October 01, 2009

Pt 1: Bishop Charges - The diocese of Antigonish is considered one of the most devoutly Catholic areas in Canada. And for many of the people who live there, the historic settlement which included Bishop Lahey's apology, was supposed to bring peace to them after one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in Canadian history.

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Pt 2: Eco Stunts - We started this segment with a clip from a documentary, No Impact Man, that follows Colin Beavan and his family as they try to make it through a year leaving as little environmental impact as possible. That means no electricity, no packaged food, no transportation that's not human-powered. And that's while living in New York City, a place where you can't exactly live off the land.

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Pt 3: Letters - It's Thursday, time for our weekly look at the mail. And our Friday host, for one last week, Jan Wong joined Anna Maria in studio to read some of your letters.

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It's Thursday, October 1st.

Iran maintains that a clandestine nuclear facility, built in the side of a mountain, is intended only for the production of electricity.

Currently ... It will power Iran's clandestine holocaust museum.

This is The Current.


Bishop Charges

We started this segment with a clip of Bishop Raymond Lahey speaking in August after he signed off on a 15-million-dollar settlement involving sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia. The abuse dated back more than 50 years.

The diocese of Antigonish is considered one of the most devoutly Catholic areas in Canada. And for many of the people who live there, the historic settlement which included Bishop Lahey's apology, was supposed to bring peace to them after one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in Canadian history.

And then yesterday, another nightmare began. Bishop Lahey has been charged with possessing and importing child pornography. The Ottawa Police Department has issued a warrant for his arrest and says it would like the public's help locating Bishop Lahey.

Ronnie Martin was instrumental in the negotiations that brought the settlement about. He too was a victim of sexual abuse by the clergy. He joined us from New Waterford, Nova Scotia.

Bishop Lahey - Higgins

Michael Higgins is a well-known Catholic scholar and author. He is also the President of St. Thomas University in New Brunswick. Mr. Higgins is also the Chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. He knows Bishop Raymond Lahey and he was in Fredericton.

Bishop Charges - Linden McIntyre

Linden McIntyre knows this part of Nova Scotia very well. He's the co-host of CBC Television's The Fifth Estate. He's originally from Cape Breton. His latest novel is The Bishop's Man. And it deals with sexual abuse in the diocese of Antigonish. Linden McIntyre was in San Francisco this morning.




Eco Stunts

We started this segment with a clip from a documentary, No Impact Man, that follows Colin Beavan and his family as they try to make it through a year leaving as little environmental impact as possible. That means no electricity, no packaged food, no transportation that's not human-powered. And that's while living in New York City, a place where you can't exactly live off the land.

Colin Beavan's chronicled his family's experience in a book also called, No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process. He was in Washington, DC this morning. And in Toronto we had Vanessa Farquharson, the author of Sleeping Naked Is Green and Franz Hartmann, the executive director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.




Letters

It's Thursday, time for our weekly look at the mail. And our Friday host, for one last week, Jan Wong joined Anna Maria in studio to read some of your letters.

China Communism: China Mobile placed a ring-back tone on its phones this week to mark 60 years of Communist rule. It's a patriotic song Guojia, or Country and the male voice on the ring-back tone is Chinese action movie star Jackie Chan. A ring-back tone is what you hear after you've dialed a number, but before the other person has picked up. On Friday's program, a look at how China has evolved since student protests in Tiananmen Square to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Richard Dawkins: The theory of evolution is not some uncertain hypothesis but an inarguable fact according to scientist Richard Dawkins. His new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution lays out his case. Creationists argue that life is so complex, only a higher power could be responsible for it. But Tuesday on the program, Richard Dawkins refuted that. After this item, the mail rained down upon us.

Prison Reform: Over the past two years, the federal government has been working on a plan to reform the prison system. Its idea was to improve public safety and make prisoners more accountable for their actions. But law professor Michael Jackson disagrees with the direction of the plan. He is the co-author of a report called "A Flawed Compass: A Human Rights Analysis of the Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety." And last week on The Current, he outlined what he sees as the flaws.

At the time of the interview we were unable to interview the government because the report was embargoed. But we can now. And Minister for Public Safety, Peter Van Loan joined us with his response to this report and how to square prisoners' rights with public safety and justice. He was in Ottawa.

Cellared Wine: Last Friday on The Current, we heard about wines that are labeled "Cellared in Canada". In British Columbia, these wines can be made entirely from foreign grapes and in Ontario the limit is seventy percent. So we went to the editor of the Oxford Companion on Wine, Jancis Robinson for her view on this practice.

Konrad Ejbich has been following the growing controversy over Cellared in Canada wines closely. He's a prominent Canadian wine journalist, and he got an interesting phone call after our story last week. Mr. Ejbich was with us in Toronto this morning to tell us about it.

Jane Goodall: Jane Goodall made herself famous through her intimate work with chimpanzees in Tanzania. But she has moved from world renowned primatologist ... to world renowned conservationist, as it became increasingly clear to her that the fate of animals facing extinction was closely tied to the fate of the environment. Last Friday Jane Goodall was in our Toronto studio and she spoke about changing our unsustainable lifestyle.

And after the interview was over, Ms. Goodall was waiting on the couches outside our studio for a few minutes. There were several very sorry looking plants by the couches and Ms. Goodall asked producer John Chipman for a watering can and a pair of scissors.

Well, thoroughly chastened, producer John Chipman has vowed to see if he can nurse our African Violet back to life. We're going to name it Jane. And we'll be posting monthly photos of it on our website to track its progress. The Current is all about accountability, even our own!

Request Count: We made requests this week for Industry Minister Tony Clement and Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan. Mr. Clement was not available. And as you heard a moment ago, Mr. Van Loan was available! So our total so far is up to 10 requests for cabinet ministers, and two interviews. That's two for 10. Check our main page on our website for updates every Thursday - scroll down to the bottom. Here's another link for Request Count.



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