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

#44 Leaders Who Don’t Lead

In this week’s episode, we talk about what constitutes good leadership, and why our leaders are struggling to meet the moment amid a global ripple of failed democratic leadership. Plus, is provincial immigration autonomy going to save us from the 2.7 million applicant backlog?
August 9, 2022

#43 The Catastrophe Commissioner

In this episode, Jerry DeMarco, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, delves into the Canadian federal response to climate change, and why our response is still insufficient. DeMarco unpacks 30 years of failed climate progress and offers an analysis of our government’s actions and inactions to deal with our seemingly impending doom.
July 26, 2022

#42 Why Don’t Women Run For Office?

It’s 2022 and our politics remain dominated by men. We talked to three women who spent time in office to try to find out why. We’re joined by former NDP MP Peggy Nash, current NDP MP Leah Gazan, and former Vancouver city councillor Andrea Reimer. 
July 12, 2022

#41 All Policing Is Political

Are our policing systems broken? Today, we dive into reimagining public safety following an array of policing scandals across the country. Plus, what did our government achieve and fail to achieve in Parliament this past year?
June 28, 2022

#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
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