Friday September 15, 2017

September 14, 2017 episode transcript

Note: Transcripts may contain errors. If you wish to re-use all, or part of, a transcript, please contact CBC for permission. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print. Copyright © CBC 2016

The AIH Transcript for September 14, 2017

Hosts: Jim Brown and Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe

STORIES FROM THIS EPISODE

Prologue

[Music: Theme]

JIM BROWN: Hello, I'm Jim Brown.

ANGELINE: TETTEH-WAYOE: Good evening, I'm Angeline Tetth-Wayoe. This is As It Happens.

[Music: Theme]

JD: Tonight:

JB: Time for a check-up. A Toronto doctor heads to Washington, D.C. to defend a Bernie Sanders’ universal health care plan from claims it's dangerously Canadian.

ATW: Trading insults. Winnipeg's mayor calls for Senator took quit after she suggests First Nations people should trade their status cards for something they've already got: Canadian citizenship.

JB: The laureates versus the lady. As evidence of ethnic cleansing continues to pour out of Myanmar, we hear from one of Aung San Suu Kyi’s fellow-Nobel laureates who's calling on the former hero to resign.

ATW: Vending Machine 2-point-OH? A Manhattan bodega owner takes offense when a Silicon Valley start-up called “Bodega” threatens to put the convenience stores out of business.

JB: Tunnel vision. A Stonehenge archaeologist says that a government plan to tunnel a road, full of traffic, near the monument is blind to the importance of thousands of years of human history.

ATW: And… be still my bleeting heart. After days on the lam, and the offer of a $10,000 reward, Daisy the blind goat is returned, safe and sound, to her Alberta animal sanctuary. As It Happens, the Thursday edition. Radio that sometimes really gets your goat.

[Music: Theme]

Back To Top »

Part 1: Danielle Martin, Winnipeg mayor on Senator Beyak, bodega owner

Danielle Martin

Guest: Danielle Martin

ATW: Bernie Sanders is trying to sell a radical new proposal to the American people. The U.S. senator calls it “Medicaid for All”. The American right — and some in the Democratic party — are calling the health care proposal far-fetched, but to Canadians, universal health care doesn't seem so strange. So Senator Sanders has brought in a star from north of the border to help him sell his plan. Dr. Danielle Martin was made famous after 2014 exchange with a Republican senator in which she vigorously defended the Canadian healthcare system. Today, Dr. Martin was side-by-side with Bernie Sanders in Washington, D.C. That's where we reached her.

JB: Now Dr. Martin, you've been up there onstage with Bernie Sanders, waving your Ontario Health card in front of crowds of people. What are you trying to tell Americans about the Canadian health care system?

DANIELLE MARTIN: Mostly, I'm just trying to set the record straight. I mean I think part of what Canadians need to prepare for as the U.S. begins to undertake more serious conversation about universal health care coverage and single payer health care is Canada's going to become a target in that conversation. And the reason that Senator Sanders asked me to come to Washington for this launch is just to talk about what it's really like to live in a country where there a single payer health care.

JB: So when you say Canada will become a target. You mean as a kind of a cautionary tale? A you don't want this to happen here kind of target?

DM: Yes. I mean we're certainly hearing and I know I've even today, been shown clips of various Republican strategists and senators and congress people saying things like you know in Canada health care is catastrophic and all Canadians hate Canadian health care and that's why they all come to the US. So I mean that's the kind of thing that we're hearing and I think I think it's important that we just base to the extent that Canada is going to be used either as a cautionary tale, or as a you know a utopian dream. I think it's important to have some Canadian voices in that conversation.

JB: This idea that Senator Sanders is proposing, the idea of a single payer healthcare system in the U.S., It just seems that in this current political climate that's such a pipe dream. I mean even Obama couldn't come close to that when he was president. What makes you think that Bernie Sanders plan has a chance of succeeding?

DM: Well, I think that's for Bernie Sanders to decide. But you know what I will say is that there is a very stable and successful single payer healthcare plan in the United States that's existed for decades. It's called “Medicare” and it covers every single American over the age of 65 and people with disabilities. People who have it, as I understand it, generally love it and don't want it interfered with, and so what's being proposed, as I understand it, is to expand that exact program that already exists to a large number of people, in this case the entire population. And I think that that framing of the conversation that this is not about introducing some alien health care system to the United States that it's never seen before, but rather about expanding an existing much loved and highly stable program of American Medicare to cover the whole population sounds. I think it's likely to sound attractive to a lot of Americans.

JB: I think a lot of listeners will remember your first brush with celebrity back in 2014, when you were explaining Canadian health care to a Republican senator on a bit of tape that certainly went viral. But I mean obviously, based on what's happened to you over just the past few days, there's still a lot of work to do and I would like to play you a clip now of Wyoming Senator John Barrasso on CNN. Here he is.

SOUNDCLIP

JOHN BARRASSO: As a surgeon in Wyoming, I have operated on people from Canada who can't afford to wait the time for their free operation. There's articles written leaving Canada for health care and many are coming to the United States even though it's free because in Canada the waits are so long. And once they spend a certain amount of money, cataract surgery, total joint replacement for the year, they cut it off. And usually that's around Halloween. It's why they call Canadian medicine “Trick or Treat Medicine”.

JB: Trick or Treat Medicine…

DM: I had not heard that one before today.

JB: I have to admit it's a new one for me too. What what's your take on that?

DM: I mean I certainly hope that all Canadians know that it's not true that your health insurance gets cut off on Halloween…

JB: You're sure, because we're a month away from Halloween here?

DM: So I just want to you know reassure the public that they're all going to you know continue to be covered after Halloween. But that is an example of the kind of thing I'm talking, right? And it's also an example of what we call evidence by anecdote. I don't know whether it's the case that that this particular surgeon has operated on a person or two from Canada, but we can look to evidence about how often that happens. And the answer is it happens, of course it happens, and it happens very rarely. We are in a situation in Canada where we have way fewer Canadians going abroad for care than Americans do.

JB: But it's not a perfect system we have here…

DM: It is not a perfect system.

JB: A study just came out earlier this year by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and it showed that compared to other industrialized countries we had the highest proportion of patients reporting excessively long waits in an emergency department. Andwe've all heard horror stories about surgical wait times. So when you see studies like that isn't that exactly the kind of thing that people who are opposed to what Bernie Sanders is proposing in the U.S. isn’t that the exact thing they're worried about happening in their country?

DM: Yes, and so I mean first of all, I'm glad you raise it because the last thing I think we want to do as Canadians is to pretend that our system is perfect or we've got it all figured out. We don't. I think again that we sometimes we have these conversations in Canada and we forget that the conversation they're having in the U.S. is very different. They're having a conversation about 28 million people who have no insurance at all. So they're starting from a completely different point in the in the conversation. So we've got a single payer system — everybody's covered — that's great we have wait times we better deal with them because people should not have to wait longer than the medically recommended maximum time for a procedure. Are we going to do that in a way that helps everybody? Or are we going to do that in a way that just helps some people? And that's where I think our work is cut out for us on the Canadian side of the border.

JB: How does it feel to be the standard bearer for Canadian health care in the U.S.?

DM: Boy, it's stressful. You know what? I have to say it was an extraordinary room to be in. I did feel like I was witnessing history being made. You know we believe that access to health care is a human right. And it's time for the U.S. to catch up with the rest of the industrialized world and provide health care to all of its people. It sent shivers down my spine. And I think that many Canadians and Americans probably felt the same way yesterday, so it was an extraordinary moment to be part of.

JB: Dr. Martin thanks for joining us.

DM: Thanks for having me.

ATW: Danielle Martin is a doctor in Toronto. Today, we reached her in Washington D.C. For more on this story, go to our webpage: www.cbc.ca/aih.

[Music: Jazz]

Beyak: Winnipeg mayor

Guest: Brian Bowman

ATW: The mayor of Winnipeg warrants Senator Lynn Beyak to resign. The senator made headlines in the spring for comments in defense of residential schools and this week, she released an open letter suggesting that First Nations people should exchange their status cards for Canadian citizenship. Brian Bowman is the mayor of Winnipeg — the first mayor Metis in the city we reached him in Winnipeg.

JB: Mayor Bowmen, did you have hopes for Senator Lynn Beyak after her last comments about residential schools that landed her in such hot water?

BRIAN BOWMAN: Well look, I think certainly I did and I continue to hold out hope that there's an opportunity for better education for all Canadians, myself included.

JB: Because she went on a tour. She talked to Indigenous people, right?

BB: Which is great and you know it should be commended. I think the more that comedians can educate themselves about Indigenous Peoples, about the legacy that we're still living with in Canadian cities, especially of residential schools, the more that Canadians can learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action the better. Unfortunately, however, when you have a member of the Canadian Senate not understanding who Canadian citizens are that's a problem. And it’s very divisive and a very, very harmful to our nation's efforts on reconciliation, including here in Winnipeg.

JB: So when you saw her latest comments about the status cards and about Canadian citizenship what did you think?

BB: You know honestly, I didn't believe that it was true when I first read it in the news. I had to go to the source and I read her full statement and honestly, I was stunned. In this day and age to suggest that members of our Indigenous community are not Canadian citizens should offend all Canadians of all backgrounds. A Canadian is a Canadian, and I think you know a member of the Canadian Senate should know that members of our Indigenous community are in fact Canadian citizens. And you know the unfortunate thing is there will be some that will read her say and believe that somehow that if one has you know their status card that they’re not a Canadian citizen and that's simply not true.

JB: Now, the senator says she wants First Nations people to do away with their status cards in order to, quote, “move forward and stop the guilt and blame.” What do you say to that?

BB: Well, I again I think there's a there's an opportunity for better education. The senator should continue to reach out to the Indigenous community the Truth and Reconciliation Commission included to learn more about our Indigenous peoples. Look, we've been leading an effort in Winnipeg on our reconciliation efforts. We've just launched that Winnipeg's first ever Indigenous accord. It is an effort to build bridges between our Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. And it starts with education and it starts with learning our history so that we can in fact respond to the calls to action in the Truth Reconciliation Commission in a compassionate and thoughtful way. And you know that that's why these comments really compelled me to speak out because they are very damaging to our efforts to build bridges amongst our citizens that we serve.

JB: Now, the senator responded to the backlash from her first open letter with another open letter today in which she says that residential school victims should be compensated. And she says that she will continue to advocate for them. What do those comments do for the whole process of reconciliation in Canada?

BB: Yeah, again I think they're insensitive and I think she clearly needs to better educate herself about residential schools and about the work of the Truth Reconciliation Commission. And so I've never called on someone to resign as far as I can recall and so it's not something that I do lightly. I don't want to have to say to suggest that someone, especially someone serving in the Canadian Senate, should resign. But that is the honorable thing to do and let someone else serve in that role.

JB: She's already been removed from one committee and there are suggestions this week that she's going to be removed from some other responsibilities. Why aren't those sanctions enough for you?

BB: Well, I think you know when you have a member of the Canadian Senate not understanding you know who in fact are Canadian citizens. I think that that's, for me, the final straw that I think should do the honorable thing and resign. And perhaps, with that extra time she can better educate yourself on our Indigenous peoples.

JB: Now, the senator did write one thing that's pretty tough to disagree with. She wrote that what we have been doing is obviously not working. Spending billions of dollars annually, yet filthy water and inadequate housing is still a reality on too many reserves. What needs to be done?

BB: Well, the first thing is response of governments and organizations and individuals. Every Canadian has a role to play in moving forward as one as one people. I mean, at the end of the day, responding to those calls from the Truth or Reconciliation are the path forward. And so we're responding them here in the City of Winnipeg, other communities are taking great strides as well and we need to continue down that path. And a big part of it is education. Many Canadians still don't really know enough about residential schools. And I have learned a tremendous amount over the last number of years about residential schools and that legacy that we continue to live with as a nation.

JB: Mayor Bowman, thank you once again for joining us.

BB: My pleasure. Have a great day.

ATW: Brian Bowman is the mayor of Winnipeg. We reached him in Winnipeg.

[Music: Was this in a movie? It sounds like it was in a movie!]

From Our Achieves: Constable Francis Deschenes

ATW: It was hardly the first time RCMP Constable Francis Deschenes put himself on the line to help someone in a bind. Tragically, the police officer’s attempt to assist two stranded motorists Tuesday night in New Brunswick would be his last. The 35-year-old constable was killed on the Trans-Canada Highway near Memramcook, after his car and an SUV were struck by a utility van. He had pulled over to help the occupants of the SUV change a tire. All of the others involved in the collision have since been released from hospital. In June 2008, As It Happens spoke with Constable Deschenes, after he averted an impending railroad disaster near Truro, Nova Scotia. A car had become stuck on the tracks, with the driver still inside — and with the train fast approaching. That's when Constable Deschenes appeared with not a moment to spare.

SOUNDCLIP

CAROL OFF: Constable Deschenes, where were you when you found out that there was someone stuck on the train tracks?

FRANCIS DESCHENES: I was in Truro at the time.

CO: And what did you hear?

FD: I heard that there was a motor vehicle collision in Brookfield and that person was possibly on the track. I started heading down towards Brookfield with police car and Constable Hill and Sylvester from on the Millbrook reserve advised that the train had just passed by.

CO: They could hear the train, could they?

FD: Basically, you could see the train from their office.

CO: Could you estimate hearing where the train had passed how close it was to the accident scene?

FD: Well, I know the area pretty good. I could tell that it was about 10 kilometers away at least.

CO: Wow! When you got to the scene of the accident, what did you see?

FD: I saw the female driver in the front seat of a car, trying to back out of that ditch and off the track. Obviously, she didn't know the train was coming. I got out of my police car, went and ordered her out of the car and she didn't get out right away.

CO: How much of her car was on the track?

FD: At least three-quarters of it.

CO: So she wouldn't get out. Do you know why?

FD: She was just trying to get her car out of the ditch. She didn't know the train was coming at the time, until I went to the car and told her listen, the train is coming; you have to get out of your car. And I opened a door and just dragged her out basically and asked her to stay in the driveway, which was nearby. I looked over north towards Brookfield and I could see the lights of the train coming. So I just jumped back in my police car and with my police car pushed the back of her car in the ditch so it wouldn't be on the track. I just pushed it quite enough so the train wouldn’t hit and it just clear by inches when the train passed by.

CO: Did you have to actually ram the car?

FD: Yes, basically, to get it started. And then I just kept on pushing it all the way in the ditch.

CO: So how close was this for you?

FD: I would say it was a couple of clicks when I saw the train and got on the track. But after I got on the track, we counted with the camera system about 45 seconds until the train passed by after.

CO: Oh my gosh! And so were you afraid when you're on the track?

FD: I didn’t really think about it like that. I just acted, I didn't really think about what the danger could be. I only realized after what I had done.

ATW: from our archives, that was Carol speaking with Constable Frank Deschenes in 2008. RCMP Constable Deschenes was killed on Tuesday when a van crashed into his police car on the Trans-Canada Highway near Memramcook, New Brunswick. He had pulled over to help change a tire. Constable Deschenes was 35-years-old.

[Music: Ambient]

Bodega owner

Guest: Freddie Rah

ATW: There are some things you just don't mess with, and one Silicon Valley start-up discovered that pretty quickly this week. The company is called Bodega. Their business model is simple: vending machines, stocked with the necessities that one might find at the local corner store. The start-ups founders are ex-Google employees. They explain their plan this way, quote, “Eventually, centralized shopping locations won't be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodega spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.” End quote. Naturally, owners of actual bodegas — the corner stores on every city block of New York City — were aghast when they heard about the Google-guys’ plans. Freddy Rah is the manager of a bodega in lower Manhattan. We reached him behind the counter.

JB: Hello is that Freddy?

FREDDIE RAH: What's up, buddy? How are you?

JB: I am great! Did I catch you at a good time?

FR: Yes sir.

JB: All right. Perfect. How's business today?

FR: Good, good, thank you for asking. How are you?

JB: Oh, I'm just fine. Now, I got to ask you these Bodega machine guys, do you think they might be on to something here?

FR: I mean, in end of the day, it should be illegal. They should not allow something like that from the city to happen.

JB: Why not?

FR: Because, basically, they’re putting a lot of people’s lives on the line. They will take business from stores and that way the stores are going to be out of business and then that way they will be closed and that with those employees are going to be harmed. So it's a family, you know? It's not like an easy decision.

JB: From what you've read about these machines, how did they work? What's the concept here?

FR: Most likely what I read about it it's like it's most likely like the Uber application, but it's more for the grocery and stuff like that. It's most likely an app on the phone. That's what I read about it. But I mean I saw a picture of them online to see and I checked them out what those machines about.

JB: And what kinds of things do they have in these machines?

FR: they have most likely body wash, cookies, shampoo, candy, something like that.

JB: They also have taken the name “Bodega” for these machines…

FR: That's a fake name! They’re not bodega. A bodega is a totally different than a small machine, you know? Bodega is a store that you walk in and you communicate with people, it's not just like you grab and you leave, you know? We paid $28,000 just to get that name. You know I cannot throw something on the street that cost’s $3,000 and call it the same name. It's totally different. It will affect not only our business, it will affect a lot of people’s business. I mean I'm talking about five blocks here, we have five bodegas, each bodega has at least five employees. You’re not talking about one person, you're talking about a family — each one is supporting family.

JB: So how do you how do you think these machines will affect your bodega?

FR: It will affect because let's say let's say customer is not going to walk two blocks if he has this machine in his house. He’s not going to come to your store. He's going to buy from this machine and most likely, I don't think that customer will be able to deal with that machine for so long because, at the end of the day, the customer has to communicate with somebody. Most likely, we’re always on top of our products, check the date, I mean what if they go expired? Who’s going to check the date? The machine itself?

JB: Well, let's talk a little bit about your store. When I walk in the door, what will I get from you that I can't get from a machine?

FR: Of course, first thing, I mean you don't have to walk to the store to know about me. If you come to the neighborhood, even three blocks away from the store, just ask where can I find bodega? They will tell you go to Fresh Food Market. Why? Not because they have good food, because they have good personality, they treat the customer and since the customer open the door you see the biggest smile like in front of them. How you doing? How are you? How is your day? You know most of my customers like this guy walk in here. How are you feeling, man?

CUSTOMER: Good!

FR: She’s not around that's why! I don't think machine can tell him this when he walk.

JB: I also hear that you make a much better breakfast sandwich than any machine.

FR: That’s unimportant. It’s totally different, you know? Like go into the bank dealing with the ATM and dealing with a person. It’s totally different. It's totally different. I mean this country already have a good amount of people that they don't have a job. Trying to bring more to this number doesn't make sense.

JB: The people behind these “Bodega” machines, they say that these machines will actually help create jobs, not take them away.

FR: How are they going to create jobs?

JB: They say they say they see a future where anyone can own and operate their own “Bodega” machine. What do you think about that?

FR: I mean that doesn’t make sense. I’m telling you about those only four five blocks over here and we're talking about five bodega, each bodega has six employees, plus the owner. So each one of those has a family. You’re telling me like everybody is going to have a small bodega on the street? It doesn't make sense! I'm just talking about those four blocks. Imagine if that’s all over the city? How many store is going to close down? How many businesses are going to run out? That's going to be just crazy.

JB: Well, they're talking not just all over the city; they're talking about all over the country.

FR: I don't think that should be legal. They should stop something like that because, in the end of the day, they ask you to pay tax, they ask you to do all those things and they allow something like that to pop up in front of your store. I have the same issues that you know those food cars? I know they’re legal and all those things, but they allow them to park in front for food store. I mean it doesn't make sense that you ask me for some tax and all those things and ask me for license and make me pay for all those things and as we to create jobs for other and you allow such a thing to happen in front of my store. So, basically, you're telling me I want to run out of business and to close down. Those machines are the same story now, you know? That will affect everybody. They're not creating jobs! How are they going to create jobs? It doesn't make sense.

JB: I've got to ask you before I say goodbye, when I dropped by your bodega, what kind of a sandwich are you going to make me?

FR: To be honest with you, I can tell you when I see you. I have a good experience with people just to look at them and see what they mood for. You know I have a very nice names call it Brooklyn Bridge. I have a Philly cheese steak, actually, my customers from Philly say we do it better than Philly itself.

FEMALE CUSTOMER: Hi.

FR: Hey lovely, how are you baby? How are you doing?

FEMALE CUSTOMER: Good, how are you?

FR: good, good.

JB: What’s in a Brooklyn Bridge?

FR: Brooklyn Bridge, It's a deluxe ham, peperoni, salami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, oil, vinegar, sweet pepper. And you know the machine is not going to receive beautiful ladies like the ones I have in front of me over here. What are you feeling for? Hot sandwich, cold sandwich, small sandwich?

JB: Freddie, thank you very much for talking to us. We appreciate it.

FR: No problem. We appreciate you support guys.

JB: All the best.

FR: Thank you, buddy. I appreciate you, man.

ATW: Freddy Rah is the manager at Fresh Food Market Deli & Grocery, a bodega in lower Manhattan. We reached him there. For more on this story, go to our website: www.cbc.ca/aih.

Back To Top »

Part 2: Aung San Suu Kyi critic, Stonehenge tunnel, Daisy the goat

Aung San Suu Kyi critic

Guest: Jody Williams

ATW: Aung San Suu Kyi heard from five of her fellow-Nobel laureates this week. They've written an open letter to the de-facto leader of Myanmar about her failure to respond to the plight of her country's Rohingya minority. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have streamed out of Myanmar since violence erupted last month. Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines. We reached Ms. Williams in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

JB: Ms. Williams, you've met Aung San Suu Kyi a couple of times. What were your thoughts about her before this recent crisis in Myanmar?

JODY WILLIAMS: Well, I met her twice. The first time was in February of 2003, with a couple of colleagues. We met her at her home in Rangoon. And then, members of the Nobel Women's Initiative met with her on her first trip to the US, after she was finally released from house arrest. In the first meeting, I mean she’s very straightforward in a way. I was going to say cold, but that that sounds too harsh, perhaps. But we talked about you know the support that people around the world were giving her and that we would stand with her until you know she was free and there could be a fair election. When we met with her in New York, it was completely different. She entered the room of our meeting with a totally hostile stance, and we suggested that maybe we'd ask her a few questions. And when we started with human rights, she was absolutely hostile. Did not want to talk about human rights in Burma — Myanmar…

JB: That must have struck you as odd at the time? I mean given her image.

JW: Maybe. The thing that most struck me as odd was the intensity of her hostility. And it wasn't just with me; she met with various human rights groups in New York. And she was as hostile toward all of them as she was toward us.

JB: And it wasn't just perhaps you reading cultural signals that you weren't used to in a different way?

JW: No! Hostility man is hostility. She was just overtly hostile. You know I'm the chair of the Nobel Women's Initiative, so I went to the door to meet her and I extended my hand and said I'm Jody Williams. And she said just like this… I know who you are! And pushed past me and took a chair at the table. That is overt — unnecessary — hostility, in my view.

JB: Let's talk a little bit about the letter that you and the other Laureates have written. You say in the letter that her indifference towards the suffering of the Rohingya is cruel. What should she be doing?

JW: For us, for our brother Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, we're clear about saying you know perhaps your quest for power has blinded you to what you said you stood for. Perhaps you should consider leaving no political office and speaking out for the human rights of everybody, not just the Burmans.

JB: But given the fact that the main the main source of power in Myanmar is still the military, and it’s the same military that arrested her and detained her and tried to silence her for so long. Is it possible that perhaps she has calculated that if she speaks out, she could actually lose a lot more than she could potentially gain?

JW: It depends on what she wants. If she wants to maintain and grow power with the support of the Buddhists and the Burman, then she is going to remain silent. If she really was about what she said she was about, if I were her, I would leave political office and I would take to the world stage. But I'm not her. I can't tell me what to do — apparently nobody can. You know I think it was yesterday or maybe even the evening before that the U.N. Security Council, for the first time in nine years, passed a statement Burma Myanmar worrying about the situation of the Rohingya. And her response to that was that she's not going to go to the annual meeting of the General Assembly when the heads of state go and speak. It's a pretty clear statement right there. And that is not saying that we don't recognize the power of the military. But do you go to bed with the devil to have power? Some people choose to. It would not be my path.

JB: Now last week on this show, we spoke with a human rights worker who was with the Rohingya, crossing the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar's Rakhine state. And she said that based on what she was witnessing, she didn't think there was much at all that could shame Aung Sann Suu Kyi into action at this point. What do you think? Is there anything that could possibly shame or humiliate her into taking action?

JW: No. She garnered the moniker I think it was “The Iron Lady”, and she clearly has had iron determination — iron will — to endure whatever types of imprisonment she had to endure to be able to run again and to claim public office. And that has been her focus. And we got a little confused into believing that she actually cared about human rights. She doesn't. And she's been clear about that. And she's also been very clear that she is a supporter of the Burmese military.

JB: Do you expect a response to your letter.

JW: No. If her response to the Security Council, which certainly has more influence than any of us, is to thumb her nose at them and say fine, you can pass whatever condemnation you want, I'm not showing up. Then she's certainly not going to respond to us.

JB: So then what value do you think there is in writing a letter like this?

JW: The response I have gotten you know I've posted it on Facebook, and I am pretty active in responding to people, has been pretty much unanimous: thank you Nobel Women's Initiative for speaking out. I think people are not only horrified by what they perceive to be her in action. Silence on the part of the international community was also disturbing. So they were happy to see that Malala did an open letter, our open letter, now the Security Council. Not that it's going to change the world, but it does matter if you speak out, you know? It makes the Rohingya fleeing and people who work with them who communicate with us know that they are really not alone in the world, even though it feels like it and their situation is horrific beyond words. It does matter to know that you are not forgotten.

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

JW: Oh, thank you.

ATW: Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines. She is one of five Nobel laureates — all women — who have written a letter to fellow-Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. We reached Ms. Williams in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

[Music: Industrial]

Stonehenge tunnel

Guest: David Jacques

ATW: According to the Stonehenge website, to visit the breathtaking structure is to, quote, “walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors.” But anyone who's been to Stonehenge has also seen the very modern inconvenience nearby: the A-303. The heavily-traveled road passes right by and, for years, the UK government has been trying to figure out a plan to reduce traffic without disturbing the Neolithic experience. Now, they decided what to do, but archaeologists are warning that the ancient structure could be put at risk. David Jacques is an archaeologist at the University of Buckingham. He's been directing excavations at the site near Stonehenge. We reached Professor Jacques in Ely, near Cambridge.

JB: Professor Jacques, if I could begin by asking you to tell us what the UK government's plan is to fix those traffic woes near Stonehenge. What are they proposing?

DAVID JACQUES: Well, Jim, the plan is for them to build a 1.8-kilometer tunnel that basically takes people's view away from the stones. And the point is that it will increase the flow of traffic and also reduce pollution. You know what is obviously a visible eyesore in that part of England going past such an iconic monument.

JB: And this would go under the existing road, correct?

DJ: That's right, yes. So probably the nearest it would get to Stonehenge would be about 100 yards away.

JB: So what's wrong with that plan?

DJ: Oh, well there’s huge amount of things are wrong with it. Well, first of all, your listeners probably haven't heard my site because it's a small and up-and-coming one. I’m the site director of Blick Mead, which is very close to the eastern gateway to the tunnel within the world heritage site. And our site is starting to throw up a completely new stories about why Stonehenge might be where it is. We found the oldest dwelling at the site that is in the whole of the world heritage site. It dates to around 4000 BC, which is really exciting. The disaster from our points of view about this tunnel is all the infrastructure required for it will drain all the water. And our site totally relies on a spring with all of the organic remains that we've been able to carbon date and get these stories out of. So it's extremely likely in our case that the water table will drop once the tunnel and all the infrastructure it requires starts to go in. And it will take place about 10,000 years of British history in five years.

JB: So there would be an impact on Blick Mead. What about on Stonehenge itself?

DJ: Well, I think that you now can’t understand Stonehenge without understanding Blick Mead. It’s the cradle of Stonehenge. It's like Stonehenge before the stones. To answer your question, very recently, a geologist commissioned by the government and Highways England, who have been tasked with building the tunnel by the government, they showed that the chalk across the tunnel area running underneath Stonehenge as well is uniquely unstable for English chalk and is likely to fissure in unpredictable ways. So you’re putting in this big infrastructural project, which could cause cracks in the ground service and could really disturb these long-standing monuments, not just Stonehenge. Even worse that that, the geology report showed that there's a lot of radon gas just underneath the areas as well. Obviously, there's a public health issue there. So actually there are quite a number of specialists in different areas internationally and nationally that are really pointing out that this is a grave problem.

JB: Based on what I've seen, it looks like the UK government consulted pretty widely on this. I know the National Trust and English Heritage, which is the charity that manages the site, they support this plan. Why are they all getting it so wrong?

DJ: Now, a cynic might argue, Jim, that if you stop people being able to see the stones for free from the car that means that you're going to be increasing more people going into the Stonehenge Visitors’ Centre, paying 14 to 18 pounds each and that might be a way of sort of floating English heritage. I think it's also for those people in the heritage industries who are completely reliant on the government. It's really hard for them to bite the hand that feeds them rather than kiss it. And I think that they're probably just trying to mediate what is a very difficult situation.

JB: A group called Stonehenge Alliance, which advises UNESCO, that group’s warned that this tunnel plan could cause Stonehenge to lose its World Heritage status. Why?

DJ: Well that is not just the Stonehenge Alliance, UNESCO have also hinted at that themselves. Really what we know we've known for quite a long time is the Stonehenge landscape isn't just special to Stonehenge. And sites like ours at Blick Mead are showing the new discoveries, a paradigm shift for understanding that landscape, are happening and can happen. And that's what UNESCO and the Stonehenge Alliance are pointing out really. That if you take out a huge swathe of land and really create a lot of disturbance, you are removing the possibility of research for generations to come. And you know, Jim. I would love the fact that from a distant relation of mine in 3017 or yours can be working at Stonehenge with wonderful technology that can really work out other things that are going on. Because this place is special not just for the local landscape; it is special for the world.

JB: What would be the impact? If that world heritage status was lost, what would the impact be?

DJ: I think it would just be absolutely shameful for the country. I mean this is something that normally happens in countries that are in war-torn or really badly-resourced. I think it would just be another moment from the British point where you just feel like the zeitgeist is telling you that we're just sort of crumbling really. You know if a country like Britain can't look after one of its prehistoric or one of his most special historic as well jewels, then you know what can you expect from other places? And it just shows how far down we've got really that we're privileging late 19th century technology like a car as they stand now in front of a monument that we now know has got a back story that takes it back about 10 millennia.

JB: It looks like, from what I have read, it is a done deal. Is there anything that you can do now to convince your government that this dig is a bad idea?

DJ: Work now on starting the tunnel has been put back two years, so it won't start until 2021 at the earliest. I mean what they've in effect done is kick it into the shortest long grass until the next election. But it will require people like myself to stand up to be counted. You know people have got to be saying this should never happen and it mustn't happen.

JB: Well, if the Tories were hoping to make any kind of a breakthrough in terms of the Druid vote, this would not seem to be the best plan.

DJ: No, well that's right. I mean either the Druid vote is pretty fractured. I think the Druid vote is a bit like Monty Python film “The Life of Bryan”, where you have the Judean Popular Front and The Popular Front of Judea and 20 other versions. I know that the Chief Druid of Stonehenge, Frank Summers, is really against this and you know very, very affronted by it.

JB: Professor Jacques, thank you very much for joining us.

DJ: Great stuff. Thank you. And thank you all.

JB: Bye now.

DJ: Cheerio

ATW: David Jacques is an archeologist at the University of Buckingham. We reached him in Ely, near Cambridge. For more on this story, go to our website: www.cbc.ca/aih.

[Music: Electronica]

Daisy the goat

Guest: Chantele Theroux

ATW: An animal sanctuary south of Edmonton is celebrating the return of Daisy the goat. The blind baby animal went missing on Sunday. The sanctuary posted a plea for help and offered a $10,000 reward for her return. Then on Wednesday night, they shared the good news: Daisy is home. Chantele Theroux works at the sanctuary. We reached her in Edmonton.

JB: Ms. Theroux, let me begin by asking you how the sanctuary first discovered that Daisy was missing?

CHANTELE THEROUX: So at approximately 6:30 this past Sunday, September, 10th, the farm’s property owner and operator had left the sanctuary to run a few errands — like she would on a typical Sunday late afternoon. And when she arrived back home, she noticed that Daisy wasn't in the yard where she had left her and also noticed that the gate wasn't latched as she had left it, so after making a few inquiries with a few volunteers that had been out that day. And after completing a pretty thorough search of the grounds, we came to the conclusion that Daisy had been abducted.

JB: So what did you do? You realized she was missing. How did you go about trying to find Daisy?

CT: So, first and foremost, we reached out to our social media supporters. Everybody in that community is absolutely fantastic and has been with getting word out. So we posted it almost immediately after we had realized that she had gone missing, along with contacting the RCMP to report her abduction.

JB: And then when did you post the $10,000 reward?

CT: We had thought about it overnight in terms of what resources — personal resources — may be available to be able to bring her home and we kind of decided — specifically Melissa that the owner and founder — if that was required to bring her back it would be a personal sacrifice, but one that wouldn't come out of the sanctuary and instead we'd pay for out of our own pockets.

JB: So the province was all searching for Daisy because it received a lot of media attention earlier in the week. How was Daisy finally found?

CT: So it's actually quite an interesting story. We had all kinds of supporters and members of the community reach out with all sorts of offers for assistance. A few of those offers included resources available through people that are called animal communicators. We had never heard that term prior to Daisy's disappearance. But what these individuals offer is communication with animals — the ability to speak to them and to kind of find out what's going on. So we reached out and because of our desperation, went to the general area where one of the communicators had advised that Daisy may be. And, unfortunately, didn't see anything.

JB: So just to be clear, these communicators they'll go up to a horse and they'll say hey, have you seen a blind lamb walking around?

CT: I'm not entirely sure? It's more from what I gather almost like telepathy. But we had provided very general information with regard to her disappearance and the information she gave us is what we followed. Melissa was heading back from the area where the animal communicator had let us know that Daisy may have been. And she received a call from her neighbor that Daisy had been discarded and left in her field. And once we figured out where the neighbor had found her, Melissa was five minutes away.

JB: So what do you think happened to Daisy?

CT: We absolutely believe and conclude 100 per cent that she was abducted off of the property. And believe because of the community support and the media attention, somebody got nervous or decided to do the right thing and dropped her off pretty close to home.

JB: So, in the in the end, it doesn't sound like the reward was responsible for this because they're not claiming any reward, right?

CT: Nobody has come forward to claim the reward.

JB: And how is Daisy?

CT: Daisy is in good health and good spirits. She's no worse for wear and came home and just basically acting as though nothing has happened over the last four days. It's pretty incredible.

JB: Now can you tell us a little bit about Daisy? How she came to live at the sanctuary originally?

CT: In spring of this year, a farmer had contacted us because a newborn baby goat was born in his field. And they had noticed that crows were kind of hanging around her and when they found her they determined that the crows had very unfortunately ate out her eyes, as well as most of her tongue. Knowing that this poor, defenseless little baby girl would have no chance of survival on his farm, the farmer and his family contacted us to determine if we could assist and we absolutely did. Daisy came to live at the farm with us and ironically has found a best friend in a blind sheep named Merlin, who we also rescued in spring.

JB: I guess Merlin must've must have missed his buddy?

CT: He was over the moon excited to hear her because he's blind, unfortunately, they can't see each other. But they absolutely know when one is around the other that's for sure.

JB: So it ends well with Daisy and Marilyn in a field nibbling grass.

CT: You betcha.

JB: Chantele, thank you very much for talking to us.

CT: No problem. Thanks so much for having me, Jim.

ATW: Chantele Theroux works at the animal sanctuary where Daisy has been safely returned. We reached her in Edmonton.

Back To Top »

Part 3: Alberta ranch fire, CFL commissioner

Arnold Chan obit

ATW: Thoughtful and kind. That's how many of us would hope to be remembered. And that's how Liberal MP Arnold Chan was remembered in both the House of Commons and Queen's Park today. The Liberal member for Scarborough-Agincourt died of cancer. He was 50-years-old. For the past three-and-a-half years, Mr. Chan served as the MP for the Ontario riding in the east end of Toronto but he wasn't new to politics. Before he came to Ottawa, he worked for the Ontario Liberal government. Today, in the provincial legislature and in Ottawa, his former colleagues held moments of silence in his memory. In a statement the prime minister said that Mr. Chan, quote, “distinguished himself as a thoughtful kind, and above all tireless advocate for Canadians. He believed deeply in our democracy and became one of its most faithful and eloquent guardians.” Mr. Chen last stood to speak in the House of Commons in June. His wife Jean Yip was there, along with his parents. Here's some of what he had to say.

SOUNDCLIP

ARNOLD CHAN: Many you, of course, know I've been going through this challenge with my health for the last number of years. I simply could not have asked for a more devoted partner in life as I have walked through this journey. And. All I have to say if I could steal a line from a former prime minister of ours. The Right Honorable Jean Chretien in referencing his partner Eileen. Jean, without you nothing, nothing.

[Sound: Applause]

AC: So I wanted to get back to I think a more fundamental issue, one that has been raised a number of substantive times in this house. And that is how we compart ourselves. And. I'm not sure how many more times I will have the strength to get up and do a 20 minute speech in this place, but the point I want to. Impart upon all of us. I know that we are all honourable members. I know you revere this place. I would beg us to not only act as honorable members, but to treat this Institution honorable. And so the other thing I would simply ask all of you. Ask all of our colleagues Mr. Speaker to consider. Why we debate and engage? What we're doing now. When we didn't listen, we listen to one another, despite our strong differences. That's when democracy really happens. That's the challenge that's going on around the world right now. No one's listening; everyone is just talking at one another. You have to listen to each other. And in so doing, you'll make this place a stronger place.

ATW: That was the late Liberal MP Arnold Chan making his final address to the House of Commons this past June. In Ottawa today, Mr. Chen's colleagues paused their usual schedule of committee meetings to remember their colleague. Today at the transport committee, Mr. Chen's fellow Liberal MP David Graham spoke about his colleague.

SOUNDCLIP

DAVID GRAHM Thank you Terry. I do want to take a moment to acknowledge the immense contribution to this place of my close friend and our colleague Arnold Chen. I know that he would want us to focus on our work to move forward with what we need to do. When I visited him just a few days ago, his concern was not about himself. But rather how everyone else was doing. He knew where he was going and he wanted to make sure that the rest of us were going to be able to carry on. He wanted to know what was happening here, to discuss our work and procedure in house affairs where we sat together, to pick up a most recent gossip from around the Hill. He loved this place, he had lived in this place and, of course, being Arnold, he apologized profusely between labored breaths that he would probably not be able to join as a caucus the following day or in the House this fall. On behalf of all of us here, I want to send my best to Jean and their three sons. We are with you at this difficult time. And to Arnold, we remember to our hearts and to use our heads. And as we do you, Arnold, will always be with us.

