CBC.ca | Quebec AM

September 2012 Archives

Liberal MP urges government to reverse EI changes

On August 5th, the federal government implemented a key element of its package of controversial reforms to the Employment Insurance program. The "Working While on Claim" project promised to allow EI recipients to keep more of the money they earned while working part-time.

But some people are getting less money than before.

Wayne Easter, the Liberal MP from Malpeque, PEI, submitted six real cases for analysis to the non-partisan Parliamentary Information and Research Service, a service available to all MPs. Susan speaks with Easter about the results of that report.

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When a tree falls in the river...

robert_paulette.JPGPeople in Sherbrooke may know this landmark: a rock island in the middle of the St. Francois river, not far from the city's core, near where the St.Francois meets the Magog River.

Today, a large cross sits on that rock. But residents may not know that the cross marks the place where a famous tree once stood. Ninety-nine years ago, a lone pine tree that grew out of a crevasse on the rock was blown over in a violent wind storm.

But a piece of that historic tree recently resurfaced in Sherbrooke. Retired doctor Robert Paulette had kept a piece of the tree given to him by a neighbour in the 1960s. Now, that famed stump has a new home, at the Sherbrooke Historical Society's interpretation centre.

Our Townships reporter Sarah Rogers caught up with Dr. Paulette at his Sherbrooke home.

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Patients told they may have to retake colonoscopies

Dozens of people who had colonoscopies at the hospital in Ste-Anne-des-Monts may need to have those tests redone.

The Haute-Gaspésie Health Centre has sent letters to 85 patients, telling them that their exams may not have been completed properly. The hospital says they were all performed by the same fill-in doctor, between 2006 and 2011.

This incident follows similar incomplete tests discovered with colonoscopies at a Montreal-area hospital earlier this month, and with breast cancer screening earlier this year.

Susan speaks with Dr. Yves Robert, secretary of the Quebec College of Physicians.

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Oil companies continue exploration in the Gaspé

Oil exploration in the Gaspé is continuing this fall. Two companies exploring in that area, Petrolia and Junex, have been hard at work trying to show there's potential to turn Quebec into an oil-producing province.

Quebec AM's Glenn Wanamaker brings us an update on exploration activities and whether the position of the new Pauline Marois government could change things.

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Benefit concert to honour election night shooting victim

Monday night at the Metropolis in Montreal, some of Quebec's biggest music stars will gather to honour Denis Blanchette. Blanchette was the man killed in the election night shootings at the Parti Québecois victory rally at that same concert hall.

Céline Dion, Arcade Fire, Coeur de Pirate, Patrick Watson and Vincent Vallières will be among the stars taking the stage. The proceeds will go to a fund created to support Blanchette's young daughter.

Dave Courage is Denis Blanchette's close friend. He was also shot that night. He spoke with Susan about his recovery.

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"Game Over" follows career of Éric Gagné

Whenever the Los Angeles Dodgers turned the ball over to Éric Gagné in the late innings of a tight ballgame, they knew the victory was in the bag.

His nickname was Game Over. That's because over a three-year period, he was the most dominant relief pitcher in baseball. And in 2003, he won the Cy Young Award as best pitcher.

But fame and admiration can be fleeting. Éric Gagné's Major League story ended with injuries, pain, and his inclusion in the Mitchell Report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.

That story - with all its high and lows - has been told in a new book, "Game Over".

Susan speaks with the author, journalist Martin Leclerc.

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Susan also got the chance to catch up with Éric Gagné himself.

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Asbestos prepares for end of asbestos mining

The town of Asbestos is bracing itself for the end of the asbestos mining industry. Premier Pauline Marois announced that her government would not follow through on a loan guarantee to relaunch the Jeffrey Mine.

Quebec's travelling journalist Rachelle Solomon speaks with business owners in the town about the anticipated shift in the local economy.

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Demand increases for youth protection services

On average, every day, child and youth protection centres across Quebec receive more 200 calls for help or intervention.

Those calls are on the increase, especially in regions or towns where unemployment is high. Child neglect is the biggest reason why Youth Protection gets called. But there are also more cases of physical abuse.

Youth protection officials talked about these issues yesterday as they released their annual report. Susan speaks with Madeleine Bérard, director of Youth Protection at Batshaw Youth and Family Centres in Montreal.

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Military cleans up munitions from Lac St-Pierre

For decades, the Canadian Forces munition testing centre in Nicolet used a nearby lake to test the velocity of ammunition.

Since the 1950s, an estimated 500,000 shells were fired into the body of water along the St. Lawrence River. Some were filled with wax and cement. But thousands of other shells were fired with explosives - and thousands of them have never detonated. Since 2006, the military has launched an ongoing operation to recuperate munitions from the lake, wrapping up their most recent clean up last week.

Susan speaks with Robert Lajoie, the Lac St-Pierre project director for the clean up.

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Parti Québécois Yves-François Blanchet on potential impact of Gentilly 2 closure

We check in with a member of the Parti Québécois cabinet, Yves-François Blanchet. He represents the riding of Johnson. He was named party whip, and is also responsible for the Mauricie and Central Quebec regions.
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Football forging community at St. Patrick's High School

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St. Patrick's High School in Quebec City has 600 students... and three football teams. That means nearly one in five students there play the sport.

This weekend, the high school's teams took to the field on the historic Plains of Abraham. To get everyone in the football frame of mind, St. Pat's hosted a tailgate party with hot dogs and more team spirit than you could shake a stick at. Parent Dave Flood was on grill duty.
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During the juniors game, Julia Caron had the chance to catch up with former St. Patrick's High School football players Nicholas Lehoux (who now announces the games) and Edward Godin. They tell us how football got to be what it is today, and why it is like a second family.
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Mayor of Bromont on what might be next for Quebec's asbestos-producing regions

The federal government has pledged millions to help mining communities like Thetford Mines and Asbestos to diversify their economies. Becancourt is also concerned about the potential impact on their business sector. Where will they start? This not the first time a Quebec community has faced such challenges. Bromont's long-time mayor Pauline Quinlan says partnerships and a focussed vision helped her community secure a vibrant local economy.
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Sherbrooke Phoenix take the ice for first season

Phoenix players on the ice in Sherbrooke.Quebec Major Junior Hockey has returned to Sherbrooke for the first time in over a decade. Our Eastern Townships reporter Sarah Rogers got a chance to catch up with some of the players, who are suiting up for the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

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Business sector in Bécancour worried about Gentilly-2 shutdown

Premier Pauline Marois and the new Parti Québecois government wasted no time on the first full day in office. Marois has confirmed her government will decommission the Gentilly-2 nuclear plant in Bécancour.

Susan gets reaction from Jean-Denis Girard,  president of the Chamber of Commerce for the Central Quebec region.

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"Madame Terry Fox" honoured for her fundraising efforts

Riverview teacher Debbie Laurie meets Terry Fox's brother, Fred.It started with home-made pledge sheets and simple grey sweatshirts with block lettering that read: "We're walking for Terry Fox."

Since that fall day in 1980, Rivierview school in Port-Cartier has held a Terry Fox Run every year, to raise money for cancer research. 

And much of that is due to the efforts of one woman. Debbie Laurie is a teacher at Riverview. And her work organizing the yearly event has earned her the nickname "Madame Terry Fox."

This month, she was honoured by none other than Fox's brother Fred, who made the trip to Port-Cartier. She spoke with Susan about the visit.

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Laurie is currently only a few hundred dollars off her fundraising goal of $4000 for this year. That would put Riverview school at $100 000 total, since its first Terry Fox run in 1980. 

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Health officials identify source of Legionnaire's outbreak

It's been exactly two months and one day since the first case of Legionnaires' disease was reported in Quebec City. Thirteen people have died - scores more have become sick.

For all this time, the source of the outbreak was a mystery. But public health officials think they now know the source -- the rooftop air conditioning system of a the Complex Jacques Cartier on rue St. Joseph, in the St. Roch neighbourhood.

The building is co-owned by the city and the CSQ union, which also takes care of the maintenance. CBC Reporter Catou MacKinnon spoke with Daniel Lafrenière, secretary treasurer of the CSQ.

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Quebec AM's Julia Caron went down there to hear what people were saying in response to the news:

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Host Susan Campbell speaks with Jean-Pierre Ménard, a lawyer representing several families affected by the outbreak.

 

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Vincent et Moi exhibit

Mao, 2009 - Jennifer Ottaway (Pastel and ink on paper)Artists involved in the Vincent et Moi program in Quebec City are getting ready to showcase their creations once again.

