August 30, 2010

Pt 1: Long Gun Registry - As the vote to scrap the Long-Gun Registry draws nearer, the issue is putting both the government and the opposition in awkward positions. The Conservatives support scrapping the registry, even though many police organizations don't. And some opposition MPs are sympathetic to the government's position, even though their parties are officially opposed. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Singing a New Song - Thousands of Mi'kmaq in Newfoundland and Labrador are fighting for official status under Canada's Indian Act. But as their fight drags on, many of them are searching out other ways to define themselves. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

Today's guest host was Nancy Wilson.

It's Monday, August 30th.

The Canadian Medical Association says mixed martial arts fighting should be banned in Canada because of the high risk of brain injury.

Currently, And the CMA says it's not just the fans ... the fighters could get hurt, too.

This is The Current.

Long Gun Registry - Panel

We started this segment with a clip from Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner. Last June, she introduced a private member's bill that would scrap Canada's controversial long gun registry.

Bill C-391 passed a preliminary vote with the support of all Conservatives MPs, along with 12 New Democrats and eight Liberals. The final vote is scheduled for next month. And the debate over the issue is heating up. The Liberals have declared it a "whipping vote" ... meaning that the entire caucus is under orders to follow Michael Ignatieff's lead and vote against the bill. But the NDP is allowing MPs to vote according to their conscience, even though the party doesn't want the bill to pass.

This has put our next two guests in awkward positions. Peter Stoffer is the NDP MP for Sackville-Eastern Shore, Nova Scotia. Today he was in Prince Edward County, Ontario. And Larry Bagnell is the Liberal MP for Yukon. He was in Baddeck, Cape Breton.

Articles: Release RCMP gun registry report: Liberals / Dozen NDP MPs could decide fate of long-gun registry / Police chiefs endorse long-gun registry over Tories' plan


Singing a New Song

For decades, thousands of Mi'kmaq in Newfoundland and Labrador have been fighting to get official status under the Indian Act. For many of them, that was supposed to happen this spring, with the formation of the new Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation band. It would have been the largest landless band in Canada. No territory, but all the band members would have had full status.

However, things haven't turned out that way. The process has been stopped by a court challenge. And for now, the formation of the new band is on hold. But for many people, including a group of singers and drummers with the Sple'tk Band in Grand Falls-Windsor, being Mi'kmaq is about much more than having status or being part of a new band.

The CBC's Gail Collins spent some time with them and prepared a documentary called Singing a New Song. It first aired in May.

Last Word - Katrina Anniversary

Before we go ... It was five years ago this week that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast. On Wednesday, we're going to take a look at the state of New Orleans five years after Katrina.

President Barack Obama was in New Orleans yesterday to mark the anniversary of the day Katrina made landfall there. And we ended the program this morning with some of his remarks from a speech delivered at Xavier University.

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