Well, at least the shoes are new. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty presents a stay-the-course budget with a few cuts and little spending.
He brought down more than the budget. The NDP had its own wish list, which included stimulus spending -- and as we hear from Finance Critic Peggy Nash, she remains unstimulated.
A real person who doesn't want to be a real character. After a raid by Canadian Border Services agents is filmed by a reality-TV crew, one worker caught on camera files a complaint.
A rant recanted. Six months ago, Sun News host Ezra Levant delivered a diatribe about Roma people, and now he's belatedly apologized -- but not everyone is buying it.
Scientists to truckers: we've just discovered what helps you stay alert, which prevents accidents -- it's coffee! Truckers to scientists: that's a duh, good buddies.
And...she'll get through winter in one piece -- and in a one-piece. When it's freezing and snowing in Brandon, Manitoba, one grandmother starts a flurry of activity -- posting defiant videos of herself outside in just a bathing suit and hat.
As It Happens, the Thursday edition. Radio that figures it's no walk in the parka.
Skills. Infrastructure. Jobs. Today Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled the 2013 federal budget in Ottawa, and those are the budget keywords you'll be hearing for the weeks and months to come.
Last year's budget included more than five billion dollars in cuts, so by comparison, this year's document is a bit toned down. In fact, there's very little that's new at all.
Which is disappointing to the Official Opposition. The NDP had its own proposals for the budget, which they've coined "real things for real people."
Peggy Nash is the NDP Finance Critic and the MP for Parkdale-High Park. She's in Ottawa.
|ONSU: THE OTHER SIDE/NAVAZ|
|NEDA JALALI|| - ||ADAPTOR/LYRICIST|
|RUMI || - ||AUTHOR|
|ERIC TOMPKINS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|NEDA JALALI|| - ||VOCALS|
|NAOMI KAVKA|| - ||CELLO|
|NAVAZ || - ||FOLK GROUP|
|ALI RAZMI|| - ||SETAR|
|ERIC TOMPKINS|| - ||GUITAR|
|ERIC TOMPKINS|| - ||PRODUCER|
Talkback knows its supposed to speak softly in the library.
Yesterday, though, we heard about a new code of conduct Library and Archives of Canada has imposed on its staff. The code lists what it calls high-risk activities that archivists and librarians shouldn't engage in, even on their own time, without the OK from their managers. Those activities include: attending a conference, speaking in public, or...entering a classroom.
Word of the new code had the librarians getting loud.
|JOSHUA VAN TASSEL/VAN TASSEL, JOSHUA|
|JOSHUA VAN TASSEL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JOSHUA VAN TASSEL|| - ||GUITAR|
|JOSHUA VAN TASSEL|| - ||PRODUCER|
Today was a very big day for the Church of England.
For the first time, a woman enthroned the new Archbishop of Canterbury, in a ceremony that included African dancers and Punjabi music. And now, Justin Welby is the one-hundred and fifth Archbishop -- and the leader of about seventy-seven million Anglicans worldwide.
But despite the diversity on display at the ceremony, issues of equality for gays and lesbians, and recognizing same-sex unions, remain unresolved.
That prompted one gay-rights activist to write an open letter to the new Archbishop.
Peter Tatchell is a long-time campaigner with the gay rights group OutRage. We reached him at his home in London, England.
|NOBLE BEAST/BIRD, ANDREW|
|FAT POSSUM, FP1124-2|
|ANDREW BIRD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ANDREW BIRD|| - ||PRODUCER|
|ANDREW BIRD|| - ||VOCALS|
This has been a long, cold winter for residents of Brandon, Manitoba. Most days, when residents look out the window, they see the same, dispiriting thing: a blanket of crusty snow.
But some days, when some residents look out the window, they see something unusual, and unusually encouraging: a woman in a bathing suit and a trapper's hat.
Her name is Kim Bright. And last month, when her friends were away on sunny vacations, she thought she would let them know how things were going back home by taking a video of herself out for a bike ride...in her bathing suit.
The joke went over so well that, since then, Kim and her son have recorded eight more videos, in a series they're calling "Canadian Granny Defies Winter".
We reached Kim Bright in snowy Brandon, Manitoba.
|CLUCK OLD HEN/FAFARD, JOEL|
|TRADITIONAL || - ||COMPOSER|
|JOEL FAFARD|| - ||PRODUCER|
|JOEL FAFARD|| - ||VOCALS|
There's nothing like the feeling of hitting the road from The Peg to The Swamp, on a clean shot, in a classy chassis with a big payload, and putting the hammer down 'cause there's not a Smokey in sight.
I mean, I guess there isn't. I only understand about thirty per cent of what I just said. Truth is, everything I know about trucking I learned from this song.
And since that song -- "Convoy", by C.W. McCall -- came out in 1975, I'm probably not up on the latest developments in trucker slang. But I know one thing hasn't ever changed among the folks who drive the big rigs: their bottomless thirst for forty-weight. Mud. Both of which are probably outdated trucker terms for coffee.
Now, before you get on the highway and hit double nickels, it's customary to pull over for a little motion lotion, and hit the bean store for some joe.
And now, Australian scientists have made a bold assertion about coffee and truckers. They say long-haul truckers who drink coffee have fewer accidents than those who don't.
Apparently, they compared the driving records of those who consume caffeine and those who don't. And they found that those who'd pounded back some hot stuff were sixty-three per cent less likely to have a crack-'em-up than those who hadn't.
Also napping helps.
The British Medical Journal added another bombshell to these startling conclusions. According to the BMJ, caffeinated beverages reduce the risk of crashes because -- are you ready for this? -- they boost alertness.
Now that is what a trucker might call a "fog lifter".
So breaker breaker, everybody: coffee helps you stay sharp and awake. So if any of you cowboys are considering a caffeine-free drink before you gouge on it -- that's a negatory, good buddy.
Just a quick aside here to the actual truckers out there: I'm so, so sorry.
And now, from somewhere in Ontario, here are the Orton Yahoos, with their 1977 song, "Trucker".
|THE GREAT CANADIAN TRAGEDY|
|PETER MCBURNEY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|THE ORTON YAHOOS || - ||POP GROUP|
It's been called a reckless PR stunt, exploitative -- and now, a breach of the Federal Privacy Act.
On March thirteenth, a reality-TV crew was allowed to tag along during a raid of a Vancouver construction site by Canada Border Services agents. The crew filmed alleged illegal workers being detained and arrested.
Today, the BC Civil Liberties Association filed a formal complaint on behalf of one worker, saying that his rights were violated.
Josh Paterson is the Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association. We reached him in Vancouver.
|SEE MYSTERY LIGHTS/YACHT|
|JONA BECHTOTT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|YACHT || - ||POP GROUP|
Stories of professional athletes who squander their fortunes are all too common.
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson spent his millions on pet tigers, expensive houses, and a costly divorce. Former NBA all-star Allen Iverson had his four-point-five-million-dollar home foreclosed on, after reportedly spending three-hundred-and-sixty thousand dollars a month on jewelry, clothes and nights on the town. And World Series hero Curt Schilling owes a hundred-and-fifty million dollars against just twenty-one million dollars in assets, after his video game company filed for bankruptcy last year. Just for example.
But some athletes take the off-season to prepare for their off-field career.
Brian Hartline is a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. Last week, the twenty-six-year old signed a five-year contract extension worth more than thirty million dollars.
But Mr. Hartline also has an off-season job.
Yesterday, he shocked Miami radio hosts Dan LeBatard and Jon Weiner by revealing that he and a friend own and operate a drive-through convenience store.
Brian Hartline was speaking from the store outside Columbus, Ohio. Here is part of their conversation.
|GEOFF MULDAUR AND THE TEXAS SHEIKS|
|TRADITION & MODERNE, T&M 045|
|TRADITIONAL || - ||COMPOSER|
|BRUCE HUGHES|| - ||PRODUCER|
|GEOFF MULDAUR|| - ||PRODUCER|
|GEOFF MULDAUR|| - ||VOCALS|
|TEXAS SHEIKS || - ||FOLK GROUP|
It may be too little, too late.
Last October, we told you about a Toronto police investigation based on complaints made by members of Canada's Roma community against broadcaster Ezra Levant.
The complaints were about on-air comments made by Mr. Levant on his Sun News Network show called "The Source", in September of last year.
The segment in question was titled: "The Jew vs. The Gypsies".
Now -- six months later -- Mr. Levant says he's sorry for those remarks. Here is part of the on-air apology issued this week by Mr. Levant:
Gina Csanyi-Robah is one of those who'd been calling for the police investigation. She's the executive director of the Roma Community Centre of Toronto. And she's in Toronto.
|ACOUSTIC EP/JUDGEMENT DAY|
|JUDGEMENT DAY || - ||COMPOSER|
|JUDGEMENT DAY || - ||STRING TRIO|
Everyone's had those conversations, where a friend or colleague is trying to explain a subject that you just don't understand. You nod and occasionally say, "Uh-huh", but all you really want is for someone to explain it to you like you're five years old.
This week, the people behind the popular Web site Reddit has launched a video series called "Explain Like I'm Five" on YouTube, where they try to do just that -- using actual five-year-olds.
The first three videos were uploaded earlier this week -- including this attempt to explain the teachings of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
|FUZZBOX/THE SECTION QUARTET|
|ROBERT DEL NAJA|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ELIZABETH FRASER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|GRANTLEY MARSHALL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MUSHROOM || - ||COMPOSER|
|THE SECTION QUARTET || - ||STRING QUARTET|
What makes a man wanted for war crimes turn himself in?
That was one of the questions going through the minds of shocked officials at the U.S. embassy in Kigali, Rwanda earlier this week.
On Monday, Bosco Ntaganda, a former general wanted for crimes during the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, walked into the embassy and surrendered himself. And he asked authorities there to send him to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Mr. Ntaganda was most recently involved in the M-23 rebellion in the eastern Congo.
Jason Stearns is a writer and former human rights worker in the DRC. In 2008, he led a special UN investigation into the violence that has torn the Congo apart, and the role of armed groups in the conflict. We reached him in Nairobi, Kenya.
|GUIDED BY VOICES: DO THE COLLAPSE|
|ROBERT POLLARD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ROBERT POLLARD|| - ||WRITER|
|GUIDED BY VOICES || - ||ENS IN-V|
March nineteenth, two-thousand-and-twelve. The day New Zealanders gathered, trembling, around their radios to hear those words, spoken by Pierre van Heerden, the president of Sanitarium Marmite. The day that the reality of Marmageddon really sunk in.
In 2011, the only factory that makes Marmite the New Zealand way was damaged by the Christchurch earthquake. It was forced to close -- and over time, Marmite slowly disappeared from store shelves. By the time Mr. van Heerden addressed the nation, stocks were severely depleted. People were, indeed, "freaking out". But as you heard, Sanitarium Marmite swore the spreading shortage would end.
Somehow, New Zealanders lived through more than year by applying just a barely perceptible layer of their remaining Marmite rations to a piece of toast, sometimes only once a day. If you call that living.
But now, their long national nightmare is over. As of today, Marmite is back on the shelves.
Now, there are some in New Zealand who argued that the manufacturing crisis became a manufactured crisis. And there are also those who raced out to replenish their Marmite, and are now complaining that it doesn't taste right. Which, let's be honest, is a pretty common complaint about Marmite.
But let's not spoil the occasion, fake or not. Marmite is back in New Zealand. Let's all raise a toast. Or rather, some toast.
|ATTICA BLUES/ATTICA BLUES|
|D'AFRO || - ||COMPOSER|
|ROBA EL-ESSAWY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TONY NWACHUKWU|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ATTICA BLUES || - ||POP GROUP|
Some would say that poetry should be a part of every day. For a lucky few, it is. For the rest of us, there is today -- World Poetry Day.
To mark the occasion, we thought a few words from Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney were in order.
Last June, after being awarded a Lifetime Recognition Award by the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Mr. Heaney spoke with As It Happens guest host Rick MacInnes-Rae -- and read one of his poems.
Here, again, is that conversation.
|I FOUND YOUR FACES OF MONTREAL/YOU ARE MY SYMPHONIC|
|VISHAL KASSIE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|VISHAL KASSIE|| - ||PRODUCER|
|YOU ARE MY SYMPHONIC || - ||POP GROUP|
The situation in Bulgaria is desperate -- and it just keeps getting worse.
Across the country, people continue to take to the streets to protest the cripplingly high cost of electricity, state corruption, and low incomes.
Just over two weeks ago, "As It Happens" spoke with a local reporter about three people who set themselves on fire in protest. Now, a total of six people have self-immolated. Three of them are dead.
Slaveyko Yordanov is a protest organizer in the city of Burgas. That's where we reached him.
|WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE... THERE'LL BE A LOT MORE SAID THAN DONE/JIMMY SWIFT BAND|
|CUSTOM, BMR 101119|
|AARON COLLIER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MIKE MACDOUGALL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CRAIG MERCER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|NICK WOMBOLT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|AARON COLLIER|| - ||ELECTRONIC APPARATUS|
|AARON COLLIER|| - ||KEYBOARDS|
|AARON COLLIER|| - ||PRODUCER|
|JIMMY SWIFT BAND || - ||POP GROUP|
|MIKE MACDOUGALL|| - ||ELECTRIC BASS|
|CRAIG MERCER|| - ||ELECTRIC GUITAR|
|CRAIG MERCER|| - ||ELECTRONIC APPARATUS|
|CRAIG MERCER|| - ||VOCALS|
|NICK WOMBOLT|| - ||DRUMS|
It ain't easy being white and speckled.
On Tuesday, we heard about Pie, a rare, piebald Anna's hummingbird that's taken to hovering around a Victoria suburb.
"Piebald" refers to Pie's pigmentation. She has an albino-like, or "leucistic" abnormality that makes her mostly white with gorgeous coloured spots.
The interview had listeners writing in with their own memories of birds both beautiful...and brutal.
This came from Deb Maike from down in Mexico:
"A few years ago, in Cowichan Bay, I had a resident family of sparrows that produced one absolutely white offspring. I first had trouble determining if it was a finch or a sparrow. Both both lived in the same hedge and produced progeny at the same time. However, fights with finches and amiability with sparrows determined the parentage. I was able to get a couple of photos but the local bird man sat for four hours and was just packing up when it flew from the hedge. Eh bien!
"While your bird man in Victoria ended on a happy note the reality is that leucistic birds are short-lived as they are an instant mark for raptors. I enjoyed the beauty of 'my'' bird for only a couple of weeks before it disappeared. Now, I only have a couple of photos, and a wonderful memory."
Thanks for that Deb. We've put a couple of Deb's photos of her dearly departed sparrows up on our Facebook page.
Now the Victoria birder we spoke to about the hummingbird is named Eric Pittman. He mentioned that it was an "As It Happens" interview about the tail-whistling mating habits of Anna's hummingbirds that eventually led him to Pie.
From our archives, this is part of that very interview -- Carol speaking with with Christopher Clark of the University of California, Berkeley back in June, 2009.
From our archives that was University of California birdman Christopher Clark in June, 2009.
And if you're wonder about that tailfeather sound -- the one that makes the humming bird ladies wild -- here it is.
Missed that? Listen close. He's coming in for another pass.
That is the sound of a male Anna's hummingbird, working his high-velocity tailfeather magic...to turn some lucky lady bird on.