Pt 2: HST Fight in B.C. - Former B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm is back and spoiling for a fight. But this time, he's not running for office. He's leading a grassroots tax revolt that could threaten the current provincial government. (Read More)
Pt 3: Letters - It's mail day. We heard your thoughts on rationing cancer care, managing super-bugs and building a coalition. Plus, we got another perspective on what happened during Israel's raid on the flotilla bound for Gaza. (Read More)
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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow
It's Thursday, June 10th.
Michael Ignatieff is calling rumours of a Liberal-NDP merger "ridiculous."
Currently, but not quite as ridiculous as the Liberals winning a majority.
This is The Current.
World Cup and South Africa - Panel
We began this segment with a clip from FIFA President, Joseph Sepp Blatter. He says he has dreamed about seeing the World Cup in Africa throughout his term in office. Tomorrow, that dream becomes a reality when the 2010 World Cup opens in South Africa.
It has been just sixteen years since South Africa's first democratic elections after the end of Apartheid. And it is a country full of contradictions - a place where BMWs drive on highways lined with impoverished makeshift settlements, and where one-in-three women between the ages of 25 and 29 are living with HIV.
The hope is that the World Cup will be a turning point for South Africa. The fear is that it will be a distraction that siphons scarce resources from more pressing issues.
In January, as South Africa was still getting ready for the tournament, we invited two people to weigh in with their hopes and fears for what the World Cup will mean for South Africa. And this morning, with the tournament nearly upon us, we've invited them back.
Rich Mkhondo is the Chief Communications Officer for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee for South Africa. And Andile Mngxitama is a columnist with the newspaper, The Sowetan and the author of "Blacks Can't be Racist." They were both in Johannesburg.
HST Fight in B.C. - Bill Vander Zalm
We began this part with a clip from Bill Vander Zalm, the former Premier of British Columbia and now the leader of an increasingly popular tax revolt. Mr. Vander Zalm has been traveling throughout BC and speaking out against the Harmonized Sales Tax. It's set to kick in on July 1st in both BC and Ontario.
In Ontario, the protest has been muted and sporadic. But in BC, it is thriving and powerful. Some political watchers even think it could spell the end of Premier Gordon Campbell's government, in part, thanks to BC's Recall and Initiative Act.
Under the act, the provincial government can be forced to reconsider a law or call a referendum on it if at least 10 per cent of registered voters in each riding sign a petition to that effect. Organizers of the Fight HST campaign say they've easily surpassed that mark. Bill Vander Zalm is leading the campaign. And he was in Vancouver.
HST Fight in B.C. - Colin Hansen
But despite the vigorous opposition, the BC Government isn't backing down, saying it still plans to implement the HST on July 1st. Colin Hansen is BC's Finance Minister. He was in Vancouver.
Thursday is mail day and our Friday host, Hana Gartner joined Anna Maria in studio.
Edmonton Oncologists: A shortage of oncologists in the province of Alberta is forcing some treatment centres to make some tough choices about how they provide care. In early May, Anne Reynar was diagnosed with stage four colon and liver cancer. She expected to be treated at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. But she never heard from them. We aired a clip from her husband Wave Reynar, explaining the upshot of the delay. Then we heard from listeners.
Oil Spill: Earlier this week, we spoke with Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is calling for a consumer boycott of BP. We aired a clip from that interview. Then, we heard some of your letters. One listener wrote in to inquire about hurricanes, with the thought that an oil-darkened Gulf would absorb heat, creating monster hurricanes. We put the question to Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at MIT.
Gaza Flotilla: Many listeners wrote in to comment on our coverage of the Israeli raid on the flotilla bound for Gaza. Kevin Neish is a Canadian who was aboard the Mavi Maramara when the raid happened. We spoke to him in Victoria.
Liberal/NDP Merger: In Canadian politics news: the Progressive Conservatives and the Alliance did it. And now Liberals and New Democrats are talking about forming a coalition, too. Monday on The Current, we put the idea to three political insiders. We aired a clip from that panel. And then we heard listeners' thoughts.
Ottawa Defence Show: It's a large scale trade show like many others, except that it's selling rocket launchers, guns and tanks. The CANSEC 2010 trade show is the largest of its kind in Canada. And for the second year in a row, it was held at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, after a 20-year ban on hosting this show on municipal property. Last Thursday we heard that hosting the trade show left some Ottawa city councilors up in arms. We aired a clip from that program, and then we read some letters.
Superbugs: MRSA -- or methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus -- is often called a "super bug." It's a bacteria that is resistant to most common antibiotics. From hospitals to farm animals, MRSA is at the root of an epidemic of illness that's been going largely unnoticed. Every year in the US, nineteen thousand people die due to MRSA. Last Friday on The Current, science writer Maryn McKenna gave us more appreciation for the devastation of this super bug. We aired a clip from her, and then heard some of your letters.
Last Word - South African School
The World Cup is about to kick off. We left you with a scene from the Philip Kushlick School for Handicapped Children in Johannesburg's Soweto Township.
Earlier this week, the teachers there asked their 410 students -- who range in age from 5 to 26 -- to come to school dressed in their favourite soccer team's colours. Most were decked out in yellow, the colour of Bafana Bafana, the beloved South African National team, and blowing into loud plastic horns. Then, the children in wheelchairs and walkers made their way down one of the township's main streets. And the CBC's David Gutnick got it all on tape.