Episodes
Support us at commonspodcast.com   Jonathan Marchand is one of the thousands of young disabled people living in long-term care. But Marchand doesn’t want to fix the system. He doesn’t think it can be reformed. Marchand is an abolitionist. For a century and a half, Canada has hidden away disabled people in institutions where they were neglected and abused. Is long-term care just the latest incarnation of this dark history?   COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is...
Published 07/08/20
Support us at commonspodcast.com   After a stroke left him locked in his own body, Rabbi Ronnie Cahana has found ways to lead an incredibly full life. Then the pandemic came. It swept through Quebec, leaving a trail of devastation. Today, Rabbi Cahana is one of the thousands of Quebeckers left stranded in the middle of one of the worst disasters in modern Canadian history.   COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting long-term care in Canada. Featured in this...
Published 06/24/20
Support us at commonspodcast.com Innis Ingram’s mother is his hero. But today, she’s living in one of the worst hit long-term care homes in Ontario. She has a terminal illness. Dozens and dozens of people around her have died, including her friend and roommate. And she’s had minimal human contact for three months. But even though he can’t be there with her, Innis is determined to get her the care she needs.   COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting long-term...
Published 06/17/20
We take a break from our PANDEMIC season with an extended interview with Damian Abraham, a guest from our episode about Canada's wrestling dynasty, The Harts. Damian explains the art of juggling the real and the fake, wrestling's dying language and how Canadians helped build World Wrestling Entertainment.
Published 06/10/20
Support us at commonspodcast.com Long-term care workers are in the vanguard in the war against COVID-19. They’re not the kinds of workers who get movies or TV shows made about them. In fact, their stories are rarely told. But not only are they battling heroically against this pandemic. They’re fighting for recognition and respect within a system built to marginalize them.  COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting long-term care in Canada.   Featured in this...
Published 06/03/20
$5/month for-adree COMMONS by clicking here. Over the last two months, Nova Scotians have endured tragedy upon tragedy. The worst mass murder in modern Canadian history. A helicopter crash and the death of a Snowbirds’ pilot. And all the while, COVID-19 ravaged the biggest long-term care home in Atlantic Canada. COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting long-term care in Canada.   Featured in this episode: Jennifer Henderson (Halifax Examiner), Janice Keefe To...
Published 05/27/20
$5/month for-adree COMMONS by clicking here. Tracy Rowley lost her surrogate mother to COVID-19 in a long-term care facility. But she’s determined that Shirley Egerdeen doesn’t become just another statistic. Tracy’s suing the company that runs the home. But one of the strangest things in this story is exactly who owns them. COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting long-term care in Canada.   Featured in this episode: Tracy Rowley, Sherina Harris (HuffPost...
Published 05/20/20
Over 1700 Ontarians have already been killed by COVID-19. And the vast majority of them died in long-term care. But if you live in a private, for-profit home, you’re much more likely to die from this virus. The for-profit long-term care industry is politically powerful and deeply entrenched. Is this their moment of reckoning? COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting long-term care in Canada. Featured in this episode: Sharleen Stewart (SEIU Healthcare), Natalie...
Published 05/13/20
The McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre has experienced the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in Alberta. But some people say that their loved ones were killed by neglect at McKenzie Towne long before the pandemic even began. COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting long-term care in Canada. Featured in this episode: Breanne Sinclair, Shauna Parks To learn more: “'I'm numb': families beg for help as care home outbreak spreads” by Timm Bruch in CTV News Calgary ...
Published 05/06/20
Why did Commons drop everything and focus in on long-term care? Because the vast majority of deaths are happening in those homes. Because we should have known that was going to be the case, but we let it happen anyways. And because the level of suffering, isolation and trauma happening in long-term care today is almost too much for us to face up to. Featured in this episode: Nathan Stall, Jane Meadus This show was brought to you by our patrons. Please consider becoming a monthly...
Published 05/02/20
They were found abandoned in the facility. The conditions were described as “akin to a concentration camp.” Within two weeks, over thirty of them would be dead. The story of the Résidence Herron in Dorval, Quebec is a national shame — and a preview of the carnage still to come. COMMONS: Pandemic is currently focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting long-term care in Canada. Featured in this episode: Aaron Derfel (Montreal Gazette) To learn more: Public health, police find bodies, feces at...
Published 04/29/20
Published 04/29/20
COVID-19 has upended everything, and forced us to change plans. From here on out, COMMONS will be bringing you stories about the people and institutions most impacted by the pandemic. And first up is long-term care. If you or someone you know have any stories about Canada’s long-term care system, get in touch with us at arshy@canadalandshow.com.
Published 04/27/20
It began as a mysterious disease from a far off place. It turned into the deadliest plague humanity has faced since the Black Death. AIDS has ravaged and reshaped us in so many ways. But in Canada, the battle against AIDS wasn’t just a fight against a virus. It was a fight against a system that didn’t care if some people lived or died. Featured in this episode: Gary Kinsman, Darien Taylor, John Kozachenko To learn more: Queer Progress: From Homophobia to Homonationalism by Tim McCaskell ...
Published 04/15/20
There have been books and songs and plays written about Anna Mae Aquash. But she was no folk hero — she was flesh and blood. A young Mi'kmaq woman who took up arms against the United States government, Anna Mae was a revolutionary. But when she was found murdered in the South Dakotan countryside, it tore her movement apart. It took thirty years to find out who pulled the trigger. But that’s not the same thing as knowing who’s responsible for her murder.  Featured in this episode: Kevin...
Published 04/01/20
It’s one of the most audacious plots in North American history. Turn a Caribbean island nation into a criminal state — then use the money to fund Neo-Nazis and Klansmen across Canada, the US and Europe. The scariest part? They almost pulled it off.  Featured in this episode: Stewart Bell (Global News) To learn more: Bayou of Pigs: The True Story of an Audacious Plot to Turn a Tropical Island into a Criminal Paradise by Stewart Bell Cups Up: How I Organized a Klavern, Plotted a Coup,...
Published 03/18/20
Our new season is about the people on the extremes. The activists, the terrorists, and the revolutionaries who took things right to the edge for what they believe in... for good or for ill.
Published 03/13/20
A new investigative series about the cocaine smuggling ring inside Vice Media. To hear episode 2 right now, subscribe to Cool Mules. Or get all six episodes ad-free for $5/month by clicking here.
Published 03/02/20
The Harts are Canada’s first family of professional wrestling and one of the most famous dynasties the country has ever produced. And sure, wrestling is scripted.  But what happens when reality begins to invade that fiction? The story of the Harts is one of triumph and tragedy that transcends the world of pro wrestling.  Featured in this episode: Damian Abraham, Omar Mouallem To learn more: Wrestling With Shadows by Paul Jay The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling by...
Published 02/05/20
Gerald Regan was the premier of Nova Scotia, the founder of a powerful political dynasty, and one of the most prolific sexual predators in Canadian political history. Even after his death last November, few in the establishment are willing to recognize, let alone reckon with, his crimes.  This episode contains graphic depictions of sexual violence and won’t be suitable for all listeners. Featured in this episode: Stephen Kimber, Maggie Rahr To learn more: Aphrodisiac: Sex, Politics,...
Published 01/22/20
For 150 years, the Olands have been one of Canada’s most prominent brewing dynasties, the makers of Moosehead Beer. But in the last decade, they’ve made the news for much darker reasons. Richard Oland was murdered in 2011. And police and prosecutors believe that he was killed by his only son.  Featured in this episode: Greg Marquis To learn more: Truth & Honour: The Oland Family Murder Case that Shocked Canada by Greg Marquis Shadow of Doubt: The Trials of Dennis Oland by Bobbi-Jean...
Published 01/08/20
The Desmarais family is by far the most influential Canadian dynasty of the last half-century. But if you don’t live in Quebec, chances are you haven’t even heard of them. Paul Desmarais had Prime Ministers and Premiers in his pocket and billions of dollars at his disposal. He wasn’t just a Laurentian elite; he was the Laurentian emperor.  Featured in this episode: Robin Philpot (Derrière l'État Desmarais: Power) To learn more: Derrière l'État Desmarais: Power by Robin Philpot Rising...
Published 12/11/19
The Sahotas are Vancouver’s most notorious slumlords. For decades they’ve let their buildings rot, leaving their tenants to live in filth and desolation. But the Sahotas are not like any other dynasty you’ve ever heard of. Their story is far stranger, and far darker, than anything you can imagine. Featured in this episode: Jen St. Denis, Christopher Cheung (The Tyee), Sam Dharmapala To learn more: “For low-income residents in Vancouver, a different kind of real estate crisis” by Wendy...
Published 11/27/19
The Rizzutos are Canada’s first family of crime. For decades, they dominated Montreal’s underworld with an iron fist. With the help of corrupt politicians and police officers, the Rizzutos built one of the most fearsome and lucrative criminal enterprises this country has ever seen.  Their reign was long and bloody. But their fall, was even more gruesome. Featured in this episode: Peter Edwards (Toronto Star), Pietro Poletti  To learn more: Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto's Last...
Published 11/12/19
Canada is a big, interesting, and complicated place and COMMONS is committed to bringing you thoughtfully crafted and illuminating stories that will challenge everything you think you know about this country.  We make a complex scripted podcast that’s unlike anything else available in this country and cover stories from all across the nation. We want to keep doing this work, but we need your support.   This week we’re going to tell you a little bit about the work that goes into making this...
Published 10/29/19