The Sunday Edition for May 26, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with guest host Peter Armstrong.

Air pollution kills more people than smoking or wars

Journalist Beth Gardiner was living in London with her husband and daughter and was made deeply uneasy by the stew of diesel fumes in the city. So she decided to travel around the world talking to researchers, campaigners and regulators who are working to improve the quality of the air around us. Gardiner's book is called Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution.

How an Inuit-Montessori preschool hopes to reinvent education in the North

The program at Pirurvik, an early childhood education centre in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, for which the name means "a place to grow," was developed three years ago by combining traditional Inuit knowledge with the Montessori method. Its founders recently won the Arctic Inspiration Prize, known as "the Nobel of the North." Kieran Oudshoorn's documentary is called A Little Nest.

Government subsidies for business are greater than Canada's entire defence budget

From Bombardier to General Motors to the oil and gas industry, Canadian businesses benefit handsomely from government grants and tax breaks, even though politicians on both the left and the right have opposed so-called corporate welfare for decades. Peter Armstrong's guests are John Lester, executive fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, and Roberta Lexier, a professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary who specialises in the history of the NDP.

Anakana Schofield on friendship, assisted death and the contradictions of being human

Schofield's latest book, Bina: A Novel in Warnings, tells the story of an angry and riotously funny 74-year-old Irish woman who is part of an underground group helping people end their lives on their own terms.

More Powerful Than God — an Ashley Walters documentary

A small but steadfast band of Canadian workers marched on a picket line for 22 long months. Their strike against Crown Can, an American-based multinational company, came to a distressing end. The workers settled, but it came at a steep price.

The Sunday Edition for May 19, 2019

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

Financial scandals, moral outrage are finally putting a dent in NRA's political firepower — Michael's essay

For decades, the National Rifle Association has pretty much achieved whatever it wanted by way of legislation. Now America's all-powerful gun lobby appears to be coming apart at the seams, along with its stockpile of political firepower, writes Michael Enright.

'Moment of awakening': The impact of the Winnipeg General Strike on Canada's labour movement

On May 15th, 1919, the country — and the world — watched in astonishment as tens of thousands of workers walked off the job in Winnipeg. They demanded higher pay, better working conditions and the right to bargain collectively. Some 35,000 workers took over the running of Canada’s third-largest city for six weeks.

Justices Gerald Le Dain and Clément Gascon both suffered from depression. But the similarities end there

Every time a public person speaks openly about struggling with depression, it wipes away some of the stigma around mental illness. Supreme Court Justice Clément Gascon took a giant eraser to that stigma this week when he announced he has been dealing with depression and anxiety for two decades.

How Justin Clark's fight for independence transformed disability rights in Canada

In 1982, Clark sued his parents for the right to leave the institution they placed him in as a child. It was a pivotal moment in the Canadian disability rights movement, and still has echoes today. David Gutnick's documentary revisits the landmark case.

Erin Lee Carr remembers her brilliant, loving father whose addictions scarred her childhood

David Carr, the celebrated media critic for The New York Times, died suddenly at the age of 58, leaving behind a legacy as a journalist, mentor and father. His daughter, Erin, sees her new memoir, All That You Leave Behind, as a continuation of his spirit.
Personal Essay

Why small-scale farming in the city yields much more than fresh vegetables

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as it turns out, could have been a happy allotment gardener. Former farmer Bill Smart has come to the same realization, which he describes as "new terrain" in his essay, Allotment Garden.

The Sunday Edition for May 12, 2019

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

For nervous patients, a friendly dachshund takes the stress out of dentistry

A Toronto dentist has a secret weapon in her quest to soothe her patients: a friendly dog named Moishie who will happily snuggle for the duration of a procedure.

He was a young refugee. She was a widowed mother of four. Their unlikely friendship has come full circle

In 1994, Placide Rubabaza fled war-torn Burundi and landed, terrified and alone, at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ont. Teacher, mother and refugee activist Patricia Anzovino took him under her wings.
Personal essay

Lola's cup: How a mother's gift became a symbol of how to enjoy every last second

When she was a child, Patty Smith gave her mother, Lola, a small engraved tea cup for Mother’s Day. When Lola was dying, another cup became a symbol of how to enjoy every last second.

Principals weigh in on how to fix violence in elementary schools

Principals from around the country reflect on the systemic factors that make it difficult to address chronic violence in Canada's elementary schools.

Jean Vanier revealed 'the depth and beauty of every single human being,' says friend

Sister Sue Mosteller says her first encounter with Jean Vanier, back in 1967, changed the course of her life. Vanier, a renowned Canadian humanitarian, died this week at age 90.

Too much 'niceness' is bad for critical thinking — Michael's essay

We live in the age of nice. Niceness is everywhere. From the first "have a nice day" to the last "that's nice." The word follows us like a hungry cat.

A second wind: Survivor of Quebec City mosque shooting laces up to run the Boston Marathon

Saïd Akjour ran a race back in 2013 in honour of the victims of the Boston Marathon. He never thought, years later, he would be the target of hate. Go along with CBC's Julia Page to Boston, as Quebec City mosque shooting survivor Saïd Akjour continues to run.

The Sunday Edition for May 5, 2019

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

Barack Obama was a greater enemy of the free press than Trump — Michael's essay

Trump may have made rumblings and grumblings, threatening all kinds of confrontation. But he has never done anything but talk. Obama tapped reporters’ phones and dragged them into court.

What rescued farm animals taught a photographer about aging and animal rights

Artist and photographer Isa Leshko’s book Allowed to Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Animals on Farm Sanctuaries captures the enduring spirit of farm animals who have been given a rare change to age, and die, with dignity.

Why do we put up with the ear-splitting obnoxiousness of leaf blowers?

Lawn maintenance companies and some homeowners are devoted to leaf blowers as the best way to get rid of grass clippings, leaves and debris. Not only do leaf blowers shatter the peace, they also spew noxious fumes. Efforts to ban them have been largely unsuccessful, but that hasn’t stopped retired engineer Monty McDonald, who has been on an anti-leaf-blower campaign for years.