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The Sunday Edition for April 21, 2019

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

Notre-Dame de Paris is France's 'symphony in stone' — Michael's essay

"Much of the history of France has played out within its great walls and the plaza in front. Its two stone towers, miraculously saved, are as recognizable as the Eiffel Tower or the paintings of Picasso."

How the 'state of self-pity' that is Brexit stemmed from Britain's victory in WW II

Britain won the most consequential war in human history, but can't seem to extricate itself from the European Union. Fintan O'Toole, an Irish political commentator and the author of Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain, unpacks why that is.

Alexandra Oliver finds poetry in old films, the loneliness of parenthood and the aftermath of disaster

Canadian poet Alexandra Oliver uses old forms to explore contemporary concerns like the consequences of technology, living in the suburbs, and leaving places behind. Her recent books include Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway, Let the Empire Down and On the Oven Sits a Maiden.

Why your recycling may not actually get recycled

Most of us dutifully set out our blue boxes in the belief that some of the waste we generate will be put to good use. The truth is that most of it piles up in landfills, is incinerated or ends up in a floating mound of plastic in the ocean, says Diane Saxe, an environmental lawyer whose recent job as Ontario’s environmental commissioner was just eliminated.

Why tiny Iceland is a global giant in the field of music

Kjartan Olafsson, professor of composition and theory at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, is our guide to who's who among Iceland's current generation of music prodigies, and how they are making their mark.

The Sunday Edition for April 14, 2019

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

Why are so many Canadians obsessed by what people put on their heads?: Michael's essay

Through Bill 21, Quebec is trying to stop some public employees from wearing religious symbols at work — a move the government insists is to ensure healthy secularism. But host Michael Enright argues it's nothing to applaud.

How a sexual assault victim's lawsuit set a precedent that alarmed the Catholic Church

As a boy, Rod MacLeod was sexually assaulted by a Basilian priest over a period of four years. He refused all offers to settle his case out of court; instead, he went to lawyer Rob Talach, known as "the priest hunter."

How one Nova Scotia distillery is breathing life into the local economy

Nova Scotia now has more craft distillers per capita than anywhere else in the country, and distillers like Thomas Steinhart are using home-grown flavours like rosehip, mushroom, maple syrup and kelp in their award-winning products. David Gutnick's documentary is called "Home is Where The Gin Is."

A mother and fierce advocate for inclusive education weighs in on classroom violence

Anna MacQuarrie’s adopted children suffered childhood traumas which have left them prone to violent outbursts at school. She believes everyone has a right to an inclusive education, and says when it is done right, violence and disruptions in the classroom can be controlled. In addition to being a parent, Ms. MacQuarrie is a human rights consultant for the advocacy group, Inclusion International.

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

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

Got a tickle in your throat? Why that pesky cough can follow some people for years

A chronic cough can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally. There are many causes, none of them easily diagnosable. Dr. Jaclyn Smith is a pulmonologist and professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Manchester. She's also a member of the International Society for the Study of Cough.

The Sunday Edition for April 7, 2019

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

'My soul is still in Rwanda': 25 years after the genocide, Roméo Dallaire still grapples with guilt

Canadian Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire led the UN forces in Rwanda, and his warnings to the world about the violence fell on deaf ears. Within 100 days in 1994, supporters of the Hutu-majority government killed about 800,000 people, and Dallaire returned to Canada with PTSD and psychological scars he bears to this day.

How Canada could change its 'pathetic' organ donation record: Michael's essay

As Nova Scotia introduces a new bill to automatically make every citizen an organ donor, host Michael Enright asks what's stopping us all from following the province's lead.

When adults are sent to jail, their children are an 'invisible group,' lawyer says

Lawyer Verena Tan calls the children of incarcerated Canadians an "invisible group," whose best interests are overlooked by the criminal justice system. In a new report commissioned by the Quaker group Canadian Friends Service Committee, she examined a year's worth of sentencing reports and found no cases where judges referenced the defendant's children.

The Dionne quintuplets took the world by storm. Now a novelist is putting a new twist on their tale

When the Dionne quintuplets were born in in a tiny village in northern Ontario, they became the darlings of the world. Then they became a spectacle. Writer Shelley Wood has crafted a fictionalized account of their early years, The Quintland Sisters.

Parents want 'real solid answer' to classroom violence

With student assaults on teachers on the rise, parents in Newmarket, Ont., are rallying to find a solution. But some say their call for help is being silenced.

The Sunday Edition for March 31, 2019

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

Why anti-Semitism continues to spread

Deborah Lipstadt's new book on anti-Semitism comes at a time when the ancient hatred is finding new champions around the world. It is a clarion call to take anti-Semitism seriously as an evil that has led to the vilification, persecution and murder of millions of Jews for millennia.

When TV took over question period: Michael's essay

On October 17, 1977, question period was broadcast on television for the first time, turning it from a daily chance to call the government to account, to a puffed-up piece of political theatre.

Photographing his mother's dementia made her feel alive again

In Alisa Siegel's documentary, photographer Tony Luciani describes how taking photos of his mother, who is suffering from dementia, brought her a sense of purpose and a feeling of joy. “She was playing again, and to hell with what people think,” he said.

There is little evidence that standing desks make you healthier or help you lose weight

Though standing desks are now ubiquitous in the country's offices, one doctor says there's 'not much evidence' that making the switch has a positive impact on health.

Post-Mueller, 2020 campaign coverage could reach a new low — but it doesn't have to

Reporters spent countless news cycles fixated on the Mueller report, to their detriment, says media critic Jay Rosen. As the U.S. heads into another presidential campaign, he shares his recipe for improving political coverage going forward.