The Big Story

100 EpisodesProduced by Frequency Podcast Network

An in-depth look at the issues, culture and personalities shaping Canada today.

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Why athletes will never shut up and dribble again

December 13th, 2018

20:38

The year began with a FOX News host telling the best basketball player on the planet to “shut up and dribble”. That…didn’t happen. Instead, LeBron …

Is Canada any different now that pot is legal?

December 12th, 2018

October 17 was supposed to change Canada. Legalizing recreational pot marked a huge shift in the country’s justice system, tax revenues, the affairs of the federal government, provincial legislation, bylaws and dozens …

How ugly will Canada’s 2019 election get?

December 11th, 2018

17:54

And what will it be fought on? The conservatives think they have the perfect recipe for toppling Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, and they’ve managed to build a loose coalition at the provincial level dedicated to helping …

Did Hollywood change in 2018?

December 10th, 2018

How much did Black Panther matter? How about Crazy Rich Asians? You’ll hear a lot about the Year of Diversity in Hollywood this month. But that’s a …

How deadly fentanyl builds gorgeous BC mansions

December 7th, 2018

22:46

This is a story that spans the globe and touches on almost every major issue facing Canada’s westernmost province. The full scope of the criminal …

Canada had a year to end solitary confinement. Time’s up, and it hasn’t.

December 6th, 2018

20:44

The practice of isolating prisoners without meaningful human contact violates inmates’ rights, two separate provincial courts have ruled, and Canada …

Can we fix elections in Canada?

December 5th, 2018

19:08

Wait…do they even need fixing? Well, British Columbia is voting right now on whether or not to keep their first-past-the-post election model or move …

Inside Toronto’s housing crisis

December 4th, 2018

19:23

The average Toronto condo rents for $2,385/month. The city’s vacancy rate of 0.5 percent is at a historic low. Apartment viewings attract hundreds of people. A recent affordable housing lottery featured almost 4,000 …

Will gene editing technology change the world?

December 3rd, 2018

18:32

Last week a Chinese scientist announced that he had successfully created the world’s first gene-edited babies—twin girls born from embryos altered to …

Inside the terrifying world of faulty medical implants

November 30th, 2018

20:07

There are broken devices doing important jobs in the bodies of Canadians right now. We don’t know how many. We don’t know how dangerous they are. But we do know that similarly broken medical implants may have played a …

You’ve seen this movie before

November 29th, 2018

20:45

The Lion King is coming back to theatres. And so is Dumbo. And Spider-Man. And Rocky. And if it’s not a remake, it’s a sequel, or an adaptation. Even Margaret Atwood is, more than 30 years later, writing a sequel to The …

An upstream battle for a fish’s future

November 28th, 2018

14:41

Last year they tried to save 900. Only 70 made it back. The year before that, only 32 survived. This is life for the Inner Bay of Fundy Salmon, a …

What is the car of the future? And who builds it?

November 27th, 2018

18:33

General Motors announced the impending closure of its Oshawa, Ontario plant yesterday, a move that will eliminate almost 3,000 jobs. In explaining its decision, the company said it was refocusing on the future of the …

Just how much does video evidence prove?

November 26th, 2018

21:39

Reece Maxwell-Crawford ended up on the ground, screaming in pain, pinned down by transit fare inspectors and police officers. That much is horribly …

When the internet comes over for a burger

November 23rd, 2018

20:16

You’re going out to eat. Where do you go? You check Yelp ratings, or Uber Eats stars…or more likely, you Google the food you want and where you are, and you get a list. Best sushi in Toronto. Best bagels in Montreal. …

Can we change locker room culture from the inside?

November 22nd, 2018

21:05

The horrific reports from Toronto’s St. Michael’s College School have reminded us that for all the discussion outside of locker rooms about hazing, …

It sounds like a horror from Canada’s past. It’s happening now.

November 21st, 2018

18:18

When we learn about the ways this country has failed its indigenous people, we assume the absolute worst of them are behind us. Which is why a …

Dogs With (Dangerous) Jobs

November 20th, 2018

15:34

The fentanyl crisis is claiming thousands of lives per year, and the RCMP will take all the help it can get. The force is training its detection drugs to sniff for fentanyl—but the substance is so dangerous that even …

Working from home is bad for you

November 19th, 2018

No chatty cubicle mates. No stinky office microwaves. No pants, if you don’t feel like wearing ‘em. Working from home always sounds great in theory…but we’re learning that it’s not so good for us in practice. It turns …

Can you deprogram a racist? How?

November 16th, 2018

18:35

Elisa Hategan used to be a white supremacist. Then she turned against her group and brought down the neo-Nazi Heritage Front group. Today she works to help deprogram people in the same situation she once found herself …

Is your mall watching you?

November 15th, 2018

19:52

They’re called anonymous video analytics, among other terms, and the cameras that capture them might be discreetly placed in interactive guides at your favourite shopping centre. They capture demographic data like …

So a couple of eco-warriors walk into a Fort Mac bar…

November 14th, 2018

20:26

You’re likely a hypocrite when it comes to climate change. Yes, you. Doesn’t really matter who you are—if you’re demonizing the ecological …

Canada’s Olympic legacy and uncertain future

November 13th, 2018

18:43

Stephen Brunt was at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and remembers what they meant to a city pushing its way into the big leagues. He’s also covered every Olympics since then, and has seen what a millstone they’ve …

A missing lawyer. A Toronto mansion. $17 million of other people’s money.

November 12th, 2018

30:11

It all started with a mansion in the most exclusive neighbourhood in Toronto. It ended up as $17 million worth of alleged real estate fraud, and the key witness to the scam living with stray cats in an expat heaven of …

Remember the people. Not just the numbers or battles.

November 9th, 2018

19:30

This weekend marks 100 years since the First World War ended. And when we reflect, we often turn to the scale of the war—millions of people, dozens of nations, theatres spanning the globe, four-plus years of …

Space. The final frontier.

November 8th, 2018

18:56

These are the tweets of a longtime journalist and author that sparked speculation of an alien invasion.

His approximately 15-minute mission:

To link …

Is life expectancy in Canada about to drop?

November 7th, 2018

19:48

They’re called deaths of despair, and they’re the reason that, for the first time since the last World War, life expectancy in the United States is falling. That hasn’t quite happened in Canada yet, but in many parts of …

When America votes today, what role will Facebook play?

November 6th, 2018

19:13

There’s ample evidence Facebook helped swing the 2016 US election to Donald Trump. Since then, countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, have called on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about …

How will a small city handle Canada’s fastest-growing crime problem?

November 5th, 2018

19:25

Wetaskiwin, Alberta has jumped up the rankings in Maclean’s annual report on Canada’s Most Dangerous Places. But nothing huge has suddenly changed in the small city, so what’s going on? This is a story about how quickly …

Who are the happiest people in Canada?

November 2nd, 2018

21:33

It’s been a tough week, so today we bring you happiness. No, really—an actual episode about the study of happiness: How we define it, how we measure it, and some surprising new data that reveals which groups of …

It’s the ugly paradox in Canada’s assisted death laws

November 1st, 2018

17:27

Audrey Parker plans to end her life today. It’s earlier than she’d like—but she doesn’t feel she has a choice. She’s terminally ill, and while she’d prefer to wait a while longer, she’ll be taking a big risk if she does.

Toronto’s PATH murder: What happened underneath King Street?

October 31st, 2018

18:33

It was a brutal killing that shocked downtown Toronto almost three years ago. This week, after years in the system, and several contradictory decisions, the accused was found fit to stand trial. Rohinie Bisesar’s trial …

America is collapsing. What happens to Canada when it does?

October 30th, 2018

18:18

This isn’t about Donald Trump. Or at least, it’s not just about him. The cracks and divisions in our southern neighbour grow deeper every day. It …

How should schools teach kids about racism?

October 29th, 2018

20:18

An Ontario school board is taking a hard look right now at the use of To Kill A Mockingbird as the text that starts the race discussion. It’s old, …

Why do we still buy snake oil?

October 26th, 2018

19:54

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop brand hosts its first Canadian event this weekend in Vancouver. For a cool $400, attendees will learn all about how to cure …

Pot Week Bonus: Faster, Stronger…Higher?

October 25th, 2018

18:14

Weed is still banned in most of the sports world, no matter its legal status in Canada. But for how much longer? In contact sports like football and hockey, what’s the justification for prescribing opioids instead of …

A carbon tax or a price on pollution?

October 24th, 2018

18:57

Depends on who you ask. Either way, the fight around the federal Liberals’ climate change policy is shaping up to be the key battle of the 2019 …

What happens if soccer’s biggest star is charged with rape?

October 23rd, 2018

Detailed allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo have caused Las Vegas police to reopen an old sex assault report from 2009. The details, published in …

Toronto votes today. It’s a huge mess.

