The Long Way

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April 12, 2021  

Social Trust, Pluralism, and Democracy (S03 E05)


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:

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

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March 25, 2021  

Limits of Religious Freedom (S03 E04)


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 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)

Danielle Smith

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

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 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)

Jonathan Kay










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:


Here I Stand

Pan Am


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)


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

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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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November 2, 2020  

Systemic Racism (S2E4)

COVID-19 isn’t the only thing that will go down in history as a marked feature of 2020. Racism and the fight against this evil has also made its mark on the year in Canada and the United States. How do we respond to news about systemic racism and what can we do that contributes to the common good and seeks justice? That’s what we ask our special guest, Ian Rowe, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.


Want to know more about the Canadian Marriage Map? Visit to see the data we mention at the end of this episode.


Interested in more from Ian Rowe? Check out his work at AEI as well as the podcast he co-hosts.


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October 19, 2020  

Are We Fine with the 9-5? (S2E3)

Work lives have changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home has become the norm for many of us. And some are musing again about four-day work weeks. In this episode of The Long Way, we explore the changing nature of work with Dr. Erica Carleton, Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the University of Saskatchewan, and Brian Dijkema, Vice President of External Affairs at Cardus.


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October 5, 2020  

Truth or Dare (S2E2)

Journalism is about telling the truth, right? Or is it about correcting injustices? Jen Gerson, a Canadian journalist who left regular, paid work in the media to strike out as an independent and outspoken writer and podcaster, has a definite perspective on such questions. She shares her thoughts with The Long Way as we consider the issue of how to do journalism in the unstable and constantly shifting media industry.

If you'd like to read a portion of The Long Way's conversation with Gerson, check out this article in Convivium.

Interested in Gerson’s work? Check out The Line for Canadian news commentary and the Oppo podcast.

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September 21, 2020  

The Hidden Economy (S2E1)

Amid pandemic-related job loss and economic worries, new research suggests there is a sector of Canadian society that plays an important, but often unrecognized, economic role: religion.

The Hidden Economy: How Faith Helps Fuel Canada’s GDP, a new report from think tank Cardus, finds that religion’s annual contribution to Canadian society is worthy an estimated $67.5 billion. In this episode of The Long Way, we’ll hear from Dr. Brian Grim, a co-author of the study as well as president and founding for the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.


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