Thursday, December 18, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Thursday, December 18th.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper thinks we've learned from the financial mistakes of the 1930s Depression, but admits a depression could still be a possibility for Canada.
Currently, *sigh* I miss the democratically elected Stephen Harper who blissfully ignored reality and insisted everything was fine.
This is The Current.
Williams v. Abitibi - Union Mill
We started this segment with a clip of Premier Danny Williams speaking a few days ago getting the support of the oppostion politicians in the legislature of Newfoudland and Labrador. The premier has a well-earned reputation as an outspoken maverick. But his showdown with paper-giant Abitibi-Bowater has proven to be contentious ... even by his standards.
The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador is taking a lot of heat for his decision to seize Abitibi-Bowater's hydro-electric, water and timber assets. Premier Williams argues that the company's decision to close its paper mill in the province negates a century-old deal that gave the company access to the province's natural resources. That argument has earned him comparisons to Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez and it might just spark an international trade dispute.
But there are plenty of Newfoundlanders who support him including some of the people who work at Abitibi-Bowater's mill. George MacDonald is the President of the mill's union -- CEP local 63 -- and he was in Grand Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Williams v. Abitibi - Radio Show
Not surpisingly, Newfoundlanders are rallying behind their Premier, and Abitibi-Bowater was a hot topic on call-in shows across the province yesterday. We heard from host Bill Rowe speaking with a caller on his program BackTalk on VOCM, a private broadcaster in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Williams v. Abitibi - Trade Lawyer
Danny William's decision to expropriate Abitibi-Bowater's hydro assets and timber cutting rights has unnerved a lot of businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador. But not all of them. Bill Denyar is the President and CEO of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce. We aired a clip with what he had to say about the issue.
Premier Williams has been very clear about his understanding of his province's right to control it's resources. But Abitibi-Bowater has rights too ... under NAFTA. And that means this fight could have implications for the entire country.
For his thoughts on that, we were joined by Lawrence Herman. He's an international trade lawyer with the firm Cassels Brock and Blackwell and he was in Toronto.
Listen to Part One:
Rapture # 1
These are dark times indeed. The world economy is teetering. There is pestilence ... famine ... wars. So if you're thinking apocalypse, you're not alone. Some Christians believe that signs like these point the way to the End of Days ... the moment true believers -- will rise up to be with Jesus ... while the rest of the world descends into despair.
But even if you don't think you'll qualify, there is still hope. According to Steve and Evie Levy, if you plan ahead and invest wisely, you can still make a killing. They are the authors of How to Profit From the Coming Rapture. Listen to their advice on how to get ahead ... even if you're left behind.
We'll get more advice from them... a bit later.
It's Thursday. That's mail day on The Current. And our Friday host, Jim Brown joined Anna Maria from Calgary. Today in the mail pack, some letters on virtual water use and our waterfootprint, the United Nations Climate Change conference, and Alberta's tailing ponds.
In this segment we spoke to John Drexhage who is a veteran of climate negotiations - both as a negotiator and an environmental consultant - and he was an observer at the climate talks in Poznan. Mr. Drexhage is the Director of Climate Change and Energy Programs at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. We asked him for his take on Canada's role at this latest round of UN climate talks, and just what those talks are accomplishing.
And to speak to the huge amount of toxic liquid waste left by mining, we heard from Dr. Lesley Warren, a professor of environmental geochemistry at McMaster University, and we reached her in Hamilton, Ontario.
Rapture # 2
We returned to Steve and Evie Levy again. They're the authors of How to Profit from The Coming Rapture. They're pretty sure they've got this "end of the world" scenario figured out to their liking and that they're actually in a position to make a fair bit of money from it. Fortunately, they're willing to share their secrets including what to eat in the event of Armageddon.
We'll have more ah... insight ... from the authors of How to Profit from the Coming Rapture in our next half hour.
Listen to Part Two:
Mouldy House - Chief
The Tsulquate reserve is a small native community on the Northern part of Vancouver Island. But it has a big problem. There is thick, black mould growing inside more than half of the homes there. And this particular kind of mould is known to be a health hazard ... one commonly linked to respiratory diseases.
But many of the people who live on the reserve -- members of the Gwa'sala-'Nakwasca'xw First Nation -- believe the mould is also contributing to another problem... they allege it's one the reasons children have been taken away by child protection services.
At least 47 children from the Tsulquate reserve are now in government care ... in a community of 500 people. The band council has passed a resolution calling for changes to the child welfare system. And the community is looking at its options for better housing.
Paddy Walkus is the Chief of the Gwa'sala-'Nakwasca'xw First Nation and he was just outside the town of Port Hardy.
Mouldy House - Opposition Critic
Clare Trevena has been advocating on behalf of the Tsulquate Reserve. She's a member of the provincial legislature with the opposition NDP. She represents the riding of North Island and she was in Campbell River.
Mouldy House - Architect
We requested interviews with representatives from both the federal and provincial governments. Those requests were turned down.
In a written response, the Federal Department of Indian Affairs said it is working with the band to develop a mould remediation workplan and that the band is eligible to receive a subsidy of $30,222 per-house for new housing or mould remediation. Since 2001, the department has spent 1.3 million-dollars on housing projects for the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw First Nation.
But in the mean time, Charmaine Enns says there's a clear connection between poor housing and poor health. She's the Medical Health Officer for Northern Vancouver Island and the Medical Director of Aboriginal Health for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. We aired a clip with her response.
Architect, Tang Lee knows a lot about building the kind of housing Charmaine Enns is talking about. He specializes in what's called "healthy housing." He also assesses buildings across Western Canada and he was in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories this morning.
Last Word: Rapture # 3
Coming up later today on CBC Radio One ... it's The Point ... and host Aamer Haleem will continue his quest to find the best Christmas movie of all time. The Point at 2 o'clock -- 2:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador. And tonight at 10 o'clock on CBC Television, The National will catch up with a group of financial advisors in Vancouver who are turning their attention to helping at-risk kids.
We wanted to end the program today with one more thought from Steve and Evie Levy ... the authors of How to Profit from The Coming Rapture. They argue that even the End of Days could be -- to paraphrase our Prime Minister -- "a good buying opportunity." Our last word goes to them with their final thoughts on the ultimate buy-low, sell-high scenario.
Listen to Part Three: