Death before deportation. Canadian Border Services comes under fire, after a woman hangs herself in a holding facility in Vancouver, rather than be forced to return to Mexico.
EI, EI, oh. The Finance Minister is expected to announce an elimination of the deficit in next month's budget -- but the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says he's doing it on the backs of Canadian workers via surplus Employment Insurance payments.
Boost or bust. Ontario's Labour Minister tells us about her plan to raise minimum wage and peg it to inflation -- which critics believe is a too-small step in the right direction.
Illuminating the darkness. Last night, George Smitherman told us about his late husband's struggle with depression -- and tonight, you express your gratitude that he did.
They've stopped the gravy train -- and everyone's climbing aboard. Montreal invites other cities to enjoy an entire week dedicated to poutine in all its forms -- and for gourmands, home is where the heartburn is.
And...in a speaking of manor. For the price of a broom closet with a sink and a hotplate in Vancouver, you can buy your very own castle in Moncton, New Brunswick -- although it needs a little work, and looks haunted.
She was alone in an airport detention centre and on the verge of being deported. And for Lucia Vega Jimenez, the pressure may have been too much.
The 42-year-old Mexican woman was found hanging in a shower in a holding cell at the Vancouver International Airport in December. Ms. Jimenez was in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency and was sent to Mount St. Joseph Hospital, where she died on December 28th.
Now, a month later, the news of her death has become public knowledge through media reports. And that has many in Vancouver asking questions about how this could happen under the border agency's watch.
Father Eduardo Quintero read Lucia Jimenez her last rites before she was taken off life support. We reached Father Quintero in Vancouver.
|WAIT FOR ME/MOBY|
|MOBY || - ||COMPOSER|
|MOBY || - ||PRODUCER|
Drug-trafficking has no known positive impacts, and many well-known negative impacts. And today, a group of experts has found yet another downside -- linking drug-trafficking and the destruction of forests.
Today, in the journal Science, seven researchers lay out their findings on how forests in Central America are under threat from drug-trafficking.
Kendra McSweeney is the lead author of the article published today. She is also a professor of geography at Ohio State University. We reached Professor McSweeney in Columbus, Ohio.
|BOB DYLAN: DESIRE|
|COLUMBIA, CK 92393|
|BOB DYLAN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BOB DYLAN|| - ||WRITER|
|BOB DYLAN|| - ||SINGING|
It may be worth millions on the black market, but to classical music lovers the 'Lipinski' Stradivarius violin will always be priceless. And now, it's gone.
On Monday night, violinist Frank Almond was assaulted, and the 300-year-old instrument was stolen. And now Milwaukee police have teamed up with the FBI and Interpol to retrieve the stolen work of art.
Mark Neihaus is the President of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. We reached him at his office.
|A VIOLIN'S LIFE|
|KAROL LIPINSKI|| - ||COMPOSER|
|FRANK ALMOND|| - ||VIOLIN|
|CURRIED SOUL 2.0 (SINGLE)/SOCALLED|
|MOE KOFFMAN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MOE KOFFMAN|| - ||SAMPLED PERFORMER|
|SOCALLED || - ||INSTRUMENTALS|
|SOCALLED || - ||REMIXER|
The federal budget will be tabled in less than two weeks' time, and in it, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to focus on eliminating the deficit. He's also expected to say he's done it without raising taxes.
But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says that's a bit of mischaracterization. It says that the government's balanced books are coming at the expense of Canadian workers and employers via payroll taxes. Specifically, via increases in Employment Insurance premiums.
Gregory Thomas is the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. We reached him today near Orlando, Florida.
|BEGGARS BANQUET, BBQ CD 252|
|NATIONAL || - ||COMPOSER|
|PETER KATIS|| - ||PRODUCER|
|NATIONAL || - ||POP GROUP|
|NATIONAL || - ||PRODUCER|
"Talking freed me."
That's how George Smitherman described his decision to speak out about the death of his husband, Christopher Peloso, who took his own life.
On last night's show, the former Ontario cabinet minister said speaking out has helped him through his life -- when he came out about his sexuality, when he was quitting drugs and now, as he and his family cope with the loss of Mr. Peloso.
And that prompted Talkback to open up as well. We got this note from Anna Whalen in Halifax:
"George spoke so eloquently and with such strength about his terrible loss. I have personal experience of this type of tragedy and it is an isolating type of grief, irreconcilable. He clearly drew the lines around responsibility, having as much understanding for the struggle of survivors as compassion for those affected by the disease of depression.
