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Pt 2: Letters - Thursday is mail day here at The Current. Our Friday Host this week is the Fifth Estate's Bob McKeown. And he joined Anna Maria to take a look through your letters.
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Pt 3: Accountability Act - We started this segment with a clip of Stephen Harper speaking on February 1st, 2006, less than a week before he was sworn in as Canada's 22nd Prime Minister. The Conservative's election victory ended more than 12 years of Liberal rule in Ottawa. Justice John Gomery had just released his damning report on the sponsorship scandal. And accountability was high on Prime Minister Harper's agenda. In fact introducing the Federal Accountability Act was to be his government's first order of business.
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It's Thursday, February 4th.
The White House has announced that Barack Obama will not be attending the Vancouver Olympics
Currently, Stephen Harper is demanding to know why. I mean what, does he have a country to run or something?
This is the Current.
The people of Canoe Lake in Northern Saskatchewan will bring Keith Iron home today. He was 10 years old and killed on Saturday after he was mauled by dogs. The RCMP found his body in a neighbour's yard, about half-a-block from his home. And Guy Lariviere -- the Chief of the Canoe Lake Band -- was on the scene shortly after that.
And he's not the only one wondering if the band should have done more. Keith Iron's father says band politicians don't do nearly enough to control dogs in the community. Community members held a meeting just last week to demand action. Uncontrolled dogs are a problem in many northern communities. Rosalind Hanson lives in Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan. Her two-year-old son was attacked by dogs last summer. Ms. Hanson says her son's wounds have healed completely now but says that uncontrolled dogs are still a problem in the community.
The Lutsel'ke Dene First Nation is having similar problems. It's about 200 kilometres east of Yellowknife. And the band has made a bold move to deal with the situation. We heard from Len Griffore, the band's Senior Administrative Officer.
Wild Dogs - Veternarian
That's the kind of scenario Lesley Sheppard is trying to avoid. She's a veterinarian in Regina. And for the last six years, she has been trying to help communities all over northern Saskatchewan deal with their dogs. She's the founder of something called the Remote Area Veterinary Services Program.
Wild Dogs - NDP MLA
Buckley Belanger has had to deal with the issue of un-controlled dogs for years as both a resident of the north and as a politician. He's the NDP MLA for the riding of Athabasca in north-western Saskatchewan. He was in Ile-a-la Crosse.
Listen to Part One:
Haiti: Last week we took a look at Royal Caribbean's decision to continue sending its cruise ships to Haiti. We heard from vacationers who were enjoying the Haitian beaches and from Haitians who offered up their thoughts on the situation.
We also heard a lot about our panel on how the media has been covering the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, a panel that included John Maxwell Hamilton, the author of Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting.
Spirituality in Hospitals: We also received a lot of mail about the sacking of 14 spiritual care practitioners by the Fraser Health Region in British Columbia. And not everyone thinks the end of funding for spiritual care providers is a bad thing.
Australian Senate Follow
And there's one more story we'd like to follow up on this morning. Last month, we took a look at Senate reform in Canada. And needless to say there was disagreement over how best to make Canada's upper chamber more democratic.
We aired a clip of Senator James Cowan, the Liberal Leader in the Senate. Before him was Bert Brown. He was appointed by Steven Harper to sit as a Conservative Senator after winning a special Senate election in Alberta.
Now, there's no doubt that the five people Stephen Harper appointed to the Senate last week have their fans. For example, a lot of people in Leeds-Grenville sure like Bob Runciman. They've been electing him to the Ontario legislature since 1981. But what are the chances that Senator Runciman -- or any other Canadian Senator -- would find a message like this posted on their website:
"Amigo, that was AMAZING! INCREDIBLE! MAGNIFICENT! INSPIRING! AUDACIOUS! BODACIOUS! shivers down my spine all the way to the hot rocks of middle earth...you are the coolest Senator of them all - well any Senator who has 'The King is Dead' on there MySpace, or who even has a MySpace...YOU ROCK! Massiv love and Respect! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO! xxxxx benna"
That was a comment posted on Senator Scott Ludlam's website. Don't look for him in Ottawa though. He is a Senator in the Australian Parliament. He was elected to the Senate -- that's right elected -- in 2007 at the age of 37. Compared to the typical Canadian Senator, that seems very young. But in Australia he's a decade older than the youngest Senator to sit in parliament. Natasha Stott Despoja was the youngest woman ever to take a seat in the Australian Senate when she represented the Democrats Party. She was in Adelaide. And Scott Ludlam is a Senator for the Greens Party which shares the balamce or power in the Australian Sentate. He was in Canberra.
Listen to Part Two:
We started this segment with a clip of Stephen Harper speaking on February 1st, 2006, less than a week before he was sworn in as Canada's 22nd Prime Minister. The Conservative's election victory ended more than 12 years of Liberal rule in Ottawa. Justice John Gomery had just released his damning report on the sponsorship scandal. And accountability was high on Prime Minister Harper's agenda. In fact introducing the Federal Accountability Act was to be his government's first order of business.
This morning, we wanted to a look at how much progress the Harper Government has actually made when it comes to accountability. And The Current's producer John Chipman joined Anna Maria in studio to get us started.
Accountability Act - Panel
For a broader perspective on accountability, transparency and good governance in Prime Minister Harper's Ottawa, we were joined by two people. Lawrence Martin is a columnist with the Globe and Mail. He is working on a book about Harper's impact on democracy. He was in Ottawa. And Rick Anderson is a long-time Conservative activist and an advocate for democratic reform. He was in Calgary.
Listen to Part Three: