NOW and NEXT

Story Studio Network, Dave Trafford, Erin Trafford

Welcome In!
This is the home for our SSN daily flagship podcast - NOW & NEXT.
Join Story Studio Network's Chief Executive Producer Dave Trafford Monday to Thursday, highlighting news stories of the day that are most likely to affect you and your family, you and your business, you and your future.
PLUS: We include a featured interview with newsmakers and analysts on the big stories of the week.
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Episodes

Will the US be a more dangerous place if Donald Trump wins or if he loses in November?
05-04-2024
Will the US be a more dangerous place if Donald Trump wins or if he loses in November?
We are seven months from election day in the United States and its outcome could prove to be the most significant since Abraham Lincoln was elected with less than 40% of the popular vote in 1860. Lincoln’s election is cited as the primary cause that triggered the US Civil War. With that in mind we ask the question: Will the United States be a safer place if Donald Trump wins or if he loses? In this episode of NOW and NEXT, we’re joined by veteran pollster, John Wright, SVP at Maru Public Opinion and David Schultz, professor of political science and constitutional law at Hamline University in Minnesota. We explore the political landscape focusing on the dissonance between the political narrative and the state of the economy.  David Schultz: Generally, voters’ perceptions of the economy, along with approval rating for the president, are pretty good predictors - not guarantees but pretty good predictors - of what happens in elections. And even though all the numbers look pretty good in terms of the economy, it’s the inflation factor that's souring a lot of people right now. And this is the problem that Joe Biden faces.John Wright: “You see two things through my lens. Number one is this hyper -partisanship, which drives everything (in the U.S.). But secondly, it's a culture war in the United States. It doesn't surprise me at all that in the last week, Joe Biden has decided with his vice president to go after the Roe v. Wade vote. I mean that's that's the counter measure to the economic piece that's on the other side of the aisle. It just seems that it's not just about the economy, it's about the culture of the United States.”The polarization and extreme partisanship in the United States is driven by cultural issues and amplified by social media bubbles. And the ultimate result will come down to a small number of voters in 5 or 6 counties in 5 or 6 states.  David Schultz: “I describe it this way. 5 -5 -5, 270 or 6 -6 -6, 270. Either 5 % of the voters in 5 counties and 5 states tell us who gets to 270 electoral votes or 6 % of the voters roughly in 6 counties and 6 states."John Wright: “It would be like trying to figure out the national election based on doing all of your polling in Cornwall Ontario.”
If we need an EXTRA day every four years, could we add it to the summer months?
29-02-2024
If we need an EXTRA day every four years, could we add it to the summer months?
This week on NOW and NEXTWe talk to Neil Hetherington, CEO at Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. Those of you who follow us here at Story Studio Network will know we've been working closely with Neil and his team producing The 2030 Project podcast series. The latest instalment was a limited series focussed on the Canada Disability Benefit. The long and the short of it is, the CDB is aimed at lifting a million Canadians, who live with disabilities, out of poverty.Neil and Talia Bronstein represented the Daily Bread team in Ottawa last week, pressing MPs to commit to fully funding the CDB in the 2024 budget. The "good news"? It sounds like the feds are ready to commit $1 -2 billion to the cause. The "not so good news"? It would take an average of about $1 billion per province and territory to stabilize the lives of those relying on disability benefits across Canada.The investment of "every billion equals $100 (per person in monthly benefit payments). And so you need to get about $10 to 12 billion." Neil says "People need about $1 ,000 more than what they're currently getting. If you are on disability in Ontario, you're getting $1 ,300 a month. The poverty line is $2 ,300 a month. And so our hope is that it gets to the...thousand or so dollars a month, which is still inadequate, but at least gets to a certain level of being able to hopefully not rely on food banks."Also, we connect with Karen L. Cumming - author of the Wealthy Martian. Karen says it's long past time for us to be including financial literacy in our education curriculum.And, finally, we are now into year three of the Russian war in Ukraine. We're joined by Major General (ret) Scott Clancy - Leader, Author, Speaker, Mentor, Coach, an RCAF veteran. General Clancy says all eyes are properly focussed on the growing tensions between NATO nations and Putin's Russia.But he tells us, we need to broaden our peripheral political vision in this post-Cold War era."The soft underbelly of NATO and the West is not Europe", says Clancy. "It's not even American forces deploying to Europe. It's North America. And if Russia was really going to come after the Americans, they'd come after them here."
We're BACK! "Back on Track" is the theme of the week and did you know human trafficking is happening in plain view and close to home?
23-02-2024
We're BACK! "Back on Track" is the theme of the week and did you know human trafficking is happening in plain view and close to home?
Welcome to NOW and NEXT - the flagship podcast at Story Studio Network.. It’s our weekly offering - the newest episodes will drop Thursdays!Stories, issues, problems and solutions that just don’t make the cut in the assignment meetings… But they’re stories, issues, problems and solutions that affect you, your family, your home, your job and your community.This week….Now that city hall in Toronto has decidedly dinged the local home owners with a 9.5% tax hike… they’re back to the business of complaining about parking fees and dangerous dogs. THAT’S THE BUSINESS THEY SHOULD BE IN! NOT highway maintenance and sheltering refugees. The budget period might have been Olivia Chow’s toughest time so far in the Mayor’s chair. But the next six months will be her toughest test…following through on her “back on track” budget and making sure she delivers on the police, transit and housing promises she’s made.Back on track…it the political theme of the week….In Chow’s case…it makes sense. But it is the means of memes at Queen’s Park. Ford Nation’s introduction of the “Get it DONE” bill is aimed at getting the province back on track. Of course, the quick and obvious observation? The bill harkens back tot he 2022 campaign slogan. This week, it begs the inescapable question: What the hell have you been doing for the past two years? We will be diving into that and more this week as we gather for On The LEDGE - your Ontario politics podcast. It will be back in your podcast feed on Friday!Who would want to serve in government? A story at cbc.ca this week details plans to issue panic buttons to Senators in Ottawa…over safety and security concerns. The CBC reporting says Senators have “been targeted by online harassment campaigns and threatening phone calls in recent weeks. The panic buttons were offered to MPs in 2022 following the fallout from the Freedom Convoy/occupation in Ottawa.Last week we learned the FBI informant who was at the centre of the Biden bribery investigation is accused of lying about it. Now, this week, the feds stateside say Alexander Smirnov had ties with Russian intelligence affiliated officials. Prosecutors say Smirnov admitted in an interview following his arrest “officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story” about Hunter Biden. The FBI would like Smirnov behind bars while awaiting trial. BUT the judge didn’t bite. Daniel Albregts allowed Smirnov to be released…but is subject to GPS monitoring.Are you a COSTCO customer? A great piece in the Economist this week explaining how and why the big box retailer is so beloved? HINT: forty or so years ago…a Hot Dog and Drink combo at COSTO cost $1.50. Today??? It cost $1.50. Check out the story in the Economist.DID YOU HEAR?….The PM’s pissed off…over the job cuts at Bell… The feds have summoned Bell Execs to the hill for a grilling over the latest round of layoffs…Can’t wait to see how that plays out. So far, Ottawa has managed to only add fuel to the media dumpster fire in this country. And. by the way, if the PM is pissed off about 400 or so layoffs at Bell Media (NO, BELL MEDIA DIDN’T CUT 48 HUNDRED JOBS. BCE CUT 4800 JOBS), where was the PM’s pissed-offedness when the CBC announced 600 layoffs just two months ago?AND…February 22 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. It’s happening in plain view and close to home.We talk to Janet Campbell, CEO and President of Joy Smith Foundation.
What GOOD thing happened to you this week? We want to know! And we're making progress in reducing child poverty
14-12-2023
What GOOD thing happened to you this week? We want to know! And we're making progress in reducing child poverty
Today on NOW and NEXT:We want to know what good thing happened to you this week? You can let us know via email (hello@storystudionetwork.com), on socials @davetrafford or, better yet, leave us a recorded message. You can leave us a RECORDED or TEXT message about anything you hear on the show. It's EASY. Click RECORD YOUR MESSAGE. Hit the RECORD button. Enter your name and email address so we can respond to your comment!We also meet Sevaun Palvetzian, President and CEO at UNICEF Canada to analyze the latest report that finds 1 in 5 kids in the riches countries are living in poverty.Sevaun says we've made remarkable progress to reduce child poverty in Canada but says 18% per cent of our kids live with food insecurity and poverty.We discuss the need for government action to address the issue.Poverty is a choice made by governments and calls for dedicated leadership and policy changes to reduce child poverty rates. We also touches on the role of public generosity and the responsibility of government in solving public policy issues. TakeawaysChild poverty is a pressing issue in Canada, with one in five children living in poverty.The Canada Disability Benefit is crucial in lifting people with disabilities out of poverty.Poverty is a choice made by governments through their policies and budget decisions.Government should prioritize the well-being of children and make child poverty a central focus in policy-making.Individual generosity should not replace government responsibility in addressing poverty.Chapters00:00 Introduction01:12 Technical Difficulties with Voicemail Link02:12 Balancing Serious and Light Topics03:36 Child Poverty in Canada05:04 Importance of Canada Disability Benefit06:03 Poverty as a Choice07:28 Child Poverty Statistics in Canada09:01 Government Responsibility in Addressing Child Poverty10:57 Forecasting Child Poverty Rates13:11 Importance of National School Food Program14:23 Failure to Eliminate Child Poverty by 200017:23 Government's Role in Addressing Poverty20:22 Need for a Minister of Poverty23:16 Sharing Good News25:23 Closing Remarks
A new UNICEF report says Canada is making progress when it comes to reducing child poverty
07-12-2023
A new UNICEF report says Canada is making progress when it comes to reducing child poverty
Today on NOW and NEXT:A new UNICEF report that ranks the UK as having the highest rate of child poverty among developed countries. Canada has made progress in reducing child poverty, but UNICEF Canada notes one in five children Canadian kids are living in poverty. The Canada Child Benefit is recognized as a successful program in reducing poverty, but there are challenges faced by families where a caregiver lives with a disability.That's why anti-poverty advocates are pushing the federal government to include funding for the Canada Disability Benefits Act in the spring budget.We feature an interview from the 2030 Project with Minister Kamal Khera, who is responsible for the legislation. We talk about funding and implementation challenges, as well as differences in provincial disability programs.TakeawaysThe UK has the highest rate of child poverty among developed countries.Canada has made progress in reducing child poverty, but still has one in five children living in poverty.The Canada Child Benefit has been successful in reducing poverty, but challenges remain for families with caregivers living with disabilities.The Canada Disability Benefits Act aims to address poverty among people with disabilities, but funding and implementation challenges need to be addressed.REMINDER: You can now leave us a RECORDED or TEXT message about anything you hear on the show. It's EASY. Click RECORD YOUR MESSAGE. Hit the RECORD button. Enter your name and email address so we can respond to your comment!
Can we transition from a fossil fuel based economy and avoid a climate catastrophe?
06-12-2023
Can we transition from a fossil fuel based economy and avoid a climate catastrophe?
Today on NOW and NEXT:The Global Tipping Points Report was released today at COP28. It suggests the planet we call home is on the verge of five catastrophic climate tipping points. Professor Tim Lenton, from the University of Exeter's Global Systems Instiute, led the research team. Lenton says these tipping points "can trigger devastating domino effects, including the loss of whole ecosystems and capacity to grow stable crops, with societal impacts including mass displacement, political instability and financial collapse."Cheery stuff, right?So, we though it was time to highlight a Story Studio Network series called Canadian Forestry Can Save the World. That might sound overly ambitious, but there is a role for the forestry sector to play in the battle against climate change. The problem is, governments across Canada are slow to acknowledge it.In this episode, we feature a sit down with Rosemary Thompson, the Executive Director at The Coalition For A Better Future, and Derek Nighbor, the CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, originally published April 12, 2023. We discuss how forestry fits into a more sustainable future and the benchmarks needed to assess our success in combating climate and growing a greener economy.REMINDER:You can now leave us a RECORDED or TEXT message about anything you hear on the show. It's EASY. Click RECORD YOUR MESSAGE. Hit the RECORD button. Enter your name and email address so we can respond to your comment!
Does the Federal Fall Economic Statement do enough to address the housing crisis?
23-11-2023
Does the Federal Fall Economic Statement do enough to address the housing crisis?
Today on NOW and NEXT:The Federal Fall Economic Statement was a collection of broad stroke promises including a commitment to invest billions into housing. It comes in the form of loans to support the construction of rental housing and support for non-profit, co-op, and public housing builds.Is it enough?REMINDER: You can now leave us a RECORDED or TEXT message about anything you hear on the show. It's EASY. Click RECORD YOUR MESSAGE. Hit the RECORD button. Enter your name and email address so we can respond to your comment!Julia Deans, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada tells NOW and NEXT says rental and co-op housing is part of the equation but the government needs to move the needle along all points of the housing spectrum. "So we are looking for further developments. We're looking for the government to take the HST off affordable home ownership, which would be a big help. We're looking for the government to use its funding to force municipalities and provinces to play along and create affordable housing in their communities. And we're looking for the government to make sure that we have the skilled labour we need to get housing built and that people shouldn't underestimate that. And it involves immigration, it involves skills training."So they've got a lot more things to do and I think we are expecting them to do it."Julia also reflects on the passing of Rosalynn Carter and the Carters' historic impact on the Habitat for Humanity mission.
Tribal politics has made liberalism meaningless
21-11-2023
Tribal politics has made liberalism meaningless
NEW: You can now leave us a RECORDED or TEXT message about anything you hear on the show. It's EASY. Click RECORD YOUR MESSAGE. Hit the RECORD button. Enter your name and email address so we can respond to your comment!Today on NOW and NEXT:We're joined by Ujwal Arkalgud, a cultural anthropologist and EVP at Lux Research. He's also the host and producer of two Story Studio Network podcast series - The NEXT NORMAL and Why Meaning Matters.Ujwal says illiberalism has commandeered political and cultural discourse around the world. There is little or no room for dissent or disagreement, let alone healthy debate. That's not simply an academic observation. It's signs of a cultural crisis.He tells NOW and NEXT:Liberalism has lost its historic meaning for most people and has become equates and aligned with extreme left behaviour or rhetoric."In their minds, liberalism is defined by the modern woke culture. It's defined by this modern idea that you know, no debate is allowed, and this modern idea that, you know, you can't say the wrong thing even in the slightest way and you're gonna get raked over the coals. You can't say the right thing either."He says a diversity of ideas and experiences in society no longer nealy fit into traditional political silos."There are different belief systems and they no longer align with liberal or conservative or centrist.If (those) three camps (are all) you've got, you're missing five others. I think that's the issue. I think the gap for me is that the major political and cultural institutions in our country are just missing this.Gone unchecked. "It's a full-on crisis of faith, if you will, in terms of where our culture is headed."The solution? We need to know and acknowledge it can still be a "safe place" even when you're out of your comfort zone. Start there."The first issue we have to solve is how to create a pluralistic environment, even within our own social circles, on any issue, it doesn't matter what the issue is. We have to be able to have conversations and we have to be able to ask questions without feeling judged and raked over the coals."
The Trudeau government's international student policy is creating more poverty in Canada
15-11-2023
The Trudeau government's international student policy is creating more poverty in Canada
Today on NOW and NEXT:Daily Bread Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington joins the show to talk about the latest "Who's Hungry Report".Spoiler Alert: The news is grim. 1 in 10 Torontonians rely on a food bank and the numbers are only to get worse until and unless three levels of government take real action to eliminate poverty. Neil tells says, "I was pleased that the mayor (Olivia Chow) committed to 65,000 homes to be built. I am pleased that the province has said, we're going to build 1.5 million homes by 2031. And I'm pleased that the federal government brought into law the Canada Disability Benefit. But Dave, the thing that really bugs me is not one of those commitments is funded. Not one of them. They are all promises of something that they're going to do, but,right now, there's no funding behind any of them."He also says the federal government's international student visas sets students up for failure and, in turn, creates more pressure on food banks."(At) the federal level we have an unlimited number of student visas that are issued and a means test for those students that says if they have ten thousand dollars they'll be fine. So $833 a month. That's all you need. Come on over to Canada and pay this exorbitant fee for your college education. And so they're set up for failure. I mean, just by definition of $833, that's a little bit more than what a welfare payment is in Ontario, which is $733. So, so they're set up for failure."Got a comment? Click here to send us a text or audio message.
[SPECIAL] The Sky's No Limit - Women in Aviation
09-11-2023
[SPECIAL] The Sky's No Limit - Women in Aviation
Join us for Part 3 of our Special Series this week - Pathway to the Stars.Over the course of November 7th-November 10th, 2022, we are exploring four stories of Canadian aviation innovation and history in partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force Foundation. Today, we turn our storytelling lens on Women in Aviation.Brianna Ricketts holds Canada’s record for youngest solo flight by a female pilot. But did you know, 30% of Canada’s 2700 Air Cadets are women? We explore the contributions and continuing story of Canada’s young women pilots who are shaping the future of Canada’s aviation industry.We also learn about the great work being done by the Northern Lights Aero Foundation and the Elsie Awards; Elsie McGill was the subject of an Historica Canada Heritage Minute; Elevate Aviation supports a wide range of disciplines in the aviation industry and their Inspire Awards; and Vi Milstead holds the distinction of being Canada's first female bush pilot.Featured voices in this episode:Chantal Gagnon, Historica CanadaRic Gillespie, The International Group for Historic Aircraft RecoveryBrianna Ricketts, Captain, Air BorealisJennifer Blake, RCAF FoundationRCAF Foundation Scholarship Recipient, Grace WilsonPathway to the Stars is made possible by the Royal Canadian Air Force Foundation.Find out more about them at rcaffoundation.ca Please share about this special series. If you do, tag both Story Studio Network and the RCAF Foundation to help spread the word.Instagram:@storystudionetwork@rcaf_foundationFacebook:https://www.facebook.com/storystudionetwork/https://www.facebook.com/rcaffoundationTwitter:twitter.com/storystudionet twitter.com/davetrafford twitter.com/rcaf_foundation LinkedIn:linkedin.com/company/story-studio-network linkedin.com/company/rcaf-foundation Credits:Executive Producer & Host - Dave TraffordHost & Promotions - Erin TraffordChase Producer - Becky Coles