Checking-In: Listener Response


We're talking survival today on Checking-In as we sort through emails, tweets, postings and rants ... From surviving North Korean prison camps ... to surviving adverse drug reactions from contraceptives ... to planetary survival.

Checking-In: Listener Response

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

Railway vs Pipeline: Public hearings continue on what impact the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline would have on communities between Edmonton and the BC coast. But yesterday, we heard about an alternate idea - transporting oil by rail.

We heard the pros and cons of the idea including the views of National Post columnist Diane Francis. She met with Matt Vickers, the CEO of the First Nations group proposing construction of a new rail line that would move the oil.

And then John Vanderweit of Canning, Nova Scotia sent us this:

Diane Francis is not a rational voice on this issue. There is a bigger picture, called survival of the planet. Selling oil to China and the US does nothing but perpetuate the death spiral we are in as a world community.

We also heard from Ron McKay on Twitter who says:

Very hard choices- but I vote for neither pipeline or rail. Carbon must now stay in the ground!

And Alex Tetreault tweeted this:

It seems like it would bypass the specific issue of the pipeline, but many more issues - tankers, lack of real jobs - still remain.

Mali Intervention: Another big story dominating the headlines this week was the developing conflict in Mali where the fighting between rebel forces and government troops have caused a humanitarian crisis.

On Tuesday we asked if and how Canada should be intervening in Mali. That was following the announcement that Canada would be sending a military transport aircraft to Mali to assist the French. We talked to Adam Nossiter, the West and Central Africa Bureau Chief for The New York Times, and he spoke about the increase in refugees into Mali's capital city, Bamako.

Now, World Vision is calling on the international community to help people fleeing the violence. To talk more about that, we were joined by Chance Briggs, the Director of World Vision Mali. He was in Bamako, Mali.

Minimal Risk Documentary: Doctors always inform us of the risk in taking pharmaceuticals, but for many of us, those warnings really feel as though they are for someone else. But yesterday, we heard the story of 24-year-old Sarah Buzak , who came to realize she was part of that statistical minority those warning labels are aimed at.

Then we heard from Marnie Kerr in Whitby, Ontario who shared this:

Four years ago, I had classic symptoms of a blood clot and was misdiagnosed by a number of medical professionals. I ended up in the hospital with a blood clot in my lung. I was very lucky that I survived. I was just over 40 and had recently gone on the birth control pill.
What I have learned from this is not to ignore my pain and be persistent with doctors.

And we aired one more view from our voicemail.

Medical Bias: Staying on the medical beat ... Medical journals such as The Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine contain the kind of information medical professionals rely on. But a new study from the University of Toronto's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre suggests the information in medical journals is not as reliable as it should be. The study looked at trials for breast cancer treatments and found results were often shaded in a more positive light by researchers.

And then we heard from Martin Harvey of Calgary who had this to say:

This is a failure of leadership from Health Canada. It is the ultimate gatekeeper for new medications being licensed in Canada. It should not be beyond its powers to state that medications will not enter the Canadian market without a full disclosure of ALL clinical trial data to be analyzed.

Larissa Shamseer works at the Ottawa Hospital Institute and she shares these thoughts:

One of the biggest problems was left untouched by your discussion - the broken, ineffective peer review system, in which the Canadian public has so much, unwarranted faith. There is currently no evidence that this system is effective.

UN North Korean Human Rights Inquiry: We started this segment with a clip from Shin Dong Hyuk, the only person known to have been born in a North Korean prison camp and escape. Shin told Anna Maria his disturbing and - almost unbelievable story -- in May, 2012.

This week, the U.N.'s top human rights official condemned the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for human rights violations. High Commissioner Navi Pillay made a public appeal, calling for an inquiry into North Korea's human rights record.

To talk more about the U.N.'s call to action we were joined by Rupert Colville, spokesperson for Navi Pillay. He was in Geneva.

If you have something to say, we want to hear it. You can tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or post on our Facebook page. And you can call day or night, toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. Go to our website to email us, download the podcast or write to us via Canada Post - Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins and Carole Ito.

Last Word - Doping

Former sports hero Lance Armstrong appears on the Oprah Winfrey show today to apparently offer an apology for all the years he doped and denied doing so. It was an almost superhuman feat of fraud, and this week on The Daily show, they joked about how such a thing was even possible.

British gold medallist Nicole Cooke lamented this week that not only did Lance Armstrong deprive honest athletes of careers, fellow cheaters such as U.S. cyclist Tyler Hamilton even profited on the way down by selling books about those years of deception.

When the Americans were winning the Tour de France, fawning TV documentaries recorded their thoughts on the Love of Sport and the Glory of Competition. Listening to them now, it's a wonder they didn't overdose on the fraudulax. Last Word today goes to some really poor sports.

Other segments from today's show:

Algerian hostage-taking & gas plant raid (Central Time Zone and West)

Ethical Hacking: Should good intentions get special protection from prosecution? (Atlantic & Eastern Time Zone)

Make room in the workplace for people with Autism

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