July 6, 2010

Pt 1: Civil Liberties - A new poll has found that two thirds of Canadians believe police were justified in detaining 900 people in the wake of sweeping -- and sometimes violent -- street protests during the G-20 Summit. We're asking if Canadians are too quick to give up their civil liberties for the sake of stability and order. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Elder Financial Abuse - Senior citizens have long been prime targets for financial scams. But increasingly, the people targeting them aren't strangers. They're people they know and trust ... even members of their own families. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

It's Tuesday, July 6th.

Queen Elizabeth toured the Waterloo-based tech company RIM yesterday ... and was given a new Blackberry as a gift.

Currently, Her majesty was appreciative and gracious ... until she saw Canada's data plan rates.

This is The Current.

Civil Liberties - Panel

At least 14 people are expected to appear in a court room in Toronto later today on charges related to the protests during the G-20 Summit. By the time the protests were over, police had detained more than a thousand people ... making it the largest mass arrests in Canadian history. This morning, 10 days after the riots that sparked a police crackdown, fewer than 20 people are still being held. Protesters and civil liberties activists say that's proof that police over-reacted.

But according to a recent poll by Angus Reid, that's not how most Canadians see it. Two-thirds of Canadians believe the police were justified in their actions and nearly three-quarters of Toronto residents support the way police handled the situation. So this morning, we're asking what that public perception says about our view of civil liberties and whether Canadians are too quick to give up those rights in the name of preserving public order?

For their thoughts on that question, we were joined by Shanaaz Gokool. She's the Chair of Amnesty International's Toronto Organization , which has been calling for a public inquiry into police actions at the summit. And James Morton is the former President of the Ontario Bar Association. He also teaches at the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. They were both in Toronto.

Article of Interest: Independent G20 policing review ordered

Civil Liberties - Dominique Clement

We started this segment with a clip from Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau being interviewed by CBC reporter Tim Ralfe on October 13th, 1970. Eight days earlier, the FLQ had kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross which prompted Pierre Trudeau to invoke the War Measures Act.

For a historical perspective on how Canadians value civil liberties and public order, we were joined by Dominique Clement. He is a historian and a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta. He's the author of Canada's Rights Revolution: Social Movements and Social Change, 1937-1982. And he's a board member with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. He was in Winnipeg this morning.


Elder Financial Abuse - Francine Grimaldi

Francine Grimaldi is a well-known actress and cultural columnist in Quebec. She's 66 years old and she's still working. But that's by necessity, not by choice. Several years ago, she lost much of her retirement savings when she was scammed by a close family friend. He asked her to invest in a company and also provide a personal loan. She never saw a cent in return.

According to advocates for the elderly, more and more Canadian seniors are being targeted financially by someone close to them ... someone they trust. And now Francine Grimaldi is speaking out in the hopes that others can learn from her experience. She was in Montreal.

Elder Financial Abuse - Panel

Francine Grimaldi isn't the only senior citizen who has been targeted financially by someone she trusted. The Canadian Securities Administrators calls elder financial abuse an "under-recognized and under-reported" problem. Last month, the Quebec Government announced it will spend 20-million-dollars over the next five years in order to fight elder abuse, including financial abuse.

So for their thoughts on how big the problem is and what should be done about it, we were joined by Laura Watts. She's the National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law and a lawyer with the British Columbia Law Institute in Vancouver. And Douglas Melville is the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, the body that resolves disputes between customers and banking or investment firms. He was in Toronto.

Informational Websites: Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse / Facts on Financial Abuse of Seniors

Articles of Interest: Quebec commits $20 million to fight elder abuse / Seniors should focus on estate planning / Elder abuse on the rise, police warn 

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