February 23, 2009

Pt 1: Vancouver Gangs - Hundreds of people rallied in Surrey, British Columbia yesterday. They were there to call for an end to the gang-related violence that has plagued the Vancouver area. In the last three weeks, there have been 12 shootings often in daylight and on crowded city streets or in shopping mall parking lots. In one case, a 24-year-old mother was shot dead, while driving with her four-year-old son in the back seat. The violence has shocked and scared a lot of the city's residents.

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Pt 2: Workaholics - For a lot of people, there is one thing worse than waking up on Monday morning and having to go to work. And that's waking up on Monday morning without a job to go to. 235,000 jobs were lost across Canada between November 1st of last year and January 31st of this year. And economic turmoil often translates into emotional hardship.

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Pt 3: Swat Pakistan -We started this segment with some tape from one of dozens of rallies held across Pakistan last week in response to the murder of Musa Khan, a well-known TV journalist. He was killed in the Swat Valley in Northwest Pakistan, an area plagued by violence that has fallen almost entirely under the control of the Taliban. His killing came just hours after a Taliban elder named Sufi Mohammed agreed to a truce with Swat's provincial government and began finalizing a deal that would see the introduction of Sharia Law in the valley.

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Today's guest host was Gillian Findlay.

It's Monday, February 23rd.

Four lucky people are holding a winning ticket for Saturday's Lotto 6/49. The estimated jackpot was $50 million, the highest jackpot ever in Canada.

Currently, GM is now two dollars deeper in debt and re-evaluating its re-structuring strategy.

This is The Current.


Vancouver Gangs

Hundreds of people rallied in Surrey, British Columbia yesterday. They were there to call for an end to the gang-related violence that has plagued the Vancouver area. In the last three weeks, there have been 12 shootings often in daylight and on crowded city streets or in shopping mall parking lots. In one case, a 24-year-old mother was shot dead, while driving with her four-year-old son in the back seat.
The violence has shocked and scared a lot of the city's residents.

But yesterday, at the rally some were vowing to fight back. We played some tape of Dona Cadman, Conservative MP for Surrey North speaking at the rally in Surrey yesterday.

Some Vancouver area residents are calling for everyone who lives there to take very specific actions against alleged gangsters in the community. Don't serve them in restaurants or bars ... don't lease cars to them ... don't do business with them or their families at all.

For their thoughts on this, we were joined by two people who have felt the gang violence first hand. Eileen Mohan lives in Surrey. Her son Christopher was killed when he stumbled on a gang-related killing in their apartment building back in October, 2007. And Paul Esposito is a businessman in Abbotsford. He has had three of his establishments burned down. And people known as gang associates have been jailed in connection with those arsons. Eileen Mohan and Paul Esposito were both in our Vancouver studio this morning.

 

Workaholics - Psychologist

For a lot of people, there is one thing worse than waking up on Monday morning and having to go to work. And that's waking up on Monday morning without a job to go to. 235,000 jobs were lost across Canada between November 1st of last year and January 31st of this year. And economic turmoil often translates into emotional hardship.

Losing a job can tip a lot of people into a fairly serious depression. And it can lead some to suicide. Comparable statistics aren't available for Canada. But in the United States, Harvey Brenner, a professor of public health at the University of North Texas and Johns Hopkins University, estimates that as many as 1,200 people are likely to commit suicide this year as the result of depression linked to the recession. We aired a clip with how he explains the pattern of suicide rates over the past century.

Now losing your job doesn't affect everyone equally. It can be especially difficult for people who really like their work and put a lot of themselves into it. Last year, Statistics Canada reported that about 30 per cent of Canadians consider themselves to be "workaholics" ... someone with an exaggerated sense of their own importance at work and who isn't able to foster a healthy work-life balance. And that worries Barbara Killinger. She's a Clinical Psychologist and the author of several books including Workaholics: The Respectable Addicts. She was in Toronto.

Workaholics - Employer Responsibility

The pain of job loss for those who are considered 'workaholics' is significant. But those who are able to hang onto to their jobs are also feeling the strain as demands from work increase in a period of recession. And you don't have to be a classified 'workaholic' to feel that.

The impact of work-related stress doesn't end with one employee. It can ripple right through an organization and even through the economy as a whole. Linda Duxbury has written extensively on organizational health and the importance of work-life balance. She's a professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University and she was in Ottawa.

Workaholic- Personal Story

Now for some people, unemployment can actually be a good thing ... an experience that opens up new opportunities. Jim Matthews worked for a large multi-national consumer goods company. After nearly 25 years with the same company, he was let go. And today he is a full-time stay-at-home Dad to his two young girls.

 

Swat Pakistan - Journalist

We started this segment with some tape from one of dozens of rallies held across Pakistan last week in response to the murder of Musa Khan, a well-known TV journalist. He was killed in the Swat Valley in Northwest Pakistan, an area plagued by violence that has fallen almost entirely under the control of the Taliban. His killing came just hours after a Taliban elder named Sufi Mohammed agreed to a truce with Swat's provincial government and began finalizing a deal that would see the introduction of Sharia Law in the valley.

And that deal was sealed on Saturday when Taliban fighters and Pakistani government officials agreed to a "permanent ceasefire" -- a move that is widely seen as a significant political victory for the Taliban. Perhaps as a show of its new strength on Sunday, Taliban militants kidnapped the governments new top administrator to the province as he was travelling to take up his post.

Issam Ahmed was in the Swat Valley over the weekend. He's a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and a contributor to Pakistan's daily newspaper, Dawn. He was in Lahore this morning.

Swat Pakistan - Atlantic Council of the United States

The rise of the Taliban in the Swat Valley has a spiraling impact far beyond the area. Shuja Nawaz is charting that impact. He's the Director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States. He's also the author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army and the Wars Within. And he was in Washington.

Swat Pakistan - Author

The relationship between the Pakistani Government and the Taliban is both murky and contentious. And it's one that David Sanger has spent a lot of time documenting. He's the Washington correspondent for the New York Times. He's also the author of The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power. In it, he describes how Pakistan secretly supported the Taliban even as it assured the United States that it was fighting the Taliban. David Sanger is in Washington.

Last Word - Bashir Makhtal

Stay with us on CBC Radio One. Q is next. And later today, on The Point, guest host Ian Hanomansing is asking if naturopaths should be allowed to prescribe medication. The Point is at 2 o'clock -- 2:30 in Newfoundland and parts of Labrador. And, tonight at 10 o'clock on CBC Television, it's The National with Peter Mansbridge.

Before we go ... a word on a story we've been following closely here at The Current. It has been more than two years since Ethiopian-Canadian Bashir Makhtal was picked up on the border between Kenya and Somalia, fleeing the invading Ethiopian army. Three weeks later, he was shuffled onto a rendition flight and flown back into Somalia enroute to Ethiopia, a country he had fled as a child. Ethiopia accuses him of being a member of a local rebel group, a claim Makhtal denies. Next month, his trial is finally expected to begin.

Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Makhtal's cousin Said Makhtal met with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and Transport Minister John Baird to push Ottawa to get more involved in Mr. Makhtal's case. More than 200 people gathered in the meeting hall to hear what the Canadian government is doing on behalf of Bashir Makhtal. We ended the program with some voices from that meeting.

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