Sunday, October 16, 2011 | Categories: Episodes |
Our guest host this week is Karin Wells
The Occupy movement moved in to Canada this weekend. Thousands of people have been coming and going from Toronto's financial district all weekend and they are saying they will be here tomorrow morning when the bankers and stock brokers come to work and they will stay for some time to come.
In this hour of the program we're going to move a little deeper into the crowd of protesters and delve into the whys and wherefores of the movement. We'll have the view from Toronto, New York and Washington.
Just across the street from the CBC studios is Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall where later this week the by now infamous Russian conductor Valery Gergiev will be leading his Mariinksy orchestra. This is a man who is not only lauded by the critics but who, back in the day, finessed a few million rubles out of Boris Yeltsin to keep his orchestra going. For him, the Mariinsky orchestra is mother Russia. Valery Gergiev and acres of music - in the second hour of the program.
When the Supreme Court of Canada came down with its ruling on Vancouver's Insite safe drug injection clinic, it said keeping that clinic open was key to life, liberty and security of the person of Canadians. We will be talking to two very big legal minds about what that might mean to other major cases waiting in the wings...
Our featured documentary today is a poignant story of righting very personal social injury. After over a century, a cemetery in Vancouver has memorialized eleven thousand babies who were buried in unmarked graves.
Elsewhere in the program: We explore why the Phantom of the Opera, now officially the most popular Broadway musical in the world, might never go away.
It started when the Vancouver-based magazine Adbusters floated an idea: a peaceful occupation of Wall Street.The point? To protest against big business and its influence on government and democracy.
On September 17th, a few hundred people who liked that idea gathered in downtown Manhattan... and they spawned a movement that - over the course of the past month - has spread across the continent and around the planet.
We invited three people to share their perceptions of the "Occupy" demonstrations and where they might lead.
Heather Gautney has written several books about protest movements, including Protest and Organization in the Alternative Globalization Era. She also teaches in the Department of Sociology at Fordham University. She was in the CBC Radio studio in Manhattan.
Richard Just is the editor of The New Republic. He's at the CBC Bureau in Washington, D.C. And with Karin in Toronto is Linda McQuaig, a journalist and the author of several books, including The Trouble with Billionaires.
The Mariinsky Theatre is where Nureyev and Barishnikov danced, where the great Russian nationalist movement took root. Operas by Glinka and Rimsky-Korsakov began at the Mariinsky...Tchaikovsky premiered the Nutcracker here.
Valerie Gergiev started at the theatre over three decades ago and became the boss in 1996. Valerie Gergiev also guest conducts all over the world, and he's Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
The Mariinsky orchestra travels extensively. Lead by Maestro Gergiev it has performed in more than 45 countries - an extraordinary feat when you consider the logistics and cost of moving so many musicians from place to place. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Mariinsky came perilously close to collapse...but was saved - in large part - by the moxy and relentless energy of Valery Gergiev himself.
This month, the orchestra comes to Canada, and, in a matter of days, performs in four venues: Vancouver's Orpheum theatre, Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall, the Place des Arts in Montreal and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Earlier this week, in a studio at Carnegie Hall, he stopped long enough to have a conversation with Karin, while the orchestra waited onstage to rehearse for it's final concert there.
It has been a little more than two weeks since the Supreme Court of Canada knocked the country's political, medical and legal establishments back on their heels with their unanimous decision in the Insite Case.
Insite is a drug treatment and injection facility in Vancouver. It has been operating with an exemption from Canada's drug laws. That exemption was granted by the Chretien Government . But the Harper Government wanted to revoke it.
In the Insite decision, the court ruled that shutting down Insite would cause far more harm to indiv iduals than allowing the facility to remain open.
Throughout the unanimous judgement the court especially relied on section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which says:
"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."
The immediate consequence of the Court's ruling is pretty simple. Insite is still open for business, practising "harm reduction" and providing a supervised place for addicts to inject. The federal Government expressed disappointment with the Court's ruling.
The long term consequences of that Supreme Court Ruling could well be much more complex and far reaching.
Mary Eberts is one of this country's most experienced Charter litigators. She was part of a group that suggested language for the gender equality guarantee in the Charter. She spent decades on Bay street as a partner in a large firm, started her own firm to specialize in public law litigation and was a co-founder of LEAF, the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund. This year she is the the Ariel F Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan and she was in our Saskatoon studios.
Colleen Flood is Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Toronto Law School and she is also on the faculty of the University's School of Public Policy. From 2006 to 2011 she was the Scientific Director of the Canadian Insitutes of Health Research, Institute of Health Services and Policy Research. She is the author of numerous papers and books and edited "Access to Care, Access to Justice: The Legal Debate over Private Health Care Insurance in Canada." Professor Flood was in our Toronto studio.
Buried So Deep:
Mountain View Cemetery sits in the center of Vancouver. It stretches from 31st Avenue to 43rd. 106 acres.
It is the largest World War II Commonwealth gravesite in North America; there are rows of graves from the influenza pandemic in 1917; sections for the Chinese, the Masons, the Oddfellows - a section for orthodox Jews.Then there are the 11,000 unmarked mass graves.
Unmarked until 5 years ago.
These are the graves of babies. Some died at birth some lived a few hours, a few days. But from 1907 until 1972 they were all put in mass graves with little ceremony and no markers. Only the keepers of the cemetery knew where they were. The thinking was that these babies were best forgotten. The kindest thing for the parents - particularly for the mother, would be to pretend those babies had never been born.It can't be done. A few years ago the caretakers of Mountainview cemetery posted the registry of those 11,000 babies online and they created an infant garden, a memorial to babies who died decades ago. Every baby would be marked with their own smooth round stone.
As word got out, the mothers and the fathers - gray haired men and women leaning on canes, started to come to the cemetery to find their babies. They came by themselves, with their families, in the sunshine or in the pouring rain.Here is Pamela Post's documentary Buried So Deep.
Phantom at 20:
This fall, "The Phantom of the Opera" becomes the longest running show in Broadway history.
It is a worldwide entertainment phenomenon. All of which makes it easy to forget the humble beginnings of the story... and despite Andrew Lloyd Webber's genius, the musical would be nothing with out that story.
The story was written by a French journalist with literary aspirations named Gaston Leroux. He wrote his novel "Le Fantôme de l'Opéra" a century ago.The response to the novel was lukewarm and it might never have been heard of again had it not been for a 1925 silent film version of the Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney. The Phantom phenomenon was born.
Ann C. Hall. is a professor of English at Ohio Dominican University and the author of "Phantom Variations: the adaptations of Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera, 1925 to the Present".She was in Columbus, Ohio.