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Pints & Politics
58 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Episode #107 — Canada Day, July 1st, 2021
Where are you from? What do we really mean when we say, “I am a Canadian”? Or do we even say those words? Except for those of us who are not citizens, the rest of us could say, should we choose to, “I am a Canadian”. Especially on Canada Day. Or are we? If you are Indigenous, what do you say? The Inuit MP representing Nunavut, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, in explaining why she is not running again in the next election, said, in describing her time in the House of Commons, “I do not belong here.” Do you feel that you belong here? If we say, “I am a Canadian”, like Joseph in the Bible, we must put on Jacob’s coat of many colours. There would be colours that we might be proud of. Then there would be colours of which we might be deeply ashamed. Or deeply angry. Over the past few months, these shameful colours have been on full display to the world. Most of us have known about the brutality of the Indian Residential School system, but have chosen to look away. As evidence of the brutality practiced in the Indian Residential Schools, the discovery of unmarked children’s graves at four of these former schools – there were 139 such schools across the country – cannot be ignored. According to Murray Sinclair, the former chair of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, there may be thousands of unmarked graves to be found. Dominating the relationship between Canada and Indigenous people is that for those of us who are settlers, we need to acknowledge that we are living on stolen land. How to address this? And yet. There is much to be grateful for. Canada is still one of the most sought-after destinations on earth for immigrants. We are blessed with an abundance of natural resources and wilderness. We are a relatively prosperous country even as we keep Indigenous people in remote corners of the country living in overcrowded shacks and without safe drinking water. For me, Canada Day always seemed to be a self-effacing, poor cousin of the far more brash Independence Day celebrated with great bravado by our neighbours on July 4. But the prejudice we so often smugly project onto the Americans can no longer be ignored in the wake of these unmarked school graves. Then on June 6th, there was the hate-driven slaughter of a Muslim family in London, Ontario. Slavery is part of our history but most chose not to look at that, either. Racism is very much still with us, but many chose not to talk about it. I want to thank our guest panellists who participated in this episode: Stephen Wright, Cheryl Lyon, Jill Tilley, Yvonne Lai, & Tim Etherington. Your experiences were varied, highly individual and yet so interdependent. Canada Day, July 1st, 2021. How to mark this day? What do we see when we look in the mirror? Do we really see who is staring back at us?
56 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
Episode #106 — Graves at Kamloops Residential School, Doug Ford’s Pandemic Vacation & More
Shoes & boots set up at Peterborough’s City Hall as a memorial to the 215 Indigenous children who died at Kamloops Indian Residential School, June 2, 2021 (Photo: Bill Templeman) The staggering news about the graves found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School broke across the country on the May 24 long weekend. The impact of this news continues to echo across the country as non-Indigenous citizens continue to listen, try to understand and for some, try not to look at what has happened. Indigenous people have lived with intimate knowledge & experience of this abuse for decades. Now the rest of us must make room for these disturbing images in our national mirror. Reports about the abuse that occurred in the Indian Residential Schools across Canada are beginning to break through our best efforts to ignore them. The 2017 film Indian Horse was shot here in Peterborough using the former convent at the Mount as a stand-in for a residential school. The film, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Richard Wagamese, traces the life of a gifted Indigenous hockey player from his childhood to late adulthood. As a child this hockey player attended a residential school; the film explores the abuses he suffered at the hands of school staff and the impact of this abuse on his career. A large auditorium at Trent University here in Peterborough is named after Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy who at the age of 12 ran away from a residential school in Kenora and died of starvation and exposure while trying to walk back home to his family at Ogoki Post, 600 kms away in the fall of 1966. The Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie wrote a concept album based on Wenjack’s escape. The album, dubbed Secret Path, was released on October 18, 2016, along with a concurrent graphic novel of Wenjack’s story by novelist Jeff Lemire and an animated film that aired on CBC Television. So, the story of the residential schools has been told, but not everyone has listened. This is not simply another news item we can hear, then ignore. The former Senator and Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Honourable Murray Sinclair, has said that he fully expects more graves to be discovered. The official estimate published by the TRC references a possible 3 to 4 thousand additional victims. Sinclair has said he personally fears the number could possibly wind up being in the range of 15 to 25,000 once all the graves are discovered across Canada.* Our politics panel also looks at pandemic management in Ontario, Doug Ford’s vacation plans, the likelihood of a federal election this year and the never-ending tragedy of homelessness in Peterborough. Thanks to panellists Sean Conway, Jenny Lanciault and Sylvia Sutherland for their insightful comments. This episode was recorded online on June 5, 2021. We have been recording online since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Our studios at Trent Radio House remain closed until further notice. *On June 24, the Cowessess First Nation east of Regina reported that 751 unmarked graves have been located at the site of the Marieval Indian Residential School. As of June 30, a total of 1,505 unmarked graves have been located at 7 former Indian Residential Schools. There were 139 such schools across Canada.
51 minutes | May 6, 2021
Episode #105 — Could tiny homes reduce homelessness in Peterborough?
As the pandemic drags on, the suffering of Peterborough’s homeless population intensifies; the pandemic has magnified the inequality of resources throughout our community. Add to this the impact of the escalating real estate market on rental rates; adequate housing is moving further out of reach from more and more people. While several large housing projects are in development, will these projects have any impact on the homeless? Given the dire circumstances faced by so many people, could the addition of tiny homes to the city’s housing stock help the homeless? The answer is yes; these tiny homes of less than 350 square feet could make a huge difference. Our guest panel on housing and tiny homes — activist Dan Hennessey, community advocate Susan Gontier and modular construction executive Steven Haylestrom — examine the track record of tiny homes in other communities and outline their role in alleviating Peterborough’s extreme shortage of social and affordable housing. Tiny homes can also kickstart the development of caring communities that can provide hope and support for our most vulnerable citizens. We’ve looked into the issue of homelessness and the broader issue of housing in these previous editions & episodes: Edition #38 — Our Panel on Urban Planning Looks at Peterborough’s Future Edition #40 — Our Panel Evaluates Peterborough’s Downtown Edition #48 — Peterborough’s Housing Crisis: Our Panel Looks for Solutions Edition #66 — Part 1: Our Politics Panel Tackles Homelessness in Peterborough Edition #69 — Our Politics Panel on Peterborough’s Homeless & Enduring a Banal Election Edition #73 –Evelyn Forget: Canada Needs a Basic Income Strategy Episode #83 — What is the impact of the pandemic on Peterborough’s homeless people? Episode #101 — What should Peterborough’s City Council focus on before the 2022 election? This discussion –Episode #105–on homelessness and tiny homes was recorded on May 2 and broadcast over Trent Radio, 92.7 FM, on May 6th.
57 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
Episode #104 — Kudos for City Council, Heckling Doug Ford, More Heckling for Justin Trudeau
Three core members of our politics panel — campaign manager Lauren Hunter, Curve Lake Band Council Member Sean Conway & Property Manager Jenny Lanciault — commend Peterborough’s City Council for deciding to invest the profit from the unpopular sale of PDI. The panel looks at the high level of poverty in Peterborough during this grim winter and finds all levels of government lacking in their respective responses. Then they look at Doug Ford’s pandemic management and the chaotic situation in Ontario schools. They acknowledge two of Justin Trudeau’s achievements — the legalization of marijuana and the expansion of the Child Tax Benefit while pointing out his continued support for Harper’s strategies in areas such as trade, where Canada continues to arm Saudi Arabia as the Saudis pursue a genocidal war in Yemen. The panel ends on a positive note as they discuss Curve Lake’s very successful Covid-19 vaccine campaign. This panel discussion was recorded online on March 5th and broadcast on Trent Radio on March 11th.
57 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
Episode # 103 — Steve Guthrie on local news media, the current stories & what might be coming next
Steve Guthrie is a videographer and media professional who has just retired from 41 years with Global CHEX TV in Peterborough. Steve shares his experience with the progression of technologies in his career, what it takes to thrive in a small-market media environment and his thoughts about the current news world as it affects local media. He also looks at current political issues, pandemic management and what we might see in mainstream media in the future as we move into a post-pandemic world. He offers advice for aspiring journalists and reflects on the impact of the Internet on the role of the news media in our lives. This interview was recorded on January 15th, 2021.
56 minutes | Jan 10, 2021
Episode #102 — Trump’s Last Stand & What It Means for Canadians, Honours for Mike Harris & Disappointment for Developers
Our veteran politics panel — consultant Lauren Hunter, journalist & former mayor Sylvia Sutherland, businesswoman Jenny Lanciault, editor Donald Fraser and Curve Lake Council member Sean Conway — starts the new year by unpacking the seismic political events of the first week of January in the United States. They assess what the surprising victories for the Democrats in the January 5th run-off election in Georgia mean for the Biden administration Then they move on to an analysis of the storming of the capitol building in Washington the next day and the implications for us in Canada. We have no reason to remain smugly aloof of these toxic dynamics. The same extremism is alive and thriving in Canada. The panel also ponders the implications of the nomination of former Ontario premier Mike Harris to the Order of Ontario. In closing, the panel briefly looks at the phenomena of developers who express their displeasure with the policies of the current Peterborough City Council by withholding their projects. This panel discussion was recorded on January 7, 2021.
53 minutes | Nov 28, 2020
Episode #101 — What should Peterborough’s City Council focus on before the 2022 election?
Peterborough’s mayor and current City Council have 23 months left in their mandate before the next municipal election in October of 2022. What should Council’s main priorities be as their mandate winds down? What should they be sure to get done? Our guest panel from across the city representing a wide cross-section of interests and sectors weighs in: Jonathan Bennett of Laridae Consulting (non-profits), Kate Story, writer & theatre artist (arts community), Cheryl Lyon of Transition Town (housing & urban planning), Kaia Martin, student (youth & environmental activist), Paul Bennett of the Downtown Business Improvement Area & builder, business owner & planner (housing & urban planning) and Ian Attridge, lawyer, university instructor (finance & community engagement). Our panel wants this Council to tackle the immediate problems facing our community with an eye to both short-term effectiveness and long-term wisdom. Topics considered include affordable housing, housing supply at all levels, urban intensification, suburban sprawl, public transit, how to invigorate downtown, the survival of the arts community, environmental restoration, and business recovery. This panel discussion was recorded on November 17th and broadcast by Trent Radio on November 26th.
53 minutes | Nov 5, 2020
Episode #100 — Trump or Biden? Our politics panel debriefs the U.S. election
Our politics panel — Sean Conway, Jenny Lanciault, Sylvia Sutherland & Tim Etherington — take a look back at the historic US election — still undecided as of this date of posting, November 5th. Are the polls ever to be trusted again? How did the candidates manage to attract the huge numbers of voters who came out to support them? What mistakes did the campaigns make? Why did the Democrats lose so heavily in the House? What will happen between now and Inauguration Day? If Biden wins, what will he be able to accomplish? What motivated Trump’s voters? Will all the votes be counted? Who has the clearest path to victory? And what to make of the acute divides across American society? What lessons can Canadians draw from this election?
28 minutes | Oct 16, 2020
Episode #99 — The debate that wasn’t & the election that may be: Our politics panel takes a last look at the US election campaign
Our local politics panellists — businesswoman Jenny Lanciault, journalist & former mayor of Peterborough Sylvia Sutherland and math teacher Tim Etherington– give their assessments of the September 29th Trump vs. Biden debate. What do the current polls mean? Is the middle-class turning against Trump? Will Trump’s branding of Biden as ‘sleepy Joe’ have any effect on voters? Apart from not saying anything of substance, what does Biden have to do to maintain his lead? Are traditional conservative voters shifting to the Democrats? What may happen if Biden does not win decisively? What are Trump’s strategies for retaining power even if he loses both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote? Will the Democrats be able to get out their vote? Is the vaunted Republican base cracking? In 2016, those who didn’t like either presidential candidate broke 60% to 40% for Trump. This time, those same disaffected voters may vote overwhelmingly for Biden. Is Trump even concerned about the election results? Or is his end game really all about the manipulative power machinations he could orchestrate during the interregnum period between the November 3rd election and the January 20th inauguration? This panel discussion was recorded online on October 1st and broadcast on Trent Radio on October 8th.
31 minutes | Oct 9, 2020
Episode #98 — Meanwhile, back in Canada: Our politics panel takes a break from the looming US election to look at what is going on at home
Long-time politics panellists Sean Conway and Lauren Hunter catch us up on the political goings-on in Ottawa and in the provincial capitals while the rest of the known universe continues with its obsession about Trump vs. Biden. While we have been gorging on US political news, we learn that several provinces are going to the polls soon — BC, Saskatchewan and perhaps Ontario and the outcomes could shape federal-provincial relations for the next few years. Also, it appears that the federal Liberals may hold onto their minority government longer than was initially anticipated thanks to the support of the NDP. In exchange, Canadians are getting progressive legislation that would have been not possible just a few short years ago. The NDP managed to persuade the Liberals to expand federal sick leave and implement a more generous income support program for unemployed workers. In exchange, the NDP supported the Throne Speech, thereby saving the country from a fall election. This discussion was recorded on Sept. 30th and broadcast on Trent Radio on Thursday, Oct. 8th.
27 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
Episode #97 — Another take on the Throne Speech & the U.S. election
Three of our veteran politics panellists — Curve Lake First Nations Councillor Sean Conway, consultant Lauren Hunter, and writer & editor Donald Fraser — hop across borders as they share their reactions to the September 23rd throne speech delivered in Ottawa, then catch up with U.S. election campaign and the impact of the passing of […]
32 minutes | Oct 5, 2020
Episode #96 — The Throne Speech in parliament, Ruth Bader Ginsberg & the U.S. election
Four of our veteran politics panellists — Curve Lake First Nations Councillor Sean Conway, journalist & former mayor Sylvia Sutherland, businesswoman Jenny Lanciault and math teacher Tim Etherington — hop across borders as they share their reactions to the September 23rd throne speech delivered in Ottawa, then catch up with U.S. election campaign and the […]
30 minutes | Sep 27, 2020
Episode #95 — The US Election: A necessary obsession for Canada? Is voter suppression via mass incarceration the new Jim Crow?
In this episode, businesswoman Jenny Lanciault, freelance writer Aggie Mlynarz and math teacher Tim Etherington continue to explore the main themes of Episode #94: the importance of this election for the global community and the many varieties of voter suppression currently on offer by the Trump administration. For Canadians, this election will set the tone […]
27 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
Episode #94 — Why does this US election matter to Canadians? What is at stake? Our politics panel takes a deep dive
For Canadians, this approaching US election will set the course for our relationship with our largest trading partner for the next 4 years. But much more than that, it will set the tone for international relations, the advancement of such crucial issues as global warming and of course, measures to control the current pandemic. Our […]
28 minutes | Sep 14, 2020
Episode #93 — How high will Chrystia Freeland’s star rise? What new policies might be in the next Throne Speech? Which Erin O’Toole will we see in parliament?
Our panel debriefs the Conservatives' leadership vote and dissects the impact of the Liberals' turbulent summer in Ottawa
31 minutes | Sep 11, 2020
Episode #92 — Erin O’Toole’s Conservative leadership win and the Liberals troubled summer
One half of our politics panel — business-woman Jenny Lanciault, Curve Lake First Nations Band Councillor Sean Conway and former mayor of Peterborough Sylvia Sutherland — assesses the Conservative leadership vote. Then they evaluate the turmoil in Ottawa as the Liberals change finance ministers, prorogue parliament, and signal major changes in their next throne speech. […]
33 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
Episode #91 — Back to School: What’s the plan & will it be safe?
In less than two weeks, Ontario’s school students and staff go back to class. What are the risks? Will the Ministry of Education and the school boards act responsibly if there is an outbreak? Will the government’s plan work or is Doug Ford rolling the dice? Is the government cherry-picking the medical advice that aligns […]
41 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
Episode #90 — How can Peterborough best support its artists through this pandemic?
The arts sector provides significant economic benefits to our community that far outweigh its costs. Festivals, concerts, exhibitions, performances, film showings, readings and presentations attract audiences across our town and throughout the calendar year. All that creative activity came to an abrupt halt with the pandemic lockdown back in March. How are Peterborough’s artists surviving […]
53 minutes | Jun 19, 2020
Episode #89 — Our politics panel looks at policing, racism, the pandemic & much more
Our veteran politics panel — property manager & businesswoman Jenny Lanciault, Curve Lake First Nation Councilor and Ontario NDP Indigenous Peoples Committee Chair Sean Conway, playwright & math teacher, Tim Etherington, and Peterborough This Week Journalist & former mayor of Peterborough, Sylvia Sutherland — unravels the complex chaos of the last few weeks as the […]
45 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
Episode #88 — What changes will the pandemic leave behind for Peterborough’s non-profit organizations?
What is the impact of this pandemic on Peterborough’s non-profit sector? And what changes could individual citizens and the community at large implement that would make the work of our non-profits easier in the future? Our panel of non-profit leaders – Jonathan Bennett, Founder & Senior Associate of Laridae Consulting, Kirsten Armbrust, Executive Director of […]
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