*Radio 2 Ads. Canada's national broadcasting regulator rules that CBC Radio 2 can air commercials.
*Peace Bridge War. A Canada-US war of words over the bridge between Ontario and New York.
*Detroit Coke Pile. A mountain of industrial waste from Alberta's oilsands piles up in the Eastern US.
*SNC Lavalin Cleanup. Temporary amnesty is being offered to employees who blow the whistle in the scandal-plagued company.
*Syria Arms. The European Union lifts an arms embargo, opening the way for Western military aid to the rebels.
*Arthur Porter. The latest in the complicated case of the man arrested in Panama and wanted in Canada for fraud.
Less music to your ears. The CRTC says CBC Radio Two will be allowed to feature four minutes of ads per hour -- and CBC President Hubert Lacroix delivers his message about those messages.
Not everything goes better with coke. I'm talking about petroleum coke, a byproduct of Canadian oil sands oil -- which is currently piling up along the shores of the Detroit River, and generating controversy.
A single crossing, and double-crossing. The Peace Bridge between Buffalo, New York and Fort Erie, Ontario is a symbol of international cooperation -- or it was, until the nasty accusations began.
A post-modern approach to surveillance -- emphasis on "post". Canada's Privacy Commissioner says the federal government violated Cindy Blackstock's rights by monitoring her Facebook page.
Search your soul and clear your conscience -- limited time only. After all the accusations of corruption, SNC Lavalin institutes a policy of amnesty for employees who want to blow the whistle -- but that policy expires in three months.
And...let he who is without sin cast the first scone. That's right, I said "scone" -- which prompted many of you to pronounce my pronunciation wrong, and to make fierce avowals about a vowel.
As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that's sticking with "scone" over "scawn" -- and that's the long and the short of it.
Our first interview is brought to you by the letters C-R-T and C.
Today, the body that oversees broadcasting in Canada ruled that both CBC's radio music channels could air commercials. C-B-C Radio Two and L'Espace Musique will be allowed to play up to four minutes of ads per hour of broadcasting. This is considerably less, however, than what C-B-C had originally sought, as the broadcaster seeks new forms of revenue in an era of funding cuts.
Hubert Lacroix is the president of the C-B-C. We reached him in Montreal.
|GENUINE NEGRO JIG/CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS|
|ETTA BAKER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS || - ||FOLK GROUP|
|JOE HENRY|| - ||PRODUCER|
The Peace Bridge runs between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York. And while the 1,100-metre structure still stands strong under the millions of cars and trucks that pass over each year, it seems the "peace" aspect of the bridge has collapsed.
George Maziarz is a New York state Senator. We reached Senator Maziarz in Syracuse, to learn more about the war of words that has erupted between the U.S. and Canadian officials who oversee the Peace Bridge.
|BEAUTIES || - ||COMPOSER|
|PAUL PFISTERER|| - ||WRITER|
|BEAUTIES || - ||ENS IN-V|
The government of Canada is no friend of Cindy Blackstock. But that didn't stop federal officials from monitoring the First Nations activist on Facebook -- a move that the Privacy Commissioner now says violated her rights.
The government surveillance on Facebook, and other social media sites, began after Ms. Blackstock launched a complaint against Ottawa with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. It argues that federal funding for child welfare discriminates against First Nations children.
Cindy Blackstock is the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. We reached her in Ottawa.
|JORDAN OFFICER/OFFICER, JORDAN|
|JORDAN OFFICER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|STEPHEN BARRY|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|MICHAEL JEROME BROWNE|| - ||GUITAR|
|BILL GOSSAGE|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|JORDAN OFFICER|| - ||GUITAR|
|JORDAN OFFICER|| - ||ORIGINATOR|
|JORDAN OFFICER|| - ||PRODUCER|
|YVON PLOUFFE|| - ||DRUMS|
Well, we always thought the jam or cream first debate was the most contentious issue when it came to cream tea. But then I said a certain word a certain way -- and some of you spat your tea all over your doilies.
Last night, we continued the story the fight between the English counties of Devon and Cornwall fight over whether jam or clotted Cream should be put first on a particular pastry. Cornwall says jam; Devon says cream.
And then you had your say about that debate, and the pronunciation of said pastry: the scone, or "scawn".
Thank you for your messages. Well, unlike your calls, the email you sent was much more united on the correct pronunciation of "scone". And what's more, you agreed with me.
Benton Mischuk from Victoria said "It's 'scone' as in 'gone', not 'scone' as in 'bone'!". A Mister or Ms. Wahl from Vancouver wrote, "Hey Jeff, rhymes with 'gone'...a well-made one needs nothing on". And Cilla Bachop, of Tsawassen, BC wrote:
"I felt a wave of nausea when hearing Jeff pronounce the word 'scone'…No, Jeff, it isn't how you pronounced it! However, sweet Carol got it right."
What a lovely email, and so exquisitely well-written. Thank you all for your messages.Yes, thanks for nothing. If there is anything you hear on the show you want to tell us about, our toll-free Talkback number is 1-866-481-5718. Our email is email@example.com, or you can visit our website and click on "Contact". Our Twitter handle is cbcasithappens.
Oh, and by the way: it is "scone".
It's massive, it's dirty, and it comes from Canada.
Recently, the Detroit waterfront has become home to an ever-growing pile of an oil refining byproduct known as "petroleum coke". Bitumen from the Alberta oil sands created the giant waste mountain. And it's more than just an eyesore.
Today, politicians and local residents raised concerns that the pile may pose risks to health and the environment.
Gary Peters is a Democratic congressman representing Michigan's 14th district. We reached him in Detroit.
|GUIDED BY VOICES: DO THE COLLAPSE|
|ROBERT POLLARD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ROBERT POLLARD|| - ||WRITER|
|GUIDED BY VOICES || - ||ENS IN-V|
The Opposition found his absence questionable -- and today, the Opposition found his presence questionable too.
Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was back in Question Period. It was his first appearance since his Chief of Staff was forced to resign for paying off Mike Duffy's bad expense claims. And the opposition welcomed him...with an inquisition.
Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair had the Prime Minister looking exhausted with a long series of short, prosecutorial questions about what the Prime Minister knew and when he knew it. Then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau took his turn, for the record.
|DAN MANGAN: NICE, NICE, VERY NICE|
|DAN MANGAN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DAN MANGAN|| - ||WRITER|
|DAN MANGAN|| - ||SINGING|
Something rotten inside your corporate head office? Andreas Pohlman will get the stink out.
He's the lawyer who was hired by the German tech behemoth Siemens after its executives were implicated in a series of bribes-for-contracts scandals from Italy to Argentina. Now Mr. Pohlman is three months into his new project: resuscitating the corruption-corroded reputation of Canada's very own SNC Lavalin.
Yesterday, Mr. Pohlman announced that SNC would grant a three-month amnesty to protect employees willing to blow the whistle on bribes or other misdeeds at SNC.
We reached Andreas Pohlman in Frankfurt.
|OUTSIDE, 23339 9059 2|
|MIKE BELITSKY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SEAN DEAN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DALLAS GOOD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TRAVIS GOOD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|GARY LOURIS|| - ||PRODUCER|
|SADIES || - ||POP GROUP|
|SADIES || - ||PRODUCER|
A month ago, it was on the edge of implosion. But now, there are reports that extremist far-right group, the English Defence League -- also known as the EDL -- is mobilizing again.
The group is capitalizing on the death of soldier Lee Rigby, who was killed in London last week. And yesterday, more than a thousand EDL supporters gathered in the British capital to spread their far-right, anti-Islam message.
Well, one group is squaring up to the extremists. But its members aren't using violence. Their weapons are bellbottoms, the mirrorball, and a clever bit of word play.
The English Disco Lovers -- also also known as the EDL -- are hoping to reclaim those three letters from the far right. And their mandate is clear. Quote:
"We want to outrank The English Defence League when 'EDL' is searched on Google, as well as accumulating more likes than them on Facebook and more followers on Twitter...By subverting their hatred with humour, we aim to show them for what they really are -- racist, violent and the type you wouldn't invite to your disco!"
Well, in tribute to the English Disco Lovers -- the real EDL -- here is some of England's finest disco: Hot Chocolate with their 1975 hit, "You Sexy Thing". Have a boogie against bigotry.
|SEVENTIES DISCO BALL, VOL. 2|
|RHINO, R2 75215|
|ERROL BROWN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ANTHONY WILSON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|HOT CHOCOLATE || - ||POP GROUP|
Back in February, we told you about a family who had left their home in Peace Country, Alberta, because they believed the effects of a novel form of extracting bitumen was causing them harm. Now, another family has announced it has done the same thing.
Thera Breau's is the sixth family to leave the area because of a form of drilling called Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand, or CHOPS. In the extraction process, heavy oil is pumped from the ground and stored in heated tanks, which produce emissions that form an aerosol-type plume. Even though there is no conclusive evidence linking the process to illness, the Alberta government in March took the unusual step of denying further requests for drilling until the emissions are drastically reduced or eliminated.
Thera Breau, however, said she's already had enough. Here's part of what she said to CBC Edmonton, for the record.
|LAGRIMAS MEXICANAS/FRISELL, BILL|
|VINICIUS CANTUARIA|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BILL FRISELL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|VINICIUS CANTUARIA|| - ||VOCALS|
|BILL FRISELL|| - ||GUITAR|
|LEE TOWNSEND|| - ||PRODUCER|
There is little hope left for a diplomatic solution in Syria. But now, the stakes could not be higher.
Today, the European Union lifted an arms embargo on the Syrian rebels, paving the way for military support from the UK and France. Yesterday, U.S. Senator John McCain held a surprise meeting with rebel leaders in northern Syria. Russia said it intends to ship its most advanced anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian government. And in response, Israel said it would strike Russian targets in Syria.
None of this would seem to bode well for a Syrian peace conference, being planned for next month in Geneva.
Molham Al-Drobi is with the opposition Syrian National Council. We reached him tonight in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
|OKTO ECHO/OKTO ECHO|
|KATIA MAKDISSI-WARREN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|KATIA MAKDISSI-WARREN|| - ||CONDUCTOR|
|OKTO ECHO || - ||FOLK GROUP|
|OKTO ECHO || - ||PRODUCER|
Since the factory building collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than one thousand people, Loblaw hasn't said a lot.
Workers at the factory were making -- among other brands -- the company's Joe Fresh clothing. Loblaw president Galen Weston Jr. spoke to the media about improving safety in the country earlier this month. But since then, the grocery chain's representatives haven't said much publicly -- until today.
This afternoon, on Parliament Hill, Loblaw senior vice-president Robert Chant appeared at the House of Commons Foreign Affairs committee. Here is part of what he had to say, in answer to questions from Liberal MP Bob Rae, for the record.
|JAMES GELFAND: CHILDREN'S STANDARDS|
|JOE RAPOSO|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MICHEL DONATO|| - ||CONTRABASS|
|JAMES GELFAND|| - ||ARRANGER|
|JAMES GELFAND|| - ||PIANO|
Recently, the New York Times published an article about a project by a New York-based artist in Kabul, Afghanistan. It involved volunteers handing out ten thousand pink balloons, and was intended to create, quote, "a stream of shared instances of unexpected happiness."
The article noted that this was not the first American project aimed at improving relations -- noting that, in 2011, American money funded an Afghan version of "Sesame Street".
Then, today, the Times was forced to issue the following embarrassing correction. Quote:
"An earlier version of this article misidentified the 'Sesame Street' character with whom Ryan C. Crocker, the former United States ambassador, was photographed in Kabul [in 2011]. It was Grover, not Cookie Monster."
|BARBRA STREISAND: MEMORIES|
|ALAN BERGMAN|| - ||WRITER|
|MARILYN BERGMAN|| - ||WRITER|
|MARVIN HAMLISCH|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BARBRA STREISAND|| - ||SINGING|
Like a rolling wheel of Double Gloucester, it's an event that just can't be stopped.
Every year since the eighteen-hundreds, Britons have gathered at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire, to chase a wheel of cheese down a hill. The winner is the first to grab the cheese.
Back in 2010, the famous competition was canceled over fears for the participants' safety. But the event went ahead anyway, without official sanction.
And this year, the cheese roll came under threat once again. This time, it was because of cheesemaker Diana Smart -- who was visited by police and warned that if she provided the cheese, she could be held liable for injuries.
But we are pleased to report that yesterday the famous cheese roll went ahead...without the cheese. Chasers instead went after a wheel made of foam.
Well, here on "As It Happens", we've chosen to chase cheese chasers, and put them on the radio year after year. And back in 2010, we put together a montage of some of those best cheese-chasing moments.
Here, is that montage -- with musical accompaniment that itself resembles fine cheese -- from our archives.
|SEDALIA RAGTIME ORCHESTRA/SEDALIA RAGTIME ORCHESTRA|
|ORIGIN JAZZ, OJL-2002|
|SCOTT JOPLIN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SEDALIA RAGTIME ORCHESTRA || - ||BAND|
It's a layover Arthur Porter probably wishes he'd never made.
Canadian authorities have been trying -- unsuccessfully -- to extradite Mr. Porter from the Bahamas. But he was arrested in Panama, where he'd stopped off on his way to Trinidad.
Arthur Porter is the former head of the one-point-three-billion-dollar McGill University Health Centre project in Montreal, and a former chairman of the committee that oversees Canada's spy agency.
He was arrested on a number of charges, including fraud and laundering the proceeds of a crime.
CBC reporter Terence McKenna has been closely following Arthur Porter's story and is one of the few journalists to have interviewed him after his relocation to the Bahamas. He's in Montreal.
|KEVIN PARKER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JAY WATSON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|KEVIN PARKER|| - ||PRODUCER|
|TAME IMPALA || - ||POP GROUP|
It's a double first for fans of British composer, Edward Elgar.
Recently, the British Library discovered two lost songs by Elgar in the composer's sketchbooks. The pieces -- "The Muleteer's Serenade", and "The Millwheel (Winter)" -- were known of, because Elgar's wife Alice wrote about them in her diary. But experts believed no copies of the songs existed.
Both compositions are due to be performed on for the first time -- at least, for a modern audience -- on Elgar's birthday, June second, at the Elgar Birthplace Museum. But BBC listeners have already had a sneak preview of the lost works.
Earlier today, soprano Bethan Waters performed the rediscovered song on BBC Radio 3. Well, for the record, here is that performance.
|THE MULETEER'S SERENADE|
|EDWARD ELGAR|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BETHAN WATERS|| - ||SOPRANO|