The Sunday Edition for March 29, 2020

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

A COVID-19 confinement chronicle: week two — Michael's essay

“Time can weigh heavily. In a prior life, time governed everything. Now with staying at home without times or deadlines, time can be a fearsome stranger or a kindly friend. Time is the common currency of confinement.”

The world can't afford to be the same again after COVID-19, says peace and security expert

The Sunday Edition’s go-to sage on geopolitics, U.K. security expert and peace studies professor Paul Rogers, returns to the program to talk about COVID-19’s impact on the world’s geopolitical hotspots and how well Europe’s leadership has dealt with the pandemic crisis.
Personal Essay

'These constant prods to do something … are becoming a real irritant': Bill Richardson

In 1606, when the Bubonic Plague led to a lockdown, William Shakespeare wrote King Lear. As we face a similar crisis 414 years later, many are finding things to do to cope with the isolation. But not Bill Richardson — he plans to deepen his connection with nothing.

Conflict-zone doctor predicts 'terrifying times,' due to lack of resources to fight COVID-19

The demands and conditions that Canada's hospitals and health care providers are going to face in the weeks and months ahead will be entirely new territory, according to Halifax physician Dr. Sundeep Chohan. Dr. Chohan has many years of experience in the field of catastrophe medicine, having worked in conflict zones and natural disasters. He argues that the medical response to COVID-19 will call for the skills and approach required in a war zone or humanitarian crisis rather than in conventional modern medicine.

What COVID-19 means for urban Indigenous communities

More than 60 per cent of Indigenous people in Canada live off-reserve. Many urban Indigenous organizations worry the people they serve are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 … and could fall through the cracks. Leslie Varley, the Executive Director of the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, discusses her concerns about the impact COVID-19 will have on Indigenous people in Canadian cities.

Amidst a global pandemic, Hugh Segal's call for a guaranteed annual income is even more timely

Hugh Segal has been advocating for a guaranteed annual income for decades, in part because of his own experience growing up poor in Canada. In his latest book, Boot Straps Need Boots: One Tory’s Lonely Fight to End Poverty in Canada, he puts his campaign into historical perspective.

What Esi Edugyan and Anakana Schofield are reading during this time of isolation

We bring you dispatches from two of Canada’s top novelists — two-time-Giller-winner Esi Edugyan and Giller-nominated Anakana Schofield — about what they’re reading during this time of isolation.

There's poetry for any occasion, even a pandemic — just ask Twitter's unofficial poet laureate

A few years, a man calling himself Brian Bilston scribbled a short poem and posted it on Twitter. He hadn't thought of himself as a poet, but three books and almost 70,000 followers later, he's become known as the unofficial poet laureate of Twitter and the Banksy of poetry. His poems are whimsical, serious, poignant, funny and, sometimes, visual. In these trying times, Bilston shows us that it is possible to find poetry for any occasion, including a pandemic.

The Sunday Edition for March 22, 2020

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

Widespread contagion has become our great unifier — Michael's essay

“We are living through extraordinary times. Most of us are experiencing something we have never seen before. Everything is upended. We can no longer take for granted all those activities we never thought twice about … What was ordinary has become a challenge.”

CMA President says COVID-19 means we need to think not just about healthcare, but pandemic palliative care

Dr. Sandy Buchman is keeping a watchful eye on how well Canada's healthcare policy is protecting both patients and the healthcare workers on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

'I'll take them': 23-year-old student steps in to care for her seven young brothers

Right now, there are three times as many Indigenous children in care as there were at the height of the residential school system. Justine Kennedy is determined that her brothers won't add to those numbers. 

Books for solace, perspective and connection during self-isolation

We asked some lovers of literature — Toronto poet laureate A. F. Moritz, literature professor Rohan Maitzen, graduate student Ariel Leutheusser, novelist Sharon Bala and non-fiction writer Robert Macfarlane — what they're reading during our springtime of isolation and unease.

'In disasters, most people are altruistic, brave, communitarian, generous…' says Rebecca Solnit

Author Rebecca Solnit has an enduring fascination with what happens to communities in times of crisis, and what disasters reveal about human nature. With the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and its radical impact on our lives here in Canada, Solnit’s research on disasters becomes even more resonant.

Art in the time of coronavirus: Bill Richardson's weekly schedule of balcony performances

“We must do what we can with what we have, respecting, of course, the requirement for self-isolation. I don’t have much, but I do have this balcony, and I am going to stand upon it, to lift up those who are proximate to the highly scenic parking lot over which I look.”

The Sunday Edition for March 15, 2020

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

The silent Spring of COVID-19 — Michael's essay

“Closure is a commanding word. Schools in this country are closing. The cities, towns and churches of Italy are closed. In fact the entire country is closed. Arenas, baseball parks, community centres — all closed. Broadway is dark. We are facing a silent spring. One that none of us has seen before.”

Ethics, the law and a public health emergency

Canada is contending with a response of unprecedented scale to a public health emergency, and Canadians face enormous disruption to their lives. As events evolve at dizzying speed, Michael Enright speaks with Colleen Flood — one of Canada’s leading experts on public health policy and a Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Ottawa — about the ethical, legal and civil liberties dimensions of some of the drastic measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

How Israel's politics and peace process became so stalled

Yet again, neither Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, nor Blue and White leader Benny Gantz have been able to fashion a coalition government after the third general election within a year. Yossi Klein Helavi, one of the country’s wisest and most even-handed political analysts, discusses Israel’s protracted political gridlock, and the uncertain future of the peace process and two-state solution, as Netanyahu's trial on corruption charges looms next week.

Think again: how much water do you really need to drink?

We've all heard the message countless times: you should drink eight glasses of water a day. These days, drinking lots of water is touted as a near-miraculous fountain of wellness — promising everything from clearer skin to better weight control. Dr. William Clark, a kidney specialist at Western University, casts a critical eye on the eight-glasses-a-day formula and where it came from in the first place.
The Sunday Edition

'We must go on living': Anton Chekhov for the 21st century

It has been more than a century since the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov died, but his stories and plays read as if they had been written last week. His characters desperately search for happiness, but they don't know how to find it. They are full of longing and uncertainty, and they are confronted by the same moral dilemmas we face today.

The Sunday Edition for March 8, 2020

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

Do the Delhi riots spell the end of India's secular identity?

Forty-six people have died since riots began between Muslims and Hindus in the Indian capital in late February.

The social and environmental costs of mining for green energy

Renewable energy technology offers an object lesson in just how hard it is to be green. As Clare Church, a researcher with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, points out, green energy technologies — from solar panels to high-capacity rechargeable batteries — rely on raw materials like lithium and cobalt. And just like the fossil fuels they're supposed to replace, they have to be dug out of the earth, often with significant environmental and social costs.