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The Sunday Edition for January 26, 2020

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

Canadians are a winter people and we know the indifference of nature — Michael's essay

"Humans have been praying to the weather gods since we slouched out of the primordial ooze. The gods haven’t been listening. But we humans are nothing if not resilient. Canadians are a winter people, and we know the indifference of nature. It does its worst and we prevail. This is especially true of Newfoundlanders.”

Housing is a human right: How Finland is eradicating homelessness

As part of The Sunday Edition's continuing coverage of homelessness in Canada, Michael speaks with Juha Kaakinen, the architect of Finland's national Housing First program. Its premise could hardly be simpler: If the problem is that people don't have homes, the solution is to give them homes. Period. There have been naysayers, of course, but in Finland, at least, it's been a spectacular success. And the model is catching on in municipalities across Europe, Asia and North America.

A century before Meghan and Harry, this Italian noble family sought refuge in B.C. — and stayed

The story of a royal couple giving up their titles, privilege and castle has caused seismic reactions around the world. A little over 100 years ago, an Italian noble family landed in a small town in British Columbia, the history of which is still coming to light. 

This obesity expert says we have far less control over our weight than we think

We’ve been ingrained with the idea that the path to losing weight is to eat less and exercise more. Jennifer Kuk says it’s not that simple. She is a professor in the department of kinesiology and health science at York University who says there are social, environmental and genetic factors at play.

Hannah Moscovitch's provocative new play encourages a nuanced, open conversation in the age of #MeToo

In the age of #MeToo, #TimesUp, Harvey Weinstein and countless sexual predators, it can be hard to have a nuanced and open conversation about sexual misconduct in all its varieties without people becoming angry or defensive. But that's exactly what one of Canada's funniest and most talented playwrights — Hannah Moscovitch — encourages, with her provocative new play Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes.

What makes the colour grey worthy of a love letter? Let Meghan Flaherty explain

There are far more than 50 shades of grey, for the record. It may be no peacock as colours go, but grey is no less expressive than its more flamboyant cousins on the colour wheel. Author Megan Flaherty recently wrote an essay called “Ode to Grey” in The Paris Review — an appreciation of the world's most underestimated hue.

The Sunday Edition for January 19, 2020

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

The war on pedestrians — Michael's essay

"The carnage of pedestrian deaths in our major cities and towns continues unabated. Last year, Toronto saw 40 deaths. Pedestrians are struck by cars at a rate of three a day. In one four-and-a-half hour period in 2018, 17 pedestrians were hit by cars. Last year set a record of pedestrian deaths in Montreal — 24. In BC, there were 49 pedestrian deaths. What is especially galling about these numbers is the fact that these terrible deaths were preventable.”

Linda McQuaig on how privatization is impoverishing the public in Canada

In her latest book, Linda McQuaig argues that Canada was built by massive public investment in railways, energy, medicare and public spaces — and that in the last 25 years, governments have been on a privatization crusade. Contrary to prevailing political and economic opinion, McQuaig believes Canada should be expanding — not shrinking — publicly-funded projects. Urgently.

A friendship forged through Dostoevsky and Leonard Cohen

Mikhail Rykov is a computer engineer who grew up in the Soviet Union, playing banned cassettes and his guitar. After the Soviet Union collapsed, he made his way to Canada and eventually to Jerry Golland's ESL classroom in Ottawa. The two men found a "secret chord" that still connects them. David Gutnick's documentary is called "All of Us Are Sputniks.”

Daniel MacIvor on being a 'weirdo' and Cape Breton's dark humor

The playwright and actor shares how he began writing and the influences on his work.

'Iraq for Iraqis': After decades of corruption, occupation and proxy wars, young Iraqis demand a new future

Seventeen years after the U.S.-led invasion that ended Saddam Hussein's regime, peace, prosperity, stability or good government still have yet to come to the Iraqi people. And now they find themselves in the middle of the US-Iran conflict. Yanar Mohammed is an Iraqi-Canadian feminist who was in the thick of anti-government protests that filled Baghdad's streets last year, and she knows well the fears, frustrations and hopes of Iraqis as they nervously await Iran's and the U.S.'s next moves.
The Sunday Edition

Remembering Roger Scruton, who said science alone can't explain what makes us human

We revisit Michael Enright's conversation with the late British philosopher Roger Scruton, who died on Jan. 12, 2020. Neuroscience claims to hold the keys to human qualities like altruism, love, imagination, hope, creativity and ethics. Scruton disagreed in his book On Human Nature.

The Sunday Edition for January 12, 2020

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

The Canadian government's responsibilities in the wake of the Iran plane crash

Lawyer Amanda Ghahremani talks about the federal government’s obligations to Iranian-Canadians who lost loved ones, and the role it can and should play in investigating the plane crash. She specializes in international criminal law, access to justice and redress for survivors of atrocity crimes, and makes the case for reinstating diplomatic relations with Iran.

Trump's actions will only embolden Iran's right-wing populists, says historian

Ervand Abrahamian, perhaps the pre-eminent historian of modern Iran, argues that the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani has strengthened the hand of Iran’s theocratic government. He says the fallout from the assassination will include more anti-Western hardliners and right-wing populists being elected in Iran’s upcoming elections.

'A deep crisis of legitimacy' inside Iran, says Iranian-Canadian political scientist

For several days, it looked like Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani had the effect of quelling anti-government sentiment inside Iran. But now that Iranian authorities have admitted that their own military shot down an airliner and killed dozens of their own people, all that has changed, according to Nader Hashemi, an Iranian-Canadian political scientist and the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver.

Anguish, hope and resistance: 40 years since the Iranian Revolution

In a special one-hour broadcast on the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, The Sunday Edition explores why Iranians rose up against the shah in 1979, and what became of their dreams for a freer, democratic nation under Ayatollah Khomeini.

Gene editing could revolutionize the food industry, but it'll have to fight the PR war GMO foods lost

The food industry is excited over new gene-edited products altered to have longer shelf life or produce less fat. But it will have to avoid the pitfalls of GMO foods, the last foray into genetic engineering, which were a financial success, but a public relations disaster. Ira Basen's documentary is called The Splice of Life.

More Canadians than ever are listening to books, not just reading them

Publishers are struggling to meet the burgeoning demand for audiobooks of Canadian titles. We speak with Ann Jansen, who left CBC Radio in 2017 to become the director of audiobook production at Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the country. And Canadian actors Braden Wright and Tess Degenstein share the challenges and joys of audiobook narration.

John Crosbie: Remembering a larger-than-life Canadian political figure

John Crosbie, who died on Friday, was one of the most prominent and trusted — and certainly most colourful — cabinet members of Brian Mulroney's governments and served as the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland from 2008 to 2013. We’ll pay tribute with excerpts from Michael’s 1997 interview with him.

The Sunday Edition for January 5, 2020

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

Michael's essay on crying and being human

"The American researcher Paul Zak has spent a career studying how the brain reacts to certain chemical releases. He discovered that the neurochemical oxytocin when delivered and synthesized by the brain makes us more compassionate, more generous and more sensitive to the needs of others. He calls it our 'moral molecule.' It also makes us react by crying."

A dangerous new phase in the U.S.-Iran conflict but 'all-out war' unlikely: security expert

The U.S. assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani has the entire region on edge, while the rhetoric on all sides becomes more bellicose. British security expert Paul Rogers discusses the escalating conflict and its broader security and geopolitical implications.