June 27, 2010: G8 Maternal Health Panel - The RCMP in Canada, Our Heroes or Our Adversaries? - A special in-studio performance by Canada's Blues Sweetheart - Inside the G20 summit

Hour One: G8 Maternal Health Panel - The meetings are over and so we took a look at the decisions the G8 made this weekend and what difference they will (or won't) make in the lives of women and children.

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Hour Two: The RCMP in Canada - Our Heroes or Our Adversaries? - The era when the Mounties were a romantic icon representing all that was right, just, fair and decent about Canada long gone. This week Michael Enright was joined by a panel of guests who, in the course of their daily work over the past couple of decades, have had to think long and hard about the RCMP.

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Hour Three: Lady Sings the Blues - A special in-studio performance by Canada's Blues Sweetheart, Diana Braithwaite, with the remarkerable Chris Whiteley on guitar.

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Elsewhere on the show: Our final instalment of our series on Maternal and Child Health; a special panel for a behind the scenes look at what goes on inside the G20 summit; and a wonderful music feature with the great Ray Charles.



Hour 1

G8 - G20 Insiders Panel

Just across the street from where I'm sitting now, one of the most expensive political gatherings on the planet is convening this morning. G20 leaders have assembled around a large conference table, with the mission of solving the problems of the world. Among the items on the agenda: how best to avoid another financial meltdown; nuclear disarmament; and global trade.

The deadline is mere hours away. By day's end, they are expected to adjourn with a communiqué in hand, including a list of new pledges about what they plan to do and how much it will all cost.

This week, at considerably less expense, we've assembled a political gathering of our own, and one of the questions at our table is this: What really goes on behind those closed doors? Two of our guests have been on the inside of international summits during their political careers.

Barbara McDougall was a Conservative Member of Parliament for nine years, and held several cabinet posts, including Minister of State for Finance, Minister of Employment and Immigration, and External Affairs. She is a chartered financial analyst, who is now an advisor with the Toronto law firm, Aird and Berlis.

Bill Graham served for 13 years as an MP, and held prominent positions in the Liberal cabinets of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, including Minister of External Affairs and Minister of Defence. He also served as interim party leader.

Also joining us was Janice Stein. She is the Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, home of the University of Toronto's G20 Research Group.

All three were with Michael in our Toronto studio.

Music
Song: Contrapunctus No.1
Artist: Bernard Lagace
Album:10 Ans De Prix Internationaux

Maternal and Child Health Series - Uganda

If it sounds like the ultimate motherhood issue, that's because it is.

It's about mothers and babies dying in the hundreds of thousands in the poorest, most desperate countries in the world. This weekend the G8 summit leaders put some money muscle into trying to solve one of the world's most vexing development problems. Billions of dollars.

They were funding maternal, newborn and child health - the issue Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to make the number one priority at this year's summit of world leaders. On Friday night, as the Huntsville meeting came to a close, the G8 released an agreement on funding his initiative.

There were no big surprises... although the Prime Minister managed to squeeze less money out of summit leaders than he'd hoped. Now the hard part begins... putting the money to work.

Over the past several weeks, we have been featuring a series, Hard Labour, about the tough realities around maternal and child health, especially in developing countries, and we'll have the last instalment - from Uganda - in Hour 2 today. But we're turning first to take a look at the decisions the G8 made this weekend and what difference they will (or won't) make in the lives of women and children.

Katherine McDonald is a lawyer, the former President of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women and a Past President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada.

Music
Song: Take Five
Artist: Twelve Girls Band
Album: Shanghai


Hour 2

Music
Song: Last Day of Summer
Artist: Piltch & Davis
Album: Feast

Maternal and Child Health in the Developing World - Uganda

This week on Hard Labour - our series on maternal and child health - we go to Uganda, where childbirth is known as "the battle". Every year, nearly 7,000 Ugandan women lose this fight, and when they perish, their babies often die within a month.

Around the world, 450 babies an hour die before they're a month old, mainly from preventable causes. Almost all of them die in poor countries, like Uganda. Or they're left orphans. In Uganda alone, 2 and a half million children are orphaned... some because their fathers abandon them when their mothers dies, some as a result of HIV aids.

One of the top priorities of this year's G8 Summit is maternal and child health. Worldwide, the number of infant and child deaths each year is decreasing -- mortality in children younger than 5 years has dropped from 11.9 million deaths in 1990 to 7.7 million deaths in 2010. But that's still an awful lot of dying children and babies. It's a fact that stares Jean Chamberlain in the face all too often. She is a Canadian obstetrician who has been working in the East African nation since 1998, where she's seen too many babies and children - and their mothers -- die unnecessary deaths. Dr Chamberlain works 8 months of the year in Uganda, and the rest of the time she is an Assistant Professor at McMaster University in Hamilton. She has also worked in other African and south-Asian countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Ecuador and Yemen.

