CBCradio

November 25, 2009

Pt 1: Afghan Detainees Repsonse - It's been a tough week for the Conservative government and today they launch a counter-attack inside a parliamentary committee with several military witnesses. Ever since diplomat Richard Colvin alleged that Afghan detainees were being routinely tortured by Afghan authorities ... that Canadian government officials knew about it and that they continued handing over those detainees anyway ... the opposition has been relentless in its attack.

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Pt 2: Asian Carp - Asian Carp were introduced to the Mississippi River in the 1970s to help deal with excessive algae. But Asian Carp eat nearly half of their body weight in plankton every day. So it didn't take long for them to start pushing out other species and creating environmental havoc.

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Pt 3: Honeybees - Van Morrison's classic song, Tupelo Honey is a confection made by honeybees in the American southeast. But honeybees make much more than tasty sweets. From the Arctic to the equator, they are nature's most prolific pollinators. By some accounts, every third bite of food we take is due to the fruit of the pollinating labour of bees.

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It's Wednesday, November 25th.

A wild deer was drugged, tasered and carried away in a plastic tarp after it wandered into downtown Toronto.

Currently, Defense Minister Peter MacKay has assured the House of Commons that the deer was never -- at any time -- transferred to the Afghan police.

This is The Current.

Afghan Detainees Repsonse - Wallin

It's been a tough week for the Conservative government and today they launch a counter-attack inside a parliamentary committee with several military witnesses. Ever since diplomat Richard Colvin alleged that Afghan detainees were being routinely tortured by Afghan authorities ... that Canadian government officials knew about it and that they continued handing over those detainees anyway ... the opposition has been relentless in its attack.

But according to Pamela Wallin, the situation is a lot more complicated than the opposition is letting on. She's a Senator who was appointed by Prime Minister Harper. She's the Deputy Chair of the Senate's Defence and National Security Committee. She was also a member of the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan. She was in Afghanistan last week. And she was in our Ottawa studio this morning.

Afghan Detainees Response - Panel

For their thoughts on what kind of impact the government's handling of the Afghan detainee issue is having on the Conservative Party, we were joined by two people. Tim Powers is a Conservative Party strategist and he was in Ottawa. And Rick Anderson is a long-time conservative activist and the former National Campaign Director for the Reform Party. He was in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Asian Carp

We started this segment with some splashing sound of Asian Carp jumping through the air on the Mississippi River. It's quite a sight ... especially since they can grow up to a metre long and wigh 45 Kilograms. But for anyone who has to deal with them including fishermen on the Mississippi, they're a huge problem.

Asian Carp were introduced to the Mississippi River in the 1970s to help deal with excessive algae. But Asian Carp eat nearly half of their body weight in plankton every day. So it didn't take long for them to start pushing out other species and creating environmental havoc.

For years, an electronic barrier has kept Asian Carp from migrating to Lake Michigan. But now, U.S. researchers say that barrier may have been breached and Asian Carp may be making their way into The Great Lakes.

David Lodge is the Director of the Centre for Aquatic Conservation at The University of Notre Dame. He found Carp D-N-A beyond the barrier. He was in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Asian Carp - Army Engineers

The United States Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the electric barrier system in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the only shipping link between the Mississippi River System and The Great Lakes. They built the barrier and they maintain it. Colonel Vincent Quarles is the Commander of the U-S Army Corps of Engineer's Chicago District. And he was in Chicago.

Asian Carp - Ontario Waterkeeper

Canadian fishers are going to be watching the efforts to keep Asian Carp out of The Great Lakes very closely because the consequences of letting them get in could be devastating. Adam Godfrey runs a charter fishing business in Lake Erie. He catches Pickerel, Rainbow Trout and Salmon. We heard from him.

Mark Mattson is also watching the Asian Carp's progression. He's the President of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, which is an environmental education group. And he was in Toronto.

Honeybees

Van Morrison's classic song, Tupelo Honey is a confection made by honeybees in the American southeast. But honeybees make much more than tasty sweets.
From the Arctic to the equator, they are nature's most prolific pollinators. By some accounts, every third bite of food we take is due to the fruit of the pollinating labour of bees.

But bees are in big trouble right now. In the last three years alone, an estimated 50 Billion honeybees have died. That's hit agricultural producers hard and set off a frantic quest to find the causes of what's being called colony collapse disorder.
Reese Halter looks at the evolution of bees and their uncertain future in his new book, The Incomparable Honeybee and the Economics of Pollination. He's a conservation biologist who founded the group Global Forest Science. And he was in Pasadena, California.

Last Word - Asian Carp

Earlier in the program, we spoke with Mark Mattson, the president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, about the prospect of Asian Carp invading the Great Lakes. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper also runs the Swim Drink Fish Music Club ... an online music club dedicated to connecting people with the Great Lakes as a source of drinking water and food, as well as a place to swim and fish. We ended the program with one of the songs available on the website -- that's www.swimdrinkfishmusic.com. We played Broken Social Scene's song ... Until It's Dead.

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