Checking-In: Listener Response


Angry Istanbul protests, detained journalists, shamed African governments and champagne house prices, our listener's thoughts on some of the stories of the week.

Our Friday host, Erica Johnson joined Anna Maria from Vancouver for a look at what you've had to say about the week that was on The Current.

Turkey Protests/ Derek Stoffel: And as you have been hearing on the news CBC reporters Sasa Petricic and Derek Stoffel were detained yesterday by Turkish police. They were covering ongoing anti-government protests in Istanbul's Taksim Square and Gezi park. They have both been released and we reached Derek Stoffel in Istanbul.

Frank Mugisha: Yesterday on the program we spoke to Ugandan gay rights advocate Frank Mugisha who is appealing to the Canadian government to help Uganda - a country where hostility towards homosexuals occasionally bursts into homicidal violence. And the government is sitting on an anti-homosexuality bill that provides for the death penalty.

Then we heard from Jason MacEwen of Ottawa.

I am a Christian, in fact I am an elder at my church, and I am ashamed and tired of these terrible stories of fellow Christians promoting homophobia. Their arguments are hateful, weak and a betrayal of both the letter and the spirit. The great Swiss theologian Karl Barth warned against making a temple of the scripture, calling it a heresy. The apostle Paul said "our authority comes not from the letter, but from the spirit" and the Holy Spirit revealed to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ calls us to love and show compassion. I see little of either in the actions of these "Christians". I pray that they will soon see the error of their ways and repent. You can fund an indie film through crowd sourcing, and maybe you can crowdsource enough cash to buy an elusive cellphone video. But how about crowd sourcing as a way of getting a medical diagnosis? It's an idea that's shaking up the medical establishment. Here is our part.

We heard from Karen Rowe of Peterborough, Ontario who writes:

My daughter was ill for almost 2 years. Her bowels just stopped working. We went to numerous medical professionals, and I told everybody I ran into, but I still couldn't find any help.
She is fine now but perhaps crowd sourcing would have assisted us in our long and painful journey.

CSEC: The Communications Security Establishment Canada - or CSEC - is a little known federal agency. Ottawa has given it access to your phone or internet records in order to track suspicious activity.

We looked into this agency on Tuesday and more than a few opinions were aired on Twitter.

Chris Donnelly said:

Nobody is actually reading our emails and listening to phones. Algorithms are scanning for specific words and phrases.

And Laura Babcock posted this:

Of course we should worry and accept that privacy is the ultimate victim of the Information Age

CIDA/DFAIT: Earlier this season we told you about a federal budget measure to merge Canada's development agency, CIDA and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada or DFAIT. This week, a bill was passed implementing the change.

It will significantly affect the work of our next guest. James Haga is the Director of Policy & Advocacy for Engineers Without Borders Canada . He was in Ottawa.

Unaffordable Housing: Prospective homeowners may not ask for much, but the dream of home ownership may be more of a pipe dream these days. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Canada's believes Canada's housing market is way over-valued. And Tuesday, we heard about the changing tide of housing markets.

Chris Clark has had his house up for sale for more than a year, but has seen little interest. He writes from Blind River in Northern Ontario:

Our community is shrinking as youth emigrate to larger centres - so there is no market to buy homes. There is very little for me to downsize to, and there is no incentive to build. Surely governments should be providing incentives to help transition to more affordable homes.

Codi Guenther works with a non-profit agency that helps newcomers find housing in Winnipeg. The rental vacancy rate there is low - below 2 percent. Codi tells us this:

Vacant units are either way too expensive or in very poor condition. Our clients are often moving every year and this makes adjustments so much harder. Rental units are being renovated into condos left and right, so no one is secure when they are renting.

Claire Harten lives in Ottawa and shares this view:

I'm single and make a good income and have kept to a very strict budget to save for a down payment. But home ownership seems to be reserved for those who have paired up and have two incomes. I could be living a pretty comfortable life, if I could just forget that 'dream' of owning.

And the cost of housing isn't just an issue in the big markets. Ali Gelani sent this note from Grande Prairie, Alberta:

I make a good income. But because I pay such high rent, I don't know how long it will be before I can save for my own mortgage. They need to make a plan for people who have steady incomes who want their own place.

And Jill Carter tweeted this:

Buying a house becomes even more difficult when you are not traditionally employed or self-employed. Couple this with prices in Toronto - very hard!

To add to anything you hear on The Current, lots of ways to get in touch. email us from our website. Find us on Facebook. Or tweet us @thecurrentcbc.
You can also call toll -free at 1 877 287 7366. Or via Canada Post - Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6.

This segment was produced by The Current's Jess deMello and Carole Ito.

Last Word - Yogis

We've been talking today about Lululemon, a company that can seem terribly earnest for a store that sells stretch pants. Still, it does have a sense of humour about itself. "Stuff Yogis Say" is posted on Lululemon's Youtube Channel. The Yogi in it gets today's Last Word.

Other segments from today's show:

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