Tuesday December 05, 2017

December 4, 2017 episode transcript

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The AIH Transcript for December 4, 2017

Hosts: Jim Brown and Jeff Douglas

STORIES FROM THIS EPISODE

Prologue

JIM BROWN: Hello, I'm Jim Brown sitting in for Carol Off.

JEFF DOUGLAS: Good evening, I'm Jeff Douglas. This is As It Happens.

[Music: Theme]

JD: Tonight.

JB: Insult to injury. After a 19-year-old Good Samaritan is killed in Hamilton Ontario a witness is questioning the actions and inaction of the paramedics who treated him.

JD: Changing the price of non-admission. Our guest spent time in prison for failing to reveal his HIV positive status, so he welcomes Ontario's decision to restrict prosecutions for non-disclosure.

JB: Not exactly preaching to the choir. Members of an Alabama church congregation are shocked by a surprise guest speaker during yesterday's service — embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore.

JD: A big non-honking deal. A professional driver in India will be honoured for his quiet dignity and his hands off approach because during 18 years in Kolkata traffic he has never once honked his horn.

JB: Hey big sender. It's been nothing but unwanted gifs, inappropriate emojis and annoying abbreviations ever since. But it's not our guests fault, he's just the person who sent the very first text message — 25 years ago.

JD: And…The sky line’s the limit. During an interview with a guest in Toronto on CNN the network puts up a picture of the city, but sharp eyed viewers noticed the dated picture behind the guest is way behind the times. As It Happens the Monday edition: Radio that has some advice for TV viewers — turn on, tune in, backdrop out.

[Music: Theme]

Back To Top »

Part 1: Hamilton Good Samaritan, Roy Moore Church, Toronto Backdrop

Hamilton Good Samiritan

Guest: Amin Al-Tahir

JD: On Saturday near a mosque in Hamilton, Ontario 19-year-old man tried to help a stranger who was being accosted by two other men. Yosif Al-Hasnawi paid for that act of kindness with his life. He was shot during the altercation, he later died in hospital. And according to witnesses, paramedics told the wounded man he had been shot by a pellet gun and didn't appear to take his injuries seriously. Amin Al-Tahir is a director at the Al-Mostafa Islamic Centre. We reached him in Hamilton.

JB: Hello, Mr. Al-Tahir.

AMIN AL-TAHIR: Hi Jim, Hello.

JB: Now let me begin by asking you to tell us a little bit about what Yosif was doing at the mosque before all of this happened outside.

AAT: OK we have a special program at our centre and I asked him to open the program by reciting Qu’ran. So he recites Qu’ran for ten minutes and you know the youth they come in and out, they stand sometimes outside their centre. After I introduced the next speaker I was typing on the side Yosif’s brother came running inside and he told me Yosif got shot. So I waved to his dad, his dad was sitting with the crowd and we went outside. We saw Yosif laying down on the sidewalk.

JB: And were there any paramedics there at that time?

AAT: Yes, there were two paramedics and police officer and his father threw himself down, he was laying down beside his son. And he asked him, “Are you OK?” His son responded. “I have difficulty breathing.”

JB: And tell me what the paramedics were doing when you arrived outside.

AAT: They were standing beside him. They said “He's OK.” They left his sweater. They saw a small cut on his belly and one of them he wiped a little blood out on the cut and he said “See you have nothing wrong, you are ok man, stand up, you’re acting out.” They were laughing, both of them “Come on you're acting now. There is nothing.” And they tried to pull him up from his collar to make him stand up and then he has no energy to stand up whatsoever.

JB: So they believe he was seriously injured?

AAT: No, no. Even after he told them “I have difficulty breathing.”

JB: What did his injuries look like to you?

AAT: OK. It was a small cut, yes. I saw it on his belly. And it's not bleeding really bad but there is blood there. But when you see somebody laying down and a cut on his belly and he said “I have difficulty breathing” They wasted 20 minutes, until we start yelling at them. We told them “He said he had difficulty breathing. Please take him away.” They said “No he's acting out, man, stand up,” And they were laughing. “Oh, come on, there is nothing wrong with you. Stand up.” Then after that like a lot of people start coming and yelling at the paramedic “Please take him to the hospital.” The police stood between us and the paramedic just trying to push us away and we started yelling and screaming “Please take him to the hospital.” Then they decide to take him to the hospital. They pull up the stretcher, the way they threw him on the stretcher — you see see it just sometimes at the airport when you look from the window to see the bag handler personnel at the airport how they throw the bags inside the airplane — that’s the way they threw his body on the stretcher.

JB: They just tossed him on the stretcher?

AAT: Exactly, exactly. Like you don't deal with an injured person telling you ‘I have difficulty breathing’ that way.

JB: How long would you estimate it took from the time the paramedics arrived until they put Yosif in the ambulance?

AAT: I told you when we came running to Yosif they were already there. So I don't know when they came. But the amount of time between when we got there to them putting Yosif on the stretcher, it's more than 20 minutes because when they left we went back to the program assuming ‘OK it's a small injury but he has difficulty breathing.’ His dad went behind him in his car to the hospital. The moment his dad got to the hospital the doctors told him “Sorry we lost him.”

JB: According to a spokesperson for the Hamilton paramedic service, the person in this case Yosif, he said that he was promptly taken to the hospital. Is that what you saw?

AAT: Absolutely not. They wasted a lot of time. They didn’t decide to take him until we started yelling at them.

JB: Can you tell us a little bit about Yosif? What kind of a person was he?

AAT: I met Yosif when he was 13 years old. He was full of life. He volunteered two hours a week of his time doing kid's activity. He always saying “I'm going to make a difference, I’m going to make life easy for everyone. I got to focus on education. I'm going to be a scientist and I'll be reading, researching and doing science.”

JB: And I should remind listeners too that Yosif was shot trying to help a stranger.

AAT: That's a hero’s for sure, that's a hero. And he helped a stranger. So this guy he's, he's a hero. He lived and died like a hero. The whole community, we have a big all this kid’s someday is going to be a star and the future, he has a bright future. He will lead the community and his family for a great future

JB: Mr. Al-Tahir, we're very sorry for your loss and thank you very much for joining us.

AAT: You're very welcome.

JD: Amin Al-Tahir here is a director at the Al-Mostafa Islamic Centre. We reached him in Hamilton, Ontario. Hamilton police announced this afternoon they were seeking two suspects in the murder of Yosif Al-Hasnawi. So far one is in custody. Hamilton's paramedic services also announced an investigation into how their paramedics responded.

[Music: Sombre Guitar & Strings]

Roy Moore

Guest: Charlene Cannon

JD: When Charlene Cannon went to church in Birmingham, Alabama yesterday she expected to hear the word of God. She did not expect to hear the words of embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore — but she did. Of course Mr. Moore is running in a special election in the state. And on Sunday he spoke at Guiding Light Church in Birmingham. As you doubtlessly are aware, multiple women have recently come forward to say Mr. Moore made unwanted sexual advances on them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s — allegations he denies. None of this seems to matter to President Donald Trump. He called Roy Moore today to endorse him, but it does trouble some other congregants at Guiding Light Church — including Ms. Cannon. We read Charlene Cannon in Birmingham.

JB: Ms. Cannon, let me begin by asking you what happened during this appearance at your church by Roy Moore?

CHARLENE CANNON: Well, I came in a little late. I had stopped to get a cup of coffee and I went in and sat down and I was enjoying the service. The choir was singing and then the bishop said he had special guest and he introduced Roy Moore and I was looking around like “What?” Because I didn't know he was going to be there.

JB: And what did he have to say, Mr. Moore?

CC: Well, Mr. Moore believe it or not recited a poem, a Christmas poem. He didn't speak about politics he recited a poem and I was just shocked that he was there.

JB: Well that's what I was going to ask you next. What were you thinking as you realized that the man who's been in the news so much lately was standing at the front of your church reading a poem? What was going through your mind?

CC: He recited the poem and I was really trying to find a way to get out of there right then. But where I was sitting, I was sitting in between people and it would have been impolite and disrespectful for me to just get up and walk out. So I was kind of still there.

JB: So you were checking out the exits?

[LAUGHING]

CC: Yes we have many exits, but I was nowhere near one.

JB: How were other people reacting, were you making eye contact with anyone?

CC: You know, I made eye contact with several of the women, they were as we call it, giving him the side-eye or some were looking away and I was told some left. I did not see that. And some of the people that was coming into church decided to turn around and go back out.

JB: Is it unusual for politicians to show up at your church on Sunday?

CC: Not really, all are welcome. They are not allowed to speak politics. We’ve had Republicans come and we've had Democrats come. I think that was the first time I felt uncomfortable.

JB: Now you put up a picture of Mr. Moore on your Facebook feed. What kind of reaction did that get?

CC: Let me see how I want to put this. It started a firestorm — I took it down.

JB: Now the head of your church Bishop Jim Lowe, he said after this firestorm as you call it started, he said to defend himself he said, “All are welcomed. We did not invite him to come. But he came and wanted to worship with us. I will preach to anyone who is willing to listen.”

CC: If somebody comes to worship at the church we're not going to turn them away. I'm not going to let them speak either.

JB: You say that Mr. Moore didn't make any political statements but I understand at one point your Bishop actually compared Mr. Moore to Jesus Christ, he said he was being crucified.

CC: He said he was being crucified for his way of thinking, for his ideas. Yes, he did say that.

JB: How did you react when you heard that? What did you think?

CC: I still don’t know what to think. I'm still disappointed that he even came to the church.

JB: What's your main objection to seeing Roy Moore at your church? Explain a little bit why you were offended by having Roy Moore at your church.

CC: Mr. Moore has never said anything about the accusations against him except that they were not true and I've always said one or two women say that I might say well, but nine women coming forward? As I always say where there's smoke there's fire and you're not answering these allegations. There's a problem there.

JB: So you don't feel you're hearing the full truth from Roy Moore?

CC: No, no. What he has said, I don't feel like he's telling the truth. He's never dated a young woman without her mother's permission. If you’re going to date a grown 21-year-old woman of legal age there's no reason to ask the mother's permission. I do not like his stance on women. He's saying women shouldn't run for office. So I think there's a note of disrespect there, a lot of disrespect for women.

JB: Now I have to let our listeners know that you are a supporter of the Democratic Party and you've helped in campaigns. And you used to work at the local party headquarters. Is your choice to speak out about this partisan politics?

CC: No, no. I have friends that are Republicans and I know they’re good people, some are good people, but he has not even spoken about the issue. I don't need someone to get up and say I’m going to go along with whatever the president says, no.

JB: Now this Alabama special election is just eight days away and the polls are showing that most Republicans are still standing behind Roy Moore and that they don't believe these allegations. And then today we found out that President Donald Trump is openly endorsing Roy Moore. What do you think is going to happen on voting day?

CC: I am praying that everybody gets out and votes for somebody that cares about the people, that cares about health care, and that I hope they vote for Doug Jones. He's a good man. He's what I would call a moderate. You know, they want to put everybody in the Democratic Party as a liberal. That's not true, he's moderate. He's going to look out for what’s best for all of the people.

JB: Are you concerned at all that if Roy Moore wins then people will point to that election result and say well, you know, the people of Alabama decided he wasn't guilty?

CC: Well, yes I can see that. My thing is, I have a daughter and if my daughter came home and says something like that I'm going to listen to her. They're telling me if it was their child it's OK? No it is not OK.

JB: Ms. Cannon, thank you very much for joining us.

CC: Thank you for speaking with me.

JD: Charlene Cannon is a member of the Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, Alabama where a Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore spoke yesterday. And as Jim mentioned she is also a Democratic volunteer and supporter. We reached Ms. Cannon in Birmingham. You can find more on this on our website: www.cbc.ca/aih.

[Music: Ambient Tones]

Toronto Backdrop

Guest: Pedro Marques

JD: So last night CNN was covering the latest on Michael Flynn and the FBI and the network called up a former ethics director in the Obama administration, Walter Shaub, to talk about Donald Trump's tweets on the matter. Mr. Schaub happened to be in Toronto for a conference, so obviously the network dropped in as a backdrop for the interview a photograph of Toronto's skyline. But as the CBC's own John Lancaster pointed out in a tweet, it wasn't exactly a live shot. That backdrop was dated — like a really dated — and Toronto photographer Pedro Marques was able to pinpoint just how dated it was. We reached Mr. Marques in Toronto via Skype.

JB: Mr. Marques, tell me first of all what you were doing when you came across this tweet of the CNN interview with Walter Shaub?

PEDRO MARQUES: I was just about to go to bed and I was just scrolling through Twitter like I usually do and I noticed the photo, I hadn't read the tweet I just noticed the photo in my timeline there. And then I saw that it was a CNN picture and I assumed it was live and I saw the background of Toronto and immediately recognized that as an old photo, it's definitely not a current or live backdrop. When you when you see somebody live on TV you assume that they’re there and that’s just something playing in the background or a window or something. I knew right away that that was a very old photo.

JB: You knew right away?

PM: Yeah.

JB: What was the giveaway?

PM: I mean, the very first thing that stood out to me that was the CN Tower wasn't lit up. It has these LED lights on it right now, it's very futuristic and it's very 2017, wasn't there. I noticed that the EdgeWalk crown was also missing. And so that's when I opened the tweet and read that, you know, they found it funny that it's an old photo.

JB: Because what did it for John Lancaster was the fact that it said Eaton’s at the top of one of the buildings.

PM: Yeah, that was the first thing that stood out to me but I looked at that as well and then I read the comments under the tweet. And people were saying it was a composite photo, that certain buildings weren't where the supposed to be.

JB: So then, I guess as far as CNN is concerned it's got the CN Tower in it so that's good enough.

PM: Exactly. I feel like they're really just stereotyping Toronto. They must have Googled Toronto, found a photo just stamped it on. But Toronto has grown incredibly since this photo was taken.

JB: OK so you set out to really pin down the date here. You did all this triangulation of different things. Tell us tell us what you did? Walk us through your timeline and the thinking that led you to it?

PM: I realized what I said about the LEDs that are on the CN tower, that was I would say around 2006, 2007, is when they installed those. And I kept going through the photo, the Eaton’s logo was up there, so it had to be early 2000s or it could have been much earlier. But I also realized that Brookfield Place, BCE Place, is in the photo and it was built in the early 90s, I would say 91 maybe. And so, you know, I kind of had some bookends to go with. And then I had a closer look and I saw that it's now called the TD Canada Trust Tower has a TD logo, has a green logo. TD purchased Canada Trust when I moved to Canada which was at end of 2000. So that's kind of how I triangulated it.

JB: So the time between the TD Canada Trust merger and the death of Eaton’s, that's basically what you're looking at here?

PM: That's true, Sears purchased Eaton’s in ‘99 but they went on to rebrand it and so they closed completely in 2002. But Eaton’s continued for a couple of years after they purchased it.

JB: Any idea what month in 2001?

PM: I see some vapour coming out of that TC Canada Trust, so that would mean it's cold. My best guess is that it is around March 2001, and I can even probably tell you the time by looking at that as well.

JB: What time?

PM: 6:00 p.m.-ish. I see look at the photo now and I see some of the office lights are on but some of them are completely off, some floors are off entirely. So people have gone home for the day and I wouldn't go too far past 6:00 because it's definitely not dark yet, it's kind of twilight.

JB: A cool March evening in 2001.

PM: Exactly.

JB: Now you've got a quite a lot of information at hand, not only about the Toronto skyline but about corporate mergers and takeovers. How do you have all this right there?

PM: I've always had a photographic memory. I'm a photographer so it comes in handy. I immediately remember the circumstances around that photo. You know where I was in my life, who I was dating or things like that, that's kind of what — I don't really know about the mergers. But I do remember visual things like TD taking over Canada Trust. I remember opening my account and knowing that they had just bought Canada Trust.

JB: How long do you think it took you to come up with a year of 2001 for this photo?

PM: Less than five minutes. I mean, I immediately recognize it as old and then as I started reading tweets I kind of went out to prove people wrong that it's not a composite photo. And yeah maybe less than five minutes.

JB: So what's your best guess as to how a 16-year-old picture is being used as a backdrop on CNN?

PM: I don't know. I think they probably just went and looked for some stock photos of Toronto. And I thought Toronto would be well known in the US and at CNN, but I guess not. Somebody didn't catch this.

JB: Pedro Marques, thank you very much for joining us.

PM: Thanks for interviewing me.

JD: Pedro Marques is a Toronto photographer. And if you'd like to see that 2001 picture of the Toronto skyline head on over to our website, our current website that is: www.cbc.ca/aih.

[Music: Whimsical Jazz Band]

No Honking Award

Guest: Angèle Regnier

JD: Dateline Kolkata, India.

[Music: Theme]

JD: He's being honoured for not doing it, but he didn't not do it for praise. He didn't do it because he believes it's the right thing to not do. Dipak Das is an unusual award recipient in at least two ways. First, he is getting the 2017 Manish Sandman award for something he's never done. Second, the award specifically honours someone who does something unusual to benefit society — and what he's not doing is extremely unusual in Kolkata. Dipak Das is a professional driver for hire, and for the past 18 years he has not honked his horn. And as you know, if you have driven in Kolkata, that is not because he sails around no problem. Traffic there is bad. Speeds on some of Kolkata’s main arteries average less than 20 kilometres per hour. It's not, not frustrating. Which is why the vast, vast majority of drivers are not, not honking. Surely Mr. Das is frustrated too, but his position on honking is clear. His car features a sign reading “Horn is a concept. I care for your heart.” That seems like an iffy translation but the gist is that Dipak Das does not believe in honking, he believes not honking makes you more alert driver, that driving well makes honking unnecessary and that honking does nothing to solve traffic problems. He even believes that one day Kolkata may be honking free zone. He told a newspaper quote “It is not something that cannot be achieved or very difficult to achieve. What is required for this is administrative and political good will.” Now typically, instead of patting himself on the back, he's using his platform for the betterment of the city. But by now we should know better than to expect him to toot his own horn.

Back To Top »

Part 2: HIV Non-Disclosure, Text Message Anniversary

HIV Non-Disclosure

Guest: Chad Clarke

JD: The Ontario government has given a new direction to its Crown Attorneys — stop prosecuting all HIV positive people who do not disclose that status to sexual partners. The directive applies to people who are HIV positive but carry a low level of the virus in their blood. And the thinking being that those people are unlikely to transmit the virus to a sexual partner and therefore should not be charged with a crime if they failed to disclose their status. Chad Clarke was relieved to hear this change. He is an HIV positive man who spent thirty-nine months behind bars for aggravated sexual assault after being found guilty of HIV Non-disclosure. We reached Mr. Clarke in London, Ontario.

JB: Mr. Clarke, we know obviously that there still a lot of stigma facing HIV positive people. Does this announcement by the Ontario government do anything to change that?

CHAD CLARKE: I personally feel it's a step in the right direction. It shows that they're willing to listen to voices of people with lived the experience. When I heard the news it was a little bit more than what I expected. I had, you know, I broke down but they were happy tears. And when I got home I took a deep breath and shared the news with my girlfriend and then I went and spent World AIDS Day days with my brother to celebrate change for once instead of standing up at a vigil that night being sad. I wanted to embrace change because change happened that day.

JB: Now the province has ruled that if an HIV positive person has a low viral load, so in other words a low amount of HIV in their blood, then there is almost zero risk of transmitting the disease, and therefore they shouldn't have to disclose the fact that they have the disease to a sexual partner. Why do you think the government made this change now?

CC: The science proves that as well as it is the right thing to do. Science proves that if you’re virally suppressed longer than six months you will not pass this on. So it's time to catch up to the signs which they did. They did take it into account and they researched it and they felt it was the right thing to do. Like for myself every three months I'm getting my blood tested to make sure that the meds that I'm on at this time are actually working. If there's any slight change in my CD4 or my CD8 or my viral load, my doctor will consult with me and tell me okay Chad this is the best practice that we need to go moving forward. There can be times where you may become infectible again because you've gone off the anti-retrovirals. My best advice to everybody is take your medications, adhere to your medications and there's nothing to worry about.

JB: Now you spent thirty-nine months in prison for HIV non-disclosure. Can you tell us a little bit about your personal story and how you ended up charged?

CC: Well, I was in a relationship with a female — long relationship — almost two and a half years. We decided to go our separate ways and I was at work one morning when I got a phone call stating that there was a Canada-wide warrant for my arrest. I asked in regards to what and my knees buckled when they said for aggravated sexual assault due to HIV non-disclosure. And I turned myself in the next morning with a family member and didn't see the light of day until June 3rd, 2011.

JB: Did you know that you are HIV positive at the time?

CC: In 2004 they say is when I actually contracted HIV. I did go for a test, one test told me that I was positive. And what they do when you test positive you go back to all your partners, everybody tested negative. So I went for a second test because it kept bothering me and I kept saying to my partner I would say well “What if I am?” And I was told “Well all your other partners are negative. We'll deal with it when we deal with it.” So I went and got a second test and I didn't hear anything back from my doctor, nor did public health get a hold of me, so at that time I felt that I was not HIV positive. No news was good news. I continued to have a relationship with this lady, and like I stated earlier, we went our separate ways and this came about my life. My life halted that day. I dealt with it the best way I could and I've been dealing with it the best way I can now.

JB: The Crown did successfully argue that you'd be found guilty of aggravated sexual assault. Do you feel you could have done anything differently to prevent those charges?

CC: That’s a tough question. Yeah, I probably could have educated myself on HIV I guess. At the time it was new, I didn't know about it. I guess we could have practiced sex so that there is 100 per cent no risk. You know, I'm human right human error. What would I do now? I would have made sure I was educated and properly prepared going back if I could go back in time. Unfortunately I can't go back in time and I've got to keep up to the science and keep on my meds so I stay undetectible and educate other people that may be at risk. That's all I can do right now.

JB: You served more than three years behind bars. You're on the National Sex Offender Registry. How has all of this prosecution, how has it all affected your life?

CC: It's made it tough to go and find work and be an active member of society if you want to say, because, you know, I'm sitting at home on a fixed income that barely pays my bills. I would love to go volunteer but some agencies when they do a criminal background check will see that aggravated sexual assault. They don't know the nature of it so right there you get stigmatized. You get everything else that goes along with it. Trying to get proper housing, it can be very hard. You know, I'm fortunate that my girlfriend has good credit, we live in a good area. If not I would be living in a four-hundred dollar a month apartment in a pretty rough area, which I don't want to be. You know, it just puts me back in that lifestyle that I had at one time in my life that I no longer want to be in. You know, I'm 46 and a grandfather now, it's time to lead by example.

JB: What about family relationships, has it affected those?

CC: Family relationships, well I'm dealing with some stuff right now. My daughter she's under the thinking that because her father is on the national sex registry that I can't be around children. It's hard and it's put a strain on us — we're not talking right now. You know, my grandson will be 3 this February and I haven't seen him since he was a year.

JB: I guess that's your hope that this news from the province will prevent future Chad Clarke’s from going through what you went through?

CC: That's exactly why I do what I do to be honest with you. It's about the 200 that we know of that have gone through it. And the other ones that we don't know or had the potential of facing that and maybe even longer time. These are human lives and I just want a voice for them so people know what's actually going on and we can educate and get them on medication. And if they're newly diagnosed get them the mental health that they need, because living with HIV it's not just your immune system it's also a mental thing you're going to have for the rest of your life and you need to have those proper supports in place.

JB: Now a lot of HIV positive people, and activists for that matter, say that this ruling doesn't go far enough, that more HIV positive people are still being unfairly prosecuted. What's your view?

CC: I feel that we left some people behind. We've got to protect those people that can’t attain undetectability. Whether it be through drug interactions, whether it be through allergies or new immigrants that can access the medication. So what I've learned is if you do professional activism and not scream and holler and bring masses and bring attention, but rather show scientific proof, show your dedication and your activism in a proper way. So overall I'm a very happy man. I like the fact that they also announced 34 million dollars for frontline workers as well as access to medication.

JB: Chad Clarke thank you very much for joining us.

CC: Thank you.

JD: Chad Clark spent 39 months in prison for failing to disclose his HIV positive status. We reached him in London, Ontario.

[Music: Ambient Bass Tones]

MP Comments Bezan/Romanado

JD: This morning in the House of Commons, Conservative MP James Bezan stood to offer an apology.

SOUNDCLIP

JAMES BEZAN: Thank you Mr Speaker. Earlier this year I made an inappropriate and insensitive comment in the presence of the member from Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne. I have nothing but the greatest respect for this member, for this institution and I sincerely apologize.

JD: So it was unclear what exactly he was referring to until Liberal MP Sherry Romanado rose in the house on a point of order.

SOUNDCLIP

SHERRY ROMANADO: Mr. Speaker, in response to a point of order made earlier today by the member from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman. In May the member from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman publicly made inappropriate, humiliating and unwanted comments to me that were sexual in nature. These comments have caused me great stress and have negatively affected my work environment. Thank you.

JD: So what exactly had happened was still not immediately clear. But later on in the day Mr. Bezan released a statement explaining the inappropriate comment that he had made last May at Ottawa City Hall. He says he was posing for a photograph with Ms. Romanado and another person when he said quote “This isn't my idea of a threesome.” Mr. Bezan says that although an investigation into the incident found no sexual harassment he has taken sensitivity training and apologized to Ms Romanado and now issued that apology in the house.

[Music: Ambient Bass]

Syrian Girl B.C.

JD: They fled the war in Syria last year to begin a new life in Canada. Now the Albarhoum family are mourning the tragic death of their nine-year-old daughter. Hala Albarhoum was struck and killed by a bus in Abbotsford, British Columbia on Friday, just 500 metres from her elementary school. The Albarhoum family had moved to the town as government sponsored refugees last year. On Saturday the Abbotsford Islamic Centre held a funeral for Hala. Tahir Khalid is a director at the centre. He's been helping the grieving family. This morning he spoke with Rick Cluff host of CBC Vancouver's The Early Edition.

