Payday Loans: Payday loan companies may be facing new regulations across the country. These companies typically charge high interest rates for short term loans. Some provinces have tried to limit the interest rates the lenders are allowed to charge. But critics say those regulations aren't doing enough to protect those who find themselves in a cycle of debt.
Yesterday we heard both sides of the debate and then we heard from Keegan Loyst of Kingston, Ontario who writes:
The program seemed to whole-heartedly endorse nailing down regulation of the payday loan industry. Government isn't a national dad, here to protect us from our own vices. If I want to agree to a contract with a 100% interest rate, who's to say I can't?
Victoria Pearson tweeted this:
I've used payday loans to help in a pinch. I think cleaning it up would be more effective!
Brian Stevens of Toronto shared this view:
The federal government has allowed banks to make it increasingly difficult for low income earners to access basic, small amounts of credit. It is harder to borrow three hundred dollars, than five thousand. Canada is blessed with a banking monopoly - good or bad. Given this, banks should also serve the most vulnerable.
Health Care for Refugees: Last Spring we explored the federal government's plans to reduce health care coverage for some refugee claimants. Those plans were put into action on July 1st and now, a group of physicians and lawyers is fighting back in Court.
Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, three of their patients and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers filed a lawsuit this week against the federal government. They claim the funding cuts amount to denial of basic health coverage, which they say is unconstitutional.
Philip Berger is a founding member of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care. He's also the Chief of Family Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.
Pope Benedict XVI: Yesterday on the program, we looked at the legacy of Pope Benedict the Sixteenth. We heard from Tracey Rowland, who is the author of Ratzinger's Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict the 16th.
The Catholic Church is not a democracy and it is not a corporation. Those who talk about democratizing the Church ordaining women and so forth they tend to think of the Church in terms of corporate paradigms and I don't think that it is that and Pope Benedict did not think that it is that.
Those views prompted a lot of comments.
On Facebook, Andrea Allan posted this:
I cannot believe Tracy Rowland honestly believes that women are not second class citizens in the Roman Catholic church! She is a powerful and rich woman. I am an Ordained Woman of the United Church of Canada and she makes me feel sad for other Roman Catholic women who seem to have been brainwashed by "the old boys club".
And Margaret Bick of Toronto wrote:
I beg you and your listeners not to assume that the woman interviewed is typical of Catholic women in the pews. She claims that young women in the Church today feel perfectly at home and valued in the Church. That's because many baptized Catholic women of that age group who do NOT feel at home in the Church of their roots are not as willing as my generation to put up with second class citizenship. They have gone elsewhere. Benedict proposes that the Lord was sleeping at times; I rather think that the Lord was screaming and Church authorities had their fingers in their ears.
But on Twitter, someone with the handle LaCatholicState tweeted this:
We don't have gender inequality.....we have gender difference. We love gender difference. long may it live! Catholic women accept limitations and so do Catholic men. Secular women want to be like men.
Italian Elections: There was another big story in Italy this week. The national election. On Monday, we spoke with Bill Emmott before the final results came in. He's an independent political consultant and the author of Good Italy, Bad Italy, which in turn was the inspiration for the documentary on Italy called Girlfriend In a Coma.
To the surprise of many, the comic-turned-political leader Beppe Grillo, whose 5 Star Movement has capitalized on a wave of voter disgust with the ruling political class, got 25 per cent of the vote. That, coupled with a strong showing from former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, has a lot of people convinced that Italy has an unsettled political future ahead of it.
We have reached Bill Emmott once more this morning in London, England.
Stephane Hessel: One of our favourite guests, Stephane Hessel -- a freedom fighter, and one of the last survivors of the French resistance -- died Tuesday night in Paris. He was 95.
Stephane Hessel escaped from two Nazi concentration camps in World War II. He helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and he was always driven to ignite change. When he was 93, he wrote a book called Time For Outrage, which sold four million copies and helped inspire global protests that would become the Occupy movement.
In October of 2011, we spoke with Stephane Hessel and we asked him where he found his inspiration.
Meteorite: A meteor streaking through the atmosphere was something that the people Chelyasbinsk, Russia heard a couple of weeks ago - when the largest recorded meteorite in more than a century struck the earth.
Meteorite fragments are being gathered by scientists and by locals to offer up on the black market. Our coverage of the story prompted some meteoric flashbacks. Anna Maria shared her meteorite story from her days growing up in Windsor, Ontario. And Alan MacGregor of Salmon Arm, BC replied to that:
I think I saw the same meteorite in Windsor. I was driving in the dark and the sky lit up so brightly that the streetlights turned off. After it fell, the area was very dark while the lights tried to light up.
And Aubin van Berckel of Bowen Island, British Columbia recalled an incident from her childhood in 1955.
If you want to tell us anything about what you hear on The Current, we'd love to hear it. Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Find us on Facebook. Or call us toll free at 1 877 287 7366. You can email us from our website. And while you're there, download our podcast, check out our 10th anniversary site, and find lots of goodies about stories we've covered. And of course by Canada Post, Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6.
This segment was produced by The Current's Jessica deMello and Carole Ito.
Last Word - Internet Addiction
We ended the program with a preview of something The Current's Josh Bloch is working on for tomorrow's program on the controversial diagnosis of internet addiction. He got the last word today.
Other segments from today's show: