Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | Categories: Episodes
It's Tuesday November 4th.
Gold medal winning snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, who had his medal briefly rescinded when he tested positive for marijuana during the 1998 games, will be carrying the Olympic torch as it makes its way to Whistler.
Currently ... The Olympic committe insists this is not a tokin' gesture.
This is the Current.
We started this segment with part of a Conservative party ad taking aim at Canada's controversial gun registry - the Canadian Firearms program.
The aim: influence MPs voting on a private member's bill today in Parliament. And NDP member of parliament Charlie Angus is one of seventeen opposition MPs in the crosshairs.
All the Conservatives need is support of between seven and ten opposition MPs for the bill to pass second reading. The Canadian registry did not come cheap. Over the past 14 years the Canadian Firearms program cost taxpayers over $2 billion dollars.
The goal of the program, according to its website was to reduce death, injury and threat from firearms. That's what we were supposed to be buying but what we actually purchased is a little less clear. Statistics Canada could only shed so much light on our query. We heard from Mia Dauvergne, a senior analyst with Statistics Canada.
Even those who would like to study the cause and effect of the gun registry say finding those figures is nearly impossible. Antoon Leenaars is a psychologist who has examined gun control for decades. We heard from him.
On the other hand, some would argue that there is no relationship between gun crime and the gun registry - so asking if we got our money's worth is a moot point. Ron Melchers is professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa. We heard from him.
Gun Registry - Panel
So, it's a little unclear if all that cash pumped into the registry helped make Canadians all that much safer from gun violence. Now, let's say the government had another 2 billion and change to spend on trying to cut-down on gun violence and other violent crime, how would you spend it?
Mark Totten is the President of Totten and Associates and is currently working on projects in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Toronto aimed at reducing gang violence. He was in Ottawa. And with him in our Ottawa studio was Irvin Waller. He is a professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. He is also the author of the book, Less Law - More Order. And joining them on the phone was Alison Redford, Attorney General and Alberta's Minister of Justice. She was in Edmonton.
Listen to Part One:
War in the Country - Part One
There's a war in the country, according to Thomas Pawlick. He's an author and journalist who says the family farm is under siege from corporate agriculture, government policy and indifferent urbanites. At stake is the quality of our food and the foundation of life in rural Canada. We went to visit Thomas Pawlick at his farm in Eastern Ontario to talk about his new book, The War In The Country and dropped in on a couple of farms that represent a new face and new hope for family farming.
Listen to Part Two:
We continued our conversation with Thomas Pawlick, author of the War in the Country ... a book about the decline of family farms and rural Canada. We spoke with him on his farm in Marlbank, Ontario.
War in the Country - Pellerin
Well, Laurent Pellerin has been listening to our discussion of the family farm and rural Canada. He's a hog farmer near Trois Rivieres, Quebec. He's also the president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and in that capacity, he represents the interests of factory farms and small family farmers alike. He joined us from Ottawa.
We will be following up with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to get its response to Thomas Pawlick's argument that the government favours factory farming over family farms and that it's planning for the phasing out of some small towns.
Listen to Part Three: