CAROL OFF: Hello, I'm Carol Off.
JEFF DOUGLAS: Good evening, I'm Jeff Douglas. This is As It Happens.
CO: And the winner is — well who exactly? After Bombardier faces sky high tariffs from the U.S., Airbus steps in to give the company's CSeries jets a lift. But some Québec politicians wonder who would really benefit.
JD: He'd been down so long but being down still bothered him. A Houston man was stuck at the bottom of a manhole for nine days. Tonight we'll speak with the firefighter who rescued him.
CO: Cover charge. The Québec government is getting ready to ban burqas for anyone receiving a public service. Our guest says she's tired of the veiled threats against Muslim women's veils.
JD: First they took Kirkuk and now Iraqi forces are pushing deeper into Kurdish controlled territory. A Kurdish general however says his people are still ready to fight for independence.
CO: Another snail in the coffin. We assumed in last week's obit for Jeremy the rare snail was the only snail obituary ever on this program but we’re aghast to find a prior guest discussing another gastropod that ghosted.
JD: And…Kiss of near death. A British man shares his harrowing tale of smooching the Dover sole he had caught and then suffering a cardiac arrest when that troubled sole leapt into his mouth and down his throat. As It Happens the Tuesday edition. Radio that nose the eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the mouth is definitely not a door.
[Music: Theme]Back To Top »
Part 1: Airbus Bombardier, Québec face covering, fish kisser
Guest: Amir Khadir
JD: The headlines this morning were jubilant. ‘The deal of the century,’ one read. ‘Take that Boeing Bombardier and Airbus just delivered a slam dunk’ read another. To analysts in the aerospace industry the deal struck between Airbus and Bombardier last night was huge news. It gives the European aerospace company, Airbus, a major stake and Bombardier’s CSeries program, breathing new life into the embattled jets. You'll recall that those same jets now face U.S. tariffs of nearly 300 per cent. Airbus says it now plans on building some of those CSeries jets in Alabama to get around the tariffs. Not everyone however, sees the deal as a master stroke. Amir Khadir isn't an MNA for the opposition Québec Solidaire party. We reached him in Québec City.
CO: Mr. Khadir Bombardier is framing this deal with Airbus as a win-win for everybody. What's your reaction?
AMIR KHADIR: Well, I don't know how they can say that. Premier Couillard told everybody in Canada that Bombardier now is the plane maker that makes the best plane in the world. So if it's the best plane in the world guess what? Now it's Airbus that owns it, and they are owning it without paying a single penny. You know, when you have somebody that you strangle or somebody feels completely strangled, of course some bit of oxygen is better than to be strangled if you have no other way and this oxygen is given by somebody to you who says ‘Now I own you.’
CO: OK, but that's an interesting analogy because it was being strangled wasn't it? I mean, the U.S. Commerce Department slapped 300 per cent tariffs on these jets. It looked like things were really going pear shaped weren't they?
AK: But unfortunately this situation is the result of incompetence at the highest level of Bombardier since years. And second, the total incompetence of the Couillard government, which invested the money directly into the project of CSeries instead of putting it as a shareholder of Bombardier as a whole. In the second case it would have been impossible for Boeing to submit their request because you know the government as a shareholder was just investing in Bombardier as a whole and not directly in the in the plane. So now we are in a real mess, and it's just another mess that also sums up the situation with NAFTA. 25 years ago, I'm among those sectors of society of unions social activists saying these free trade agreements are just a mirage in the benefit of corporate business, at the end we’ll lose. There was the lumber issue, there is now Bombardier and many other instances where there was no guaranteeing that trade can be really free from our neighbours big hands whenever it comes to its most important interests.
CO: OK, but there are unions that are happy about this deal. The machinists union — David Chartrand is saying he's optimistic, thislooks like we can save jobs. They're saying 2,000 jobs are going to remain with Bombardier Aeronautics in Québec, and that's until 2041. These are things that they would lose if they hadn't had another way of getting around Boeing and getting around these tariffs, so the unions are supporting it.
AK: Carol, I understand that. My party stand with them, we understand them, they know our government. They know the practices of those in power since years, who are completely incompetent to really reach a deal with big corporate multinational business. Look at the government of Trudeau with Netflix, the same thing, you know, the liberal agenda since 30 years, that everything must be under the guidance of corporate business and the market forces.
CO: I mean, I know you have opposition to this, ideological opposition, to this but at a pragmatic level right now what is Bombardier is saying is that the Mirabel plant will even ramp up production with this Airbus deal, they'll keep the jobs. We can't forget the more than a billion dollars Québec has invested, the 300-million-dollar non-interest loans that Canada has invested. We stood to lose all that if they weren't successful. Is that not the case?
AK: Carol, that's the way our government has used us to accept these type of agreements. That's not true, I'm sorry. The Québec government was half-half in the ownership of the project. Now, they're 19 per cent versus 31 per cent for Bombardier. So for Bombardier it is a win situation, but for public funds it's a disaster, and there's no guarantee, for example, explaining that there will be jobs. These are just promises, but remind you Air Canada promised Avios about keeping jobs in Montreal, in a matter of two years they were lost. These political promises are applauded by everybody but they are worth nothing. They have promised us but nothing was kept. No jobs, no headquarters.
CO: The thing though, is Bombardier, maybe it was a bad idea, the investment was huge that Canada has made, but Bombardier says Airbus now will give them a global scale and reach they never could have been able to get on their own. They're even saying, Mr. Bellemare, is saying that this has nothing to do with the tariff, has nothing to do with what happened with Boeing, that this was a good deal in any event.
AK: Carol, we could have had that, but maintaining an ownership and having Airbus paying something, putting in some money. This is just deposition of public ownership since 50 years we have put a lot of energy and money in those projects. This is unacceptable. We should have asked Airbus guarantees, legal guarantees in a contract maintaining jobs and also developing jobs here. At least make Airbus pay for something
CO: All right, finally we are dealing with a very protectionist America right now. The Trump administration is very protectionist. NAFTA is in trouble and possibly going to die. The U.S. Commerce Department is elbows up. We might see the end of the dispute settlement mechanism of NAFTA. So how should we proceed at this point if we dont look for other ways, if our companies don't look for other ways to survive.
AK: If it's in the framework the way our political leadership is seeing the role of politics in dealing with the economy, we have no way other than just binding to the superpower, economical superpower desires. But there are other means to having trade agreements which are based on reciprocal responsibilities, on people's rights, on workers right, on social rights, and we have no way of bargaining them with the government so ideologically desperately bound to market view of economy in our future. And that's where it all ends up.
CO: All right, we'll leave it there Mr. Khadir, thank you.
AK: Thank you, Carol.
JD: Amir Khadir is a member of the Québec’s National Assembly for the Québec Solidaire party. We reached him in Québec City.
[Music: Ambient Tones]
Guest: Shaheen Ashraf
JD: The government of Québec has decided to pass a law governing what you can and cannot wear on a public bus — but it goes beyond that. The legislation is called the Religious Neutrality Act. It has been dubbed the ‘burka ban’ because it bars the wearing of face coverings by anyone who is either giving or receiving a public service. Here's what Québec’s justice minister Stéphanie Vallée told CBC Montreal's Mike Finnerty yesterday, when he asked her what this would mean for a woman trying to get on a bus, or the Metro while wearing a niqab.
MINISTER STEPHANIE VALLEE: Whatever is covering the face has to be taken off during the duration of the service. That’s the guidelines and the bill clearly states in which context it inscribes itself with the respect of the religious rights of individuals. So this is not a bill about a religious signs as we had before. This is a bill about the vivre ensemble as I said, it's a bill that establishes guidelines and clearly establishes neutrality of state. You know, this is in no piece of legislation, it has never been included in a piece of legislation in North America. We’re the first state to clearly state it.
MIKE FINNERTY: Why aren't there any guidelines anywhere else in North America? Maybe it's because we don't need them. Why does Québec need them?
STEPHANIE VALLEE: Well no, I don't agree with you. I consider that it's important that we have guidelines to avoid of going overboard.
JD: That was Québec justice minister Stephanie Valley speaking to CBC Montreal's Mike Finnerty. Shaheen Ashraf is on the board of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women. We reached Ms. Ashraf in Montreal.
CO: Ms. Ashraf, we just heard Québec’s justice minister say that this law isn't about religious fines, it's about vivre ensemble, living together. What do you think it's about?
SHAHEEN ASHRAF: Well, my first thought is that how is this about living together when you're not accepting the way these ladies think that it's a requirement in their religion?
CO: First of all, how many women are we talking about?
SA: Very few, hardly maybe 10 or maybe 15 in the whole of Québec.
CO: So this is a law that pertains to a dozen people?
SA: About, yes.
CO: Do you know anything about those women — where they're working, where they're going to school?
SA: All over. I mean, a few years ago the Canadian Council of Muslim Women had done a project called the ‘Niqabi Women Speak.’ All across the country, I interviewed lots of women and in Montreal itself we interviewed about a few, like eight or 10 women. One of them was a doctor, the other one was a nurse and the other one had her own business, she was running her own business. They're normal people in our society.
CO: And they're paying, taxes they're working and raising families.
SA: They’re paying taxes, they’re working, some from home, some outside and going about their business.
CO: And so now this dozen women will not be able to — they could be turned away from riding a bus if they are wearing a face veil. They can be turned away from getting a license to drive. What else can be turned away from?
SA: Lots — getting services. If I'm sick and I wear the face veil then and nobody's going to serve me. And by the way, all of the women that we interviewed here, none of them said they would not take off the face veil in front of a female to identify themselves. I mean, it happens all the time at airports, at other stations, and if they have been stopped by police officers they have opened their face to identify themselves. None of them have refused.
CO: And they've made that clear that if they were before they would make an arrangement to have their faces revealed because that would be for identification, right?
SA: Yes, exactly. So this is the services they can't receive. And then there are the services they can't give. If there is a doctor and a nurse they will not be able to work in the public healthcare system unless they uncovered their face. Is that right?
SA: That's right. That's right.
CO: So, again we’ll go back to why do you think they're passing this law?
SA: I don't know, I would put it to diversion tactic. You know, there are so many other issues facing you Quebecers here, starting with their break down of roads — and you know these are just diversion tactics. I mean, just probably their popular is going down and down and they just want some votes, I don’t know.
CO: Well this is an interesting point, because does this in Québec get you votes by going after this dozen women and saying they have to uncover their faces or else?
SA: Anything to go after Muslims. Whoever goes after Muslims will be popular in Québec.
CO: That's a strong statement — a very broad statement. Can you back that up?
SA: Well, look at the Charter of Values. Which sector of the community was that targeting?
CO: But the Parti Québécois, didn’t they lose and people rejected that?
SA: They lost because the majority of Québecers are not like that, but a big portion, a big portion are. I think it's basically fear mongering and pandering to these fearful people. I mean, there are some Québecers who have never met another Muslim you know. Once you meet that person you know that they are just normal human beings like yourself.
CO: There's also a very strong feminist streak in Québec society and people we've spoken with, feminists we have spoken with, about this issue believe that they're helping Muslim women, they actually think that this is good for them to get out from what they believe is an oppressive system and to free them. There are many women who believe that. Have you encountered that?
SA: I have encountered that, yes. But what I want you to know is that I wear the scarf but I'm a feminist at heart, and feminism is not defined by your dress, feminism is the way you think.
CO: You wear a hijab?
SA: I do wear a hijab.
CO: Your head is covered but you don’t wear a burka or niqab?
SA: No, no.
CO: Why have you taken this on? Why have you become the champion of these women?
SA: OK, I'm a champion for women. It Doesn't matter their colour, their religion, their creed or whatever. I am a champion for women's rights. I feel strongly — I'm a feminist, but I also feel that your dress does not define your thoughts really. A woman wearing a niqab, wears a niqab because she firmly believes that her religion requires that offer. There is a very, very small section who would be coerced into doing that. Otherwise all the other women they do it out of their own free will.
CO: The women you spoke with at this Niqabi Women Speak, did they did they feel coerced?
SA: Not at all. Not one of them did, not one of them did. They said we wear out of our own free will.
CO: We will leave it there. Ms. Ashraf, I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.
SA: Pleasure to be on your show.
JD: Shaheen Ashraf is a board member of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women. We reached her in Montreal, and there is more on this story on our website: www.cbc.ca/aih
[Music: Ambient Guitar]
Guest: Sam Quilliam
JD: If you've ever gone fishing or do it regularly, this is something that you may have done or might do. After catching a fish, you pick it up, you bring it close to your face, you give it a little kiss. Could be for good luck, it could be for a funny picture of your success. But when Sam Quilliam tried to kiss his fish it went terribly wrong — almost fatally wrong. The British man recently returned to the pier where the incident happened, along with the paramedic that helped save his life. We reached Sam Quilliam in Southampton, England.
CO: Sam, how are you feeling today?
SAM QUILLIAM: Not too bad, I’ve still got quite a sore throat, but it’s a lot better than being dead.
CO: Can you just take us back to your day fishing — how big was the fish that you caught?
SQ: I’d say it was probably six or seven inches long. The main reason we went down to Boscombe pier was to go catch squid for bait, because they’re attracted to the light at night. The other thing you catch at night is dover sole.
CO: And that’s what you caught? You caught a dover sole?
SQ: Yeah, yeah.
CO: And so, you were going to throw it back?
SQ: Yeah. The size limit for sole over here is 28 centimetres. So you can’t keep them unless they're that long. So it was undersized, I was going to throw it back. Before I threw it back I wanted to give it a kiss. I like catching them when they’re sizable, so I thought, give it a kiss as a gesture of good will and it will grow and I might catch it another day or someone else will catch it another day. I probably didn't have a real tight grip on it and they’re quite it slippery as it is. And then it started wriggling in my hand as I went to give it a kiss, and I sort of gasped as it shot towards me and it ended up in my mouth. They're bottom feeders and live in the mud in the sand, I think my guess is it thought it gone in the water or something and it's instinct was to just burrow, and it managed to get its head buried and wedged right into my throat.
CO: Did you try to get it out? What did you do?
SQ: Instant panic really set in and I tried to get my hand down my throat and grab it and pull it out. I just couldn't get a grip of it. I was sort of walking around and by my mate could see what happened and just saw the look of shock and disbelief. There was a guy that tried to give me the Heimlich maneuver and hit me on the back. And then I threw myself on this sort of metal bikerack to try and dislodge it as a last ditch attempt, and that was my last memory before I passed out.
CO: Because you weren’t breathing.
SQ: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it completely blocked my airway.
CO: At what point did you go into cardiac arrest?
SQ: Probably within forty seconds to a minute of the fish going into my throat.
CO: What did your mates do?
SQ: My mate Steve instantly phoned 9-9-9 when he saw it happening and after I passed out Matt, who had been First Aid trained, once he realized I’d stopped breathing and had no pulse, he started carrying out CPR.
CO: How quickly before the paramedics arrived?
SQ: I listened to the 9-9-9 call today to the ambulance service. The total length of the call is around three to four minutes before the paramedics arrived. Then there was probably another three to four minutes on top of that before Matt Harrison the paramedic, removed the obstruction from my throat meanwhile all the time they carried out CPR between my friends and the paramedics, so I wasn't breathing and my heart had stopped for nearly six minutes — potentially even longer. My mate Steve was giving me breaths and breathing into my lungs, and he said he tried the first first two times and there's blood coming out of my mouth and he couldn’t do anything about it. And on his last attempt he blew as hard as he could and managed to get a little bit of air into my lungs.
CO: He saved your life.
SQ: Yeah, really, between my two mates and the paramedics. The real reason I'm here today is that they acted quickly. Matt had the first aid training and they carried out CPR instantly — straight away.
CO: It's hard to imagine anyone being in a situation where they've got a dover sole stuck in their throat. And so that's what the paramedic said as he as he was able to extract this fish. Do you know how he did it? Has he told you or have you learned?
SQ: They had sort of a device to opens the mouth really wide. And then he was looking at the back of my throat with a torch and all he could see was the very tip of the tail at the back of my throat, and he then had a long set of forceps, which is bent at 45 degrees, they’re called McGill's forceps — amazingly, no pun intended — but he managed to get hold of the tail and after a few attempts he managed to pull it out of my throat.
CO: There’s a statement, a quote from him. He said “I was acutely aware that I had only one attempt at getting this right as if I lost a grip or a piece broke off and it slid further out of sight then there was nothing more that we could have done to retrieve it.”
CO: And he did it. He got it. He said it took six tries before he was able to pull that fish out.
SQ: Yeah. I mean, just an absolutely amazing bloke.
CO: He also says that as he was pulling it out he could see that the gills and the fins — the sharp fins were scraping the inside of your throat as he pulled it out. Have you recovered from that?
SQ: I was told by the doctor to take two weeks off work and I was on a liquid diet for four days nearly before I even attempted to eat any normal food and I lost a stone of weight. So if anyone is looking to lose weight just eat yogurt for four days and it's a pretty quick way to lose a lot of weight.
CO: So what's the lesson learned — besides don't try to kiss a fish?
SQ: Well yeah that, and really I think the main message which I think we're struggling to get across to people is that most important thing, is if you find someone in that situation you either clear their airway, or if he can't do that you start carrying out CPR. And just give them as much of a chance as you can give them.
CO: Well, Sam I'm glad you're OK. I'm glad you're alive because it's sure sounded close and well I guess you’ve got quite the fish story to tell.
SQ: Tall tale.
CO: No, not so tall. Sam, thank you very much.
SQ: Thank you.
CO: Take care.
JD: Sam Quilliam is recovering after he nearly choked to death on a live fish. We reached him in Southampton, England. And we have posted more about Mr. Quilliam’s ordeal on our website, that again: www.cbc.ca/aih
[Music: Ambient Chimes]
JD: What happens when you take a stressed out group of people, put them in a beautiful cabin in the Swedish wilderness, feed them fish from a clear Scandinavian lake and let them socialize around campfires for three days? The results will shock and amaze — actually you know what? They're pretty obvious. But, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm set out to prove what we all presume scientifically — and I'm going to go out on a limb here but I'm pretty sure their research is not going to win them a Nobel. What they discovered is that the participants who, again, were taken from super stressful jobs and plopped into the Swedish wilderness. They discovered that those participants became less stressed out.Back To Top »
Part 2: Houston rescue, Kirkuk follow-up
Guest: Jason Abeldano
JD: A road work crew in Houston was doing some repairs when one of the members heard something that sounded like a cry for help — it was coming from a man who had fallen into an open manhole. Jason Courtney said he had been down there for six days, according to his father he had actually been missing for nine. Mr. Courtney is recovering in hospital now. Jason Jason Abeldano is the firefighter who went down into that manhole to pull Mr. Courtney to safety. We reached Mr. Abeldano in Houston.
CO: Jason, when you got to the location of this manhole what did you see?
JASON ABELDANO: Well, it was the middle of the night, like about 3:00 in the morning. There were a bunch of other firetrucks around and firemen around, and they were in this grassy area looking down, I guess they were looking in the hole. I hopped off the truck and go over to where the guys were and I'm like ‘hey guys what do we got?’ And they're like ‘guy’s down here’. And I looked down and sure enough, there was a gentleman about 12-13 feet down asking for help, saying “Get me out, get me out.”
CO: And maybe just describe where this is, because it's kind of a manhole middle of a field, right?
JA: It was underneath the Sam Houston tollway, it was in a very remote location.
CO: And so what did you think in this remote location, in this manhole really in the middle of nowhere, you looked down and there was a guy. What were your thoughts?
JA: Well, the first initial thought is ‘how did he get here?’ And the second was, ‘is he OK?’ And then once I established a back and forth with him I was like ‘OK he's talking, he's OK,’ his only one complaint is about his lower leg — his ankle.
CO: So your thought at that point was it how do I get him out of here?
JA: Right. My initial thought was like ‘whoa what are we going to do to get him out here’ because we on the on the rescue team, we have a variety of ways to get somebody out of a confined space. And we'll work from the easiest way to the most complicated way.
CO: So there was a ladder though they tried to put down to see if the guy could get out and so he couldn't just climb up the ladder himself and get out?
JA: No, the first arriving engine company had put what we call a roof ladder, it's a 14 foot single section of ladder, down the hole to the gentleman. And it reached but his ankle that was injured was just too much. He was in too much pain, every time he would try to move or anything he would kind of wince in pain or scream. Later on it would lead to screaming when we moved him a lot more because it just hurt a whole lot.
CO: How was it determined that you were the guy that had to be down there and get him out?
JA: Well, the other gentleman in the back of the rescue truck with me is a seasoned veteran. I'm one of the newer junior guys, I had only been on the rescue truck about two years, and he goes ‘OK you're up kid.’ I was like, ‘OK let's do it.’
CO: I understand you're also the thinnest of them all.
JA: Yes, I was probably one of the youngest of the group.
CO: So you had to go down. What was it like when you got down in the hole?
JA: It was very tight, very, very close quarters. I took the ladder down to the gentleman but I had a safety line tied to me from up top just in case. And once I got down the ladder I told the guys ‘hey take the ladder out of here’ because there was only about the circumference size of the manhole itself all the way down. It was real tight quarters in there, so I had to move the ladder out of the way, and even with the ladder moved out of the way I was right on top of him.
CO: What's the conversation you had with — his name's Jason Courtney. What was the conversation you had with him when he got down there?
JA: Well, of course I introduced myself and told him ‘Hey my name is Jason. I'm here to get you out.’ My first questions were ‘What's wrong? What hurts? How long have you been down here?’ You know, just trying to get a quick picture of what he's been going through up to this point.
CO: Did he tell you how long he'd been down there?
JA: He had told me about six days to a week, that he'd been down there.
CO: And did you find out how he had survived down there?
JA: I didn't learn about anything until after. It's reported that he told people he was eating bugs and killed a snake down there. I didn't see any bugs or snakes down there when I got down there luckily, because I guess he ate them all. And a good thing he didn't want to share because I probably wouldn't have partaken in that.
CO: But his dad says he was down there more like nine days.
JA: Yes, I heard that also later on, that he had been missing for about nine to 10 days.
CO: Did he tell you how he fell into that hole?
JA: He said he was crossing that grassy area that was underneath the tollway and didn't see that manhole and fell right in.
CO: And so OK, so there's no ladder there. How did you get him out? So you said you were practically on top of him. How did you manage to extricate him?
JA: Well, the plan we came up with before I went down in the hole is that we were going to use a tripod and attach a four-to-one block and tackle. So while I was down in the hole the rest of the guys up top put the tripod and the four-to-one into position. As soon as I gave them the thumbs up from the bottom of the say ‘lets go,’ they were able to lower down the end of the fout-to-one block and tackle to me I was able to attach the harness to the ring and the muscle, the engine and the ladder crew can pull him up.
CO: So he's, he's in hospital, do you know how he's doing?
JA: I've heard that he did have some hydration and that the foot was amputated.
CO: And for you, I mean, this is only two years you've been doing this. Have you ever seen anything like this before?
JA: This is my first time being right on top of the person doing the rescuing. I've seen incidents years ago, but never this personal and close up.
CO: And I guess you never rescued anyone from a manhole before?
JA: No, this was actually a first on that one.
CO: Well Jason, I'm glad you got him out. I'm sorry that he's in such rough shape, at least he survived it, and thanks for speaking with us.
JA: Oh you're very welcome ma’am.
CO:OK take care.
JA: Yes. Thank you.
JD: Jason Abeldano is a firefighter in Houston.
[Music: Lo-fi Hip-Hop]
Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women Inquiry (MMIW): Winnipeg
JD: The MMIW, The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered indigenous Women and Girls, held a hearing in Winnipeg today, and the message from one victim's relative was this quote “We are not being heard.” Alaya McIvor is a cousin to Roberta McIvor, who in 2011 was decapitated on the Sandy Bay First Nation in Manitoba. She was 32 years old. After pleading guilty to manslaughter two teenage girls were sentenced the maximum of two years in jail, followed by one year of community supervision. But Ms. McIvor's family believes that the circumstances of her death remain unclear, and that many in the community suspect other people may have been involved. At today's hearing Alaya McIvor expressed frustration with the inquiry into her cousin's death, whom she called auntie. Here's some of what she said.
ALAYA MCIVOR: One of the things with this national inquiry, you guys have 53 million dollars and if you look at the look at these chairs today we're paying $871,000 to these commissioners when there's only one sitting here. From a family of member’s perspective I’m asking well “Is it kind of pointless sharing my story to one commissioner when we we’re spending $871,000 for these commissioners to be sitting here hearing or stories. That's a lot of money. That's a lot of blood money, a lot of blood money is on the backs of my loved one.
AM: I really acknowledge you for being here, but where's the other three that are paid for on the backs of our loved ones? When my auntie died she really believed in a national inquiry. I don't believe in this. I’m sitting here because of my auntie. I walked across Canada in 2013 for this. You’re failing us. I put three months aside of my life, to walk across Canada to hear hundreds of stories calling for a national inquiry Missing and Murdered indigenous Women and Girls. Some of the things that I've heard from families you guys don't even implement here. And when I asked family members when I walked across Canada, what they would like to see a national inquiry look like, it sure isn’t this. You guys really failed us. You really failed drastically.
JD: That was a Alaya McIvor speaking earlier today in Winnipeg at a hearing of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Ms. McIvor's cousin Roberta McIvor, whom she called auntie, was killed in 2011 on the Sandy Bay First Nation in Manitoba.
[Music: Somber Tones]
Guest: Hajar Ismail
JD: The dream of Kurdish independence seems to be fading with the rapid approach of the Iraqi military. Yesterday, the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk was captured by Iraqi forces, Today, Kurdish forces were driven out of Sinjar. The defeats are exposing deep rifts between the Kurdish political parties — with the Kurdish Democratic Party calling for resistance, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan being accused of cutting a deal with the Iraqi government. Ismail is a brigadier general of Peshmerga forces in Erbil, and that is where we reached him.
CO: General Ismail, your Peshmerga forces were not expected to give up Kirkuk so easily. People thought that you'd put up a fight. What happened?
GENERAL HAJAR ISMAIL: What happened in Kirkuk, it was unexpected, because they brought very, very big forces. 9th Armoured Division with all the three brigades and many, many brigades from the PMF, Iraqi army, Iraqi federal police, the Shia militia. The Iranians came, they made plans for them, they led the operation. They brought heavy weapons from Iran, so with the light weapons like AK-47 or PKCs or machine gun, really we cannot face them. Even in the beginning when they attacked we stopped them. We defeated many of them. But unfortunately it was it was a deal between Iran, Iraq and unfortunately, some leaders of the PUK.
CO: I’ll stop you there because this is really very important and it's a complex story to follow. But there were parts of the Kurdish forces — you mentioned the PUK — this is a faction of the Kurdish forces and Kurds themselves went along with this deal, agreed with the Shia militias and with the Iraqi forces to cede this territory. Why did they do that? Why did you have Kurds who decided to go along with this?
HI: Just for their personal interest maybe. It was an international conspiracy. This was not a normal operation against the Peshmerga. It was really an international conspiracy against the Kirkuk, against the Peshmerga, between Iran, between Iraq, between as I said, some people. And also we did not expect that our friends, our allies the coalition forces to give heavy weapons to the Iraqi side.
CO: But no so given that the U.S. forces are supplying and supporting the Peshmerga. And as you pointed out they're supporting the Iraqi forces. How did it feel for you to see that U.S. weapons were used to take this to take, first of all Kirkuk, then Sinjar?
HI: Really this has disappointed all the Kurdish, all the Peshmerga. You know, between 2003 till now thousands — more than 5,000 American soldiers killed in Iraq — killed by Shia, killed by al-Qaida, killed by Daash, killed by Sunni. No American soldiers injured or killed by the Peshmerga because we consider them our best ally, our best friends, we respected them and always they said the Kurdish, the Peshmerga are our best of ally. So really now we are surprised the best heavy weapons handed to Shia militia and the U.S. is saying nothing. There is no difference between ISIS and the Shia militia. They make crime the same as ISIS. You know in this operation they killed more than a hundred civilians.
CO: And you know for a fact that the United States was supporting the Shia militias?
HI: The United States says they are supporting the Iraqi government, the Iraqi army. But they know very well the weapons, the heavy weapons, the tankers, the Abrams, Humvees — they gave it to the Iraqi army and the Iraqi Federal Police. Half of those weapons are now with Shia militia, with the PMF.
CO: I have to ask you General, because you know that Canadian Special Forces troops have been in the region. They have been working with Peshmerga fighting against ISIS. In the midst of all this where are the Canadians?
HI: We really appreciate the Canadians and all the coalition forces, even as the U.S. they supported the Peshmerga forces in our fighting against ISIS. So the Canadians were through in Kirkuk before this operation. But we hear that the U.S. stayed in the area, so this is surprising for us — why they stayed in the area and it seems they are aware of all of that.
CO: But are you saying the Canadians withdrew from the area?
HI: Yes. They are maybe not trusting the Shia militia or the Iraqi side.
CO: Do you think that it looks like an independent Kurdistan is not possible at this point?
HI: So, I believe now an independent Kurdistan is more possible than before. Because this has shown to a our people it will be very, very difficult to continue with this mentality, to continue with those people. But it depends when. Almost 93 per cent of the Kurdish and other Christian, Turkomen, Yazidi all of them, they voted for the independent Kurdistan. Even in the disputed area.
CO: Now you think that they will be inspired or or are charged by the fact that what they've seen happened in in Kirkuk and in Sinjar? You they think people will be inspired by that?
HI: The people really know the mentality of those Arab, the Shia people, because when they became strong they are attacking, when they are weak they are ready to negotiate, to meet to have a dialogue.
CO: But again, do you think that it's more likely that there will be a push for independence?
HI: Absolutely, the people decided to have an independent country. Even the independents, we wanted to solve this issue peacefully with the Iraqi side through dialogue and negotiation. But to continue to live with those people, it's very difficult.
CO: General Ismail, I will leave it there. I appreciate you speaking with us tonight. Thank you.
HI: Thank you very much.
JD: Hajar Ismail is a brigadier general with the Peshmerga forces in Erbil and that is where we reached him.
[Music: Trance Bass]
From Our Archives: Partula Turgida snail obit
JD: Did you know a group of snails is called an escargotoire? Nor did I. Frankly, I didn't think I had to, but it turns out to be a relevant word, even though on Friday I did assume we were talking about just the one snail that being Jeremy, poor Jeremy. We spoke with Angus Davison from the University of Nottingham about the death of Jeremy, whose search for a mate of course, made international headlines over the past year, because Jeremy was a lefty — a rare left-coiling snail, which made finding a partner quite difficult. But that discussion of one escargot actually has become a discussion of an escargotoire. Mr. Davison told us that Jeremy had been able to produce offspring before sliding off this mortal coil, but then toward the end of the conversation Carol Off said this.
CO: I think I can say with confidence that though we've done a lot of obituaries on As It Happens, I think this is probably our first snail obit.
JD: Well, perhaps we should not be surprised but it turns out that is not quite true. We have indeed covered a snail's death previously on this program. And after that interview our ever-astute technician Reynold Gonsalves found this conversation from February of 1996, when host Michael Enright spoke with Paul Pearce-Kelly from the London Zoo. Mr. Pearce-Kelly told the program that a snail called the Partula Turgida had died at the London Zoo, and the snail had been the last surviving member of the species. Here is Mr. Pearce-Kelly speaking about that snail.
PAUL PEARCE-KELLY: A member of a group of Polynesian trees snails, which are all called partula, about 117 different species, and that there's been 28 of those species, we now know have become lost for good. And it's a fascinating story because it’s not bound up with habitat loss this time, it's all to do with an introduced predator which has been put into the region back in the 70s. And these little snails come from all over the Polynesian Islands through the West Central and South Pacific. And they've all been victims of a predator snail called Euglandina, which you'll find in Florida and down into Central America.
MICHEAL ENRIGHT: It attacks the partula turgida?
PPK: Yeah, it was put on the islands to try and get rid of the African giant land snail, which is an economic pest. Unfortunately in those early days of bio control there wasn’t correct trials done, and it soon was found that it was eaten. It actually didn't like the African giants snails, but it loved these native trees snails, the partulas. And it set about wiping them out with great gusto.
ME: Now among its other attributes or characteristics, it was the world's slowest snail, is that right?
PPK: Well, that is a story which stems from the fact that they stay in one place, you can mark the snails shells in the wilds, you can come back several years later and you'll find the snails have stayed on the same tree branch area or bush whatever. They will move around within that area but they tend to stay put in a particular place. And that's what makes them so special because you get many species evolving because they become isolated and they’re really a wonderful model actually for looking at how speciation happens. And you really have a natural lab there. You're looking at evolution in action. But of course all that was disrupted when the predator situation happened.
ME: So it's not so much that the snail was slow, it just didn't go anywhere.
PPK: That's right. That’s a much better way of putting it.
JD: From Our Archives: Michael Enright in conversation with Paul Pearce-Kelly about the death of the last remaining partula turgida snail. And if you would like to hear our interview about poor, poor Jeremy visit our website: www.cbc.ca/aihBack To Top »
Part 3: Toronto house, drone plane strike
Carrie Fischer story
JD: As allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Harvey Weinstein continued to emerge, more men and women in Hollywood are coming forward with their own stories of producers abusing their power — including Heather Ross. Ms. Ross is a screenwriter and a friend of the late Carrie Fisher, and she called into the Tucson Arizona radio show Morning Mix to tell the story of being sexually assaulted by an Oscar-winning producer — not Harvey Weinstein. Here's some of that conversation.
HEATHER ROSS: He picked me up, we were going to go out to eat. And within two minutes — we were driving in the car to go get something to eat — and he pulls the car over and he’s like, “I have to get something out of the side pocket of the of the door over there.” He reaches over and grabbed the handle of the chair, the passenger seat, and flipped me backward — and all of a sudden he's on top of me.
GREG CURTIS: Oh my gosh.
HR: Yeah, and he has his right hand that was busy, and his left hand was on my chest by my neck, holding me down. I was like — yeah. And it happened literally within — I mean it was so fast.
GC: When you when you told your mom and you told some friends did anybody want to take action? Did they want to go after this guy?
HR: Carrie Fisher, a lot of people said that in the news after her passing that she was like a mother figure and she took care of people, which she did — and I was one of many. And when I told her about this I mean I sent her a message like, ‘You're never gonna believe what happened.’ And so she was very protective of me and more scared for my safety than anything. And after that fear wore off, about two weeks later, she sent me a message online and she was like, ‘I just saw blank at Sony Studios. I knew he would probably be there. So I went to his office and personally delivered a Tiffany box wrapped with a white bow.’ And I asked her, ‘OK well what was inside?’ She’s like, “It was a cow tongue from Jerry's famous deli in Westwood, with a note that said “ If you ever touch my darling Heather, or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.’ And I about died. She goes, “If I would have recorded the look on his face,” because he came out like, “Carrie to what do I owe the pleasure?” She’s like, “I just wanted to bring you a little gift.”
GC: So she was there to see him open it even?
HR: Oh yeah, she personally delivered it to him.
JD: Screenwriter Heather Ross telling Tucson radio show host Greg Curtis about the time she was sexually assaulted by a producer and how her friend Carrie Fisher got her revenge.
[Music: Ambient Plucks]
Guest: Ellen Scheinberg
JD: It is a painting of a fairly nondescript house in Toronto, but it was painted by Lawren Harris, member of the Group of Seven, and that makes both the art and the thing it depicts significantly more interesting. Well last year someone bought said painting at auction and afterwards the buyer contacted Ellen Scheinberg. Ms. Scheinberg is an historian and a heritage consultant and the buyer wanted her help tracking down the property. It is all detailed in a piece published last week in Spacing Magazine, and we reached Ellen Scheinberg in Toronto.
CO: Ellen even looking at it a reproduction this painting looks absolutely charming. Can you just describe it for us?
ELLEN SCHEINBERG: It's a Harris painting of a house, it was created around 1920, and it's a lovely detached two story home and he uses vibrant colours, orange and green and blue, and it's a very compelling piece.
CO: And of course people when they think of Lawren Harris they think of those epic landscapes with the geometrics eventually. So tell us a bit about when and why he was making these urban paintings?
ES: Certainly, I co-wrote the article with Jim Burant, who's an art history expert, so he did a lot of the research. But Harris certainly started off his career very interested and focused on the urban experience and structures. He created a large number of works of Toronto houses and stores and streetscapes.
CO: And it has — just to describe it a bit more — it has these cute little dormer windows it's very tiny and sweet, isn't it? It’s very narrow, it looks from the picture a brick facade in the front and some shingles but not many other clues to that. So how did you go about narrowing down where it was?
ES: So I started it by looking at some of Harris's paintings of homes and thought maybe I would see similar houses in some of the works that he had undertaken in the past. And I really didn't see any that look like this one, this was quite unique. So I then went to talk to two colleagues at ERA architects who are experts in building heritage, and I thought they might be able to point me in the right direction. And they identified this as a Second Empire house and give me an idea of which neighborhoods might have this kind of home.
CO: And you did — we should say spoiler alert — you did find the house. So what was that moment — when you actually were able to to find it and actually look at the real house — what did you think? How did you feel about that?
ES: I was quite astonished. I wouldn't have found it without the help of Patrick Cummins, who is an archivist at City of Toronto archives, and he recognized that he wasn't sure exactly where it was, but he knew it was in Yorkville, and knew one of the streets it might be on. And when I found it I was overjoyed. And then it enabled me to do some research and connect it to some of the previous owners.
CO: Now in Yorkville, of course for people who don't know Toronto, this is an upscale, very posh neighbourhood now, where just about everything original has been torn down or changed to make way for condos and other kinds of storefronts and everything. So who actually lived in it and how did it survive there as actually an intact little house?
ES: Well, when it was built in 1887, the residents were mostly skilled craftsmen. And so the first person to live in this house was a carpenter. It was not rundown at all but not swanky the way that it is today. It's quite a miracle that it survived. And I attributed that to Mandel Sprachman putting it on the heritage inventory in the 70s.
CO: OK, so this is an interesting part of the story. Someone who eventually bought it was Mandel Srachman. And tell us about him and why he was interested in this house?
ES: So Mandel Sprachman was a prominent architect and he mainly designed and renovated theatres, one of his most famous projects was the Elgin-Winter Garden theatre. He used this house as his office. He did some research into the home. I don't believe he connected it to Harris, but he obviously loved it and he wanted to protect it, so she put it on the heritage inventory knowing that was the right thing to do if he wanted it to remain around after he sold it or passed it on to his family.
CO: And he was right about.
ES: Oh, definitely. It stayed in his family and they actually sold it last fall. And when I heard the news I was worried they'd knock it down, even though it was on the inventory, but I was told by Mandel’s son Robert, that the new owner was planning to renovate it and keep it intact, the structure, so I was very relieved.
CO: It's interesting that this little house, which is I mean, in most ways I guess sort of nondescript, would have just captured the imagination of Mandel Sprachman and Lawren Harris. There's just something about it that captivates people. Did you ever learn why Lawren Harris painted it?
ES: I really don't know. Jim was speculating about that and he had two theories. I don't think there was a connection to one of the owners. I went through the list of owners, but Jim thought that perhaps Harris might have passed it on the way from his home to a studio. And the other theory he had was that during the early years Harris used to take expeditions with one of the Group of Seven artists that he was friends with J. E. H. MacDonald, and they would sketch houses and buildings. And so Jim thought that perhaps they discovered this house during one of their outings.
CO: And do you think that your adventures in the article you wrote might lead to others trying to identify the places, locations of Harris paintings also J. E. H. MacDonald paintings of cityscapes?
ES: I'm hoping so. I've already had calls from people who've sent me photos of paintings that they have of houses, particularly with Harris, there's so many wonderful paintings that are unnamed and it feels as if one has no idea where these are or what the story is behind this house. And as a result they don't have the same value of some of his other works, so I would love to see the public pursue this kind of exercise on their own.
CO: Well good sleuthing on your part Ellen.
ES: Thank you so much.
CO: And thanks for speaking with us.
ES: It's my pleasure. Thank you so much.
JD: Ellen Scheinberg is an historian and a heritage consultant who helped track down the Toronto property featured in a Lawren Harris painting. We reached Ms. Scheinberg in Toronto.
[Music: Ambient Bass]
John Dunsworth obit
JD: You probably knew him as the hard drinking Mr. Lahey but in Nova Scotia John Dunsworth was a legend. John Dunsworth died yesterday. He was 71 years old. In his home province he was an accomplished theater actor, renowned for his performances on the main stage of Neptune Theater in Halifax and for the many, many, many plays he directed and produced. In the 80s he opened a casting agency. It is known to have landed gigs for a young Ellen Page. And in the 90s he starred in CBC Television’s Pit Poni, a period drama about workers in Nova Scotia’s coal mines. And throughout his career he was a very, very strong advocate for the provinces burgeoning film industry. He said told CBC in 2010, “We'd be way better off if we nurtured our own talent and allowed it to flourish here.” Trailer Park Boys was born out east, of course, and the perpetually drunk Jim Lahry, lowly trailer park supervisor, frequently devised devious schemes to evict Ricky, Julian and Bubbles. And here he is attempting to frame the Sunnyvale residents.
JOHN DUNSWORTH AS JIM LAHEY: Take the bus.
PATRICK ROACH AS RANDY: Listen, Mr. Lahey they could kill one another.
JD: Wouldn’t that be nice?
PR: Yeah, but we can’t be involved in murder.
JD: Exactly Randy.
PR: Mr. Lahey is this you talking or the liquor?
[TAKES A SWIG OF LIQUOR]
JD: I am the liquor.
JD: Today his fellow cast members and the acting community at large are mourning the loss of John Dunsworth. Here is Jonathan Torrens, a fellow Halifax actor who played Jay Rock in Trailer Park Boys, speaking to Tom power on q.
JONATHAN TORRENS: One anecdote that I was thinking about just this morning Mike Clattenburg and I made a short film called Nan’s Taxi with Brian Heighton. It was about a one-car cab company and we had to cast our Nan and this was a critical role.
TOM POWER: Your grandmother? Like your nan?
JT: That was the name of this short film that we were making, Nan’s Taxi. So we had to find ‘the Nan’ for this picture. And John had a casting agency in Halifax, and he went right into Northwood Senior's Residence, and it was like getting to see Elvis in his natural habitat. He was doing Shakespearean sonnets, He was waltzing women around the dance floor, they were melting in his wake. He was a student of the planet Earth and a lover of life and an avid CBC listener. Unbelievable Scrabble player, but maybe his proudest legacy would be his kids Sarah and Molly, and Zoe and Jeff, each wonders in their own right. We’ll miss him.
JD: That was Jonathan Turrens speaking with Tom power on q about John Dunsworth, who died yesterday. He was 71 years old.
[Music: Ambient Bass & Tones]
Cullen/Chagger on Morneau in Question Period
JD: Bill Morneau has decided it's time for another look. The finance minister has been facing some challenging questions since news broke that he hadn't put his considerable investment portfolio into a blind trust. Mr. Morneau has insisted that he has followed the advice of the ethics commissioner, but this afternoon he released a letter requesting another meeting with the commissioner. Well that seems unlikely to satisfy the NDP’s ethics critic. Nathan Cullen says that the last public accounting of Mr. Moreno's assets includes millions of dollar’s worth of shares in the Human Resources Company Morneau Shepell. That's a company that Mr. Cullen argues may stand to gain under the government's new pension legislation. So here is Nathan Cullen in Question Period this afternoon.
NATHAN CULLEN: We may be looking at the most blatant conflict of interest in modern Canadian history. The finance minister introduced Bill C-27. This bill would significantly benefit Morneau Shepell and all of its shareholders like, oh, like the finance minister. He's not divested nor placed millions of shares in a blind trust. So what's worse Mr. Speaker — this massive, troubling conflict of interest, or the fact that the Liberals don't think there's a problem in the first place?
MINISTER BARDISH CHAGGER: As Minister of Small Business and Tourism, I will tell you I'm very proud of this government is actually listening and engaging with our job creators to ensure that the tax system works for them. The minister has full confidence in ethics commissioner and her recommendations, and is willing to take any further steps avoid conflict or any perceptions of conflict as deemed appropriate by the ethics commissioner.
JD: That was the Minister of Small business and Tourism, Bardish Chagger, responding to a question from the NDP’s Nathan Cullen.
[Music: Ambient Chimes]
Drone plane strike
Guest: Greg McConnell
JD: It was an aviation first in Canada — it was not a triumphant one. It was a dangerous one. A drone crashed into a commercial airplane. The federal transportation minister announced a collision on the weekend. It happened a few days ago near the Québec City airport. No one, thankfully, was hurt, but it has reinforced fears among pilots that a drone could cause major damage to a plane and put lives at risk. Greg McConnell is the head of the Canadian Federal Pilots Association. We reached him in Ottawa.
CO: Mr. McConnell, you have said elsewhere that it was only a matter of time before we saw a crash like the one in Québec City. Why is that?
GREG MCCONNELL: Well, that’s because more and more drones are being flown everywhere by people who perhaps aren’t up to speed with respect to where these things may legally be flown.
CO: And how do you know that? What are you hearing from pilots?
GM: Pilots are reporting on a daily, if not, weekly basis encounters with drones or drones that are being too close to the airplanes are flying.
CO: And describe some of things you've heard — some of the close calls that they've told you about?
GM: Basically aircraft on approach to different airports across Canada and having a drone cross their flightpath.
CO: And drones, they’re various sizes. What are the kinds of things they've seen. What are the encounters that they've had.