ATW: Liberal MP David Graham speaking about Liberal MP Arnold Chan. Mr. Chen's death was announced earlier today.

[Music: Ambient]

Alberta ranch fire

Guest: Daryl Swenson

ATW: Ranchers in southern Alberta were faced with a horrific scene this week. They say a grassfire is to blame for the deaths of more than 100 animals. Some were killed in the fire. Others had to be culled because they were so badly injured. Now, there are questions about how the fire started. Canadian Forces Base Suffield is nearby. Some are looking to the nearby Canadian Forces Base for answers. Darryl Swenson is a rancher whose property was damaged. We reached him earlier today, at his home near Bindloss, Alberta, north of Medicine Hat.

JB: Mr. Swenson, can you describe for us what it was like after the fire passed through your area this week?

DARYL SWENSON: After we went back and looked over the damage that was caused it was mind boggling. People in the area have lost miles and miles of fence. I lost my winter pasture is gone, my hay supply for the winter is gone, I’m probably missing about five miles of boundary fence. Going out and checking livestock with no Fences told anything in. Cattle are wandering around. I’m finding animals that have been burned and am having them to put them down. It's been something I never want to do again.

JB: Describe what you encountered with the livestock?

DS: Animals were strung-out for about a half mile in one area. And most of them were burned to death.

JB: When you say strung-out do you mean along the fence line where they couldn't escape?

DS: No, they were not near a fence line. There's lots of hills in this area and they're walking through some low spots and they just couldn't escape the flames. They got trapped in the smoke and the flames and there’s of really good grass this year and lots of brush and the fire moved so fast and was so hot. It was just amazing.

JB: And then some of them perished in the fire. Some of them had to be put down afterwards.

DS: Right.

JB: Can you describe what that experience was like?

DS: It's something I don't want to do again. Seen something laying there, no hair left, just all bloated up from the burns and just kind of lying there; you just have to go up and shoot him. Then there's a few wildlife too like antelopes and deer. Some of the deer weren’t down, but they were burned so bad that they couldn't move very good, so you had to dispose of them too.

JB: Any idea how many animals had to be destroyed?

DS: Approximately 20 to 25 head of livestock had to be disposed of afterwards and probably a handful of wildlife.

JB: And then how many animals were killed in the fire itself?

DS: Altogether, there's probably 160 head of animals — of livestock — that were lost, including the ones that we put down.

JB: That's an incredible number. I know you've been in this area for a while, it's grassland, it's prone to fires. Have you ever seen anything like this before?

DS: Not this bad. I've seen lots of fires. We've had lots of fires come out of the block before, but nothing that's ever… and that we get lightning strikes that start fires, but nothing that's ever been this bad.

JB: And when you say the block you're talking about CFB Suffield?

DS: Yes, I’m talking about CFB Suffield. I should make that clear.

JB: So you didn't lose any animals yourself, is that right?

DS: That's right.

JB: Can you give us a sense of what sort of financial hit you've taken this week?

DS: I hadn’t sat down to figure out, but it’s going to be over $50,000.

JB: And your neighbours?

DS: Well, my one neighbour that lost everything, his whole yard, his whole farm is burned off. He's an elderly fellow, he's got no insurance — health insurance or anything. Every out building is gone. It'll be over $100,000… probably $200,000 or $300,000.

JB: So not just crops and livestock, he lost his home?

DS: His home, every old building, the only thing he walked away with his one truck somehow managed not to get burned. They had to drag him out of bed to get them out of there before the house burned.

JB: Now where were you when the fire first broke out?

DS: I was combining when they phoned and said there was a big fire. And I knew there was a big fire in the block. I can’t remember the time, but they said that it was getting awfully close to the fence and they wanted people to go there and monitor it just straight where the fire was going to cross if it crossed. And that's all that works for me, he went out there right away and then they phoned back and said it got across. So I went and got a tractor to go and help fight the fire. And my son took another tractor and a cultivator and another son took a water tanker out and the other son, he went out with some other supplies.

JB: So you’re putting water on it, but you're also trying to get some trenches dug, eh?

DS: Yeah, You dig up the topsoil and grass to expose the dirt so there's nothing to burn. The tanker resupplied the fire trucks so they wouldn't have to go back miles to get refilled.

JB: Now, some people are asking questions about how this fire started, what do you know?

DS: Well, the military said that they exploded some unexploded ordinance out there and the fire got away on them. They're not saying that it's the fire that caused the block, but we know it is — we watched it. And this isn't the first time this has happened. And the military doesn't seem to have to answer to anybody. Pretty much all of Western Canada is under fire bans right now and they seem to think that they can go out there and burn whatever they want.

JB: So you're saying that even though the fire ban and you know everyone in Alberta knows, it's no secret. That fire ban has been out there for a while. You're saying that despite that, the military is still doing live fire exercises and exploding unexploded pieces of ordnance?

DS: Right. There's been flames out there, smoke out there off and on. So I'm not sure they've been doing light fires. People have been telling me that, I haven't heard it myself. Usually I hear it because I’m that close to the block. But I know that afternoon, I sat with my neighbor at his house who lives right on the very edge of the corner of the block and there's a huge smoke out there and we were both really concerned about it. And he just said he'd stay and keep watch and call me when there was a problem.

JB: The acting commander there at CFB Suffield he has confirmed that a fire did start on his base on Monday, but he hasn't confirmed if that fire is connected to the fire that damaged your property. What do you think about that?

DS: He's covering his butt. He's not going to say on the radio that you know that they're responsible, but they are going to come and meet with everybody and try to offer some… I don’t know if it’s financial help or what. But they're wanting to meet with the people and that's the first that's ever happened.

JB: Mr. Swenson, we appreciate your time today. All the best.

DS: Thank you very much.

ATW: Daryl Swenson is a rancher who's dealing with the aftermath of a fire at his property near bindloss, Alberta. We reached him there earlier today.

[Music: Movie soundtrack music]

Dateline: Stolen pole

ATW: Dateline; Jacksonville.