October 22nd, 2018

Canada’s largest city goes to the polls in an election still subject to legal challenge. Oh, and there are about half the wards the city planned for, …

Pot Week V: Just the FAQs

October 19th, 2018

21:21

What’s it like to buy weed from the government? No, really, how easy is it if you have no knowledge and no preparation? We put Ontario’s online store to the test. And we learn a few things about the process that you …

Pot Week IV: The Green Rush

October 18th, 2018

So much for the meritocracy. When legal pot was just a hazy line on the horizon, a lot of people spent a lot of time picturing what the industry …

Pot Week III: Are you late to the weed stock party?

October 17th, 2018

18:25

Time for some high finance. A few years ago, you could buy stock in emerging marijuana production companies for a couple of bucks a share. Now …

Pot Week II: Daddy, are you doing the weed?

October 16th, 2018

16:01

Look, kids have a lot of questions—and starting tomorrow, more of them than ever before are going to be about marijuana. It’s only natural. But it won’t just be kids asking questions. In recent years, as #WineMom has …

Pot Week I: What happens to your local dealer?

October 15th, 2018

15:42

Canadians spent $5.7 billion on marijuana last year. Nearly all of it on the black market. That’s an entire industry off the books. What happens to that $5.7 billion on Wednesday, when weed becomes legal? What does the …

Climate migration: Coming to a town near you

October 12th, 2018

17:53

Churchill, Manitoba is smaller than it used to be. Around the world, other communities impacted by climate change are shrinking as life within them …

I’ma let you finish, but every celebrity is political now

October 11th, 2018

16:54

Today, Kanye dines with Trump. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift helps register voters for democrats. The most famous long-running feud in music has reached …

Are governments cashing in on gambling addiction?

October 10th, 2018

Gambling addiction is a serious mental illness, but one that isn’t talked much about. There have been cases of people with gambling addictions stealing money from people they know, and in more tragic cases, killing …

How do you cover controversial politicians?

October 9th, 2018

17:57

One of the candidates in the race to become the next mayor of Toronto is being described as having alt-right and white nationalist views. Faith Goldy …

Women are angry. That anger can change the world.

October 5th, 2018

17:10

Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct. He was also nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Days after she testified in front of the senate, Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford was publicly mocked by President Trump. And …

The Leafs have been losers forever. What happens when they finally win?

October 4th, 2018

19:30

Toronto loves hockey – mostly the Maple Leafs. Canada loves hockey, but mostly hates Toronto. These facts just belong together. But now, the Leafs are a Stanley Cup favourite as the NHL season begins, and there’s more …

Does Tori Stafford’s killer belong in a healing lodge?

October 3rd, 2018

18:52

The three-month-long search for nine-year-old Tori Stafford’s body in 2009 was the largest in Ontario history. When it was over, the crimes committed …

Happily ever NAFTA?

October 2nd, 2018

16:41

There’s a new trade deal, but what does that actually mean outside the political bubble? If you’re Canadian, how will your wallet handle the new …

Lost and found: The story of Joe Murphy

October 1st, 2018

17:38

Joe Murphy was homeless this summer on the streets of Kenora, Ontario. Joe Murphy was the No. 1 pick in the 1986 NHL Draft, won a Stanley Cup in 1990 …

How do you sip from a firehose of news?

September 28th, 2018

17:47

Feeling fried after a week of headlines? Stop letting the news happen to you. The way we learn about our world has changed so rapidly that we haven’t …

A fight for the heart of Winnipeg

September 27th, 2018

17:53

You’re not allowed to walk across Winnipeg’s most iconic intersection. For almost 40 years, Portage and Main has been barricaded to pedestrians. This October, through a plebiscite on the ballot in the city’s municipal …

Who’s allowed to joke about what?

September 26th, 2018

18:45

Is it possible to be funny without offending someone? Like most other corners of the entertainment industry, comedy has been undergoing a shift at the hands of the #MeToo movement since last October. Louis CK, Jeremy …

Quebec’s election is anything but normal

September 25th, 2018

17:36
When the province goes to the polls next Monday, a referendum on sovereignty won’t be on the table. Also, the Parti Quebecois are running a distant …

We need science for everything, so why don’t we trust it?

September 24th, 2018

16:17

An annual survey by the Ontario Science Centre finds a startling contradiction among Canadians: Almost all of us believe science benefits us, and a …

Welcome to Chaos Politics

September 21st, 2018

17:26

When Donald Trump got elected, Canada thought it would never happen here. Then it kinda did. And it might happen again next year. There’s no high and …

One month out, legal pot is a total bong show

September 20th, 2018

17:55

The retail plans change province to province. So do the number of stores. The bylaws on where you can smoke pot change by municipality, and sometimes building to building. Enforcement of infractions will likely change …

Does the future of the NHL still include hitting?

