The Decibel

The Decibel

Context is everything. Join us Monday to Friday for a Canadian daily news podcast from The Globe and Mail. Explore a story shaping our world, in conversation with reporters, experts, and the people at the centre of the news.


March 31, 2023 18 min

The change came swiftly. A few hours after being announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden, the rules at Roxham Road had tightened.

Globe reporter Frédérik-Xavier Duhamel went to the popular unofficial border crossing and spoke to migrants trying to make the trek as changes to the Safe Third Country Act now limit who can claim asylum in Canada via that passage.

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As Canada races to compete in the clean tech sector as countries work toward their net zero climate goals, investors are trying to figure out where to park huge sums of money to back projects that are a part of this.

Enter Canada’s green taxonomy, a guide to assess how green a project requiring investment actually is. Report on Business journalist Jeffrey Jones explains how it works and what it means for Canada’s oil and gas industr...

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The Canadian federal government unveiled its 2023 budget on Tuesday, which sets the economic strategy and tone for the next fiscal year. There’s a lot packed into this document, ranging from measures to help with inflation to an expansion of the national dental plan to investment incentives to help us transition to a greener economy. But how will this budget really impact you?

The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau – Deputy Ottawa burea...

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The price of concert tickets has risen dramatically – with some tickets costing thousands of dollars. Ticketmaster, which controls a huge proportion of the market, has come under fire recently for some of its practices, like dynamic pricing and murky service fees. It’s now the subject of a proposed class action lawsuit in Quebec.

The Globe’s Josh O’Kane has been covering concerns around Ticketmaster for years. He’s here to explain w...

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March 27, 2023 19 min

Collagen supplements are marketed as a holy grail anti-aging product. Bovine collagen is made from cattle hides, and a new investigation from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism traced the supply chain of some collagen companies all the way to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

Elisângela Mendonça is a London-based Brazilian journalist with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Her reporting pulls back the curtain on the da...

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In 2022, the number of people moving to Alberta hit its highest level in almost a decade. At the same time, a record number of people left Toronto for other provinces. And it all comes down to affordability. In this episode, we’ll delve into the factors contributing to the rise in interprovincial migration and hear from Canadians who made the move - and how it’s worked out for them.

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Haiti is in crisis, after months of cholera outbreaks, a fuel and energy crisis, and violence. The UN estimates that 500 people have died in gang violence incidents this year alone. And Canada is facing pressure – largely from the US – to intervene.

Michaëlle Jean is the former governor-general of Canada, and the former UNESCO Special Envoy to Haiti, where she’s from. Today, she tells us what led Haiti to this crisis, and what role ...

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Canada has committed to going net-zero by 2050 and a big part of making that goal a reality is by transitioning the economy from being fossil fuel dependent to a cleaner and low-carbon one. Canada’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland calls the change the most “significant economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution”.

So what will a ‘green economy’ look like for Canada? And how can it establish i...

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Allegations of academic misconduct at Canadian universities have risen sharply in the 2020 to 2021 school year as more and more students turn to hiring people to complete assignments and tests for them. The consequences for the student are clear: a permanent blemish on their academic careers and possible impact on their job prospects if they are caught.

But the wider trend is also a concern for Canadian universities as a whole, as t...

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The Globe and Mail has been reporting extensively on China’s interference in Canadian elections. This information came to light, in part, because of a whistleblower who wrote an Opinion piece in The Globe this weekend.

The Globe rarely publishes Opinion pieces by confidential sources. Today, David Walmsley, The Globe’s Editor in Chief, explains why he decided to publish this piece, and how he feels it contributes to the broader conv...

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As revelations about China’s interference continue, so do calls for a foreign agent registry. The U.S. and Australia have registries like this, where anyone acting on behalf of a foreign entity has to disclose it. But the idea has its detractors.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, has been advocating for a foreign agent registry for years. He explains how it might work in Canada, why it’s controversial and how th...

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March 17, 2023 16 min

Oversized pucks clanging as they’re shot across the ice, the constant tapping of hockey sticks as players weave through oversized pylons. These are some of the sights and sounds of blind hockey.

Canadian Blind Hockey began in 2009 and now has 14 programs across the country. Canada’s winter game adapted for the visually impaired is an auditory experience and so The Decibel hit the ice to find out more about it.

The Globe’s sports repo...

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The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank came swiftly after a panicked run on deposits. Despite the U.S. government enacting safeguards, there is anxiety in the markets wondering which bank might fall next.

But how safe are Canadian banks? Report on Business columnist Tim Kiladze is on the show to explain the fallout and what Canadian regulations are in place to try and contain it.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email us at thedecibel@globea...

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Since the Bank of Canada started hiking its benchmark interest rate just over a year ago, there’s a growing number of mortgage-holders with monthly payments that no longer cover the principal or even the interest portion of their loan.

Rachelle Younglai covers real estate for The Globe and she recently reported that at CIBC, 20 per cent of mortgage-holders are seeing their loan balances grow instead of shrink. This represents $52-bi...

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We often think of health as an individual action – drink more water, exercise, eat well. During the pandemic, we thought more about the health of people around us as well – with social distancing, masking and vaccinations. But there’s a lot more that goes into our health.

Today, we’re talking to the Globe’s health reporter Wency Leung about why it’s so important to expand our understanding of health beyond our bodies. Then we talk t...

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Could the rising price of groceries be chalked up to corporate greed? That was the question at a House of Commons committee last week when the executives of Canada’s three biggest grocers testified. Loblaw Cos. Ltd. president Galen Weston, CEO of Empire Co. Michael Medline and CEO of Metro Inc. Eric La Flèche all refuted claims that they were gouging customers under the guise of inflation.

Food economist Michael von Massow says blam...

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March 10, 2023 18 min

Netflix is facing a backlash after announcing it’s cracking down on password sharing in Canada, among other countries. The company says 100 million of its customers worldwide share passwords, which Netflix claims is cutting into its revenue.

Kean Birch, director of the Institute for Technoscience and Society at York University, says that Netflix’s business model was bound to run into problems like this, as competition from other str...

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British Columbia revealed its 2023 budget on Feb. 28. It introduced a host of new spending measures including a first in Canada: A plan to make contraception universally available in the province free of charge.

Globe health reporter, Carly Weeks explains why reproductive health experts are celebrating the move and what this could mean for funding contraception in the rest of the country.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email us at thede...

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After weeks of resisting pressure from all sides, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ordered two probes into Chinese election interference. This follows The Globe and Mail reporting on secret and top secret CSIS documents alleging a sophisticated strategy by China to disrupt the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

But criticism is still mounting on Trudeau around how transparent and public these probes will actually be. The Globe’s Otta...

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The ground and water near Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in northern Alberta has become a toxic mess. A nearby oil sands site, run by Imperial Oil, has leaked industrial waste into the hunting and fishing grounds of the Indigenous community.

But the First Nation alleges Imperial Oil and the provincial regulators tasked with keeping the companies in line, hid the seriousness of the leak. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is only now...

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