SOUNDCLIP

TAHIR KHALID: It's very difficult. The first day was the hardest. I met the family in the hospital in the ER, just a few hours after the accident and by the time I arrived she had already passed away. As Muslims we are told that everything happens with the will of Allah. We are also told that after every hardship there is ease. But I tell you it was not easy for me to come up with any words that I can say to this brother to console him. So anyway he's come along from there he's has a lot of community support. This has generated a lot of mobilization within the community. And the people are asking is there a way we can we can help them that they can you know go through this easier.

RICK CLUFF: Yeah this GoFundMe campaign has been established to help with financial support. How can people listening, how can they become involved, how can they contribute?

TK: We started this because we knew that the family had been going through some financial difficulties. The father, his brother is still stuck in Syria, and they're trying to support him as much as they can. Last summer some of us were involved in doing some fund to send it to his brother. But whatever money that was generated at that time actually he refused to accept it except as a loan. So they are very dignified and honourable people. So it's not easy to actually give them financial help to get them to accept it. So we thought that this is the best we could do at this time, there's funeral costs and other costs. We have reached out our target so we will probably go on for a few more days and then we will stop that because he will not accept any more probably.

JD: Tahir Khalid is a director at the Abbotsford Islamic Centre, which held a funeral this weekend for Hala Albarhoum, the nine-year-old Syrian girl who was struck by a bus and killed. Mr. Khalid was speaking to the host of CBC Vancouver's Early Edition Rick Cluff, and we will have some more news about Rick later on in the program.

[Music: Trance Bass]

Text Message Anniversary

Guest: Neil Papworth

JD: By this point in the year some of us have probably sent a few thousand of them. Today alone we might have ripped off a dozen. But 25 years ago only one simple SMS or text message had ever been sent. A short message, no emojis, fired off on December 3rd of 1992. The person who hit send on that message was Neil Papworth. Mr. Papworth is a programmer who was born somewhere called Reading, I think, in England. It's about 61 kilometres west of London, which just so you know, is the length of 455,224 average sized smartphones laid end to end. Now at the time Neil Papworth was working in the UK, now he lives in Canada and we reached him in Longueuil.

JB: Mr. Papworth, when you said that text 25 years ago how momentous did the moment feel?

NEIL PAPWORTH: It didn't feel momentous at all. For me it was just getting my job done on the day and ensuring that our software that we’d been developing for a good year was working okay. And that's what exactly what it did. It worked fine. I had no idea that that first text was going to snowball eventually into this thing we call texting today.

JB: And you, obviously this is this is pre-smartphone, and you weren't using your thumbs on a device were you?

NP: No I wasn't. There was no mobile originated messaging, none of the handsets were able to send a message. It was all done by typing the message into the computer through one that the various interfaces we had. We would type in the mobile number and the message and hit enter and then it comes out on the phone.

JB: So what do you write in your first message?

NP: The message was Merry Christmas.

JB: And why did you write Merry Christmas?

NP: I don't remember exactly why that message was chosen but it was the third of December and the message was going to somebody who was at a Christmas party for Vodafone. And so what better message to send than Merry Christmas?

JB: How did you know that that person received it if they were unable to reply via text?

NP: Well, the room I was in I was in the room with a bunch of the engineers. I guess we were all there in case something went wrong and there was a few other people standing around on cellphones to people people that were in the room in the other side of town at a Christmas party and they were on their phones as well watching what's happening. These guys were talking to each other so that's when I knew when to send a message. They said “Yeah they’re ready go on and do it now.” After I'd sent the message in a few seconds later I got some thumbs up knowing that it worked.

JB: And mass high five-ing and celebrating?

NP: There wasn't actually, no it was just — I guess I probably wiped my brow or something with my British handkerchief kind of relieved that it worked. But no, there was there was no mass excitement or anything like that.

JB: So Merry Christmas is okay. With the benefit of hindsight do you regret that you didn't sort of Neil Armstrong it up a little bit?

NP: No I don't, I don't. I’ve been thinking about this recently. If I'd have tried to put some kind of other meaningful message in there, 25 years later like today, you guys would be talking about what was he really thinking when he sent that. Why did he say that, what was he was the real meaning? Whereas the fact that it was just Merry Christmas, it's just, you know, I was wishing someone a Merry Christmas. There's no other meaning to it really.

JB: Did you type the whole thing out or did you use a capital ‘X’?

NP: No, I typed the whole thing out capital ‘M’ and capital ‘C’ no abbreviations.

[LAUGHTER]

JB: You just had no idea did you?

NP: I didn't know. You know, the shorthand, the LOLs and that kind of stuff wasn't around then yeah you say what you mean.

JB: Now of course we're celebrating the success of this and marking the anniversary but we are hearing reports that texting might be on the decline now because of programs like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger that kind of thing. How does that make you feel?

NP: Well, to me I've been expecting it. It's always going to be the case, there's going to be other mechanisms for sending messages and those are maybe richer mediums, you can put emojis and videos and other things in the messages there. So to some degree it's a surprise that it's taken as long as it has because the demise of text messaging has been predicted for many years. I remember being at a 15th anniversary party and people were saying ‘oh you know it was going to die off’ kind of thing and here we are another 10 years later. And I think from what I've read it is just starting to dip but people are still using it and I still think they will for a while longer.

JB: Now how often do you text today?

NP: Not that often. There are days that I don't text at all. There are days where I do like two or three and days that maybe I might do 10 or so. I don't do anything exciting it's just like coordinate movements with friends when we’re going to the pub or something saying you’re going to be late.

JB: Do you use all the text shorthand the LOL and the capital ‘U’ and all that kind of stuff?

NP: Not at all, I'm old school.

JB: What about emojis?

NP: No, no I don't. If I put a smiley it's a colon, dash and the closed bracket. You know, it's like the phone might convert it into a little graphic but I still don't go into like the emoji menu and like oh put that one in there or a big one that's kind of laughing and moving around. I just put colon, dash closed bracket.

JB: Every five years, whenever there's a significant anniversary — whether it's the 10th, or the 20th or the 25th — you get calls, the media wants to talk to you. Has anything else in your life ever topped this? Am I missing a question?

NP: No not really. I mean, I've had three great kids. I've got married so of course, you know, those things are the highlights of my life. But as far as it goes, you know, this thing a few interviews and that kind of stuff every few years. And then around the 20th I think it was, there was a Super Bowl commercial. That's the kind of thing that you put on your bucket list, isn't it really.

JB: Now what kind of work are you doing now, are you still involved in the tech field?

NP: Actually at the moment I'm actually looking for work at the moment. I've been out of work since last year and I've actually started kind of retraining on some and some of the newer technologies like Amazon Web Services and things like that. So I'm looking into kind of the next stage because I think cloud stuff is the way forward in the future. So I want to I want to get my skills honed into that and then take a ride on the next wave that's coming through, which I'm not at the start like with text messaging but I'm happy kind of stuff surfing in the middle of it maybe.

JB: Well if any of our listeners want to hire a pioneer you are taking calls.

NP: I am yes.

[LAUGHTER]

JB: Thank you very much for joining us.

NP: You're welcome.

JD: Neil Papworth sent the first text message 25 years ago. We reached Mr. Papworth in Longueuil, Quebec. And if you would like to see a photograph of the very first text message enabled cell phone, visit our website: www.cbc.ca/aih.

Australian MP Proposes

JD: Australian Liberal MP Tim Wilson clearly wants his parliament to vote yes to same sex marriage. But during a debate on the subject today he was looking for another ‘yes’ from the public gallery where his partner was looking on a bit shocked.

SOUNDCLIP

TIM WILSON: And with the indulgence of the speaker the person I have to thank is my partner Ryan. You’ve had to tolerate more than most because you had to put up with me. Trust me. This debate has been the soundtrack to our relationship. We both know this issue isn't the reason we got involved in politics — give us tax reform any day. But in my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands — that they are the answer to the questions we cannot ask. So there's only one thing left to do. Ryan Patrick Bolger will you marry me?

[APPLAUSE]

JD: That was Australian Liberal Party MP Tim Wilson proposing to his partner Ryan during Parliament's debate on same sex marriage. In a National Postal Survey 61 per cent of Australians said they supported the measure and it is expected to easily pass the House of Representatives.

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Part 3: Bear Relocation, Science Prize

MLK Poor People’s Campaign

JD: Today in Washington D.C. a parade of faith leaders walked to Capitol Hill to deliver a message to political leaders — stop attacking the poor. Before the procession the Reverends William Barber II, and Rev. Liz Theoharis announced the launch of the Poor People's Campaign — or rather the relaunch. Because 50 years ago today, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. announced the beginning of a campaign by the same name. And the plan then was to organize mass demonstrations to demand help for the poor, particularly with regards to jobs, health care and housing. The campaign was tragically cut short by Dr. King's assassination in 1968. The organizers today say they intend to revive it. Now from his 1968 Poor People's Campaign Speech, which is called Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, this is Dr. Martin Luther King. For the record.

SOUNDCLIP

DR MARTIN LUTHRE KING JR: Yes it will be a poor people's campaign. This is the question facing America. Ultimately, a great nation is a compassionate nation. America has not met its obligations and its responsibilities to the poor. One day we will have to stand before the God of history. We will talk in terms of things we've done. Yes we will be able to say we build gargantuan bridges to span the seas. We build gigantic buildings to kiss the skies. We made our submarines to penetrate oceanic depths. We brought into being many other things with our scientific and technological power. It seems that I can hear the God of history saying “That was not enough.” I was hungry and you fed me not. I was naked and you clothed me not. I was devoid of a decent sanitary house to live in and you provided no shelter for me, and consequently you cannot enter the kingdom of greatness. If you do unto the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me. That's the question facing America today.

JD: From March of 1968 that was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fifty years ago today he announced the launch of the Poor People's Campaign and today in Washington D.C. a number of faith leaders gathered to declare a revival of that campaign.

[Music: Sombre Tones]

Bear Relocation

Guest: Mike Spence

JD: Churchill is known as the polar bear capital of the world and the northern Manitoba town would really like to keep it that way. And the talk in Churchill today concerns two orphaned polar bear cubs. They were captured by provincial conservation officers and held in the town's so-called bear jail until authorities could figure out what to do with them next. Assiniboine Park Zoo had called dibs on the cubs but Churchill's Mayor, Mike Spence, had been fighting to keep them at home. And he wants to see them released back into the wild. When we called Mayor Spence today he had just received some news. We reached Mayor Mike Spence in Churchill.

JB: Mayor Spence, where are those bears going?

MAYOR MIKE SPENCE: Well, actually I just received a call from Sustainable Development Department from the ministers assistant indicating that they have made a decision and the two orphaned cubs are destined to the Winnipeg zoo.

JB: How do you feel about that?

MS: This this is a missed opportunity. I thought that it would be a great opportunity to do something different here. I’ve always been concerned about cubs going to a zoo and there’s been too many gone there now. I think over the last number of years has been upwards of seven, eight, nine cubs. We just need to do something different here.

JB: So tell us about these two orphaned cubs? How did they end up in Churchill away from their mothers?

MS: That's the question — we don't know. You know, I don't think even Sustainable Development knows where the mothers are. And that's part of the research that needs to be done. Was the mother around? Did they look for a dead mother? We don't know. That's part of what needs to happen here with, you know, climate change is with us here. More research needs to be done in the Churchill area with the Churchill bears. That's important.

JB: And how is it that these bears aren't just left in the wild? How did they end up in the control of conservation officers?

MS: Well, I mean, any time you've come across cubs they have a responsibility to find out what the issue is — apparently they're healthy cubs. And that's part of the routine, right. Once you find an orphaned cub know you put it in the holding facility here. They do the monitoring and then they decide what they're going to do with them. And it's always been the case that they sent them off to the zoo. We had found out about it and we asked the question “Is there a plan? Is there something outside the box that we can do? They said no we would be consulted. Basically it wasn't a matter of consultation it was just a matter of saying, you know, yes it would be a difficult decision.

JB: But according to biologists these orphans have a much better shot of survival in a zoo than they would if they were left alone in the wild right.

MS: Yeah, but see the thing is we don't really know, right. It’s unknown, it’s never been tried before. The laziest thing to do is ‘let's take them in a zoo. Let's give them a life sentence.’ Let's do something different. Let's do something bold. Otherwise we're going to continue to send the cubs to the zoos and that's not a place for them. We want them back in their own environment because once you take them on you they're gone. They’re out of the population and it's not a good thing.

JB: But the odds though, I mean, I know there was a team from the University of Alberta that was up there in the spring in Churchill, and they estimate that orphaned cubs have a five per cent survival rate. Those aren’t very good odds.

MS: Well, you see the thing is there's a lot of unknowns, right. They don't even know that for a fact. That's what they're estimating, OK. In this day and age with climate change that's upon us we're going to see more and more and more of this.

JB: Now you said earlier that in the past couple of years you've seen seven, eight or nine of these orphaned cubs. Is that a growing number or is that constant?

MS: Yes it is.

JB: It is growing, so there’s more now than there used to be?

MS: Exactly. And this is why the concern. You know, even though cubs going off with their mothers, going off to the ice in what they do. I mean, you know, the possibility of them surviving that environment is not a guarantee as well, right.

JB: Even with a mother.

MS: Yeah, exactly.

JB: So what do you propose? If those bears are not sent to Winnipeg to the zoo, what should be done with them?

MS: Well, like I said, I mean, the whole aspect was to see if we could do something different, and put some tracking devices on them and monitor to see how they're doing and hopefully they would you know they would get by this introduction period into the wild.

JB: And then what would be successful in terms of a rate of survival for cubs if this was tried?

MS: Well, you know what, if one survives and there's been some success, right. But it’s the old note that if you don't try it you don't know.

JB: I'm wondering if this is part of a larger issue of Churchill just wanting to make its own decisions?

MS: Well, you know what, it's all about consulting with one another. I mean, we don't have a problem with consulting with the province in this case, but it appears this decision was made last week, OK. We know that this decision was made last week, we are now fully aware of that. I mean, we're disappointed. I mean, the community was very strong and saying enough's enough already. It has been too many too many of our cubs have been going to zoos and we really need to really need to focus and see if we can you know provide them an alternative in terms of coexisting in an environment that they live in.

JB: Are the bears on the flight to Winnipeg yet?

MS: I don't know. I just received word here about 40 minutes ago. I thought there would be more of a dialogue but it's obvious that a decision was made, I'm thinking a few days ago, and I feel for the two cubs. They’re off to the southern climate, off to a zoo, and not happy about it. But rest assured we will we will be more involved in decision making into the future.

JB: Mayor Spence, thanks for joining us.

MS: Thank you.

JD: Mike Spence is the mayor of Churchill, Manitoba and that is where we reached him.

[Music: Ambient Synth Bells]

Anti-Weed Poem

JD: Last week in the Alberta Legislature a United Conservative MLA Ron Orr presented his reasons why he does not believe legalizing marijuana is a good idea. If you missed it, basically mister or said that the new laws could lead to a communist revolution similar to the one in China. As apocalyptic visions of a dystopian future brought on by legal weed go it was creative — but wait it gets better, or perhaps it gets worse, because Marilyn Gladu decided on verse. Ms. Gladu is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton, and last Friday in the House of Commons she expressed her own concerns about the Liberal's plan to legalize marijuana by July of next year. And she did it in rhyming couplets.

SOUNDCLIP

MARILYN GLADU: Mr. Speaker I want to protest an ill thought out bill that is passing through Parliament here on the Hill. The bill that is bad is called C-45, it has so many flaws it just shouldn't survive. The Grits will allow for pot plants in each dwelling, regardless of how bad each place will be smelling. With mold ventilation as issues unplanned, this bill will not keep pot from our children's hands. There are more new infractions within this new rule that our courts will be flooded every school. With drug-impaired driving and challenges there. The doubling of traffic deaths and liberals don't care. The provinces and police in every town have all asked the Liberals to slow this bill down. With nearly 200 more days left till the day, nobody but our party stands in the way. We hope that the Senate will do its true deed and keep our great country safe from all the weed.

JD: The Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu reciting a powerful anti-weed poem in the House of Commons on Friday.

[Music: Industrial Pop]

Newfoundalnd Car Birth

JD: It was just a regular trip on a well-traveled route to the drugstore that took an unexpected turn. On Saturday morning Christia Tizzard was walking out of a Shopper's Drug Mart in St. John's when she noticed a couple that needed help and so she immediately took control of the situation. And here Ms. Tizzard is describing the unforgettable experience on the St. John's Morning Show earlier today.

SOUNDCLIP

CHRISTIA TIZZARD: I simply was walking out of the Shopper’s after having picked up some stuff and I walked I actually walked by and there was a security guard standing on the sidewalk and he was on the phone, so I just you know nonchalantly goes on and I hear the gentleman saying ‘she's in labour in the car, yes the car.’ I turned around very quickly and I was like ‘Is there something wrong.’ He’s like “My wife is in labour. The baby is coming now.” So then I just ran over to him in the middle of the parking lot. I asked the Dad to move to take his hand away so I could see what was happening. And I asked Dad to go up at the top where Mom’s head was to continue to support her because she was needed to do her breathing, but mom was a rock star. She was in the zone. And I looked down and the baby’s head started crowning. I asked her if she had to push. She wanted to wait a few minutes and then the baby's head really started crowning and I said there was no waiting. And she gave a push and a little tiny bit of another push. And lo and behold baby comes out in the arms. She wasn't breathing at first and the cord was around her neck. So we removed the cord and after we patted her on the back and I put her on mom's chest, I irrigated her mouth and her nose to remove some stuff. And within two or three minutes mom was great, baby was great and we were waiting for paramedics. I don't remember thinking anything. I just remember going through the process like not a thought came to my head. The only thoughts that came to my head was to continue encouraging Mom and Dad.

JD: That was Christia Tizzard on the St. John's Morning Show describing how she helped a St. John's couple give birth to their baby daughter in a parking lot. Nicole and Richard Deveau have decided to call their daughter Carla to honour her place of birth.

[Music: Moody Bass Tones]

Science Prize

Guest: Gary Hinshaw

JD: The most glitzy event on the scientific calendar — that is how the Guardian described a ceremony that took place last night in Silicon Valley. It was the ceremony for the Breakthrough Prize — a group of awards worth 22 million U.S. dollars sponsored by the likes of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sergey Brin. This year Gary Hinshaw is one of the recipients. He is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia. And if listening to me try and fail to explain his research — you know what — let's not do that let's listen to him. We reached Professor Hinshaw in Palo Alto, California.

JB: Professor Hinshaw, congratulations on this award.

PROFESSOR GARY HINSHAW: Thank you very much.

JB: Now I do want to ask you about your research but before we get there I've got to ask you what it was like to attend the so-called Oscars of science?

GH: It was a once in a lifetime event. It was an amazing evening that is equally surreal as well. I've never been in any involved in anything like it.

JB: Can you drop some names on us here?

GH: Well the evening was hosted by Morgan Freeman and he was there all night and did a wonderful job as usual. And I got to sit at the table with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis and with a previous breakthrough recipient, Jennifer Doudna, who's involved in genetic editing techniques. So it was just a rich and diverse crowd to be associated with.

JB: Now I understand that you actually learned that you'd won this prize some time ago. What was it like when you found out?

GH: Equally stunned and surreal. It was back in late summer, I think it was, and I was firmly instructed to keep this a deep secret. So I was allowed to tell my wife but not my children or anybody else.

JB: Now we've left it up to you to explain your research because we want to get it wrong so I understand it started quite a while ago back in 2001 when NASA launched a satellite into space. What were you and the other people working with you, what were you hoping to find out?

GH: We wanted to find out as much as we could about the universe at large. So that was this simple quest, right. But we were we were after kind of the basic parameters of cosmology as we call it. How old is the universe? What is it made of? What is its shape? How did it begin and how will it end? Those are the big questions.

CO: So how does one go about trying to answer those big questions?

GH: Well it turns out the universe has provided an amazing fossil called a Microwave Background Radiation. It's the remnant heat leftover from the Big Bang that map that fossil radiation actually has many of these secrets encoded in it. And once you know how to unlock the code you can find these answers. And so we've made the map, we made the image of this heat radiation and then analyzed it to answer these questions. So we learned that the universe was 13.77 billion years old and that all of the contents of the periodic table constitute less than five per cent of all the energy in the universe, so we're even more insignificant than we thought beforehand.

JB: See this was the little bit that I read earlier today that that intrigued me and confused me. What does that mean exactly, that that we just basically only know a small amount of what the universe is composed of?

GH: That's an excellent question — that's in fact the right question to ask. So know now is that 95 per cent of the energy in the universe is in the form of either dark matter, as we call it, or dark energy. And those are just words, kind of placeholder words, to describe what we don't really know yet. So there's a great effort being undertaken to try and figure out what those are. What is this dark matter? There might be a whole parallel periodic table of dark particles out there and the dark energy is something some anti-gravitational entity that's causing the universe to expand faster and faster today. So very peculiar entities that we’re trying to understand better now.

JB: So an alternate periodic table that will be ten times harder to memorize than ours.

GH: Or maybe a hundred or more. Yes, indeed.

JB: So you created a map and if a listener was seeing that map in front of them right now what would they be looking at?

GH: It would just look like a pattern of hot and cold spots, kind of red and blue pointillistic painting of heat radiation or maybe like ripples on a pond. It really has no recognizable structure beyond that and so that's where the process of trying to learn how to decode that information is so important.

JB: One journalist described your map as the universe's baby picture.

GH: Yes, that's exactly what it is, and if you put the age of the universe in human time scale, the image we're looking at is equivalent to a half day old person, having a picture of a human on their birthday, literally. Having that kind of information about the universe as a whole is unique. And that's what makes it so powerful.

JB: And I guess so ground-breaking.

GH: Right. And the idea that nature was so kind to provide fossils for us that we could decode is remarkable. It's kind of a once in a lifetime experience to have access to that kind of fossil relic that you can learn so much from.

JB: Allow me to ask the gauche question on everyone's lips right now. How much money did you get?

GH: That team is splitting the 3 million dollar prize and there's 27 of us. So we're splitting that up and that’s a lot of money to split up even with a large number of people so we're all very graciously accepting the generosity of the Breakthrough Foundation.

JB: And what are you planning to do with your share?

GH: Well, we're hoping to invest some and future projects here in Canada and maybe even put some aside so some of my kids may be able to stay in Vancouver in what is an otherwise unaffordable marketplace. I Haven't really made crisp plans yet.

JB: So you're saying you may have won enough money to put a down payment on a home in Vancouver? Wow.

[LAUGHTER]

GH: Almost, yes. It's hard to believe, but yes.

JB: Well Professor Hinshaw, once again congratulations and thank you for joining us today, we appreciate it.

GH: My pleasure. Thank you very much for having me.

JD: That was Professor Gary Hinshaw from the University of British Columbia. We reached him in Palo Alto, California, where he was one of the recipients of the Breakthrough prize for his work mapping the universe.

[Music: Whimsical Orchestra]

Cluff Retires

JD: On this program we play tape from CBC local broadcasts all over the country, and one of the voices that you will hear, and have heard regularly on this program — and if you're a Vancouver resident that you've heard on the morning show in your city The Early Edition — one of the Voices is very, very familiar to you, is that a host Rick Cluff. After more than 20 years on that program — The Early Edition — Rick is about to sign off forever. This morning he announced that he's going to hang up his headset after his last program on December 22nd. Rick Cluff’s career at the CBC spans 40 years — more than that. He's covered eight Olympic Games, he's reported on Vancouver's growing pains around affordable housing and he's interviewed prime ministers and presidents. And this morning he explained his decision to retire to traffic reporter Amy Bell and sound engineer Lee Rosevere.

SOUNDCLIP

AMY BELL: Cat’s out of the bag on this one.

RICK CLUFF: Well you know it's — have you not seen the best before date on my forehead?

[LAUGHTER]

AB: We were wondering.

RC: Yeah it's been a remarkable 41 years and 20 here. This was supposed to be a three year assignment when they moved me from Toronto to Vancouver. Just give us three years, host the show for three years — it's been 20.

[LAUGHTER]

AB: Well I think though, let's turn the tables on you. So why now though?

RC: As I said, the best before date. I'm old and nearly all used up.

AB: What are you going to do next?

RC: I have no idea.

AB: I think the big question is why are you not taking us with you?

[LAUGHTER]

RC: Because I'm leaving you here for the next host and because you are the show. I just drive the bus, you’re the show.

AB: I think you might have some discrepancies in that but we’ll agree to disagree.

RC: It's the guy you heard just off mic there Lee Rosevere. How many years have you and I been together?

LEE ROSEVERE: About 16 years.

RC: Wow. And you two were with me in the studio all the time. So I can, you know, talk to you, but all I have to do with Lee is raise an eyebrow look at him, nod and he knows exactly what I'm thinking. So you people have made it so easy for me over the last number of years. So I'm sorry I can't. I'm not dying.

[LAUGHTER]

RC: I’m just going onto the next chapter and what that is I don't know, but I'll be doing something. But yeah, having your own plug welded on 3:15 for the last 20 years here and five years of early morning sports in Toront beforehand. And I'm not particularly a morning person, truth be known. But anyway, thank you so much. It was a live report from Steve. And thank you two, thank you three, Lee included, for all you've done for me over the last number of years.

LR: We are sad. I'm sad for myself to have you leave, but I'm happy that you're looking forward to retirement.

RC: Well thank you.

LR: Well-deserved.

RC: Thank you so much.

JD: Rick Cluff host of CBC Vancouver's Morning Show The Early Edition talking about why he plans to retire. He was speaking with traffic reporter Amy Bell and sound engineer Lee Rosevere. Mr. Cluff’s last show will be December 22nd and we're also going to say a fond farewell to Sheila Coles host of CBC Reginas Morning Edition. Sheila is retiring after 24 years with that program. Her last day on air will be December 15th.

Ghost Ship Fire

JD: It has been one year since a deadly fire broke out at a warehouse dance party in Oakland, California. Thirty-six people died in that fire at a space known as the Ghost Ship. In an area with rising rents that space served as an arts collect of live, work space — sadly one that had no fire alarms or sprinklers. Two artists from the record label 100% Silk were on the line up for that show at Ghost Ship that night. And this weekend to mark the one year anniversary of that fire they announced a benefit compilation called Silk To Dry The Tears. Half the proceeds will go to an Oakland charity that helps make DIY artist spaces safer.

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