big story

The Narwhal teams up with The Big Story podcast for a week of climate conversations

Tune in from Nov. 14 to 18 as The Narwhal’s Fatima Syed guest hosts a week of chats with our reporters across the country about everything from flood woes to an extinction crisis — and the solutions on the table

What’s a close-knit bond between industry lobbyists and government officials to the worsening climate crisis? A lot, evidently. Those relationships are not easy to keep track of, or even explain — so The Narwhal’s climate investigations reporter Carl Meyer hopped on-air with Ontario reporter Fatima Syed to make sense of it all.

Oh, that’s right — our friends at The Big Story podcast invited us to come talk about this year’s, um, biggest stories from The Narwhal for a week’s worth of episodes from Nov. 14 to 18!

The Big Story podcast breaks down complex stories, or ones you might not come across easily, for thousands of listeners every day. Take it from Fatima, who said she was trying “not scream into the microphone” as she learned about how lobbying impacts climate policy.

“That’s exactly why I’m so excited to share our national coverage on the climate emergency we do on a daily basis with The Big Story’s audience,” Fatima, who will be filling in as host, told me.

An older couple pose in front of a trailer in Lehigh, Alta
Prairies reporter Drew Anderson will chat about his coverage of Lehigh, Alta. — a community along the Red Deer River that will eventually be inundated with floodwater. Photo: Leah Hennel / The Narwhal

The worsening climate crisis shows up in different ways in Canada — from the loss of housing in flood-prone communities to a biodiversity crisis that has hundreds of species on the brink of extinction.

And at The Narwhal, we’re a bunch of nerds who are determined to find solutions across the country and bring them to you — and that’s why this Big Story week is so exciting.

Not all of the crew is new to the show; northwest B.C. reporter Matt Simmons spoke with show host Jordan Heath-Rawlings this summer about the ongoing conflict on Wet’suwet’en territory.

Coming up on a year after photojournalist Amber Bracken’s arrest, Matt will share what it’s like covering the tensions today — including his own experience of being threatened with arrest.

So, from Nov. 14 to 18, we’ll bring you in-depth discussions about the natural world from Ontario to B.C. — tune in on your favourite podcast app or come back to this page next week, when we’ll be posting fresh episodes every day.

Nov. 18: A first-hand view of rising tensions on Wet’suwet’en territory

You’ve heard of Coastal GasLink: it’s the name of a fracked-gas pipeline under construction in northern B.C. The project, spearheaded by Calgary-based TC Energy, spans 670 kilometres and crosses mountain passes, salmon rivers and Indigenous lands. Those lands include around 190 kilometres of Wet’suwet’en territory, where Hereditary Chiefs have long opposed this project that’s being built without their consent. A year after the RCMP conducted raids and arrested more than 30 land defenders and two journalists, TC Energy is now drilling and laying pipe under a sacred Wet’suwet’en river — and tensions are as high as ever. Northwest B.C. reporter Matt Simmons shares his first-hand view of what’s happening on the ground.

Nov. 17: The key to saving the world’s biodiversity

Indigenous Peoples have long taken care of the land — in fact, they still steward 80 per cent of remaining global biodiversity. With the world facing an extinction crisis, one solution gaining momentum is the creation of more Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas. As Montreal prepares to host COP15, the United Nations conference on biodiversity, experts say Canada has a responsibility to take the lead on implementing Indigenous-led conservation practices. Will it? B.C. reporter Steph Wood and biodiversity reporter Ainslie Cruickshank dig deep.

Nov. 16: Can Canada learn to live underwater?

More than 200 million people could be displaced from their homes worldwide in the next few decades as extreme weather events become more frequent and intense. The biggest climate change risk in Canada? Flooding. Just last year, floods in B.C. wiped out roads, killed five people and left thousands stranded without food and water. In the Prairies, reporter Drew Anderson talked to people in the tiny, flood-prone community of Lehigh, Alta., who are being bought out of their homes before rising waters destroy them. Government reports say that Canadians need to learn to live with water — but what exactly does that mean?

Nov. 15: How corporate lobbying is delaying climate action in Canada

For decades, Canada’s environmental policy has been greatly influenced by the interests of oil, gas and mining industries. And the close-knit bonds between these companies and government officials have been detrimental to climate action — they’ve successfully persuaded governments to weaken emissions regulations and commit billions toward pipeline projects. Oh, and both fossil fuel companies and Canada’s banks are pushing to delay climate transparency rules, climate investigations reporter Carl Meyer tells Fatima. So how do we make sense of this dark underbelly of Canadian politics? Tune in to find out.

Nov. 14: Why is Doug Ford slicing up Ontario’s Greenbelt?

Ontario Premier Doug Ford just broke his promise to not open up the protected Greenbelt to development. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bleak news these days for the province’s environmental protections: conservation authorities are being gutted, flood-mitigating wetlands are at risk and citizens are losing their voice at the table. Plus, cities that don’t want sprawl are being ordered to grow beyond their boundaries. So what’s driving Ford’s decision-making? In a word: housing. Fellow Ontario reporter Emma McIntosh joins Fatima to discuss the details.

We hear it time and time again:
“These are the stories that need to be told and you are some of the only ones telling them,” John, a new member of The Narwhal, wrote in to say.

Investigating stories others aren’t. Diving deep to find solutions to the climate crisis. Sending journalists to report from remote locations for days and sometimes weeks on end. These are the core tenets of what we do here at The Narwhal. It’s also the kind of work that takes time and resources to pull off.

That might sound obvious, but it’s far from reality in many shrinking and cash-strapped Canadian newsrooms. So what’s The Narwhal’s secret sauce? Thousands of members like John who support our non-profit, ad-free journalism by giving whatever they can afford each month (or year).

But here’s the thing: just two per cent of The Narwhal’s readers step up to keep our stories free for all to read. Will you join the two per cent and become a member of The Narwhal today?
We hear it time and time again:
“These are the stories that need to be told and you are some of the only ones telling them,” John, a new member of The Narwhal, wrote in to say.

Investigating stories others aren’t. Diving deep to find solutions to the climate crisis. Sending journalists to report from remote locations for days and sometimes weeks on end. These are the core tenets of what we do here at The Narwhal. It’s also the kind of work that takes time and resources to pull off.

That might sound obvious, but it’s far from reality in many shrinking and cash-strapped Canadian newsrooms. So what’s The Narwhal’s secret sauce? Thousands of members like John who support our non-profit, ad-free journalism by giving whatever they can afford each month (or year).

But here’s the thing: just two per cent of The Narwhal’s readers step up to keep our stories free for all to read. Will you join the two per cent and become a member of The Narwhal today?

See similar stories

Parks Canada warns of ‘irreversible harm’ if Ontario proceeds with Greenbelt development

Parks Canada says Ontario would be violating an agreement between the federal and provincial governments if it goes ahead with plans to open up parts...

Continue reading

Recent Posts

The Narwhal is only possible because a tiny fraction of readers like you donate whatever they can to keep our journalism free for all to read.
Help keep our journalism free for all to read.
Get The Narwhal in your inbox!
People always tell us they love our newsletter. Find out yourself with a weekly dose of our ad‑free, independent journalism
Get The Narwhal in your inbox!
People always tell us they love our newsletter. Find out yourself with a weekly dose of our ad‑free, independent journalism