Checking-In: Listener Response


Updating, Uploading and Upbraiding. We have your reaction to the stories we've been following from the mom playing The Heavy with her obese 7-year-old ... to the boss at BlackBerry, from the things that were said to the questions we should have asked. Thoughts, tweets, incredulity ... we look back on the stories of the week.

Checking-In with Friday host, Rick MacInnes-Rae

Rick MacInnes-Rae is an award winning journalist, long time host and broadcaster and he is our Friday host of The Current this week. Rick joined Anna Maria in studio for Checking-In.

The Heavy: On Monday we spoke with author Dara-Lynn Weiss about her new book The Heavy. It's the true story of her daughter Bea's struggle to lose weight. Bea was just 7-years-old, but at four foot four she weighed 93 pounds.

Her story got a lot of people writing in, including Joanne of Vancouver, who writes:

I listened to this conversation and interview with great interest. We also have a daughter (now grown) who has always been overweight. At 6 years of age, I took our daughter to a pediatrician for a thorough examination as she was twice the weight of her peers. Growth tests and tests for diabetes were done and all came back normal. I was criticized for even taking our daughter to a doctor for her weight issues as others felt that gave her a very wrong message. She's now 20 and extremely overweight So, while this mother seemed to be overbearing, I think good for her!!! I wish I had done more back in the days when I had the influence.

And Hazel Trego of Campbell River BC shared her story:

As a teacher and counsellor, I know that being overweight can certainly affect people psychologically, and I know that educating children about how to manage weight and health is important. This comes from personal experience. When I was eight years old and taking a variety of dance classes, my ballet teacher taught me a very valuable lesson. She explained that if I was to continue dancing I would have to manage my weight, and she gave me a simple formula: stop eating sugar and fried food. She gave me the advice with compassion and concern, with an eye on the future and I saw her as a knowledgeable mentor. Kids depend on adults in their lives for guidance and boundaries. Pampering inhibits their ability to learn their own limits.

BlackBerry: On Tuesday we spoke with Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins. It was the day the new BlackBerry 10 hit store shelves in Canada, and he was excited about what the new device was going to do for communication, and for the company formerly known as RIM. He also spoke about the importance of emerging markets in India and Asia.

And it's BlackBerry's activities in those countries that have Ron Deibert concerned. He's the Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. And he's also just been named to the Order of Ontario for his role as a leading expert on digital technology, security, and human rights. Ron Deibert was in Toronto.

We asked BlackBerry for a response to this interview. Their corporate public relations manager Chrystal Roberts sent us an e-mail which reads, in part, quote:

"BlackBerry maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries."

BlackBerry's lawful access policy is available in full on the company's website.

We received lots of feedback on the Thorsten Heins interview. And it was definitely polarizing. MaryAnn Ratcliffe of Fonthill Ontario writes:

I purchased the BB Z10 yesterday... there is NO QUESTION this is the comeback device. Thorsten Heins was absolutely right in his description of the BBZ10. This IS the next wave in computing devices.

And Marian Botsford Fraser of Toronto wrote:

Why is the Canadian media so besotted with BlackBerry? Why give a corporation hours and hours of free time to push a product? Why no hard questions about Blackberry's well known dances around security compromises in certain markets? This was disgraceful product placement.

Nicole Doucet: A few weeks ago, we spoke to Nicole Doucet, formerly Nicole Ryan. It was right after the Supreme Court of Canada overturned two lower court decisions that had found her not guilty of attempting to hire a hitman to kill her estranged husband, Mike Ryan. The hitman was actually an undercover RCMP officer.

Nicole Doucet's lawyer argued his client was under extreme duress. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in January that the duress argument was incorrectly used and overturned her acquittals. However, in an unusual move, the Supreme Court stayed the proceedings, saying Nicole Doucet had been through enough. She would face no further legal action. During her trial, Nicole Doucet testified she was abused, including incidents where Mike Ryan put a gun to her head. Mike Ryan denies he was abusive.

Also during her trial, Nicole Doucet said she went to the RCMP several times -- but got no help.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada criticized the RCMP for setting up a sting operation to catch Nicole Doucet, rather than taking steps to end her husband's abusive "reign of terror" - a quote straight out of the Supreme Court decision.

In light of these critical comments, the RCMP conducted an internal review. It found that officers did nothing wrong in the handling of Nicole Doucet's complaints against her husband. Alphonese MacNeil is the commanding officer for the RCMP in Nova Scotia. We aired a clip.

Despite calls for a full public inquiry, Nova Scotia's Minister of Justice decided instead to ask for an RCMP public complaints commission to take a look at the case.

Nicole Ryan's lawyer Joel Pink says he's happy an independent commission is going to look into his client's calls for assistance. And he is going to urge Nicole Doucet to cooperate with the commission's investigation if called upon. But Mike Ryan -- Nicole Doucet's ex-husband -- is not satisfied.

Syria Conflict & WFP: It may be too soon to say if this is the beginning of the end of the Syrian conflict, but the leader of the opposition Syrian National Coalition has offered to negotiate with Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. But as the two sides debate how - or if - they will meet to talk politics and a way to end the fighting, it is the average Syrian citizen who is paying the price of the 22 month conflict.

The World Food Programme has been working to help Syrians affected by the conflict - and is currently reaching about 1.5 million Syrians a month.

Ramiro Lopes Da Silva is the Assistant Executive Director of The UN's World Food Programme. He was in our Saskatoon studio.

Metis & Non-Status Indians Update: Last month we brought you the story of a federal court decision which ruled Metis and non-status Indians should be given full Indian status in Canada.

Yesterday the Federal government announced it intends to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan told the House of Commons that the Federal Court decision raises complex legal issues so it would be important for Canada to obtain a decision from a higher court.

To add to anything you hear on The Current, tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Find us on Facebook. Or call us toll free at 1 877 287 7366. And from our website, you can e-mail us your thoughts. And you can always download the podcast from our website as well.

Friday Promo: We are going to turn our attention to Greece. People there are resorting to cutting down trees and burning the wood to heat their homes. The government has put such high taxes on heating oil that prices have increased by 40%. And now, such cities as Athens are choking from extreme smoke which is causing serious health and environmental concerns.

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and Shannon Higgins.

Last Word - Violent Crime & Unleaded Gasoline

Tomorrow on The Current, we'll look into one theory of why violent crime in many of the world's cities has dropped since the 1990s. Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum believes it's because of the switch to unleaded gasoline. And he believes if we're willing to spend the money on getting lead out of the soil, water and air, we'll see big differences in the health of our societies. He calls lead the criminal element, and tomorrow on the show, he'll explain why. With a preview, Kevin Drum gets today's Last Word.

Other segments from today's show:

Freelance Journalists & War Coverage

The emotional & financial costs on military families moving frequently

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