Unravelling be-gavellings. Quebec Premier Jean Charest is hammered by
allegations that the Liberal Party influenced judge selection in his
He dreamed of Genie. The director of Polytechnique on winning nine of
Canada's top cinema awards -- and about as many audience members for his
Sino things to come. When a state-owned Chinese company buys a big
chunk of Alberta oil sands action, it may be just the start of a dubious
Could be bad news for catlover78. Two Halifax firefighters say they've
been defamed online -- and they want their anonymous critics revealed.
The apples of their "Nays" become the apples of their "Ayes". After a
ninety-year feud, Australia changes its core values a certain tree-fruit
from New Zealand.
And...hare trigger. Months after a roof collapses at a Swedish rabbit
show, a whole bunch of surprise pregnancies show the beleaguered bunnies
got off easy.
As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that is fruitful, and multiplies.
Political scandals can be the death of governments. So Quebec's
premier is acting quickly to try to defuse the bomb dropped on his
Jean Charest has called a public inquiry to investigate allegations
that political donations influenced the selection of judges. The claim
was made by his former Justice Minister Marc Bellemare. In a phone
interview with Alain Gravel, the host of the Radio-Canada programme
"Enquète", Mr. Bellemare said that he had appointed three judges due to
pressure from Liberal party fundraisers. And he says that Premier
We reached Alain Gravel in Montreal.
As you've already heard, Quebec's premier has wasted no time reacting
to the allegations. During today's press conference in which he
announced the inquiry, Jean Charest categorically denied the claim. He
also threatened to sue Mr. Bellemare if he did not retract the
However, his protestations did not prevent some members of the
assembled media from questioning the premier's political future --
particularly in light of the fact that these allegations follow others
involving the government's involvement with the province's construction
industry. Here is a part of one exchange the premier had with Globe and
Mail journalist Rheal Seguin, and CTV reporter John Grant, for the
|UPHILL CITY/I AM ROBOT AND PROUD|
|SHAW-HAN LIEM|| - ||COMPOSER|
|I AM ROBOT AND PROUD || - ||POP GROUP|
Alberta's black gold turned a shade more red this week.
A Chinese, state-owned company called "Sinopec" offered to buy a nine
per cent share in Syncrude Canada Limited -- a producer in the
province's oilsands region. China is willing to pay just over
four-and-a-half billion dollars U.S. If accepted, the offer could become
China's biggest investment in a Canadian resource, ever.
Yuen Pau Woo says this deal is tip of the iceberg. He's the president
and chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. We
reached him today in Vancouver.
|THREE HENS ESCAPE OBLIVION/FAFARD, JOEL|
|JOEL FAFARD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JOEL FAFARD|| - ||GUITAR|
|JOEL FAFARD|| - ||PRODUCER|
When Helena Guergis returns to the House of Commons, she may need
someone to give her some directions to her new seat. That's because,
after years of sitting just behind the Prime Minister, Ms. Guergis will
now be relegated to the back benches -- the really, really back benches.
If the House were a sports arena, she'd be in what's called "the
She is no longer a member of the Conservatives, and will be sitting as
an independent Member of Parliament. Her new seat is Number 153 --
right beside another independent MP, the outspoken André Arthur from
Yesterday, Mr. Arthur spoke with the CBC's Mark Appolonio, on the
Quebec City afternoon show "Breakaway". Here is part of that
conversation, for the record:
|11:11/RODRIGO Y GABRIELA|
|GABRIELA QUINTERO|| - ||COMPOSER|
|RODRIGO SANCHEZ|| - ||COMPOSER|
|RODRIGO Y GABRIELA || - ||GUITAR DUO|
|RODRIGO SANCHEZ|| - ||PRODUCER|
When it comes to criminals, most of us do more tut-tutting than
empathizing. But sometimes their dumb exploits and our dumb exploits
dovetail, and we can kind of appreciate what it's like to be in their
For example, a lot of us have learned the hard way that just because
you chuck something out of the driver or passenger-side window of your
car doesn't mean that something will end up on the side of the road.
Anyone who has tossed a well-masticated wad of chewing gum out of a
window at high speed only to spend hours extracting it from the
upholstery of the back seat knows what I mean.
So it's easy to imagine how two young men from Winnipeg are feeling right about now.
The young men in question are two of the city's worst car thieves --
worst in the sense that they've got a long history of this sort of
crime, and also in the sense that they're not very good at it. Both
boys are required to wear ankle bracelets -- you know, the kind that
lets the cops track your position The kind that set off alarms if you
try to remove them. Which is exactly what the two boys did last week --
right after taking off in a stolen Ford Focus.
My guess is that they probably felt pretty good about themselves when
they first managed to cut through those ankle bracelets. And no doubt
their mood lightened further still when they tossed that unwanted
jewellery out the passenger window. They were probably giddy with
freedom, and blaring "Life Is A Highway" on the stereo.
Well, if life is a highway, theirs suddenly developed a huge sinkhole.
Because one of those ankle bracelets went out the front window, and
right into the back. Which is how the police tracked them down.
Whenever the thieves are released, they won't likely use their car
windows as receptacles ever again. And they'll spend the rest of their
lives flinching every time someone talks about a "window of
And now the news is about to politely nudge us aside. But we'll equally
politely elbow our way back in in just a few minutes, with more As It
Happens. When we return:
An embarrassment of Richard. Former diplomat Richard Colvin takes the
stand again in Ottawa -- and provides more damning testimony.
Very nearly the crack of doom. Arctic researchers have to choose sides,
when a fissure opens up in the ice right under their tent.
Tuning out. When Islamic militants outlaw music on Somali radio, one station opts to play a bunch of noise.
Stay tuned. I'm CO.
And I'm DJ.
Hello again, I'm CO.
And I'm DJ. This is As It Happens, Part Two.
The director of the Genie-award-winning Polytechnique on last night's triumph -- and the failures of the movie's distribution.
And after being the targets of negative comments online, two Halifax
firefighters seek a positive I.D. on their tormentors.
Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.
Ottawa is not renowned as the sort of town that values understatement.
Grandstanding and posturing are the stock in trade of the political
arts. This is why Richard Colvin presents such a stark contrast from the
usual cast of characters that make it into political headlines.
Mr Colvin was a senior Canadian diplomat posted in Afghanistan from
April 2006 to October 2007. Last fall, he calmly and carefully testified
before a special committee of the House of Commons. The committee is
looking into allegations that detainees handed over by Canadian forces
to the Afghans were abused. What Mr. Colvin said about that abuse
ignited a firestorm of controversy that's been burning ever since.
Since his testimony, more has come to light about Canada's
relationship with its Afghan ally. The latest revelations involve the
connection between the Canadian Forces and the former Governor of
Kandahar, Asadullah Khalid. Last night, we heard from the Globe and
Mail's Graeme Smith. He described the activities of Governor Khalid's
personal militia, Brigade 888. He also pointed to the close working
relationship Canadian forces maintained with the governor.
And today, CBC News revealed that in 2007, the then-U.N. Deputy
Representative to Afghanistan, Canadian Christopher Alexander, alleged
that Asadullah Khalid had ordered the deaths of five United Nations
workers in a bombing.
With these revelations as a backdrop, Richard Colvin returned today to
the nation's capital. This time, it was to testify before the Military
Police Complaints Commission. He repeated many of his previous
allegations about the mistreatment of detainees. And in his subdued
style, he confirmed many of the worst allegations against Asadullah
Khalid. For the record, here is Richard Colvin being questioned by
Commission lawyer Ron Lunau earlier today in Ottawa.
|EDGAR MEYER & CHRIS THILE/EDGAR MEYER & CHRIS THILE|
|EDGAR MEYER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CHRIS THILE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|EDGAR MEYER|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|CHRIS THILE|| - ||MANDOLIN|
Put up your hand if you've seen the film that swept the Genie Awards last night. Hmm. I don't see many hands in the air.
Well, regardless of the audience it reached, Polytechnique -- a
dramatization of the Montreal Massacre -- took nine Genies, including
one for best picture. And Denis Villeneuve took home the prize for best
direction. We reached him in Montreal.
|DO MAKE SAY THINK/DO MAKE SAY THINK|
|OHAD BENCHETRIT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JASON MACKENZIE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DAVE MITCHELL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JAMES PAYMENT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JUSTIN SMALL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CHARLES SPEARIN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DO MAKE SAY THINK || - ||POP GROUP|
In Leonard Cohen's song "Anthem", he sings that "there's a crack in
everything -- that's how the light gets in." Typically wise words from
the Canadian poet. But they don't apply to everyone. Take members of
the Catlin Arctic Survey for example. They recently discovered that
there were indeed cracks in everything. But those cracks nearly let more
than just the light in.
Ann Daniels is the leader of the Catlin Arctic Survey expedition. We
reached Ms. Daniels -- or "Arctic Annie" as she's sometimes known -- by
satellite phone from the Arctic.
|COCO, PT 1/PAROV STELAR|
|PAROV STELAR|| - ||COMPOSER|
|PAROV STELAR|| - ||PERFORMER|
There is a myth that birth rates go up after blackouts. This myth
seems to have been created by none other than the New York Times, which
published several articles, about nine months after the 1965 blackout,
claiming that an unusual number of babies were arriving. It wasn't true
-- the slight increase in births was just a normal fluctuation. But the
myth took root. Probably because we like to believe that, in extremis,
people band together in a celebration of the indomitability of the human
spirit. And that they do it naked.
Time and again, it has been proven that that's not the case. And
what's especially shaming about it is that there's another species that
does bravely and erotically rage against the dying of the light. It's
In February, the city of Nyköping, Sweden, held the country's premier
rabbit show. One-thousand, six-hundred-and-forty-eight fancy rabbits
were on display, and competing for various prizes of leporine
excellence. Well, the rabbits weren't actively competing. They were just
sitting there. Which did not stand them in good stead when the roof of
the Rosvalla tennis hall collapsed under the weight of snow.
Since the collapse happened at 1:30 in the morning, no humans were
injured. And it's not clear how many rabbits were lost. But it is clear
that the rabbits who survived refused to succumb to sorrow. It's clear
now, at least -- because dozens of breeders who were at the show are
finding themselves with a whole lot of rabbit babies on their hands.
Babies that are the progeny of various exotic purebreds, conceived in
defiance of danger.
According to one breeder, "They made new friends and they became a bit aroused by the incident."
Now, rabbits have a reputation for this kind of thing. But we can draw
two surprising conclusions from this story. First, that rabbits would
really enjoy the movie "Crash". The car-accident one, not the racism
one. And second, that humans could learn a thing or two about rising to
the occasion from rabbits. Because when a real emergency hit, they
didn't just give up. Instead, they jumped to a different conclusion.
And now, The Sadies, with "Lil Cottontail".
|BLOODSHOT, BS 034|
|MIKE BELITSKY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SEAN DEAN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DALLAS GOOD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TRAVIS GOOD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SADIES || - ||POP GROUP|
|SONY BMG, 88697080032|
|MARK RONSON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MARK RONSON|| - ||INSTRUMENTALS|
|MARK RONSON|| - ||PRODUCER|
People say all kinds of things on the Internet that they'd never say
to a person's face, or in any other public place. There's something
positively luxurious about mouthing off under a veil of anonymity.
Tomorrow, a lawyer plans to ask the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to strip
away that veil. Her clients -- the Chief and Deputy Chief of the
Halifax Fire Department -- believe they've been defamed on a newspaper
website. And their lawyer says she can't file a defamation suit until
she has the names of the people who said nasty things about her clients.
We reached Michelle Awad in Halifax.
|THE KORA RECORDS|
|FREDRICK || - ||COMPOSER|
|FREDRICK || - ||POP GROUP|
A lion in Quebec's labour movement has died. Michel Chartrand has passed away, at the age of ninety-three.
Michel Chartrand made a name for himself as a separatist, and as a
fighter for a range of social and political causes. A natural leader and
talented orator, with a history of volatile outbursts, Mr. Chartrand
spent much of the last century trying to make Quebec a more just
society. For his efforts, he was beloved by the public, and feared by
He was born in Montreal
in December of 1916, the thirteenth of fourteen children. In 1998, at
the age of eighty-one, he ran as an independent candidate for the Quebec
legislature against Premier Lucien Bouchard.
At that time, he was featured in a documentary produced by Luanna
Boulanger, which aired in November of that year. Here is an excerpt of
|ROLAND VOSS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|LEMONGRASS || - ||PERFORMER|
There is strong competition between Australia and New Zealand. For
decades, Aussies and Kiwis have fought fiercely over bragging rights in
cricket and rugby? and don't get them started on the origins of the
ANZAC biscuit. But what is perhaps less well-known is the effect that
the common apple has had on the two countries' relations.
Since 1921, Australia has banned the import of New Zealand's apples. But that may all be about to change.
Ian Palmer owns an apple orchard in New Zealand, and is also the chair
of the country's "pipfruit" industry board of directors. We reached Mr.
Palmer in Motueka, New Zealand.
|SOUNDTRACK/CREAKING TREE STRING QUARTET|
|CUSTOM, ABJ 0303|
|ANDREW COLLINS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BRIAN KOBAYAKAWA|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CREAKING TREE STRING QUARTET || - ||INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE|
|BILL VORNDICK|| - ||PRODUCER|
You might think that a massive collection of banana-themed novelties
would have limited a-peel -- that its only purpose might be to serve as
the butt of a lot of banana puns. And it was beginning to seem that way
to Ken Bannister, the founder of the International Banana Musuem.
Mr. Bannister told As It Happens a few weeks ago about how he'd been
kicked out of his museum space in Hesperia, California. So he decided it
was finally time for he and his bananas to split up. And he was having
difficulty finding a buyer. Until now.
We reached the new owner of the International Banana Museum, Fred Garbutt, in La Quinta, California.
You're listening to a Somali love song .... And until recently, that
song was regularly played on Somali radio stations. But you won't hear
it today. Because the sound of music has been silenced on Somali
The Islamist insurgents of Hizbul-Islam control huge parts of Somalia,
and are in an on-going battle for power with the Somali governments.
They've taken a page out the Afghani Taliban songbook, and deemed music
It's just the latest of the irritating rules the militants have put
into place in Somalia -- including banning movies and soccer, and
forcing men to grow beards.
The order to ban music from radio stations was issued ten days ago,
and all but two of Mogadishu's fifteen radio stations have submitted to
the demand -- because choosing not to do so could put their employees
lives at risk. A government-controlled station, and a U.N. station based
in Kenya are the two non-compliers.
But one station has decided that if they can't play music, then it
will play other sounds instead. The station is called "Tusmo", and DJs
there have taken to playing birds chirping, street sounds, and traffic,
as well as gunfire, to link between programs and news.
And since we're not going to do that any time in the near future, this
is your only chance to hear it: from Somali radio station "Tusmo",
here's our Sound of the Day:
Ah, the sweet melodious sound of guns being fired in Somalia - our Sound of the Day.
You know what? Music's better. So here's Somali singer Maryam Mursal performing the song "Somalia, Don't Shame Yourself."
|AFRICA FETE '98|
|ISLAND, 314-524 517-2|
|YUSUF ADEN|| - ||WRITER|
|ABDI KADER HASSAN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SOREN KJAER JENSEN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MARYAM MURSAL|| - ||SINGING|