[Music: The Dateline theme]

ATW: Two men in Florida say they weren't on a power trip, but the utility pole on top of their SUV says otherwise. Police in Jacksonville arrested the pair, after they were found driving with a stolen pole strapped to the top of their KIA Sorento on Wednesday. The Jacksonville sheriff's office tweeted a photo of two shirtless men in handcuffs and the utility pole — worth 25-hundred dollars U.S. apparently — atop their vehicle. A police report says an officer noticed a pole missing from a bridge before spotting the SUV. When asked about it, the driver said he was just moving it because it was lying on the ground close to traffic lanes. But instead of being hailed as good Samaritans, both men have been arrested on grand theft charges — emphasis on the grand, when A, you compare the size of the pole with that tiny vehicle. And B, you consider that while this isn't the only instance of looting, it may be the grandest. As for these two, their pipe dream is over.

[Music: Movie soundtrack music]

CFL commissioner

Guest: Randy Ambrosie

ATW: From now on, CFL practices will involve a lot less rough and tumble. The Canadian Football League has announced that during the regular season, full-contact practices will be banned, and players will get a longer rest between games. It's meant to reduce injuries. But it's unclear whether the move will also address the issue of concussions, which have been connected to the onset of degenerative brain diseases for long-time players. Randy Ambrosie is commissioner of the CFL, and a former player. We reached him in Toronto.

JB: Mr. Ambrosie, you say that this move is going to make the game safer for players. How is it going to do that?

RANDY AMBROSIE: Well, it starts by doing our very best in a 21 week format to have sufficient time for players to rest between games. Under the current 20 week structure, we've had situations where we've had as, an example, Ottawa this year played three times in 11 days. I can tell you firsthand that is just far too little time between games. This game is just played with such an intensity that it is difficult to play that way.

JB: Now, you haven't used the word concussion. And in your press release you didn't use the word concussion even once. How much does this decision have to do with preventing concussions in your sport?

RA: Well, this decision is entirely about making the game safer and healthier for the players. You know we didn't have one specific thing we were targeting. The conversation with our players’ association partners revolved around you know the desire for all of us to make sure that our players you know play in the safest way possible. And that was the focus of our discussion and that continues to be the focus of this initiative.

JB: Now, you've been criticized for not coming out and admitting a link exists between playing the game of football and degenerative brain diseases like CTE. Do you acknowledge that a link exists?

RA: Well, I said when I was introduced as the new commissioner earlier this summer, that I was neither a scientist nor a doctor. And that in order to comment on this subject, I would have to educate myself. I would have to go through a process of meeting with experts and I would do that you know over a course of time as it relates to my other duties. And I have been doing. This is just far too complicated a subject. I mean we’re talking about the human brain. It's far too complicated a subject to rush to make an answer. To give an answer just because the question is asked, I think what people would want of me and expect of me is to be thorough, professional and thoughtful on all matters. And as it relates to this matter I think they would expect nothing less than that for me.

JB: Now, of course, doctors say they've already proven the link. A two year study at McMaster was just released that compared the brains of former CFL players specifically to non-players and they found clear evidence of damage to the brains of the ex-players. Do you think that reducing the full-contact practices and stretching out the season by a week will help address this?

RA: Well, I want to make the game safer in every conceivable way that I can. And I think we've already done a lot of very interesting and very positive things with the games. I can tell you that the number of concussions year-to-date are down in our league. There's a very nice trend line that that we have been describing to our board of governors on that subject. You know our coaches are all certified in new tackling techniques and we're seeing that happening on the field now. All of those things are contributing to making the game safer and I think I would speak on behalf of our board of governors, all of our coaches and team officials that we will continue to do that and that is the spirit under which you know we were able to reach an agreement with our players’ association partner. And the reason why we didn't wait untill the end of the season to announce this change because if you're going to do the right thing just go ahead and do it.

JB: Now, there are a couple of lawsuits pending against the league, including one by Arland Bruce, a former receiver, that's now I believe being heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. Are you being advised by your lawyers not to come out and admit a link between playing football and these brain injuries?

RA: Well, I think our lawyers as well as all of the advisors are asking me to honour the commitment that I've made on day one. And I tried not to trivialize the significance of concussions. I never will. I played this game for a very long time. I have very, very dear friends that played this game for a very long time. This issue is more personal to me than it can possibly be to almost anyone else. And I said at the time that I would do my level best to study, to educate myself, to meet experts, to be vigilant and I'm doing that. And that's what all of my advisers are asking me to do is honour the commitment that I made. And I also said on that day that I would make player safety one of my top priorities and I'm proud to say that in making this announcement this week that I again I'm trying to be and will continue to be a person of my word that I'll honour the commitments that I've made.

JB: What about the argument that you know reducing or eliminating these full contact practices is one thing. But to really solve this problem, fundamental changes need to be made to the game itself?

RA: Well, I think some of those changes are under way and that's why I talked about having our coaches certified in safe tackling practices. You know the game is changing. I think it continues to be different and continues to be better because we know more. We are educating ourselves, as we should, and we're evolving the game as we should. Just as you know when I was a kid, my parents, who were amazing, my mom and dad were like spectacular parents. My brothers and I didn't wear seatbelts that didn't make my parents bad parents in that moment. It just wasn't the way things were done then. And we learned and we've improved. And now, my three girls never got into a car without wearing a seatbelt. They got into a car in in car seats and those car seats were you know professionally tethered to the to the structure of the car. That's the nature of life is we learn, we evolve and we grow. And I think we are doing a really good job of that.

JB: Commissioner Ambrosie, thanks for joining us.

RA: Thank you very much. Have a great day.

ATW: Randy Ambrosie is commissioner of the Canadian Football League. We reached him in Toronto.

[Music: Indie rock]

Grant Hart obit

ATW: Husker Du fans are not going to get the reunion they'd begun to hope for. Grant Hart, the Minneapolis trio's singer and drummer, died this morning at the age of 56, after receiving treatment for kidney cancer. Husker Du blazed its way to the hardcore scene to the early 80s. They also blazed away at one another Mr. Hart and guitarist Bob Mould made no secret of their creative differences. They went their separate ways in 1987, and the band never reunited. Earlier this month, though, Husker Du announced a new release. True, the music is from the band's early years, but fans began to dream. Then came the news this morning. It was followed by a post from Bob Mould. Let me quote a bit of it. “It was the fall of 1978, I was attending Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. One block from my dormitory was a tiny store called Cheapo Records. There was a P.A. system set up near the front door blaring punk rock. I went inside and ended up hanging out with the only person in the shop. His name was Grant Hart. The next nine years of my life was spent side-by-side with Grant. We made amazing music together. We almost always agreed on how to present our collective work to the world. When we fought about the details, it was because we both cared. The band was our life. It was an amazing decade.” End quote.

Back To Top »

CBC would like to acknowledge the support of the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund.