: runs 00:21:12]


Brexit is a mess

Theresa May's Brexit plan is one step closer to reality. But members of the British Prime Minister's party are resigning and she could be removed from power. CBC London correspondent Nahlah Ayed explains how we got here and what it means for the future of the United Kingdom and the EU.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:15:12]


Inside the hunt for alleged Mexican drug lord El Chapo

U.S. prosecutors say Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán is a brutal cartel kingpin that ran the largest drug trafficking organization in the world. As his criminal trial begins in Brooklyn, former DEA agent Andrew Hogan explains how El Chapo managed to evade the law for so many years.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:19:19]


Will the NHL concussion settlement change anything?

In 2013 a group of hockey players launched a lawsuit against the NHL alleging that the league failed to protect players from head injuries or warn them of the risk of playing. A tentative settlement between the NHL and more than 300 players has now been reached. Will this make players safer? And will it help the future of the league? TSN senior correspondent Rick Westhead explains.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:17:09]


Stan Lee's legacy is as complicated as the Marvel Universe

The day after Stan Lee's death, we look at the comic book legend's impact on popular culture. And New York Magazine and Vulture staff writer Abraham Riesman explains why Stan Lee's legacy is just a complicated as the superhero stories he helped create.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:45]


Google, Alphabet and the fight over a controversial 'smart city' in Toronto

CBC technology reporter Matthew Braga explains Sidewalk Toronto's plan to create a futuristic neighbourhood on waterfront property in downtown Toronto and breaks down why some say the high-tech smart city is the solution to our urban woes... while others are concerned about the intentions of the Google-affiliated company.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:25:13]


Bridging the climate change divide

British author and carbon pricing expert, George Marshall, explains the psychology of climate change communication and describes the work he's done in Canada on this front - to bridge the political divides.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:15:02]


MP Tony Clement's sexting and extortion scandal

Longtime MP Tony Clement has resigned as justice critic for the official opposition and is leaving the Conservative caucus after admitting that sharing sexually explicit images and video led to an extortion attempt. Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos delves into how a seasoned politician known for being an early social media adopter ended up at the centre of a sexting scandal.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:13:47]


The U.S. midterm election explained

CBC Washington correspondent Keith Boag walks us through the United States midterm election results and what they mean.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:22:43]


'We were unwanted cargo' How Canada turned away refugees during the Holocaust

Eva Wiener describes her voyage across the Atlantic and how she feels about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's upcoming apology for Canada having turned her ship back. Also, CBC Ottawa Senior Reporter Catherine Cullen describes the politics of the apology.

Download 'We were unwanted cargo' How Canada turned away refugees during the Holocaust
[mp3 file: runs 00:17:10]


Vancouver's complicated relationship with Chinese money

Bloomberg's Vancouver bureau chief Natalie Obiko Pearson helps us navigate the city's complicated relationship with Chinese money. That relationship has ties to the city's housing affordability crisis. Tackling affordability is job number one for Kennedy Stewart, who begins his work as Vancouver's mayor today.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:16:53]


Travelling with the migrant caravan

A caravan of about 4,000 migrants is heading north through Mexico. Their journey has become heavily politicized. CBC's senior correspondent Susan Ormiston describes what she's seen during her travels with the migrants.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:18:41]


Who, in the world, wants to host the Winter Olympics?

Calgary city council nearly killed a bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. If a city wide vote cancels the bid, just two possible locations remain, Italy and Sweden. Those campaigns face opposition as well. Toronto Star sports columnist Bruce Arthur explains why.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:15:56]


How a B.C. man's healing journey ended in two murders

Sebastian Woodroffe's life unraveled after multiple trips to Peru to take the drug ayahuasca. What prompted his killing, and that of a Peruvian shaman? Mark Kelley from CBC's The Fifth Estate went to Peru to investigate.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:19:23]


'Alt-right' social network Gab's connection to an anti-Semitic massacre

Just minutes before one of the deadliest attacks on Jews in America's history, the alleged shooter posted a message to Gab, a social media network known for attracting white nationalists and the alt-right. So, what is Gab, and where does it fit in the big picture of online hate? Slate's tech reporter April Glaser explains.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:16:24]


How Canada helped save the White Helmets

After a harrowing escape, more than a hundred Syrian war zone first responders and their families are being resettled in Canada, as refugees. Hear the CBC's Murray Brewster describe their journey and why they could still be in danger.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:20:01]


PREVIEW: Carbon tax or shell game?

How exactly does Canada's new carbon tax work? CBC Parliamentary reporter J.P. Tasker breaks it down.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:15:39]


Trailer

Coming October 29, Front Burner is a daily news podcast from CBC that explores the big stories of the day with curiosity and an open mind. Hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Jayme Poisson who takes you deep into the narratives shaping Canada and the world.

Download Trailer
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