Pt 1: Recalibrating Canada - We started this segment with a clip of Prime Minister Stephen Harper explaining his reason for proroguing Parliament in late December. And after nine weeks off, MPs have returned for a brand new session.
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Pt 2: After The Earthquakes- There was another earthquake today ... this one in Southern Taiwan with a magnitude of 6.4 The force of it derailed a high-speed train but according to reports injuries appear to be minimal. Last Saturday, the fifth strongest earthquake ever recorded hit Chile with a magnitude of 8.8 And to put that in perspective, that means it released about 500 times as much energy as the one that hit Haiti in January.
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Pt 3: Letters - Well for our weekly look at the mail, our Friday host, Jim Brown joined Anna Maria in studio from Calgary to help read the mail.
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It's Thursday, March 4th.
The Conservative government will freeze the salaries of MPs, senators and cabinet ministers as part of its bid to tame a record deficit.
Currently, the good news for MPs is that they will continue to be paid their full salary any time parliament is prorogued.
This is the Current.
Recalibrating Canada - Reporter
We started this segment with a clip of Prime Minister Stephen Harper explaining his reason for proroguing Parliament in late December. And after nine weeks off, MPs have returned for a brand new session.
Yesterday, the Governor General presented the Speech from the Throne. Later today, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will unveil a budget. But whether that constitutes a successful recalibration is up for debate. For his thoughts on that, we were joined by Lawrence Martin. He's a columnist with The Globe and Mail and he was in Ottawa.
Recalibrating Canada - Omnibus
There are a lot of people with some specific ideas about how the federal government should have re-calibrated during the nine-week break. And we wanted to give six of them a chance to make their case for what they think the government should do now. The health of the economy is top of mind for a lot of Canadians.
We were joined by Sherry Cooper. She's the Chief Economist for BMO Capital Markets and she was in Toronto. Armine Yalnizyan. She's a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and she was in Ottawa. Niels Veldhuis is the Senior Economist of Fiscal Studies at The Fraser Institute in Vancouver. Shawn Atleo is the National Chief of The Assembly of First Nations and he was in Ottawa. John Thompson is the President of the MacKenzie Institute and he was in Toronto. And Simon Brault is the head of the National Theatre School of Canada and the Vice Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. He was in Montreal.
After The Earthquakes
There was another earthquake today ... this one in Southern Taiwan with a magnitude of 6.4 The force of it derailed a high-speed train but according to reports injuries appear to be minimal. Last Saturday, the fifth strongest earthquake ever recorded hit Chile with a magnitude of 8.8 And to put that in perspective, that means it released about 500 times as much energy as the one that hit Haiti in January.
According to a geophysicist at NASA, the quake that it Chile was so strong that it probably shifted the earth's axis and sped up its rotation enough to shorten the day by about a millionth of a second. But in spite of that, it is clear that the death toll in Chile will be far less than in Haiti. Roger Bilham says there are good reasons for that and important lessons to be drawn by the difference.
Roger Bilham is a seismologist and a professor of geology at the University of Colorado. He's also the co-author of After the Earth Quakes: Elastic Rebound on an Urban Planet. He was in Boulder, Colorado.
Well for our weekly look at the mail, our Friday host, Jim Brown joined Anna Maria in studio from Calgary to help read the mail.
The Olympics are over but the mail is still coming in on the Games. Before we get to the mail, we wanted to look to the future, to funding of sport in this country now that the athletes and the fans have all gone home. To talk more about that we were joined by Bruce Kidd. He's a former Olympian who is now the dean of the faculty of Physical Education and Health at the University of Toronto.
Defining Moments: It seemed like the country came to a halt for a couple of hours last Sunday afternoon, as people settled in to watch the men's gold medal hockey game. And as thrilling and heart-stopping the win was for hockey fans, Tuesday on The Current, we asked whether it was a defining moment for Canadians. After hearing from our three panelist with their opinions on defining moments, we heard lots more in the mail.
Olympic Journalism: We all know how easy it is to be swept up in the emotional tide of the Olympics. But journalists are supposed to maintain a more neutral distance and last Friday on the program, we examined whether Canadian journalists have been able to keep a perspective on the games. One of the guests on our panel was Gary Mason. He is a Vancouver-based writer with the Globe and Mail and he defended the Globe's coverage. Our listeners added their thoughts to this discussion.
For a final word on Olympic news coverage and what the games meant for Canada, we were joined by Marusya Bociurkiw. She's an author, and professor of media theory at The School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University. And in an upcoming book she looks at Olympic coverage and Canadian patriotism. She was in our Toronto studio.
Shannon Meehan: Monday on the program, we heard about the impact taking civilian lives can have on soldiers. In September 2007, Shannon Meehan was a US army captain, serving in Iraq. When a major military operation was planned to lock down the city of Pakuba, his platoon came across a house that appeared to be booby-trapped. Captain Meehan ordered the house destroyed.
Shannon Meehan is a retired US army captain. He is also the author of Beyond Duty: Life on the Front Line in Iraq. His story prompted a lot of comment in our inbox.
Youth for Christ: It's hard to argue with a proposal to build a brand new youth centre in downtown Winnipeg. The site is an unused lot and the service would aid a community in need of opportunity. But the centre would be run by a group called Youth for Christ -- an evangelical Christian organization. Its stated mission is to convert youth to Christianity. Some feel government money shouldn't support an organization such as this. Last week on The Current, we heard from two Winnipeg city councilors who were voting on the proposal later that day. Some listeners wrote in with their added thoughts on this issue.
And as an update, last week Winnipeg city council voted 10 to 4 in favour of the funding for the youth centre.
Harper/Obama Bet: You've heard about the bet between US President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Whoever's hockey team lost the men's gold medal game, would send the other a case of beer. Of course President Obama lost and a case of Molsons is in the mail for the PM. But David Medrick of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York says that they got the bet all wrong. He feels President Obama should have sent Stephen Harper a case of Yuengling at our expense. Should we have won gold, Harper would've sent Obama the case of Molson. We read his letter to end the program.