The Long Way

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June 1, 2021  

Better Political Journalism in Canada (S03 E09)

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Feature Guest: Prof. Lydia Miljan, University of Windsor - Department of Political Science

For the final Season 3 episode of The Long Way, we return to the theme of news media bias in Canada and getting better journalism. We can accept from the outset that there aren’t any easy answers. But we can at least make progress toward understanding what is going on in the world of journalism today while hoping to see a better end product. Among the various aspects of journalism we examine is the way political news media handle the sharing of opinions – something our feature guest, Prof. Lydia Miljan from the University of Windsor, picks up in her comments on the podcast.

“So, it’s journalists explicitly giving their take on the day’s news,” Prof. Miljan tells The Long Way. “And why would we say that their opinions are worth more than someone else’s? Well, perhaps because they have some insider knowledge and they talk to people, but if you watch those shows on a regular basis, no, you’re just getting their point of view based on the fact of their education [and] where they live. You know when I talk to friends across the country, especially those in Western Canada, they’re increasingly frustrated with the national news media in this country.”

We’ll also hear from Holly Doan, publisher of the online news platform Blacklock’s Reporter. In Peter Stockland’s field report for this episode of The Long Way, Doan shares her view that bias isn’t necessarily the central problem in news media.

During this episode, you’ll hear references to journalist Andrew Coyne as well as to Bill C-10 on federal government regulation of the internet and social media (with all the related free speech concerns). If you’d like to dig a little deeper, check out these episodes of The Long Way:

S03 E01: Media Bias and False Balance featuring Globe & Mail columnist Andrew Coyne.

S03 E07: Free Speech and Broadcast Regulations for more on Bill C-10 with feature guest Michael Geist.

If you enjoyed this episode of The Long Way, don’t be shy about rating it, liking it, leaving a comment, or subscribing to this podcast.

The Long Way is a podcast of think tank Cardus.

Thanks for listening!

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May 14, 2021  

Indigenous Reconciliation in Canada (S03 E08)

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Feature Guest: Melissa Mbarki, policy analyst in the Indigenous Policy Program at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute

If you look for news on Indigenous reconciliation in Canada, you’ll find a lot of interesting stuff:

  • A lot of talk about the legacy of colonialism and residential schools
  • Environmental activist David Suzuki calling for a new approach to parks and governance
  • Calls for Ryerson University to change its name in order to erase any connection to Egerton Ryerson because of his involvement with residential schools
  • Coverage of Bill C-15 in Parliament to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Reconciliation is a bigger topic than one episode of The Long Way can cover, but this episode starts down that road. We do so starting from the premise that reconciliation – the restoration of a relationship – is necessary. For one thing, it’s a simple recognition of the human dignity we all bear, Indigenous or not. For another, it’s a step toward healing from past injustices and moving toward a better Canada.

Our feature guest in this episode is Melissa Mbarki, an Indigenous woman from Treaty 4 in Saskatchewan who grew up on a reserve. She has spent her career working as an oil, gas, and mining operations analyst. Melissa is also a policy analyst in the Indigenous Policy Program at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI).

Listen for Melissa Mbarki’s insights on what Indigenous reconciliation looks like on the ground from her point of you. You won’t hear much high-sounding rhetoric or calls for grand gestures. However, you will hear a very practical description of what needs to change and what role natural resource development plays in this issue. One issue that really comes through in our conversation involves the benefits of work beyond earning a paycheque. That’s something think tank Cardus has studied extensively. To learn more, check out Fuelling Canada’s Middle Class and Work is About More Than Money.

If you’re interested in learning more about Melissa’s work and the involvement of MLI in Indigenous issues, visit the MLI website.

And if you’re interested in reading about some under-reported aspects of reconciliation, here are three articles in Convivium that you may enjoy reading:

Images of Indigenous Resilience by Alan Hustak

Renewing On Middle Ground by Cecil Chabot

Reconcile This by Peter Stockland

If you enjoyed this episode of The Long Way, don’t be shy about rating it, liking it, leaving a comment, or subscribing to this podcast.

