Front Burner

Front Burner

Your essential daily news podcast. We take you deep into the stories shaping Canada and the world. Hosted by Jayme Poisson. Every morning, Monday to Friday.


February 21, 2024 26 mins

 In 2013, Rana Plaza - an eight-storey garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, killing over 11-hundred people.

It's a tragedy that led to a lot of public anger towards the brands that made clothes there. Brands like Zara, Walmart, and Joe Fresh, owned by Loblaw. And at the time, Loblaw promised safe working conditions and fair wages.

But ten years later has it followed through on those promises? The Fifth Estate's Mark ...

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 OpenAI has just introduced a new tool, Sora, which turns text prompts into short, shockingly realistic videos. Sora hasn’t been released to the public yet, but it’s already sparking controversy about its potential implications for industries like animation and video games, as well as for deepfake videos — and for democracy as a whole.

Today, Gary Marcus — a cognitive scientist, AI researcher and entrepreneur, and author of...

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February 19, 2024 25 mins

The Kremlin says Alexei Navalny died Friday in an Arctic prison. After surviving a poisoning and still making the decision to return to Russia, President Vladimir Putin's most significant opposition figure was serving 19 years on extremism charges.

What do we know about how Navalny died?

Amid accusations that he was murdered, what motivations would Navalny's enemies have for acting against him now? 

Not long after a n...

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When Jon Stewart stepped down as host of the Daily Show in 2015, it seemed pretty conclusive. For nearly 16 years, he guided the show through 9/11, the Iraq war, the 2008 financial crisis and more, becoming a voice of reason for many amid growing political divisions — but it was time to move on.

This week saw him back in the host's chair once again, where he'll now be every Monday. But things have changed a lot in the last nine ...

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Last week, paramedics in Belleville, Ontario responded to 13 drug overdoses in a single hour. By the time the city declared a state of emergency two days later, the total had reached almost two dozen.

So how did these near-simultaneous overdoses unfold? What caused them? And how can we stop the spikes of drug poisonings that have been happening in cities across Ontario?

Dan Taekema is CBC’s reporter covering eastern Ontario c...

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Rafah, a tiny city at Gaza’s border with Egypt, is currently sheltering more than half of the territory’s population. Many, crammed together in tent cities, have already relocated multiple times, as Israel’s war with Hamas has pushed them further and further south.

Now, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledges to move ahead with a major assault on Rafah, the civilians sheltering in the city say there’s nowhere else ...

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Canada’s Auditor General has found the government overpaid for the ArriveCan app. And poor record keeping has made it impossible for her to figure out that final total. Catherine Cullen, the host of “The House” joins Front Burner to talk about how an app that was supposed to make pandemic travel easier has ended up costing millions. For transcripts of Front Burner, please visit: T...
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February 12, 2024 20 mins
Auto thefts have been spiking in Canadian cities, with criminals using and disposing of the vehicles or selling them to fund organized crime, even exporting them overseas. . Why have cars become so easy for thieves to steal? What systems are organized crime using to take vehicles in large quantities? Will the federal Liberal’s national summit on auto theft last Thursday provide lasting solutions? Peter Edwards is a crime re...
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February 9, 2024 21 mins
The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and the teams on the field are no surprise. What is surprising is that the off-field mania around Taylor Swift dating a Chiefs player has gotten deeply, deeply weird. Some American networks have been stirring up conspiracy theories that Swift and Kelce’s relationship is a deep-state psy-op. The Super Bowl has morphed into a sort of singularity-level conspiracy, pulling in everything: vaccines, the...
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On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate was set to vote on a sweeping national defense bill. It included reforms to immigration, in reaction to a surge in migration across the U-S southern border. It also included military support for the war in Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. It came together through months of bipartisan meetings. But the vote failed. Why? The CBC’s Alex Panetta is here with the answers. He’s a reporter with our bureau in Washi...
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Alberta premier Danielle Smith has frequently said that she doesn't want to politicize issues around the rights and personal decisions of transgender youth. But then, last week, she unveiled the toughest set of policies affecting trans teens in the country. The proposed rules would have wide-ranging impacts for gender-affirming medical care, sports, sex education and the use of preferred pronouns in schools. Today, CBC Calgary's ...
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Elon Musk says a person has had a computer chip implanted in their brain as part of Neuralink’s first human trial. The billionaire’s company is racing to develop a device, in an attempt to catch up to competitors in the brain-computer interface industry. Marisa Taylor, an investigative journalist with Reuters, joins Front Burner to separate fact from fiction, as Neuralink tries to revolutionize brain implants. For transcripts of ...
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February 5, 2024 24 mins
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion nearly two years ago, most men have been banned from leaving Ukraine. That hasn’t stopped thousands from making illegal border crossings to escape. Why are so many Ukrainian men risking these journeys? How is Ukraine trying to stop them? What could the crossings signal about Ukrainians’ attitudes toward a new phase of this war? CBC’s Briar Stewart went to neighbouring Moldova to find answers....
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February 3, 2024 36 mins
From the BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts comes Hollywood Exiles. Host Oona Chaplin tells the story of the decades-long campaign to root out communism in Hollywood. It’s a campaign that eventually drove her grandfather, Charlie Chaplin, and many others out of tinseltown. Hollywood Exiles is a tale of glamour, duplicity and political intrigue that reverberates to this day. It’s the story of how Tinseltown became an ideological bat...
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Four NHL players, and one pro European player, are charged with sexual assault, in a troubling story that began years ago. The charges relate to the alleged group assault of a woman in 2018, that took place when the accused were members of Canada’s world junior hockey team. Katie Strang is a senior investigative writer with The Athletic and walks us through these new charges — and whether anything has actually changed in hockey si...
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February 1, 2024 22 mins
The Trudeau government’s announcement in 2021 that they would bring daycare fees down to $10 a day within five years was a massive relief to many parents across the country. But two years after all the provinces signed on, this extremely popular program is clearly facing some bumps in the road: staffing shortages, massive wait lists, and daycares that can’t cover their costs. Today, Martha Friendly, executive director of the Child...
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According to a new study published in Science, operations in Alberta’s oilsands are pumping out as much as 64 times more air pollutants than officially reported. How could industry estimates be missing these huge amounts of chemicals? What could the health and environmental consequences be? How does this study add to other concerns that don't we truly understand the impact of the oil sands? Drew Anderson is the Prairies reporte...
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Pokémon is the single biggest grossing media franchise on the planet. So when a game best described as "Pokémon with guns" was released earlier this month, it's perhaps no surprise that it quickly became one of the most played — and talked about — video games in the world. Washington Post video game critic and reporter Gene Park explains why the game has blown up, and whether the developers might find themselves in Nintendo's lega...
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The public inquiry into foreign electoral interference begins today. The independent commission was sparked by allegations that China had interfered in Canadian elections — a bombshell accusation that ignited a major political battle in Ottawa. The inquiry is already facing hard questions about who gets to take part and how, and how much of the findings can actually be shared with the public. CBC parliamentary reporter Catharine...
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A new investigation by the CBC’s Fifth Estate sheds light on who might have been responsible for a devastating and fatal human smuggling case two years ago. On January 19, 2022, police found four people frozen to death, just metres away from the US border in Manitoba. RCMP confirmed all four were Indian citizens, and all from the same family. Today, Fifth Estate co-host Steven D’Souza on his search for answers about the smuggler...
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