Episode 125: Rehtaeh Parsons and Steubenville, Job Shortage vs. Unemployment, Bragg, Watt, DOA on Thatcher and more


** Cruelty, Justice and Rehtaeh ** Bioshock's Moral Universe **  Foreign Workers and Unemployment ** Political Music and Thatcher ** Trudeau's Welcome Letter **

Rehtaeh2222_pub.jpgThe story of Rehtaeh Parsons, a young woman who was allegedly raped and then shamed into suicide, provoked the entire country this week.

There was outrage, sorrow and anger that authorities not only failed to protect Rehtaeh, but didn't bring charges against those who attacked her.

The Nova Scotia government, feeling the heat of public opinion, agreed to review the case. And then on Friday, the RCMP decided to reopen it.

Similarly in Steubenville, Ohio, when a young woman was raped by juveniles who then boasted about their crime, individuals pressed authorities to re-examine the evidence. It worked. Two teenagers were convicted in that case, seven months after the crime.

In both Steubenville and Cole Harbour, where Rehtaeh lived, there was a sense the perpetrators were protected while the victim was blamed.

One of the whistleblowers in Steubenville was Alexandria Goddard, a crime blogger who was sued for writing about the case. We talk to Alexandria Goddard about those similarities, about sexual violence and the culture that fails to check sociopathic cruelty.

bioshock2222222_pub.jpgBioShock Infinite's Moral Universe

Video games- especially first person shooter titles- have been advertising on TV for years now. Most of those commercials for titles like Battlefield 4 or Call of Duty have an apocalyptic/military vibe to them.

But the commercials for BioShock Infinite are different.

Even a non-gamer seeing these ads gets the sense of a different level of narrative, character, complexity and fantasy. Five years in development at a cost rumoured to be $100-200 million,  BioShock Infinite is a story-driven interactive game which some compare to a dramatic tragedy.

BioShock Infinite creator Ken Levine on how his game is transforming the genre

RBC_publish.jpgJobs, Jobs, Jobs

Some numbers: Canada has 1.3 million unemployed workers with 54,500 jobs lost in March. That's a lot of people looking for work. But employers are looking too. 25% of all businesses in Canada report a labour shortage. They need employees.

Some of those gaps are caused by a shortage of skills and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program is designed to help fill them. But that program took a beating in public opinion this week when it was revealed it played a role in a controversial outsourcing at RBC, Canada's largest bank. The Prime Minister has promised to review it.

So. Why is there both a labour shortage and high unemployment? We went looking for answers from Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and and economist with the United Steelworkers Erin Weir.

thatcher222_publish.jpgRocking the 80s Vote

When Margaret Thatcher died on Monday it didn't take long for radio and social media to remind us of the songs that were written about her during her tenure.

Very few of them were complimentary, and a surprising number yearned for her mortal demise.

Margaret Thatcher was a huge force for British music, motivating musicians in the U.K. to organize and write songs opposing her policies. And simultaneously in Canada and the U.S. where the political dynasties of Reagan and Mulroney had taken hold, punk and hardcore was oppositional, left-leaning and proudly political.

Three veterans of the 80's scene- Mike Watt of the Minutemen and fIREHOSE, Joe Keithley of D.O.A. and Billy Bragg- talk about Thatcher, organizing and the decade of discontent.

justin_publish.jpgSon and Heir

Justin Trudeau will likely be the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada by the beginning of the week, and the polls are full of good news for the young MP and his party, which some had written off as kaput.

Trudeau is only 41, seven years younger than his father was when he assumed the leadership in 1968, but his dad had been in Pearson's cabinet. Critics find Justin's resume a little thin.

There will be plenty of time for politics. For now,  Jim Armour, Conservative and Trudeau watcher welcomes Justin to his elevated position with some friendly advice.

That's our show. Don't be afraid to enter our Riffed from the Headlines contest and see you next week on Day 6.

Brent Bambury, @CBCDay6

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