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October 22, 2009

Pt 1: Hostage Taking - We started this segment with a clip from who we now know is Patrick Clayton. After a tense ten hours holed up in a WCB conference room, the alleged gunman gave himself up to police last night. His hostages were all released.

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Pt 2: Kootenay Fire Documentary - It was 40 years ago tomorrow that an explosion and a fire ripped through the HMCS Kootenay. The Canadian naval ship was in the middle of sea trials off the coast of England when -- as one sailor put it -- "all bedlam broke loose." Nine people died and more than 50 were injured. It was the worst peacetime disaster in the Canadian Navy's history.

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Pt 3: Letters - Thursday is mail day and our Friday host, Hana Gartner, joined Anna Maria in studio.

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It's Thursday, October 22nd.

Microsoft will launch Windows 7 today.

Currently ... [pause] ... I'm just waiting for it to boot up.

Still waiting.

Still waiting.

[beep]

Oh, there we go.

Hey, it IS faster. Oh... it crashed.

This is The Current.


Hostage Taking

We started this segment with a clip from who we now know is Patrick Clayton. After a tense ten hours holed up in a WCB conference room, the alleged gunman gave himself up to police last night. His hostages were all released.

But at the height of the drama, in a bizarre twist, Patrick Clayton was phoning the CBC newsroom in Edmonton. CBC producer Gareth Hampshire took the first call.
He's the CBC News senior coordinating producer in Edmonton



 

Kootenay Fire Documentary

It was 40 years ago tomorrow that an explosion and a fire ripped through the HMCS Kootenay. The Canadian naval ship was in the middle of sea trials off the coast of England when -- as one sailor put it -- "all bedlam broke loose." Nine people died and more than 50 were injured. It was the worst peacetime disaster in the Canadian Navy's history.

For years, the men who survived the fire have been reluctant to tell their story. But this morning, we share an account of what happened in a documentary prepared by the CBC's Sandra Bartlett and Susanne Reber. Sandra Bartlett joined Anna Maria in studio.

This documentary is called Tragedy at Sea.



 

Letters

Thursday is mail day and our Friday Host, Hana Gartner joined Anna Maria in studio.

Nortel Pensions: Yesterday afternoon, hundreds of former Nortel employees marched on Parliament Hill -- voicing a rising anger about policies which are drastically affecting their pensions. Canadian federal law does not provide any special protection for pensioners if a company declares bankruptcy. And in the wake of an economic meltdown, a pension meltdown is leaving once-comfortable retirees vulnerable. Yesterday on the program, we spoke to Jacquie McNish. She's a senior writer with The Globe and Mail who has been investigating pensions in her series, Retirement Lost.

To help us understand some of the differences and similarities between Countries such as the US and Canada's approach, we reached Karen DeBortoli. She is the director of the Canadian Research and Innovation Centre at Watson Wyatt. She was in Toronto.

Now there have been a lot of calls for the government of Canada to intervene on behalf of employees and former employees who have seen their private pension plans eaten away. And to respond to those calls, we reached Ted Menzies on the line. Mr. Menzies is the Member of Parliament for MacLeod in Alberta. He's also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and the federal government's point person on pensions. He was in Toronto this morning.

People Smuggling - A ship seized off the coast of British Columbia last weekend is suspected to be part of a people-smuggling operation run by an Indonesian ship's captain. Vessels full of would-be immigrants have been arriving on Canadian shores for decades. Tuesday on The Current we spoke with Irving Abella, a professor of history at York University, who chronicled the limitations Canada placed on Jewish immigrations during the Second World War. Professor Abella says that dark period affected Canadian immigration policies for decades afterward.

Request Count - Another quiet week on the cabinet minister front. Only one request, for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who was not available. But Mr. Flaherty's office did put us in touch with his Parliamentary Secretary Ted Menzies, who we heard from a couple of minutes ago. And while Mr. Menzies is not a cabinet minister, we do appreciate him agreeing to come on the program. So in seven weeks, The Current has requested interviews with 15 cabinet ministers. Three agreed to come on. That's 3 for 15.

Positive Thinking - Barbara Ehrenreich has no problem with people who want to enjoy life and be happy. But she is troubled by the ubiquitous culture of positive thinking that she sees in the United States ... a culture that she argues contributed to the financial meltdown. Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America. And last Thursday on The Current, she told us how events in her personal life brought her to this topic.

Last Word - Funeral Music

And we ended the program today with a little vignette from our on-going series Work In Progress. Father Ed Tomlinson is an Anglican priest. And among other things, he performs rites at quite a few funerals every year. But he's finding that more difficult to do because he believes that the religious service he provides isn't being taken as seriously as it used to be. He came to that realization when he was thinking about the secular music he so often hears at those funerals. So he wrote an essay called The Death of Death on his parish blog. We aired a reading from it, along with the top five funeral songs he cites.


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