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The Best Evidence Podcast

Helping listeners understand the facts on income, housing, and other hot topics that will lead to a better world.

with Cynthia Belaskie & Robbie Brydon

About the Show

Would a basic income reduce pressure on Canadian health care systems? If so, what would it cost? How can policy drive sustainable and affordable housing? Who is already making these changes in practice? How can we push racism out of medical care?

Well, what does the evidence say? At The Best Evidence Podcast, we do the hard work of sifting through academic research to help listeners understand the facts on income, housing, and other hot topics that will lead to a better world. In conversations with experts, thought leaders, and decision-makers, we present content that is practical and entertaining. This show might just change our future.

Hosted by Cynthia Belaskie and Robbie Brydon, The Best Evidence Podcast features some of the leading thinkers in Canada and around the world. They take a deep dive into cutting-edge research to provide fresh, evidence-based insight on issues that impact Canadians today. We delve into the evidence, pull out what is essential, and figure out what to make of it.

We provide policymakers and engaged, inquisitive citizens with the essentials. Critical facts, plain language analysis, and lively debates help them make the right decision when it matters most. We keep a careful eye on the real-world constraints facing policymakers while exploring the possibilities within those constraints.

Evidence-based decision-making started in the practice of medicine in the 1990s. Decisions made in the operating room are life-or-death, but decisions in legislature chambers and civil service meeting rooms can be life-or-death, too…and for many more lives. Policymakers need to be up to date on relevant issues and evidence to do their jobs well. For policy that is current, relevant, efficient and effective, we must look to the best evidence as a guide.

Join Robbie and Cynthia as they bring together brilliant minds dissecting the best evidence for a better world.

Listen to the Show

ALL PODCASTS

TBEP 9 | Homelessness

Unhoused And…

If you’re an older person and you fall below adequacy, affordability, or suitability, there is a chance you’ll be unhoused or homeless in Canada. Intersectionality has to be taken into account when talking about homelessness. You have to recognize that an older person has a different story, background, and experience from other people. Join Shreemouna…

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TBEP 8 | Evidence Influence Policy

Does Evidence Influence Policy? With Molly Harrington And Norm Helfand

Prince Edward Island, unlike other provinces, has unit-based rent control, with rent being tied to the units instead of the tenant. However, there is no formal mechanism to know what rent was paid by a previous tenant, despite a provincial bill passed to establish one in 2019. Join Cynthia Belaskie and Robbie Brydon as they talk to Darcie Lanthier, a member of the Green Party of Canada and an advocate of rent control. Darcie founded My Old Apartment to help past tenants tell current tenants what the legal maximum rent should be. In less than a year they added 10% of all apartments in Charlottetown to the registry and have helped tenants get back money – up to $20,000 – that was charged above that maximum. Tune in as Darcie discusses the importance of rent control and advocates for tenants on the housing market.

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TBEP 7 | Rent Control

Making Rent Control Work

Prince Edward Island, unlike other provinces, has unit-based rent control, with rent being tied to the units instead of the tenant. However, there is no formal mechanism to know what rent was paid by a previous tenant, despite a provincial bill passed to establish one in 2019. Join Cynthia Belaskie and Robbie Brydon as they talk to Darcie Lanthier, a member of the Green Party of Canada and an advocate of rent control. Darcie founded My Old Apartment to help past tenants tell current tenants what the legal maximum rent should be. In less than a year they added 10% of all apartments in Charlottetown to the registry and have helped tenants get back money – up to $20,000 – that was charged above that maximum. Tune in as Darcie discusses the importance of rent control and advocates for tenants on the housing market.

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LGBTQ2 Vulnerability In Housing

LGBTQ2 Vulnerability In Housing With Kenna McDowell

How do we solve the issue of LGBTQ2 vulnerability in housing? In this episode, Cynthia Belaskie and Robbie Brydon’s guest is Kenna McDowell, a graduate student in the Human Geography program at the University of Alberta. Kenna explains that expanding the social and affordable housing sector could solve so many issues that queer people experience. Especially because queer people are more likely to experience violence and discrimination in emergency shelters. Join in the conversation to learn more about LGBTQ2 vulnerability in housing and what you can do to help in your little way. Tune in!

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TBEP 5 | Eviction Prevention

Preventing Evictions in Community Housing With Damian Collins

One of the main goals of community housing is to provide more affordable homes for those in need and, ultimately, to help them keep those homes. But what are the eviction prevention practices in place that people can rely on when the going gets tough? In today’s episode, Cynthia Belaskie and Robbie Brydon are joined by Dr. Damian Collins of the University of Alberta. Damian is involved in research with Community Housing Canada and recently published the article, “When We Do Evict Them, It’s a Last Resort”: Eviction Prevention in Social and Affordable Housing. He discusses various eviction prevention strategies and draws some comparisons between what’s at stake in the community housing sector versus the private sector when it comes to being evicted. He also breaks down the six major challenges the community housing sector faces, coined as the “areas of inquiry.” Join their discussion as Damian iterates the importance of housing not only for those in need but in the development of society at large.

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About the Hosts

Robbie Brydon likes numbers. Whether evaluating policy outcomes, optimizing program investments, or attempting to gauge outcomes ahead of the Decision Desk on election night, he is a numbers nerd. Currently leading the Income Security and Health Initiative at the McMaster Institute for Health Equity, Robbie previously coordinated the Ontario Basic Income Pilot evaluation and managed quantitative research for the organization in charge of the plan to end homeless in Edmonton. If one were to judge by his three-year-old’s obsession with counting, the love of numbers may be heritable. But this is not a podcast where we accept conclusions from a study with one participant.

Cynthia Belaskie is Managing Director of the Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative, but she is not an expert in housing. She isn’t even an academic. She almost became a historian once but came to her senses. Cynthia has worked with some of the best Canadian scholars designing truly ground-breaking projects (sometimes literally groundbreaking… hello Archeologists!). She’s excited by new ideas and passionate about making sure that society puts academic research to good use. She spends her time building relationships and moving evidence into action.