* Red Deer Oil Leak. Local residents are concerned after thousands of barrels of oil were leaked into a river.
* Fort Nelson Doctor Shortage. The northern B.C. town had to cancel maternity services because there aren't enough doctors.
* Charity Chill. The United Church responds to a Conservative Senator's comments about charities, funding and religion.
* Dave McKeough Obit. We pay tribute to the beloved Cape Breton guitarist and music teacher.
* Jun Lin Friend. A friend of Montreal murder victim Jun Lin opens up about the pressures he faced as a gay man in China.
* For the Record: Neil Young. The legendary musician speaks at BooksExpo America about growing up as the son of a writer.
The crack of doom. A leaking pipeline spills thousands of barrels of oil into Alberta's Red Deer River -- and residents worry where it's going to end up.
Church and state. After Senator Nicole Eaton questions the United Church's political activity, a United Church representative answers.
Disorganized labour. In Fort Nelson, B.C., there are so few doctors that the town's had to eliminate its maternity services.
Hold your horse. After winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown, thoroughbred "I'll Have Another" is scratched.
Local hero. Jimmy Rankin tells us about his friend and collaborator, the late guitarist Dave McKeough -- a man whose talents were known throughout Cape Breton.
And...striking a false note. You have to salute six-year-old Gannon Farley for using a highlighter to fabricate a note to get out of daycare -- but you also have to wonder why the school accepted it.
As It Happens, the Friday Edition. Radio that suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous forging.
They know there's been a leak. They don't yet know how much damage it will cause.
Today, Plains Midstream Canada announced that one of its oil pipelines had spilled well over a hundred thousand litres of crude oil into Jackson Creek. That's a tributary of the Red Deer River, near the community of Sundre, Alberta.
The leak is the second to hit the Red Deer River system in the past few years.
Last night's leak has been stopped but with the river running fast and wide, local residents are worried about where that oil will end up.
Chris Huhn is a farmer and rancher who owns several properties along the Red Deer River. We reached him at his home near Sundre.
|BILL FRISELL: DISFARMER|
|BILL FRISELL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BILL FRISELL|| - ||GUITARS|
|VIKTOR KRAUSS|| - ||CONTRABASS|
|GREG LEISZ|| - ||MANDOLIN|
|GREG LEISZ|| - ||STEEL GUITAR|
|JENNY SCHEINMAN|| - ||VIOLIN|
It's a problem that's plagued many communities across Canada. But in Fort Nelson, you could say the problem is acute.
The northern B-C town has had to cancel all its maternity services because there aren't enough doctors to safely deliver babies. This became clear in the last few weeks, when families have been forced to travel great distances to give birth -- and one baby was born in what's been called a very high-risk delivery.
Bill Streeper is the mayor of the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, which includes Fort Nelson. We reached him at his office.
|THAO & MIRAH/THAO & MIRAH|
|KILL ROCK STARS, KRS538|
|MIRAH ZEITLYN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MERRILL GARBUS|| - ||PRODUCER|
|THAO NGUYEN|| - ||PRODUCER|
|THAO & MIRAH || - ||POP GROUP|
|MIRAH ZEITLYN|| - ||PRODUCER|
Dateline: Middleboro, Massachusetts.Gannon Farley had had enough. So he wrote a note to his supervisor. It read as follows:
"Dery Mrs. Trottyry: Gannon is not going to the program."
Now, it's pretty clear that Gannon was not really following protocol here. For one thing, the note should have been addressed to Mrs. Trottier -- his supervisor's name -- rather than "Mrs. Trottyry". Furthermore, "Dear" is spelled "D-E-R-Y". And also, Gannon had hand-written his note with a yellow highlighter on finger-paint paper.
Nevertheless, his note worked, and Gannon left for the day. Which really concerned his mother -- because Gannon is six.
The "program" Gannon Farley was trying to not go to was his daycare program. And according to Amie Nay, Gannon's mother, a teacher -- possibly Mrs. Trottier -- found the misspelled, hand-scrawled note suspicious. So she sent Gannon to the office with it. And after calling an outdated cell number for Ms. Nay and leaving a message, a secretary cleared Gannon to not show up for daycare.
So he didn't.
At which point the daycare called a non-outdated cell number for his mother. She panicked. Couldn't find him anywhere. Until, eventually, he turned up at a neighbour's house, where he was eating a snack.
