Out in the Openwith Piya Chattopadhyay


Why so few people on Six Nations reserve have clean running water, unlike their neighbours

A professor is calling attention to the dismal lack of access to clean running water on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve in Ontario — despite it being a stone's throw away from major towns and cities with fully functioning water infrastructure.

Meet the LGBT activist who moved in across from the Westboro Baptist Church

Aaron Jackson bought the house across from the church known for its anti-gay protests... and painted it in the colours of the pride flag.

On Canusa Street, you need a passport to visit your neighbours

Residents of a community that straddles the Canada-U.S. border describe how security concerns have separated their small towns.

What three years of Airbnb living taught this traveler about the nature of neighbours

Kevin Lynch describes what fleeting brushes with Hong Kong locals taught him about relating to the people around you.
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You may think you're pretty similar to your neighbours. But you might be surprised by what you don't know about the people who live right next door. This week, Piya brings you stories of neighbours who have great differences, despite their close proximity to one another.
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For some, it's their children or their prospect of having kids. For others, it's their land and community, their past and their future. This week, Piya speaks with people who stood up to defend what they value and asks: What would you do to protect what's important to you?

'I am protecting them from whiteness': Why this mom chose to take her kids out of public school

Akilah Richards was concerned about structural racism she saw in the public education system, which echoed her own experiences growing up. She speaks with Piya about how that led her to pursue alternative education for her own kids.

'Social egg freezing' trend emerges among women in their 20s

For one, it's an insurance policy while she pursues her career. For another, it's about protecting the health of her future children. Two women share their different motivations for choosing to freeze their eggs sooner rather than later.

Two people on the front lines of Indigenous rights take different sides of the pipeline issue

One pipeline, two starkly different views — Kanahus Manuel and Stephen Buffalo are both passionate about protecting the future of First Nations communities, lands and cultures. But they’ve come to very different conclusions about how to do that.

'I just wasn't prepared to sit back and watch any longer'

Missing Indigenous women and exploitation culture in Winnipeg’s North End cause Bear Clan Patrol to reassemble for change.

WW II veteran pushes Canadian government to recognize 'ocean war graves'

Paul Bender served in the merchant navy and believes making this distinction would protect sunken warships from being pillaged by divers. 'It's about time somebody did something about it,' he says.
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How you are seen in the wider world can change on a dime, whether you're caught up in a major news story, called out in public or make a misstep online. This week, Piya speaks with people whose characters became warped for all kinds of reasons and asks: How can you rebuild your reputation?

His first protest ever cost him his career, reputation and sense of self

When Adam Smith drove up to a Chick-fil-A drive through window and began arguing with an employee about LGBT rights, he thought he was doing something positive. But video of his protest soon went viral. And he went from being a CFO to being on food stamps and contemplating suicide.

'I don't think you ever really become you again': Robert Baltovich on the court of public opinion

Robert Baltovich went to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, but he’s more concerned about what he sees happening now in the court of public opinion than with flaws in the justice system.

How being called a 'slut' launched a journey of sexual self-discovery

For Amanda Mester, having a reputation as a ‘slut’ in high school hurt, but it also helped make her the happy, healthy and sexually free person she is today.

'People deserve a second chance' in wake of #MeToo movement, says online reputation manager

Matt Earle, founder of Reputation.ca, works with individuals and businesses whose reputations have taken a hit online.


You might do it out of love, fear or duty. It can be done with great purpose, or completely unintentionally. And it can happen for worse and for better in some truly surprising ways. This week, from the workplace to the bedroom, Piya asks: Why do we enable?

Medically assisted sex? How 'intimacy coaches' offer sexual therapy for people with disabilities

Spencer Williams, a writer and student who has cerebral palsy, now has a more meaningful and rewarding sex life thanks to a sex surrogate and intimacy coach who specializes in helping people with disabilities.

Canada's first female infantry officer opens up about harassment, abuse and enabling in the military

Underestimated, harassed and abused by her colleagues, Sandra Perron explains how her coworkers enabled such behaviour, why she chose to leave her job, and what she's doing today to enable a different group of people to succeed in the military.

Co-Dependents Anonymous: The 12-step recovery program for people who need to be needed

People who self-identify as 'codependent' say they habitually put the needs of others over their own.

What happened when one father taught his kids to take public transit to school without him

When Adrian Crook empowered the four oldest of his five children (ages six, eight, nine and 10 at the time) to ride Vancouver city buses to school and back without him, he ended up being investigated by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. And then he ended up back on the bus with his kids.

Crowdfunders backed his adventure, leaving his sister feeling lost in the sea of supporters

Danielle d’Entremont grapples with a two year bicycle trip that her brother took from Vancouver all the way to the southernmost tip of South America. She tells Piya how the trip was unexpectedly crowdfunded and the impact it had on their relationship.

Untruth Be Told

In a time of so-called "fake news", spin and stories going viral before people check the facts... it can be hard for any of us to know where to draw a line between what's real and what's not. But imagine how much harder it would be if you were a character in the plot. This week, Piya asks: What happens when you're caught up in an untrue story?

Reaction to false hijab attack jeopardizes real work being done to end violence against Muslim women

Sidrah Ahmad wrote her master's thesis about violence against Muslim women in Toronto. When news broke that an 11-year-old girl had her hijab cut with scissors, she shared the story widely. Then police announced the attack did not, in fact, happen.

'I wasn't even seen as a human': Nurse wrongly painted as public threat during height of Ebola scare

Kaci Hickox was quarantined and confined to her house, despite showing no symptoms of Ebola. Even after testing negative for the disease, politicians, media and the public still saw her as a health risk.
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