January 15, 2010

Pt 1: Haitian Refugees - In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Ottawa is looking at a range of options that would make it easier for more Haitians to come to Canada. That could mean waiving fees or speeding up applications for family reunification. But so far, the federal government is still considering its options.

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Pt 2: Poppies- Like many Canadian farmers, Martin Wiebe has learned to be resourceful and flexible. But that's still no guarantee of success. And Martin Wiebe thinks he knows just what that shining star might be. He's just not allowed to grow it yet. But now a company called API Labs in Lethbridge, Alberta hopes to change all that. Its trying to get permission to introduce poppy farming to Canada. And Martin Wiebe thinks a lot of farmers would get on board if it could.

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Pt 3: Pope Pius XII -We started this segment with a clip of Pope Pius the Twelfth. He's speaking to a group of allied soldiers in Rome at the end of World War Two back in 1945. He was the Pope through the entire war. And his record from those days has been in dispute ever since. Some have venerated him for doing everything in his power to minimize the number of Jews killed by Nazis during the Holocaust.

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Today's guest host was Rick MacInnes-Rae.

It's Friday, January 15th.

Sarah Palin made her debut as a commentator on Fox News earlier this week.

Currently, We now return you to your regularly scheduled program of spoon-fed, liberal pap.

This is The Current.

Haitian Refugees - Coderre

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Ottawa is looking at a range of options that would make it easier for more Haitians to come to Canada. That could mean waiving fees or speeding up applications for family reunification. But so far, the federal government is still considering its options.

Denis Coderre has been involved in the negotiations over the federal government's plans. He's a Liberal MP for Bourassa riding for Montreal, part of the Haitian diaspora.

The Federal Government has a number of options in cases such as this. But there are also plenty of complicating factors. So we asked Peter Showler for his thoughts on what Canada should be considering. He's the Director of the Refugee Forum at the University of Ottawa Law School. We aired a clip with what he had to say.

Haitian Refugees - Resettlement

There are more than 100-thousand Haitian-Canadians living in Montreal. So any new influx of immigrants and refugees from Haiti would likely be centred there. Marjorie Villefranche is the Program Director of La Maison d'Haiti, a community centre that helps refugees and immigrants resettle in Montreal.

Music Bridge

Artist: Thievery Corporation
Cut: CD3 Indra
CD: Mirror Conspiracy
Label: 4AD
Spine: CAD2K


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Poppies

Like many Canadian farmers, Martin Wiebe has learned to be resourceful and flexible. But that's still no guarantee of success. And Martin Wiebe thinks he knows just what that shining star might be. He's just not allowed to grow it yet. But now a company called API Labs in Lethbridge, Alberta hopes to change all that. Its trying to get permission to introduce poppy farming to Canada. And Martin Wiebe thinks a lot of farmers would get on board if it could.

Now the idea is that the poppies would be produced for the pharmaceutical industry, as a raw ingredient in legal pain medication. Glen Metzler is one of the people behind the proposal. He is the Managing Director of API Labs and he was in Lethbridge.

The Current contacted Health Canada. But we were told that for privacy reasons, the agency won't comment on the status of any proposal before a final decision has been made. When we asked if any other such licenses had been issued in Canada, we received this written response. It reads:

Health Canada does not disclose information regarding licenses that have been issued under section 67 of the Narcotics Control Regulations. Opium poppy is subject to control under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, regardless of the morphine content.

Poppies - Economist

This isn't the first time farmers have pinned their hopes on a new crop. Some were successful. Others ... not so much. For some perspective on the poppy proposal, we were joined by Richard Gray. He teaches agricultural economics at the University of Saskatchewan and he was in Saskatoon.


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Pope Pius XII - Reporter

We started this segment with a clip of Pope Pius the Twelfth. He's speaking to a group of allied soldiers in Rome at the end of World War Two back in 1945. He was the Pope through the entire war. And his record from those days has been in dispute ever since. Some have venerated him for doing everything in his power to minimize the number of Jews killed by Nazis during the Holocaust.

But others say his silence and inaction, belied a lingering anti-semitism. The debate endures in part, because The Vatican's refused to release its archives from the time. Its come into sharp focus once again now that Pope Benedict the Sixteenth has granted the late Pope Pius the title of "venerable" ... something that moves him one step closer to sainthood. For many the issue will be top-of-mind when Pope Benedict makes his first visit to Rome's Jewish Synagogue this Sunday.

For a sense of what's at stake in this story, we were joined by John Allen. He's the Vatican Correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter and he was in Denver this morning.

Pope Pius XII - Panel

Our next guests have both worked tirelessly to forge a positive relationship between the Jewish and Christian faiths. But they have different ideas about how Pope Pius the twelfth's record fits into those efforts.

Eugene Fisher is a retired Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He's was just outside Washington, DC. And Rabbi Eric Greenberg is the Director of Interfaith Policy at the Anti-Defamation League. He was in New York City.

Last Word

The first Canadian evacuees of Haiti have arrived back in this country. Emerson Oram of Glovertown, Newfoundland, escaped with his son from Port Au Prince late yesterday. They were in the country on business. Mr. Oram shared his account of his experience to Leanne Power of CBC Gander from Montreal last night. We ended the program with this.


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