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

#40 Justinflation Or Chrystia Frecession

What is happening to the Canadian economy? Stephen Gordon, director of the department of economics at Université Laval, helps unpack the ins and outs of the Bank of Canada, an institution we know little about. He talks to Fatima about the worries of a hyper-politicized economy and helps us understand how the next months under this economic turmoil will unfold.
June 21, 2022

#39 Does Voting Have To Suck?

Could changing Canada’s electoral system solve the crisis of voter apathy? Today, we dive into electoral reform. Plus, a new bill that would give border guards wide discretion to search our phones and computers.
June 14, 2022

#38 Notes From a Young Progressive Conservative

Shiv Ruparell is a young, transit-loving, urban bike advocate. He’s also a conservative, born and raised in Alberta, who has been active in politics at all levels. He talks to Fatima his view of conservative politics right now and why he remains optimistic about our political future. 
June 7, 2022

#37 A Jason Kenney-Sized Hole

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was one of the heavyweights of Canada’s Conservative movement. We discuss his resignation and what it might tell us about conservatism today. Plus, Canada was left out of a major Indo-Pacific trade deal. Are we losing our place on the world stage?
May 31, 2022

#36 Is Canada Ready to Decriminalize Drugs?

Parliament is heading towards a vote on an NDP Private Member’s Bill that would decriminalize drug possession for personal use, among other changes to address Canada’s overdose crisis. The Liberals have also proposed a bill that would amend the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. Garth Mullins of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users has been fighting for decriminalization for a long time as he’s watched friends die and get incarcerated. He talks about these two bills and his vision for healthy drug policy in Canada. 
May 24, 2022

#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
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