February 10, 2009

Pt 1: Eskasoni Suicides - Talk Tape - We started this segment with some tape of Shanna Francis. She's 16 and she lives in Eskasoni, a First Nations Community of about 3,200 people in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. And the people she's talking about are friends and relatives who have taken their own lives or died from drug over-doses.

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Pt 2: Lovely Irene Documentary - A pop song can be a powerful thing. You've probably experienced moments when a striking melody or a swelling chorus have stopped you in your tracks when a song has evoked intense emotions or kept you listening to your car radio even after you'd arrived at your destination.

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Pt 3: Hockey on the Couch - This is our national pastime. We aired a few examples of the on-ice fights from around the National Hockey League last week as the players drop the gloves and the commentators drop the hockey talk and become fight announcers.

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It's Tuesday February 10th.

The Alberta Government has charged Syncrude Canada in connection with the deaths of 500 ducks at one of its tailings ponds in the Alberta tar sands.

Currently ... Syncrude's lawyers say it's all just a misunderstanding. Their client simply thought coating the ducks in oil would help them cook faster.

This is the Current.


Eskasoni Suicides - Talk Tape

We started this segment with some tape of Shanna Francis. She's 16 and she lives in Eskasoni, a First Nations Community of about 3,200 people in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. And the people she's talking about are friends and relatives who have taken their own lives or died from drug over-doses.

In the last five weeks, four people have committed suicide in Eskasoni. And over the past year, there have been five other deaths related to alcohol or drugs. People living in Eskasoni say it seems like they're always in mourning. The Band Council says the community is in crisis ... and it's calling for help.

The CBC's Joan Weeks has spent much of the past week in Eskasoni and she joined us from Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Tomorrow representatives from Health Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs will be in Eskasoni to meet with the Band. Both Health Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs told us they would not be doing any interviews on this issue until after that meeting. However, they did announce they will be contributing $10, 000 dollars for short term counselling services in Eskasoni.


Eskasoni Suicides - Psychologist

Roland Chrisjohn is all too familiar with stories like these. He's a psychologist and he spent many years working in suicide counseling with Toronto's aboriginal community. He's now the Director of Native Studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. And he's working on a book about suicide called Dying To Please You. Roland Chrisjohn was in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

 

Lovely Irene Documentary

A pop song can be a powerful thing. You've probably experienced moments when a striking melody or a swelling chorus have stopped you in your tracks when a song has evoked intense emotions or kept you listening to your car radio even after you'd arrived at your destination.

This morning, the CBC's Fiona Christensen has a story about a song that moved people to tears ... and then moved them to action. And she joined us from Iqaluit with her documentary, Lovely Irene.

Music: Lucie Idlout's song, "Lovely Irene" is from the album, "Swagger".

 

Hockey on the Couch

This is our national pastime. We aired a few examples of the on-ice fights from around the National Hockey League last week as the players drop the gloves and the commentators drop the hockey talk and become fight announcers.

And then there is the fight about fighting in hockey. It's flared up again over the last few weeks ... after the death of Don Sanderson, a 21-year-old defenceman in the Ontario Hockey Association. He died in December, the result of hitting his head on the ice during a fight. The ensuing debate has been intense and intemperate. And it's even added a now infamous and unfortuante word to the hockey lexicon. We aired a clip with hockey analysts Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury squaring off on the issue last month.

You heard hockey analyst Mike Milbury use the word "pansify" there. You might also have heard the term "pansification" tossed around elsewhere to describe any attempt to take fighting out of hockey. It's an issue that has divided the hockey world. And Canadians are split too. Although according to a poll released two weeks ago, the forces in favour of so-called "pansification" hold a slim majority. We heard from Jeff Walker who is Vice President of Harris Decima, the company that conducted the poll.

So most Canadians want fighting out of hockey. But the people most deeply immersed in the sport -- young men -- want it to stay. And they accuse everyone else of just not getting the game. For their thoughts on this disconnect, we were joined by Doctor Saul Miller. He's a sports psychologist who has worked with several NHL teams and junior hockey leagues. He's also the author of Hockey Tough, and he was in Vancouver. And Bruce Dowbiggin is a columnist with the Calgary Herald and the author of several books about hockey, including The Meaning of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada. He was in Calgary.

 

Last Word - Five Hole

And we'll leave you with one more thought on hockey and masculinity.
Countless hockey players have been unmanned by the five hole ... the tantalizing space between the goalie's pads that's just big enough for a well-aimed shot to squeeze through. The best goalies use the five hole to tease shooters ... closing it as soon as the shot has been fired.

That mythical, vanishing space is the inspiration for a new play by hockey writer and former Rheostatics member, Dave Bidini. "The Five Hole" will premiere in Calgary on Monday ... its first stop on a cross-Canada tour. It's been described as an erotic hockey play. And we'll leave you with a ... uh ... rather bowdlerized version of "Five Hole Story" by Dave Bidini and the Five Hole Band. For the really overheated version, you'll have to see the play or buy the CD.

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