September 19th, 2018

16:52

A radical proposal from a concussion symposium this summer left us wondering as training camps open: What would the NHL look like if you removed body …

Femicide is the crisis we’re all ignoring

September 18th, 2018

16:20

Every month, new statistics show the staggering number of women killed by men as a result of misogyny. It’s common enough that there’s a term for …

How do you get real answers from Justin Trudeau?

September 17th, 2018

16:57

The past few months have not exactly been kind to Canada’s Prime Minister, so maybe he’s anxious to change the narrative heading into what should be …

How hockey came back to Humboldt

September 14th, 2018

17:14

Five months ago, a tragic bus accident broke a team, shattered a town and transfixed the world. Somehow, less than half a year later, the Humboldt …

Storm’s a comin’. Again. And again.

September 13th, 2018

17:56

This is a story about storms and the people who try to figure them out. A hurricane is about to slam into the Carolinas. It’s not a normal hurricane, …

Canada’s anti-abortion movement is back, with a rebrand

September 12th, 2018

16:24

You may have noticed more anti-abortion protesters with their infamous graphic signs on Canadian streets recently. You may also have noticed that a vote on the issue at a recent conservative convention was….a lot closer …

What happens when a town is held for Bitcoin ransom?

September 11th, 2018

Cybercrime is on the rise. That may come as a shock, given what we know about technology, and all those warnings about how to spot phishing emails. …

How do you sell weed to women?

September 10th, 2018

15:13

Patterned rolling papers, sparkly crystal pipes and eco-friendly vapes that fit in the palm of your hand—weed isn’t even legal in Canada yet, but …

Precarious work, work, work, work work

September 7th, 2018

People under 35 don’t really talk about careers anymore. It’s not because millennials don’t have a work ethic—it’s because the notion of a career barely exist. A recent survey of 1200 young people found that just 44 …

Time NAFTA time

September 6th, 2018

The US president has been threatening tariffs on Canadian cars for more than a year now. But as NAFTA talks resume, experts seem to think Donald Trump has moved closer than ever to making the threat a reality. Yet …

Republicans burn sneakers, too

September 5th, 2018

It pays these days to antagonize the US president and his fans—at least, that’s what Nike’s betting on. When the world’s foremost athletic apparel …

Pot will be legal soon, but you won’t be able to buy it in this party town

September 4th, 2018

11:54

In just over a month, pot will be legal across Canada. And although October 17th is a day the entire country has been anticipating for a while now, some municipalities feel that it’s too soon. One of those is Gimli, …

Buck-a-beer arrives in Ontario! Wait, now it’s almost gone! And we already know why.

August 31st, 2018

Even if you don’t live in Ontario, you might have heard about cheap beer—like, really cheap beer. Buck-a-beer is back in the province – at least for now – because the Conservatives made it a promise to deliver discount …

We know how this story ends. Or do we?

August 30th, 2018

Today’s episode is only depressing if you’ve already given up hope. Sure, it’s hard to worry about the end of humanity from an air-conditioned, Bluetooth-equipped car, streaming your favourite tunes on the way to a …

The #MeToo men are starting their comebacks. Who determines when they’re forgiven, and how?

August 29th, 2018

It’s comeback season for disgraced showbiz stars. So how are we going to handle it? On Sunday night, comedian Louis CK returned to his roots at a …

Meet Canada’s Best Athlete. She’s 20. She’s a golfer. And she’s still getting better.

August 28th, 2018

16:13

For Canadians who don’t pay much attention to women’s golf, this past weekend was something of a revelation. Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, …

“All of us need to learn to live with fire”

August 27th, 2018

16:09

This year’s wildfire season in British Columbia is the second worst in the province’s history, behind only last year. More than 950,000 hectares of …

Bern-ing Bridges

August 24th, 2018

Maxime Bernier’s Twitter account took on corporeal form Thursday, as the Conservative MP and leadership runner-up announced he was leaving the party …

Can we ban handguns in Canada? Do we even want to?

August 23rd, 2018

Toronto first proposed it after July’s mass shooting. And on Monday, Montreal city council unanimously voted to request a federal ban on handguns …

Small-town Canada is dying slowly

August 22nd, 2018

16:33

 

“Once you lose something in a small town, you never get it back.”

In rural areas across Canada, a way of life is vanishing. Populations are aging, …

You can’t “solve” an opioid epidemic, but you can save some lives

August 21st, 2018

16:39

The opioid crisis is killing more and more people in Canada every day. In Toronto recently, 7 people died over a 12-day span from suspected overdoses, prompting harm reduction activists to open an unsanctioned overdose …

Let’s talk about your name

August 20th, 2018

16:49

Whether it’s weird, wonderful, or nondescript, the name you’re given shapes your life more than you might think. Studies show names impact …

The only movie that matters right now

August 17th, 2018

16:00

Crazy Rich Asians is the beach-read-turned-blockbuster adaptation we’re familiar with, but with one huge difference. The entire cast of the film, and the director, is Asian. It’s that simple, yet it hasn’t been seen in …

Farm to table, with the details lost in translation

August 16th, 2018

There’s a lot of talk in urban centres about what we want our food to be: free of pesticides like Roundup, non-GMO, and preferably totally organic. …

The Aftermath of #MeToo on Parliament Hill

August 15th, 2018

17:13

Parliament Hill has certainly seen change in the six months since it was hit by the #MeToo movement – but perhaps not the kind that was anticipated. …

Oh say can you Conspiracy?

August 14th, 2018

18:20

Conspiracy theories may be a joke to most, but they’re real to a terrifying number of people. And they’re leaking off the internet into real life. One of the largest fires currently raging in California was allegedly …

Historic change is coming to Canada’s biggest Indigenous police force

August 13th, 2018

13:45

The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service (NAPS) is the largest Canadian First Nation police force, protecting 35 First Nations in northern Ontario. In 2016, …

How Andrew Scheer’s secret weapon could topple Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

August 10th, 2018

New majority governments in Canada tend to get re-elected the first time. It’s just what happens. Justin Trudeau and the Liberals will go into the …

Are you ready for some footba—err, politics?

August 9th, 2018

Tonight marks the first big evening of NFL games this summer, and it’s time for fans to wonder the same things they always wonder this time of year: Who will stay in the locker room for the anthem? Who will kneel? What …

How “Unfounded” shook the foundation of Canadian policing

August 8th, 2018

In February 2017, The Globe and Mail revealed that one in five sex assault allegations in Canada was being dismissed as “unfounded” – meaning police …

How do you answer this question at the U.S. border?

August 7th, 2018

It’s a simple question, but the answer you provide could get you banned from entering the U.S. for life. Have you ever done drugs? If you answer yes, …

Relax. It’s OK. It only feels like the world’s on fire.

August 3rd, 2018

Welcome to the long weekend. We have good news for you: The world is not worse than it has ever been. That feeling is your mind, and your social media feed, playing tricks on you. Yes, there are wars and there is …

What does the future of Facebook look like?

August 2nd, 2018

Facebook is in hot water. Again. Last week, the company saw roughly $120 billion wiped from its market value. Just a few days later, it confirmed the …

Doug Ford will have his revenge on Toronto

August 1st, 2018

18:22

A Ford is driving Toronto city councillors insane. Feels like it was just yesterday. Ontario premier Doug Ford has tabled legislation to slash Toronto city council seats by nearly half—a move that sets precedents for …

And the Best Place to Live in Canada is…

July 31st, 2018

Today, 415 Canadian communities enter, but only one triumphs. Every year, MoneySense puts together a comprehensive statistical ranking of the best places to live in Canada. Ottawa has taken the top spot for the past two …

Who is allowed to talk about money?

July 30th, 2018

13:50

Earlier this month, Refinery29 published an article documenting the everyday spending of a 21-year old intern in New York City, who lives rent free, …

It’s hotter than ever. Should we just get used to it?

July 27th, 2018

More than 50 people died in a Quebec heat wave earlier this month. It feels like it’s hot everywhere this summer. Record global temperatures and frequent natural disasters have left cities scrambling to keep their most …

Going back to a sex ed curriculum from 20 years ago would be incredibly dangerous

July 26th, 2018

15:29

Ontario premier Doug Ford has said he will scrap the province’s updated sex ed curriculum, reverting to one last updated 20 years ago. The latest …

The dangerous loyalty of Hedley fans

July 25th, 2018

Hedley front man Jacob Hoggard will appear in court tomorrow to face allegations of sexual assault. Despite his arrest, a number of his fans – most …

The people, the community, the city. How tragedy impacts it all.

July 24th, 2018

When tragedy strikes, the inevitable wave of trauma that follows is not far behind. It crashes into victims, upends lives, and can permanently impact …

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