February 17, 2010

Pt 1: Women's Hockey-We started this segment with the sound of one of 18 goals scored by Canada's women's hockey team in a humiliating shutout of Team Slovakia on Saturday. The women's gold medal game won't take place until next Thursday, but you don't have to have a crystal ball to predict which teams will face off there: Canada and the United States. And that's the way its pretty much been for the sport's twelve year Olympic history.


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Pt 2: Manulife Financial - We started this segment with a clip from a corporate video from the Canadian life insurance giant Manulife Financial. And as you just heard... it has an upbeat, and proud view of its role as a corporate citizen. And as Wall Street was rocked by the economic shocks of investment bank failures and teetering corporate giants like the American insurance giant AIG, Manulife seemed pretty sound.

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Pt 3: Gay Underground Uganda - Uganda's parliament is about to debate its notorious 'anti-gay' law ... a law that would make homosexuality a capital crime in some instances. The law also makes it illegal for Ugandans not to inform on people they believe are gay.

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Special Edition of The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti in Vancouver

It's Wednesday, February 17th.

The Canadian Olympic Women's Hockey Team is dominating the sport so fiercely, some pundits think the Games should consider a mercy rule.

Currently, they're also considering a mercy rule at Cypress Mountain. Against NATURE.

This is the Current.

Women's Hockey - Sports Columnist

We started this segment with the sound of one of 18 goals scored by Canada's women's hockey team in a humiliating shutout of Team Slovakia on Saturday.
The women's gold medal game won't take place until next Thursday, but you don't have to have a crystal ball to predict which teams will face off there: Canada and the United States. And that's the way its pretty much been for the sport's twelve year Olympic history.

While there are eight woment's hockey teams vying for gold at the Olympics, no other country comes close to the North Americans. And the shellacking of the Slovak team has brought into sharp focus this international talent imbalance on the ice.

We aired a clip with what Hayley Wickenheiser, the captain of the Canadian Women's Hockey Team, had to say right after the win.

Zuzana Tomcikova is the Slovakian goalie Wickenheiser was talking about. Despite the defeat, Tomcikova says there is much she can learn from the match. We heard from her after losing 18-nothing against Canada.

*** Both of the above clips are courtesy of NBC's Olympic coverage ***

For the winning team, giving your opponent a good thrashing may be satisfying in the moment. But according to our next guest, it is not always good for the sport in the long run. Filip Bondy is a sports columnist with the New York Daily News. His new book, Chasing the Game: America and the Quest for the World Cup will be published in April. He was in Vancouver.

Women's Hockey - Thesese Brisson

Some might wonder what a team as overmatched as Slovakia was doing in the Olympics in the first place. Well, Slovakia qualified in part by beating Bulgaria -- 82 to nothing. So even within the lower echelons of international women's hockey, there's a great deal of disparity.

So for her thoughts on the subject, we were joined by a former stalwart of Canada's women's hockey team. Therese Brisson played defence when she won a silver medal with Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics and then gold at the 2002 Games. We reached Therese Brisson at her office in Mississauga, Ontario this morning.


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Manulife Financial - Tedesco

We started this segment with a clip from a corporate video from the Canadian life insurance giant Manulife Financial. And as you just heard... it has an upbeat, and proud view of its role as a corporate citizen. And as Wall Street was rocked by the economic shocks of investment bank failures and teetering corporate giants like the American insurance giant AIG, Manulife seemed pretty sound.

Yet, according to our next guest, behind the scenes a tense drama was being played out involving Manulife Financial. Theresa Tedesco is the Chief Business Correspondent for the National Post. She broke the story of how Manulife faced one of its biggest challenges. She joined us in our Toronto studio.

We asked Manulife if it wanted to appear on - or provide a comment - to the Current. A spokesperson for Manulife, said they could not confirm or deny this story... they did say that any dealings between a life insurance company and the OSFI are mandated by law to be kept confidential and that they, therefore, will not be able to comment.

Manulife Financial - Investment Banker

Well, one of the issues that has come out of the Manulife story is about transparency. As you just heard, the Manulife Board of Directors is prohibited by law from revealing anything about their interaction with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. And that raises a lot of interesting questions about the right of shareholders to know what is going with their corporations.

And of course the epicentre of the global economic meltdown last year was Wall Street. As you just heard part of Manulife's woe was caused when those Wall Street firms dragged down the economy when their bad bets finally caught up with them. John Gillespie knows a lot about how directorships work. He was an investment banker for eighteen years with Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns and is the co-author of the new book Money For Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions. He was in New York City.


Listen to Part Two:

 


Gay Underground Uganda

Uganda's parliament is about to debate its notorious 'anti-gay' law ... a law that would make homosexuality a capital crime in some instances. The law also makes it illegal for Ugandans not to inform on people they believe are gay.

World leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama have spoken out against the bill. And before we continue, I just need to warn our listeners that there is some explicit sexual language in our next report.

We've been covering this story here at The Current, but so far, we've heard very little from Uganda's gay community. To provide a window into this world, we reached Kaj Hasselriis. He's a freelance journalist from Winnipeg who is in Uganda right now. He's writing a series of articles on Uganda's gay community for the gay and lesbian news website, Xtra.ca. He was in Kampala, Uganda.


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