CBC.ca | Quebec AM

June 2013 Archives

Part 2: Gaspé Wharves

Mackerel fishing.JPGMarika Wheeler is back for part 2 of a look at the state of wharves in the Gaspé.

She brings us to Carleton-sur-Mer where like many communities, the wharf is not only important to the economy but is also a gathering place for locals and tourists.

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Quebec Government says no to Strateco Uranium project

Strateco's plan to develop a uranium deposit in the Otish Mountains north of Chibougamau has hit a political wall. Quebec's Environment minister Yves-François Blanchet has said no to the uranium project north of Chibougamau. The company's president, Guy Hébert, tells us about where they will go from here.
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Malartic holding special 50 per cent off land sale

After the gold rush, it's time for the land rush in the town of Malartic in the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region. Next week, more than 30 plots of land will be on sale at half the price for one day only. Eric Morissette tells us why the town wants to attract new residents in part by offering them land for cheap.
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Part 1: Gaspé Wharves

St-Georges-de-Malbaie.JPGFishermen and mayors in the Gaspé say many wharves in the region have been neglected for years and are rundown.

They are worried the wharves will be condemned, hurting the towns' economy and community.

Quebec's Travelling Journalist Marika Wheeler brings us Part 1 of a three part series on wharves in the Gaspé.

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Concerns over closures of some Desjardins service centres

Alphonse Desjardins created the cooperative movement over 100 years ago, making Lévis home to the first savings and credit cooperative in North America. His goal was to allow as many citizens as possible to have access to credit and savings accounts.

A century later, Desjardins service centres are closing down in many municipalities across the province, leaving people who don't have access to a vehicle, without their primary banking service.
We speak to  Desjardins representative about those closures, as well as Claire Bolduc, president of Solidarité rurale, an organization that is asking Desjardins to remember its roots.
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Aboriginal police force back in place in Obedjiwan

The community of Obedjiwan in the Mauricie will see its aboriginal police force return. The Surete du Quebec has been in place since April because of police funding problems. Nearly three months later, the community will continue to receive $2.2-million dollars annually for its police force, despite demands for an additional millon dollars a year to respond to the needs of the community.

In the past, the 28 police officers in town have responded to more than two thousand five hundred calls annually. Now, Obedjiwan's police force will be cut in half because the community can no longer afford to take out the extra million it needs for its police from other community funds.

Gilbert Whiteduck is a public security representative for the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, and tells us more. 
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Sharing affection for the great outdoors

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Summer has officially begun, and that means a lot of people are planning to take advantage of the season, going out into the woods or on a lake for summer vacation. 

But unwinding in the great outdoors is not a given for some people. Quebec AM's Julia Page takes us on a hike with a non-profit organization from Quebec City that is trying to promote this access to nature to city dwellers, who need a break from it all.  
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Quebec's construction strike enters 2nd week

This morning, more than 40,000 construction workers in the roadwork and civil engineering sector across the province are supposed to be back on the job. After 8 days on the picket line, a tentative deal was reached yesterday in this one sector of the industry. Workers still have to vote on the agreement in the coming weeks.

However, talks covering workers in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector have hit an impasse. Yesterday, Premier Pauline Marois announced a special mediator would be assigned to get talks going again in that sector.

Eric Cherbaka, executive director of the Association Provinciale des Constructeurs d'Habitation du Quebec. We also hear from Yves Ouellet, spokesperson for the Alliance Syndical, the associaton of construction worker's unions.
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Engineering firms pay price for past corrupt practices

The Dessau engineering company is paying the price for its past involvement in corrupt practices. It's now barred from bidding on government contracts, a penalty that will probably mean job lay-offs. Maud Cohen, former president of the Quebec Order of Engineers, tells us more about the impact of these penalties.
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Growing up in Poverty in First Nations communities

As Canada celebrates National Aboriginal Day, a report issued by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives finds that half of Canada's First Nations children are raised in poverty.

The President of the Native Women's Association, Michèle Audette, is not surprised by the report, but is upset that in some ways, the situation has worsened. Before joining an Idle No More march being held in Quebec City today, she talked to us about the movement that marked this past year, and the situation for youth in First Nations communities across the country.

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War of 1812 memorabilia sold to Canada for $573K

A large collection of letters, maps and other documents that once belonged to Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, the lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia who conquered Maine for the British during the War of 1812, has sold for $573,000 at auction in London. The Canadian government was the winning bidder of this extensive collection.

We spoke with Chantal Marin-Comeau from Library and Archives Canada, to learn more about what it calls the largest known collection of War of 1812 documents, and its owner. 

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CBU Bachelor of Arts offered to Listuguj students

Mature students looking to pursue their post-secondary education in the Mi'gmaq community of Listiguj will be able to do so, without leaving their home town. Starting this fall, Cape Breton University will be offering a 3-year Bachelor of Arts Community Studies program in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region.

To find out how the course planning will be set into action, we spoke with Listiguj Education Director Gail Metallic, as well as Rod Nicholls, the Dean of Arts & Social Sciences at Cape Breton University.

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Abou Fofana's status pending

Abou Fofana was scheduled to be deported this morning, after his bid for refugee status was denied by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It considers Fofana a war criminal, because he collected tolls at a checkpoint for the Rebel Group Forces Nouvelles in the Ivory Coast.

His flight was finally cancelled last night, though it's not clear why this decision was taken.

He has been living in Trois-Rivières since 2008, and has a 16 month-old son. This morning we spoke to his wife, who is now pregnant with twins.

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Ivorian refugee accused of war crimes

aboutfofana-radcan.jpg Abou Fofana has called Trois-Rivières his home since 2008, shortly after he fled his home country, Ivory Coast, and applied for refugee status. He started working as a carpenter, fell in love, and started a family.

Fofana's residency status changed in 2011, when the Refugee Protection Division alleged that there were "serious reasons for considering that Mr. Fofana had committed a war crime as a member of the Force Nouvelles Rebel group." The government has been trying to deport him since.

Stewart Istvanffy represents Abou Fofana. He has worked as a refugee and human rights lawyer for over 25 years, and tells us more about this case.

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A Townships raspberry patch that is changing lives

raspberry.JPGIt's almost berry season. Our Townships Reporter Sarah Rogers stopped by a gardening project in Cowansville that's helping people living with mental health issues. It is organized by L'Eveil, and this time of year is particularly exciting for the people who take care of the raspberry patch. 
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Festival d'ete contest

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CBC Quebec is joining forces with the Festival d'été for a special contest. We're holding a station-wide contest to win tickets to some of the summer's biggest concerts.

First things first: tune in to Quebec AM and Breakaway for a clue as to which concert. To enter, call the Talk-back line: 1-888-691-3476. Leave your name, where you're calling from, phone number to get back in touch. 

All names will be entered in a random draw to win a pair of tickets to the show announced that day. You can enter once per day/per pair of tickets. 

**If you sing as part of your entry, you get TWO entries for the effort of one.**

Wanted: Honest Mayor

Last month, the Montreal Board of Trade put up a "Help Wanted" sign, seeking an honest man or woman with a spotless past to take over the city's top job next November. Michel Leblanc, President of the Montreal Board of Trade tells us how the search is going, now that the interim mayor has been arrested and charged.
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Quebec's construction strike heads into second day

photo.JPG170,000 construction workers are on strike, after unions failed to come to an agreement with Quebec's construction employers over the weekend. Both employers and unions say they are anxious to get back to work. Job sites across the province are at a stand-still, including roadwork and residential construction.

Our Townships Reporter Sarah Rogers joins us from Sherbrooke to tell us more.
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Bereaved father asks for support

Over the weekend in Drummondville, Patrick Desautels held a big sale of seedlings from his tree nursery in Ste. Christine. He held the sale since he's been incapable of working since December. Desautels' three children were killed just before Christmas, and their mother has been charged in their deaths.

Patrick Desautels says he needs money to carry on, and he's received little support from the government's compensation program for victims of crimeQuebec City lawyer Marc Bellemare is representing him, and tells us why that is.

We also hear from Alain Fortier, a Quebec City man who is behind a new website for men who've been victims of sexual assault.
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Accessibility issues in downtown St. Roch neighbourhood

MichelBedard.jpgAs the summer arrives, more and more shoppers are taking advantage of the shops along sunny rue St. Joseph in Quebec City's St. Roch neighbourhood. But some people with disabilities say it's tough for them to shop there.

Many businesses along that downtown street aren't wheelchair accessible - and aren't legally obligated to make changes. Quebec AM's Julia Caron has been looking into this story, and brings us more.
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Parking headaches for tour bus drivers

Hordes of tourists are beginning to pour into the streets of Old Quebec as summer approaches. Dropping them off are thousands of tour buses, who have to negotiate the narrow streets of the city... and find a place to park their vehicules. 

Bus drivers are complaining that parking is next to impossible, with strict drop-off times. On top of that, the lease for the biggest parking lot they were allowed to use, on Champlain Boulevard, was not renewed by the City of Quebec. These factors are contributing to large buses being driven around in circles, while waiting for their passengers to finish their walking tours.

Quebec AM's Julia Page spoke to drivers dealing with these complications.
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Kenyan women's rights advocate in Townships

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Last month, more than 150 Kenyan girls made legal history. In a country where the rape of young women is rampant, this group sued the Kenyan government for failing to protect them. And they won.

Mercy Chidi is a Kenyan social worker and advocate for young rape victims. Her group, Ripples International, is funded in large part by the Stephen Lewis Foundation and its Grandmothers to Grandmothers charity.

T
he Sherbrooke chapter of Grandmothers for Grandmothers will be hosting a talk by Mercy Chidi this weekend in North Hatley. We've reached Mercy Chidi this morning in Toronto. 
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The Politics of Soccer

 

soccer_THECANADIANPRESS, Ryan Remiorz.JPGThe Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) has stood by its decision to ban players from wearing the turban on the soccer pitch, defending they are simply applying international rules set by FIFA. However, the Canadian Soccer Association has decided to suspend the QSF, until the ban is overturned.

To explain the politics of the game, we spoke with Laurent Dubois, professor at Duke University. He's taught a course called "World Politics in World Socccer", and he's written extensively on those issues on his blog called "Politics of Football".

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Putting agro-tourism on the map

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The Eastern Townships hopes to welcome more of a special kind of road-tripper: people who come to visit the region's farm-fresh and gourmet offerings. Eastern Townships tourism has launched this season's Circuit agrotouristique Cantons de l'Est, a growing network of producers and businesses that have a local food product to offer.
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Public debate on oil and gas development in Gaspe

Thumbnail image for hydrocarbons.jpgPeople in Gaspé packed a meeting hall to hear different views on oil and gas development in their community. Quebec's Travelling Journalist Marika Wheeler brings us some of the reaction from people who attended in that forum.

We also hear from Mario Levesque, founder and president of the association for oil and gas industry suppliers in Quebec. He was one of the panelists, and we reached him in Gaspé.
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Cronut Controversy

cronut.jpgIt's gone from conception to viral sensation in a matter of weeks. We're not talking about a new video on YouTube. We're talking about a particular type of doughnut invented by a New York pastry chef last month. Our food columnist, Khalil Akhtar, explains how an odd pastry become a global obsession. Listen here.

Canada's smallest border crossings look to automated future

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Crossing the border to the U.S. generally involves a face-to-face conversation with a border guard. But at one Quebec crossing, it might soon be a bit more like ordering at a drive-through. The Morses Line crossing is about 15 kilometers to the south of Bedford, and is only open during business hours. 

But starting in 2015, all after-hours traffic will processed by a border security agent who is not on site, using a new video kiosk. It's a pilot project from the Canadian Border Service Agency and it's getting mixed reaction.

Réal Pelletier is the mayor of St. Armand, which lies about 10 kilometers to the northwest of Morses Line.
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Vernacular Architecture Forum shines spotlight on Gaspe

portiqueLeGros.jpgFor the first time ever, a group of architecture buffs and academics are heading to the Gaspé region for an international conference that is open to the public. It's being organized by the Vernacular Architecture Forum, an organization based in the United States.   

About 125 people are spending a good part of the week touring the Gaspé and learning about the architecture that's typical of the region. 

Tania Martin is the Laval University professor who pushed to hold the forum in our part of the world, and joined us on the line from Gaspé. 
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Increased whale deaths in Argentina linked to St. Lawrence

The number of unexplained whale deaths has more than doubled in Argentina over the past few years, and scientists are trying to identify how increasing deaths in the St. Lawrence River beluga population may be linked. Marine specialist Lyne Morrisette tells us how climate change and turbulent weather systems may also be putting marine creatures at a greater risk.
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Haitian interns harvest farm skills in the Townships

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An organic vegetable farm in Compton, in the Eastern Townships, welcomed two new interns earlier this year. Rose Betty David and Fisher Raymond, from Labrousse, Haiti, are working on this organic vegetable farm to learn more about North American organic farming methods, and how to market produce - skills they can take back to the agricultural labourers they work for.

Our Townships Reporter Sarah Rogers tells us more about this Quebec-Haiti partnership, which hopes to foster sustainable agriculture in parts of Haiti devasted by the 2010 earthquake.
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Sillery property development still in question

If the future of those highly-prized heritage properties in Sillery was in the hands of Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume, a vast new park would be created, the religious communities would be properly compensated and private developers could still build. 

The decision, though, isn't in his hands. 

We hear from Mayor Labeaume, along with the perspective of Father Marcel Poirier, with les Pères Augustins de l'Assomption, in Sillery. 

Lastly, Marc Simard, the president of Investissement Benmore, weighs in. His company has been awaiting approval for its residential project, called Le Domaine Sous les Bois, on a piece of the land within the heritage lands in Sillery.
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Ganesh Vs. the Third Reich

ganesh.jpgThe Carrefour Internationale de Theatre prides itself on presenting one-of-a-kind works, whether it be with late night street performances or an all-dance play performed by actors. One of the plays that will help wrap up the festival raises the bar on distinctive theatre just a little more. "Ganesh Vs. the Third Reich" tells the story of the Hindu god with the elephant's head who travels to Nazi Germany to retrieve and protect the swastika, originally a Sanskrit symbol of well-being.

It's produced by Australia's Back to Back Theatre, a company whose actors are all people
with intellectual disabilities. Alice Nash is the troupe's executive producer.
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Midwives say contract talks with the government are going nowhere

Radio-Canada.jpgEarly arrivals at the National Assembly this morning were greeted by a small mob of midwives.

They camped out overnight to show their unhappiness over the lack of progress in contract negotiations with the Quebec government. The organization representing midwives signed their last contract almost a decade ago.

Claudia Faille is the President, and she joined us this morning from outside the National Assembly.

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Town council denies walkway and dock in Brome Lake

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For more than a decade an organization in the Eastern Townships has offered summer camps and sporting activities to people with physical disabilities and reduced mobility. In more recent years, the program has been based on Lake Massawippi.

That's where the Adaptive Sports Foundation set up a special dock adapted for wheelchair users -to ease them into the water; to help them onto boats, or into adapted water skis.

But when the organization made a request to move that summer camp to Douglas Beach on Brome Lake -to be closer to many of the program's Montreal-based clients- the town council denied that request, leaving many involved with the program upset.

Our Sarah Rogers was in Brome Lake yesterday to find out more.

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Affordable access to fresh food in the North questionable

Providing affordable access to fresh food in the North has long been a conundrum for governments.

The federal Nutrition North Canada program was billed as a new and improved way to allieviate the higher cost of some of these foods when it was introduced three years ago.

Gerard Duhaime is a professor of Sociology, Political Science and Canada's Research Chair in Comparative Aboriginal Conditions. He has been totting up grocery bills since the programme was introduced and has just published the results of his research.

He joined host Susan Campbell in our studio this morning.

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Bella Desgagnés removed from service

BellaDesgagne.jpgThe Bella Desgagnés was designed to replace the Nordik Express, which serves ports between Rimouski and Blanc Sablon. Since its inauguration in April, the ship has been experiencing intermittent technical problems, and was forced to cancel some services. Robin Kelleher, director general of Relais Nordik, responds to some of those concerns.
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Potential oil development on Anticosti Island

Quebec's petroleum future might lie on Anticosti Island, but what would all-out oil development actually look like? Geologist-engineer Marc Durand has researched this, and tells us more.
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Serge Ménard reacts to criticism of special commission

The spring of 2013 has been quiet on the streets of Quebec cities. Quite unlike last spring, when nightly protests pitted students against riot police, for months on end. It all started because of opposition to the government's plan to increase tuition fees. But it spread and grew, until the government brought in special legislation to quell demonstrations. Now a special commission has been set up to examine what happened. But it too is the subject of criticism

Former PQ minister and Bloc MP, Serge Ménard, is the commission's chair, and he joins us this morning.
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Learning to save lives using video games

You can go on adventures, kill bad guys - and learn to treat a patient in cardiac arrest. Our Townships Reporter Sarah Rogers tells us about a video game being developed to train nursing students in Sherbrooke. The new software, developped by Golem Labs Studios, is giving the students the kind of trial and error training a real emergency room can't afford.
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Luxurious retirement for Cavalia's four-legged performers

cavaliaSarah_Rogers.jpgYou might wonder what kind of life show animals live when they're not performing.

The 50 or so horses that have worked for the Quebec equestrian and acrobatic production Cavalia graze on 72 acres of rolling Appalachian country in Sutton, in the Eastern Townships. Some are taking a break from travelling the world as part of the latest performance Odysseo. Others have retired from the stage, a luxury not many horses enjoy.

Our Sarah Rogers went to visit Cavalia's Sutton stables and brings us this report.

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Resurgent cases of tuberculosis in Salluit

Public health officials are keeping a watchful eye on the high-rates of tuberculosis in the community of Salluit. Since April, there have been eleven confirmed cases. 

This comes on the heels of last year's TB outbreak in Kangiqsualujjuaq, where there were more than 75 cases. Although there are treatments available, the concern is that this a recurring health issue in Nunavik.

To tell us more, we had on the line Dr. Francoise Bouchard, the Acting Director for Public Health at the regional health board in Nunavik.

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