The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for June 13, 2021

Host Piya Chattophadyay speaks with Natasha Lindstaedt about the G7 summit, Olympian Donovan Bailey about his gold medal win 25 years ago, writer and reporter Lawrence Wright about his new book on the first year of the pandemic in America and former Republican congressman Jeff Flake about Trump's hold on the GOP. Plus, lawyer Dany Assaf reflects on the tragic events in London, Ont.

This week on The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay:

The G7 summit

At this week's G7 summit in the U.K., national leaders will discuss everything from biodiversity to governance. But the biggest priority will be bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and "building back better" in its wake. Piya will be joined by Natasha Lindstaedt, a professor in the Department of Government at the University of Essex, who unpacks what happened at this year's G7 and tells us why it may not be effective enough to tackle the world's biggest problems. 

The dead end of hate and the betrayal of the Canadian promise 

Dany Assaf's great-grandfather helped build Canada's first mosque in Edmonton in 1938. Assaf grew up a hockey-loving kid on the prairies and is now a globally recognized lawyer. He and his wife co-founded Toronto's annual Fast in the 6: Diversity.Unity.Prosperity event. He recently published a memoir called Say Please and Thank You & Stand in Line: One man's story of what makes Canada special, and how to keep it that way. In a personal essay, Assaf reflects on the tragedy in London, Ont., and why all Canadians need to collectively own the hatred that led to it so that we can come out the other side as a stronger, more inclusive nation. 

Jeff Flake, the GOP and the future of democracy

Seven months after the 2020 presidential election was resolved, believing that the election was stolen from Donald Trump is crucial for any Republican who wants to stay in the good books of the GOP's base. Meanwhile, many states with Republican-dominated legislatures have been pushing new electoral laws that would make it harder for some groups — notably Black Americans — to vote, while making it easier for partisan officials to overturn election results. Jeff Flake, a former Republican Congressman and Senator from Arizona, and one of Trump's most vocal critics, talks to Piya about the threat that Trump's hold on the GOP poses to the party's future — and to democracy itself.

Donovan Bailey looks back on Olympic gold 25 years later 

In 9.84 seconds Donovan Bailey made history, breaking the world record, and winning gold for Canada in the 100-metre sprint at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Six days later, he was also part of a four-man relay team that made history once again — the first-ever Canadian team to outrun the Americans in that race. But Bailey's journey didn't start — or stop —  at the top of the podium. He has always charted his own course and spoken his mind, especially when it comes to tackling racism in his sport and in Canada as a whole. As we approach the 25th anniversary of his record-breaking moment this July, Bailey talks to Piya about his journey to Olympic Gold, what came after and where his life — and his thoughts — are today.

Lawrence Wright on The Plague Year

When COVID-19 first appeared in the US in late January 2020, the country was thought to be among the world's best-positioned to handle a pandemic. But, within a year, nearly 400,000 people would be dead and Donald Trump would be on his way out of office. In his new book, The Plague Year, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Lawrence Wright chronicles in horrifying detail the first year of a nation caught in the clutches of a novel coronavirus. He tells Piya about how it reached into every corner of American society and became so much more than a story about a single virus.