January 26, 2009

Pt 1: Ignatieff - It's showtime again on Parliament Hill. We started this segment with a clip of Liberal Leader girding for battle in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto last Friday. And yes indeed, the House of Commons is sitting today for the first time since the unprecedented proroguing of Parliament last month.

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Pt 2: Montreal Face Masks- We started this segment with some sound from the scene in Montreal last April as rioters took to the streets after the Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup quarter finals. Violent street demonstrations, are hardly common in Montreal. But they're not exactly unknown to the city either.

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Pt 3: Calgary Gangs - When Keni Su'a was shot and killed on New Year's Day, it became obvious to many people in Calgary, that their city had a gang problem. Keni Su'a was an innocent bystander, caught up in a shooting that also claimed the lives of two known gang members. He was from Samoa. And after his death, his family and friends gathered for a vigil to remember him and to work towards forgiveness.

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Today's guest host was Linden MacIntyre.

It's Monday, January 26th.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will present a budget tomorrow that's expected to project a $64-Billion-dollar deficit for the next two years.

Currently, Well he's got the "change" part happening. But I think he's going to have to work on the whole "hope" thing.

This is The Current.


Ignatieff - Newman

It's showtime again on Parliament Hill. We started this segment with a clip of
Liberal Leader girding for battle in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto last Friday. And yes indeed, the House of Commons is sitting today for the first time since the unprecedented proroguing of Parliament last month.

There'll be a speech from the throne this afternoon ... a federal budget tomorrow. And after that ... it's anyone's guess. But one thing is sure. Michael Ignatieff will have a substantial hand in deciding how this week in Canadian politics unfolds.

This morning, we wanted to try to get inside the mind of the new Liberal Leader. And lucky for us, he's given us a lot to work with ... namely a substantial body of academic, fictional and personal writing on war, human rights, ethnic nationalism and morality.

Peter C. Newman is an author and political commentator. He's been monitoring Michael Ignatieff's literary and political careers and he was at his home in Richmond Hill, Ontario.


Literary Ignatieff - Panel

When Michael Ignatieff first ran for Parliament in 2006, some Liberals worried that his long absence from Canada and the perception that he was an aloof intellectual would hurt the party's fortunes. But now, many Liberals view him as their best hope for renewing the party and forming the next federal government.

For their thoughts on that transformation and what Michael Ignatieff stands for, we were joined by two more connaisseurs of his writings. Linda Diebel is an author and National Affairs reporter with the Toronto Star. And Ken Alexander is an author and the former Editor of The Walrus Magazine. They were both in Toronto.

 

Montreal Face Masks - Police

We started this segment with some sound from the scene in Montreal last April as rioters took to the streets after the Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup quarter finals. Violent street demonstrations, are hardly common in Montreal. But they're not exactly unknown to the city either.

And later today, Montreal's City Council will be tabling a by-law that many councilors hope will help reign in street violence. The by-law would ban the wearing of face-masks at demonstrations. Montreal's police say it's important to take away protesters' anonymity. But others say the proposed by-law is an affront to freedom of expression.

Chief Inspector Paul Chablo is the head of the communications division of the Montreal Police. He was in Montreal.


Montreal Face Masks - Demonstrators

While Montreal's City Councilors are considering the proposed by-law today, protesters will be registering their complaints about it with a bit of street theatre ... a masked ball outside City Hall.

Jaggi Singh has attended his fair share of street protests and he was in Montreal this morning to give us his take on the new by-law.


Facemasks Factboard

Laws against mask-wearing aren't just a 21st century phenomenon. In New York, anti-mask laws go back to 1845. At the time, they were designed to stop poor farmers from terrorizing their landlords who were trying to evict them.

Other anti-mask laws in the United States were directed against the Ku Klux Klan, a group that committed terrible atrocities while wearing hoods. It's only more recently that anti-mask laws have been directed at anarchists and other groups that have fought pitched battles with police at anti-globalization and anti-police demonstrations.

 

Calgary Gangs - Reporter

When Keni Su'a was shot and killed on New Year's Day, it became obvious to many people in Calgary, that their city had a gang problem. Keni Su'a was an innocent bystander, caught up in a shooting that also claimed the lives of two known gang members. He was from Samoa. And after his death, his family and friends gathered for a vigil to remember him and to work towards forgiveness.

A vigil held for Keni Su'a. He was shot-to-death outside a restaurant in Calgary on New Year's Day. Since then, one more person has been killed and two more injured in what many observers describe as an escalating gang war.

Peter Akman has been covering the story for CBC Television and he was in Calgary.


Calgary Gangs - Critic

Earlier this month, Calgary's Police Chief announced that he will be doubling the force's efforts to combat gangs. But according to Cathy Prowse, a retired Calgary police officer with 25-years experience, that effort is coming far too late.

Cathy Prowse teaches in the department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Calgary.


Calgary Gangs - Police

For his view of how the police are responding now, we were joined by Acting Staff Sergeant Gord Erickson. He's with the Calgary Police Service's Organized Crime Operations Centre and he was in Calgary.


Last Word - Deficit Burana

Stay with us on CBC Radio One. Q is next. And later today, on The Point, host Aamer Haleem will look at the ability of social networking web sites such as Facebook and Twitter to change government policy. The Point is at 2 o'clock -- 2:30 in Newfoundland and parts of Labrador. And, tonight at 10 o'clock on CBC Television, The National will assess the odds that MPs are ready to start working together.

But before we go ... Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will present his budget tomorrow. And he's expected to confirm that the government will be racking up 64-Billion dollars worth of deficits over the next two years. So to help you brace for the impact of that, we ended the program with a little something we like to call "Deficit Burana."

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