"Just over a week ago, a player on my son's high school football team took his own life. The students are so upset and confused. George's comments are so important for all dealing with suicide and the complicated ramifications of depression."
That email is from Anna Whalen in Halifax. And Karin Wilson in West Kelowna, BC writes:
"As the granddaughter of a man who committed suicide in the aftermath of World War II, I know how silence can hurt generation after generation. George, and through him Christopher's father, shared the truth of the experience: that there is nothing more devastating than a mental illness that takes hold of a mind, regardless of the supports that are provided.
"But it was his words about sharing the truth with his children, and with you, and acknowledging that he had seen a psychiatrist for his own personal healing, that meant so much.
"This is what needs to be done to prevent another generation from suffering. And where once such things were spoken of in hushed tones, they are now being celebrated as signs of both maturity and emotional intelligence - as so they should."
That's from Karin Wilson in West Kelowna, BC.
And here, again, is part of Carol's interview with George Smitherman:
|DOWNTON ABBEY, TELEVISION SOUNDTRACK/LUNN, JOHN|
|JOHN LUNN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF LONDON || - ||CHAMBER ORCHESTRA|
|CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF LONDON || - ||ORCHESTRA|
|ALASTAIR KING|| - ||CONDUCTOR|
|JOHN LUNN|| - ||PRODUCER|
Canada's real estate market can be daunting and expensive. In some cities, tiny one-bedroom condos sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But there are still some bargains to be scooped up.
Just this week, a castle -- Manor Castle -- went up for sale in Moncton, New Brunswick, for a mere seven hundred thousand dollars. Kathy Guitard is the real estate agent selling Manor Castle at 271 Mountain Road. We reached her in Moncton earlier today.
|PINK FLOYD: WISH YOU WERE HERE|
It's an age-old problem: you wake up in the middle of the night to find a malevolent spirit occupying your body. And if you even have a local exorcist, he or she refuses to make a house call.
It's a frustrating problem. But luckily, the Internet era has brought us an exciting new high-tech way to deal with old demons: Skype.
Evangelical Pastor Bob Larson lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. But thanks to Skype, he's able to offer exorcisms to anyone, anywhere in the world -- helping you to, quote, "get your life on track, and experience healing and deliverance AT YOUR CONVENIENCE." Unquote.
Other exorcists are skeptical of Pastor Larson's online process -- saying no demon will allow its host to sit still long enough for a Skype call. Still, if your head's rotating three-hundred-and-sixty degrees, you may as well give it a shot. If you miss this opportunity, you'll forever wonder what possessed you.
In Newfoundland, some moose hunters have become moose healers.
The men on the Port au Port Peninsula came upon the animal stuck in a drainage ditch. And instead of killing it, they decided to nurse it back to health.
The CBC's Caroline Hillier spoke to one of the rescuers -- Raymond Barter. Here is part of their conversation.
|PURE DIAMOND GOLD/7 O'CLOCK CHICKEN/SADIES|
|BLOODSHOT, BS 055|
|MIKE BELITSKY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SEAN DEAN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DALLAS GOOD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TRAVIS GOOD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SADIES || - ||POP GROUP|
Some of Ontario's lowest-paid workers are getting a raise.
Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the province's minimum wage is going up from ten-twenty-five to eleven dollars an hour. And next month she will recommend legislation to increase minimum wage every year based on inflation.
The move won't placate those who believe a bigger raise is order. Earlier this week, Deena Ladd of the Workers' Action told us that that it would have to reach fourteen dollars an hour to put minimum wage workers above the poverty line.
Yasir Naqvi is Ontario's Labour Minister. We reached him in Niagara on the Lake.
|ALONE YET NOT ALONE|
|BRUCE BROUGHTON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JONI EARECKSON TADA|| - ||PERFORMER|
This is the song "Alone Yet Not Alone", from the movie of the same name. Two weeks ago, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song -- despite the fact that almost no one had heard it, or of it.
If you missed the movie Alone But Not Alone, you're not alone. It came out in limited release last September. It's about a family that emigrated to America from Germany in the eighteenth century to escape religious persecution. According to the website, everything's going fine, and then, quote, "In a terrifying raid, Delaware warriors kidnap the two young Leininger daughters and attempt to indoctrinate them into native culture. Through their ordeal they never lose hope and 'their faith becomes their freedom'." Unquote.
So okay: a song almost no one's heard from a movie almost no one has seen is nominated for an Oscar. It's inspiring. Except that instead of being inspired, people were furious that other, better songs weren't nominated -- and today, the Academy revoked its nomination.
The song was composed by Bruce Broughton, who has composed soundtracks to lots of movies, including Tombstone and The Rescuers Down Under. He was even nominated for an Oscar for his work on Silverado. The problem is that he's a former governor of the Academy's music branch -- and currently sits on its executive committee.
Mr. Broughton insists he was worried a quality song he just happened to have composed would be overlooked, so he contacted some voters to let them know about it. He called it, quote, "the simplest grassroots campaign", unquote.
The Academy president, however, said, quote, "...using one's position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one's own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage." Unquote.
So the little song that could is now a little song that shouldn't have been, and can't. And in being un-nominated, "Alone Yet Not Alone" is just alone.
They put their lives on the line for their country. Then many of them were forgotten by it.
But things might be looking up for thousands of homeless veterans across the U.S. A new approach to ending homelessness has met with success in Phoneix, Arizona. In fact, as of this winter, all of Phoenix`s previously identified homeless war vets are now housed.
At the heart of this special approach are a team of front-line workers, called navigators. James Roberson is a Navigator. We reached him in Phoenix.
|AMOK/ATOMS FOR PEACE|
|FLEA || - ||COMPOSER|
|NIGEL GODRICH|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MAURO REFOSCO|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JOEY WARONKER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|THOM YORKE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ATOMS FOR PEACE || - ||POP GROUP|
|NIGEL GODRICH|| - ||PRODUCER|
Rodger Cuzner, watch your back, 'cause there's a new poet on the Hill.
Today in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Rick Dykstra opened Question Period in verse. His Liberal colleague Mr. Cuzner is quite famous for reading his poetry to his parliamentary colleagues, but now Mr. Dykstra has proven that he, too, has a talent for rhyme and meter.
Rick Dykstra's poem was about a charity hockey game that took place in Ottawa this morning between politicans, journalists, Olympians and former NHLers. Here's what it sounded like.
|RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK|
|JOHN WILLIAMS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JAMES NOVA|| - ||TROMBONE|
To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And to a man with a trombone, everything seems like it should be played only on trombones.
James Nova is such a man. He's a trombonist in the Pittsburgh Symphony. You're listening to him right now. All those trombones are him. It's part of a project he's embarked upon to recreate the music of composer John Williams using only trombones. This, obviously, is his multi-track recording of the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" theme, but he's also painstakingly recorded overdub trombones-only versions of lots of John Williams pieces. Including a disturbing number from the second "Star Wars" trilogy. But let's not hold that against him.
The reason I bring Mr. Nova up is that he wants to publish his arrangements of Mr. Williams's music. That will require Mr. Williams to license Mr. Nova to do so. So Mr. Nova wants you to sign an online petition. In his words, quote, "The onus is on the trombone community to demonstrate that it will be viable and worthwhile for the licensing to be granted." Unquote.
This is the first time ever that the onus has been on the trombone community, so I urge it not to fail. You can find Mr. Nova's petition at iPetitions-dot-com. Do the right thing, trombone community -- even though your natural inclination is to just let it slide.
When you close your eyes and think of poutine -- as most of us do -- you think cheese. Gravy. Fries.
Only in your wildest dreams do you think...squid ink.
But if you're in Montreal, those dreams will come true -- during La Poutine Week, which starts on Saturday. For seven days, restaurants will be offering their own unique interpretations of the Canadian dish. Customers can vote on their favourites, and at the end of the week, one restaurant in each participating city will be named the winner for Best Poutine.
We reached the co-founder of La Poutine Week, Na'eem Adam, in Montreal.
|TOM WAITS: RAIN DOGS|
|TOM WAITS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TOM WAITS|| - ||WRITER|
|TOM WAITS|| - ||SINGING|
Throating singing has long been a part of Inuit culture, and now it's officially being recognized as part of Quebec's culture as well.
This week, the province recognized Inuit throat singing as its first example of intangible cultural heritage. That's a status developed by UNESCO to recognize parts of heritage that aren't objects or monuments.
Throat singing began as a way for Inuit women to entertain themselves while their husbands were away hunting. Two women stand face-to-face, generally holding each other's arms, taking rhythmic breaths until one of them runs out of air. As a form of music, throat singing has been popularized by performers, such as Tanya Tagaq.
From her album "Auk/Blood," this is Tanya Tagaq with "Burst."
|JERICHO BEACH, JBM0801|
|TAGAQ || - ||COMPOSER|
|SHAMIK BILGI|| - ||SINGING|
|TAGAQ || - ||SAMPLE|
|TAGAQ || - ||SINGING|