June 4, 2010

Pt 1: Offshore Drilling Canada - The on-going environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is casting a long shadow. Especially for those looking for off-shore drilling opportunities here in Canada. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Fraser Mustard - For decades, Fraser Mustard has been conducting research, compiling evidence, and assessing other countries' best practices. The result, he says, points to one thing. Interventions made for children between birth and six years of age can set-up a child for life. (Read More) 

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Pt 3: Superbugs Canada - Antibiotic-resistant "super bugs" are on the rise the world over. And Canada may be falling behind in the battle against them. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

Today's guest host was Hana Gartner.

It's Friday, June 4th.

Avatar-director James Cameron is lending his expertise to the efforts to come up with a way to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Currently, Step 1. Stop angering the tree gods.

This is The Current.

Offshore Drilling Canada - David Pryce

After 46 days, there is hope this morning for the efforts to contain the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Yesterday, BP managed to cut a key riser pipe on the undersea well that is spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. And it has now lowered a cap atop the blown out well. However, it's impossible to tell if this latest attempt to curtail the spill was having any success.

The spill has proven incredibly difficulty to cope with. And it has brought increased attention to off-shore drilling in Canada. Last month, Chevron began drilling in the Orphan Basin off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. The well there will be nearly twice as deep as BP's well in the Gulf.

And drilling in the Beaufort Sea -- a sprawling body of water just south of the Arctic Ocean -- could begin in 2014. Critics say that a disaster in either of those areas could prove even more challenging than the one in the Gulf of Mexico. Many of them are calling for increased oversight and regulation of offshore drilling in Canada.

But David Pryce says we should be careful about that impulse. He's the Vice-President of Operations with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. He was in Calgary.


Offshore Drilling Canada, Continued - Floyd Roland

As discussed in our last half hour, the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf in Mexico has spread fears North into this Country. Floyd Roland is the Premier of the Northwest Territories. And he has serious concerns about the possibility of offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea, which could begin in 2014. He was in Yellowknife.

We requested an interview with Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice. He was unavailable.

Article of Interest: Mackenzie Pipeline

Fraser Mustard

Doctor Fraser Mustard is one of Canada's most distinguished and celebrated researchers. In a new biography about him, "Connections and Careers," Marian Packham chronicles his remarkable story.

But here is the Cole's Notes version: Dr. Mustard got his start in the 1950s and 60s, studying medicine and researching blood platelets, arterial disease, and the effects of Aspirin. In 1967, he helped develop McMaster University's unique Faculty of Medicine - a model that has since been replicated all over the world.

Through the 1970s, he served on government councils and committees, looking into health planning and education. Then, in 1982, he became the founding President of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, where he spent the next 14 years.

Today, Doctor Mustard is a passionate and unwavering champion for early childhood education. And he says that if Canada wants to prepare the next generation for success, we need to do more -- much more -- for children from birth to age six. Doctor Fraser Mustard was in our Toronto studio.


Superbugs Canada - Maryn McKenna

We started this segment by playing part of the trailer for a documentary about MRSA, the so-called "super bug." The documentary chronicles the lives of three families devastated by M-R-S-A. That stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. It's a tiny bug that causes huge problems all over the world because it is largely immune to antibiotics.

The number of MRSA infections is rising significantly and rapidly all over the world. And as we heard from those stories, an MRSA infection can be devastating and even lethal.

MRSA outbreaks have become routine events in Canadian hospitals. Doctor Rosemary Henderson is the Medical Director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. We heard a clip where she explained what's happening there this week.

Maryn McKenna has spent years following the people fighting MRSA, and the people hurt by it. She's an award winning science writer. Her new book is called "Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA." And she was in St. Paul, Minneapolis.

Superbugs Canada - Andrew Simor

MRSA infections are a global phenomena. But some countries have been more successful than others when it comes to fighting them. So for a sense of how Canada compares to other countries, we spoke to Doctor Andrew Simor. He's the Chief of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. He authored the most comprehensive study of MRSA in Canada, published earlier this year. Doctor Andrew Simor was in Toronto.

Article of Interest: Infection Rates U.K.

Last Word - Raffi Song

Earlier in the program, we heard from renowned Canadian medical researcher and early childhood development guru Doctor Fraser Mustard. He talked about the slow pace of change, and the challenge of convincing policymakers to invest more in the early years. In 1999, he asked children's performer Raffi to write a song that would help the public understand the issue. So we thought we'd leave you today with that tune, "It Takes A Village."


Artist: Raffi

Cd: Let's Play

Cut: 14, It Takes a Village

Label: Rounder

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