The Sunday Edition for September 15, 2019

Listen to this week's episode of The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright.

Confessions of a smartphone addict - Michael's essay

"I had pooh-poohed those pitiable creatures welded to their phones, but now I was experiencing an empty sense of loss which I never expected. Was it conceivable that I had become as addicted to my phone as they were to theirs?"

Canadians may or may not elect the government they want

It's fair to say that there's an odour of cynicism in the autumn air with an election five weeks away. Author and electoral reform advocate Dave Meslin, political scientist Melanee Thomas and former Conservative senator and long-time political insider Hugh Segal join Michael Enright for a lively discussion about how well Canadian voters are served by our parliamentary democracy – and how well our parliamentary democracy is served by voters.

'The fiddle is laughing': How this teen and 83-year-old keep Ti-Jean Carignan's music alive

Maxim Bergeron is a teen violin virtuoso from Berlin. Gilles Losier is an 83-year-old Acadian pianist from New Brunswick. The bond between them was forged by the music of legendary Quebec musician Ti-Jean Carignan.

The global explosion of cities built from scratch sparks hope and concern

It's an urbanization trend that's taking off around the world. Take swaths of undeveloped land, add steel, concrete, technology, political capital and heaps of money and voila: Instant cities — ones that promise low environmental impacts and high quality of life. Sarah Moser of McGill University talks about this global phenomenon and how well it delivers on its promise.

The wit and wisdom of the late Desmond Morton

We pay tribute to the great Canadian historian and public intellectual Desmond Morton, who died on September 4, by digging into The Sunday Edition vaults for his insights on an issue that's as relevant as ever in this political season: Promises, and what they're really worth — especially when it's politicians who are making them.
Point of View

I made a vow to stop buying new clothes. It's harder than I thought

Our economy is built on consumer capitalism, but endless consumption takes a heavy toll on the planet and our bank accounts. Dorothy Woodend tells of her efforts to end her love affair with buying stuff in her essay, “Shop No More.”

Is meatless meat really better for your health and the planet?

Meat, especially beef, has been getting a bad rap in recent years for the toll it takes on the planet and our health. Hence the soaring popularity of meatless burgers that still look, smell and taste like real meat. But Jim Thomas, a Co-Executive Director and Researcher with the ETC Group in Quebec, says we should think again about whether highly-processed meat substitutes are a real solution.

The Sunday Edition for September 8, 2019

Listen to this week's episode of The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright.

September need not be the end of summer - Michael's essay

As cool winds set in, we are constantly reminded of the inevitability of winter. Even though September signifies darkness, it is also a reminder that summer's warmth will re-emerge again.

Paul Rogers and Margaret MacMillan discuss a planet on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Kashmir, Hong Kong, Iran, Brexit, U.S. politics, the rise of the xenophobic far right across Europe, not to mention the extreme weather unleashed by climate change: Lately, it's seemed as if the world is having a meltdown. British security and geopolitical expert Paul Rogers and renowned Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan have studied global affairs at their most turbulent in the past and present, and discuss the current state of geopolitical upheaval and Canada's place is in the world (dis)order that's unfolding now.

A thank you dinner for the 'forgotten' migrant workers who pick Canada's food

Migrant farm workers from the Caribbean and Latin America toil in the blazing sun, but live largely in the shadows. Except when a businesswoman in Leamington, Ont., throws them a party — a feast full of the tastes and sounds of home. Alisa Siegel takes us to that party in her documentary "The Forgotten Ones."

An award-winning writer faces terminal illness by pursuing beauty

Brian Brett is a writer and self-proclaimed rural renegade. After years of battling illness, Brett was given the bad news that he has terminal cancer. In an essay entitled “If Your Doctor Said This Was Your Last Spring, What Would You Do?”, he explores how to die with a 'rage to live'.

The Canadian who helped craft Pope Francis's statement on climate change will be our fourth cardinal

Pope Francis named Czech-born Canadian Jesuit priest Michael Czerny a cardinal last weekend. We revisit Michael Enright's 2015 interview with Czerny about Laudato Si — Francis's encyclical on the environment, which Czerny played an instrumental role in drafting.

One hundred years later, a new book chronicles the tale of a missing millionaire

On Dec. 2, 1919, a wealthy theatre impresario went missing in Toronto. His last recorded action was to deposit a cheque for one million dollars and no one knew what had happened to middle-aged man. Writer Katie Daubs chronicles this perplexing mystery, which occurred at the dawn of the twentieth century.
Point of View

Unlike some of my students, I have loved the beginning of new school years

As September marks the end of summer, English teacher Brian Kellow reflects on the simple pleasures in his day-to-day interactions with his students.

The Sunday Edition for September 1, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with guest host Connie Walker.

How former youth in care are working to fix Canada's child welfare system

Connie Walker speaks with Ashley Bach, an Indigenous youth leader, Arisha Khan, a Rhodes Scholar, and Melanie Doucet, a PhD student in social work. All three also grew up in foster care and are now working to reform the system in Canada.

Rebecca Traister on the revolutionary power of women's anger

Feminist writer Rebecca Traister argues that women have been taught to hide their anger. But, she says, to create political change, they must bring it out in the open and use it as fuel for action.

The untold story of Canada's black train porters

At the beginning of the 20th century, being a train porter in Canada was the exclusive domain of black men who laboured long hours for miserable pay. Cecil Foster is a journalist and academic whose book, They Call Me George; The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada, chronicles the story of the "Pullmen" of the Canadian rail lines, and their fight for social justice.

Why aren't most women represented in the last names of their children?

In the old days, there would be no debate. Father's last name. Case closed. But now that many women are keeping their own names, why aren't they represented in the names of their children? Julia Pagel's documentary is called "The Tricky One".

Patrick deWitt on the upside of clichés and why we need humour more than ever

Novelist Patrick deWitt's latest book, French Exit, is a tragedy of manners with an absurdist twist. It was shortlisted for the 2018 Giller Prize.

The Sunday Edition for August 25, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with guest host Connie Walker.

'We worked until our breath gave out': The political and environmental roots of India's deadly heat wave

Delhi-based journalist and author Nilanjana Roy talks about what life is like at 48 degrees Celsius and how difficult it is to get climate change on the national agenda.

How desegregation led this TSO trumpeter to the teacher who changed his life

In 1981, Andrew McCandless, 10, was bused from his white working-class community to an overwhelmingly black middle school, where he met Robert Jarrett. More than 30 years later, he honoured his mentor.