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Front Burner

Author: CBC Podcasts

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Front Burner is your essential daily news podcast, brought to you by CBC News & CBC Podcasts. Every weekday Front Burner takes you deep into the stories shaping Canada and the world.
546 Episodes
Hicham Alasbachi is a Syrian refugee who lives in a one bedroom, first-floor apartment on Weston Road in North York, Ontario. He’s been there for a couple years now, but he’s not sure how much longer he’ll be able to stay. Alasbachi’s had problems paying his rent for a long time, and now, seven months into the pandemic, he’s facing the possibility of eviction. As part of Year K, our ongoing series exploring how the pandemic could make Canada a less equal place, today we’re focused on evictions and why the COVID economic downturn is hitting renters so hard.
With election day less than two weeks away, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden debated for the second and final time on Thursday. CBC Washington correspondent Susan Ormiston discusses what happened and what it could mean for election day.
This Saturday, British Columbians head to the polls in a snap provincial election. According to NDP Leader John Horgan, the intent is to maintain political stability in the next year as the province continues to deal with the threat of COVID-19. Today on Front Burner, CBC provincial affairs reporter Tanya Fletcher, who covers the B.C. Legislature, walks us through the issues and controversies that are capturing attention during the short but eventful campaign.
The prospect of a snap election has been looming over Ottawa, all because of a fight over the most unlikely of controversies: a new committee. Vassy Kapelos, host of the CBC’s Power and Politics, joins us to talk about how we got here, the latest on the WE affair, and what might happen next.
After 36 years, an infamous cold case involving the rape and mutilation of a little girl has finally been solved. The horrific mystery surrounding the abduction and murder of Christine Jessop captured the attention of the nation in the '80s and led to the wrongful conviction of an innocent man. Today, former CBC investigative journalist Linden MacIntyre has come out of retirement to explain why it took nearly four decades to uncover Jessop’s killer and what haunting questions still remain.
Opposition to the launch of a Mi’kmaw lobster fishery in Nova Scotia last month has grown increasingly violent. Over the past week, two facilities storing Mi’kmaw catches were targeted and vandalized by several hundred non-Indigenous commercial fishermen and their supporters, one facility was burned to the ground and a man has been charged with assaulting the chief of Sipekne'katik First Nation. But this is just the latest chapter in a dispute that stretches back at least two decades. APTN reporters Angel Moore and Trina Roache discuss the latest developments and explain the complex history behind this conflict.
This week, the Alberta government detailed cuts to the province’s health service, including up to 11,000 layoffs. While all of Canada’s provinces have taken an economic hit because of COVID, Alberta in particular has been clobbered. Oil and gas revenues have tanked. Liquor sales are projected to bring in more than bitumen royalties from the oil sands this fiscal year. Support for United Conservative Party Premier Jason Kenney is down, too. According to a late summer poll, he’s got the second lowest approval rating of all the premiers in the country. Today, CBC’s Carolyn Dunn in Calgary on how Alberta’s faring, and how Jason Kenney plans to bounce the province back.
Anthony Aust died last week, after falling 12 storeys during a raid by Ottawa police of his home. He was out on bail and under the supervision of his family. His mother, stepfather, and brother spoke to the CBC about how traumatizing the no-knock search was, and how they’re looking for answers about why it happened in the first place. The case is currently under investigation by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit. CBC reporter Judy Trinh spoke to Aust’s family, and investigated the practice of no-knock searches. She told host Jayme Poisson about what she found.
On Sunday, L.A. Lakers star LeBron James took home his fourth NBA championship and his fourth finals MVP award. He also became the first player to have won a championship on three different teams. Those wins are reviving an old debate over who gets to claim the title of the greatest basketball player of all time: Is it LeBron now, or does His Airness, Michael Jordan, still reign? Today Ben Golliver, the Washington Post’s national NBA writer, and Alex Wong, a freelance sports writer, debate it.
Parts of Canada are back in lockdown as cases of COVID-19 spike across the country, particularly in Ontario and Quebec. And with the cold weather setting in, it’s tough to imagine how we may be able to return to normal. But there are some developments: Health Canada has now approved and bought over 20 million rapid tests. And Donald Trump’s COVID-19 treatment is raising a lot of questions about the use of experimental drugs. Today we’ll be talking about how the testing and treatment of coronavirus has evolved since the first wave with Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a physician and an infectious disease expert in Toronto.
When Yusef Salaam was 15, he and four other teenage boys were falsely accused of raping a woman in New York's Central Park. Salaam was imprisoned for nearly seven years before he was exonerated. His life story has inspired a new book called Punching the Air, which he co-wrote with young adult novelist Ibi Zoboi. Salaam and Zoboi talk to host Josh Bloch about why the stories and perspectives of Black youth are so important right now, and how they connect to the global movement against anti-Black racism in America.
In 2018, the public outcry around the Gerald Stanley case, where a white farmer was acquitted in the killing of Colton Boushie, a young Indigenous man, paved the way for the creation of Bill C-75. It's legislation meant to address racism in the jury selection process. But some say it actually does the opposite. The dispute made its way to the country's highest court this week. And while the court upheld the law, opinions remain divided on its usefulness. Today, we hear from two lawyers with different points of view on this jury reform legislation. Peter Thorning and Caitlyn Kasper both intervened in this week's hearings. Thorning represented the Canadian Association for Black Lawyers, and Kasper represented Aboriginal Legal Services.
Last night, Vice-Presidential candidates Mike Pence and Kamala Harris faced off in their one and only debate of the 2020 campaign. The debate comes less than a week after Donald Trump was diagnosed with coronavirus, and in a race between the two oldest presidential candidates in US history. Today, CBC Washington Correspondent Katie Simpson recaps the unusually significant VP debate.
Annamie Paul, a Toronto-based human rights lawyer, was on Saturday elected leader of the Green Party of Canada — becoming the first elected Black leader of a major federal party. She takes over from Elizabeth May, who stepped down last year, after 14 years as leader. In her victory speech, Paul talked about how she believes the party is the one that Canadians need to guide them through, "the challenges of this time." Today on Front Burner, Paul on why that is, and how the Green Party plans to differentiate itself.
Iona Guindon felt lucky that her mother Perriette's long-term care home in Ottawa was spared in the first wave of the pandemic. But an outbreak that began on Aug. 30 exposed Iona to horrifying scenes inside the home, and left her wondering why West End Villa wasn't better prepared to control the virus. In the spring, long-term care companies and the Ontario government promised they would be far better prepared for a second wave. Now, as outbreaks rip through 50 such homes in the province, advocates say too little has changed.
On Sunday, doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center briefed the media on the health of U.S. President Donald Trump. The news conference came after a whirlwind weekend where a growing number of the president’s inner circle, including first lady Melania Trump, tested positive for COVID-19, and where the president's doctors and team issued conflicting messages about his medical status. CBC’s senior Washington editor Lyndsay Duncombe joins us to explain what’s known about the president’s health, how this outbreak could impact the U.S. election and what this means for the nomination of the next U.S. Supreme Court justice.
As she lay dying, Joyce Echaquan clicked on her phone to broadcast a Facebook Live video from her hospital bed, as staff hurled racist remarks at her. You can hear Joyce call out for her husband to come get her, but that would never happen. The 37 year old Atikamekw mother of seven died on Monday. In response, one of the nurses captured on video has been fired, along with an orderly. Joyce's death has also sparked three investigations. Dr. Barry Lavallee, a physician CEO of Keewatinohk Innniniw Minoayawin, which works to advance the health care of First Nations communities in Northern Manitoba, spoke to host Josh Bloch about Joyce Echaquan's death, and what it says about the treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada's health care system.
Like many places in Canada, summer felt a bit more normal in Ontario, at least by pandemic standards. But as Premier Doug Ford said earlier this week, the province is officially in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today on Front Burner, CBC's Ontario provincial affairs reporter Mike Crawley on what led us to this second wave of COVID-19 cases, the government's response, and what it might take to stop it from becoming a tsunami.
While the interruptions made the debate hard to follow, it’s what U.S. President Donald Trump didn’t say that was most notable. When asked to condemn white supremacists and far-right militias, Trump would not. When asked if he would call on his supporters to remain calm if the vote wasn’t decided on election night, Trump railed against mail-in voting. At times Trump drew insults from his exasperated opponent Joe Biden. Today, CBC Washington correspondent Alex Panetta walks us through the highlights of the debate, and breaks down what each candidate’s performance tells us about the race.
The story was chronicled in detail in the mega-hit New York Times podcast Caliphate: a young Canadian man who claimed he had travelled to Syria to join ISIS, committing executions on behalf of the group before becoming disillusioned and fleeing. Now, Shehroze Chaudry, a.k.a. "Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi" has been charged by the RCMP not for being a member of ISIS, but for allegedly lying about it. He's now facing a terrorism hoax charge. Today, terrorism and radicalization expert Amarnath Amarasingam shares his perspective on the story. He's been in contact with Chaudhry for about four years, at first as part of his research into ISIS fighters and returnees, and later as someone who works to help reintegrate former extremists.
Comments (39)

Sharon McKinnon

heartbreaking. How many more Hisham's are out there?

Oct 26th

Paz Ibarra

Imagine watching the debate in a different language. You're listening to 3 interpreters talk over 3 men talking over each other.

Oct 1st


so "1m" Uyghurs detained in "concentration camps" is now accepted fact and gets mentioned without challenge? come on, CBC, where are your standards? I guess a lie told a thousand times really does become truth.

Sep 13th
Reply (6)

Tammie Schmautz Pizzingrilli

Were you CBC reporters on your knees while you were sucking Trudeau's d°ck? Shame on you

Aug 2nd

gaby alseen

CBC's use of a Brazilian journalist (expert) who declares that covid 19 didn't come from China and instead from rich Italian tourists is at the very least irresponsible. CBC insists on being part of the cpc propaganda machine, this is treasonous and very dangerous.

Jul 17th

Paz Ibarra

I love that this is getting coverage. Thank you so much for this reporting.

Jun 26th

Marc Clark


Jun 16th

Wyatt Gillis

A lot of preumptive misinformation being shared about Regis's death.

Jun 1st
Reply (1)

Wyatt Gillis


May 26th

Wyatt Gillis

lol who is this host

May 14th

Jason Smith

Oh God. Prime Minister, real tough words..... sounds like a teacher...a pre-school teacher who cannot control 4 year olds.

Mar 24th

Paz Ibarra

Got the episode to play by going here:

Mar 13th

Paz Ibarra

Anyone else having trouble downloading these episodes today?

Mar 11th
Reply (3)

Linda Brown

Weird title for episode. Nothing touched on what was offensive.

Feb 25th
Reply (1)

Darryl Mac


Jan 24th

Paz Ibarra

I work in tech and AWS is huge. It's so big, that you couldn't boycott it, even if you wanted to.

Dec 23rd

Lauren B

The quality and quantity of the content available on Canadian Netflix is pathetic compared to United States. Its really not even worth the expense.

Nov 20th

Thomas Ficht

why the country intro guitar?

Nov 6th

Matthew Donald

Love the challenging of the guest :)

Sep 24th

Molly Doyle

Whew!! Got a little teary there at the end. Great interview. Definitely plan to read the book!

Aug 28th
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