The Sunday Edition for December 1, 2019

Listen to this week's episode.

A former crown prosecutor makes the case for Indigenous justice

Harold Johnson is a Cree man from Saskatchewan. He's a Harvard law graduate, and he's a former crown prosecutor. He walked away from his career in law because he became convinced the justice system is only doing harm to Indigenous people. Michael Enright speaks with him about his life, how the killing of Colten Boushie and the Gerald Stanley case shook him to the core, and his new book: Peace and Good Order: the Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada.
Point of View

30 years since the Montreal massacre, we still see a deadly hatred of women

In the late afternoon of December 6, 1989, an angry young man with a semi-automatic rifle walked into the registrar's office at École Polytechnique, the University of Montréal's engineering school. After twenty minutes, 14 women lay dead, and 14 others, mostly women, were injured. He had compiled a hit list of 19 other women he wanted to murder. Journalist and prominent feminist Francine Pelletier learned that she was one of them.

The promise of egg freezing is 'very real.' So are the pitfalls, say experts

Young women are increasingly freezing their eggs and storing them for a chance to become pregnant later in life. But experts say it's not an airtight solution.

This forester says it's better to cut down a real tree at Christmas than to assemble one from a box

This forester says it’s better to cut down a real tree at Christmas than to assemble one from a box: people tend to believe artificial Christmas trees are environmentally friendlier because, after all, we are not supposed to cut down real trees. However, Marie-Paule Godin, a forester with the non-profit group Tree Canada, says that needs a rethink.

Celebrating George Eliot on her 200th birthday. Did she write the greatest English novel of all time?

Many eminent literary critics say yes. Rohan Maitzen, who teaches English at Dalhousie University in Halifax, readily agrees. She talks to Michael about Eliot’s legacy, and how there are new treasures to be found in Middlemarch with each reading. Professor Maitzen has read it dozens of times.

Remembering Clive James and Sir Jonathan Miller, two intellectual polymaths

Clive James and Sir Jonathan Miller can best be described as true polymaths. Among their many achievements, they were writers, humorists, scholars and cultural commentators. We remember two intellectual giants.

The Sunday Edition for November 24, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.

Michael's Essay on two Canadians held in Chinese prison

"In less than four weeks it will be a full year since Chinese authorities arrested two Canadians and threw them in jail. On December 18 last year, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested on charges of ‘endangering state security.’ A full year, and it is as though they have ceased to exist. Or have been transported to some remote island beyond the reach of humans.”

Canadian labour legend Leo Gerard on the past, present and future of unions

The veteran labour leader talks about his life in the labour movement and the future of unions in an age of globalized trade, a collapsing manufacturing sector and precarious employment.
Point of View

How poetry helped me navigate the turbulence of teen angst

Who among us didn't try their hand at a little poetry? Make the stab at stringing words together, aiming to say something deep, reveal a truth, capture a moment — a dark one, of course. It's almost a rite of passage. It certainly was for Sarah Prospero.

What makes a musical prodigy? Brain researchers look to demystify genius

Montreal’s BRAMS lab explores biological basis for what most believe is ‘gift of God, magic’

These veteran editors say it's perception, not reality, that more errors are being published

Even though newspapers, magazines and publishers have laid off editors, veteran freelance book editor Greg Ioannou says this is a “golden age” for his craft. And long-time newspaper editor Patti Tasko maintains that the way stories get to print is vastly different now, but editors are trained and experienced as never before. They talk about the changing landscape in the world of editing.

Exploring the soundtracks of political dissent

Political protests have seized the streets of major cities around the world. Hong Kong, Beirut, Baghdad, Tehran and Santiago, Chile, to name just a few. And these political movements have soundtracks. Music scholar Katia Chornik -- a classically trained violinist whose parents did time as political prisoners in Chile, discusses the songs that have inspired Chileans from the days of the Pinochet dictatorship to the protests roiling the country today.

Canada's piano superstar on her main man — J. S. Bach

Ottawa’s Angela Hewitt on becoming the first woman to win the Bach Medal and the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach.

The Sunday Edition for November 17, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.

The war between hostile architecture and homelessness - Michael's essay

“Take the lowly park bench. Most now come equipped with a useless third armrest in the middle. Its only purpose is to make sure a homeless person doesn't lie down to sleep. Defenders of this kind of architecture say it is designed to cut down on crime. In fact, these designs are directly targeted at the poor and the homeless.”

The stories objects tell: What survivors of the Partition of India took with them

The Partition of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947 was bloody and chaotic, sending 14 million people fleeing for their lives and leaving more than a million dead. New Delhi-based artist and oral historian Aanchal Malhotra interviewed survivors of partition, including her own relatives, about the physical objects they took with them and the stories those objects tell.

A woman's fight to rescue horses from slaughter in the B.C. Interior

For the past 20 years, Lyall has worked full-time rescuing reject horses from slaughter. She started B.C. Horse Angels, an operation she runs by herself. It’s a full-time job rehabilitating the horses and adopting the ones she can out to good homes.

The Senate is more representative of Canada than the House of Commons, says former Senator André Pratte

Pratte shares his views on what is and isn't working in the Senate and how Trudeau’s attempt to make the Senate less partisan has panned out.

A disastrous hard border or a reunification? David Norris on Brexit's impact on Ireland

One of Ireland's most quotable political personalities shares his thoughts on Brexit and the upcoming British election.

A birthday tribute to Margaret Atwood

Canada's most celebrated writer turns 80 years old on Monday. We'll look back at Margaret Atwood's brilliant career -- through the wit, wisdom and stories about assorted hijinks and misadventures she’s brought to her many appearances on The Sunday Edition.

The Sunday Edition for November 10, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.

Why The Sunday Edition recorded a concert at a maximum security prison - Michael's essay

“We deprive people of their liberty and send them to jail AS punishment, not FOR punishment. Like every closed community — whether a seminary, an army unit or a police force — the idea of incarceration is to break down one's individuality.”

Ben Lerner's new novel goes back to the '90s to understand Trump's America

Ben Lerner's new novel, The Topeka School, is perhaps his most dazzling yet — an exploration of masculinity and whiteness in Trump's America, how to raise children well, and the devolution of public debate and civic discourse into a vicious martial art. Lerner joins Michael Enright for a wide-ranging conversation about the peculiar cultural and social temper of the times and how we got here.