Their annual fall exhibition begins tonight at 5pm at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec, the mental health hospital formerly known as the Robert Giffard Hospital.

Artist Jennifer Ottaway tells Susan about her experience with the program.

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Lisée gets a seat at the cabinet table...and the barber shop

It's always an important day in the life of a new government -- the creation of a new cabinet. And if you think you might be one of those called to the cabinet table, you'd better look good when you're being sworn in. Susan caught up with Jean Francois Lisée at the barber shop, just hours before he was named minister for international relations, trade, francophonie, and Montreal.

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SAAQ asks doctors to disclose patient's alcohol consumption

Quebec's automobile insurance board wants to curb excessive drinkers - literally. The SAAQ asks doctors to disclose when they think a patient drinks too much. The driver then runs the risk of having his or her licence suspended. Hubert Sacy is the president of Educ'Alcool, a non-profit organization promoting responsible consumption of alcohol, and shares his thoughts on this program.
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Former Parti Québécois leader Bernard Landry on new minority government

The new Parti Québécois minority government will be sworn in today. Former PQ leader Bernard Landry joins us to share his thoughts on what is in store for them.
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Federal government's changes to asbestos policy welcomed by activists

The future of Canada's asbestos industry is at stake following an announcement last week by Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who revealed that Canada would no longer defend asbestos at an international level. Earlier this week we heard from Bernard Coulombe, president of the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos.

The news has been welcomed by anti-asbestos and health activists. Kathleen Ruff says although she would like to see stronger opposition in response to the dangers of asbestos, it's a step in the right direction.
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Asbestos industry says Ottawa caved to pressure groups

Industry Minister Christian Paradis has announced that Canada will stop defending asbestos on an international level and will no longer oppose adding the mineral to a global list of dangerous sustances.

It has set off a flurry of questions about the future of the controversial asbestos industry, particularly in the Quebec community of the same name.

Bernard Coulombe, president of the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos speaks with Susan about the government's decision.

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Taking a different look at public transportation on Quebec's streets

questiondespace_r.jpgAccès Transports Viable recruited over eighty volunteers and freelance photographer Renaud Philippe to bring Quebeckers their very own visualization of how different our streets would look if we all commuted to by car, by bus, or by bike.

Quebec AM's Julia Caron spoke with president Catherine Boisclair and bike enthusiast François Pilotte about how this event may encourage people to think differently about how they commute - and how citizens could use the streets differently.
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Matane honouring women who helped shape the town

As part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, the town of Matane is honouring six women who helped shaped the town's development, including Jane McCallum. Louis Blanchette, a historian and member of la Société d'histoire et de généologie de Matane, tells us more.
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What Quebec's elections results could have looked liked: Vote au Pluriel

The Parti Québécois was the first past the post in last week's election and will now form the government. But if we had used a different type of voting system, the result would have been a whole lot different. Vote au pluriel is a project that looked at what impact different voting systems would have had on the most recent provincial elections.

Marc-André Bodet is part of this international research project, with the Research Chair on Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions at Université Laval.
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Addressing Nunavik's housing issues

Earlier we brought you the story of approximately 14 families in Nunavik who were evicted from their social housing units earlier this month. A community leader, Michael Cameron from Salluit, tells us more about the impact of this on residents and how to address some of the region's housing issues.
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Mental health services funding boost for military members

Mental health services for veterans and active members of the armed forces are getting a financial boost. Retired Sergeant Daniel Lafontaine spoke to CBC's Marika Wheeler about his struggle with post traumatic stress disorder after a tour in Croatia. We also hear from Georges Dumont, who struggled to get his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder recognized while he was serving in the military and took that issue to court.
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Gentilly-2 documentary raises questions about nuclear safety

The screening of a new documentary on the safety issues surrounding the Gentilly-2 nuclear facility has focused attention on the future of the plant. We get reaction from Dr. Gilles Grenier, Director of Public Health for Mauricie & Central Quebec region.
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Nunavik housing board evicts families for unpaid rent

Fourteen families have been evicted from social housing in Nunavik, because of unpaid rent. The Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau, the body that manages social housing in the region, says it is dealing with $15 million in unpaid rent, and a shortage of 1000 housing units. This is the third year in a row that they have started evicting tenants who aren't paying rent to make room for those who are on a waiting list.

Susan speaks with Watson Fournier, manager of the housing bureau.

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Olympian Antoine Valois-Fortier tours Canada

valois-fortier1.jpgMany young judo enthusiasts across the country are getting a chance to rub shoulders with an Olympic medalist. Antoine Valois-Fortier is on a tour of judo clubs across the country and joins us to talk about why he's doing it.
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Quebec parties support maintaining gun registry

A Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that the federal long gun registry cannot be scrapped yet in Quebec.

Susan speaks with former police chief and new Coalition Avenir Quebec MNA Jacques Duchesneau about the political implications of that decision.

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Mining association says PQ policies may weaken industry

Some people in Quebec's mining industry are concerned that a Parti Québecois promise to raise royalty rates will become a deterrent to Quebec's mining industry.

We speak with Jean-Marc Lulin, geologist and president of the Quebec Mining Exploration Association.

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Iranian Canadians fear visa troubles

Iranians who live, work and study in Quebec are facing an uncertain future. Some fear Canada's decision to close its embassy in Tehran, and kick Iranian diplomats out of Canada  will make things like renewing a visa or a passport impossible.

The director of the Centre for Iranian studies at Concordia University, Richard Foltz says the breakdown in diplomatic ties will have reprecussions for both international students from Iran and Canadian citizens.

Foltz had planned to travel to Iran this winter to try to work with officials there on a way to make it easier for Canadian students to study abroad in Iran. That project will likely have to be scrapped.

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Quebecers with ties to Iran have been watching the situation closely.   

Susan speaks with Keyvan Mahjoor, an Iranian-Canadian painter and poet in Montreal and Aria Jalili of Quebec City, whose parents are from Iran.

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Community blocks efforts to dismantle fish plant

There was an unusual scene Friday outside the idle fish processing plant in La Tabatière on the Lower North Shore.

Municipal officials and residents blocked the removal of processing equipment by the plant's owners, the Daley Brothers based in St. John's, Newfoundland. The fish plant has been idle for two years.

According to the mayor of Gros Mecatina, Randy Jones, the company could not dismantle any part of the plant without authorization, because of the presence of dangerous substances, such as ammonia.

Director of the Lower North Shore Fishermen's Association, Paul Nadeau, describes what happened outside the plant.

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Jean Charest leaving politics

hi-charestflag-852.jpgAn era in Quebec politics is coming to an end. Jean Charest, leader of the Quebec Liberals, is hanging up his hat after nine years as Premier and 14 years as leader. Former Sherbrooke Mayor Jean Perreault was his campaign manager this time around and speaks to us about his thoughts on Charest's decision.

We also take a trip through our archives with a report from CBC TV news reporter Tom Kennedy, from March 26th, 1998. Hear what Jean Charest was saying when he first arrived from Ottawa to take over the leader-less Liberals in Quebec.
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Voters and Pierre Paradis supporters in Brome-Missisquoi

Pierre Paradis is one of the longest serving MNA's and he's not going anywhere. He re-won his seat in Brome-Missisquoi. CBC's Marika Wheeler was in Brome-Missisquoi on election night and brings us some of the voices of people in his riding about the results.
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For a closer look at the riding of Brome-Missisquoi, visit our Spotlight on Quebec regional ridings.

Liberals hold on to riding of Trois-Rivières

daniellestamand.jpgCBC's Ainslie MacLellan was in the riding of Trois-Rivières last night. She brings us a look at the tight race in that riding where incumbent Liberal MNA Danielle St-Amand came out victorious.
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Voter Panel: Northwestern Quebec

After a weekend of last-minute, frantic campaigning by the leaders, our voters' panel from the northwest will share their thoughts on how the parties and their candidates have performed.

Stéphane Grenier is the Director of the social work program at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Michelle Desrossiers is a funeral director in Rouyn. Salomé McKenzie is the Chief of the Lac Simon Algonquin community. Dr. Louis Bellemare is the President of the Quebec Orthopedic Association.
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Quebec's lesser known political parties and independent candidates

There are twenty political parties and 43 independent candidates running in the provincial elections this year, according to Quebec's Chief Electoral Officer. That's twice as many parties as in 2008, and five of those parties only came into existence in the last six months. Quebec AM's Senai Iman met with some of those independent candidates, and brings us that story.
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