CBCradio

September 9, 2008

Pt 1: Killed Bills - When Canada's 39th Parliament was officially dissolved on Sunday, it left behind some unfinished business. Specifically, 35 bills that are now in a kind of legislative purgatory. Among them is Bill C-61, the Digital Copyright Bill. If passed, it would have given independent artists more rights over their intellectual property in the digital realm. Duncan McKie explains it. He's the CEO of the Canadian Independent Record Production Association.

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Pt 2: Ice Cartel - Yes, you heard right. I'm talking about ice, baby - the packaged stuff for sale at corner stores and gas stations, the cubes you use to fill up a picnic cooler or a bath tub of beer.

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Pt 3: The Forsaken - The idea of moving from one country to another in search of work is, by now, almost second nature. But back in the 1930s, that kind of mobility ended up destroying thousands of lives. And yet, it's a story few of us even know about. It was during the Great Depression when tens-of-thousands of Americans -- and also many Canadians -- moved to Stalin's Russia in search of work and a better life.

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It's Tuesday, September 9th.

Stephen Harper says Canada's broadcast networks are right to exclude Green Party leader Elizabeth May from the televised debates since she will basically be running on the same platform as the Liberals.

Currently ... And, you know since the NDP are basically Liberals in a hurry ... and the Bloc are really New Democrats with nationalist aspirations ... and the Liberals, well they're just just Conservatives who can't commit ... I suppose they shouldn't be allowed in either.

This is The Current.

 

Killed Bills

When Canada's 39th Parliament was officially dissolved on Sunday, it left behind some unfinished business. Specifically, 35 bills that are now in a kind of legislative purgatory. Among them is Bill C-61, the Digital Copyright Bill. If passed, it would have given independent artists more rights over their intellectual property in the digital realm. Duncan McKie explains it. He's the CEO of the Canadian Independent Record Production Association.

And Bill Blaikie knows more than most people about where bills go to die and what happens to them after they do. He's a long-time NDP MP and the longest serving MP in the last parliament. He's also leaving politics to teach at the University of Winnipeg. He joined us from Ottawa.

But according to some people, death is actually a relative thing when it comes to bills before parliament. Tasha Kheiriddin lectures on conservative politics at McGill University and she was in Montreal.


Mail Call

Now, as the federal election chugs to life, we need your help. The Current is going to be profiling some of Canada's most passionate and engaged political junkies.

Call them "The Super Committed", people with a story to tell about why this election means so much to them and why it should matter to all of us. Maybe you know someone - a community organizer who breathes politics. a high school debate team with a Prime Minister-in-waiting on it, or an ex-pat Canadian who still prefers the Harper-Dion grudge match to the Obama-McCain brawl.

Whoever it is, we'd like to hear about them. So send us your nominations. You can e-mail us though our website. Just click on the "Contact Us" link.


Ice Cartel

Yes, you heard right. I'm talking about ice, baby - the packaged stuff for sale at corner stores and gas stations, the cubes you use to fill up a picnic cooler or a bath tub of beer.

As part of our on-going series, Watershed, we're going to take a look at the packaged ice industry today, an industry worth about 1.8 billion dollars a year in the United States alone.

American authorities are investigating three North American packaged ice companies over an alleged price-fixing scheme. The allegation is that the companies colluded to divide up the market in order to artificially inflate prices. In June, one of the companies pleaded guilty to allocating customers and territories.


One of the companies under investigation is Winnipeg-based Arctic Glacier. Martin McNulty is the former Vice President of Sales for Arctic Glacier. He's suing his old employer for backpay and other damages. In his lawsuit he alleges that he was fired for blowing the whistle on the company.

Martin McNulty was in Novi, Michigan. Daniel Low is Mr. McNulty's lawyer and he was also in Washington.

Arctic Glacier declined our request for an interview. However, Keith McMahon, the company's President and CEO did send us a written statement.

Martin McNulty is not the only person suing the ice industry for damages.
If it is proven that ice prices were artificially inflated, then consumers and businesses who overpaid are going to want their money back.

And Philip Iovieno will be ready to help them. He's a lawyer representing some of the parties who have launched a class action lawsuit against packaged ice companies. He is a partner with the law firm Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP , currently working at their Albany office. He joined us from Albany, New York.

 

The Forsaken

The idea of moving from one country to another in search of work is, by now, almost second nature. But back in the 1930s, that kind of mobility ended up destroying thousands of lives. And yet, it's a story few of us even know about. It was during the Great Depression when tens-of-thousands of Americans -- and also many Canadians -- moved to Stalin's Russia in search of work and a better life.

Instead they ended up in the Gulags where most of them were worked to death. No one ever acknowledged them. And no one -- including their own governments -- tried to save them.

Tim Tzouliadis calls them The Forsaken. That is the title of his new book, and he's was in London, England.

Last Word

We began the show with a look at the bills that didn't quite make it through the 39th Parliament and ended up dying on the order paper. And that got our friends at CBC's Comedy Factory wondering what would happen if there was a Canadian version of that old tv episode of School House Rocks - one explaining how a bill does NOT become a law? We'll leave you with what they came up with.

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