Carol Off: Hello, I'm Carol Off.
Jeff Douglas: Good evening, I'm Jeff Douglas. This is As It Happens.
CO: All washed up. Scientists arrive on a remote island in the South Pacific to discover it's been trashed – not by human inhabitants, by tens of millions of pieces of plastic humans have chucked into the ocean.
JD: Almost the finishing touch. When an Ohio beat cop catches two suspects with fentanyl, he accidentally comes into contact with trace amounts of the stuff – and his brush with the powder causes a brush with death.
CO: Exit stage centre-right. Interim Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose officially announces that she'll be resigning her seat and leaving politics – and today, she brought down the House.
JD: Losing confidence in what's shared in confidence. After reports that the U.S. president revealed classified information to Russian officials, a former CSIS agent tells us what that disclosure might mean for intelligence-sharing and Canadians.
CO: Straighten up and be flown right. Ottawa says its Passengers' Bill of Rights will set new standards for air travel in Canada – but our guest warns us not to unfasten our seatbelts and relax just yet.
JD: And...what's black and white and Brown all over? That would be Dan Brown's magnum Opus Dei opus The Da Vinci Code – and one Welsh charity bookstore has so many donated copies it's having trouble balancing the books.
As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that seeks a cure for the common "Code".
Part 1: Garbage island, Rona Ambrose leaving politics, Trump classified, charity bookshop
Guest: Alexander Bond
JEFF DOUGLAS: Henderson Island is one of the most isolated places on this earth – a tiny dot in the South Pacific.
And Alexander Bond's team went there to study how local birds are coping with an invasion of rats. But what the scientists found was an invasion of a different order – what they estimate to be 38 million pieces of garbage, piled onto the island's sandy shore.
Alexander Bond is a Senior Conservation Scientist with the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. We reached him in Sandy, which is in Bedfordshire, England.
CAROL OFF: Mr. Bond, how did your colleagues respond when they began seeing all this garbage on Henderson Island?
ALEXANDER BOND: Well they were pretty shocked to be honest. I mean you can't step anywhere on the island without treading on some piece of a toothbrush or a bottle or a fishing crate. But that really spurred them into action to try and collect some of the data that we reported in our in our paper.
CO: But the data, 38 million pieces of plastic. 18 tons of this stuff on this beach. I mean, just did, was it just strewn around? Was all of that sitting on top of the sand or what?
AB: So about two thirds of that number is actually buried down to about 10 centimeters. The big items that you see in the photographs, things like fishing buoys, crates, flip-flops, bottles. That's on the surface. But two thirds of the pieces that we found were really the tiny micro plastics and they’re all buried in the sand.
CO: And could you identify where it was from? How it all ended up so in such a concentrated way on Henderson Island?
AB: Yes so we could figure out some of it based on labels and marking. Some of it came from Japan and China, some from South America which isn't terribly surprising. We found pieces from U.K., from Spain, from France. Once the plastic gets into the ocean, it just travels around. It could be years or decades before it finally beaches itself. And this plastic chose to beach itself on Henderson.
CO: I understand there were some of it identifiably from Canada.
AB: Yeah there were a few pieces I think one or two that we found that had, you know, were Canadian or you know “Made in Canada” or some sort of mark. But you know a small proportion of what we found. We counted something like 55,000 pieces but you can only really identify just over 100 of them.
CO: How is the wildlife responding to this plastic?
AB: So on Henderson, we had crabs along the beach decided to make their homes in front of Avon cosmetics bottles. There is a sea turtle that had died when we arrived that was tangled in fishing nets. The thing about Henderson is that it's just it's almost like a beacon or a sentinel of what's going on in the ocean because when the plastic is in the ocean, that's where it's causing the biggest problems for wildlife. So two thirds of seabirds ingest plastic, that's where species of whales and dolphins, fish and turtles are more likely to get entangled in it, is while it's still out in the sea.
What Henderson does is it gives us sort of an idea of what's actually out there. Henderson is uninhabited. So all the plastic that we found on the beaches all came from the ocean.
CO: It's interesting that this Henderson and those islands that are in the South Pacific, off the coast of South America. This is an area that is cherished for its ecology that's untouched by humans. And clearly it's not untouched by humans. They may not be going there but they are having their impact, it seems.
AB: Our footprint in terms of plastic is absolutely everywhere. There's plastic up in the Arctic, under the ice, on the sea floor. There's plastic in the bottom of Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, the deepest point in the ocean. You can go to practically any beach from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island to Ellesmere, and you can almost guarantee you'll find some kind of plastic. Henderson is just an extreme case of really what's a global problem.
CO: You're describing the animals, little crabs sort of making homes out of these cosmetic jars and bottle caps. And I understand someone found one living inside a doll's head. Does that suggest that the wildlife is adapting to this? Can they possibly cohabit with all this garbage?
AB: I mean the thing about plastic is that when it's out in the sun it gets brittle and it breaks and it’s sharp. I mean when we're not doing these guys any favors, you know compared that to a nice good sturdy shell. If you're a crab, that's not really what you want. They’re using it out of out of opportunity. But it's certainly not something that's particularly good for them.
CO: This research and what you wrote about was this was not the purpose of the expedition to Henderson. It ended up being the story and it's been covered around the world. The pictures are so shocking. What do you hope comes from the publicity that this study, this information has created?
AB: I mean people talk about islands like Henderson or seabirds or are turtles getting entangled being the sort of the bellwether, the canary in the coal mine about the health of the ocean. You know the oceans that are vital to the survival of the planet. But you, know the canary has been crying away for the last 20 years and we haven't really done much. We're still producing heaps of plastic. We're still finding it on the beaches. And once plastic is in the ocean, it doesn't break down, it just breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces. So it's going to be with us for really really long time. So things like you know, everyone can do you know, in their own home. Things like getting rid of carrier bags or disposable plastic packaging. Bring your coffee mug when you go get your coffee in the morning.
But equally governments have a responsibility. Plastic is a global problem. The fact that we found pieces from all over the world on this remote Pacific island. You know the governments need to get together and come up with a global strategy a solution. So it depends you know, there's actions that could be done at every level, from individuals to the national government.
CO: All right. So think about those little crabs on Henderson Island who might be living in your in your plastic bottle or cosmetic when you're tossing it out. It's quite an image. Mr. Bond, I really appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.
AB: Thanks Carol.
JD: Alexander Bond is a Senior Conservation Scientist with the U.K.’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. We reached him in Sandy, in Bedfordshire, England. We've tweeted out a link to some of the photos Mr. Bond mentioned. You can find them on our Twitter account or in our Twitter stream, @CBCAsItHappens.
JD: Members of the House of Commons stood up to pay tribute to one of their own, this afternoon.
This week, 13 years after she was first elected as an MP, the Conservative Party's Interim Leader Rona Ambrose announced she'll be leaving federal politics. Here is some of what her Conservative colleague Candace Bergen had to say.
CANDACE BERGEN: What few people know is like many women the Member for Sturgeon River Parkland, known to most as Rona, never thought she would run for public office. In fact she never even considered it which is typical of many women.
After resisting many calls for her to throw her hat in the political ring, she was finally convinced by Stephen Harper to take the political plunge and compete for the nomination to be the Conservative candidate in Edmonton Spruce Grove. A nomination race which had the unique distinction of having nine candidates. And against all odds and in spite of being told that she didn't have a chance, she persevered and in 2004 won the nomination against seven men and one woman. She's our example of a strong competitive, no quotas needed, Conservative woman.
CB: There are some things that many people don't know about her.
RONA AMBROSE: Great.
CB: She speaks fluent Portuguese. She loves to hike in the mountains and does so quite often with her good friend Lorraine Harper. And just last year she almost threw up on U2’s Bono, but that's a story for another day. But Mr. Speaker, our interim leader’s dedication dedication and love for politics is nothing compared to her love for her family.
As a child growing up around the kitchen table, her family loved to talk about current events and happenings all over the world. It was through these conversations that she developed a love and a passion to solve problems and to do the right thing.
In fact, I have to tell you there have been a couple of occasions just before she's going to rise in question period to have her the prime minister with the hard hitting question that he probably won't answer. She will look over to us and say to one of us and say “Quick say something to make me mad so that I’ll look [unintelligible] [Sound: laugher]. I think all of us in this house has seen that she really has is not especially partisan and that she would rather try to help and solve problems in a collegial way.
JD: Conservative MP Candace Bergen speaking in the House of Commons today about her colleague and her friend, Rona Ambrose. And later, Ms. Ambrose got up to speak. Here is part of what she said about her family.
RONA AMBROSE: Lastly but most importantly, I want to thank JP and the kids because they make my life so great. When they came along, they embraced this crazy life with so much enthusiasm and I thank them for that.
Mr. Speaker, words cannot express our love and thanks to our friends and family for making this such an unforgettable part of our lives. We won't be far away. And I'm still here till June, so I want to say what an honor it's been to serve in this great place. So thank you. I've enjoyed every minute of it.
JD: Interim Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose speaking in the House of Commons today. Ms. Ambrose announced her departure from federal politics this week.
Guest: Francois Lavigne
JD: Yesterday evening the Washington Post published an explosive story claiming that U.S. President Donald Trump had casually shared highly classified highly classified intelligence with Russian officials. The intelligence which reportedly came from Israel was about an Islamic state plot. Anonymous sources told The Post and several other outlets that the president had provided details that could expose the source of that intelligence and the way in which it was gathered. Well this morning, the president tweeted that he had the absolute right to share facts with Russia. And this afternoon national security adviser H.R. McMaster had this to say on the matter.
HR MCMASTER: He shares information in a way that is wholly appropriate. And I should just make, I should just make maybe this the statement here, that that the president wasn't even aware of where this information came from. He wasn't briefed on the source or method of the information either.
JD: Well regardless of whether the president knew what the source of the information or was briefed on it. Some people are concerned that this looseness with intelligence could hurt intelligence sharing relationships. Relationships that Canada benefits from. Francois Lavigne is a former CSIS agent who specialized in counter-intelligence. We reached M. Lavigne in Zurich, Switzerland.
CO: Mr. Levine, as a former intelligence officer yourself, what did you think when you read that the president of the United States had shared what Mr. Trump called “facts”, these facts, classified information with Russian officials.
FRANCOIS LAVIGNE: I wasn't surprised. But not just because of what we've been hearing and reading and seeing about what kind of person he is. The concerns that I have are that as a result, it's going to create sort of an intelligence vacuum for all the allies. Because first of all, because this is now in the media and it's such a big thing, it means that all the other countries like Great Britain and France and Germany and Israel of course, and even Canada are going to have to be much much much more careful about what they share because they have to protect their assets and their sources.
And since they have a president who is at the top of the chain and gets everything, there's always a risk, but they're going to have to take even fewer risks if it's going to jeopardize significant or important sources or assets.
CO: And what do you think that does for security?
FL: It means that there's not going to be so much coordination. It means that different countries are going to have to rely more on themselves to carry out operations, to carry out assessments because they won't be able to sit down at a table with everybody and share the way they did. And it's going to reduce the effectiveness of intelligence sharing.
CO: And specifically, what does it mean for Canada? Because we're part of what they call the Five Eyes, which is Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand. This is a group of five countries who very freely and automatically share their intelligence. They work in a coordinated way. What does it mean when you're in lockstep with the United States and the president possibly can't be trusted with intelligence?
FL: Honestly, it's not going to be that significant for Canada because we're not a significant member of that group. It will have a much greater impact for instance on Great Britain and what they will share. It will have an impact on Canada because Great Britain won't share as much with us because they know that we share with the U.S. So what it will mean is that it's going to be much more difficult for Canada to obtain intelligence and to share it with the U.S. because as I said, this is going to create a vacuum and it's going to really really damage coordination. And so that will have an impact on Canada because we won't have as much information and intelligence about what's going on and we will have to work a lot harder with individual allies in order to compensate.
The other possible, and this is a little bit speculation on my part, but based on my experience. What it could mean is that if Israel, for instance, cuts off the U.S. from certain sources and certain assets, so that the U.S. no longer has eyes and ears the way it did in certain areas, in certain regions of the world. It may be that the U.S. is going to pressure Canada to take up the flag. Not in significant ways but it's still going to put pressure, more pressure on Canada to be able to compensate. And if that happens, it may actually put some of our people at risk because they're going to be taking chances that they wouldn't have otherwise taken.
CO: There were reports this afternoon that Israel is the source of the intelligence that was passed on to the Russians at that meeting. How do you think Israel would react to that?
FL: I think Israel, as soon as President Trump was elected, already knew that he was unreliable. And I'm pretty confident that whatever intelligence Israel is shared with the U.S., they've already taken steps to protect their assets and sources. So I don't think that it's really that damaging to Israel. I think that Israel may even have used it to their advantage. In other words they may have actually said partial misinformation to the USA in case he passed it on. So, I mean Israel has been at the top of the food chain in terms of Intelligence and Foreign Operations So I really do believe that they had anticipated that President Trump is a loose cannon and therefore they would have protected themselves and their assets.
But it certainly gives Israel now a very big advantage over the USA. So certainly they're going to punish the USA, so they're going to cut off sources of Intel, they're going to cut off cooperation on certain operations. And that's really going to be what's most dangerous because now the USA is going to find itself partially blinded in that area and it's going to try to compensate.
CO: Well as far as we understand Vince from the Washington Post that that had the story, is that that what was passed on to the Russians in that meeting is a description of a plot by ISIS or the Islamic State and an attack that they might be planning. And that the circumstances around that. And that, I guess most alarmingly about that was that Mr. Trump revealed the city in the Islamic States territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected this threat. So what do you think, what did the Russians get out of that? Were they calling home right away to say you'll never guess what? What would they actually get from that intelligence?
FL: That's hard to tell. I mean certainly they would have transmitted that back and it would have been considered very significant. Again, it's also possible that Israel anticipated that this would happen and that the fed misinformation. It’s very hard to tell. Intelligence is a very slimy world and there are very few truths. And so it's very difficult to assess.
CO: What this does lack of intelligence sharing that you mentioned, what does it mean for Russia?
FL: What it does is it plays into the hands of, into the strategy of Putin, in the sense that what he's been doing is he's been dividing and conquering. So he's been going after pieces on the chessboard that nobody really pays much attention to. And so if he finds himself in a situation where the allies the Five Eyes are sitting at a table and not talking to each other, it just makes it much easier for him to achieve whatever strategic goals he has.
CO: All right. Well we will watch what happens in this if we actually know what the fallout is but meanwhile Mr. Levine I appreciate your insights today. Thank you.
FL: Thank you.
JD: Francois Lavigne is a former CSIS agent who specialized in counter-intelligence. We reached him in Zurich, Switzerland. We've posted more on this story on our website: cbc.ca/aih.
Guest: Phil Broadhurst
JD: Last year, we spoke with someone who was pretty black and white about Fifty Shades of Grey.
The deputy manager of a charity bookstore in Wales was suggesting – politely but firmly – that people stop donating copies of E.L. James's literary masterpiece. People had donated so many copies at that point that employees had made a fort out of them. There's a picture of that on our website, if you'd like to see it.
And in that interview, that deputy manager also mentioned another book that was being donated way too often. A book by Dan Brown. And now, another picture from that shop, of Mr. Brown's book this time, is making the rounds online.
So to tell us about it, we reached the Oxfam bookstore's manager, Phil Broadhurst, in Swansea, Wales.
CO: Phil, there is this picture floating around the Internet. Can you describe it for us?
PHIL BROADHURST: So we've got this massive pile of the Vinci Code books and we put a sign on it that says “You could give us another copy of The Da Vinci Code but what we’d really like is your vinyl” because that’s what we’d make more money for Oxfam with and that’s what it's all about.
CO: Now how many copies of The Da Vinci Code does your store have?
PB: Right now we've probably got about 100 in this pile,but if we kept every one that we got we'd have a lot more. So we get them kind of it every time we’re sorting books from our regular weekly deliveries. There's always one, and often three or four. And it's been like that for years. So if you add all that up, we could have swamped the store.
CO: Well you have in the past, we talked to you when you had this problem with the Fifty Shades of Grey.
PB: Yeah yeah yeah, it's a similar thing. Basically there are just some books that were so massively popular at the time they came out and then people aren't particularly going to read them. So because of that they're quite happy to give it to Oxfam shops. And those are the ones that we were able to make these big displays to illustrate the point that we were looking for vinyl in this case, more than another copy of Fifty Shades or The Da Vinci Code.
CO: Well we spoke with your colleague Catherine last year about what was going on and she said it was when there was a picture that you'd actually built a fort out of all the copies of 50 Shades of Grey that you had, you had so many.
PB: Yeah. What happens is we don't we don't actually have a big enough back room to keep all the books that we have coming in. And so what we do is we sort the best ones and put them out to sell, and with the rest we sell them in bulk to an infinite dealer. And that was actually the dealer who had so many copies or Fifty Shades of Grey that were passed on that he made a massive fall out of it. And then we made a kind of scaled-down model that would fit in our shop.
CO: Are you planning anything. Similarly with The Da Vinci Code.
PB: I think we've probably got enough publicity out of it just in the way, just in the little pile that we've got here. So yeah we're probably happy with that.
CO: So there's all these people who want to donate Da Vinci Code for you to sell. But how many do you actually sell?
PB: You know we're actually not saying that we don't want it, and we do, like I say, we make money out of every book that's donated to us because we sell in bulk as well. So probably over the years actually, we've made thousands out of the Da Vinci Code. Although when we sell in bulk we only get a few pence per copy. Well you know when you think how many, times that by the number of DaVinci Codes we've had over the years and we've probably made quite a lot money out of Dan Brown. So happy to see them keep coming.
CO: Well how often do you have customers who come and say “Have you got that book by Dan Brown called The Da Vinci Code?” How often does that happen.
PB: Well what happens actually is that they look for it on the shelf and in the fiction. And that's quite often not there because we just put them all into this big pile that’s been building. And so they’ll go, “Oh have you not got a copy of The Da Vinci Code?” And then we point out the pile. And they’re like “Oh you've got lots of copies of The Da Vinci Code.”
CO: Maybe that's the problem, Maybe you're getting them because they think that you don't have any.
PB: Well we do try to make sure there's always at least one. You know it's a bit like the rooks at the Tower of London where they say if the rooks fly than the Tower of London will collapse. Like if we don't have a Da Vinci Code or a Fifty Shades then the walls of the bookshop will collapse.
CO: Because they're made of Fifty Shades of Grey and The Da Vinci Code.
PB: Yeah we could have actually built the walls with them, yeah.
CO: OK so you said in your note and this picture that you're looking for vinyl. So is that what sells?
PB: I mean yes. Most of our sales, we are book and music shop, and most of the sales are from the books, most of the money we make is from books. But vinyl is what we get people coming in asking for mostly and we don't get enough vinyl. Well yeah, when we're talking about trying to make money for Oxfam for its work helping people around the world, then vinyl is the kind of most wanted item at the moment because I don't know if it's the same in Canada, but certainly in the U.K, there’s been a massive resurgence in interest in vinyl.
CO: So all those young people who need a bit of pin money so they go into the cellar and take their parents old vinyl.
PB: Well actually that's one of the problems, is that the parents used to give us their vinyl because their kids and grandkids didn't want it, but now that kids and grandkids want it so that's one of the problems, is that it's not getting given to us because the trendy young things that say “No Grandad don't give that Beatles record away. I want it.”
CO: Phil, it’s great to talk to you, thanks.
PB: All right. Thank you.
JD: Phil Broadhurst is the manager of the Oxfam bookshop in Swansea, Wales, and that is where we reached him. And we do have more on this story on our website, including those photos: cbc.ca/aih.Back To Top »
Part 2: Police accidental fentanyl overdose, passenger bill of rights
Fentanyl OD cop
Guest: Chris Green
JEFF DOUGLAS: During his time as a beat cop in Ohio, Chris Green has seen his fair share of drug overdoses. But last Friday, he suffered an OD himself. It happened by accident. And it nearly killed him. That night, Officer Green apprehended two suspects during a traffic stop. They were in possession of fentanyl. Minutes after coming into contact with a trace amount of the drug with his finger, he collapsed. Officer Chris Green is out of the hospital now. He is back on the beat today. We reached him in East Liverpool, Ohio.
CAROL OFF: Officer Green, how are you feeling on the job today?
CHRIS GREEN: I'm feeling well, thank you very much.
CO: You had quite a scare on Friday.
CG: Yes I am. Literally the scare of my life.
CO: Did you have any idea what kind of a risk it was when you made that traffic stop?
CG: We were completely unaware how deadly it could have been and almost turned out. We had knowledge that one of the suspects was arrested. He's been involved in other drug investigations. We knew that he used fentanyl, and did not know that it was going to turn out as severe as it turned out.
CO: During this traffic stop, you knew at least one of the men, he was known to police right? That was in this stop.
CG: Yes. Justin Buckle, the white male, very well known to us. During the initial traffic stop. Both suspects were seen tearing up in a bag and bags of white powder.
CO: When you looked inside the car, at first what did it look like? What were they doing?
CG: It looked like they took a bag of baby powder, white powder and rubbed it into the carpet, rubbed it into the seats. It was in there everywhere.
CO: Was that because they were trying to hide the evidence?
CG: Yes. They knew that they've been caught. They were blocked in by unmarked cruisers and cruisers. We were able to retrieve enough to charge them with felony tampering with evidence and sent to our crime lab to be tested for exactly what the substance did.
CO: What precautions to do and your partner take it before you got involved with the arrest?
CG: Initially I had no knowledge of, at this point, I'm just arriving on scene at the initial traffic stop. I had no knowledge that the powder was strewn throughout the vehicle. However the officer that tested the substance had gloves, had a mask.
The powder was collected double bags as we were instructed by the crime lab.
CO: And this is what you are told as police and as first responders. You have information now to be extremely careful with any contact with this, especially with any drug that might turn out to be Fentanyl or any of the drugs like it. Right?
CG: Right. We've been instructed by our crime lab that that the fentanyl and carfentanyl was so deadly to us, especially since we don’t know, we haven't built up an immunity to it. It literally can kill us from contact.
CO: So you were being very careful not to make any contact with the powder. What happened when you got back to the station and after the charges were laid.
CG: We were taken pictures and things to collect the evidence. I was walking out of the door for the evening and I was told by another officer, which I owe him my life because he saved my life, I had something on my shirt. I was in plain clothes, I was working plain clothes that evening. And instinctively, when he told me I had something, I reached back at the tail of my sweatshirt to the front and by then I already placed my finger in the white powdery substance. And instinctively I brushed it off, like kind of just didn't think anything of it. At no point did I should I have had that on the rear of my back, my butt area, belt line. I didn't think anything of it. And I looked him, and Officer Rob Smith standing next to me. And I remember feeling very ill instantly. This is approximately two to five minutes after I made contact with the white powder on my sweatshirt. I remember telling him I'm in trouble, something’s wrong, something’s wrong, something’s wrong. And I tried to grab him. I remember feeling my body shutting down and then my mind is running a mile a million miles a minute. And I'm thinking there's no way that this happened to me. There's no way that I'm overdosing. This isn’t possible, this isn’t possible. And my body began to shut down as I collapsed. Officer Smith caught me before I came crashing to the floor.
CO: When you were having these thoughts, you’re thinking “It's not possible, I'm overdosing.” Were you thinking about that white powder you'd brushed off yourself?
CG: Yeah, I instantly connected the two, and realized that I just touched something dangerous and I wanted to tell the officers not to touch me. But at the same time their instinct is to help. Luckily it just happened inside the station. We already had medics on scene for one of the other suspects. By the grace of God, it saved my life. We had medics one scene. I was alerted just in time before I went home and took this home to my family, my animals. I could have been driving home when it hit me. I, there's no other explanation except God was looking over me.
CO: They had the antidote. They had drugs that could counter…
CG: Yes, I guess I was given a dose of Narcan at the police department and then I was rushed to the hospital which is a short distance away. Once I was rushed to the hospital, I guess I was given three more days of Narcan and eventually started to wake up, to be responsive.
CO: And you wouldn't have been alive if it hadn't been your colleagues noticing that... But you mentioned how the other scenarios, that you could have gone home with this on your shirt, hugged the kid or your wife or playing with your dog. And they would have they would have been seriously hurt if not killed by that.
CG: Yes. Or I could have walked into a grocery store with an innocent bystander. This part of the country is dealing with a heroin opiate epidemic. It is unbelievable what we see day in and day out. Every shift, every hour of the day, we are dealing with overdoses and we're constantly in and around this hope that fentanyl, carfentanyl [unintelligible]. It's rather scary.
CO: And we just point out that fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine, but carfentanyl is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. And what you described is that you did all the protocols. You did. Everything you did was right. You knew how to handle it. So how can officers protect themselves from these kinds of incidents?
CG: My only advice would be just to slow down. I could have handled things just a little bit slower. But at no point should this have been on the tail of my sweatshirt.
CO: Officer Green, I'm so glad you're OK and it's just a harrowing story and a cautionary tale for anyone who is a first responder.
CG: You're very welcome.
CO: Thank you. Bye-bye.
JD: Officer Chris Green works for the East Liverpool Police Department in Ohio and we reached him in East Liverpool. And we do have more on this story on our website: cbc.ca/aih.
Passenger bill of rights
Guest: Gabor Lukacs
CO: Today Canada's transportation minister introduced legislation laying the groundwork for new rules governing airlines and the way they treat their customers. Here is some of what Minister Marc Garneau had to say.
MARC GARNEAU: Here are some of the basic elements proposed in this legislation. Airlines would have to provide clear information in simple, understandable language to all travelers. There would be minimum compensation standards with regards to overbooking and lost or damaged baggage. There would be rules about the treatment of travelers when a flight is delayed or canceled in situations within the airlines control. There would be clarifications on what the airlines are obliged to do in the event of bad weather or other circumstances not in the airline’s control.
It would also clarify a carrier's obligations to travelers in case of tarmac delays, including when passengers are authorized to deplane. Airlines would be required to seat children close to a parent or guardian at no extra charge. And there would be a requirement for airlines to develop standards on the transportation of musical instruments. Finally, air service providers including airlines and airports would be required to report performance data to the government. These air passenger rights will ensure that travelers are treated like people and not just like numbers.
JD: That was Transportation Minister Marc Garneau earlier today in Ottawa. But Gabor Lukacs doesn't buy the Minister's soaring rhetoric. Mr. Lukacs is the founder of airpassengerrights.ca, and he's filed dozens of airline complaints. We reached Mr. Lukacs in Budapest.
CO: Mr. Lukacs, you have been calling for an air passenger's bill of rights for some time. Are you not satisfied with what the Minister has done today?
GABOR LUKACS: The minister is selling the public lumps of coal in a bag of sugar. What do we have heard are smoke and mirrors and no teeth.
CO: OK let’s just pick away at some of these things because we've just heard Mr. Garneau and the before the during the introduction. He's saying that there are going to be rules of fair treatment of passengers. It will be clear with what the will airlines have to do. There will be rules for delays, for deplaning, where kids can sit, where musical instruments are stored. Isn't that everything you've been asking for and that and those who want that bill of rights have been asking for?
GL: Those things, with respect for example of clarity already exists in the air transportation regulations but it's not enforced. With respect to rights for baggage delay and damage, existing the Carriage by Air Act: unenforced. Rights for compensation in the case of delay or flight cancellation, exists in the Carriage by Air Act: unenforced. All those rights are unenforced because the Canadian Transportation Agency, the Federal regulator, does not do its job. They are colluding with the industry. They have serious issues in terms of their statistics. They are not taking enforcement actions against airlines even when it is blatantly obvious that what they are doing is breaking the law.
CO: OK so what do you think would have to be done in order to give this teeth?
GL: The enforcement mechanism has to be put in place and concrete obligations have to be stated and not left for an organisation that is cozy with the airlines to be developed. If you look at the actual act and the language of the bill, it does not provide any concrete rights. It simply says that the Canadian Transportation Agency has to make some regulations fixing the rights of passengers with respect to these events. It is all a big facade to pretend that something is being done to remedy the situation. In reality, it is a preservation vision of the status quo.
CO: Doesn't he, doesn't the minister, doesn't Marc Garneau have any control over the Canadian Transportation Agency?
GL: No he doesn't. The members of the Kenyan transportation agency are appointed by the governor and council, by the cabinet, but to a great extent, the minister cannot tell the agency how to conduct their business. They're supposed to be an arm's length. And the problem is that the people at the Canadian Transportation Agency and also, to some extent in Transport Canada, are way too cozy with the industry.
CO: How frequently do Canadians have problems with the airlines? I guess compared to passengers in other countries? How do we compare?
GL: It is very difficult to compare. The main issue in Canada is not that we don't have rights as much as the lack of enforcement and enforceability of our rights. So the basic question I would want Mr. Garneau to answer to me is what happens if an airline tells a passenger who was delayed or his baggage was damaged to get lost. How is it going to be any different than what currently is the situation which is that a Canadian transportation agency does not enforce the rights and allows airlines to get away with a lot of unlawful conduct.
CO: How often do people get told to get lost when they complained about their plane being delayed or their bags lost?
GL: Very often. I have passengers whose tickets have been canceled by Air Canada for no good reason and they are being told to a great extent to get lost unless I personally get involved and demand compensation for them. Normally, when I get involved then Airlines are more inclined to pay because they know that the matter will likely go to court.
CO: Why can't people do that for themselves. Why can't they get action?
GL: Most people don't have the experience and the time and knowledge to take matters to court. I do recommend nevertheless passengers to take their complaints against airlines to small claims courts and avoid the Canadian Transportation Agency which is cozy with the airlines. You have to bear in mind of the Canadian Transportation Agency's current Vice Chairman. He's a former lobbyist for their lives. The Manager of Enforcement, he's on first name basis with the industry and the Chief Complaint Officer. He's a lawyer who was suspended for misconduct. Are we going to trust these people to enforce our rights and to act impartially? I wouldn't.
CO: Can you describe then what you think people should do? If this Air Passenger Bill of Rights doesn't do anything, you say you can't trust the Canadian transportation agency. You're saying the only recourse people have, what they should do is take the airline to court. Is that the only thing people can do in order to get justice?
GL: Right now that's the only thing that they can do and this is why passengers should be writing to their Members of Parliament to explain to them why this bill in its present form is wrong and should be revised. You have to bear in mind this bill hasn't passed parliament yet. It’s going to go through a debate in the transportation committee and amendments. And I would hope that with sufficient public pressure, this can be changed. And Members of Parliament are going to use their common sense to fix the wealth of problems here.
CO: Or you're going to be a thorn in their side.
GL: That may well be the case. One thing I'm sure is that Mr. Garneau should resign after having tabled this because it shows that he is unsuitable and unfit for being the Minister of Transportation. He's not familiar with the legislation under his portfolio and that's not acceptable.
CO: You’re calling for the minister’s resignation over this.
GL: Yes because he is deceiving the public. He's telling the public that there are some elements in this bills that are new which are actually on the law books, have been on the books for more than 10 years, some more than 20 years.
CO: All right. We'll leave it there Mr. Lukacs. Thank you.
GL: Thank you very much.
JD: That was Gabor Lukacs, the founder of airpassengerrights.ca. We reached him in Budapest.
Guest: Derek McLennan
JD: “I go into fields and dig holes. Some people would call it an illness but that's what I do.” That's how Derek McLennan described his treasure-hunting hobby to us back in 2014. At the time, his "illness" had just landed him an extraordinary discovery. Strolling the Scottish countryside with his trusty metal detector, Mr. McLennan unearthed a hoard of Viking treasure more than a millennium old.
Well now, experts from the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer – which is responsible for such things – have appraised the trove of artifacts. They've ruled the collection be allocated to National Museums of Scotland – provided those museums can raise 1.98 million pounds to pay Mr. McLennan for his one-of-a-kind find.
From our archives, here's Mr. McLennan speaking with guest host Helen Mann about the moment he made the discovery.
DEREK MCLENNAN: Oh that's something I'll never forget. It's actually coming back to me more almost like a flashback. The longer it goes on. I put the spade into the ground and dug a hole, very very deep, 18 inches. I couldn’t understand why nothing had come out with [unintelligible], I scanned the machine over the hole and there was still a signal from the hole so I put my hand into the hole and grasped an artifact which I know now to be a solid silver Viking armband.
HELEN MANN: What did you think when you first pulled it out when you first pulled it out?
DM: When I initially pulled it out, I actually thought, because it was age on, I thought it was an old Georgian era spoon, because we do find these. But then I feel the thickness of it in my hand and rubbed it with my palm and I noticed the Saltire Cross which is a Viking design. And I knew instantly Viking and then everything just exploded in my synopsis. The endorphins flooded my my brain and the fireworks went off and it was actually all rather emotional and overwhelming, and you know I was rendered speechless.
HM: What did you do? Did you shout to your friends?
DM: I tried to shout to my friends but I couldn't. So I kind of stumbled towards them waving this Viking arm ring in the air hoping to attract their attention.
HM: And what did they say when they saw it?
DM: They eventually, once they’d looked up, because they were obviously engrossed in their own search, they came wandering towards me because they thought what is this crazy man doing running around a field waving something above his head. And then they came down and I assured them that and they both of them actually they were astonished and asked how deep it was, and we went over to the hall and I put my hand back into the hole to show them the depth of it. And as I did that, I felt more objects and I pulled them out. I had another two Viking arm rings in my hand. Then it just, the craziness started over again.
JD: From October of 2014 Derek McLennan is speaking with guest host Helen Mann about the moment he discovered a hoard of Viking treasure. Experts have now ruled that that collection of more than a thousand year old artifacts, or over a thousand year old artifacts will be given to the National Museums of Scotland or National Museum of Scotland so long as they reward Mr. McLennan with 1.9 million pounds.Back To Top »
Part 3: Senator Greene Trudeau dinner, Jagmeet Singh
JEFF DOUGLAS: "I hope you can let this go."
According to the New York Times those are the words uttered by U.S. President Donald Trump to the former director of the FBI James Comey. The Times says those words were written in a memo taken by Comey after a meeting with the president. In a story that broke earlier this evening, the Times alleges that Trump was attempting to get Comey to shut down the investigation into Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Mr. Flynn of course had been fired for lying about his ties to Russia.
Shortly after this story ran, California Democrat Adam Schiff - ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee - spoke with reporters.
ADAM SCHIFF: If true this is yet another disturbing allegation that the president may have engaged in some interference or obstruction of the investigation I think we know enough now, there's been enough alleged publicly to want to bring the director back to testify ideally in open session either before our committee or the Judiciary Committee. But he should come back to the Congress and share what he knows in terms of the president's conversations with him. On any of the Russian investigations.
I also think that we ought to ask for the notes that were taken contemporaneously or shortly after those meetings. And of course if there are any tapes as the president alleged, those should also be obtained by the Congress. If necessary I think we should subpoena them. But hopefully we can obtain any of these materials voluntarily. But on the heels of an allegation that the president himself. Acknowledged that he brought up in the context of what the director would stay on as director, whether he was the subject of investigation. In the context of reports by the director or associates of the director, that he was asked essentially for a loyalty test to the president and now with allegations that the president rged him to essentially drop the investigation of Michael Flynn.
Enough is enough. Congress really needs to get to the bottom of this. We did have an opportunity to inquire further about the reports of a discussion within the White House with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador. I don't have much I can share in terms of our discussions on that. I can only say that I remain concerned about allegations that the president shared information with the Russians that was not vetted in advance by our intelligence agencies. It's one thing to do this as a product of interagency, thought and deliberation about information that needs to be shared. It's another thing to do it spontaneously impetuously or in a way that might endanger sources of information. So I think there's still more for us to learn in terms of whether classified information was shared with the Russians. That was an answer that General McMaster was not willing to give today. And also whether any mitigation steps need to be put in place.
JD: That was California Democrat Adam Schiff speaking with reporters earlier today. The White House has released a statement saying it never asked Comey or anyone to end the Flynn investigation.
Guest: Stephen Greene
JD: The Conservatives gave Stephen Greene a choice: the Senator could cancel his dinner tonight with Justin Trudeau, or he could leave their caucus. Senator Greene chose to go to dinner. We reached newly independent Senator Stephen Greene a little before supper in Ottawa.
CAROL OFF: Senator Greene what's on the menu tonight.
STEPHEN GREENE: [Sound: laughs] I don't know but I hope it's not me.
CO: How were you informed that you were going to have to choose between this dinner with Prime Minister Trudeau and your status as a Conservative senator?
SG: Well it was a bizarre, actually. Actually I was on my way into caucus to the buffet table where we have lunch at about noon this afternoon, and I was asked to come upstairs for a meeting with the leader and I reluctantly put my food down and came up. I knew it was something but I expected to be asked to do something on behalf of the caucus or something like that. Anyway I got up there and to my surprise Larry said well you know if you're going to go to that dinner, then you have to leave the caucus. And I spent the next half hour trying to talk him out of that.
CO: But what did you say. What did you tell Senator Smith?
SG: Well first of all, I told him that it wasn't that a good idea to have a Conservative around the table when the prime minister was speaking? But apparently that didn't wash. I also hadn't met the prime minister before and I thought it was a good opportunity to take my measure of him and I reminded him also that I am a Conservative and I belonged in the Conservative Caucus. I am the Nova Scotia campaign chair for Max Bernier for the leadership. I've been a longtime Conservative. I was Preston Manning’s Chief of Staff way back when in the first reform caucus. I was deputy chief of staff to a provincial premier in Nova Scotia.
CO: So you're saying you're Conservative bona fida you feel are pretty well in place.
SG: Yeah yeah that's right. And so I was shocked actually.
CO: And tell us what was the nature of the dinner? What was the what was the purpose of meeting with the prime minister?
SG: The purpose of the meal was kind of a dinner meeting from what I understand. I haven't been there yet, so around that table which would be all of those senators who have sponsored a government bill. And I sponsored an OECD tax convention with Israel and Taiwan and I'd sponsored similar bills for Prime Minister Harper when he was the prime minister. So this was almost a continuation of government type of bill that was non-controversial.
But on the other hand I've also amended a Government bill so I sponsored one and amended one but the amended one doesn't seem to count in my favor with the Conservative.
CO: Were there any other Conservative senators who’d sponsored bills?
SG: I'm the only one.
CO: Well Senator Smith, he issued a statement about his reasoning for kicking out a caucus if you won't going to cancel the dinner. He says “We believe in the critical role of opposition in parliament. Stephen Greene's actions show that he supports Trudeau and his desire to effectively remove this critical role. He's made a decision that goes against our values and therefore is no longer a member of the Conservative Caucus.” What do you say to that?
SG: Well you know, does that include the National Caucus? I mean, I am a Conservative. I mean I’m a dues paying member.
CO: But I think he means the Senate right? That you’re no longer in the Conservative caucus senate.
SG: You know but also I'm reminded that a lot of prime ministers in the past have hired people from other parties in order to do certain work. You know Harper got David Emerson to become a Conservative cabinet minister after he was a Liberal Cabinet minister, and John Manley had some work from Harper and around the table that Trudeau has. He's got Brian Mulroney from time to time providing advice. So partisanship is fine but you can take it too far, you can take it to ridiculous lengths. What I love first? My country or my party? For me it's my country. And so I just don't understand this this narrowness, I guess. Now I understand that the Conservative Caucus is worried about its position in the Senate. It's eroding. They've had a lot of people over the past couple of years leave it. But also they're not about to get anybody new.
What's expanding are the independent groups and they're going to can continue certainly as long as Justin Trudeau is in power and probably longer because it's going to take a lot for our prime minister to undo what's been done.
CO: Let’s go back to this eroding because this is what, I mean. the essence of what Senator Smith is saying is that it’s not just eroding the Conservative Party, he's saying it’s eroding the rule of opposition. That this is not just a one off thing that Prime Minister Trudeau is trying to reform the Senate and the suggestion is that you've been co-opted.
SG: No I haven't been co-opted. In fact there have been times when I think I could argue that I've led it. And that's because I believe in the Senate, a Senate that fulfills its role as established by the Constitution and the Supreme Court referenced in 2014. That the Senate itself should be a complementary with an e, body to the House of Commons but in an independent one. And the role of senators is to be independent.
CO: So when are you going to do now?
SG: Well I've already had my seat moved across the aisle to the other side and so I'm going to sit there. I've been taken off all of the committees that I had which was banking, trade and commerce, transport, and unfortunately, from my point of view, a modernization which deals about the Senate issues. I can still go to the meetings but I have no vote.
CO: How do you feel about that? What emotionally are you going through?
SG: Yeah. I was very disappointed when I left the meeting and feeling a bit, a bit crushed actually. But that feeling left, and by the time I was back in my office about 15 minutes later, I felt good. And so we talked about it as a staff and we got together and we know that life goes on. And so I'm going to be an independent senator now and maybe that is for the best.
But I'm still a Conservative, always be a Conservative. Chances are I will vote a lot of times with the Conservative caucus because I share their values despite what Larry Smith says that I don't share their values. I do. I am a Conservative I'm as Conservative as he is for heaven's sakes.
CO: We'll leave it there. Senator Greene, thank you.
SG: Thank you.
JD: Stephen Green is now an independent senator from Nova Scotia. We reached him in Ottawa.
JD: Fifty years ago, advertising was simpler. For example, this 1967 commercial – in which a cartoon fisherman euphorically promotes McDonald's Filet-O-Fish.
FISHRMAN: I’m just crazy about McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. Everybody every day gets hooked by McDonalds’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches.
[Sound: Musical sting]
FISHERMAN: Let the fish that catches people catch you.
NARRATOR: The fish that catches people. Look for the golden arches. Where quality starts fresh every day.
JD: See? Now of course, that was a long time ago, when the premise of advertising was simple. You just come out and say it. This thing is great! You should buy it!
Nowadays, things are more complicated. Nowadays, you have to imply the thing is great by establishing that the values of your brand are aligned with the values of certain consumers. So the product is a lifestyle enhancement from a company that understands you – not just a deep-fried, suspiciously square piece of fish.
It's tricky to pull off. Because, in the end, it's just a fish sandwich. Not, say, a symbol of the powerful bond between a grieving son and his dead father.
Now why would I bring up that particular, outlandish example? Because McDonald's in the U.K. just tried to make the Filet-O-Fish a symbol of the powerful bond between a grieving son and his dead father.
In the commercial in question – very much in question – a boy asks his mother a bunch of stuff about his late dad. It appears they had nothing in common. Not even eye colour. And just as the young fellow is about to give up hope that he'll find any connection to his father, they go to McDonald's, where he orders a Filet-O-Fish. And this happens.
[Sound: Inspiring music]
MOM: That was your Dad’s favourite, lad. Tartar sauce rolled down his chin.
JD: So what you can't see is that the lad has tartar sauce on his chin as well! Powerful stuff.
A McDonald's UK spokesperson said: "We wanted to highlight the role McDonald's has played in our customers' everyday lives - both in good and difficult times."
What they highlighted instead was that they were trying to exploit the fictional grief of a young boy to sell fish sandwiches. And now, after receiving a public battering – the bruising kind incidentally, not the golden-brown kind – McDonald's has yanked the ad and apologized.
So, it goes to show that, fifty years later, sometimes the fish still catches people.
JD: She's a human rights activist, and her husband is the well-known Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. Today, Lilian Tintori was in Ottawa – where she met with parliamentarians, and the Prime Minister, to call for change.
Mr. Lopez has been jailed for years, for inciting violence at anti-government protests. His supporters have said his imprisonment is politically motivated.
Well today, Ms. Tintori asked Ottawa to help push for the release of her husband. She also spoke about the on-going mass protests against her country's president, in which dozens of people have reportedly been killed, and hundreds injured.
Mid-way through her speech, she listed off the names of those killed at protests. Then she said this: