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The Sunday Magazine for May 28, 2023

Naheed Nenshi and Ryan Jespersen tee up the Alberta election, author Michelle Min Sterling discusses her debut novel Camp Zero, Slate writer Henry Grabar on how parking explains the world and sociologist Jonathan Kennedy charts the history of human plagues. Plus, the Pulitzer prize-winning poet whose work has a hint about the series finale of Succession.

Election eve in Alberta 

On the eve of the Alberta election, Former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi and Edmonton podcast host Ryan Jespersen join guest host Robyn Bresnahan to talk about what's at stake for Albertans and what this election could signal to the rest of Canada.

How parking explains the world

Slate writer Henry Grabar says parking isn't just a mundane chore or frequent frustration - it can actually tell us a lot about our cities, our psyches and our culture. He lays it all out in a new book, Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World.

Michelle Min Sterling on her debut novel Camp Zero

In Canadian author Michelle Min Sterling's debut novel, Camp Zero, Alberta's cold climate is seen as a new and precious resource. Min Sterling, a Berklee College literature professor, joins guest host Robyn Bresnahan to talk about the book and how visiting a cousin working in the oil patch inspired the setting for her first eco-thriller.

How plagues explain our history

The COVID-19 pandemic may have felt like an unprecedented time. But sociologist Jonathan Kennedy says in the course of human history, plagues and pandemics have not only been the norm, they've been the main driver of our evolution— from the rise of homo sapiens and Christianity to the advent of colonialism.

Could a poem from the 1960s hold a clue about how Succession will end?

The popular HBO drama Succession comes to a close this Sunday with its highly-anticipated series finale. As the internet buzzes with theories, some are looking to a 1969 poem by Pultizer-prize winning poet John Berryman for clues.

We need to talk about class to tackle inequality in Canada, author argues

Toronto Star books editor Deborah Dundas says that even though class divisions exist in Canada, we don't talk about them openly.

The Sunday Magazine for May 21, 2023

Donovan Bailey and Ian Mendes discuss the bid to buy the Ottawa Senators, producer John Chipman visits Alberta to look for the middle ground before the province's election, long time CBC journalist Colleen Jones talks about her sweeping career in curling and broadcasting and we remember celebrated British author, Martin Amis.

Why the Ottawa Senators seem to be hockey's hottest property

The competition to buy the Ottawa Senators took a new turn this week, when Canadian sports legend Donovan Bailey joined a bid led by U-S businessman Neko Sparks and rapper Snoop Dogg. Snoop Dogg has said he wants to bring more diversity to the game and Bailey tells us why he is getting on board. Ian Mendes, a senior writer at The Athletic also joins Robyn Bresnahan to talk about why the team is attracting so much attention. 

Searching for the centre in Alberta politics

Albertans go to the polls next week in a tight election pitting Danielle Smith's United Conservatives against Rachel Notley's New Democrats. But there is a lot of political space between those two poles, which leads to a question: Where has the centre gone in Alberta politics? CBC Producer John Chipman went looking, and found himself in a true-blue riding, where despite the odds, one candidate believes he can win voters over by occupying the middle ground.

Remembering Martin Amis

Martin Amis, one of the most celebrated British novelists of his generation died at age 73. His best known works were published in the 1980s, among them Money, in 1985 and London Fields, in 1989. He was also known as the son of another literary great, Kingsley Amis. Critic and author Zachary Leader came to know both men well when he wrote a biography of the elder Amis. He speaks to Robyn Bresnahan about Amis' work and their friendship.

Colleen Jones on her sweeping career on and off the ice

Colleen Jones has been on Canadian television screens for decades. She's covered the supper-hour sports beat and Olympic Games, blazing a trail for other women sportscasters. She won the first of many national curling titles at age 22. She joins guest host Robyn Bresnahan to talk about her decision to retire and her sweeping career, on and off the ice.

Does the 'Godfather of AI' think he's created a monster?: 'A little bit. Yes'

Geoffrey Hinton, the computer scientist who left his job at Google to sound the alarm on AI’s threat to humanity hopes he’s scaring politicians into doing something. In an wide-ranging interview with Robyn Bresnahan, he also offers hope: Humanity has survived big threats before, but only by taking them seriously and getting to work.

The Sunday Magazine for May 14, 2023

Journalists Nathan VanderKlippe and Janyce McGregor analyze growing tensions between Canada and China, Mary Louise Kelly talks about juggling motherhood and work, we get the latest on Alberta's wildfires, the 'godfather of AI' Geoffrey Hinton warns of its dangers, author Deborah Dundas makes the case for more open conversations about class.

Why we need to talk about class in Canada

Deborah Dundas grew up poor. She didn't always have a refrigerator, her own bed or enough change to do laundry. Her story isn't unique so she wonders why it's still so taboo to talk about class in Canada. Dundas joined Piya Chattopadhyay to talk about her new book, On Class, which she hopes will open up conversations about inequity in our society.

A reporter's struggle to balance deadlines and family time

Mary Louise Kelly, the host of NPR's All Things Considered has a new memoir in which she opens up about the hard choices she faced, juggling her family and her job as a host and national security reporter. Kelly decided to hit pause on her journalism career to cherish the last year her family would live under one roof.

Alberta's battle to control wildfires continues

More than 400 wildfires have scorched hundreds of thousands of hectares of land in Alberta. Last Saturday, the province declared a state of emergency. CBC National reporter Erin Collins has been on the ground all week and joins us to take stock of the devastation and the recovery efforts.

Rising tensions in Canada-China relations

Tensions between Canada and China are escalating after the Trudeau government expelled a Chinese diplomat this week. China responded by kicking a Canadian envoy out of Shanghai. Reporters Nathan VanderKlippe and Janyce McGregor join Robyn Bresnahan to dig into this latest diplomatic tit-for-tat.

The Sunday Magazine for May 7, 2023

Ann MacMillan reflects on the coronation of King Charles, Tamara Cherry compels us to re-think crime reporting, Huda Mukbil recounts fighting racism and bullying within CSIS, our monthly brain game That's Puzzling! returns, and we take a look at the newly-minted King Charles coins.

Meet the sculptor charged with bringing King Charles to British coins

Martin Jennings, who designed the United Kingdom's new King Charles coin, reflects on how he aimed to create an enduring image... and reveals whether or not he hid the image of a bird in his likeness of the King's head.

The road ahead for King Charles III and the monarchy

Former CBC London bureau chief Ann MacMillan joins Piya Chattopadhyay to share her reflections on the coronation of King Charles, and how she thinks he may approach his role differently than Queen Elizabeth.

Former crime reporter calls for a reckoning in the business of bad news

Tamara Cherry joins Piya Chattopadhyay to talk about her new book The Trauma Beat; The Case for Re-Thinking the Business of Bad News, which explores how interactions with journalists can re-harm and traumatize survivors and victims.

Former CSIS officer explores her years of fighting terrorists, spies, and institutional racism

As one of the only Black Arab-Canadian intelligence officers working at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service who could speak fluent Arabic in the early 2000s, Mukbil says she was valued at work – until she decided to start wearing a hijab.

That's Puzzling! for May 2023

In the latest edition of our monthly challenge That's Puzzling!, Piya Chattopadhyay competes against one familiar voice and one clever listener in a battle of brain games devised by puzzle master Peter Brown. Playing along this month are Shirra Wall of Nanaimo, B.C., and Elamin Abdelmahmoud, the host of Commotion on CBC Radio.  

Former Buzzfeed News head Ben Smith reflects on the outlet's rise and fall, and the current media maelstrom

Ben Smith, the former Buzzfeed News editor-in-chief and former media columnist for the New York TImes joins Piya Chattopadhyay to make sense of the latest events in he shifting media landscape and to talk about his new book, Traffic Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral.