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.

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.

Download Race, policing and a 'disturbing' pattern
[mp3 file: runs 00:20:17]


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.

Download Taking the pulse of weed legalization
[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.

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

Download Was banning 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' the right call?
[mp3 file: runs 00:20:03]


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.

Download Stopping the flow of Chinese fentanyl into Canada
[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.

Download The political cost of carbon taxes
[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.

Download Should we break up Facebook?
[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.

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

Download Is Canada ready for Russian election meddling?
[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.

Download GM Oshawa closure casts new light on bailout
[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?
[mp3 file: runs 00:18:46]


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.

Download Will Canada act after Jamal Khashoggi's murder?
[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.

Download Explaining Drake and Pusha T's beef
[mp3 file: runs 00:19:28]


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.

Download Why Did Canadian Diplomats Get 'Phantom Concussions' in Cuba?
[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.

Download Viola Desmond's unfinished work
[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.

Download Brexit is a mess
[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.

Download Inside the hunt for alleged Mexican drug lord El Chapo
[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.

Download Will the NHL concussion settlement change anything?
[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.

Download Stan Lee's legacy is as complicated as the Marvel Universe
[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.

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

Download Bridging the climate change divide
[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.

Download MP Tony Clement's sexting and extortion scandal
[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.

Download The U.S. midterm election explained
[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.

Download Vancouver's complicated relationship with Chinese money
[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.

Download Travelling with the migrant caravan
[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.

Download Who, in the world, wants to host the Winter Olympics?
[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.

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

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

Download How Canada helped save the White Helmets
[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.

Download PREVIEW: Carbon tax or shell game?
[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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