This first episode is the proud rebirth of our weekly audio magazine, rabble radio. Rabble radio tunes in on the issues and actions that matter to you. And, this week, what could be more timely and top-of-mind than a federal election. Well, okay, the Delta variant and Afghanistan, but it’s top of mind for us because of the Off the Hill event we hosted last Wednesday night. More on that below.

BTW, if you like what you hear, remember we here at cover and produce a lot more timely news, commentary and even events online. You can find it all at


Last Wednesday night presented our monthly edition of “Off the Hill” – a panel that takes a look at federal politics from a progressive, grassroots perspective. This month, the theme was “Election 44: No Time to Waste on the Status Quo.” Our esteemed panelists included: former NDP MP Libby Davies, climate activist Diana Yoon, Indigenous activist and educator Rachel Snow and rabble’s own columnist and policy expert Chuka Ejeckman. Here’s the first twenty minutes of their discussion, hosted by the Ottawa-based Robin Browne.

We bring you the first 20 minutes in this podcast.

If you’d like to hear the full length discussion you can check it out at


Here’s a rundown of this week’s top headlines on

Introducing‘s new national politics reporter: Stephen Wentzell profiled Kitchener Centre NDP candidate Beisan Zubi in his rabble debut, speaking with Zubi about how her own experience with housing precarity and the affordability crisis has informed her politics. Keep an eye out for more “candidates to watch” — a special series profiling up-and-coming progressive candidates who are here to shake things up. 

Economist Jim Stanford warns of coming austerity measures if the Conservatives manage to win a majority next month. “The pandemic proved something progressives argued for years: there is virtually no financial constraint to the ability of governments to mobilize resources in the interests of social and environmental well-being — if they choose to do so,” he writes. This challenges just about everything the Conservatives stand for, and all of the progress made during the pandemic could quickly be undone if O’Toole finds power.

The election issues

In this month’s Pro Bono column, lawyer Celia Chandler reflects back on how she seems to be writing about the same thing every election cycle: the housing crisis. Will this time be any different? Street Nurse Cathy Crowe and professor David Hulchanski take readers through how the decades-long housing crisis has manifested. 

Plus, Linda McQuaig makes the case that this election should not, in fact, be about the climate crisis, but instead about curtailing the power and influence of the fossil fuel industry, which at this point, pulls far too many strings. 

Accountability on Afghanistan

Columnist Matthew Behrens wrote a scathing and insightful indictment of Canada’s well-documented war crimes in Afghanistan. 

Monia Mazigh joined Behrens in calling for a public inquiry into Canada’s involvement in the twenty-year, fruitless war. And, Rick Salutin looked back at what started it all: 9/11. 

From our In Cahoots partners this week:

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees is filing formal policy grievances against employers, including AHS, for refusing to acknowledge the newly created National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

With September approaching, Ontario’s teacher unions believe that everyone working in, or attending a school who is eligible and can be safely vaccinated, should be vaccinated, according to a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario.

Now, a look at five not-to-be missed headlines:

  1. Rita Wong: RCMP at Fairy Creek blockade ignore the real emergency

  2. David Climenhaga: Where is Jason Kenney? Alberta premier unseen since August 9 as COVID cases rise

  3. Martha Friendly: Conservatives go back to the future for child-care proposals in this federal election

  4. Sara Speicher: Afghanistan: Is digital communication a blessing or curse?

  5. David Suzuki: Federal election requires serious shift on climate, justice and health


Oh, and the music for this podcast? It’s the jazz stylings of our political boffin, Karl Nerenberg. Such a polymath.


Got feedback on the show? Great. Send it along to [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you. And you’ll find lots more at Until next time: Stay informed, stay active and register to vote.


Robin Browne is Off the Hill’s co-host. Robin is a communications professional and the co-lead of the 613-819 Black Hub, living in Ottawa. His blog is The “True” North.

Libby Davies is author of Outside In: a Political Memoir. She served as the MP for Vancouver East from 1997-2015, and is former NDP Deputy Leader and House Leader, and is a recipient of the Order of Canada.

Chuka Ejeckam is a political researcher and writer, and works in the labour movement in British Columbia. He focuses on political and economic inequity and inequality, both within Canada and as produced by Canadian policy. Read Chuka’s regular column on

Rachel Snow is Iyahe Nakoda, the daughter of late Reverend Dr. Chief John Snow. She holds a juris doctor from the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan and is an outspoken educator, speaker, writer and co-contact person for the Indigneous Activist Networks. Rachel resides on her ancestral lands in Mini Thni which is west of Calgary, Alberta.

Diana Yoon is a climate and housing justice activist and community organizer based in Toronto/Tkaronto. Diana works as the climate specialist at Toronto Environmental Alliance, a leading environmental advocacy non-profit, while pursuing her Masters. Diana ran in the 2019 federal election as the NDP candidate in Spadina-Fort York and sits as an Ontario Rep for NDP Federal Council.


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