Monday, April 21, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Monday, April 21st.
Retailers are pulling bottles off the shelf after Health Canada designated Bisphenol A a dangerous substance. The compound, commonly found in hard palastics, has been linked to causing cancer.
Currently, for Canadians unsure where to turn for their cancer, Health Canada still recommends cigarettes. This is The Current.
Border Patrol Drones
On April 21, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderone got together for the North American Leaders Summit in New Orleans. And one thing that's sure to be on the agenda is border security, especially since the first unmanned American surveillance drone is set to begin hovering over the Canada-U.S. border sometime in the spring of 2008.
The drones are already on patrol on the US-Mexico border, and American officials say the Predators have helped them catch thousands of illegal immigrants.
Although the plan to bring this kind of high tech surveillance to the Canada-U.S. border has privacy activists deeply worried, it's something US Customs believes strongly in.
Douglas Koupash is the Executive Director of Mission Support in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine, and he spoke to us from Washington.
Border Patrol Drones - Balancing Security and Privacy
Not everyone in the United States thinks this surveillance technology is quite so benign. Barry Steinhardt, the Director of the Technology and Liberty Program with the American Civil Liberties Union, is one of them.
And for his perspective on balancing security and privacy, we were joined from Montreal by Stephane Leman-Langlois, a professor at the school of criminology at the University of Montreal. He focuses much of his research on terrorism, security and surveillance.
Listen to Part One:
Colombia Free Trade Agreement
U.S. President George Bush and his two NAFTA partners, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, at a leaders' summit in New Orleans, booked time to talk about border security and how to build closer relations between their three countries.
But for President Bush and Prime Minister Harper, there's another issue that's top-of-mind. Both leaders are pursuing free trade deals with Colombia. And President Bush is in no mood to wait.
Meanwhile, Canada's efforts to secure our own free trade deal with Colombia are also proceeding. In July 2007, Prime Minister Harper visited the country himself, playing up Canada's business interests, especially in mining, oil and gas, and made a point of noting that he was the first Canadian Prime Minister to make an official visit there.
Critics on both sides of the border say Canada and the United States should focus more on Colombia's dismal human rights record, and that the proposed free trade deals could end up making a bad situation even worse. But there are plenty of companies that do business in Colombia that don't see it that way. Solana Resources Limited is a Canadian oil and gas company that has been working in Colombia for several years. Scott Price is its CEO and he spoke to us from Calgary.
But many human rights groups and trade unions aren't as optimistic as the ambassador. Jana Silverman is a former U.S. trade unionist who moved to Colombia in 2004. She now works as a researcher for the National Union School in Medellin.
Listen to Part Two:
Cadavers - Documentary
For all the progress that's been made in popularizing the idea of organ donation, the idea of giving your entire, fully intact body to science probably isn't something you've given much thought to.
But medical schools and medical students rely on people doing just that, because a fundamental part of a would-be doctor's training involves dissecting human bodies. In another era, those bodies would have been unclaimed cadavers: often destitute people or even bodies stolen from graveyards. Today though, people will their bodies to science.
CBC health reporter Pauline Dakin produced a documentary that takes us on the long journey from life, to death to learning, and she Joined us from Halifax to talk about it.
Last Word - Somebody's Watching Me
We closed this show with a musical note about surveillance. Earlier, we heard about a plan to have unmanned drones with cameras patrol the Canada-US border.
We played Somebody's Watching Me, Rockwell's one and only hit.
Listen to Part Three: