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Advice for Maritimers with travel plans involving Europe : get philosophical / Contenders for the Next Big Question for Canadian scientists / Phone-in: What would improve transportation between Maritime communities ?

Flying The Ash-filled Skies - Or Not: Keep your reservations and hope for the best. That's the advice Maritimers with international travel plans are getting. They're nervously watching what's happening in the skies over Europe, where ash from a still-erupting volcano has spewed dense clouds of particulate into the atmosphere. That's grounded flights to, and throughout, much of that continent and beyond. Bob Sime is a consultant in the tourism and transportation industry and he joined us to share his assessment of the situation.


So What's the Next Big Question? We asked two Canadian scientists with international reputations who want to convince you that they are working on it. The Next Big Question is also the name of an event unfolding in several Canadian cities, and making a stop in Halifax, Tuesday, April 20th at Pier 21. The event is sponsored by the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research, and YOU get to vote in person or online for which of the 12 Next Big Questions really rocks your world, and should rocket to the top of the list of priorities for scientists.
Two of the three scientists who'll be pitching their ideas Tuesday evening are Dr. Marla Sokolowski - biologist extraordinaire at the University of Toronto and a Canada Research Chair of Genetics and Behavioural Neurology (in her spare time), and Dr. Steve Scherer, a molecular geneticist and member of CIFAR's Genetic Networks program.

Buses ? Trains ? Cars ? Hitchhiking ? The sound of a train pulling into the station is only a memory in most Maritime communities. The railbeds have either been reserved for freight or converted to hiking trails. So, what about bus lines as a means of getting from A to B ? They were touted as the alternative to rail travel. But so-called "milk runs" that stopped in several rural communities have been converted to "express runs" between cities. And the bus lines have applied to drop some runs entirely.
So, if you don't have a car and you need to get to an appointment in the city, or if you operate a business and need something from an urban industrial park, what do you do ? Is transportation something that requires direct government assistance or should it be left to the marketplace ?
Our guests were Kyle Buotte of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, which has been lobbying for a provincial Crown corporation to oversee rural transportation in Nova Scotia, and Trevor Hansen, PhD candidate in civil engineering at the University of New Brunswick whose research includes transportation issues for rural seniors. Our question: What would improve transportation between Maritime communities ?

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