The 519 Podcast
The Bizarre Kidnapping of John Labatt

The Bizarre Kidnapping of John Labatt

March 31, 2022

Most Canadians know the name Labatt. The name immediately brings up images of brown bottles of cold beer. 

But there are also a lot of Canadians who are unaware that the one-time head of Labatt Breweries was once the victim of what was then the most famous kidnapping in Canadian history. 

On this episode of The 519 Podcast, we look at the 1934 kidnapping near Sarnia of John Sackville Labatt, the 53-year-old grandson of the brewing empire's founder.  

Red Ryan vs. Sarnia Police

Red Ryan vs. Sarnia Police

March 17, 2022

Red Ryan was one of the most notorious criminals in Canadian history. He escaped from jail, got out of fight in the first World War and tricked the government into believing he had found religion - only to return to a life of crime each time. Ryan was eventually killed while robbing a liquor store in Sarnia in 1936.

In that same incident, Constable Jack Lewis, a Sarnia Police Officer, was also killed.

This week, the 519 Podcast tells their story.

The Windsor Blockade: fight for freedom or misguided mischief?

The Windsor Blockade: fight for freedom or misguided mischief?

March 3, 2022

There's a certain irony in a group of people protesting, among other things, a border policy they claim disrupts the supply chain when their protest actually did disrupt the supply chain and likely caused more problems for our economy than any sort of border crossing rule vaccine rule ever has.

For seven days, the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor was essentially shut down, causing massive economic repercussions on both sides of the Detroit River.

Some protesters claimed it was because of vaccine mandates, while others said it was COVID-19 restrictions in general, and some even said they wanted to replace the federal government.

No matter why these people were actually there, their presence caused a big problem.

On this episode of the 519 Podcast, we speak to a reporter who covered the blockade, Windsor's mayor, its deputy police chief, and an economist about the protest near the Ambassador Bridge.

The Ingersoll landfill: how a community fought back, and won

The Ingersoll landfill: how a community fought back, and won

February 17, 2022

In 2012, a company from the Niagara region called Walker Industries put forward a proposal for a  landfill just outside of the town of Ingersoll. It was to be located in an old limestone quarry and would take in garbage from around southern Ontario, much of it from the GTA. It would be Ontario’s 5th largest landfill and would take in 17 million tonnes of garbage in its proposed 20 year lifespan. 

But for many in the region, the landfill would be perilously and alarmingly close to the Thames River. 

There were concerns about the impact, not just on the health of the river, but also on the aquafer of the area, where many residents got their drinking water. 

The stage was set for a long-running battle between a company that wanted to fill an empty quarry with garbage and local residents who wanted no part of it. 

This is the story of how that community rose up, organized, and fought a years-long battle that it ultimately won.

Josiah Henson: Finding Freedom

Josiah Henson: Finding Freedom

February 3, 2022

When it comes to the history of this part of Ontario, there are so many incredibly interesting and compelling stories. 

There's the Donnelly massacre, the Amherstburg Rebellion, and the Victoria steamboat disaster. But some of the most interesting stories are the ones that don't get told very often. These stories often involve Black Canadians and Black people who came from the U.S. to escape slavery. 

There was a time when Ontario was seen as a safe haven for escaped slaves, and a place where their descendants could flourish and be truly free. Laws in Ontario were progressive for the era, and they provided safety. 

But, it’s important to recognize that laws are only as good as the people upholding them, and that while Black people escaped slavery by coming to Ontario, that doesn’t  necessariliy mean they escaped racism. 

And that’s as true now as it was in the 1800’s.

Perhaps that why it's important to have Black History Month, so that these stories get the attention they deserve. 

On this episode of the 519 Podcast, we tell one of those stories. 

This the story of Josiah Henson, an escaped slave who inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Murder for Hire: the killing of Hanna Buxbaum, part 2

Murder for Hire: the killing of Hanna Buxbaum, part 2

January 20, 2022

In this second part of a two-part series on the murder of Hanna Buxbaum, we hear about the trial of Helmuth Buxbaum and the series of errors that made it easier for investigators to discover that he was the person who orchestrated the murder. 

Murder for Hire: the killing of Hanna Buxbaum, part 1

Murder for Hire: the killing of Hanna Buxbaum, part 1

January 20, 2022

To the outside world, it seemed Helmuth Buxbaum had it all. He had a loving and supportive wife, six children, and a nursing home business that had made him a millionaire.

But behind the curtain, it was a much different story. In the 1980s, Helmuth was leading a double life. One was that of a successful businessman, church-goer, and philanthropist. The other was that a cocaine abusing patron of prostitutes and strip clubs.

As you’ll hear in this two-part episode of The 519 Podcast, that double life led to Helmuth Buxbaum hiring hit men to kill his wife. On July 5, 1984, her body was found at the side of Highway 402 just west of London. This is the story of how Hanna Buxbaum, a well regarded mother of six, met her tragic and violent end.

COVID Burnout: Our healthcare worker crisis

COVID Burnout: Our healthcare worker crisis

January 6, 2022

It was a little over a year ago when the first COVID-19 vaccines started going into arms in Canada. At the time, many though that it marked the beginning of the end of the pandemic. 

It hasn't quite worked out that way. 

With the rise of the Omicron variant, in some ways it feels like we're back to square one. We're back to closed gyms and theatres, and kids learning from home instead of being in the classroom. 

As we get closer to the two year mark of the pandemic, there's no question, this has been hard on all of us. But you could easily argue that it has been especially hard on our health care workers. 

Many are sick, tired, and facing abuse from patients and families. Some of them have had enough. 

On this episode of the 519 Podcast, we speak with Dr. Adam Kassam, President of the Ontario Medical Association as well as Doris Grinspun, the CEO of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.

This episode is hosted by Craig Needles. 

Keeping our highways moving

Keeping our highways moving

December 22, 2021

It's something that just about everyone in our region has experience with. Driving in slippery, snowy, or whiteout conditions.  It’s one of the most stressful things about living in this country.

But what happens when you slide off that highway into the ditch? Or if a truck does?

Highway 401 is one of the busiest highways in North America. Our 400 series highways host over 400,000 drivers per day.

Keeping them moving - especially when the weather gets bad - isn’t easy.

On this episode of the 519 Podcast, we talk to Gary Vandenheuvel, owner and operator of Preferred Towing in Sarnia. Gary and his team are featured on the Discovery Channel show 'Heavy Rescue 401' and they keep us moving even when Mother Nature stands in the way.

Windsor Style Pizza, Ontario‘s Best Kept Secret

Windsor Style Pizza, Ontario‘s Best Kept Secret

December 9, 2021

It’s among the favourite types of food for both kids and adults alike, and we all have our favourite toppings. 

Pizza. That food that tastes as good at lunch as it does at 2 a.m. after a night out. 

We all know there different types of pizza associated with different cities. There's New York Style Pizza and Chicago Deep Dish. 

But what about the pizza styles that rarely get talked about?

These are the ones that tend to be known by few more than the locals.

On this episode of the 519 Podcast, we look at Windsor style pizza. 

And we speak with George Kalivas, who has made a documentary about Windsor style pizza called ‘The Pizza City You’ve Never Heard Of’ 

This episode is hosted by Craig Needles and Hayley Cheng.


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