September 25, 2009

Pt 1: Medical Exiles -Kathleen Kelly is an American who married a Canadian. They now live on Bowen Island in British Columbia with their six-year-old son. It sounds idyllic. The trouble is, she'd like to have the ability to go home -- to California. But she says she can't because of her son's health. And in her view, that makes her a medical exile. Kathleen Kelly was in Vancouver this morning.

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Pt 2: Cellared in Canada - If you take a quick glance at a handful of bottles in the Canadian wine section at your local wine store, you'll probably run into a label that reads "Cellared in Canada." It sounds simple enough. But, there's a lot more -- or a lot less -- than meets the eye. "Cellared in Canada" defines wines that are bottled in Canada by Canadian wine-makers ... using foreign grapes.

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Pt 3: Conservationist Success - On the face of it, there's not much cause for optimism when it comes to biodiversity. The scientific consensus is that the earth is in the midst of the sixth great extinction. And in case you were wondering, the last one was about 65 million years ago ... the one that got the dinosaurs.

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Today's guest host was Jan Wong.

It's Friday, September 25th.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass a bill extending unemployment insurance benefits for about 300,000 Americans.

Currently, Jack Layton says he will refrain from trying to defeat Congress ... for now.

This is The Current.

Medical Exiles - Kathleen Kelly

We started this segment with a clip of Kathleen Kelly speaking in a video she posted on Youtube called, "Can't Go Home."

Kathleen Kelly is an American who married a Canadian. They now live on Bowen Island in British Columbia with their six-year-old son. It sounds idyllic. The trouble is, she'd like to have the ability to go home -- to California. But she says she can't because of her son's health. And in her view, that makes her a medical exile. Kathleen Kelly was in Vancouver this morning.

Medical Exile - Patients First

We requested an interview with the American Health Insurance Plan, a group that represents the health insurance industry in the United States. No one from the group was available.

Now, while most agree that health insurance is a problem south of the border... the debate in Washington and elsewhere shows there's little agreement on how to fix it.
Patients First is a lobby group. You may recall that it made a much ballyhooed ad with a Canadian woman, Shona Holmes. In it, Ms Holmes made the case against Government health care saying she'd had to travel to the United States to be treated for a brain tumour.

Amy Menefee is the Policy Advisor for Patients First and she was in Washington.


Cellared in Canada - Robinson

If you take a quick glance at a handful of bottles in the Canadian wine section at your local wine store, you'll probably run into a label that reads "Cellared in Canada." It sounds simple enough. But, there's a lot more -- or a lot less -- than meets the eye. "Cellared in Canada" defines wines that are bottled in Canada by Canadian wine-makers ... using foreign grapes.

In British Columbia, "Cellared in Canada" wines can be made entirely from foreign grapes. In Ontario, they can be made with up to 70 per cent foreign grapes. The wineries doing this are usually the big ones such as Peller Estates, Naked Grape and Jackson Triggs. They say it allows them to compete in certain sectors of the wine market in which they otherwise couldn't succeed. They say that the labels are completely clear. But other wineries -- notably smaller ones -- say the practice is misleading and tarnishes the whole industry.

For her thoughts on the practice -- and how Canadian wines are perceived around the world -- we were joined by Jancis Robinson. She is an internationally known wine writer and the Editor of the Oxford Companion to Wine. She was in London, England.

Cellared in Canada - Peller

Not surprisingly, John Peller takes a different view of the "Cellared in Canada" label. He is the President and CEO of Andrew Peller Limited ... one of the wineries that produces "Cellared in Canada" wines. John Peller was in Toronto.

Cellared in Canada - McLean

As we mentioned earlier, many smaller Canadian wineries have a problem with the "Cellared in Canada" label. Seaton McLean is the Co-Owner of the Closson Chase Winery in Prince Edward County in Southern, Ontario. And that's where he was this morning.

Now, there are two crucial questions in all of this. Do people understand what they're drinking when they buy a bottle of "Cellared in Canada" wine? And do they care where the grapes in that bottle came from? So The Current's Shannon Higgins took to the streets of Toronto -- bottle in hand -- to find out.


Conservationist Success - Jane Goodall

On the face of it, there's not much cause for optimism when it comes to biodiversity. The scientific consensus is that the earth is in the midst of the sixth great extinction. And in case you were wondering, the last one was about 65 million years ago ... the one that got the dinosaurs.

By some estimates, one-quarter of all mammals as well as thousands of species of amphibians are at risk of extinction. The difference with this wave of extinction is that it's the first one brought on largely by human activity... over-hunting, habitat destruction, pollution, climate change. But -- and this is where Jane Goodall sees reason for hope -- it's also humans who are leading the efforts to save species from going the way of the dodo.

Jane Goodall is, of course, a renowned primatologist whose work with chimpanzees in Tanzania made her a household name. She is now one of the world's leading conservation advocates. Her new book is called Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from The Brink. Jane Goodall was in Toronto.

Last Word - Will Ferrell Health PSA

We ended the program this week with one more take on the future of health care in the United States ... something we touched on earlier in the program. The last word went to, comedian Will Ferrell with a tongue-in-cheek plea for a group that isn't getting much sympathy these days.

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