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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.

Israel violates international law with impunity, says human rights lawyer

In its relationship with Palestinians, the government of Israel repeatedly has violated international law and faced no consequences on the world stage, according to Noura Erakat. She is a professor at Rutgers University and the author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.

How Canadian women helped win the Second World War

From munitions workers to code breakers to field nurses, countless Canadian women helped make the Second World War winnable. Here are the stories of three.

How music helps restore dignity at Canada's most notorious prison

A concert at Millhaven Institution provides respite and reflection for the inmates, and a reminder of their dignity and humanity.

The Sunday Edition for November 3, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with guest host Kevin Sylvester.

The epic history of the Métis Nation

Lawyer Jean Teillet tells the story not just of Louis Riel, but of his people before and after he was hung for treason in 1885.
Point of View

What the digital age means for my music — and my paycheque

Matt Zimbel, percussionist and leader of the world jazz band Manteca on how the digital age has impacted his art.

Alix Ohlin's fiction about sisterhood, art and unconventional choices

Alix Ohlin received her second nomination for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her new book, Dual Citizens, in which she explores the intensity and messiness of relationships — familial and otherwise.

Telemarketers pitch air duct cleaning. This scientist says don't bother

There is a big gap between the hype and the science about cleaning the air ducts in our homes, according to Jeffrey Siegel. He studies indoor air quality and is a professor in the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto. Professor Siegel says air duct cleaning is low on the list of priorities for people who want to improve the air they breathe.

How Japanese-Canadian Emma Nishimura shaped her family's WW II internment into art

Emma Nishimura's grandmother left behind a box full of the patterns she used to make clothes while she was held in a British Columbia internment camp for Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War. Emma Nishimura joins Kevin to talk about the art that those garments and patterns have inspired her to make.

The 'luminous companionship' of William Blake

The poet William Blake was often dismissed as a madman in his lifetime. But to his devotee, he is a prophet with much to tell the world about war, poverty and imagination.

The Sunday Edition for October 27, 2019

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

Michael's Essay - The election brought out the worst in our political parties, but not in Canadians

“Canadian politics has always been an exercise in compromise and so it will be again. My friend David Frum, rogue Republican and commentator, wrote a piece for The Atlantic headlined ‘This Election Brought Out Canada’s Worst.’ I beg to differ. No, it didn’t. The worst in our political parties maybe, perhaps even our leaders, but not in Canadians themselves.”

How the NDP can effect change in a minority government

The party lost seats, went down in the popular vote and fell to fourth place in party status, but leader Jagmeet Singh believes he has leverage to implement his political agenda. Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent and former NDP House Leader Libby Davies explain, through the lessons of history, how that can work.

Satire - Resentment

Have you noticed a certain kind of scent hanging in the air since Monday? Not really the smell of victory. Certainly not the sweet smell of success...

B.C. man is one of the first Canadians with dementia to die with medical assistance

When Canada's medical assistance in dying law was passed in 2016, the widespread assumption was that it excluded those with a dementia diagnosis. But Gayle Garlock decided to challenge that assumption and to test the limits of the law.

How complaining can actually bring us closer together

Complaining is seen as undignified, weak, tiresome and contagious. But philosopher Kathryn Norlock argues that done well, it can bring us closer together.
Point of View

Ring Heads of the world, unite

Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle divides even passionate opera lovers. It’s crazy long, and depending on your point of view, epic or excessive. Sublime or bombastic. Beloved gardening guru Marjorie Harris doesn’t do Wagner by halves. Her essay is called "Ring Head."

A journey to the dark and fantastical world beneath our feet

Robert MacFarlane says his work explores the relationship between the landscape and the human heart. With his latest award-winning book, he writes about the most mysterious and mythical landscape of all: The Underland — the underground realm that holds the hidden infrastructure of everyday life, the natural resources our economy runs on, our secrets, and the bones of our dead.

The Sunday Edition for October 20, 2019

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

Bulletproof vests on the campaign trail - Michael's essay

"Has it really come to this? Has our politics moved from booing and the occasional rotten egg to a need for body armour? Earlier this week, a group of seniors, some of them lawyers, was sitting around a breakfast table. Each was asked if he could remember a nastier political campaign. Each said, categorically, not in his lifetime. One used the word ‘vile.’"

What will the federal election mean for Canada's housing crisis?

Canada’s major political parties have responded to a severe lack of affordable housing by promising to make it easier for people to buy a house. But for people who find it difficult to cover the cost of renting, there’s not much immediate relief on offer. Michael Enright asks why it seems impossible to get adequate affordable housing built in this country with Leilani Farha, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing; John van Nostrand, an architect and planner; and Cathy Crowe, a street nurse and advocate for the homeless.
Point of View

'That's not my cat'

If good fences make good neighbours, what does a fickle black feline make? Oliver Gunther tells of a somewhat frosty relationship between people who live side by side, who share only one thing. His essay is called, "That's Not My Cat.”