10th Anniversary Interview: Monique Lepine

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With the New Year underway, another painful anniversary has passed for Monique Lepine. At the beginning of December in 1989, her son Marc shot and killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. The shock and horror of that day sparked a nationwide debate about guns, gun control and violence against women. Today we replay Anna Maria's interview with Monique Lepine - how she tried to make sense of what her son had done.



Mail: Elephant Poaching

We hope our listeners have been enjoying the holidays, but a story we reported on this week really seems to have worked many people up.

Tens of thousands of African elephants are slaughtered every year... some estimate more than 100 are poached each day in Africa. They're being killed for their ivory... which is turned into trinkets, chopsticks and jewelry for tourists in Asia and the emerging middle class in China.

Yesterday, we heard from a park ranger in Kenya about how 2012 may be the worst year on record for Kenya's elephants. We also heard how more ivory was seized in 2011than ever before.

Those interviews brought this reaction... first from Fiona Old in White Rock, BC.

Thank you for the update on the age old issue of the human lust for ivory. It is partly an issue of poverty in African countries.
A foundation has had success in stopping elephant poaching in North Luangua Park in Botswana. They hunted the poachers and then gave them alternative employment by starting cottage industries - like producing flax oil, opening clinics and building schools.
In the West, we could be a lot less protectionist so that African countries could get better prices for their products on the world market, thus reducing a desperate aspect of poaching.
It seems that the elephants are leaving the planet because we humans are too barbaric to live with.

And this optimistic tweet came from Lindelwa Coyle.

I hope this will be the year to stop this unbelievable practice.

Have something to say? Email us from our website. You can tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or call us toll free 1 877 287 7366.

Music Bridge

Artist: Avanti
Cd: Ramblin' Ambassadors
Cut: # 1, Sixty Seconds to What
Label: Mint
Spine: MRO 067

10th Anniversary Interview: Monique Lepine

On December 6th, 1989, a man who believed women had ruined his life, ended the lives of fourteen women at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnic. Most were engineering students, one a nursing student, one a faculty member.

After twenty minutes of incomprehensible mayhem, the man turned his rifle on himself . Even now, few Canadians can think of the Montreal massacre without feeling despair over young lives lost and hopes unfulfilled.

In the fall of 2008, Anna Maria Tremonti spoke with a woman who's own despair is profound. Monique Lepine spent years trying to make sense of her son's rampage, Her conversation with Anna Maria was challenging, revealing and brutally honest.

And as we look at The Current's 10th anniversary on the air, it remains one of the most remarkable conversations we've broadcast.

Anna Maria on Monique Lepine

Monique Lepine is the mother of the man who killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in1989. That interview first aired in the fall of 2008. Lepine's memoir is called Aftermath.

The Current marks its tenth anniversary on the air this season by rebroadcasting our ten favourite interviews. You can find them on our website, along with an interactive time-line and behind the scenes stories... Stories like this one.

Music Bridge

Artist: Steve Dawson
Cd: We Belong to the Gold Coast
Cut: # 3, Slip By
Label: Black Hen
Spine: BHCD 0030

Robert Croke Promo

Tomorrow on The Current, we'll bring you another of the top ten interviews ... Anna Maria Tremonti's interview with Robert Croke, a Canadian oil worker from Newfoundland who was kidnapped and held for ransom while working on a rig off the coast of Nigeria.

You can hear all of Anna Maria's interview with Robert Croke tomorrow.

Last Word - David Attenborough

We've been talking today about US journalist Paul Salopek's plan to walk out of Africa --retracing the footsteps of our ancestors who marched out so long ago.
Tracking ancient journeys can be exciting, but you have to be very careful about not jumping to conclusions.

On one of his BBC radio Life Stories programs, Naturalist David Attenborough recalled a story about the fossilized footprints of long dead dinosaurs.

On today's Last Word, he suggests even the trails of the extinct animals retain the power to terrify.


Other segments from today's show:

Who will run Venezuela after Hugo Chavez?

Following the footsteps of humanity's ancestors: Paul Salopek

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