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Desmond Cole and Andray Domise want to know how their country works, why they should care and what they should do.

Desmond Cole and Andray Domise want to know how their country works, why they should care and what they should do.
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Toronto, ON


Desmond Cole and Andray Domise want to know how their country works, why they should care and what they should do.






Ep. 97 - What The Hell Is A Fairness Letter?

Mohamed Waleed Taleb is stuck in Turkey. He applied to come to Canada in 2015 and was flagged under section 34 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for his pro-democracy work against the Assad regime. He's responded to the governement's concerns and is now waiting to hear back on a final decision: will he be let into Canada, or will he be deemed "inadmissible". We spoke to Waleed about his experience. We also spoke to his lawyer Pierre Andre Theriault to better understand Waleed's...


Ep. 96 - Canada Is Not Racist... According To The Stats

If you look at the stats, Canada has a low incidence of hate crimes, but the numbers that we rely on to tell us if we're racist or not are wrong. In this episode, we speak to journalist and Executive Director, of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network Evan Balgord who explains why that is. Evan represented the research of Barbara Perry Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, of Criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui PhD Candidate and...


Ep. 95 - What Do Peacekeepers Actually Do?

The Liberal government announced earlier this year that it would send around 200 troops to assist in a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. But what does "peacekeeping" look like in today's world and what do peacekeepers actually do? In this episode, we speak to Major-General Denis Thompson (Retired) and Aisha Ahmad, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, to answer these questions. stions.


Ep.94 - Life In Canada Without Clean Water

Canada has 20 per cent of the world's freshwater and yet some Indigenous communities have not had access to clean drinking water for decades. In this episode, we speak to Rachel Arsenault a master’s student at Laurentian University's Indigenous Relations program who works with Decolonizing Water an Indigenous-led community-based water monitoring initiative. We also speak with Samantha Redsky of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation .


Ep. 93 - The All-White Jury In Canada

The acquittal of Gerald Stanley in the shooting of Colten Boushie sparked outrage across Canada. The anger was further fuelled by the fact that the jury was all white, in a community that had a significant Indigenous population. After the Gerald Stanley verdict, the government proposed sweeping changes to the legal system in Bill C-75. The legal community has been divided on these proposed changes - some say they are an important first step to make juries more diverse, while other say they...


Ep. 92 - Canadian History X

As a teen, Elisa Hategan joined Canada's most notorious and well-organized white supremacist group, the Heritage Front. She later turned on the group and helped to take them down. What can we learn from the past about how white supremacists operate today? And what do we do about all these Nazis? Elisa's book about her time in the Heritage Front is called Race Traitor.


Ep. 91 - Stories From Solitude

The final episode of our two-parter on solitary confinement in Canada. In this episode, we hear two personal stories about the impacts that solitary confinement can have. Featuring Yusuf Faqiri and Dan Parlow.


Ep. 90 - Unconstitutional Solitude

A two part series in which we explore the conditions and consequences of solitary confinement use in Canada. Featuring Chris Jackel, a correctional officer who works in a maximum security Ontario prison, and lawyer/professor Lisa Kerr.


Ep. 89 - Finding A Fix: Our Opioid Overdose Crisis

There's a well known narrative about the opioid epidemic: pharmaceutical companies and doctors over-prescribed addictive drugs on patients. But there's an important policy story here too, and we need to talk about it. Featuring longtime opiate user and activist, Garth Mullins, and lawyer, Caitlin Shane.


Ep. 88 - Our Mis(education): the Erasure of Blackness in Canadian Schools

Robyn Maynard is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present. We chat with Robyn about what she calls our (mis)education: Canada's amnesia to its history of slavery and segregation, and about the ways in which Canadian classrooms are still rife with anti-black racism.


A Brief Announcement

Back next week with a new episode! In the meantime, check out a new CANADALAND show, Oppo.


Ep. 87 - Unknown Road: Inside Immigration Detention

Canada's immigration system has a human rights problem. Each year, thousands of people are indefinitely jailed in prisons without any criminal charges. Babou was one of them. This episode features Babou Jobe and Subodh Bharati.


Ep. 86 - Throwing Shade at 2017: A Political Awards Show

We look back on some notably weird political moments of 2017 and collectively cringe. Featuring guests Tim Fontaine (of Walking Eagle News) and Scott Vrooman (of Centrism Dot Biz).


Ep 85. - Invisible Victims: The Quest for Police Accountability

Stronger police accountability is an acute need across Canada. In Ontario, recommendations for stronger police oversight are being drafted into legislation. In this episode, we explore the suspicious death of Cheyenne Fox and the ensuing (lack of) investigation. We then speak to a former director of Ontario's Special Investigations Unit, Ian Scott, who takes us inside the organizations responsible for holding police accountable. The final part of our policing miniseries.


Ep. 84 - Invisible Victims: How Police Botched the Robert Pickton Case

"If the police don't want you to see a file, you're never gonna know it exists." We speak with Lorimer Shenher, a former police officer who was in charge of investigating the growing number of disappearing women from Vancouver's downtown Eastside, about how law enforcement overlooked a serial killer. This is part one of a two part series on Canada's policing system, police culture, and police accountability.


Ep. 83 - No Protest is Genteel: On Antifa

Live from Vancouver: We speak with organizers Garth Mullins and Annie Ohana to unpack what it means to resist fascism in BC. Featuring Hadiya Roderique and guest host Sandy Garossino.


Ep. 82 - As If They Were Pets: The Sixties Scoop

Betty Ann Adam is a reporter with the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. She is also a survivor of the "Sixties Scoop". When she was a toddler, the Canadian government pried her from her mother's arms. She was raised by foster parents. A modern version of this is still happening to Indigenous children across Canada.


Ep. 80 - On NAFTA And Niqabs

On this episode we speak with Hugh Segal. Segal is a former Conservative senator and was Brian Mulroney's Chief of Staff during the leadup to the passage of NAFTA in 1994. He talks about what NAFTA got right the first time around, what needs to be changed and how Indigenous nations need to be represented around the table in coming negotiations. Also, Quebec passes a bill restricting religious symbols, but mostly just the kind worn by brown people. And Vancouver? Commons is headed to...


Ep. 80 - Why We Need Higher Taxes, A Canadian Mt. Rushmore And A Population Of 100 Million

The Liberals put forth a proposal to tax the hell out of small businesses. At least that's how it's being painted by the Opposition. In reality, the proposed changes would have virtually zero impact on the majority of small business owners, but would focus on self-incorporated doctors. And it wouldn't raise their taxes, per se, but alter how they can claim their family members as employees, and change how the money they park in investments rather than being poured back into their...


BONUS EPISODE -- Jagmeet Singh - The Full Interview

On Episode 79 of Commons we spoke with three of the four NDP leadership candidates: Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus and Jagmeet Singh. These interviews were recorded before Singh's first-ballot victory on Sunday, October 1. As a bonus to Commons listeners, we present the full interview with now NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.