Checking-In: Bill C-31, Mario Gutierrez and grades

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Failing grades, failing racehorses and failing the environment. It sounds as if a lot has gone wrong. We check in with our listeners for some of their thoughts on the stories of the week.


Part Two of The Current

Checking-In: Bill C-31, Mario Gutierrez and grades

Some of the stories of the week that caught your attention... and got you hitting your keyboards. And to help Anna Maria work through your emails, The Fifth Estate co-host Gillian Findlay joined her in studio.

Marking Grades

Report cards and school have traditionally gone hand in hand ... but the value of grading students has always been contentious. Tuesday on the program, we graded grading.

Dieter Brueckner of Kingston, Ontario responded:

John Long sees schooling merely as a process of delivering "useful and productive members of society". Education is supposed to be a "drawing-out", not the "cramming-in" it has become. This is accompanied by the obsessive measurement of how well one school stacks up against another, with no attention paid to the happiness of children.

Reid Sigsworth is a Grade 11 student and writes from Verona, Ontario:

The possibility of getting rid of grades is a bad idea. For many high school students, this would take away from the importance of school. Many students value school for how it will help them get a good job. It is important that student are prepared for the competitive world that awaits them after school.

Mario Gutierrez and I'll Have Another

We spoke with Mario Gutierrez about his bond with I'll Have Another last week on The Current. But one day before Saturday's Belmont Stake's race, the unthinkable happened. I'll Have Another was scratched because he was suffering from tendinitis. He has now been retired from racing... and faces a future as a profitable stud horse.

But Mario Gutierriez is far from retirement. We reached him in Los Angeles.

Bill C-38

Bill C38 was debated but it's a mere formality as the Conservative majority will ensure the omnibus bill's passage. At 425 pages, the bill doesn't just lay out cuts and spending... it makes changes to everything from Employment Insurance to fisheries regulations. We broke down the crowded omnibus on Tuesday's show.

With all the Parliament Hill focus on Bill C-38, less attention was given to the passage of Bill C-31, also known as the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says the Roma people appear to be high on the list of those making what he calls bogus refugee claims - and were part of the motivation behind the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act.

Under that act, which cleared the house of commons earlier this week, Kenney will be able to create a list of "safe" democratic countries that are unlikely to produce refugees - making it much harder for someone from one of those countries to gain asylum.

Gina Csanyi-Robah is the executive director of the Roma Community Centre in Toronto. Her work in advocating for Roma asylum seekers was recognized earlier this month with a Queen Elizabeht II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was in Toronto.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Carole Ito and Pedro Sanchez.

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