October 22, 2008

Pt 1: The Trial of Abou-Elmaati, Almalki and Nureddin - Ahmad Abou-Elmaati, Abdullah Almalki and Muayyed Nureddinthree are three Canadian men who were all separately imprisoned and tortured in Syria.

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Pt 2: The Alberta Tar Sands and The Economy - There's a patch of boreal forest in Northern Alberta that's about the size of Florida. Depending on who you talk to, it's either Canada's yellow brick road to prosperity or our very own highway to hell. The Alberta tar sands has transformed the Canadian economy. And it's re-shaping the face of the earth across Northern Alberta.

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Pt 3: Aabid Khan's Case -Aabid Khan is a young British citizen of Pakistani origin. He's from Yorkshire, in northern England and he's currently serving a twelve-year sentence for violating Britain's anti-terrorism laws.

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It's Wednesday, October 22nd.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day stopped short of apologizing to 3 Canadians who were detained and tortured in Syria, saying a pending lawsuit prevents him from making any comment.

Currently, he didn't even apologize for not apologizing. The nerve.

This is The Current.


The Trial of Abou-Elmaati, Almalki and Nureddin

Ahmad Abou-Elmaati, Abdullah Almalki and Muayyed Nureddinthree are three Canadian men who were all separately imprisoned and tortured in Syria. All three of them say the Canadian Government is at least partly responsible for what happened to them and that Canadian officials wrongly labeled them as terrorists and fed information about them to Syrian authorities. And that's where Frank Iacobucci comes in. Nearly two years ago, the federal government asked him to look into the three men's cases and sort out what happened.

Yesterday, he released his findings. He said that the actions of Canadian officials contributed indirectly to the torture of all three men, and that neither Mr. Elmaati nor Mr. Almalki got proper consular help. He also said there is no evidence that any Canadian official acted maliciously towards any of the three men. What Justice Iacobucci did not say was whether anything has changed since then or whether the outcome would be any different if the same situation were to arise today.

Abdullah Almalki has been waiting for answers to those questions for nearly four years. He was detained in Syria in 2002 and spent 22 months in prison there. He joined us from Ottawa for the show. His lawyer, Jasminka Kalajdzic was in Windsor, Ontario.


Champ's Inquiry

When Justice Iacobucci began his inquiry, Paul Champ had high hopes for it. He was counsel for the BC Civil Liberties Association, a group that was granted intervener status at the inquiry. But the Association pulled out of the inquiry because of concerns about its transparency. Paul Champ is now a human rights lawyer based in Ottawa and he also joined us for the show.

Jez Littlewood has some thoughts on what Canada's federal agencies have or should have learned in all of this. He is the Director of the Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa.

 


 

The Alberta Tar Sands and The Economy

There's a patch of boreal forest in Northern Alberta that's about the size of Florida. Depending on who you talk to, it's either Canada's yellow brick road to prosperity or our very own highway to hell. The Alberta tar sands has transformed the Canadian economy. And it's re-shaping the face of the earth across Northern Alberta.

Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer who's renowned for works such as Manufactured Landscapes, which documents the footprint that human industrial activity is leaving on the earth. And among other things, he has turned his lens on the tar sands. But author Andrew Nikiforuk goes even further there. He says the tar sands is transforming our society, our political culture even what it means to be Canadian. His new book is called Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of the Continent and he was in Toronto.



 

Aabid Khan's Case

Aabid Khan is a young British citizen of Pakistani origin. He's from Yorkshire, in northern England and he's currently serving a twelve-year sentence for violating Britain's anti-terrorism laws. He is being called an Internet Jihadi. He's said to be one of the world's most accomplished online terrorist recruiters. And according to court documents, his goal was to groom an international group of Islamic extremists willing to execute terrorist attacks in Great Britain, continental Europe, the United States and Canada.

To tell us more about Aabid Khan, and how the case against him sheds light on the case against the so-called Toronto 18 -- now the Toronto 11 really -- is Bill Gillespie. He is CBC's security correspondent and he was in Toronto.


Music

Dawson 8
Artist: Steve Dawson
Cut: CD8 Photograph
CD: We Belong to the Gold Coast
Label: Black Hen Music
Spine #: BHCD 0030


Doc Promo

Tomorrow, we'll mark the 50th anniversary of the Springhill mining disaster in Nova Scotia with the documentary, Back From the Black. We'll hear about the tragedy from 76-year-old Harold Brine, one of the three men alive today who was trapped four kilometres underground. We aired an excerpt.


Last Word

Later today on CBC Radio One, it's The Point ... and host Aamer Haleem is asking whether the word "maverick" still means anything now that we've all heard it several hundred times. That's The Point at 2 o'clock -- 2:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador. And tonight on CBC Television's The Fifth Estate ... the story of four women who are still determined to find out who murdered their aunt, more then 50 years after she was killed. That's on The Fifth Estate, tonight at 9 o'clock -- 9:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 


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