She is co-founder of Save the Mothers, an international organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for mothers in developing countries, and the author of Where Have All the Mothers Gone? Stories of Courage and Hope During Childbirth Among the World's Poorest Women.

Dr. Chamberlain joined Michael in our studio in Toronto.

Music Feature - Ray Charles

Today was the last day for the summits this weekend and most of the important business of the meetings has now been concluded. Of course, it is too soon to say if anything of lasting value has been accomplished here. Soon, the world's leaders and a small army of their advisors and staff will be off to the airport . And Torontonians will, as the saying goes, get their life back. For a special farewell send-off song to all of our many important visitors, we had to reach into the Sunday Edition archives, all the way back to 1961.

Music
Song: Hit the Road Jack
Artist: Ray Charles
Album: Greatest Hits, Vo. 2

The RCMP in Canada - Our Heroes or Our Adversaries?

The era when the Mounties were a romantic icon representing all that was right, just, fair and decent about Canada long gone. Unfortunately, in the past few decades, the Mounties have become known for burning barns, spying on Canadians, the indiscriminate use of pepper spray, suspicious deaths of people in custody, political interference in an election, tasering a man to death, and botching Canada's largest and worst terrorist attack.

Created 90 years ago; with the merger of the Northwest Mounted Police and the Dominion Police the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is the country's national police, It provides police services to 8 provinces, 3 territories, 190 municipalities, 184 Aboriginal Communities and 3 international airports. And as big as it is, its problems are even bigger.

Just in the last ten days, following the release of the final report of Justice Thomas Braidwood's inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski and the final report of Justice John Major's Inquiry into the bombing of Air India Flight 182 the RCMP's reputation is in tatters.

Each report, is a litany of mistakes, evasions, cover-ups, statements deemed totally unreliable, inter-service rivalries, a breakdown in procedures, policies, training, supervision and oversight. A National Post editorial called the RCMP a police force in denial. By some accounts the only people as depressed and saddened as the families of the victims who bore the costs of a police force out of its depth, out of control or simply indifferent to its job, are the constables who ride in the squad cars and that includes the roughly 5,000 here in Toronto for the G-20 summit.

So what is to be done? Does the country need a national police force? If it does, are the Mounties up to the job? If not the Mounties than whom? Should the force be disbanded and a new institution built from scratch? These are not easy questions for anyone: the politicians, the public or the Mounties.

I am joined this morning by three guests who in the course of their daily work over the past couple of decades have had to think long and hard about the RCMP. In Ottawa, Paul Kennedy, former head of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP;; he is former because the government refused to re-new his mandate. In Vancouver, Gary Mason, columnist for the Globe and Mail whose writing about the RCMP in British Columbia has rightfully won national attention and praise; in Toronto, Bob Rae, M.P. for Toronto Centre, former member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, and Former Independent Advisor to the Minister of Public Safety on Outstanding Questions with Respect to Air India Flight 182.

Music
Song: Summertime
Artist: Oscar Peterson
Album: Exclusively for my friends, Vol. 3


Hour 3

Music
Song: Blues Mood
Artist: Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley - Studio Session

Lady Sings the Blues - A Special in-studio session with Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley

Singer Diana Braithwaite, Canada's Sweetheart of the Blues, and her partner Chris Whiteley on acoustic guitar, were here for a special Sunday Edition concert for our last show of the season.

There are few people who love the blues, and cherish its history, more than Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley. They are both internationally acclaimed blues artists in their own right, with shelves full of awards to prove it. They started performing together about six years ago. The partnership has deepened their commitment to preserving and celebrating traditional blues, while bringing their own modern touches to this timeless music.

Check out a few photos from the session:

Music
Song: Blues Mood
Artist: Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley - Studio Session

Music
Song: Birds that Whistle
Artist: Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley - Studio Session

Music
Song: Judge and Jury Blues
Artist: Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley - Studio Session

Music
Song: Sugar and Gold
Artist: Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley - Studio Session

Music
Song: Twice as Good
Artist: Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley - Studio Session

Music
Song: It was a Sad Night in Harlem
Artist: Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley - Studio Session

Music
Song: Dance from Down Under
Artist: Piltch and Davis
Album: Feast

Michael's Essay

When ended our show with Michael's final essay for the season. This week, his thoughts on Summer time.

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