It's Thursday, September 10th.
There will be no re-enactment of the English defeat of the French during ceremonies to mark the 250th anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham this weekend, but there will be a reading of the FLQ's manifesto from 1970.
Currently, the weekend will also include re-enactments of Villeneuve's resounding defeat of Lord Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar.
This is The Current.
FLQ Manifesto - Blaney
We started this segment with some tape from thirty-nine years ago next month. The October Crisis, a time of kidnapping, murder, and the War Measures Act, remains a blister on the Canadian body politic.
This weekend, as part of a series of readings to mark the 250th anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, there will be a reading of the FLQ manifesto. The same political screed the CBC French network read over the air ... one of the conditions the FLQ set if the life of British diplomat James Cross was to be spared.
All these years later, the decision to read the manifesto is not going over very well with a lot of people. Steven Blaney is the member of parliament for Levis Bellechase, and he's the vice-chair of the Conservative Party's Quebec Caucus. We reached him in Quebec City.
FLQ Manifesto - Bouchard
Benoit Bouchard was cabinet minister in the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. He is also a former ambassador to France. He will be participating in the event commemorating the Plains of Abraham anniversary. We reached him at his home in Roberval, Quebec.
The reading of the FLQ manifesto on CBC, the body of Pierre Laporte discovered in the trunk of a car... these are images etched into the memories of many who lived through the October Crisis. Senator Jim Munson was a young reporter at the time and remembers well the night he covered the murder of Pierre Laporte. We heard from him.
New & Disappearing Jobs
Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in Canada during the recession, but times of economic, social and technological transitions both create and destroy some occupations.
As part of the Current's Work in Progress series, we wanted to look at the sorts of jobs that are disappearing from Canada and the kinds of jobs that are emerging to take their place. Producers, Kristin Nelson and Chris Wodskou joined Anna Maria in studio to share their findings.
New & Disappearing Jobs (cont'd)
Current producers, Kristin Nelson and Chris Wodskou continue their discussion on new and disappearing jobs.
It's Thursday, so that means it's mail day. And to help with the mail, Anna Maria was joined by Jan Wong, who will be our Friday host for the next four weeks.
Failing Kids: On Tuesday morning we examined the controversial practice of social promotion where students are given passing grades whether they have actually earned them. Proponents say it is important to keep children with their peers and that holding them back could be very damaging to their self-esteem.
We heard from Elizabeth Morley, the principal of the Institute of Child Study Laboratory School in Toronto and Michael Zwaagstra, a teacher in Grunthall, Manitoba and co-author of a report on "social promotion" from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
Well, a lot of you also had strong opinions about social promotion. We shared some of those thoughts.
Bonnie Henry: On Tuesday's program we also examined Canada's plans to contain the H1N1 flu pandemic that is expected to return this fall. Five years ago, studies showed that forty percent of doctors did not wash their hands between patients.
Bonnie Henry is the Director of Public Health Emergency Management at British Columbia's Centre for Disease Control. She's also the author of Soap and Water and Common Sense: The Definitive Guide to Viruses, Bacteria, Parasites and Disease. Dr. Henry's comments evoked some of you to write with your stories.
Bike Couriers: Last week, we looked at the culture of bike couriers, and how well they co-exist on the road with other cyclists and motorists. Our discussion provoked a lot of response from our listeners.
One listener mentioned the Canadian Union of Postal Workers trying to improve bike courrier working conditions for the benefit of everyone. So to find out more about the Canadian Union of Postal Workers union drive, we reached George Floresco. He's a national vice-president with the union and we reached him in Winnipeg.
Well, we wanted to hear first hand what couriers in Toronto think about joining a union, so our Shannon Higgens hit the pavement to find out.
Nation of Wimps: On Monday's program, we've delved into the growing phenomenon of over-parenting. Hara Estroff Marano is the Editor of Psychology Today and author of A Nation of Winps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting.
Well, those thoughts from the author of A Nation of Wimps turned you into a nation of letter writers.
Request Count: In response to a listener's letter regarding the use of the phrase:
" we tried to contact such and such government official or minister and they were unavailable for comment" and the amount of times this has happened. The Current launched a new feature this morning called, Request Count - The Current's ongoing tally of Cabinet Minister requests which have been denied.
This week, we received yesses from Laurie Hawn, the parliamentary secretary for the Minister of Defence and Steven Blaney, the chair of the Quebec caucus, and they both appeared on the program. But as for cabinet ministers, we've received three "not availables" (Bev Oda, Lawrence Cannon, Stockwell Day) and one flat-out "no." (Peter MacKay)
Total: 4 requests for Cabinet Ministers have been turned down.
Last Word - Shatner
Finally today, a lot of people have been turning their thoughts to a lonely elephant lately. Lucy, a middle-aged pachyderm, lives alone in the Edmonton Valley Zoo ... the only elephant in a Canadian zoo not to have another elephant for companionship.
That situation has attracted attention from a number of high-profile animal lovers, including Montreal's William Shatner, a.k.a, Captain James T. Kirk. He wrote a letter to Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel requesting that Lucy be allowed to live out her days retired in a better place, with other elephants. A place far,far away from the bitter cold of an Edmonton winter. Maybe to a magical land with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Artist: William Shatner
Cd: Transformed Man
Cut: 5, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Label: Varese Vintage
Spine: VSD 5614