Dig into the Canadian politics from the best seats in the House.

The Backbench

Hosted by Fatima Syed

Dig into politics from the best seats in the House, with host Fatima Syed and our rotating roster of panelists from across the country: Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Jason Markusoff, Drew Brown, Emilie Nicolas, Jaskaran Sandhu, Murad Hemmadi, Leena Minifie, Caroline Elliott, Riley Yesno, and Stuart Thomson.

Stay on top of things through sharp commentary and incisive analysis. Drops every other Tuesday.

Latest Episodes Most Popular

#35 What Do Women Want? Sexual Healthcare

The abortion debate is back in Canadian politics. Our panel discusses the state of reproductive rights in Canada and what else the Government can do. Plus, a new report suggests civil servants are afraid to speak up and offer expert advice. Panelists: Leena Minifie, Emilie Nicolas and Raisa Patel
May 17, 2022

#34 Confessions Of An International Student

Shefali Mann came to Canada as an international student in 2019. She was hoping to follow the path to permanent residency, but then the pandemic happened. She has been navigating a confusing, shifting set of programs and rules ever since, while the federal government bets on international students to help ease some of Canada's labour shortages.
May 10, 2022

#33 A Generation-Defining Inquiry

The Government has launched an inquiry into the use of the Emergency Act during the Freedom Convoy. And the Canadian Armed Forces released a scathing report about racism and discrimination within its ranks. Can the culture of the military be changed?
May 3, 2022

#32 The Conservative Candidating Game

Eight people are in the running for leadership of the Conservative Party, but only one will emerge victorious and get a chance to become the next Prime Minister of Canada. We're joined by Politico’s Nick Taylor-Vaisey and Backbench regular Jason Markusoff to introduce our candidates. What's their vision? What have they done? And who’s most likely to flame out publicly?
April 26, 2022

#31 Can Government Fix Housing?

We dig into the first two chapters of the government’s new budget: housing and economic growth. 
April 19, 2022

#30 An Audience With The Pope

What does an apology mean? And what happens next? Fatima speaks to two people who were in Rome to hear the Pope’s apology to Indigenous people over the Residential School system: Norman Yak’e ula, a survivor who has been waiting for 58 years to hear these words; and Taylor Behn-Tsakoza, co-chair of the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council, who was part of the delegation that got an audience with the Pope. 
April 12, 2022

#29 Screaming Children, Dying Planet

With deals for affordable childcare now in place across the country, we compare what each province got and discuss what this process might reveal for future programs, like pharmacare. And we dive into the good, the bad and the ugly of the government’s Emissions Reductions Plan.
April 5, 2022

#28 Justin And Jagmeet’s Experiment In Democracy

Jagmeet Singh’s Chief of Staff Jennifer Howard was in the room during negotiations for the Liberal-NDP supply and confidence  agreement. She breaks down how politicians can work together, even if looks like they hate each other on TV. 
March 29, 2022
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