The Long Way is a podcast of think tank Cardus.

Thanks for listening!

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April 30, 2021  

Free Speech and Broadcast Regulations (S03 E07)

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Feature Guest: Michael Geist, University of Ottawa professor and the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law

When the federal government introduced Bill C-10 to update broadcast regulations, here is the kind of headlines they likely didn't want:

CBC: Your free speech is at risk with Ottawa’s push to regulate online content, experts warn

National Post: Full-blown assault on free expression

Toronto Sun: Canada’s disturbing censorship conversation

Toronto Star: Uploads to social media could be regulated under proposed changes to Canada’s broadcasting law

You can add to all that one of the earliest outlets to cover Bill C-10 – the Ottawa-based, regulation, law, and lobbyist-watching hawk-eyes at Blacklock’s Reporter, which writes about the “enforcement of a YouTube censorship bill.”

The controversy around Bill C-10 stems from its broad reach to bring internet streaming services under the regulatory control of Canada’s broadcast regulator, the CRTC. That was controversial enough, but the recent move to take away the exemption for social media and content uploaded by individuals really got people talking.

So, The Long Way has gone right to one of the experts in the field to get the low-down on what wrong with Bill C-10 and why it should matter to all of us: Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa professor and the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law.

“Having the broadcast regulator treat all of this other speech, legitimate speech that is protected under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I think it has a chilling effect,” Geist tells The Long Way. “In a democracy like ours, we don’t speak with permission of the state.”

Geist goes on to explain just how badly Bill C-10 in its current form could erode fundamental freedoms in Canada.

Also, if you’ve been listening to The Long Way regularly, you’ll know that field reporter Peter Stockland looked into some aspects of the C-10 controversy in Episode 1 of this season. And before that – as early as February 2021 – he was reporting on it in Convivium, a digital magazine published by Cardus.

Want to know more?

Check out Michael Geist’s blog and his own podcast, Law Bytes.

And for a different analysis of Bill C-10, do check out this article from cartt.ca.

If you enjoyed this episode of The Long Way, don’t be shy about liking it or leaving a comment, or even subscribing or following this podcast wherever you heard it. Thanks for listening!

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April 22, 2021  

Federal Budget 2021 (S03 E06)

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Feature Guests: Andrea Mrozek, Senior Fellow at Cardus, and Brian Dijkema, Vice-President of External Affairs at Cardus

There are many memorable lines from the movie The Princess Bride. But one especially notable line is the following: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The word in question? Feminist. The federal government has introduced its first budget in two years, calling Budget 2021 a “feminist” budget especially because of its promised national daycare system. But that “feminist” label doesn’t make sense to one of our feature guests, Andrea Mrozek, a senior fellow in family research at think tank Cardus.

“I find it insulting that we focus on mothers of young children as being the key new contributors to the economy when they have so much work on their plates already,” Mrozek tells The Long Way podcast.

Together with Brian Dijkema, vice-president of external affairs at Cardus, we analyze key parts of Budget 2021 – like child care and new measures related to the charitable sector – while also examining some of the cultural questions the budget raises.

If you’re looking for more information on the issues we discussed in this podcast, here’s where you can find out more:

What does good child care policy look like for Canada?

Is Canadian child care really in crisis right across the country?

Is Quebec a model of high-quality, affordable child care?

What should the federal government have done in Budget 2021 to help charities?

If you enjoyed this episode of The Long Way, don’t be shy about liking it or leaving a comment, or even subscribing or following this podcast wherever you heard it. Thanks for listening!

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April 12, 2021  

Social Trust, Pluralism, and Democracy (S03 E05)

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Feature Guest: Sean Speer, Editor-at-Large of The Hub

Trust and social solidarity seem to be commodities in short supply these days. New polling suggests not just declining institutional trust among Canadians, but an undercurrent of anger that threatens our democratic life. That’s according to data published by The Hub, a new Canadian media outlet, which focuses on the work of think tanks and public policy. Sean Speer, Editor-at-Large of The Hub, says it’s shocking that 77 percent of Canadians say they’re angry about what’s going on in their country.

“I think that finding ought to cause a degree of introspection amongst our political leaders, amongst our business leaders, amongst our cultural leaders, our religious leaders,” Speer says. “What has happened to the sense of civic spirit of the sort of aspiration that really has been at the heart of the Canadian project? How have we gotten to a place where Canadians are increasingly marked by anger and not by aspiration and a good feeling about the trajectory our country is on?”

And while Speer makes a plea for true, deep, respectful pluralism across all divides in Canada, we also hear a plea for academic freedom in this episode. Pat Kambhampati, Associate Professor in McGill University’s Department of Chemistry, speaks with field reporter Peter Stockland about growing concerns about academic freedom among those involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Where do you find The Hub? That’s easy: www.thehub.ca.

Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and follow The Long Way. And why not give this episode of The Long Way (or other ones!) a review and a rating? It only takes a moment.

Have some thoughts on what you heard? Write to us at media@cardus.ca.

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March 25, 2021  

Limits of Religious Freedom (S03 E04)

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Feature guests: Carissima Mathen, law professor at the University of Ottawa, and Fr. Dn. Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute

You’ve seen the stories and you’re read the news about COVID public health orders that haven’t gone down very well with some faith communities. There have been charges, fines, and at least one arrest as a result. Alberta pastor James Coates is probably one of the better-known cases that’s caused a fair bit of controversy. So, it’s time to sit down and talk about it – and explore the limits of religious freedom in Canada and the contours around this important concept. That’s what we do on this episode of The Long Way with our special guests, Prof. Carissima Mathen and Fr. Dn. Andrew Bennett. We start things off with field reporter Peter Stockland sharing the story of Pastor Rob Schouten from Aldergrove Canadian Reformed Church in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.

Here’s the Vancouver Sun article we referred to in this episode.

You’ll want to listen right to the end to hear some of our listener feedback from our last episode, including an interesting reference to bare-bottomed baboons. Keep the email coming to media@cardus.ca. And don’t forget to like, subscribe, share, and review The Long Way!

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March 18, 2021  

Free Speech in a Toxic Culture (S03 E03)

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Feature guest: Danielle Smith, a journalist and commentator based in High River, Alberta.

Free speech in a toxic culture – communicating across political divides – these are among the biggest challenges of our times.

It’s not just a problem in the United States. It’s a problem in Canada too.

"In my first five years on radio, if I made an error, I could correct it in the next segment," journalist and commentator Danielle Smith tells The Long Way host Daniel Proussalidis. "I always felt some sense of comfort about that forum because I had people holding me to account and I would never stray too far away from the truth. Seeking the truth is most important to me. But what has happened in the last year is that ... the avenue to have that broad range of discussion has narrowed. There are certain groups or individuals that if you have some kind of embarrassing tweet that goes viral on Twitter, all of a sudden your entire reputation is destroyed and that is not somebody you can ever have on your show again. It's considered that 'oh, they're too radical' because they had that Twitter embarrassment. And so when you have that, you end up with a narrowing and narrowing of the number of people that you're allowed to talk to."

In this episode, Smith explains why she gave up a successful radio show on AM770 in Calgary and said goodbye to thousands of Twitter followers earlier in 2021. If you want to know more about what Smith does next in her media career, she's sure to post it on www.daniellesmith.ca

Also in this episode, field reporter Peter Stockland brings us the story of a very accomplished journalist, Brian Kappler, who hasn't given up on social media but has put it on a strict diet. Plus, you won't want to miss Kappler's thoughts on what he calls "junk journalism" in Canada. And somehow, Peter managed to shoehorn in a reference to Tom Brady in their conversation.

Have some thoughts to share? Write to host Daniel Proussalidis at media@cardus.ca. And don't forget to like, subscribe to, comment on, and share The Long Way wherever you get your podcasts.

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March 11, 2021  

What do we learn from board games during a pandemic? (S03 E02)

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Feature Guest: Jonathan Kay, a Toronto-based editor and podcaster for Quillette, a National Post columnist, and a book author. In 2019, he published "Your Move: What Board Games Teach Us about Life," co-authored with Joan Moriarity.

Board games are seeing a surge in popularity as the disruptions of COVID-19 drag on far longer than any of us would like. Games, dice, cards, tokens, and cardboard counters are filling dining room tables (and other tables) as we pass the time with the few people we’re actually able to see amidst pandemic restrictions – usually our family. Still, others are turning to online board game sites to connect with their typical board gaming community. Not a board game fan? Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it says The Long Way’s feature guest, Jonathan Kay.

“One thing I don’t like to hear is families will say, ‘Oh, we don’t like board games because we tried this board game and we didn’t like it,’” Kay tells The Long Way host Daniel Proussalidis. “That’s like me saying, ‘Oh, I don’t like sports because I tried tetherball and it was no good.’”

Also in this podcast episode, you’ll hear from our field reporter Peter Stockland who has a word-play and game-play-filled conversation with Ray Pennings, executive vice-president of think tank Cardus, about his experience in the world of games.

Listen to the whole episode and you’ll hear how board gaming relates to some significant things in all of our lives, including family, social networks, and education. And if you’re looking to learn about some of the games mentioned in this episode, here they are. Please, note, this list is for information purposes only and is not an endorsement of any particular game. Neither Cardus nor The Long Way has any financial interest or benefit from any of the products mentioned:

Diplomacy

Here I Stand

Pan Am

Pandemic

Paths of Glory

Pax Renaissance

Robo Rally

Roll for the Galaxy

Twilight Struggle

And don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to The Long Way. Thanks for listening!

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March 4, 2021  

Media Bias and False Balance (S03 E01)

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Special Guest: Andrew Coyne, Globe & Mail columnist and CBC At Issue panel member.

Media bias, false balance in journalism, free speech, and social media - all these issues touch upon how we communicate, learn about each other, and build social trust. The picture becomes even more complicated when the Edelman Trust Barometer finds that trust in Canadian media is down to its lowest level in a decade. How do we communicate when we so profoundly disagree with each other on so many issues? Or when we don’t trust what we get from the media? That's what our special guest Andrew Coyne, Globe & Mail columnist and CBC At Issue panel member, addresses with host Daniel Proussalidis on this episode of The Long Way:

"We live in a very perilous time in this respect because there used to be a broad sense of this idea that reasonable people can differ. And there were two components to that statement,” Coyne tells The Long Way. “One is, you can differ - it's OK to have differences of opinion. There's not just one side to every issue. It's OK for people to disagree. But the other component of that was you have to be reasonable. We're not just going to treat people who are plainly out of their minds or arguing in bad faith the same as reasonable, credible individuals. Both sides of that equation right now are in a lot of peril."

Following Daniel’s conversation with Andrew Coyne, The Long Way examines one of the proposed solutions to toxic talk – especially in social media: government regulation. How reasonable a solution is that? Field reporter Peter Stockland addresses that question with Peter Menzies, a former vice-chair of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.

Listened to this episode? Have some thoughts on how this all relates to building the common good in Canada? Leave your comments below or write to us at media@cardus.ca.

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November 16, 2020  

Restorative Justice (S2E5)

Have you ever considered the concept of restorative justice? Have you heard stories of reconciliation or restoration of peace between someone who has committed a crime and a victim of crime? The Long Way will bring you some of those stories in this episode along with some information about how to get involved in helping those who are incarcerated in Canada maintain relationships with their families outside of prison. Our special guest in this episode is Stacey Campbell, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship Canada.

 

For more information on the Angel Tree Christmas program, check out the Prison Fellowship website.

 

If you’re looking for Canadian restorative justice programs, visit the Justice Canada website.

 

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