April 2012 Archives

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Vernon Jubilee Hospital to get more beds

The VJH Polson Tower had its official opening by Minister of Health Michael de Jong on October 13, 2011. (Interior Health)
Doctors, nurses and residents have been waiting for more beds at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
Friday, B.C.'s Health minister ended the wait - sort of.

He announced "planning" will start on how to add beds to the recently opened Polson Tower, and construction is to begin in a year.

For years, the Vernon hospital has been chronically over-capacity, with patients regularly left in hallways.

The new tower, which opened in September, was supposed to fix those problems, but didn't.

Daybreak host Chris Walker spoke with Chris Cunningham, a Vernon doctor who's been advocating for the expansion, as well as Eric Foster, MLA for the Vernon-area.
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Growing lemon trees in the Okanagan

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A lemon tree bearing fruit (Allen Timothy Chang/Wikimedia commons)

As the song goes, Lemon tree, very pretty. So pretty some people in the Okanagan want that beauty on their patios.

The problem is, how does one grow citrus trees in an area that can have sub zero temperatures in the winter?

The Kelowna Flower Farm has come up with a solution, so Daybreak's Christina Low went to squeeze out some answers.
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Calving time in the Cariboo

It's calving seasong for Tal and Rita Pincott. They get to work on their familiy ranch in Buffalo Creek, B.C. (Dene Moore/CBC)

The Cariboo region is renowned for its cowboy lifestyle of cattle ranches and rodeos,  but life on a ranch isn't always the romantic vision portrayed in westerns.

Calving season is coming to a close, bringing an end to a marathon of round-the-clock work, checking on newborn calves.

It's the busiest, coldest, sometimes miserable and best time of the year for cattle producers.

Daybreak contributor Dene Moore visited the Pincott ranch near 100 Mile House to spend some time with Tal Pincott.
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Cracking into 'The Free Enterprise Coalition'

B.C. Premier Christy Clark calls her party the "Free Enterprise Coalition" -- but what does that mean? (CBC)
If you follow B.C. politics, you know that Christy Clark and her Liberals are in political trouble.

Since she became premier, the NDP has surged on the left, and the B.C. Conservatives have gobbled up political space on the right.

Then in April, the party lost two key byelections in the Lower Mainland.
Now, the Clark government has taken to calling itself "the free enterprise coalition"  -- but what exactly does that phrase mean?

What is the "free enterprise coalition"? Who are the members? And what's the political strategy behind this change in language?

Daybreak's Adrian Nieocyzm explains.
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Donating to Lakeland explosion victims

Donations can now be made to the Lakeland Fire Assistance Fund through the Prince George Community Foundation online at www.pgcf.ca/ or by calling (250) 562-7772.

The United Steelworkers union has also set up a separate help fund, cheques can be mailed to the union's Prince George office, directed to the "Lakeland Tragedy Fund."

Tax receipts will be issued.

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Brides gone wild and the future of fundraising

"Brides gone wild" do bootcamp in their wedding gowns to raise money for cancer research and awareness. (Shelley Joyce/CBC)

Friday is Daffodil Day.

That means right across the country Canadians will be wearing the Daffodil pin -- a symbol of hope and support for people living with cancer.

And this week is the final push of a month-long campaign.

On-line donations are up, but times are tough for door-to-door canvassers; they don't always get a warm welcome when they go knocking for funds.

Which makes you wonder is it time to shut the door on the neighborhood campaign for cash?

Shelley Joyce takes a look at the future face of cancer fundraising.
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Preventing future tragedies in B.C. sawmills

These are uneasy times for sawmill workers.

Two explosions within three months. Two workers were killed in the Burns Lake fire in January, another two have died in this week's explosion at Lakeland Mill in Prince George.

The province, Worksafe BC, forestry and union officials met yesterday to review sawmill safety.

Steve Hunt, the Western Canadian director for the Steelworker's Union was there. He explains what they want to see done in sawmills to reduce workplace hazards, and Bob Fleet, Vice President of environment and forestory with Tolko Industries explains what his company has been doing to prevent such tragedies. 
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Flood waters rise in Kimberley, B.C.

Floodwaters are rising in Kimberley. Overnight Tuesday water levels on Kimberley Creek rose nearly 30 centimeters.

The city is distributing sandbags and an evacuation alert has been orderd for 40 houses in the Morrison subdivision along part of Wallinger Avenue.

Coming up on Daybreak at 6:20 a.m. PT, Kimberley mayor, Ron McRae will give the latest on this developing story.

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Prospera Place struggles to score top shows

Prospera Place in downtown Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed by City of Kelowna)
Prospera Place in Kelowna has played host to acts like George Thorogood, the Tragically Hip and Elton John, but lately many big concerts seem to be skipping Kelowna altogether.

George Thorogood, for example, is returning to the Okanagan next month but is playing at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton instead.

That's a big problem for people like Neville McDougall. He's a partner in the firm Benson Law LLP, which owns a private suite at Prospera Place. The firm pays $35,000 a year for the box, and uses the suite to entertain clients.

Neville McDougall explained the problem to Daybreak host, Chris Walker.
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Cranbrook engraver loses everything in downtown fire

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Firefighters mop up the final flames Tuesday morning after fire ravaged four businesses on Baker Street in Cranbrook, B.C (Contributed by the City of Cranbrook).

Fire crews in Cranbrook are still sifting through the ashes of four buildings destroyed by fire Tuesday.

For one man and his family this fire has been simply devastating. Dick Griffiths owned a business and lived in one of the building that was destroyed

He and his partner were asleep in bed when they were awoken by a loud noise. Now, they've lost everything.

He tells that story to Daybreak host, Chris Walker.
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A YouTube user called "clangeman" in Cranbrook has uploaded some impressive footage of the Baker Street fire.

Video #1shows the back of the Baker Street buildings, fully engulfed in flames.

Video #2 shows the front of Baker Street as the fire was being put out.

Video #3 And this video shows the scene at first light.

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Stockwell Day on Western Canada's right-wing

Stockwell Day (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Pollsters said the Alberta election would be close.

As you've been hearing on the news, the upstart Wildrose Party lost, but not without capturing 34.5 per cent of the vote, failing in their charge to topple the Progressive Conservative dynasty in Alberta -- a dynasty that spanned four decades.

Stockwell Day is a former Okanagan MP, a former federal cabinet minister and former leader of the Canadian Alliance.

Before his federal career, Mr. Day was an MLA for the Progressive Conservatives in Alberta for 14 years, eight of those as a cabinet minister.

Daybreak host Chris Walker spoke to Stockwell Day on his thoughts on the Alberta election race, and his plans to help reunite B.C.'s right wing.
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Cranbrook fire damages four businesses

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Firefighters try to put out the last of the flames that burned four Cranbrook businesses to the ground Tuesday morning (Submitted by the City of Cranbrook). [Top right] Google Streetviews shows Baker Street and Cranbrook Photo before the fire. No significant damage was done to the Cranbrook Photo building, but the four structures to the right are now gone.

A major fire struck in downtown Cranbrook early Tuesday, in the north end of the downtown core on the city's historic Baker street.

The fire was first detected by a passing police officer who noticed smoke and flames coming from the businesses, at around 1:30 a.m. MT.

No one was injured in the fire, but four businesses in the city's downtown core where almost completely destroyed, including some antique and used furniture stores, according to city spokesman Chris Zettel.

Zettel was at the scene early Tuesday morning, and told Daybreak host Chris Walker what he saw.
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Abuse allegations and accountability: do students need to

Teacher Susan Dowell says a group of Grade 5 students misbehaved and challenged her in class, then claimed she had abused them. (CBC)
There's no question that children need to be safe at school, protected from any inappropriate or abusive behaviour by teachers. 

But what about when a teacher is accused of abuse and it's just not true?  

That's what's happened to teacher Susan Dowell, who is now speaking about her experience.

Dowell says children are finding new hurtful ways to punish teachers for enforcing rules in the classroom, something she found out when she was substitute teaching in Ontario.

Go Public's Kathy Tomlinson explained her story to Daybreak host, Chris Walker.
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Teachers' unions in Ontario and B.C. say the number of false allegations is growing every year, and it's causing some to leave the profession.

For his perspective on the issue, Daybreak reached Jon Bradley, a trained elementary school teacher who now works in teacher education programmes at McGill University.
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Have a story? Want to Go Public?

     - Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC TV, radio and the web.
     - We tell your stories and hold the powers that be accountable
     - We want to hear from people across the country with stories they want to make public.
     - Submit your story ideas to Kathy Tomlinson at Go Public

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Here's a great resource if you're interested in following polling around the Alberta election... Or any other election for that matter!

It's called threehundredeight.com

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Century-old time capsule uncovered at Enderby school

This past January, the village of Enderby celebrated the opening of its brand new elementary school: MV Beattie Elementary.

It replaced the old MV Beattie school, which opened in 1914 and was set to be demolished.

Students and staff were keen to pay tribute to the old school and the role it played in the community over the past century, so staff planned to have the cornerstone of the old school installed in a place of honour in the new building.

That's when the time capsule was discovered, explains principal Carl Cooper.
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Greenwood mayor suggests cellphone pullouts for drivers

Greenwood mayor Nipper Kettle has an idea he thinks would make B.C. highways safer  -- especially in rural parts of the province where cell phone coverage is spotty.

As mayor, Kettle says he spends a lot of time on the road, never quite knowing where his phone will work.

As he explains to Daybreak host, Chris Walker, he says clearly marked spots are needed on our highways where people can make a phone call, or answer an email.
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Forestry minister responds to leaked pine beetle report

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Mountain pine beetles killed these Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) trees in Prince George, BC. (Wikimedia commons)

A confidential, draft government report predicts thousands of jobs could start disappearing in central B.C. within 18 months.

(To read a copy of the report, see below)

It says this province is running out of healthy timber in the wake of the pine beetle infestation.

The report examined the Prince George, Burns Lake, Williams Lake and Quesnel regions.

It suggests up to 12,000 jobs could be lost within five years, if no action is taken.

The report makes several suggestions to save those jobs, including cutting trees in protected areas, visual corridors and areas set aside for wildlife, or even cutting younger trees.

Steve Thomson is the minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, he spoke about the report with Daybreak host, Chris Walker.
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Assisted Suicide Debate - Tonight in Kelowna

Daybreak host Chris Walker is moderating a debate on assisted suicide tonight (Thursday, April 19th) in Kelowna.

The question: Should Assisted Suicide Be Legal in Canada?
Read more »

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Critic suggests trashing environmental assessments

Changes announced in Thursday's federal budget will mean environmental reviews of projects like the Northern Gateway pipeline, which will bring oilsands crude to tankers in B.C.'s Douglas Channel, would last no more than 24 months. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver has laid out plans to fast-track the review process on environmental projects.

Ottawa will reduce the number of environmental review bodies from 40 to just three. It's meant to speed up approvals for projects that will bolster Canada's economy.

Oliver said the government's plan has "four pillars"
1.     More predictable and timely reviews;
2.     Less duplication in the review process;
3.     Stronger environmental protection;
4.     Enhance consultations with aboriginal peoples.

Critics say the government's push for "streamlining"  is code for gutting Canada's environmental assessment process.

Bruce Pardy is a professor of environmental law at Queen's University. He told Daybreak host Chris Walker he thinks the government should get rid of environmental assessments altogether because they aren't effective at protecting the environment, and are bad for industry too.
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Westbank First Nation hospital likely unconstitutional

The Westbank First Nation's plans to build a private hospital in the Okanagan will likely be challenged by the federal government, according to one constitutional expert.

The 100-bed, state of the art hospital is scheduled for construction later this year on reserve lands in West Kelowna, and it will serve both paying patients and First Nations people.

This news has raised a host of constitutional questions.

The band says its self-goverment status means it doesn't need to consult with other levels of government to get the project up and running, but one expert says the hospital is likely unconstitutional and could face a court challenge by the federal government.

Gordon Christie is a UBC law professor and the Director of the First Nations Legal Studies Program. He's looked at the issue and explained his findings to Daybreak host Chris Walker.
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Cake survives treacherous trek but can't be cut


After hearing about the Seattle Space Needle cake created by Kelowna baker Tanya Jennens, Daybreak listener Cathy Lake of Salmon Arm was reminded of the story of how a baker "secured" her parents' three-tier wedding cake to make a two-hour trek down a trecherous road to Argenta, and their attempt to cut it at the wedding reception.

She told the story to host, Chris Walker.
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Spring has arrived!

(Clockwise from top left) Firpitch or sap thats dripped onto a steep bank along Cody Caves Provincial Park, road rosehips after a long winter, snowdrops and spring crocuses. (Photos contributed by Joe Hawes)

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Feature, News:

Muslim woman's bra photo: adding context to the controversy

Visual Arts student Sooraya Graham stands in front of her controversial photo at the TRU campus art gallery. (Leia Hutchings/CBC)

Our story about a photograph in Kamloops has erupted into a full blown debate on art, religion, and culture.

The photograph depicts a woman in a full Islamic veil -- or niqab -- folding a bra.

The photo was removed from an exhibit at Thompson Rivers University after complaints from some Saudi students. It was later put back up, in a different part of the campus.

First Daybreak heard from the artist, Sooraya Graham.
And Thursday, we spoke to Trad Bahabri at the Saudi Education Centre in Kamloops.

Daybreak also heard from Thompson River University's vice president of advancement, Christopher Seguin, who wanted to make sure people understood TRU's role in all of this.
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Our coverage of this story has caught your interest; we've been flooded with calls and emails.

For some context into the debate, we're joined this morning by Hussein Keshani, a professor of art history at UBC-Okanagan, where he specializes in Islamic Art and teaches a course called Gender, Art and Space in the Islamic World.
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Remains of Nelson man found on Oregon coast

An urn that mysteriously washed up on the north Oregon coast  -- and  that contains the remains of a Nelson man -- will soon be reunited with his family.

The story of the urn sparked many news stories both in the US, Canada and even in Britain.

Iris Close is William George Kennedy's granddaughter. He died 87 years ago and it's his remains in that urn.

Daybreak host Chris Walker spoke with Iris, as well as Tom Preston, the Oregon funeral director responsible for reunititing Iris with her grandfather's remains.
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Kelowna chef creates sky-high wedding cake

The completed Space Needle wedding cake at Thursday's reception in Penticton, B.C. (Contributed by: Tanya Jennens).

The bride wanted cupcakes, the groom - what is from Seattle - had other ideas.

This afternoon, the couple will cut into their five-foot tall wedding cake, a 1/120th scale replica of the Seattle space needle.

This monsterous cake is the creation of Kelowna chef Tanya Jennens. Daybreak host Chris Walker spoke with her from her shop Thursday morning, as she was getting ready to transport the cake to Penticton.
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The World Without Us

Chris mentioned this book during our Mindbreakers segment this morning, in reference to the Korean DMZ, which has become an accidental wildlife refuge.

The World Without Us
is a thought experiment that looks at the case of the DMZ in its examination of what would happen if humans simply disappeared.  Author Alan Weisman also looks at Chernobyl and an abandoned city in Cyprus. 

A fascinating read!

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The Orphan Master's Son

The Orphan Master's Son is a weird but wonderful book.  It follows the life of an orphan in North Korea (who's not really an orphan) who becomes a fisherman (but not really) and then a high ranking official (but again, not really). In North Korea, the truth is elusive!

If you're at all interested in North Korea, you'll enjoy this book.  It takes place in an imagined (but realistic) North Korea that's reminiscent of Orwell's Oceania.  The approach has sparked some criticism, but I found it terrifying and all-too-real.  This is not a book for the squeamish.

I expect that The Orphan Master's Son will get attention come reward season.  It's great literature and a gripping read.Here's a review from The Guardian, one from The Telegraph, and another from the Toronto Star.

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Saudi rep says TRU niqab photographer "irresponsible"

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This photo, taken by TRU visual arts student Sooraya Graham, was removed from public display (Submitted by: Sooraya Graham)
Last week, we aired this interview with Sooraya Graham.

The visual arts student at Thompson Rivers University photographed her Muslim friend folding her laundry -- specifically, folding a bra -- while wearing a niqab.

After that interview aired, we were contacted by Trad Bahabri, president of the Saudi Education Centre in Kamloops.

The Centre is funded by the Saudi Arabian government and provides support to Saudi students and their families.

Daybreak host Chris Walker began the interview by asking Mr. Bahabri his opinion of the photograph.
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Kamloops trivia buff to appear on Jeopardy!

Kamloops trivia master Mike Garrett will appear on an upcoming episode of the popular trivila game show Jeopardy on April 23.

He's spent 2.5 years pouring over guide books, and playing along with nearly 1000 episodes, quizzing himself and preparing for his TV debut.

Daybreak host Chris Walker spoke to hime from his home in Kamloops.
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CBC slashes shows and jobs after budget cuts

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These are difficult days at the CBC.

Tuesday, senior management provided more details on how government cuts to the corporation's budget will affect programming.

Of the total shortfall, $86 million will be absorbed by English-language services in TV, Radio and online, meaning more than 250 jobs will disappear.  

To explain how the cuts will change what you will see and hear -- and what it means for the CBC Kamloops bureau -- Kirstine Stewart, the CBC's executive vice-president of English Services, spoke with Daybreak host Chris Walker.
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The Oracle of Stamboul

The Oracle of Stamboul is a wonderful, lilting fairytale set in Istanbul at the dusk of the Ottoman Empire. It follows a little girl who becomes orphaned and falls into favour with the Sultan.

If you like Salman Rushdie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the genre of magic realism, you'll like this book, but if you're wary, don't worry -- it stays grounded enough to be convincing.  It's also a quick read.

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River of Smoke


River of Smoke is the latest book by Bengali-Indian author Amitav Ghosh and is the second in the Ibis trilogy. (The first book is called Sea of Poppies, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.)

River of Smoke tracks the crew of three ships caught in a storm in the year before the Opium Wars.  It's a rollicking tale of smugglers, gay art collectors and... botanists!  This is a great story and a well-written book.  What's most fascinating is that Ghosh builds the story with real historical characters, and uses their documents and speeches to add detail and texture.

It's maybe not quite as good as Sea of Poppies, but still, a great follow-up.  If you like these books, check out his wonderful earlier book called In An Antique Land, which weaves contemporary stories from Egyptian villages with adventures of 11th-century Indian traders.

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New section: Chris' Bookshelf

We've created a new section called Chris' Bookshelf (see the menu at right.)

It's a place where Daybreak host Chris Walker can share the books that he's reading, and where you can share your comments and suggestions. Check back soon!

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Federal correction budget cuts "illogical," says criminologist

The government's omnibus crime bill passed the House of Commons in March. The bill's measures are expected to increase the population in Canadian jails and prisons. (Paul Daly/Canadian Press.)
There are still a number of unanswered questions surrounding the recent federal budget.

For example, what will a $295 million cut to Correctional Services Canada mean for the country's prison system -- especially since the Conservatives Safe Streets and Communities Act has now been passed in law.

The act is expected to increase the population of Canada's prisons.

Okanagan criminologist Melissa Munn says the math doesn't add up. She specializes in prison release and prisoner re-entry into society, and spoke with Daybreak host Chris Walker.
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Kelowna octogenarian oldest Canadian to bowl perfect game

Peter Bartel and his wife Genny at Carpi Lanes in Kelowna, where Peter bowled his "perfect game."

It looks like a Kelowna senior citizen has bowled his way into the record books.

82-year-old Peter Bartel recently threw 12 strikes in a row to bowl a perfect game of five pin, though says he secret is having a lot of "dumb luck."

Daybreak's David French caught up with Peter at the Capri lanes alley in downtown Kelowna.
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Controversial niqab photo removed from Kamloops campus

This photo, taken by TRU visual arts student Sooraya Graham has caused controversy at the Kamloops campus, and to her dismay, has been taken down from where it was publicly displayed (Submitted by: Sooraya Graham)
Sooraya Graham wanted to capture a moment in time.

The Thompson Rivers visual arts student photographed her Muslim friend folding her laundry -- specifically, folding a bra -- while wearing a niqab.

The assignment was part of a class project and was displayed in the University's Old Main building, but has gotten more publicity that Sooraya imagined.

She explained why to Daybreak host Chris Walker.
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UPDATE: After this interview aired, we were contacted by the Saudi Education Centre in Kamloops.  Click here for that interview.

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Fleeing Bosnia at four: a survivor story

From left to right, Senad's family home in Sarajevo after being hit by grenade shrapnel, Senad, his father and brother at a refugee camp in Bosnia, Senad now 23. (Photos contributed by Senad Moikic and David French/CBC)

Twenty years ago people in Sarajevo were living a nightmare.

Serbian forces held the city under seige for four years, the longest in modern war history, and more than 10,000 people were killed.

Thousands more escaped to to Canada, among them twenty-three year old Senad Mujkic. He was four when his family fled the Bosnian war, but says his parents constantly talk about the   harrowing tale of leaving the country, including how they had to throw him and his sister in a ditch to escape the fighter jets overhead.

He told his family's story to Daybreak host, Chris Walker.
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A final push for wine across provincial borders

Wikimedia Commons
The parlimentary hearing on bill C-311 comes to a close today.

And though that might not sound like riveting news, it matters if you're a wine fan.

Bill C-311 would amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, a law that dates back to the 1920 -- at the peak of the prohibition. It says you cannot take any alcohol across provincial boundaries.

The movement to have that law changed has gained momentem over the past year, and today is the final push for people who hope to convince the federal finance committee that it's time for a change.

One of those people will be Shirley-Ann George. She started freemygrapes.ca and spoke to Daybreak host Chris Walker from Ottawa.
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The budget and baby boomer guilt

On Daybreak Tuesday morning, Chris mentioned an analysis by Margaret Wente, dealing with the budget and baby boomer guilt.

She writes:

We boomers have been the biggest winners from the social-welfare state. Today that state is stacked against the young. In Canada, we spend twice as much of our national income on health care as we do on education - but health care mainly benefits the old. According to a recent C.D. Howe report, annual health-care costs for a person over 65 are three to four times greater than for someone under 44. For a person over 85, they're 12 times greater. As the boomers age, the math gets ugly. By the 2020s, nearly 17 per cent of Canada's GDP will be spent on health care - up from 12 per cent today.

You can read more of that article here.

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Attempting wheelchair backflips in Kamloops

Alex Kilba can been seen practising his wheelchair backflips at skateparks in Kamloops (Submitted by Pat Valade/Valade Photography)Alex Kilba performing a stunt in Kamloops
Alex Kilba, 19, has an unusual hero.

Four years ago he saw a YouTube video featuring Aaron Fotheringham. Both Alex and Aaron were born with spina bifida, and use wheelchairs to get around.

Aaron has become famous for doing backflips in his wheelchair, and Alex is now working toward a similar goal.

Daybreak contributor Shelley Joyce met up with him at the McArthur Island skateboard park in Kamloops, where Alex was showing off his moves, while his mom watched anxiously from the sidelines.
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Gateway hearing cancelled after protesters greet panel

Hearings on the Enbridge pipeline planned for Bella Bella Monday, have been cancelled.

Today was to be the start of a week of hearings about Enbridge's plan to move oil by pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

The sudden move came late Sunday night after panel members were greeted by protesters at the local airport earlier that day.

The panel members said they have security concerns and felt threatened by the reception, but RCMP say they saw no illegal or threatening activity.

On the contrary, officers say it was a peaceful demontration, attended by families and children.

Heiltsuk First Nation chief Marilynn Slett, spoke at a community feast last night, just after she had learned the hearings had been cancelled, and Daybreak host Chris Walker also spoke with Bella Bella Community School principal Fred Schuab.

A group of students at that school have begun a hunger strike, in protest of the Enbridge project.
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CBC Kelowna runs the Okanagan College Half Marathon Relay

CBC Kelowna staff run the Okanagan College Half Marathon Relay (Photos submitted by Kathryn Marlow and Leia Hutchings/CBC)