May 10, 2010

Pt 1: Abortion Debate Redux
 - Is the abortion debate in Canada being re-opened?
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Pt 2: Canadians in Haiti

We are talking about three Canadians who were making contributions to both Haitian and Canadian society before January's earthquake because they were among the more than 250,000 people killed in a disaster that also resulted in the largest-ever losses of Canadian civilians overseas in a single disaster. (Read More)

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Pt 3: A Mosque In Munich -  Ian Johnson believes a Mosque that was built in Munich in the 1960s has a dark past because it has its origins with Nazi collaborators who were used to fight the Soviets and were then employed again by the CIA. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

Today's guest host was Gillian Findlay.

It's Monday, May 10th.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled journalists do not have a blanket right to protect anonymous sources.

Currently, guess I can't use this voice disguiser anymore.

This is The Current.


Abortion Debate Redux

It has been 22 years since the Supreme Court struck down Canada's abortion law opening up access to the procedure across the country. Ever since, Canada has had no abortion law and for the most part Canadians have seemed reasonably happy to leave the debate on the back-burner. But now some believe that could be changing.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to exclude abortion from Canada's international maternal health plan ... the flurry of discussion that decision sparked ... and another proposed private member's bill ... all point to the abortion debate being re-opened, they say. Of course, the Prime Minister insists that is not the case. But that hasn't stopped the speculation. And there are some who think reopening the debate might even be a good thing.

For their thoughts on the issue, we were joined by three people.

Patricia LaRue is the Executive Director of the non-profit charitable organization Canadians for Choice. She was in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Lydia Miljan is a political science professor who teaches public policy at the University of Windsor. And Chris Selley is a columnist with the National Post. He was in Toronto.


Canadians in Haiti (Profiles)

Today, the CBC is commemorating some of the fifty-eight Canadians who died in a disaster that took the lives of more than a quarter-of-a-million people. The project is called, Canadians in Haiti: Stories of Loss and Remembrance.

Georges Anglade was one of the Canadians who was killed in the earthquake. He was the founder of the Haitian branch of PEN International, an organization established in 1921 to promote literature. Anglade was a former Haitian cabinet minister who was imprisoned under the Duvalier regime. In 1969, he and his wife Mireille came to Canada, where they continued to work for democracy in their native country. Both of them were killed when the house they were staying in collapsed during the earthquake. Émile Martel was a friend and colleague of Georges Anglade. And he was in Montreal for the show.

Pâquerette Tremblay also died in the earthquake. Claude Chamberland was a civil engineer who was returning to work in Haiti three decades after he first lived there. Their plane landed just hours before the earthquake struck. François Trépanier is Pâquerette Tremblay's brother-in-law. He's also a former journalist with La Presse. François Trépanier was in Montreal for the show.

Christiane Pelchat is head of the Quebec Council on the Status of Women. Her husband, former MP Serge Marcil was at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit. Christiane Pelchat was in St-Anicet, Quebec for the show.


Nazia Quazi Update

In early April we told you the story of Nazia Quazi - the 24 year old Canadian woman who told us she was being held in Saudi Arabia against her will, by a father who not only beat her but refused to let her leave. He had taken her to Saudi Arabia because he didn't like Nazia's Indian boyfriend. And under Saudi's male guardianship law, Nadia needed his permission to leave.

This story garnered a lot of reaction and today we can tell you it's all changed. We reached her fiance, Bjorn Singhal in Dubai ealier today while he was waiting to see Nazia for the first time in almost two years. 

A Mosque In Munich

The Islamic Centre of Munich is an attractive-looking Mosque with a slender minaret and a turquoise dome tucked away in a quiet suburb. And on the surface, there isn't much of anything to distinguish it from other Mosques across western Europe.

But according to Ian Johnson, its history is littered with former Nazis, Islamic radicals, CIA spies and KGB operatives. And the story of who triumphed in the battle to control it is a cautionary tale about the west's attempts to co-opt radical Islam and use it for its own ends.

Ian Johnson is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter with the Wall Street Journal. His new book is called, A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, The CIA and the Rise of The Muslim Brotherhood in The West. He was in Toronto for the show.

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