June 24, 2010

Pt 1: China in Canada - The Director of CSIS says municipal politicians, as well as cabinet ministers in two provinces have fallen under the influence of foreign governments. Observers strongly suspect he was referring to China because he noted that CSIS spends half its counter-espionage budget dealing with China. We take stock of the allegations and assess China's influence in Canada. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Jacques Parizeau - It has been nearly 15 years since Jacques Parizeau helped lead the Yes side to near victory in a referendum on Quebec Sovereignty. And he's back, undeterred, with a new blueprint for an independent Quebec. (Read More)

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Pt 3: Letters - It's mail day. We hear your thoughts on G-20 Security and peak oil. Plus, we get a tour of the first black-owned vineyard in South Africa. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

It's Thursday, June 24th.

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck Ontario and Quebec yesterday.

Currently, the Tsunami alert at the G-20 Summit's Fake Lake has been lifted.

This is The Current.

China in Canada - Wenran Jiang

We started this segment with a clip of Richard Fadden speaking to Peter Mansbridge on The National Tuesday. Richard Fadden is the Director of CSIS and he's just dropped a bombshell, referring in that clip to people he identified as some municipal politicians in B.C. and cabinet ministers in two provinces who Mr. Fadden stated had come under "the general influence of a foreign government." And then he left the impression that he was talking about China.

In the furor that followed from all levels of governments yesterday, Mr. Fadden released a written statement suddenly saying those same cases he'd mentioned Tuesday were not deemed to be of sufficient concern to tell either the PMO or provincial authorities. But when CSIS points a finger ... it lingers.

Wenran Jiang is a professor of political science and the Mactaggart Research Chair of the China Institute at the University of Alberta. He was in Ottawa this morning.

China in Canada - Jenny Kwan

Jenny Kwan is an NDP opposition member of the B.C. legislature. She was the very first Chinese-Canadian cabinet minister in B.C. in the NDP government of Glen Clark in the 90's. She was in Vancouver.

China in Canada - Tod Hoffman

According to Tod Hoffman, China has a history of trying to recruit agents of influence in Canada. He is a former CSIS agent who was on the China desk. He's also the author of The Spy Within: Larry Chin and China's Penetration of the C.I.A. Tod Hoffman was in Montreal.


Jacques Parizeau

We started this segment with a clip from then-Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau on the evening of October 30th, 1995. The Yes side had just taken 49.4 per cent of the vote in the referendum on Quebec sovereignty ... a historic high, but still not enough. "We won't wait another fifteen years next time," he said.

Well, it will be fifteen years this October. And a referendum doesn't appear to be on the horizon. But Jacques Parizeau remains undaunted. In his new book, he lays out a blueprint for a sovereign Quebec. The book is called An Independent Quebec: The Past, The Present and The Future. Jacques Parizeau was in Montreal.

Articles of Interest: Bill 101 to All Schools , A Run at Sovereignty , Quebec separatists maintain wide lead , Sovereignty debate passé



Thursday is mail day. And Piya Chattopadhyay joined Anna Maria this morning to help with the mail. She's a familiar voice as a reporter for CBC Radio and Television. And starting Monday she'll be in this chair for two weeks as our first summer host this season.

Fortress Toronto: The G-20 starts in two days. But it has turned parts of downtown Toronto into a ghost town. The security fences are up. The streets are crawling with police. And residents are invisible. Monday on the program, we talked about what has been called "Fortress Toronto" and what this kind of siege mentality is doing to residents. Then we heard from you.

Environment & G-20: The environment has remained pretty much off the radar for the weekend's G20 agenda. The Prime Minister's office says it considers the G20 as "primarily an economic forum" and that "the UN remains the appropriate forum for climate change discussions." But others say the environment and the economy go hand in hand. Monday on The Current, we heard from both sides. Then we heard from you with your thoughts.

Peak Oil: The Gulf oil spill and the ensuing focus on offshore drilling has underlined the fact that oil is a becoming increasingly difficult to access. And that is giving the Peak Oil movement more currency.

Peak Oil proponents say we are either rapidly approaching or already at the point at which the demand for oil will outstrip the supply. And they say that will force significant changes in our lifestyle and our economy. Last Friday, we spoke to Colin Campbell, the founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas. Our listeners wrote in with their added thoughts to this discussion.

Bradley Manning: Last Friday, we told you about Bradley Manning, the U.S. army intelligence analyst who alleged to have leaked a classified video of American troops killing civilians during a helicopter attack in Iraq. The video was leaked to the website Wikileaks. Bradley Manning has been detained by the U.S. Army.

But things may have turned out differently if he had lived in Iceland. Changes to its freedom of information laws are being adopted, and they might have offered him better protection from prosecution.

Birgitta Jonsdottir is a member of Iceland's Parliament. She's the sponsor of the proposal that put these changes forward. She was in Reykjavik, Iceland.

World Cup: And now to the World Cup... Yesterday, we looked at Ghana as the last best hope for African countries to advance to the next round, and advance they did, despite losing to Germany.

But while the CBC's David Gutnick was celebrating that victory, he also wanted to tell the story of a new development in South Africa's wine industry. Historically, wine was a whites-only industry. That's changing now. But slowly. David visited the country's first black-owned vineyard.

Daddy Bonding : Last Sunday, many families marked Father's Day and since this was the 100th Father's Day, last Friday we took the opportunity how Dad has evolved in 2010. After hearing our panel, listeners shared their thoughts and experiences.

Request Count: And lastly ... a final update on Request Count. The finally tally of requests by The Current for interviews with federal cabinet ministers this season is 57. The total number of interviews which were granted to The Current this season is 6 and the total number of rejections is 51.

Unfortunately, while we were expecting to have Jim Prentice the Environment Minister on the program, he did not show up. The tally above does not include Mr. Prentice's absence so it is now 52 rejections. The 6 interviews still stands .... today's expected interview was not included.

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