CBC.ca | Quebec AM

October 2013 Archives

Anglophone municipal representation in the Gaspé

gaspe elections.JPGIn some parts of the Gaspé, there is a significant English-speaking population, yet not many Anglophones on town councils. The CBC's Marika Wheeler visited the Gaspé to find out if English-speaking voters feel represented in municipal politics, and in this election campaign.


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Régis Labeaume comments on election campaign and union relations

Earlier this week we heard how the negotiations between the civic workers of Quebec City and incumbent mayor Régis Labeaume have deteriorated since the beginning of this election campaign.

Hoping to win a third mandate on election night, Régis Labeaume sat down with host Susan Campbell to comment on these tense relations, and how he intends to stay on the same track if he is elected this Sunday.

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Arlette Cousture to publish short story collection online exclusively

arlette_cousture_facebook.jpgBook store owners in Quebec are upset that certain authors are choosing to publish their work on their own web platforms. L'Association des libraires du Québec feels that by doing so, authors are "weakening the book ecosystem". Quebec author Marie Laberge has announced that she will be selling her first ten novels through her own web site. The author of the trilogy "Les Filles de Caleb", Arlette Cousture, will also be publishing her new collection of short stories in digital version only, for the first time. We reached her in Montreal this morning to find out why.  

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Municipal elections in North Hatley

Municipal elections are heating up in the village of North Hatley. An area in the centre of the village has recently been sold to a developer, and that spot could soon be transformed into something not everyone in the town wants. Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette met with some of the candidates and residents in North Hatley.
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Tensions build between Régis Labeaume and Quebec City employees

labeaume_THE CANADIAN PRESS- Jacques Boissinot.JPGThe worsening conflict between the incumbent mayor Régis Labeaume and the city's unionized employees  continues to dominate the municipal election campaign in Quebec City. While workers have said they won't go on strike during the election campaign, the union has filed notice of legal action against the city and the Mayor, for creating what it calls a "climate of violence". Quebec AM's Glenn Wanamaker was in studio this morning to tell us more.  

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New smart phone app for Innu-French-English dictionary

Innu researchers say youth growing up in some North Shore communities are at risk of losing their language completely. That's why they've partnered with researchers at Memorial University in Newfoundland to turn their paper Innu-French-English dictionary into a format kids will use: a smart phone app.

Marguerite MacKenzie is a professor in the department of linguistics at Memorial University who worked on the project.

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US chefs join Canadian seafood boycott over seal hunt

More than six thousand restaurants and grocery stores in the United States have pledged they will no longer purchase Canadian seafood from provinces where sealing is practiced.

This boycott is part of the Protect Seals campaign launched by the Humane Society of the United States. It includes major chains like Whole Foods. It's also being supported by more than 40 restaurateurs who were named Best New Chef by Food and Wine Magazine.

Cathal Armstrong, chef owner of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia explains why he signed onto the Chefs for Seals campaign.

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Elementary students taking over the airwaves

Radio has become an essential part of the elementary school experience at many schools in the Quebec City region. Since 2009, students have been learning how to communicate their ideas using radio. It's called Première Radio, and as of this week, anyone can listen in to their reports online. Julia Caron stopped by Anne Hébert Elementary School to find out more about how this project got started. We hear from Claude Thibodeau, teacher Kathleen Vatcher, and student Annalisa Abbate. (Pictured left are students Annalisa Abbate, Hubert Chassé, Charlie Lauzon-Pelletier, Océane Caron with their teacher Julie Vallière.)
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Emergency response to disasters in Gulf of St. Lawrence

In the event of an oil spill in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, who are you going to call? The Environment ministry of Quebec? New Brunswick? PEI? Newfoundland? The federal government? That's just one of the problems scientists pinpointed this week as they discussed what would happen in the event of an oil spill. Scientists from around the world at the Ocean Innovation Conference in Rimouski are trying to tackle that question.

Émilien Pelletier holds the Canada Research Chair in Marine Ecotoxicology at the Université du Québec in Rimouski, and he joins us this morning.
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Dreaming of public transportation

131023_9n7oh_transport_en_commun_sn635.jpgIn the Quebec City mayoral debate this week, mayor and candidate Régis Labeaume said he doubted that there were 100 in Quebec City who dreamed of taking the bus. According to a petition launched this week - there are actually thousands of them.

A Cegep Ste Foy student, Jerôme Côté-Allard took issue with that statement and launched a petition for people who dream of having an efficient transit system in Quebec City. It has collected well over 5,000 signatures already.

Marie-Raphaelle Leblond worked with Côté-Allard as part of Cegep Ste. Foy's environmental group Gaia, and tells us more.
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Davie Shipyard launches first new ship in over a decade

Davie_1308_0131.JPGBarely a year after new owners took over the abandoned Davie shipyard, contracts have been signed, workers have returned and tomorrow, a bottle of champagne will be sacrificed for the launch of the first new ship in years.

Alex Vicefield is the chairman of Davie, and joined us in studio to tell us more about the Cecon Pride which will be launched Friday.
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Over twenty candidates in Waterville

People across the province will be voting for their new municipal councils in a few week. Recently, we've heard of regions where there are no candidates... but the opposite issue is happening in the small town of Waterville in the Eastern Townships. Deciding just who to vote for may be difficult because there are 23 names will be on the ballots.

Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette went to visit and brings us a look at what has inspired so many to present their candidacy.
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Bell privacy policy raises concerns

You pay your phone company to connect you to the rest of the world, but what happens with the information they gather from you and your choices? Bell is under fire for its new privacy policy coming next month. Philippe Viel speaks for L'Union des consommateurs, Quebec's consumers' group, and tells us why he thinks it raises serious concerns.
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Future of Magdalen Islands lighthouse in question

Havre-Aubert is one of the many places on the Magdalen Islands where you can see a historic lighthouse. In fact, it's the tallest lighthouse in the region, and has been a beacon for both fishermen and tourists since it was built in the 1870s. Recently, rumours of it sale - to private owners - have raised concerns among some citizens. Maureen Caper is a long-time resident of the Magdalen Islands, and one of the members of the committee to protect the l'Anse-a-la-Cabane lighthouse.
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We asked the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to confirm the sale of the lighthouse to a private buyer, but they did not respond to our inquiries. We also asked to speak to the Magdalen Islands municipality and the rumoured purchasers of the lighthouse, and have not heard back. We will continue to follow this story.

L'Étoile des Ainés winner from Rouyn-Noranda

If you thought singing competitions were only for high school glee clubs and young aspiring Idols, think again. L'Étoile des Ainés features golden-throated folks in their golden years. This year's winner, Elliott Norman, is on his way to Niagara Falls to represent Quebec. 

Norman was named the top senior citizen entertainer in the province. Now he's off to the National Championships in Niagara Falls. Elliott Norman, or Phil Norman as he's known on stage, is on the line with us now from Rouyn-Noranda.
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Protecting the poppy in Quebec City

poppies.JPGThe poppy will bloom in Quebec City after all. Recent controversy surrounding the use of funds at Quebec City's Branch 265 of the Royal Canadian Legion had thrown the whole poppy campaign into doubt. But the veterans have rallied to save it. 

We find out more from Norman Shelton, President of the Quebec Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, and Jean-Francois Corriveau is the second vice president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 265 in Quebec City. 

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New respite home for farmers

Nestled on a leafy street in St-Hyacinthe is a very special house. From the outside, it looks like any other in the neighbourhood, but it's more than just a family home. It's a respite home for farmers.

It's called La Maison ACFA, which stands for "Au Coeur des Familles Agricole." It hopes to offer solace for overworked farmers who need a place to get away and gather their thoughts. Quebec's Travelling Journalist Marika Wheeler visited the newly inaugurated house.
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Voluntary household survey inaccurate

Remember the brouhaha three years ago when Ottawa decided to abandon the mandatory census in favour of a voluntary household survey? The numbers are in, and it turns out they're not terribly accurate. Even Stats Can acknowledges there are gaps. Marc Hamel, Census Manager for Statistics Canada, explains why. 

We also hear from two other people who rely on the economic, health, and community data from the census reports. Stephen Gordon is an economist at Laval University in Quebec City. And Richard Shearmur is a professor in the School of Urban Planning at McGill University.
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Quebec-Sherbrooke Presbytary opposed to banning religious symbols

As the debate over the proposed Charter of Quebec values wears on, the Quebec-Sherbrooke Presbytery for the United Church of Canada has also presented its position, after lay and clergy representatives of congregations from the Eastern Townships to the Lower North Shore gathered for a two-day meeting in Sherbrooke.

Reverend Lynn Hamilton, Chair of the Quebec-Sherbrooke Presbytery for the United Church of Canada who serves as Pastor of Kinnear's Mills, Inverness and Thetford-Mines was in our studios this morning to explain how those members reacted to the proposal of banning of religious symbols in the workplace.

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Quebec Psychiatrists demand overhaul of expert testimonies in legal trials

The Association of Quebec Psychiatrists is calling for an overhau of the system of expert psychiatric testimony in legal trials. As things stand, that testimony can be used without verification of its accuracy and without protection against bias.

This week, in the lawsuit filed against an order of Redemptorist priests, it was reported that a psychiatrist testifying for the defence suggested there may have been "benefits", as well as harm, from the sexual abuse inflicted upon the victim, a young teenage boy at the time.

In a press release, the Association of Quebec Psychiatrists.said this demonstrates that a profound reform is required. We reached the association's president Dr. Karine Igartua at her Montreal office.

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$65,000 for restoration of Holy Name Hall in Douglastown

holy_name_hall.jpgThe provincial government has confirmed it will be allotting an extra $65,000 to the restoration of the Holy Name Hall. This parish theater was long the home of cultural events for the local Irish community.

But it fell into disrepair over the last few decades, and is only being restored now. Luc Chaput is the president of the Holy Name Hall Committee and joined us on the line from Douglastown, in the Gaspé. 

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2012's Legionnaire's outbreak was preventable

The coroner's report on the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Quebec City last year indicates that different government departments must share the blame, because they failed to apply recommendations made following the 1996 and 2010 outbreaks. 

Quebec AM reporter Julia Page went down to the Complexe Jacques-Cartier in Saint Roch, to speak to people in the area where the outbreak occured in 2012.

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We also gathered reactions from former health minister Yves Bolduc, along with Dr. Isabelle Goupil-Sormany, medical officer with the Public Health Department, as well as lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard who is representing relatives of some of the victims, and is considering a class action lawsuit.

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City of La Tuque takes over its train stations

viarail_THE CANADIAN PRESS-Peter McCabe.JPGFor months, Via Rail has been announcing station closures, cutting rail service, and eliminating customer service agent jobs across Quebec.

The city of La Tuque was among those affected by these closures, but the city was not willing to give up that easily: it will be taking over the administration of its two train stations itself, in Parent and La Tuque. Mayor Normand Beaudoin joined us this morning to explain.

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Small town in legal battle over cranberry production

cranberries_THE CANADIAN PRESS-Jacques Boissinot.JPGThe province of Quebec is the third largest cranberry producer in the world. But some people in the small town of Sainte-Séraphine aren't too happy to be living next door to cranberry farms.

The small town in the heart of agricultural land in Central Quebec has found itself in the middle of a legal battle, and wants to ban cranberry farms from its territory. The CBC's Allison Van Rassel explains.  

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Residents split over Bell phone towers

Bell is proposing to build new cell phone towers, in order to upgrade phone and internet service for parts of the Townships. But some residents are concerned the towers are too tall, and too close to where they live. Townships reporter Alison Brunette brings us the story.

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Stunning arrest of a former top Montreal police investigator of criminal gangs

Until he retired in August, former Montreal detective Benoit Roberge was considered one of Quebec's top investigators of criminal gangs.

He participated in some of the most spectacular police crackdowns of the past decade, and knew that world inside-out. But on Monday, Roberge was the one in handcuffs, charged on four counts of gangsterism and breach of trust.

Montreal's police force - the SPVM - will comment officially on the Roberge arrest later today. For a sense of the impact of the arrest, we spoke to Julian Sher, an author who's written about biker gangs, and now a member of CBC TV's Fifth Estate team.

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Healthy, nutritious food now served in a Quebec City hospital

Hospitalfoodcbc.jpgEating hospital food has not always meant eating healthy. But, things are changing here in Quebec.

By next March, all hospitals in the province are supposed to meet new Ministry of Health standards for nutritious food. Some hospitals are ahead of the curve in implementing these changes.

One of them is in Quebec City, the Institut Universitaire en santé mentale de Québec - formerly the Robert-Giffard hostpial. France Couture is a nutritionist at the hospital.
She joined us this morning.

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Former soldier launches a second walk to raise funds for post-traumatic stress disorder

IMG_4524.JPGLast year, army corporal Kate MacEachern completed a walk from the Canadian Forces base in Gagetown New Brunswick to her hometown of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She succeeded in raising $20,000 for the Soldier On Fund that supports retired military personnel with a chronic illness or injury. She was even joined for the last leg of that walk by Peter MacKay, who was at that point Defence Minister.

This year, Corporal MacEachern decided to embark on another walk, all the way to Ottawa, to support work on post-traumatic stress disorder. But this time, there was no support from Armed Forces; in fact she's had to leave the military to carry out her walk.

Yesterday, she was in Quebec City, along with another former soldier, Kevin Berry, who's accompanying on her journey. They joined me in studio.

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So much more than just a cup of Joe

Back in April, we did a story on the concept of the suspended coffee. This where you buy an extra coffee at your local café, which in turns offers a free coffee -- or even a sandwich -- to someone in need. It's a practice that's taken root in various cities around the world, including Quebec City.