Obviously, Ms. Nay was displeased. That incident took place in December, but she's recently taken to Facebook to give the Middleboro School Department what-for. Largely because the secretary who accepted that fluorescent note still has a job -- albeit with another school.
Since the incident, the school district has overhauled its dismissal policy. And Gannon has evidently found some way to cope with the frustration that led him to write the note in the first place: which was that he was super-bored with the daycare's Lego, and wanted to go home and play Wii.
|SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN/THILE, CHRIS|
|BILL MONROE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MICHAEL DAVES|| - ||GUITAR|
|MICHAEL DAVES|| - ||PRODUCER|
|MICHAEL DAVES|| - ||VOCALS|
|CHRIS THILE|| - ||MANDOLIN|
|CHRIS THILE|| - ||PRODUCER|
|CHRIS THILE|| - ||VOCALS|
Dashed hopes for an unlikely dream.
I'll Have Another won't be racing in this weekend's Triple Crown. The Canadian-owned horse that was poised to win the Triple Crown this weekend has been retired because of a leg injury. It would have been the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
The injury brings to an end an unlikely fairy tale of a three-year-old thoroughbred and a twenty-five-year-old Mexican jockey named Mario Gutierrez -- who exploded onto the track to become near-rock-stars of the racing world.
Glen Todd is a Vancouver racehorse owner at Hastings Racecourse. He mentored Mario Gutierrez. We reached Mr. Todd in Vancouver.
|WORDS ARE DEAD/HORSE FEATHERS|
|LUCKY MADISON, LMD 35|
|PETER BRODERICK|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JUSTIN RINGLE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|HORSE FEATHERS || - ||POP GROUP|
We all have our ways to unwind. For example, a colleague of mine in Regina likes to surf YouTube. And while he was doing that, he came across another example of how to unwind.
It's a video of a young woman on a farm, under the big skies of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan.
Catherine Lewans was explaining to city folks how they were missing out on something that she had a passion for -- something that could only be done inside a steel grain bin.
We've made this perfect Prairie moment our Sound of the Day.
We're still hearing from listeners about an interview we ran on Tuesday with Conservative Senator Nicole Eaton.
The Senator had just completed an inquiry into foreign donations to Canadian charities. The hearings paid particular attention to money given to politically active environmental charities.
Now, Canadian charities are allowed to do political work. Ten per cent of their efforts can be dedicated to political work. Carol wanted to know how that rule should be applied. The Senator had something more controversial she wanted to discuss.
Mardi Tindal is the Moderator of the United Church of Canada. We reached her in Toronto..
Now, Ms. Tindal said that "government policy makes it possible for all kinds of voices to be heard in the public square." She may be right. But the government has clearly lost patience with offering taxpayer support to some of those voices. For the record, here's an exchange between David Aiken and the Prime Minister, yesterday in Paris.
|FINALLY WE ARE NO ONE/MUM|
|ORVAR POREYJARSON SMARASON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|GUNNAR ORN TYNES|| - ||COMPOSER|
|GYDA VALTYSDOTTIR|| - ||COMPOSER|
|KRISTIN ANNA VALTYSDOTTIR|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MUM || - ||POP GROUP|
Cape Breton is in mourning today for a beloved local musician.
Guitarist Dave McKeough was a favourite in the Cape Breton scene -- and he taught music at local schools. Last night he was killed in a highway accident, along with his wife.
As well being as being a huge part of the East Coast music scene, Dave McKeough also played with many great Canadian musicians, including Gordie Sampson, Matt Minglewood and country and folk music star Jimmy Rankin.
We reached Mr. Rankin at his home in Nashville, Tennessee.
|JIMMY RANKIN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JIMMY RANKIN|| - ||PERFORMER|
It was supposed to be a new start.
Jun Lin hoped to find a new life in Canada, where he could be openly gay and be happy. Instead, the Concordia University student was murdered less than a year after he arrived in Montreal.
Mr. Lin is the alleged victim of Luka Rocco Magnotta, who is now known around the world. But little is known about Jun Lin.
Ryan Liu was a friend of Mr. Lin. He is also Chinese and gay. We reached Ryan Liu in Montreal.
|DAYS OF THE YEAR|
|HIGH MOUNTAIN, 000020|
|ADRIAN CARR|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ADRIAN CARR|| - ||PIANO|
Two days after disturbing reports of another massacre in Syria, United Nations monitors have finally reached the scene.
Yesterday, the monitors were shot at, and eventually turned away from the site of the alleged massacre in a village called al-Qubeir.
Joergen Lohne is the Middle East correspondent for Norway's Aftenposten newspaper. He is one of the few journalists who also managed to reach al-Qubeir earlier today. This evening, he was in Damascus.
|ASTOUNDING EYES OF RITA/BRAHEM, ANOUAR|
|ANOUAR BRAHEM|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ANOUAR BRAHEM|| - ||OUD|
|MANFRED EICHER|| - ||PRODUCER|
|KLAUS GESING|| - ||BASS CLARINET|
|BJORN MEYER|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|KHALED YASSINE|| - ||DARABUKA|
To many Canadians, British writer Barry Unsworth is best known as the co-winner of the 1992 Booker Prize.
The other winner that year was Canada's Michael Ondaatje, for his novel The English Patient. Mr. Unsworth co-won for his novel Sacred Hunger, which is about the eighteenth-century slave trade.
The novel is widely considered to be his greatest work.
Mr. Unsworth died on Tuesday in Italy. He was eighty-one.
As a writer of historical fiction, his books involved a lot of research. But they also focused heavily on moral themes. In 1996, Barry Unsworth was a guest on the CBC Radio program Writers & Company.
Here's part of his conversation with host Eleanor Wachtel, from our archives.
|THE KORA RECORDS|
|FREDRICK || - ||COMPOSER|
|FREDRICK || - ||POP GROUP|
Some view him as a type of Robin Hood figure. Others view him as just a hood.
Today, a New York Federal District Court sentenced Christopher "Dudus" Coke to twenty-three years in prison on charges of gun- and drug-running. This comes two years after a fierce battle in Kingston, Jamaica, where Mr. Coke lived. Jamaican security forces tried to take Mr. Coke into custody after the U.S. government requested his extradition. Mr. Coke had a veritable army behind him, which fought off security forces in a gun battle that lasted for two days.
Mr. Coke was eventually captured at a roadblock and sent to the U.S.
Nick Davis is a journalist with the BBC. He's been covering the reaction to Mr. Coke's sentence. We reached him in Kingston.
|RE-BOP: THE SAVOY REMIXES|
|DIZZY GILLESPIE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DJ SMASH || - ||PRODUCER|
It's rare for Neil Young and Patti Smith to take to the stage, sit down...and chat.
But that's exactly what they did earlier this week, at BookExpo America, an annual book trade fair held in New York.
Both artists have new albums out. For Neil Young, it's a collection of reinvented folk and pop songs, with Crazy Horse, called Americana. For Patti Smith, it's a collection called "Banga", which includes a cover of Young's "After the Gold Rush". But as you might've guessed, the focus of this discussion was books. Neil Young's new memoir, "Waging Heavy Peace", is due this fall; and Ms. Smith won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2010 for her book, "Just Kids".
Of course, Neil Young grew up in a writer's household. His father, celebrated sportswriter and author Scott Young, published more than forty books in his lifetime.
Onstage in New York, Mr. Young shared an anecdote onstage with Ms. Smith about growing up as the son of a writer. Here's part of their conversation.
|NEIL YOUNG WITH CRAZY HORSE: AMERICANA|
|ANONYME 19E SIECLE ETATS-UNIS || - ||COMPOSER|
|ANONYME 19E SIECLE ETATS-UNIS || - ||WRITER|
|NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE || - ||ENS IN-V|
That brings us to the end of As It Happens for this Friday, May 18th and for this week.
The show was produced this week by Laurie Allan, Ben Edwards, Diane Eros, Daemon Fairless...
... Natasha Fatah, Adam Killick, David McDougall, Kevin Robertson and Kate Swoger. Our technician is Reynold Gonsalves. The show director is Kevin Ball. Our writer is Chris Howden. Our intern is Asher Greenberg.
The senior producer is John Perry. The Executive Producer of As It Happens is Robin Smythe.
And we'd also like to thank some other people who helped us out this week: Marie Wadden in St. John's, Mary Lynk in Halifax, Susan Mackenzie in Montreal, Alison Crawford in Ottawa, Barb Carey in Toronto, Davorin Cikovic and Keith Hart at Radio Archives in Toronto, Sean Prpick in Regina, Gillian Rutherford in Edmonton, and Yvonne Gall in Vancouver and Brady Strachan in Kelowna.
As It Happens will be back again on Monday.Have a good weekend.