Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Wednesday, April 16th.
RCMP officers raided the Conservative Party's headquarters in Ottawa yesterday, but insist they were only called in to help with someone else's investigation.
Currently, opposition MPs say it is scandalous and beyond belief ... that anyone would trust an investigation like this to the RCMP.
This is The Current.
Toronto Terrorism Charges Dropped
A police press conference was held in June of 2006, on the heels of arrests of 18 men who were alleged to be part of a terrorist cell with plans to blow up the Toronto Stock Exchange and behead the Prime Minister. But 22 months later, the story had changed dramatically -- the so-called "Toronto 18" have been reduced to eleven.
On April 15, 2008, a judge stayed the charges against four of the accused, Ibrahm Aboud, Ahmad Ghany, Abdul Qayyum Jamal and Yasim Mohamed. The charges against three others had already been stayed, which means unless the Crown reintroduced the charges within a year, they would be dropped.
Outside the court in Brampton, Ontario, Abdul Qayyum Jamal spoke to the media, as did Rocco Galati, a lawyer who represents Ahmad Ghany.
Linden MacIntyre is a co-host of CBC Television's The Fifth Estate and has covered this case extensively. He was at the court and joined us in Toronto.
Toronto Terrorism Charges Dropped - Panel
For their thoughts on how to interpret the events of this case, we were joined by two people: from Ottawa by Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former Senior Intelligence Officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and a former Criminal Investigator with the RCMP and presently the CEO of the Northgate Group, a Private Security and Intelligence Company; and from Toronto by Thomas Walkom, a political columnist with The Toronto Star.
Listen to Part One:
Stories From Residential Schools - Documentary
The last federally funded Indian Residential School closed its doors in 2006, but the full scope of what happened inside those schools is still a long way from being understood.
For more than 100 years, the Canadian Government funded and administered the residential school system. Its founding mission was to provide institutionalized education and care to aboriginal children, with the goal of assimilating them into Canadian society as Christians. For years, what happened behind closed doors at some of the schools remained a secret, and the perpetrators of sexual, physical and psychological abuse went undetected and unpunished.
The people who, as children, were the victims of that abuse often have a hard time talking about it. But Martie LaValley is trying to change that. She's a volunteer support worker and she's helping people gather the strength to tell their stories at the Independent Assessment Process that was set up as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement.
John Gaudi is a freelance broadcaster who prepared a documentary about Martie LaValley.
Listen to Part Two:
Raul Castro's Reforms - Journalist
For decades, carefully orchestrated rallies were commonplace in Cuba, designed to demonstrate and shore up support for the country's revolutionary leadership.
But by 2008, Fidel Castro's younger brother Raul was said to have all but done away with such events. A little more than six weeks since Raul Castro officially took over power, he introduced a number of reforms, including his decision to lift the ban on owning cell phones and other electronic devices such as DVD players and blenders.
The changes have many people wondering if this is the beginning of real and significant reform in Cuba or just a temporary, strategic gambit.
For her thoughts on that, we were joined by Miriam Leyva, an independent journalist in Havana.
Raul Castro's Reforms - Author/Ex-Intelligence Officer
The changes to daily life in Cuba may be slow to come, but many Cuba watchers believe that what Raul Castro is doing is significant. Joining us from Miami was Brian Latell, the author of After Fidel: Raul Castro and the Future of Cuba's Revolution and a former CIA Intelligence Officer.
Raul Castro's Reforms and Canada
Canada has always viewed Cuba differently than the United States has. For a Canadian perspective on Raul Castro, we reached John Kirk, a Professor of Latin American Studies at Dalhousie University and the author of several books on Cuba, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Last Word - World's Largest Beaver Dam
An Ottawa-based scientist named Jean Thie thinks he has discovered the longest beaver dam in the world. While poring over images from Google Earth, he spotted an 850-metre-long beaver dam in Wood Buffalo National Park in Northern Alberta, nearly 200 kilometres northeast of Fort McMurray. We therefore closed this episode with Jean Thie's thoughts about the dam, along with an unbeatable bit of Canadiana: sounds of the beaver from the series of TV spots called Hinterland Who's Who.
Listen to Part Three: