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January 2014 Archives

Canadians spying on Canadians

greg-weston.jpgWalk into an airport lounge and it's hard to find someone who isn't using Wi-Fi. A CBC investigation has revealed Canada's federal intelligence agency, CSEC, was using that connection to collect data from Canadians -- and even track them after they left the airport. The CBC's Greg Weston walks Hallie through the story.


A local NCC voice?

ndp-mp-paul-dewar.jpgThe mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau both want a seat at the table with the NCC -- but the NCC says no. We hear why Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar isn't giving up on the idea of giving the national capital mayors more clout.


Moms helping moms deal with post partum depression


Additional links:

The Facebook site is called Moms Helping Moms P-P-D:

The website is

You can find help and information at the Canadian Mental Health
Association's website:

And to talk to someone 24/7, in english or french, go to

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health problem and
is in crisis, call toll free, 24 hours a day:
inside Ottawa - 613-722-6914, outside Ottawa - 1-866-996-0991.


Benzie: The buzz at Queen's Park is all about the jobs

Our Queen's Park commentator, the Toronto Star's Robert Benzie, discusses why there's so much talk about jobs these days: 


McSorley's Film Review -- August: Osage County

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for tom.jpgIt's hot, it's rural, and it's got Oscar buzz. Tom McSorley reviews the film August: Osage County.


Ottawa cancer fighters working on a one-two punch

Scientists are calling it a "one-two punch" against cancer. Two types of treatments that, when combined, could create a near-perfect match in fighting the disease. Robyn speaks to one of the researchers:


Economist breaks down the loonie's recent slide

The loonie's nose dive has many of us checking our wallets. How low can it go? We try to answer that, and other questions, with the help of Carleton University economist Nick Rowe:


Debating the e-cigarette: good, bad, unhealthy?

Two experts debate the effectiveness -- and health costs -- of e-cigarettes:


Bobby Watt: Live performance ahead of his Robby Burns show

Bobby WattIf you missed Scottish musician Bobby Watt on Friday's show, you can hear his interview with Robyn and his incredible rendition of Auld Lang Syne right here.


Afghanistan themed Human Library books


Robyn moseys over to the Human Library and finds a Canadian sniper and Afghan interpreter next to each other on the shelf.


Jody Mitic and Maryam Sahar Naqibullah swap stories about their experiences in Afghanistan.


Tomorrow (Saturday, Jan 25), sign-out Jody for a one-on-one conversation at the Carp branch of the Ottawa Public Library and Maryam will be at the Greenboro branch. Human books are on hold between 11 a.m. 3 p.m.



Municipal panel:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for aljoanne.jpgMayor Jim Watson's state of the city address might have been a bit short on excitement, but with an election on the horizon, city politics will be anything but. Our municpal panelists dropped by with their thoughts:


Speaking up for severely disablied children: author Donna Thomson

It's a worry shared by the parents of severely disabled children: Who will look after my child when I'm gone? We spoke to a woman who's trying to bring better care to adults with disabilities:


Human Library - Living with Schizophrenia book

Living with Schizophrenia - Shawn Thivierge   1.JPG


This Saturday, Jan 25, sign-out Shawn Thivierge for a one-on-one conversation at the Human Library.


Shawn will be on the shelf at the Main branch of the Ottawa Public Library.




Here, Shawn explains how he describes what it means to be diagnosed with Schizophrenia.



Shawn maintains his health through medication, a healthy diet and the Japanese Martial Art of Aikido. He describes why getting thrown through the air is good therapy for both his body and mind.




Benzie: How excess hydro could be costing you

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for benzie.jpgBillion-dollar-hydro dump? The NDP claims the province is selling cheap power to neighbouring jurisdictions at a heavy cost to consumers. Rob Benzie explains:


Afghanistan 2014: what's in store for the embattled country

It's a year of change for Afghanistan: an election, the departure of foreign troops and continued unrest. In light of this weekend's attack, we ask, how does the future look for the country? 


Human Library - Street Outreach Worker book

Street Outreach Worker - Pete Cassidy 1.JPG


This Saturday, Jan 25, you can sign-out Street Outreach Worker book Pete Cassidy for a one-on-one conversation at the Human Library.


Pete will be on the shelf at the Main branch of the Ottawa Public Library between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.



Here, Pete describes why he decided to start up very own outreach program in the Byward Market 13 years ago.



Pete now operates his StreetsSmarts program through Jewish Family Services of Ottawa. He carries a cell phone that he keeps turned on 24/7. Pete describes the callers on the other end of the line.



In the Byward Market, Pete and his outreach team hand-out warm clothing and other basics to help people who are street-involved and struggling with mental health issues. Pete considers giving free hugs and unconditional love another important part of his job.


Human Library - High School Teacher book



This Saturday, January 25, you can sign-out High School Teacher book Adrienne Coddett for a one-on-one conversation at the Human Library.


Adrienne will be on the shelf at the Main branch of the Ottawa Public Library.



Photo credit: Sharon VanDerPool 


Here, Adrienne explains why she finds it ironic that she wound up in a classroom as an adult.



Adrienne recalls bumping into one of her personal heroes during her first day on the job in Room 216 at Woodroffe High School.



Adrienne invites us to pull up a chair in her law class to understand her teaching philosophy. 


Is maternity leave a bad idea?

matleave.jpgA new article in Maclean's magazine argues that a woman's career suffers when she takes a year off work to care for a newborn. And men's careers can suffer when they take paternity leave. Robyn spoke with Tamsin McMahon -- who wrote the Maclean's article -- and Vicki Smallman, with the Canadian Labour Congress.



It's Bono meets Bible studies in Sandy Hill

Thumbnail image for stALBANSicon.jpgSt. Alban's Anglican is on a mission to attract the neighbouring university students to its congregation.

It holds a Sunday evening service called St. Al's @ 5...

You can download the morning worship booklet onto your smart phone...

And now it's started something called the U2charist.

Christine Maki paid a visit to the church to hear more.



Human Library - Police Officer book



This, Saturday, January 25, you can sign-out Ottawa Police Constable Jeffrey Eva-Gonzalez for a one-on-one conversation at the Human Library.


Jeffrey will be on the shelf at the Carp branch of the Ottawa Public Library.


Here, he describes to Robyn Bresnahan the moment in his life when he was 13-years-old that turned his life upside down. Then, Robyn shares a powerful experience Jeffrey had with a reader at the 2013 Human Library.



613 Casual Choir

image.jpgShort on time? Lacking talent? Well, you can still live out your dream of singing in a choir -- and sounding good, too. For the low-down on Ottawa's new "casual choir," Robyn is joined by Pam Kapoor, 613 Casual Choir's co-organizer and musical arranger, and Joanne Lauzon, who's planning to attend despite having zero choir experience.


High school entrepreneur

BeLhXSGCQAABsAz.jpgHe's 16 years old, already has a patent under his belt -- and this week, a fresh investment from Kevin O'Leary. Young entrepreneur and future dragon Daniel McInnis shows Robyn the helmet he invented to protect young hockey players like himself from getting a concussion.


Amanda's live music picks

li-ott-amanda-putz-620.jpgWhat better way to take a trip back to Cold War-era Europe than via synth pop from the '80s? Amanda Putz turns on the time machine, and shares some of her recommendations for live music to see this weekend.


Search engine sanctions

google.jpgA man's suspicions were raised last year when after searching Google for devices to help deal with his sleep apnea, ads started appearing that were targeted to people with that condition. Yesterday, the Privacy Commissioner's Office ruled that the man's privacy rights had been violated. Chantal Bernier, the interim privacy commissioner, joins Robyn to explain why.


Human Library - By-Law Officer book


On Saturday, January 25, you can sign-out By-Law Officer book Abdulkadar Mohamed Dualeh for a one-on-one conversation at the Human Library.


Moe will be on the shelf at the Carlingwood branch of the Ottawa Public Library.


Hallie Cotnam first met Moe back in November 2012. She brought Robyn an advanced copy of his story.



Human Library - Mother of Eight book



On Saturday, January 25, you can sign-out Mother of Eight book Véronique Bergeron for a one-on-one conversation at the Human Library.


Véronique will be on the shelf at the Orleans branch of the Ottawa Public Library between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Here, Véronique describes the start of her large family. She had just finished her first year of law school when that little blue line appeared on the home pregnancy test.





Véronique says having a large family can mean saying no to certain things, such as dance lessons, or an overseas vacation. Though Véronique adds a large family also offers her kids other opportunities.



Véronique reveals the secret to managing the controlled chaos of her household.


Back from the Pole: two Carleton students recall their Antarctic journey

IMG_00000992 (1).jpgSailing next to dolphins, watching icebergs float by, and earning university credit at the same time. We met two students back from Antarctica: 


Joel Westheimer discusses religious accommodation in schools

Canadian rocker Neil Young is supporting an Alberta First Nation in its fight against expanding oil sands projects. We speak with the Ottawa Citizen's Glen McGregor to find out how that's playing out on Parliament Hill:


Human Library - Cartoonist book


On Saturday, January 25, you can sign-out Cartoonist Book Tom Fowler for a one-on-one conversation at the Human Library.

Tom will be waiting on the shelf at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.


Here's what his book jacket reads:


As a cartoonist and illustrator Tom Fowler has worked in comics, advertising, and film and game design. He has worked for Disney, Simon & Schuster, Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, MAD, Valiant, Marvel, and DC Comics. His best known comics include "Venom", "Hulk Season One", "Quantum & Woody", the critically acclaimed "Mysterius the Unfathomable", and the MAD Magazine feature "Monroe". Tom claims to eat only raw meat, stand 13 feet tall, and shoots lasers from his eyes.  


Photo Credit: Monique Duguay


Here, Tom remembers why as a child, he felt lucky to get his hands on a comic book.



Tom recalls what happened next when he met one of his personal heroes.



Tom describes his next creator-owned book that's in the works.


Hydro creep: the rising cost of electricity

Hydro rates keep creeping up. And many people from different sectors of the economy say they're feeling the pinch. Robyn met three of them, this morning:


Ottawa company quickly becoming 'one to watch'

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas hosted more than 3-thousand exhibitors last week, all vying for the attention of the Googles and Sonys of the world. And one Ottawa start-up managed to make it happen. Blacksumac came away from the show with a design and engineering award for its home security product called Piper. Company co-founder and CEO Russell Ure brought one with him to the studio for his conversation with Robyn:


For more on the Piper, visit their website at

Human Library returns to Ottawa

HumanLibrary_FB_350x240.pngThe Human Library returns to the Ottawa Public Library on Saturday, January 25. CBC Ottawa and the OPL have stocked the collection with many new stories. Robyn browsed through the collection with Ronni Abergel, a co-founder of the global movement.



Soccer phenom with her sights set on FIFA

Thumbnail image for carmen-marin-12-soccer-player.jpgCarmen Miran spends most of her time dribbling a soccer ball. She's preparing to try out for the Costa Rican national team -- and if she earns a spot, she could be the youngest player ever to play at the U17 FIFA World Cup. Carmen and her coach, Sanjeev Parmar, drop by to talk literal and figurative goals.


Joannie Rochette on the Canadian Figure Skating Championships

940-rochette-joanie-8col.jpgShe captured our hearts - and a bronze medal on the ice in Vancouver.  Now, figure skater Joannie Rochette is in Ottawa for the Canadian Championships, as an athlete ambassador. She joins Robyn in studio.  


And so the campaign donation debate begins...

Ottawa_City_Hall_Hotel_de_ville_d'Ottawa.jpgAs candidates start to register for the 2014 municipal election, so does the debate over who should and should not be able to donate to the election coffers of those running for City Council. Our city hall panel joins Robyn to talk about who's running, and who's paying their bills.


Amanda's music column

li-ott-amanda-putz-620.jpgAmanda Putz drops by to explain how one squeezebox diva got pushed out of her first attempt at a CD release show -- and where she's trying it again! That, and other live music picks for your weekend.


Three legends in Canadian figure skating

BdidHB2CEAEQyS3.jpgElvis Stojko. Liz Manley. Debbi Wilkes. Canadian figure skating royalty -- in town to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the national figure skating championships. They share their stories with Robyn.


Ottawa Report: looking ahead to the year in federal politics

With the Senate scandal dominating headlines, 2013 might be a year Stephen Harper and the Conservatives want to put behind them. Will 2014 be any different? The Ottawa Citizen's Glen McGregor discusses the year ahead with Robyn: 


Bottoms Up: A look at what's new in Ottawa craft brew

We served up beer for breakfast this morning. The owners of two fledgling microbreweries told Robyn why the craft beer craze continues to grow in Ottawa:


Checking in on "Own the Podium" ahead of Sochi

"Own the Podium" CEO Anne Merklinger is a former member of Canada's national swim team and a retired curler. She spoke to Robyn about how the Canadian Olympic team is shaping up:


Gail Vaz-Oxlade to parents: don't ignore RESPs

Money expert Gail Vaz-Oxlade discusses RESPs with Robyn and suggests, too many people are leaving 'free money' on the ground: 


Adopting kids with special needs; one mom makes her plea

More than half of children in care in Canada have special needs, and it can be hard to place them with a family. The Adoption Council of Canada is pushing to change that. Robyn met an adoptive mother of a child with special needs - who encourages others to do the same:


Shepherd's executive director reflects on 30 years of service

It started out modestly, in a church basement, with a handful of volunteers serving soup to the needy. That was 1983. This year, the Shepherds of Good Hope celebrated its 30th anniversary. Sheila Burnett has been there since the beginning, starting by serving soup as a volunteer in that church basement -- and later becoming executive director of an organization that serves thousands. After 30 years, this will be Sheila's last at the helm:


Weekend music picks from Jessa Runciman

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Jessa.jpgWith Amanda away this week, Jessa Runciman drops by with her weekend music picks:


Pleading for an end to violence in South Sudan

Thousands of South Sudanese have fled violence and death. A South Sudanese Canadian spoke to Robyn about his hopes for his homeland: