CBCradio

March 24, 2009

Pt 1: Canadian Economy - Parliament is back yesterday, and if Question Period is any indication, the state of the economy continues to dominate the agenda.

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Pt 2: Behavioural Economics - Here's a reality check for you. The total cost of every burglary theft, fraud, autotheft in US in 2004 was $16-Billion dollars. That same year regular businesses in the US lost $600-Billion dollars to employee theft and fraud. So who's the cheat?

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Pt 3: Quebec Hydro -Earlier this month, Qubec premier Jean Charest said, "Today the richest societies in the world are those which have oil. Tomorrow, the richest societies will be those that will have clean, renewable energy."

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It's Tuesday, March 24th.

Fox News host Greg Gutfield says he did not intend to disrespect the brave men, women and families of the Canadian military when he suggested all Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan want to do is yoga, paint landscapes, and run on the beach. His comments came just before four Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan.

Currently, Canadians say that just because Fox News is full of venomous right-wing ideologues with an infantile sense of humour, in no way does that mean we think any less of its high-quality journalism.

This is the Current.

Canadian Economy - Parliamentary Secretary

Parliament is back yesterday, and if Question Period is any indication, the state of the economy continues to dominate the agenda.

But as the recession creates worry lines on everyone's foreheads, it's not clear which party to believe when deciding just how bad -- or how quickly -- our economic fortunes are tanking. We aired a clip of what the debate sounded like in the House of Commons.

To talk more about their different takes, we invited three of the federal parties to join us this morning to share their spreadsheets with us. We requested an interview with Canada's Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, but he was unavailable.

Ted Menzies, is the Parliamentary Secretary to Conservative Finance MInister Jim Flaherty. He was in Ottawa.

Canadian Economy - Opposition

For their thoughts on how to nurse the economy back to health, we were joined by John McCallum, the Liberal's finance critic. He was in Ottawa, and Thomas Mulcair, finance critic for the NDP who joined us from Montreal.

 

Behavioural Economics - Dan Ariely

Here's a reality check for you. The total cost of every burglary theft, fraud, autotheft in US in 2004 was $16-Billion dollars. That same year regular businesses in the US lost $600-Billion dollars to employee theft and fraud. So who's the cheat?

Behavioural economists like Dan Ariely understand how dishonesty and cheating is part of our less than rational relationship with money. He explores that issue in his book, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Dan Ariely was at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

 

Quebec Hydro - Charest

Earlier this month, Qubec premier Jean Charest said, Today the richest societies in the world are those which have oil. Tomorrow, the richest societies will be those that will have clean, renewable energy.

Premier Charest also believes Quebec has more than enough clean, renewable energy - water - to share with Ontario and the United States. He wants Quebec to become what he calls, "the Alberta of hydro-energy." We aired a clip of what he told CBC Radio yesterday.

And to complete that vision - Jean Charest's government is prepared to dam a lot of rivers, including the Romaine. The 500 kilometre long Romaine River flows from the Quebec - Labrador border to the Gulf of St Lawrence. It's also the jewel of Quebec's Hydro Crown - or it will be, when the dams are built and the power is flowing.

Thirteen of the 16 largest rivers in Quebec have already been altered by hydroelectric projects. The Romaine will be the 14th. The diversion of the Romaine River will cost between six and eight billion dollars. When built, it will generate more than 15-hundred megawatts of power. But not everyone thinks damming the Romaine is green or clean.

Fran Bristow thinks rivers are to Quebec what castles and churches are to Europe - part of the national heritage. She's an environmentalist who is opposed to damming the river. She just spent 48 days canoeing the Romaine for a new documentary called Cherchez le Courant, or Chasing the Current. We aired a clip of Fran Bristow describing part of that journey.

Greenwashing QC Hydro: Critic

Fran Bristow is not alone in voicing opposition to the Quebec government's position that Hydro energy is clean energy. It's causing significant ripples in the Province, and so we're dipping into the debate as part of our ongoing series, Watershed.
Louis-Gilles Francoeur has been the environmental reporter for Le Devoir newspaper in Montreal since 1980. He's been covering Hydro Quebec for nearly 30 years. He was in Montreal.

Greenwashing QC Hydro - Expert

Some think the province's promotion of hydro power as clean energy is an attempt to to pull the green wool over the public's eye. Scott McDougall is the President and CEO of Terrachoice - an environmental marketing company in Ottawa. He has written about so-called greenwashing - the practice of spinning products and policies as green-conscious choices.

Greenwashing QC Hydro - Hydro

Marie-Elaine Devault is a spokesperson for Hydro Quebec, the corporation behind the province's hydro projects. She was in Montreal.

Last Word - James Bay Project

Later today on CBC Radio One, on The Point, comedian Lewis Black from The Daily Show joins Aamer Haleem. From US politics to tackling gambling addiction during the recession, get to The Point, at 2 pm, 2:30pm in Newfoundland and parts of Labrador. And tonight at 10 pm on CBC Television, The National.

If the Romaine River project does get the green light, it will add to an already considerable amount of hydro-electric dams scattered throughout Quebec's north. The James Bay Project was one of the largest systems ever built. The project's sheer land size is 30 times larger than Prince Edward Island. It cost 14 billion dollars and 13 years to build. So when the time came to christen it, you can imagine it was something of an event.

To end the program, we wanted to take you back to that event, courtesy of the CBC Archives with sound from Don Murray's TV report on the James Bay Project inauguration, dated October 27th, 1979.

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