Today's guest host was Craig Kielburger
It's Friday, October 3rd.
American Vice-Presidential hopefuls Sarah Palin and Joe Biden faced off last night on live, national television.
Currently ... And just like that, it's a good day to be Dan Quayle.
This is The Current.
Off the top of the show, we saw how last night's federal leaders' debate sounded to some poli sci students from Memorial University. They watched the debate at the Breezeway Bar here in St. John's.
Throughout the campaign, leadership has been a defining issue. It's also a running theme on The Friday Edition of The Current this morning. So to begin, we've gathered our own group of Canadian political leaders -- three former premiers -- to weigh in on what they saw last night.
Pat Duncan is the former Liberal Premier of Yukon. She was in our Whitehorse studio. Grant Devine is the former Conservative Premier of Saskatchewan. We reached him at his ranch outside of Moose Jaw. And Lorne Calvert is the former NDP Premier of Saskatchewan. He was in our Regina studio.
An Inconvenient Truth ... Charlie Wilson's War ... Good Night and Good Luck ... and North Country. Those are four Hollywood films that tackle social issues with political consequences. And each one of them is funded by Participant Media, a production company based in Beverly Hills that backs "movies with a message."
The company's founder is a Canadian named Jeff Skoll. He's also the founding President of e-Bay and Canada's youngest billionaire as a result. He left e-Bay eight years ago, and got into the Hollywood movie business to change the world.
Jeff Skoll was in Los Angeles this morning along with Jim Berk, Participant Media's CEO.
Youth Panel #1
So let's see ... we've got Matt Damon touring Haiti after it was battered by hurricanes ... George Clooney talking about Darfur ... and Angelina Jolie roaming the world as a United Nations Ambassador. And needless to say, they all bring a lot of attention to the causes they've decided to champion. But can the entertainment industry really affect change ... really make a difference?
Joining Craig Kielburger to tackle that question were three people:
Michel Chikwanine is a 20-year-old former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This will be his first election as a Canadian citizen and he's in Toronto.
Ilona Dougherty is the co-founder and Executive Director of Apathy is Boring. She is in Montreal. And Annahid Dashtgard is the Executive Director of Anima Leadership, a non-profit dedicated to community building. She was in Edmonton.
Artist: Doug Cox and Salil Bhatt
CD: Slide to Freedom
Cut: CD8 Meeting by the Liver
Label: Northern Blues
Spine #: NBM0039
runs total of 1:42
Youth Panel #2
In Part 2 of this day's edition of The Current, the discussion was focused on ways to get young people engaged in politics.
In this part we picked up the conversation by getting someone else to weigh in on whether change is best sought through traditional or non-traditional means. Adam Miron is the National Director of the Young Liberals of Canada. He shared an example of why he believes his way leads to concrete change.
Two weeks ago, Rwanda made history by electing a parliament with more women than men. It's the first time any country has chosen a female-majority parliament. And as far as gender parity goes, it's a lot better than Canada's last Parliament ... in which only one in five MPs were women.
To some extent, all of Rwanda's newly elected women owe a debt of gratitude to Senator Aloisea Inyumba. She became Rwanda's Minister of Family, Gender and Social Affairs in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. She was in her twenties at the time ... the youngest person in the government ... and the only woman. And she was handed an unimaginable task ... find graves for the 800-thousand people killed in the genocide ... and homes for half-a-million orphans.
Craig Kielburger was in Rwanda a couple of years ago for the anniversary of the end of the genocide and he had the privilege of sitting with Senator Inyumba during a moving ceremony in the stadium where so many Rwandans were slaughtered. It's a day he will never forget.
Senator Inyumba joined The Current from Kigali.
Before Craig Kielburger gave up Anna Maria's chair, he want to use his life-line to call up a friend and ask her something he's been dying to know for a while.
Charlotte Arnold plays the character "Holly J" on Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Last year Craig and Charlotte spent the summer in Kenya, along with the rest of the Degrassi crew. Until then there wasn't a real "Degrassi" school anywhere in the world -- just a TV set and a mythology. But we rolled up our sleeves and lay the bricks to build a REAL Degrassi.