host picture

April 2012 Archives

Global City

Global City is a live online TV show hosted simultaneously by students in different countries. We talk to the creator of Global City Professor Marion Coomey Listen audio (runs 6:42)


Health Board Wants More Cash for Bed Bug Fight

The city's top doctor is warninng this afternoon that the city's bedbug problem could soon get worse - IF Queen's Park doesn't cough up more money. The province contributed just over a million dollars last year to help Toronto Public Health track down the bugs in the city's homes - and exterminate them. But that pot is now empty. And in a report to TPH this afternoon, the city's medical officer of health Dr. David McKeown says the problem is still out of control. Joining Here and Now with more on the health board's meeting was Tracy Leach. She's manager of Toronto Public Health's bed bug team. Listen audio (runs 7:01)


French Kids Eat Everything

We talk to the author of the new book "French Kids Eat Everything" about some ideas that will transform your kids from fussy eaters to genuine foodies. Listen audio (runs 5:52)


National Strategy Proposed for TTC Funding

Earlier today, mayor Rob Ford was asked about the suggestion of road tolls as a source of revenue for the city, to help pay for things like transit projects in the city. The mayor was pretty clear he's against that proposal Which begs the question: then who SHOULD pay for transit in Toronto? Should it be the private sector? The provincial government? Done through property taxes? Well, one player that isn't mentioned as often in the transit debate is the federal government. But earlier today, Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow, York South Weston MP Mike Sullivan and Ward 21 Councillor Joe Mihevc talked to TTC riders at University and Queen St West about the need for a National Transit Strategy. What exactly would such a strategy do? Why do we need one? And how would it work? To help us understand, Here and Now was joined by Michael Roschlau. He's the president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association. Listen audio (runs 6:10)


Tanning Beds

An Ontario MPP wants to see a ban on tanning salons for young people. We speak to Kate Neale. She's throwing her support behind the bill after she developed skin cancer in her early twenties. Listen audio (runs 5:52)


Missing Adults

A candlelight vigil takes place tonight in Oakville for the families of missing adults. We talk to Brad Resvick who's been searching for his brother for 13 years. Listen audio (runs 5:29)


Landing the Job

Donna Guzik shares her tips on how the class of 2012 can gain an edge in an unpredictable economy. Listen audio (runs 5:52)


Vegetative State

When should doctors give up on a patient who seems unlikely to recover? We talk to bioethicist and lawyer Mark Handelman to get his thoughts on a current case. Listen audio (runs 5:56)


Cataract Surgery Prices

Cataract surgery is the most common eye surgery in Ontario and according to a new study it may also be one of the most overpriced. We speak to a local physician who's raising alarm bells and calling on the government to better regulate prices. Listen audio (runs 6:03)


Speed Limits

We talk to the author of a new report that suggests dropping the city's speed limits by 10 kilometres an hour. Listen audio (runs 5:52)


NDP and Liberals Work Out a Deal

It appears we will NOT be going to the polls this spring, after all. The provincial NDP Leader, Andrea Horwath, COULD have brought down the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty during tomorrow morning's budget debate. But the two leaders met in private earlier today...and managed to work out a deal. In exchange for the NDP's support tomorrow, McGuinty will impose a NEW, two per cent tax on those earning more than $500-thousand dollars a year. He's also agreed to increase Ontario Works payments, and help out northern hospitals. Joining Here and Now with more on this afternoon's news was Andrea Horwath. Listen audio (runs 5:11)


Remembering Billy Bryans

Billy Bryans was best known for cofounding the iconic Toronto band, The Parachute Club. And in recent years, he'd become something of a mentor to new artists. He passed away today, after a long struggle with from lung cancer. His friend and bandmate Lorraine Segato spoke with guest host Jane Hawtin about her friend. Listen audio (runs 7:05)


Hip Hop Dancers Face Off in TO

While some will be consumed with playoff hockey this weekend, others will be absorbed in a very different competition. Tomorrow, after nearly six months of practising and preliminaries, 17 hip hop dance crews from high schools all over Toronto will face off on the dance floor. At the end of a day of choreography and smooth moves For many, it's just about the fun and a chance to win the title. But one crew is coming to the finals with a deeper personal mission. Our intern, Catherine Burgess, met with a crew from Pope John Paul the second Catholic Secondary School last week to find out about why their team is small in size, but big in spirit. Listen audio (runs 5:07)


Discovering the City - With a Little Help from Some Friends

This Earth Day weekend is a great occasion to take your bike out for a ride, And newcomers to the city are getting extra help in doing so, as a way to discover Toronto. The Toronto Cyclists' Union has joined up with Culture Link Settlement Services to launch a new program for immigrants today. It's called Bike Host. and it matches newcomers with experienced cyclists to help them become familiar with their new home and the Canadian experience. Kristin Schwartz is the cycling coordinator with Culture Link Settlement Services. She joined Here and Now. Listen audio (runs 5:22)


Protest Groups Joining Forces

People opposed to the Liberal government's upcoming budget are planning a rally at Queens Park tomorrow. But before that happens...a NEW group is being formed. This afternoon, representatives from more than 80 groups are getting together to talk about establishing a larger organization that'll be devoted to heading off any future service cuts - by ANY level of government. One of the people who was at that meeting was Ontario Federation of Labour head Sid Ryan. He joined Here and Now. Listen audio (runs 5:54)


What You Say on Facebook CAN Be Used Against You

In London this week, the man accused of murdering Tori Stafford is discovering that what you post on facebook CAN be used against you. Michael Rafferty's facebook posts are being used by the prosecution to paint a less-than-flattering picture of the accused killer. And they are not the first to mine social media for evidence in criminal trials. Investigators all over the world are recognizing that facebook and twitter can be more than just idle pastimes - they can also be used to help determine someone's guilt. Joining Here and Now to explain how they do that was Const. Scott Mills. He's a social media officer with the Toronto Police Service; he's also a social media advisor for Crimestoppers International. Listen audio (runs 5:56)


The Anthem

Should kids be singing O'Canada a capella at school?The issue will come up tonight's Toronto Catholic District School Board meeting. We hear from one parent who thinks there are bigger issues to tackle. Listen audio (runs 6:08)


Raising Speed Limits

We talk to Sergeant David Woodford from the Highway Safety Division of the OPP in Southern Ontario about raising speed limits on the 400 Highways. Listen audio (runs 5:58)


The Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo has been given a subtle reprimand by an international organization. We talk to City Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker to find out why. Listen audio (runs 6:05)


In My Own Skin

Drama students at Maple High School performed the play "In My Own Skin" today to raise awareness about bullying. We talk to the CBC's Anne-Marie Mediwake about the play. Listen audio (runs 5:34)


Hidden Cellphone Fees

Out-of-control cellphone bills can be a parent's worst nightmare.We ask a telecom expert how parents can smarten up when it comes to their kid's phone usage. Listen audio (runs5:35)


High-rise Fire Safety

We talk to Fire Chief William Stewart about high-rise fire safety. Listen audio (runs 6:36)


A Shortage of Home Care

According to a new report, some seniors aren't getting the hours of home care they need. Laura spoke with John Hirdes. He's a professor at the University of Waterloo in the School of Public Health and Health System. He's also the Ontario Home Care Research and Knowledge Exchange Chair and was one of the consultants who worked on the report. He talk about what governments should be doing differently when it comes to providing homecare support. Listen audio (runs 5:51)


Students Crossing Borders

Lynn Caruso was supposed to celebrate her 57th birthday this past weekend, but she passed away from cancer before she could mark the occasion. The party went ahead anyway. Her husband Frank, joined Laura to talk about why, and how even though she's gone, Lynn's still helping others. Listen audio (runs 5:14) To learn more about Students Crossing Borders, go to their website here.


Disappearing Daughters Round Table

The new CMAJ study shines a spotlight on a difficult topic - one that Toronto's South Asian and Chinese communities have been talking about privately for many years - the killing of girl fetuses. This practice is well documented in countries like India and China.

  1. Download: Summary of the CMAJ study [200 KB .pdf]

To better understand what is happening around sex selection in the GTA, and the possible implications for policy makers, health care providers, and society as a whole, we convened a panel of leaders from the South Asian and Chinese communities.

Listen to their discussion with Matt Galloway audio (runs 16:07)

Our panelists

Deepa Mattoo

Deepa Mattoo is a lawyer with the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. She has frontline experience working with south Asian women around the issues of forced marriages and domestic violence.

While she finds female feticide an extreme form of violence against women, she feels more research and debate is required before jumping to conclusions for fear of stigmatizing one cultural community over others.

Baldev Mutta

Baldev Mutta is the Chief Executive Officer of the Punjabi Community Health Services in Peel Region. He has over 30 years of experience working in the field of social work with a focus on addressing issues of violence, substance abuse and mental health in the south Asian community.

While Canada's multicultural mosaic encourages immigrants to preserve their values and culture, he questions what aspects of that culture must be preserved and what must be left behind.

Betty Wu-Lawrence

Betty Wu-Lawrence is a public health nurse with the City of Toronto and president of the Chinese Canadian Nurses Association of Ontario. Having frontline experience working with the Chinese community in Toronto, Betty knows first-hand how boys are more valued than girls.

While the reason for this preference has its roots in ancient Chinese culture, and its more recent one-child policy, she sees no reason for the practice to continue in the Canadian context.

Dr. Prabhat Jha

Prabhat Jha is Director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto. He is the lead author of a soon to be published study on selective abortions across Canada, the US and South Africa. His study on the Trends in Selective Abortions of Girls in India published in The Lancet last year established the scope of sex selective abortion across that country.

While there is anecdotal evidence that female feticide is an issue amongst the Indian diaspora here in Canada, Dr. Jha's upcoming study will identify levels of sex selection in Canada.


Disappearing Daughters

Disappearing Daughters
Expectant parents are often curious to know the sex of their unborn child. They use the information to decorate and buy clothes for a boy or a girl. But in some households, knowing the gender of the next child holds a different, and perhaps more sinister, significance.

All week, we examine the issue of sex selection and why in some cultures, male children are preferred over girls. A study released Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveals Indian-born mothers now living in Ontario are giving birth to a disproportionate number of male babies for their second and third-born children (graph).

Aparita Bhandari

This begs several questions: Why is this happening? What role do traditional values held in countries such as India, South Korea and China play once immigrants move here? What influence does education vs. legislation play in encouraging newcomer parents to value girls and boys equally?

Manavi Handa
These are some of issues explored in our series, Disappearing Daughters.

Metro Morning's Matt Galloway spoke with columnist Aparita Bhandari. She has a very personal perspective on this issue.
Listen audio (runs 7:04)

Harjot Ghuman-Matharu
Gurnam Kaur and
Raj Ghuman (L-R)
Matt Galloway spoke with midwife Manavi Handa about her experiences with new parents in the South Asian community. She describes the challenges this study presents and her experiences as a front-line caregiver for that community.
Listen audio (runs 6:15)

Dr. Joel Ray
Metro Morning's Mary Wiens spoke with three generations, mother, daughter and grandmother, about what they see as a growing pattern of selective abortion in their community.
Listen audio (runs 6:45)

Dr. Joel Ray of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto says it would be 'unfair to speculate' why boys are over-represented among third children from Indian immigrant families, but that it is 'unlikely to be due to chance.' He spoke to Laura Di Battista.
Listen audio (runs 6:31)

The study

Each blue bar shows the ratio of male births to female births for the corresponding country for the third birth in the family birth order. The study was based on 766,688 live single births in Ontario between 2002 and 2007. Find out more about these figures and the methods used to obtain them.


Your Brain on Nature

Why we should be spending less time on facebook and more time hugging trees. We talk to the authors of the new book "Your Brain on Nature" Listen audio (runs 7:53)


Toronto Poet Slamming Stereotypes

Poetry has always been a traditional means of creative expression... But today, Toronto youth are slamming tradition in favour of more modern poetry. A poetry slam is a competition in which poets recite socially motivated pieces on topics as diverse as racism and mental health... And with April being national poetry month, there are many opportunities to hear slam and classic poetry at events across the city. Homegrown poet Greg "Ritallin" Frankson is performing tonight at the Roots Lounge Canadian Indies Slam Fundraiser to benefit his trip to the 2012 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam in Vancouver at the end of April...Greg Frankson joined Laura Di Battista to talk about the state of his art. Listen audio (runs 5:40)


Pilot Culture

Air Canada pilots have been calling in sick today, leaving the airline with no choice but to cancel some of its flights. Some are blaming a culture of entitlement among pilots. We explore that idea. Listen audio (runs 6:31)


Beach Residents Fight Rising Tide of Development

People in the Beach neighborhood are getting together this evening to talk about a situation that people in many OTHER parts of the city can relate to: New condo development along their main street is changing their neighborhood's character. And they believe it's changing it for the worse. Joining Laura Di Battista with more on the meeting - and what people can do to have a say in how THEIR neighborhood's shaped - was Jason Self. He's a spokesperson for the Friends of Queen Street East - the group that's organized the meeting. Listen audio (runs 6:10)


McGuinty Promises Protection for Cellphone Users

If you've got a cellphone you might want to pay close attention to this next story. Today, the McGuinty government announced a new bill promising better protection cellphone customers. It's called the Wireless Services Agreement Act, 2012. The bill would include protections like: having companies use plain language so consumers know EXACTLY what they're signing onto, putting caps on cancelation fees, and requiring companies to get consent from users before they extend or renew their contract. For his reaction to the proposed legislation, we reached John Lawford. He's a lawyer with Canada's Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Listen audio (runs 6:22)


When Ackee Meets Codfish

We speak with CBC's own Dwight Drummond about a book that celebrates Jamaican-Canadians and their achievements in Canada. Listen audio (runs 4:49)


Bay Street Thieves

Author and investigative journalist Bruce Livesey tells us how Canadians lose 20 billion dollars a year to investment fraud and related scams. Listen audio (runs 5:53)


Food Trash

With just over a week till Earth Day, our food columnist Sarah Elton was in today to tell us about a city-wide campaign to reduce all that Styrofoam and plastic and cardboard garbage we generation when we get our food to go. Take out Without is the brainchild of Toronto's Lisa Borden, founder of Borden Communications and an eco-advocate. The campaign urges restaurants to sign up and pledge to reduce their take out waste-they get a free listing on in return-and put up the stylish posters and flyers Lisa has created. Lisa also suggests that eaters make the effort to reduce their waste too by refusing that paper bag and stack of serviettes that come with the muffin or better yet, by bringing their own mug or take out container. There are a number of restaurants in the city that offer reusable containers including Belmonte Raw ( on Queen Street in Leslieville that sells fresh squeezed juices in glass jars-she gives you back the $2 deposit when you return the bottle. There are a whole bunch of reusable products to help you to reduce your take out waste: The company Strawesome makes glass straws so you can avoid the plastic ones; they sell a carrying case too: The company Kleen Kanteen makes a reusable stainless steel drink cup as well as water bottles. The company Lunch Bots makes an entirely stainless steel container with four compartments for bento box style eating: There is an app called Quench that indicates the closest location to fill up your water bottle when you are out. It's created by the same people who are making the TVO documentary series the Water Brothers: Listen audio (runs 6:15)


Interest Rates

Interest rates could be on the rise sooner than expected. Donna Guzik shares some tips on how to get ready. Listen audio (runs 6:19)


Sneak It In

This week Participaction is urging people to break old habits and find ways to sneak in activity throughout their day. Participaction's Active Living Ambassador tells us how. Listen audio (runs 6:31)


Innovation at Ryerson

From apps to bio-engineering everyone is in a rush to bring forward new and exciting twenty-first century jobs. Ryerson University's Digital Media Zone is among the players in Toronto's startup scene. Today the business and innovation hub celebrates its two-year anniversary. Laura spoke with two of its ambassadors. Chris Nguyen's company TeamSave was one of the first startups to get involved and Valerie Fox is the director of Ryerson's Digital Media Zone. Listen audio (runs 6:04)


Leafs' Apology

We talk to columnist Adam Proteau about the Leaf's losing streak and about Lawrence Tannenbaum's apology. Listen audio (runs 7:49)


Blue Jays Limit Beer

Toronto Blue Jays fans sitting in cheap seats at tonight's home opener are only allowed to order one beer at a time. Guest host Jane Hawtin spoke with Torontoist writer Desmond Cole and CBC producer Steve Niles. Both of them will be sitting in the 500 section. Listen audio (runs 5:27)


Job Training Eligibility

A commission on social assistance in Ontario says too many people in our province are being excluded from job training programs. Josh Hjartarson is the Policy Director of the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto. He told our guest host Jane Hawtin that the federal government gives job training preference to those who qualify for employment insurance. And in Ontario only 40% of people out of work qualify for E.I. Listen audio (runs 6:30)


Ramping Down

A local Starbucks' attempt to do the right thing for wheelchair access is meeting strong resistance from an unlikely place. Joanne Smith has spent the past four years lobbying for a ramp, but according to the city, that's a problem. She spoke with Jane, who then heard from Luke Anderson, co-creator of The Ramp Project. Listen audio (runs 7:36)


The Art of Debate

Connor Campbell of De La salle College can verbally spar with the best of them. He proved his gift for the gab after winning the top prize in the debate category of the World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championships in Brisbane, Australia. He showed his skills to Jane. Listen audio (runs 5:15)


Cutbacks at The NFB

Changes are coming to The National Film Board, as a result of the federal government's austerity budget. Jason Ryle is a short film filmmaker , and the executive director of the ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival. He talked to guest host Jane Hawtin about how The NFB's cutbacks will affect the local film community. Listen audio (runs 5:09)


Youth Unemployment

Statistics Canada reports March was a good month for job growth. We saw an injection of 82,300 jobs across the country. But despite all the good news, for the past three years youth unemployment remains high. The unemployment rate for 15 to 24 year-olds is 13.9%. Sipho Kwaku is the director of employment services at Wood Green. He spoke with Laura about how these stats come to life in Toronto. Listen audio (runs 5:59)


Saskatchewan Jobs

Jason Kinoshita grew up in the GTA. About five years ago he traded city life for Langenburg, Saskatchewan -- a town of about twelve hundred people. He's one of many Ontarians taking advantage of the economic boom in Saskatchewan. He spoke with Laura about life on the prairies. Listen audio (runs 6:30)


Second Seder

Passover begins tomorrow evening. We tell you all about a community seder that's happening in the city on Saturday. Listen audio (runs 5:49)


Hospital Checkup

Today, the Canadian Institute for Health information launched an online tool that makes it easier to compare how our hospitals fare. Patients can compare things like readmission and mortality rates for hospitals across the country.


Severance Primer

In the wake of last week's federal budget, some 19,000 government jobs are on the chopping block -- including 650 here at the CBC, over the next three years. Laura spoke with David Whitten, a founding partner at Whitten and Lublin Employment Lawyers. Listen audio (runs 6:45)


Jesus of Toronto

Actor and playwright Ins Choi is putting on a Toronto-inspired performance about Easter. He spoke to Laura about his piece entitled Subway Stations of the Cross. Listen audio (runs 6:54)


Conflicted Councillors

City Councillors Jaye Robinson and Michelle Berardinetti are threatening to quit the Mayor's executive committee. We hear why. Listen audio (runs 7:51)


Human Trafficking Sentence

It's the largest human trafficking case in Canadian history and today its ring leader Ferenc Domotor was sentenced to nine years in prison. Crown prosecutor Toni Skarica shared his reaction to the sentence. Listen audio (runs 7:13)


Jarvis Bike Lanes

Toronto cycling activists have found another route to stop the Jarvis Street bike lanes from being removed. Andrea Garcia is an advocacy director with the Toronto Cyclists Union, she joined Laura to explain why they're calling on the city to conduct an environmental assessment on the removal of the bike lanes. Listen audio (runs 6:21)


Hydro Challenges

We speak to the spokesperson for Toronto Hydro about how all the construction downtown is putting a strain on our city's infrastructure. Listen audio (runs 5:37)


Parent Toolkit

Every parent wants their child to do well in school, and many will go to any length to make sure that happens. But they may be misdirecting their efforts. We hear why. Listen audio (runs 7:07)


Writer Goes Digital

Writer Russell Smith's latest work can't be found on store shelves or in the pages of The Globe and Mail newspaper, where he has two columns. He's chosen to publish his memoir, "Blindsided" as an ebook. He joined Laura to explain why. Listen audio (runs 6:57)