Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
Pt 1: Assisted Suicide - The Quebec Legislative Assembly has launched public hearings into assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is illegal in Canada. But the hearings are expected to renew the debate over a divisive and emotional issue. (Read More)
Pt 2: Iman Kate Update - Iman Kate and her two children escaped the Iraq war. They out-ran an abusive relative and thanks to the kindness of strangers, they made it safely to a new life in Canada. But now they face a whole new set of challenges. Find out how they're doing. (Read More)
Pt 3: Centenarians - Centenarians (people over the age of 100) are one of the fastest growing age demographics in Canada. And that many people... living that much longer than they probably planned for ... has consequences for us all. Meet two members of one of the fastest growing demographics in Canada. (Read More)
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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow
It's Wednesday, September 8th.
Russian skaters have been added to the coming season of Battle of the Blades.
Currently, there are still no plans to add Russian judges.
This is The Current.
Assisted Suicide - Panel
We started this segment with a clip from Louise Labarre. She lives in Granby, Quebec. And as her province has plunged back into an emotional debate over assisted suicide, she and her boyfriend Jacques are confronting it head on.
The debate over assisted suicide has been renewed because the Quebec legislature has set up a commission that is holding public hearings on the issue. The hearings began yesterday. And the debate is proving to be both emotional and divisive. Ghislain Leblond and Rhonda Wiebe each have very personal stakes in the debate.
Ghislain Leblond has a neuromuscular degenerative disease. And he believes that if and when he chooses to die, he should have the right to ask for help. He was in Quebec City. Rhonda Wiebe believes assisted suicide should remain illegal. She is the Co-Chair of the Ending of Life's Ethics Committee with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. She too lives with disabilities. And she was in Winnipeg.
Assisted Suicide - Geoff Kelley
At some point, Geoff Kelley will have to take those arguments and come to some kind of conclusion about what Quebec's policy on assisted suicide should be. He is the Chair of the Quebec Legislature's Select Committee on Dying with Dignity. He sits with the governing Liberals and he was in Montreal.
Iman Kate Update - Talk Tape
It was one of those moments that brought a few people together - by chance - and has been unfolding ever since. Three years ago, we sent producer John Chipman to Damascus to bring us the story of the one million Iraqi refugees who had fled the war and were crowding into the Syrian capital.
That was where he met a single mom and her teenage twins. And their story created a chain reaction that led to three war-ravaged individuals making their way to Canada. They arrived here hoping to leave their problems behind, but it is never that simple.
So many things have changed from that first moment in Damascus, when Iman Kate began that first conversation with John in December of 2007.
John Chipman is a producer with The Current and joined Anna Maria in studio to give us an update.
Centenarians - Panel
We started this segment with a clip of Vera Tyler. She's 103 years old. And every Wednesday, she gets into a taxi and heads to the local seniors' centre to play euchre with some friends.
Last year, there were about 6,000 centenarians in Canada. And that number is expected to triple -- maybe even quadruple -- over the next twenty years. That makes centenarians one of the fastest growing age demographics in the country.
And Vera Tyler isn't the only highly active centenarian in Canada. We also heard from Jaring Timmerman, along with his physiotherapist Ben Trunzo. Jaring is 101. He lives in Winnipeg. He began swimming 20 years ago -- after he turned 80. Since then, he has broken four world records in the 100 to 104 age category. His swimming is temporarily on hold while he recovers from knee surgery. But according to his therapist, he's making progress.
The idea of living to a hundred isn't something many of us consider, let alone plan for. But it may be time to focus because while living longer may be something to celebrate, there are significant consequences for everyone.
So this morning, as part of Shift, our focus on the demographic changes altering the country, we're talking about the consequences of living into the eleventh decade. Vera Tyler was in our Toronto studio. And Jaring Timmerman was in Winnipeg.
Centenarians - Laura Watts
Laura Watts is paying close attention to what Canada's demographic trends mean for seniors. She is the National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law. It is an organization that focuses on issues of law and aging in Canada. And she happens to be in Apia, Samoa this morning.
Last Word - 100 at 100
We ended the program with a request. We heard from 103 year old Vera Tyler and 101 year old Jaring Timmerman. Not everyone that age can celebrate such health but there are about 6,000 Canadians now over the age of 100. And over the next year we want to speak to at least 98 more ... 100 people over 100.
Centenarians represent a growing demographic in Canada. But we don't often hear their voices or their issues or their thoughts. And we at The Current want to change that. So if you have a centenarian in your family or if you are a centenarian, let us know.
Call us toll free at 1 877 287 7366. To e-mail us, go to our website. Tweet us on Twitter, where we are TheCurrentCBC. We're on Facebook too. Or send us a letter to Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6.
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