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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.
Feature

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.

Solve a Rubik's Cube in under 5 seconds? These teens say an algorithm is key

They’re known as "speedcubers," young people who can solve the puzzles presented by the colourful cubes in just a few short seconds. Alisa Siegel takes us to a Toronto competition where teens race to solve the puzzle in record time.

Everything you ever wanted to know about cryptocurrency but were afraid to ask

Cryptocurrency turned 10 years old this year and billions of ephemeral dollars are sloshing around the world. But what is cryptocurrency anyway and how does it work?
Personal Essay

To shave or not to shave, that is the question!

David Elenbaas answered in the affirmative, only to rediscover why he had resisted shaving for so many decades. David’s personal essay is called "About Face."

The Backlist

Here are the books we've featured so far in our ongoing series The Backlist, on Canadian novels from decades past that have fallen out of public memory. 

The Sunday Edition for April 28, 2019

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

The lost art of writing letters — Michael's essay

Letter-writing by hand takes work. In our screen-crazy world, the idea of a refreshing break from the vertiginous onslaught of digital dreck is very appealing.