Thursday, April 10, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Thursday, April 10th.
Despite huge protests, the Olympic flame made it through another day yesterday. Police in San Francisco blocked off most of the route. FBI agents were assigned to run with the torch-bearers. And the flame's final path was changed at the last minute to avoid demonstrators.
Currently, organizers say it was all worth it in order to preserve the spirit of openness and freedom that go with the Olympic Games.
This is The Current.
The issue of domestic violence was front and centre in the second week April 2008, thanks to two troubling but very different cases. In British Columbia, police were looking for Allan Dwayne Schoenborn, a 40-year-old man they suspected of murdering his three children. And in Ontario, Noellee Mowatt sat in a Milton jail in a bid to force her to testify against the man accused of assaulting her, though she was 19 years old and nine months pregnant.
Both cases illustrate how difficult it is to protect women and children from domestic abuse and the threat of assault. The cases have also prompted some people who work with the victims of domestic violence to ask if some of the most commonly used tools -- restraining orders and protective orders -- really work.
Kathleen Piovesan is a transition house worker at the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter who told us about some cases she's seen that involved restraining orders or protective orders.
Pamela Cross has spent much of the last 10 years studying restraining orders. She is a lawyer and an expert on violence against women with the National Association of Women and the Law. She joined us from Ottawa.
Restraining Orders - Threat Assessment
One of the most common challenges in cases of domestic violence is getting good assessments about a situation, and getting that information to everyone making decisions about how to stop abuse or prevent it from happening.
Valerie Campbell is trying to change that. She's the Director of the Province of Alberta's Relationship Threat Assessment Unit for High Risk Domestic Violence and Stalking Cases. She joined us from Edmonton.
Listen to Part One:
NAFTA Leak Investigation - Liberal MP
Back in early March 2008, accusations were flying fast and furious that Canadian officials were unduly influencing the race for the U.S. Presidency. It began with a story about a leaked diplomatic memo about Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama's position on NAFTA, and led to allegations about one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's top advisors and fears that our cross-border relationship might be at stake.
On March 6th, Prime Minister Harper stood up in the House of Commons and promised to get to the bottom of things.
But it has emerged that that investigation was outsourced to a private company called BMCI Investigations and Security Limited. Among other things, the company does forensic accounting, security consulting and investigation into leaked documents. It has a former Deputy RCMP Commissioner and a former Senior CSIS Executive as senior members. The company declined our request for an interview.
Navdeep Singh Bains is a Liberal MP and his party's critic for International Trade. He's been raising concerns about the decision to outsource the investigation and he joined us from Ottawa.
Artist: Steve Dawson
Cut #8: Photograph
CD: We Belong to the Gold Coast
Label: Black Hen Music
Spine #: BHCD 0030
NAFTA Leak Investigation - Conservative
Not everyone thinks it's such a bad idea to have an outside company do the investigating in this case. Tim Powers is a former Conservative Party strategist and is now the Vice President of Summa Communications in Ottawa.
NAFTA Leak Investigation - Obama Staffer Clip
The Current made numerous calls to people associated with the Barack Obama campaign, seeking a comment about Prime Minister Harper's decision to out-source the investigation of the leaked NAFTA memo. All of our requests were denied. One informal advisor to the campaign told us there is simply no interest in re-visiting the story.
Just after the original story broke in early March 2008, Susan Rice -- a senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Obama -- was on MSNBC talking about the NAFTA memo leak with talk show host Tucker Carlson. We presented a part of that interview.
Artist: Elliott Kirk
CD: Fiddler on the Rocks
Cut #6: Moon in Broad Daylight
Label: Custom/Elliott Kirk
Spine: FOTR 05
Listen to Part Two:
With Friday host Hana Gartner, plus Ken Chapman, a listener whose father wrote about banning homework in 1928 and Jerome Creach, a Robert C. Holland Professor of Old Testament at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary who is working on a book about violence in the Bible.
Listen to Part Three: