April 11, 2010: The Quest for Nuclear Peace - Habtom's Path (Doc) - Medical Marijuana Use - A Corporate Fairytale

Hour 1: A Feature Interview with Mohammed ElBaradei: The Quest for Nuclear Peace - When the largest military power on the planet declared war on Iraq, George W. Bush invoked these three threatening letters - WMD. The world learned, of course, that Iraq held no stash of Weapons of Mass Destruction, but not until after the war was in full throttle.

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Hour 2: Habtom's Path - Documentary - The story began in a dusty, hot village in Eritrea, and ended in an icy wood in Halifax just a few weeks ago.

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Hour 3: Medical Marijuana Use -- Life in a Legal Limbo - On the one hand this should be pretty straightforward. Under Canadian law if you have a serious and debilitating illness like Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, chronic pain or HIV you are allowed to purchase and use marijuana to help alleviate symptoms.

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Elsewhere on the show - Michael made a rather difficult confession in this week's essay; We heard from Jeff Healey's posthumous CD release titled, Last Call; We got to some of your mail; And we heard about a corporate fairytale
Music

Song: Horizontal Blue
Artist: Piltch and Davis
Album:
Feast

Michael's Essay

In this week's essay Michael makes a rather difficult confession.

Music

Song: Blue Browne
Artist: Brian Browne Trio
Album: Brian Browne


A Feature Interview with Mohammed ElBaradei:
The Quest for Nuclear Peace

When the largest military power on the planet declared war on Iraq, George W. Bush invoked these three threatening letters - WMD. The world learned, of course, that Iraq held no stash of Weapons of Mass Destruction, but not until after the war was in full throttle.

Mohamed ElBaradei was one of the first, and one of the most prominent, public officials to question that war and the motivation behind it. He led - along with Hans Blix - a team of U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq, whose report confirmed Saddam Hussein and Iraq posed no real military threat.

George W. Bush did not exactly heave a sigh of relief. His top ranks, including the Vice President Dick Cheney, Pentagon hawk Paul Wolfowitz, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice all joined the President's ongoing campaign to discredit Dr. ElBaradei. The CIA even bugged his phone.

The Bush White House also lobbied actively against the renewal of Dr. ElBaradei's term as Director General of the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is the U.N. group that promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and strives to limit its use as a military weapon. It was a position he held for a dozen years.

In 2005, the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize jointly to Dr. ElBaradei and the IAEA, and prompted some of his White House adversaries to recant their condemnation of the new Nobel Laureate.

More than six decades after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we continue to live with the fear that we may see another nuclear war. U.S. President Barack Obama says he envisions a planet without nuclear weapons.
Although Mohamed ElBaradei shares Obama's nuke-free vision, he's been focusing on a different kind of reform lately, in Egypt. There is a growing movement in his homeland for change, and Dr. ElBaradei - who has yet to declare his candidacy - is seen as the best hope to replace Hosni Mubarak in next year's Presidential election.

Michael Enright was in conversation with Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei from his home, in Cairo.

Jeff Healey Music

About a year before he died in March 2008, the late musician Jeff Healey headed into the studio to record a new CD of the music closest to his heart - 20's and 30's style jazz. All of the songs were carefully chosen and reflect his passion and versatility.

The CD has just been released - it's called Last Call. But Jeff Healey's friend and bandmate Colin Bray likes to think of it as "The Real Jeff Healey".

Music

Song: Laura
Artist: Jeff Healey
Album: Last Call


Mail Pack

Last week on the show, we talked about the concept of "reasonable accomodation". The province of Quebec is taking a tack on this subject that is different from the rest of Canada. Most recently, the Charest government has introduced a bill that would prevent Quebeckers from receiving public services if their faces are covered. Although it's not stated explicitly, the law is aimed specifically at Muslim women who wear the niqab. The veil is a contentious issue not only in Quebec, but judging by the responses we got, it's also controversial in the rest of Canada.

Also on the program last week, we talked about the abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church. My guest was religion writer and papal biographer David Gibson.

Thanks to all of you who wrote in. We read every word - from left to right. Keep sending your e-mail to thesundayedition@cbc.ca or you can write us a letter -- The Sunday Edition, Box 500, Terminal A , Toronto, M5W 1E6

Music

Song: Early One Morning
Artist: Renee Rosnes With the Danish Radio Big Band
Album: Renee Rosnes With the Danish Radio Big Band


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Music

Song: Vocalise, Op 34 No 14
Artist: Branford Marsalis
Album: Romances For Saxophone

Habtom's Path - Documentary

The story began in a dusty, hot village in Eritrea , and ended in an icy wood in Halifax just a few weeks ago.

That day, Habtom Kibraeb was told that his refugee claim had been denied by Immigration Canada Deportation was almost certain. Now - on Habtom's path - from shepherd boy to young solider, from runaway to laundry worker - there was an obstacle he couldn't face, a fate from which he saw no escape.

So in his mother tongue of Tigrinya, he wrote a letter to the people he cared about most. Then he hung himself from a tree in a Halifax neighbourhood he knew well.

His friends, his advocates, his community are struggling to piece together what happened and why.Our documentary is called Habtom's Path.

Habtom's Path was produced by Mary Lynk. A friend of Habtom's, Naz Yemane, read the farewell letter and its English translation.

Habtom's Buriel

Habtom's friends wanted to fulfill his wish to be cremated and buried in Canada. But his younger brother said he would kill himself if Habtom's body was not returned to his homeland. The friends felt they had no choice. They sent Habtom's body back to Eritrea, the country he had tried so desperately to escape.

Music

Song: Prayer for Human Kindness
Artist: Dave Restivo
Album:
Prayer for Human Kindness


Lincoln Electric - A Corporate Fairytale

Once upon a time there was a town where a man had an idea. He would build a company. It would be successful and it would treat its employees with consideration and respect. They would be well-paid and have job security. They would even share in the company profits. Sounds like a corporate fairy tale. But it's not. That company exists.

It's called Lincoln Electric and it's in Cleveland Ohio. It was founded in 1895 and the man with a dream was John C. Lincoln.

He was an inventor who had himself been frozen out of a job with another company. So, he decided to start something on his own - in his garage. He began by designing and building electric motors. Now, more than a century later, Lincoln Electric has more than 3,000 employees and it's the world's largest arc-welding manufacturer. In 2007 it had net sales of 2.28 billion dollars.

But, as a company, it's everything that modern experts say it shouldn't be.
It has a "Guaranteed Continuous Employment" policy - which it honors - and the company gives profit-sharing bonuses that are sometimes larger than a person's annual salary.

Unlike some other corporations, these aren't perks destined for the managers and bosses - everybody's in on the deal. How do they do it?

That's the question that fascinated cbc reporter Frank Koller for years.
He's the author of, Spark: How Old-Fashioned Values Drive a 21st Century Corporation.

Frank joined Michael Enright from our Ottawa studio.

Music

Song: Where have you been?
Artist: Bill Charlap Trio
Album: Written in the Stars



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Music

Song: Guitar Duet Stomp
Artist: Jeff Healey
Album: Last Call


Medical Marijuana Use -- Life in a Legal Limbo

On the one hand this should be pretty straightforward. Under Canadian law if you have a serious and debilitating illness like Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, chronic pain or HIV you are allowed to purchase and use marijuana to help alleviate symptoms.

But just because the law says you can do it doesn't mean you can do it easily. You can't go to the street corner or local high school hang out and purchase your medicine. And you can't buy it from a pharmacy. In fact trying to get marijuna in this country is proving to be a nightmare.

In Nova Scotia, a medical marijuana user is suing Revenue Canada for a tax refund simply because he has to buy the drug on the street because the marijuana available from a licensed grower is poor quality. Another medical marijuana user in Nova Scotia took the government to court to make them pay for her drug and the court decided in her favour because she's on social assistance but it doesn't apply to anyone else. In Montreal a newly open compassion centre which distributes marijuana to ill people has neighbours upset because they think the place is a drug den. And about ten days ago Toronto police officers barged into a storefront business called CALM--Cannabis As Living Medicine. They arrested and charged nine people with several different drug related offences. .Five of the people charged are disabled by their illnesses and have Health Canada permits to take marijuana for medical purposes.

Health Canada has a very specific set of rules and regulations that govern how a patient is approved to use medical marijuana, how they then register on a yearly basis to use it and how it is produced for medical use. According to Health Canada, almost five thousand sick Canadians go through the hoops each year because they get some positive relief from marijuana that they don't get from other medications. And although there are no statistics, it is safe to say that several thousand sick Canadians don't bother with the Health Canada rules and simply purchase and use marijuana to alleviate their symptoms even though they are breaking the law.

In a few minutes I will talk to a Toronto lawyer about the history of difficulties in acquiring medical marijuana. But first, joining Michael from our Vancouver studio is Barbie Van Wyk. She has her doctor's and Health Canada's approval to use medical marijuana. None of this is new or surprising to Douglas Elliott. He is a Toronto lawyer; counsel to the Canadian AIDS Society and a former member of Health Canada's Science Advisory Board.

He was in conversation with Michael Enright from our Toronto Studio.


Music


Song: Walking Down to the Station
Artist: Kim Beggs
Album: Wanderer's Paean


Sarah and Mary from Voices from the Train

The morning of March 3rd started off promisingly enough. It was a beautiful sunny day in Jasper, Alberta and unseasonably warm.

A perfect day to board the Skeena, the CPR train that runs between Jasper and Prince Rupert, for a journey deep into the Rockies and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. Maybe the world.

This was Day 6 of our trip from Halifax to Prince Rupert by train. If you're a regular Sunday Edition listener, you probably heard our Voices from the Train special a few weeks ago.

The train snaked its way at a leisurely speed towards Prince George and a scheduled overnight stop. We were looking forward to dinner there with Mary Teegee and Sarah de Leeuw, two of Prince George's most interesting women, who were going to show us their town.

Then the train stopped. The engineer informed us that the engine had conked out. We would have to wait for an approaching freight to nudge us back a few miles to a road, where a bus would take us on to Prince George.

By the time we finally got there, about seven hours later, it was way past dinner time and too dark for a tour. But Sarah and Mary had patiently waited for us and the late hour did not dampen their enthusiasm. They were eager to tell us about their home town and why Prince George, with all its challenges, is the place they want to be.

We brought you a very short excerpt of our conversation with them on our Coast to Coast special. We thought you'd like to hear the rest.

Sarah Deleo teaches in the faculty of medicine at the University of Northern British Columbia. She doesn't look very old , but she's already worked on a tugboat, been a chef in a logging camp, and a Fulbright Scholar.

Mary Teegee, whose voice you will hear first, is the head of the Carrier Sekani Family Services. That means she's in charge of family services throughout a huge swath of Northern British Columbia.

Music

Song: Naptown Blues
Artist: Oscar Peterson
Album: Will to Sing

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