Sept 16/10 - Pt 3: Letters

It's mail day. We hear your thoughts on testing teachers and taking the measure of Michael Ignatieff. Plus, we talk to a woman in Saskatoon who is trying to reduce the rising number of young aboriginal women who end up with HIV-AIDS.



It's Thursday. That's mail day at The Current and our Friday host, CBC Television's Ian Hanomansing joined Anna Maria from Vancouver to help with the mail.

Saskatoon: Earlier this week, The Current was in Saskatoon as part of Shift, our project tracking demographic changes in Canada and around the world. Tuesday on The Current, we looked at how gang populations are reflected in the demographics of those who are incarcerated. An estimated eighty-five percent of inmates in the Saskatchewan Correctional Centre, a provincial jail, are of aboriginal descent. Half of them are gang members. One of the people we heard from was Dwayne Sa-sacamoose, newly released from the federal Sask Penn, a former member of The Indian Posse. He described his original attraction to gang life.

We read one letter from Diane Reid of Saskatoon. In terms of First Nations people trying to create hopeful futures, she could have been talking about Margaret Aiken. She's the Chief Executive Officer of the All Nations Hope Network. And she's fighting to combat the the extraordinary HIV/AIDS rates found among Saskatchewan's First Nations youth, especially young woman, some of them pregnant. Anna Maria spoke to Margaret Akin when we were in Saskatoon. And asked her for her thoughts on statistics which point to an epidemic in her community.

While in Saskatoon, we also heard from Eric Howe, an economist at the University of Saskatchewan when in Saskatoon. Here shared his thoughts about First Nations employment numbers. And the government of Saskatchewan was listening. Last night we received a letter from Saskatchewan's Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration, Rob Norris. And we shared some of that letter.

Grading Teachers: It's mid-September and the school routines are falling into place. But if your child is stuck with a teacher you feel is less than competent, you might feel like filling out your own report card on that teacher. Yesterday on The Current, we put that debate to the test. And our inbox was bombarded with mail on testing teachers. We shared a few of those points of view on air.

Michael Ignatieff: Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff has spent the summer touring the country ... making an effort to connect with average Canadians. And last week on the program, we caught up with the Liberal leader in Yellowknife. Our listeners had their own thoughts to add to this discussion in our mail.

Centenarians: Finally this morning ... The Current is focusing its attention this season on the stories behind Canada's shifting demographics. Among other things, we've been introducing you to Canadian centenarians ... members of one of the fastest growing demographic age groups in Canada. This morning, we have a story about a young musician who experienced a demographic shift of his own, all because of one song. David Myles was in Fredericton. We ended our letters segment with a little bit of David Myles' song, When it Comes My Turn.

We love hearing from you with what you have to say so please get in touch with us. Write us, call us, tweet us, find us on Facebook or send us a letter.

Last Word - Centenarian # 4

We ended the program today with a conversation Anna Maria had with Elizabeth Ann Barlow Libke. She's a robust 102 years old. Anna Maria had a chance to speak with her while we were in Saskatoon earlier this week. And she is the fourth centenarian we have had on The Current so far this season. Our goal -- as you might have heard us mention -- is to talk to 100 people over the age of 100 between now and next summer.

They're voices we don't often hear. And they belong to one of the fastest growing demographic age groups in the country. So if you know someone over 100 that you think we should talk to, let us know.

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