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© 2021 CANADALAND
Jesse Brown presents
COMMONS is a documentary podcast that proves Canada is anything but boring. Each season, host Arshy Mann guides you through the country’s dark underbelly, bringing you stories about crime, corruption and all manner of misdeeds. This season: stories about the dark side of Canada's real estate obsession.
August 11, 2021
Introducing The White Saviors
Over 25 years, WE built a golden brand by inspiring children to rally around their charismatic leader. But behind the scenes, employees experienced a cult-like culture and a troubling blur of charitable and commercial activities. In the aftermath of a national scandal, thousands of donors and volunteers (and dozens of ‘celebrity ambassadors’) are left wondering where the money went, and whether the savior industry creates a constant need for victims. From CANADALAND, the news company that exposed it all, this is the exclusive story of a charity that did well when it was supposed to be doing good. Subscribe to The White Saviors now! Series launch: August 23 This trailer contains source materials used under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act. Sources: It Takes a Child Craig Kielburger's Story - A Journey into Child Labour Directed by Judy Jackson Produced by Judy Films Youtube The Story of Craig Kielburger produced, and narrated by Sherine Mansour CPAC Youtube In Search Of Character LiveWire Media Elkind+Sweet Communications, Inc The Price WE Paid The Fifth Estate/CBC Interview with Craig Kielburger CSPAN Craig Kielburger NSB Speakers promotional video Youtube Marc Kielburger NSB Speakers promotional video Youtube WE Movement Youtube Channel MeToWe Youtube Channel CTV News - Kielburger brothers interview with Lisa Laflamme MTV Cribs: Craig Kielburger Episode Haddon Strategy Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
August 4, 2021
REAL ESTATE 8 - The Last White Rajah
The destruction of Borneo’s rainforests has been called the greatest environmental crime of our time. But journalists and NGOs have long alleged that one man, Abdul Taib Mahmud, has benefitted from that destruction to the tune of billions of dollars. If that’s true, it’s one of the worst acts of corruption in the modern era. And for over a decade, those same campaigners have argued that Taib’s empire isn’t limited to Malaysia. They claim that its tendrils extend deep into Canada. Featured in this episode: Mutang Urud, Clare Rewcastle Brown (The Sarawak Report) To learn more: Money Logging: On the Trail of the Malaysian Timber Mafia by Lukas Straumann A Time to Swimby Ashley Duong “Political interference may have helped scuttle investigation of Canadian corporation” by Timothy Wilson in Ricochet “How Canada's Wealthy Couple Splash Sarawak's Cash” by The Sarawak Report The Facts Matter Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Dispatch Coffee, Sandy and Nora Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
July 21, 2021
REAL ESTATE 7 - The Ballad of Eddy Haymour
Eddy Haymour has been called a lot of things in his life. Immigrant success story. Kidnapper. Terrorist. Folk Hero. But the long saga of Eddy Haymour is at its heart a story of obsession. About a man who became consumed by his dreams for a piece of land. And about a government equally determined to stop him at any cost. Featured in this episode: Omar Mouallem, Greg Crompton To learn more: Eddy’s Kingdom by Greg Crompton “The Kingdom of Haymour” by Omar Mouallem in EDify Magazine “Eddy Haymour and Rattlesnake Island” by CBC’s Fifth Estate Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Dispatch Coffee, Sandy and Nora Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
July 7, 2021
REAL ESTATE 6 - Canada’s Biggest Slumlord
The Toronto Community Housing Corporation is the biggest landlord in Canada, and the second biggest in all of North America. But government after government has allowed social housing in Toronto to fall apart. It’s not just the buildings that they’ve let rot. It’s also our moral obligation to the most vulnerable in our society. Featured in this episode: Joe Fiorito, John Sewell, Susan Gapka To learn more: “Al Gosling is now homeless at 82” by Joe Fiorito in The Toronto Star “Ousting Sewell” by Jamie Bradburn in The Torontoist “Tragic tale of local artist has happy coda” by Joe Fiorito in The Toronto Star Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Dispatch Coffee, Blue Jays Happy Hour Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
June 23, 2021
REAL ESTATE 5 - Oka
The Oka Crisis was the biggest military confrontation on Canadian soil in more than a century. On its face, it was about a golf course expansion. But for the Mohawks who took up arms, it was the culmination of a centuries-long fight for recognition of their sovereignty and their land. Featured in this episode: Thaioronióhte Dan David, Loreen Pindera, Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail) To learn more: People of the Pines: The Warriors and Legacy of Okaby Loreen Pindera and Geoffrey York Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistanceby Alanis Obomsawin Rocks at Whiskey Trenchby Alanis Obomsawin “The Oka Crisis — looking forward after 30 years” by Thaioronióhte Dan David in CBC News Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Dispatch Coffee, Value(s) by Mark Carney and BankSwitch. Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
June 9, 2021
REAL ESTATE 4 - City of Glass
Real estate mania is at an all time high in this country. And in no place is this more true than in Vancouver. But nobody can even agree on what went wrong. Have snooty property owners, overreaching bureaucrats, and gutless politicians allowed the housing supply to dwindle to nothing? Or has a network of transnational criminals turned Vancouver into a narco-capital built on dirty money? Featured in this episode: Frances Bula, Sam Cooper, Lindsey Murphy, Jesse Donaldson To learn more: “Vancouver’s affordable housing announcements remain unfulfilled years later” by Frances Bula in The Globe and Mail Wilful Blindness: How a Network of Narcos, Tycoons and CCP Agents Infiltrated the West by Sam Cooper “Inside Vancouver City Hall’s Housing Wars” by Doug Ward in The Tyee Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Dispatch Coffee and Value(s) by Mark Carney Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 26, 2021
REAL ESTATE 3 - Terminal City
Vancouver is obsessed with real estate. But what most people don’t realize, is that it’s been this way from the beginning. Three stories of the swindlers, segregationists and profiteers that made Terminal City what it is. Featured in this episode: Jesse Donaldson, Jordan Stanger-Ross, Michael Abe, Stephen Learey To learn more: Land of Destiny: A History of Vancouver Real Estate by Jesse Donaldson Landscapes of Injustice: A New Perspective on the Internment and Dispossession of Japanese Canadians edited by Jordan Stanger-Ross “Expo 86 evictions: remembering the fair's dark side” by Rafferty Baker in CBC News Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Dispatch Coffee and Value(s) by Mark Carney Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 12, 2021
REAL ESTATE 2 - The Last Man in Africville
Africville was one of Canada’s oldest Black settlements, a proud community of more than 400 people. And then the City of Halifax decided to utterly obliterate it. There was one man who simply refused to leave. Eddie Carvery may not have been the best man for the job. But for half a century, he has never stopped fighting for his home. Featured in this episode: Eddie Carvery, Jon Tattrie To learn more: The Hermit of Africville: The Life of Eddie Carvery by Jon Tattrie Remember Africville by Shelagh Mackenzie Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Images Festival and Dispatch Coffee Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
April 28, 2021
REAL ESTATE 1 - The Bridle Path
The Bridle Path is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Canada, home to the ultra-wealthy and the famous. But behind their locked gates, some of Canada’s elite try to scheme their way into even greater wealth on the property market — not always legally. And their ambitions have a way of becoming problems for the rest of us. Featured in this episode: Kozeta Izeti, Norma Walton NOTE: The original version of this episode contained an additional story, which we will publish separately. Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
April 22, 2021
Introducing our new season… Real Estate!
Stories about Canada’s real estate obsession. The first episode drops on April 28, 2021. Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
February 24, 2021
THE POLICE 10 - Portapique
Almost a year after the worst mass shooting in modern Canadian history, Nova Scotians are still in the dark about what exactly happened. A gunman, dressed in an RCMP uniform, driving an RCMP cruiser killed 22 people. In the months since, the Mounties have been short on answers. And it’s left people wondering whether they have something to hide. Featured in this episode: Stephen Maher, Paul Palango, Sandra McCulloch To learn more: “13 deadly hours” from The Fifth Estate by CBC News “How the Nova Scotia shooting victims' families won a public inquiry into the tragedy,” by Stephen Maher in Maclean’s “The Nova Scotia shooter case has hallmarks of an undercover operation” by Paul Palango, Stephen Maher, Shannon Gormley in Maclean’s Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Rotman, Cullen’s Foods, and Hello Fresh. Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
February 10, 2021
THE POLICE 9 - Northern Patrol
For three decades, much of Northern Ontario has been engaged in an unprecedented experiment in policing. It’s called the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service. And the idea is simple: the old, colonial cops shouldn’t be policing Indigenous territory. Instead, Indigenous people should police themselves. Featured in this episode: Kyle Edwards, Christian Leuprecht To learn more: “Inside the impossible work of Canada's biggest Indigenous police force” by Kyle Edwards in Maclean’s “Force 2.0: Fixing the Governance, Leadership, and Structure of the RCMP” by Christian Leuprecht “Memories of a fire” by Mark Blackburn in APTN News Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Dispatch Coffee, Rotman, Cullen’s Foods, and Manscaped. Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
January 27, 2021
THE POLICE 8 - The G20: Fortress Toronto
When John and Susan Pruyn came to Toronto, they were hoping to protest against the G20 and then spend some time with their daughter. Instead, they would be caught up in a whirlwind of police misconduct with few precedents in Canadian history. Featured in this episode: Jesse Rosenfeld, John Pruyn, Susan Pruyn, Sarah Pruyn. Jesse Rosenfeld is a Toronto born journalist who has covered the Middle East since 2007. Based in Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Gaza City, Cairo, Beirut, Istanbul, and Athens over the years, he has also reported from Iraq and the Balkans, contributing to The Nation Magazine, The Daily Beast, The Intercept, and Al Jazeera, among others. His work in the region is the basis of the National Film Board of Canada documentary Freelancer on the Front Lines. To learn more: “‘’I will not forget what they have done to me’” in The Toronto Star You Should Have Stayed At Home by CBC’s The Fifth Estate “Rejecting G20's consensus of the few” by Jesse Rosenfeld in The Guardian Additional music from Audio Network Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
January 13, 2021
THE POLICE 7 - The G20: Conspiracy
In the first of a two-part series on the G20, two mysterious strangers start volunteering with activist networks in southern Ontario. It’s all part of one of the biggest undercover police operations in Canadian history. To learn more: “Unmasked: Searching for lessons in Toronto's 2010 G20 debacle” by Andrea Bennett in Maisonneuve “How police infiltrated groups planning G20 protests” by Adrian Morrow and Kim Mackrael in The Globe and Mail Additional music from Audio Network Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
December 23, 2020
THE POLICE 6 - Who Killed Myles Gray?
Myles Gray was an unarmed man who died after seven Vancouver police officers beat him mercilessly. Half a decade after he died, not only does his family not have justice, they don’t even know the names of the people who killed him. Featured in this episode: Bethany Lindsay (CBC Vancouver), Harsha Walia (B.C. Civil Liberties Association), Ronald MacDonald (Independent Investigations Office of B.C.) To learn more: “The day Myles Gray died” by Cassidy Olivier in The Vancouver Sun “Vancouver police officers won't be charged over unarmed man's 2015 death” by Bethany Lindsay in CBC Vancouver “No charges against officers in case of Myles Gray who died during encounter with Vancouver police” by Amy Judd and Sarah MacDonald in Global News Additional music from Audio Network Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
December 9, 2020
THE POLICE 5 - Toronto’s Finest
A Toronto police officer shoots and kills two Black men and is accused of beating another, all within a five-year span. He’s never found guilty of committing a crime. And he continues to rise through the ranks. Featured in this episode: Bruce Livesey, Howard Morton, André Marin, Leora Shemesh To learn more: “Above The Law” by Bruce Livesey in BuzzFeed News “Defence lawyer alleges Toronto officers diverted 7 kilos of meth into her client’s car” by Betsy Powell in The Toronto Star “Shank not guilty of manslaughter” in CBC News Additional music from Audio Network Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
November 25, 2020
THE POLICE 4 - Starlight Tours
Even as a teenager, Neil Stonechild was an inspiration to his friends. And then one day, he was found frozen to death outside of Saskatoon. He was last seen alive in the back of a police cruiser. Thirty years later, we know some of what happened to him. But we still don’t have justice. Featured in this episode: Jeffrey Crowe, Donald Worme, Susanne Reber To learn more: Report of the Commission of Inquiry Into Matters Relating to the Death of Neil Stonechild Starlight Tour: The Last, Lonely Night of Neil Stonechild by Susanne Reber and Robert Renaud Two Worlds Colliding by Tasha Hubbard Officer 332 by Kaitlyn Van De Woestyne Additional music from Audio Network This episode is sponsored by Dispatch Coffee, Audible, Missing From the Village and Canadian True Crime. Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
November 11, 2020
THE POLICE 3 - Dirty Tricks
A teenage boy and his friends start robbing banks in Toronto. A future Prime Minister is deported from Montreal. A Black Panther in Baltimore goes to prison for four decades. And the RCMP is split apart by the biggest scandal in the force's history. At the heart of it all is one man. He calls himself the General. Featured in this episode: Ricky Atkinson, David Austin, Robin Philpot, Lennox Farrell, Gary Cristall To learn more: The Life, Crimes and Hard Times of Ricky Atkinson, Leader of the Dirty Tricks Gang by Richard Atkinson with Joe Fiorito Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex & Security in Sixties Montreal by David Austin Ninth Floor by Mina Shum Marshall Law: The Life & Times of a Baltimore Black Panther by Marshall “Eddie” Conway Additional music from Audio Network Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
October 28, 2020
THE POLICE 2 - The Secret History of the RCMP
Support us: canadaland.com/join The RCMP is one of the most famous police forces in the world — the red serge and stetson hat are practically synonymous with Canada. But that image obscures the profound power the Mounties have held throughout Canadian history. And the dark legacy of ethnic cleansing and genocide at their core. Featured in this episode: Jean Teillet, Sean Carleton, Steve Hewitt To learn more: The North-West Is Our Mother: The Story of Louis Riel's People, the Métis Nation by Jean Teillet Clearing the Plains by James Daschuk Riding to the Rescue: The Transformation of the RCMP in Alberta and Saskatchewan by Steve Hewitt Additional music from Audio Network Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
October 21, 2020
We Need Your Support
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. This past year, we have brought you stories from all across the country. We told your stories about some of Canada’s most powerful families. We launched an emergency season to cover the COVID-19 crisis in long-term care. And right now, we’re taking a hard look at how the police operate in this country. We want to keep doing this work. So this week we’re reflecting on the year behind us and talking about our goals for the future. Please consider supporting the work that we do. Support COMMONS: See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.