Checking-In: Listener Response

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All In and All Over. From the email trail that ensnared two Generals a biographer and a socialite to the video of an incarcerated teen that enraged so many Canadians, we're following up on stories of the week and sorting through emails, voicemails and tweets. Also today, we look at endangered racehorses. The changes by the OLG to terminate slot revenues to the horse industry has resulted in lower prices for horses and the purses at races are making it economically unfeasible for horse owners to continue their business.



Checking-In: Listener Response

Our Executive Producer, Jennifer Moroz joined Anna Maria in studio to check in with what you've had to say.

Mental Health in Prisons: We started this week with a program on the issues of mental health in the prison system raised by the case of Ashley Smith, the troubled teen who strangled herself at Kitchener's Grand valley Institution for Women.

We heard from a lot of people within the prison and did request that someone from the union representing correctional officers join us. They were not able to join us on Monday, but Jason Godin joins us today.

Jason Godin worked as a correctional officer for over 20 years in places such as the Kingston penitentiary and the Millhaven Institution. He is now the Ontario Region President for the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. We reached him in Ottawa this morning.

Jason Godin is the Ontario Region President for the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers.

Jason Godin mentioned two reports that his union has put out as result of the Ashley Smith case. Here are the links:

Correctional Officers Reports: New National Strategy for High-Risk Women (PDF)

A Rush to Judgment (PDF)

Petraeus Scandal: It was a dramatic fall from grace for David Petraeus. The well-respected general turned CIA director resigned after admitting to an adulterous affair, despite the fact that the FBI concluded the affair raised no criminal or security concerns.

Since then, the sex scandal has moved to include a wealthy Florida socialite and General John Allen - the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. On Tuesday's program we asked whether the resignation was necessary.

Pat Letendre tweeted this:

General Petraeus had to leave. He's a soldier at heart and adultery is illegal under military law.

Hugh Paul of Calgary emailed us this:

If all the members of government were vetted for "affairs", we would lose a large percentage of them. As long as it's not illegal or a breach of security, it's none of the public's business.

One of the voices we heard on Tuesday was Susan Reimer, columnist for the Baltimore Sun. She argued that since David Petraeus had broken no laws or breached security, he shouldn't have to resign. We played a comment from our voicemail.

Racehorses: In April the we told you about a decision by the Ontario government to end a funding arrangement that pumped millions of dollars into the horse race industry through slot machines at the province's racetracks. Those within the industry warned that those changes would put thousands out of work, and place the sport's international reputation in jeopardy.

Robert King is the Executive Director of the Jockeys Benefit Association of Canada and he told us what the slots meant for horse racing at the Woodbine Race Track.

At the time there were concerns the cuts to funding would result in the killing of thousands of horses. Six months later, we may be starting to see the impact of the cuts.

Last month, eight horses and five severely neglected ponies were rescued in Durham Region, Ontario. Debbie Houghton is an investigator at the Durham Region Humane Society.

Glenn Sikura is the president of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society and the owner of Hill 'n' Dale Farms. We reached him at his stable in Aurora, Ontario.



Homestays: Almost a quarter million foreign students come to Canada to study each year. And many choose homestay accommodations. The quality of this experience varies widely for the students. And last Friday, we heard about some of the conflicts surrounding some allegations by homestay students attending Concordia University in Montreal.

After that story aired, Concordia University told us it has been working on several fronts to address the concerns raised in our story. The University is reviewing how it recruits students in China. It is also started a consultation process with foreign students and student leaders to see how it can address individual complaints.

The university has also partnered with the Chinese Family Services in Montreal to liase with the students in Mandarin so their concerns can be more easily addressed.

Auschwitz Tattoos: A couple of weeks ago, we brought you a story about a new movement in tattooing. These tattoos have particular meaning for the young people who get them, because the tattoo is a replica of the numbers tattooed on relatives sent to Nazi concentration camps.

The story prompted a lot of response, including from Su Fitterman of Vancouver. She wrote to tell us about her mother-in-law, Else Krieger Zimmerspitz Dunner. Su writes:

Else was a native of Bielsko, Poland - and a newlywed living in Krakow when the war broke out. After both her mother and husband were murdered at Auschwitz , Else found herself on Schindler's List thanks to a cousin.
The women knew they were going to have to go through Auschwitz en route to Czechoslovakia. They were there for six weeks, not long enough to have their arms tattooed, but long enough to receive a number stamped on a piece of burlap.
Else survived Auschwitz and was liberated in Czechoslovakia. From that day forward she carried that number on burlap wherever she went.
When she died peacefully in her sleep, Else was surrounded by family and love - which for Else, was living proof of Hitler's defeat. Her piece of burlap with her number, 76493, was tucked in her purse on her bedside table. My husband has that piece of burlap now, and our family, like Else, considers it our lucky number. She survived. The Third Reich did not.

Thanks for sharing Else's story with us.

We have lots of ways to stay in touch. Call us toll free at 1 877 287 7366. Our Facebook page is facebook.com/cbcthecurrent. Or tweet us @thecurrentcbc.
You can email us from our website. And while you're there, don't forget to check out podcasts, photos and our special 10th anniversary site.

And don't forget we'll be celebrating our 10th Anniversary in front of a live studio audience on Monday, November 19th. We'll be joined on stage in Glenn Gould studio in Toronto with former diplomat and humanitarian Stephen Lewis; award-winning writer and doctor Dr. Vincent Lam; and Lorna Dueck, host of Context with Lorna Dueck, to discuss the dilemmas that define us as a nation. We'll also speak with Maher Arar and comedian and mental health activist Mary Walsh. If you can't join us, you can listen in as you always do, on CBC Radio one. Or watch our live streaming from Glenn Gould studio off our main page on our website.

Last Word - Barack Obama Skit

While Mitt Romney lost his bid for the White House, U.S. elections have been decided by much greater landslides. Steve Patterson, the host of CBC's The Debaters, wondered what might have happened if a few million people had cast their votes differently. On today's Last word, here's the letter Barack Obama might have written.


Other segment from today's show:

Communicating with patients in a vegetative state

ORNGE Helicopter Investigation: Kevin Donovan

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