GM: I think they have seen everything. You're so right, drones come in many, many different sizes and complexities. Some of them are available at Best Buy for a few hundred dollars and others are larger than airplanes themselves and cost 227 million dollars. So the breadth and expanse of what the drones are right now is just huge.
CO: And what are they doing, all these drones, so close to where airplanes are taking off and landing?
GM: Well, they certainly shouldn't be there. And hopefully when Transport Canada gets around to drafting regulations, they'll be prescriptive regulations that will clearly not permit this kind of activity — it's not permitted now yet people continue to do so. So we're hoping that when the new regulations come out it will address knowledge requirements, testing requirements, experience requirements, medical requirements to ensure that those who are operating drones are licensed, permitted — that some form of certification activity takes place. And then even registering these things, because once one of these drones hits an aircraft or a house or whoever, who knows who it belongs to.
CO: I know people who have drones, everyone has seen them, they’re toys, or they’re very expensive toys in some cases. What kind of damage can a drone collision with an aircraft do?
GM: Well, if a bird is capable of causing a catastrophic event with an airplane, a drone is equally capable of doing the same thing. If a drone were to hit the windshield on one of the aircraft that I was flying and come through that windshield, it could possibly take me out. And then who’s left to fly the airplane?So these things are real, they're serious and they are not toys. People are considering them to be toys but they really aren't.
CO: And we remember what happened on the Hudson River, where the plane that had to take a forced landing after it hit a flock of Canada geese as it took off.
GM: Yes, exactly. In my younger days as a pilot I hit a seagull that put a huge dent in the nose cone of the aircraft, completely opaqued my windshield and hit the tail of my airplane. And that was a seagull and I don't think they were eight or 10 pounds, maybe. Some of these drones weigh a lot. There are different categories. 250 grams, 25 kilograms, which is 50 pounds or more hitting an aircraft in flight — it can do substantial damage.
CO: Do you think that the drones that are so close to these aircraft are actually filming planes taking off and landing?
GM: I don't know. I think most of the drones have some sort of filming or recording device on them and thrill-seekers being what they are, maybe they consider that interesting. As a pilot I've got huge concerns with that.
CO: The roads are lined with cars of people who go out to watch planes take off and land — people are fascinated with that. And so I would imagine if they had the technology to get even closer they would do it.
GM: And I believe that may indeed be what's going on.
CO: Now there are rules in place. Transport Canada has interim safety rules that make it illegal to fly a drone within five-and-a-half-kilometres of an airport, and there is a $25,000 potential fine, or even some prison time if you endanger aircraft safety. Do you think the people who are out there flying them so close to airports just don't know or they don't care?
GM: Hard question to answer. I think an educational campaign should be put out there and should be part of any drone, as you said, toy package that someone is buying, so that they're made aware of this. I don't know if those fines have been imposed or whether the Transport Canada has actually enforced that regulation on anybody, but certainly getting that information out there may be the start of a deterrent, such that things like this don't happen anymore.
CO: Well, we know that just on all kinds of toys, there's these warnings that the smallest things like don't let kids play with this because they're too young. These parts are too small or don't let them have the plastic bags after they've been wrapped. I mean, we have so many warnings about toys and yet these adult toys don't have any.
GM: You're right. You're absolutely right. And it's not just the warnings, but it's the education behind these. There are also some huge privacy concerns with respect to these drones and the fact that they do have cameras. And hopefully one Transport Canada comes out with prescriptive regulations they’ll address this.
CO: What do you want the government to do? What more do you want them to do?
GM: Speed up. Hurry up and get some regulations out there. These things have been around since the 1990s. So let's get on with it.
CO: All right, we'll leave it there. Mr. McConnell, thank you.
GM: Thank you very much.
CO: Bye, bye.
GM: Bye, bye.
JD: Greg McConnell is the national chair of the Canadian federal Pilots Association. We reached him in Ottawa.
[Music: Electric Guitar Strums]
From Our Archives: Tango the Peacock obit
JD: He was a peacock, he refused to be penned in. In the summer of 2015 on Prince Edward Island, the search was on for Tango, who had escaped his enclosure Norboro. We are sad to report that Tango's wandering days are most definitely over. Tango died on Saturday. To help us all remember and reflect on Tango and his adventures, here is some archival tape from when Tango's owner Kevin Cook was out looking for him.
KEVIN COOK: We have dog treats that will entice him if I actually find him. And playing sound bites from my cell phone of Peacock's calls, which really helps bring them around in here the a sound.
REPORTER: Tell me about the net and the phone.
KEVIN COOK: Well, the net itself is eventually that might be something I could use to capture him if I can bring him over close enough with some dog treats leaving them in a trail or dog food. I'm leaving them down in an area that hopefully he'll start to feed on, and the phone is to attract him thinking that because he grew up with other peacocks, knowing that that's another peacock might bring him closer. It's one of the little tricks you can do.
REPORTER: How do hope this ends up?
KC: Well I hope before late fall we end up having him back home and the sooner the better. And then he'll be kept in his enclosure until three or four weeks pass. Push it a little extra just to ensure that he's happy and get him a female down the road.
JD: From 2015, that was PEI’s Kevin Cook out on the search for his peacock Tango. Tango was found and Tango lived to the ripe old age of eight, but he died on Saturday. According to the PEI Guardian newspaper the Charlottetown Guardian, Tango was predeceased by his cage mates Salsa and Flamenco.
[Music: Tropical Luau]
JD: In a Facebook post that has since been removed from his page, Dave Gautreau wrote quote “I take this mayoral run serious and I am looking for creative ways to help fight the war on drugs.” unquote. Mr. Gautreau is running for mayor in the borough of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. And you cannot deny his creativity. When you visit his website a cartoon goat appears in the bottom right hand corner. Goat is his nickname. “Vote for goat” is his campaign slogan. And the cartoon billy goat also helps you understand how to pronounce his last name. But last Thursday Dave Gautreau’s boundless imagination sent him down a rabbit hole. At a mayoral forum the Republican candidate suggested an anti-drug plan that was both enterprising and economical. If elected he said, he would look into drug-sniffing rabbits. The reason was simple. Drug-sniffing dogs are expensive to train and house — rabbits significantly cheaper. Also Lancaster, Pennsylvania was already using rabbits for that purpose. But like a suspicious bag of powder in front of a drug sniffing rabbit, Mr. Gautreau’s suggestion did not pass the sniff test. After some cursory searching online people revealed that the idea was a joke. One first made on the satirical People of Lancaster website and then on April Fool's Day 2016 by the Amhurst, New York Police Department. And in that since deleted Facebook post, Mr. Gautreaux apologized, but as he told the Philadelphia Inquirer quote “I was dead serious. I would not make a joke about a rabbit if I did not believe it to be true.” unquote.
CBC would like to acknowledge the support of the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund.