Unpacked Podcast

A microphone sitting on a briefcase with the words "Introducing Unpacked. A new podcast from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives"

"What's the best that could happen?"

Join us as we unpack some of the most complicated issues in Canadian news and current affairs. Host Stephen Hurley and guests discuss why research matters and what solutions are required for change.

Listen to "Unpacked with the CCPA" on Spreaker.


Episode 1: Canada's Re-opening. What's next?

June 11, 2021: CCPA experts David Macdonald and Katherine Scott unpack the lessons learned about inequality during the pandemic. Can we build back in a way that leaves no one behind?

Episode 2: Canada's Colour-coded Reitrement. 
Download the transcript

June 29, 2021: CCPA senior economist Sheila Block and Grace-Edward Galabuzi dive deep into the first-ever research in Canada on retirement security for Indigenous and racialized Canadians. Retirement security is colour coded in Canada, and public pensions play a large role for marginalized groups. How do racism and colonialism affect a person’s life course? And what policy solutions could help address poverty for Indigenous and radicalized seniors?

Episode 3: School’s Out——What’s Next?

Now that school’s out, It’s the perfect time to join us in a conversation reflecting back on education during the pandemic. How was education handled by policy makers during the pandemic? What kind of plans are in place to support educators and students in the year ahead? And will our government’s current plans be enough? CCPA experts Erika Shaker and Ricardo Tranjan break down the policy changes in education, their impact, and what we need to consider looking ahead to back-to-school season in the fall?

Episode 4: Global Vaccine Inequality

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout had a bumpy start, but it now leads the world with the largest share of any country’s population having received first doses. Globally, the picture is much different. Vaccine inequality is rampant. What are the impacts for countries without reliable, safe and affordable access to vaccines? How should this reality affect our global pandemic response? Has Canada’s response to this challenge measured up? CCPA’s Senior Trade Researcher Stuart Trew and Siham Rayale, Oxfam Canada Scholar and Policy Specialist, unpack what it would take to ensure vaccines for all.

Episode 5: A Blueprint for a Green Deal

A Green Future is possible, but what does it look like in Canada? What do we need to consider as we transition to a net-zero economy? And how do we do it without leaving anyone behind? Join Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood, CCPA Senior Researcher, and Environmental Defence’s program manager for climate and energy, Allie Rougeot, as they discuss the movement across Canada to push for inclusive climate action for a hopeful future.

Episode 6: The Care Economy and What's at Stake

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance and challenges of Canada’s care economy. With a federal election on the horizon, are we on the cusp of generational changes to child care, long-term care and more? And with growing demand for care work, what should policymakers do to make sure workers are protected and compensated fair for their labour? Join CCPA Senior Research Katherine Scott and Ontario Nonprofit Network policy advisor Pamela Uppal as they discuss the care economy on this episode of Unpacked.

Episode 7: Taking the temperature on workers’ rights, labour and organizing

The pandemic put a microscope on workers’ rights. This has included push back on corporate power, while a wave of resignations across the U.S. has revealed workers are rejecting extremely low-wages and poor working conditions. Is something similar happening in Canada? Will greater awareness of the brutal realities of low-wage work lead to meaningful change? Or is the status quo pushing back? Join CCPA Senior Economist Sheila Block and CCPA-Ontario Research Associate Aminah Sheikh as they unpack what the moment means for the future of workers’ rights in Canada.