Today's guest host was Jan Wong.
It's Friday, October 2nd.
The Federal Government has been forced to buy back nearly 100,000 dollars worth of antiques that were accidentally auctioned off.
Currently, still missing are the blueprints for a disciplined and ideologically coherent version of the Liberal Party of Canada.
This is The Current.
We started this segment with some voices of newcomers to Canada at an English class in Toronto. The questions we asked them were similar to the ones Canadian officials put to Suaad Hagi Mohamud when they were trying to determine if she was who she said she was. And the question we're left with now is whether it's fair to assume that there is a common set of cultural reference points that all -- or even most -- Canadians share.
For their thoughts on that question, we were joined by three people. Izumi Sakamoto is a professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Nick Noorani is the publisher of Canadian Immigrant Magazine. And Debbie Douglas is the Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.
Egg on Mao
China's military might was on full display yesterday. Nearly 200,000 people took part in the pageantry, including soldiers marching in mathematical precision and school children releasing thousands of balloons into a perfect, cloudless, blue sky. It's the sort of thing China's Communist Party does once a decade to celebrate China's national day.
The focus of this year's extravaganza is "The New China" ... meaning the China Mao Zedong created when he proclaimed the People's Republic ... 60 years ago yesterday. As part of the celebrations, a new portrait of Mao Zedong was hung on the rostrum overlooking Tiananmen Square. That moment no doubt sparked bitter memories for Lu Decheng.
Twenty years ago, his life changed forever when he and two friends lobbed paint-filled eggs at Mao's iconic portrait in Tiananmen Square. Lu Decheng wasn't one of the student demonstrators. But he felt compelled to join the protests. And in the end, it was the students who turned him over to police.
Lu Decheng spent nine years in a Chinese jail and lost all contact with his first wife and daughter. In 2006, he came to Canada as a refugee and he now lives in Calgary. His story is told in a new book called Egg on Mao: The Story of an Ordinary Man Who Defaced an Icon and Unmasked a Dictatorship. Denise Chong is the author of the book. And we spoke to her and Lu Decheng yesterday, with the help of a translator. She was in Ottawa.
We started this segment with a clip of legendary economist Milton Friedman at the height of his powers in 1979. And the idea that self-interest, greed and even a little ruthlessness will get you ahead is still a powerful one. But according to Frans de Waal, when you look at human beings as a species, the warm and fuzzy stuff matters ... a lot.
Frans de Waal is one of the world's leading primatologists. He's known for his ground-breaking research on what humans can learn from the power games played by chimpanzees. And now, he has turned his attention to the role that empathy plays in animal and human survival.
Frans de Waal is the Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University. His latest book is The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society. He was in Toronto.
Last Word - The Fifth Estate
Tonight at 9 o'clock -- 9:30 in Newfoundland and parts of Labrador -- CBC Television's The Fifth Estate will have a story that goes behind the headlines of the crisis with the Big Three auto-makers and follows the workers at an auto-parts plant in Niagara Falls as they struggle to get the severance pay they are legally entitled to -- but that the company says it just doesn't have. We aired a preview with host Linden MacIntyre.