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The Decibel
The Decibel
The Globe and Mail

Context is everything. Join us Monday to Friday for a Canadian daily news podcast from The Globe and Mail. Explore a story... more

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Episodes

What went wrong with the Liberals’ gun legislation

The Liberal government brought in Bill C-21 last May that would ban certain firearms. Amendments to the legislation have only... more

30 Jan 2023 · 20 minutes
What remains a year after the convoy protests

A year after tens of thousands of people descended on Ottawa, some in their big-rig trucks, a lot has changed.... more

27 Jan 2023 · 18 minutes
Unicorns, camels and the tech crash

To cope with the rising interest rates and higher-than-normal inflation in the economy, many tech companies are changing how they... more

26 Jan 2023 · 20 minutes
Arsenic in the air divides a small Quebec city

The residents of Rouyn-Noranda, QC have known about the arsenic emissions coming from the local smelting plant for years. More... more

25 Jan 2023 · 17 minutes
Western allies debate sending tanks to Ukraine

Ukraine wants tanks – 300 of them to be precise. President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that western battle tanks could be... more

24 Jan 2023 · 17 minutes
Why physically disciplining kids is still legal in Canada

In Canada, the criminal code allows for physical discipline of children, in certain circumstances. For almost half a century, advocates... more

23 Jan 2023 · 16 minutes
Are Alberta and BC good models for private surgery?

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced this week his government is increasing the use of private clinics for procedures like cataracts,... more

20 Jan 2023 · 21 minutes
Inside the life-or-death journey of one Venezuelan family

Over 7-million Venezuelans have left their homes since 2017, when Nicholas Maduro seized power and the state started to collapse.... more

19 Jan 2023 · 18 minutes
Canada’s new drinking guidelines

On Tuesday, Canada’s new guidelines for drinking and health were released from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction... more

18 Jan 2023 · 22 minutes
What history can tell us about this economic moment

The economic forecast for 2023 is … less than rosy. Inflation is still running high. Central banks may continue to... more

17 Jan 2023 · 17 minutes
Why holiday travel chaos is the new normal

The holiday travel period was incredibly tumultuous – with passengers stranded, bags lost and thousands of flights cancelled. The airlines... more

16 Jan 2023 · 19 minutes
The hard-line plans of Israel’s new far-right government

Israel’s new far-right government is looking to overhaul the country’s justice system – going so far as seeking to create... more

13 Jan 2023 · 23 minutes
Cheap grocery apps aiming to reduce food waste

There’s a growing demand for food waste apps from both shoppers and grocers. They’ve been touted as a new way... more

12 Jan 2023 · 17 minutes
A virologist on COVID variant XBB 1.5

The XBB 1.5 variant of COVID is quickly becoming the dominant strain in the US, and we’re seeing more cases... more

11 Jan 2023 · 18 minutes
Andrew Coyne looks ahead to politics in 2023

Canada’s facing a stressed health care system, persistent inflation and a fraught geopolitical scene. Globe and Mail columnist Andrew Coyne looks... more

10 Jan 2023 · 19 minutes
Shopify's problems

Shopify began this year announcing to its workers that meetings of more than two employees were banned. Slack channels that... more

09 Jan 2023 · 16 minutes
Disaster-proof your finances for 2023

2022 was a pretty turbulent year financially, with sky-high inflation, interest rates and housing prices. So you might be looking... more

06 Jan 2023 · 19 minutes
Why the surge of COVID in China looks a lot like 2020

Since China abandoned its COVID-zero policies, the country has seen a dramatic outbreak of infections. But exactly how bad things... more

05 Jan 2023 · 18 minutes
The weight loss drug everyone’s talking about

Ozempic and other semaglutide drugs have been hailed as a very effective treatment for obesity, but shortages, affordability and doctors’... more

04 Jan 2023 · 19 minutes
How organ transplants could be changed by ... frozen frogs

Some animals survive harsh winter conditions by completely freezing and thawing in spring, like the wood frog. Researchers are looking... more

03 Jan 2023 · 16 minutes
2022: A look back on the year of the ‘freedom convoy’

What started as a protest against vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers turned into a catch-all occupation of pent-up pandemic... more

30 Dec 2022 · 16 minutes
As missiles fall around her, this Kharkiv citizen continues to fight disinformation

As part of our picks of the top stories of 2022, we are re-airing this episode about a woman documenting... more

29 Dec 2022 · 23 minutes
Should the Pope reverse a 500-year-old Church law?

As part of our picks of the top stories of 2022, we are re-airing this episode on the Pope’s visit... more

28 Dec 2022 · 17 minutes
If you didn’t get a big raise, you probably got a pay cut

As part of our picks of the top stories of 2022, we are re-airing this episode on inflation, which originally... more

27 Dec 2022 · 18 minutes
Move over Let It Go, we’re talking about Bruno

As part of our picks of the top stories of 2022, we are re-airing this episode about one of the... more

26 Dec 2022 · 18 minutes
What’s the holiday season without a little tradition?

Ranging from childhood phone calls, to serenading strangers, to feasting on the darkest day of the year, we explore how... more

23 Dec 2022 · 21 minutes
Short on cash and power, Ukraine faces a dark Christmas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington on Wednesday. It’s his first known time outside of Ukraine since Russia invaded... more

22 Dec 2022 · 15 minutes
The YouTubers guiding immigrants in small-town Canada

Newcomers are turning to YouTube to learn about everyday life in places like Moncton NB, Kamloops B.C. or Swift Current,... more

21 Dec 2022 · 17 minutes
What we know about the mass shooting near Toronto

On Sunday evening, five residents of a high-rise condo building in Vaughan, ON were shot and killed. A 73-year-old gunman... more

20 Dec 2022 · 15 minutes
The tiny town that might vote itself out of existence

In the community of Gaultois, Newfoundland, an upcoming vote will determine whether to keep receiving government services, or take a... more

19 Dec 2022 · 17 minutes
A success story in Indigenous-led conservation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $800-million in funding for Indigenous-led conservation efforts at COP15, the biodiversity conference happening in Montreal.... more

16 Dec 2022 · 18 minutes
FTX and Canadian crypto FOMO

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas on Monday. U.S. prosecutors charged Bankman-Fried... more

15 Dec 2022 · 17 minutes
A promising young player, a devastating injury and Hockey Canada

Neil Doef was 17 when his life changed. As a promising young hockey player, he was competing at an international... more

14 Dec 2022 · 19 minutes
Why NASA wants to go back to the moon

With its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, Artemis 1 marked the successful completion of the first step in... more

13 Dec 2022 · 19 minutes
A rare look inside war-torn Myanmar

Myanmar has been in a state of chaos since February 2021 when the military staged a coup following a democratic... more

12 Dec 2022 · 20 minutes
A behavioural psychologist explains why Canadians aren’t wearing masks

Healthcare systems across the country are under strain yet again, and this time children seem to be bearing the worst... more

09 Dec 2022 · 18 minutes
The billions of dollars in ineligible COVID benefits

The federal government paid $4.6-billion in COVID-19 benefits to ineligible recipients, and another $27.4-billion of payouts should be investigated to... more

08 Dec 2022 · 19 minutes
Why your groceries cost so much

Canadians have already seen the cost of groceries grow by over 10 per cent this year, and costs are expected... more

07 Dec 2022 · 16 minutes
How the Canadian justice system treats abused women

Two years ago, Helen Naslund was sentenced to eighteen years in prison for killing her husband, Miles, in 2011. They... more

06 Dec 2022 · 19 minutes
How to stop Indigenous identity fraud

Joseph Boyden. Michelle Latimer. Carrie Bourassa. There has been a growing list of people who are accused of pretending to... more

05 Dec 2022 · 18 minutes
What a more sovereign Alberta would mean for Canada

On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduced her sovereignty act, the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act, which would... more

02 Dec 2022 · 19 minutes
A glut of office space in a hybrid work world

The office vacancy rates in two of Canada’s biggest cities – Toronto and Vancouver – have more than doubled since... more

01 Dec 2022 · 16 minutes
Zero-COVID protests break through the Great Firewall of China

Protesters in China are blaming zero-COVID policies for the deaths of 10 people in an apartment building in the city... more

30 Nov 2022 · 19 minutes
Canada’s ambitious plan to bring in 500,000 immigrants by 2025

The federal government plans to bring in 500,000 immigrants per year by 2025 – but only around 200,000 housing units... more

29 Nov 2022 · 20 minutes
Justin Trudeau testifies at the Emergencies Act inquiry

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s five-hour testimony wrapped up the final day of Emergencies Act inquiry. Mr. Trudeau faced questions about his... more

28 Nov 2022 · 23 minutes
Are we ready for the new medically assisted dying law?

In March, Canada will expand medically assisted dying to people with mental illness as a sole condition. This will make... more

25 Nov 2022 · 24 minutes
How soaring B.C. wait times are hurting cancer patients

Cancer patients are facing lengthy wait times to see a doctor and get treated in British Columbia. These delays are... more

24 Nov 2022 · 17 minutes
What the World Cup buys Qatar

With World Cup host country Qatar getting bad press for its treatment of migrant workers, its stance on LGBTQ rights... more

23 Nov 2022 · 19 minutes
Premier Danielle Smith takes on health care in Alberta

Danielle Smith harshly criticized health officials’ response to the pandemic in Alberta during her campaign to become premier – and... more

22 Nov 2022 · 19 minutes
Can big banks save us from climate change?

The year was 2021. And former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney had a dream. In Glasgow, he announced that... more

21 Nov 2022 · 18 minutes
Rupi Kaur wants you to start writing

Rupi Kaur is one of the most famous poets in the world. When she was just 21, she self-published her... more

18 Nov 2022 · 20 minutes
A doctor answers your questions about RSV, flu and COVID

As RSV, influenza and COVID circulate, health care systems that were already strained are struggling even more. Children’s hospitals in... more

17 Nov 2022 · 17 minutes
The peace deal to end ‘world’s biggest war’ in Tigray

Two weeks after a peace agreement between Ethiopia and Tigray was reached, humanitarian aid finally started to arrive in the... more

16 Nov 2022 · 16 minutes
What the liberation of Kherson means for the war in Ukraine

The Globe’s Mark MacKinnon was in Kherson this weekend while residents celebrated Ukraine regaining control of the city from Russia’s... more

15 Nov 2022 · 19 minutes
How FTX went from $32-billion to bankrupt in a week

Sam Bankman-Fried was seen by many as the golden boy of the cryptocurrency world. He was the CEO of major... more

14 Nov 2022 · 15 minutes
Why this climate scientist is worried the Bahamas won’t exist in 50 years

At the global climate conference COP27, a major discussion is a loss and damage fund. The idea is that wealthier... more

11 Nov 2022 · 19 minutes
Abortion rights’ impact on the Republican wave

Republicans were expected to dominate the midterm elections, but the anticipated ‘red wave’ did not pan out. Democrats did better... more

10 Nov 2022 · 17 minutes
Why Doug Ford backpedaled in the dispute with CUPE

In an abrupt reversal, Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised to repeal the legislation that revoked the right to strike for... more

09 Nov 2022 · 15 minutes
The secretive Chinese ‘police stations’ in Canada

The RCMP are now investigating after a report from human rights organization Safeguard Defenders identified 54 so-called Chinese police “service... more

08 Nov 2022 · 16 minutes
How Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law is having a big impact on the U.S.

Florida has brought in several policies recently that critics say target LGBTQ people, like the controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill,... more

07 Nov 2022 · 18 minutes
School staff walk out to protest new Ontario legislation

The labour dispute between educational workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government... more

04 Nov 2022 · 18 minutes
The convoy leaders speak at the Emergencies Act inquiry

This week, the Emergencies Act inquiry is hearing from convoy leaders who took over Ottawa’s downtown core earlier this year... more

03 Nov 2022 · 17 minutes
What COVID does to the brain

Neuroscientists are trying to figure out how the COVID virus, SARS-COV-2, is affecting the brain. Many people who have gotten... more

02 Nov 2022 · 20 minutes
The Canadians leading the far-right movement in America

There are a surprising number of Canadians involved in far-right politics in the U.S. Think Jordan Peterson, Steven Crowder, Gavin... more

01 Nov 2022 · 17 minutes
How your boss might be monitoring you

Electronic monitoring of employees has been going on for years, but it’s seen a serious boost during the pandemic. It... more

31 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
What new census data tells us about immigrants in Canada

New census data from Statistics Canada shows that immigrants now represent 23 per cent of the Canadian population, a new... more

28 Oct 2022 · 17 minutes
Financial dos and don’ts for young adults in an uncertain economy

The Bank of Canada announced a 0.5 percentage point rate hike on Wednesday. It’s the sixth consecutive increase in the... more

27 Oct 2022 · 23 minutes
A made-in-Canada solution to help Indigenous people in prisons

Indigenous people are over-represented in Canada’s federal prisons. One in three men in federal prisons identify as Indigenous, and the... more

26 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
Rishi Sunak takes on a fragile British economy

Rishi Sunak is set to become the UK’s next Prime Minister. This comes after Liz Truss resigned from the job... more

25 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
Recovery stalls in Prince Edward Island a month after Fiona

It’s been a month since post-tropical storm Fiona slammed into Atlantic Canada, causing huge amounts of devastation. In Prince Edward... more

24 Oct 2022 · 18 minutes
What one annoying sound says about how we deal with homelessness

An anti-loitering noise device under a bridge in the small city of Oshawa, Ontario was put there by municipal officials... more

21 Oct 2022 · 15 minutes
What we’ve learned from the Emergencies Act inquiry so far

The public inquiry into whether the use of the Emergencies Act to stop protests in Ottawa this past winter was... more

20 Oct 2022 · 20 minutes
How to fight drones in Ukraine

In the span of two weeks, Russia has launched two major drone attacks on Ukraine. Scores of so-called “kamikaze drones,”... more

19 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
Cold cases are being cracked with the help of ancestry sites

Finding a suspect based on their DNA alone used to be almost impossible: police could only search DNA databases of... more

18 Oct 2022 · 21 minutes
What you need to know about Buy Now, Pay Later

If you’ve bought something online recently, you’ve probably seen a payment option to spread out the purchase in installments. This... more

17 Oct 2022 · 18 minutes
The future of China’s economy

Next week, China’s ruling Communist Party is expected to announce an unprecedented third term for its leader, Xi Jinping. Mr.... more

14 Oct 2022 · 13 minutes
Loblaw’s driverless trucks hit the road

There’s an experiment under way on the roadways around the Greater Toronto Area. Loblaw Companies Ltd. has partnered with autonomous... more

13 Oct 2022 · 18 minutes
Mass resignation at Hockey Canada

On Tuesday, the CEO of Hockey Canada, Scott Smith, left the organization and the entire board of directors resigned. The... more

12 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
Facebook, Meta and the future of social media

The company that owns Facebook might be in trouble. Meta’s stock has plunged nearly 60 per cent this year, Facebook... more

11 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
Wild boars are in Canada and it’s no joke

Adaptable, smart and invasive. No we’re not talking about humans. We’re talking about wild boars. With their populations growing and... more

10 Oct 2022 · 20 minutes
Gen Z’s housing struggles are worse than generations past

In the second quarter of 2022 housing affordability in Canada saw its “worst deterioration” in more than 40 years. At... more

07 Oct 2022 · 18 minutes
Ukraine’s breakthrough on the battlefield

The Ukrainian military has made substantial advancements in two regions of the country in the past few days. Those gains... more

06 Oct 2022 · 14 minutes
How a tax cut for the wealthy almost tanked the UK economy

Liz Truss’s ‘mini budget’ didn’t get a mini reaction. The plan, which initially included a cut in personal income tax... more

05 Oct 2022 · 14 minutes
The NFT market has crashed, but NFT thefts are rising

After a meteoric rise, the value of NFTs plummeted. But here’s the weird thing: that’s when people started stealing them.... more

04 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
A doctor answers your current COVID questions

We wanted to find out from you, our listeners, what you’re thinking about COVID-19 – especially as restrictions are disappearing... more

03 Oct 2022 · 20 minutes
Land back and the next stage of reconciliation

It’s become something of a rallying cry to move reconciliation forward, repeated from British Columbia to Ontario to New Brunswick.... more

30 Sep 2022 · 20 minutes
Parties promise to limit immigration in Quebec election

Quebec is the one province where immigration is a ballot-box issue in provincial elections. In 2018, it was one of... more

29 Sep 2022 · 17 minutes
A nuclear scientist on Russia’s threat of nuclear war

Russia has one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world, and Russian President Vladimir Putin and those in his... more

28 Sep 2022 · 19 minutes
An Iranian woman’s death in custody sparks global protests

Protests are spreading across Iran – and the world – after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.... more

27 Sep 2022 · 17 minutes
How two Canadian women were switched at birth

In September 1969, two baby girls were born in a tiny hospital in rural Newfoundland, a few hours apart. A... more

26 Sep 2022 · 19 minutes
Putin doubles down on the war in Ukraine

This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin called up 300,000 reservists in a partial mobilization for the war in Ukraine. That... more

23 Sep 2022 · 18 minutes
The good and bad of slowing inflation

Inflation is on the decline for the second straight month. New numbers from Statistics Canada show that inflation slowed to... more

22 Sep 2022 · 15 minutes
A senator sent inauthentic documents to stranded Afghans

In the final days of a chaotic government effort to rescue people from the Taliban last summer, Senator Marilou McPhedran... more

21 Sep 2022 · 19 minutes
What happened to $10-a-day daycare in Ontario?

In March, Ontario became the last jurisdiction in Canada to sign on to the national Early Learning and Child Care... more

20 Sep 2022 · 17 minutes
Soaring energy bills in the UK as winter looms

On Oct. 1, natural gas bills in the U.K. will go up by 80 per cent. Most households rely on... more

19 Sep 2022 · 17 minutes
New details emerge about the Saskatchewan stabbings

Initially, residents of James Smith Cree Nation did not want to welcome the reporters into their community following the mass... more

16 Sep 2022 · 19 minutes
Behind the scenes of the Ukrainian counteroffensive

After months of fighting the Russian invasion, Ukraine has gained significant ground in Kharkiv Oblast, a province in the northeast... more

15 Sep 2022 · 17 minutes
Why storms are more destructive now

There seem to be a lot of serious storms these days, and those storms are causing more and more damage.... more

14 Sep 2022 · 20 minutes
Fighting inflation, one grocery bill at a time

While Canada’s overall inflation is ticking down, the cost of food continues to rise. Inflation for groceries rose in July... more

13 Sep 2022 · 14 minutes
What Pierre Poilievre’s landslide victory means for Canada

In case you missed it: listen to Menaka’s conversation with columnists Robyn Urback and John Ibbitson about the Conservative Party’s... more

12 Sep 2022 · 40 minutes
The Decibel
What Pierre Poilievre’s landslide victory means for Canada
The Decibel
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Description

In case you missed it: listen to Menaka’s conversation with columnists Robyn Urback and John Ibbitson about the Conservative Party’s new leader,... more