The CBC's Allison Van Rassel met Luca Albanese when she did that first story, and she joined me again this morning to tell the story of generosity in a Quebec City café and how it affected the lives of two people who didn't really know each other.

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A community space where you can make or repair just about anything

LaFabriqueviaFacebook.jpgYou may have heard of  community gardens before. Now take that concept and a apply it to a toolshed. Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette visited La Fabrique and met with some of the people using the communal workshop. She joined me now in our Sherbrooke studio.

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Understanding the links between diet and our genetic makeup

ISNN2013.comEveryone knows a friend who can eat all the chocolate cake he or she wants,
and never seems to gain an ounce. And another who gains weight just by looking in the
cake's general direction. Well what if your genetic makeup actually dictates - in part - how you and that chocolate cake are going to get along? And could our diet have an effect on our genetics?
This week, the Congress of the International Society of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics is being held in Quebec City. Professor Louis Pérusse is the chair of the conference. He's a researcher at Laval University's Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods and he joined us in studio this morning.

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Researchers find link between pesticides and breast cancer

LucGaudreauUofSherbrooke.jpgA team of researchers at the University of Sherbrooke has been studying the effects of different pesticides on the body, and the findings are quite troubling. The group says some of the pesticides used on our fruits and vegetables could be a contributing factor in cases of breast cancer.

Luc Gaudreau holds the Canada Research Chair on mechanisms of gene transcription at the University of Sherbrooke. He led the study and joined us from his home in Sherbrooke.

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Basia Bulat's story of pain, loss and Tall Tall Shadow

Basia Bulat.jpgThree years after her last disc, Basia Bulat is back with a new CD called "Tall Tall Shadow". She's telling stories, like she always has.

But the stories on this disc - about pain and loss, defiance and liberation - seem more personal. Like there's more of her in the stories she tells.

The CD is produced by Tim Kingsbury, from Arcade Fire and Mark Lawson, a Grammy-winning engineer who worked on the band's hit 'The Suburbs' and Basia Bulat credits them with giving her the space she needed to tell her stories in a different way.

She dropped by our studios yesterday for a chat.

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Rabaska project dead

It's been a decade since a controversial proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal near Lévis was first raised. Yesterday, the Environment minister Yves-François Blanchet declared the project dead. 

André L'Ecuyer is president of the Rabaska consortium, made up of Gaz Métro, Enbridge, and Gaz de France. He joined us in studio with reaction to the minister's announcement.

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La Corriveau's cage in Lévis

A new chapter is being written in the history of Quebec this week. The legend of La Corriveau has fascinated and frightened generations.

The real woman who inspired tales of a grisly spectre, was hanged for her crimes in a metal cage and left dangling there for weeks. 

That cage had been lost for over 150 years. Now it's returned to Quebec, and to Lévis, where it is briefly on display to the public. Julia Caron was there, and brings us more.
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Unplugged in Bonaventure

160 students from Secondary 3 to 5 from all over the province doing something few teenagers are willing to even consider. For the next 36 hours, they will not be allowed to use technology. No computer, no cell phone, no pods: they all get left at home.

They're participants in the Provincial Leadership Conference where the theme this year is "Unplugged."

Alice Dell is the principal of Bonaventure Polyvalente School and helped organize this weekend's events. 

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Becoming the King of Pizza

PWC-2.jpgCap-de-la-Madeleine is perhaps best known for its Catholic shrine. But it could soon start seeing another kind of pilgrimage - people looking for good pizza, and maybe an Elvis sighting.

Rock n' roll Pizzeria is a small, 30-seat restaurant located in downtown Cap-de-la Madeleine. Its chef Mario Lizotte will soon head to Italy to take part in a worldwide pizza competition. It's called the Pizza World Cup, and it takes place in Rome this year. 

The CBC's Allison Van Rassel stopped by the restaurant earlier this week to speak
to the man who hopes to become pizza's King.

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Rouyn-Noranda mayoral candidate Vuyani Gxoyiva

gxoyiya.jpgVuyani Gxoyiva grew up in South Africa during apartheid, where he learned the meaning of democracy. He is now running for mayor of Rouyn-Noranda, and he wants to approach citizens one by one.

Gxoyiva moved to the Abitibi eighteen years ago, and after starting a family raising his four children, he's throwing his hat in the ring.

He tells Susan more about what he hopes to bring to municipal politics. 
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Proposed fertilizer plant before BAPE hearings

becancour.gifTwo co-ops joined forces last year in the hopes of bringing an ambitious new project to Bécancour. The Quebec government has already promised $1.2 billion to this proposed fertilizer production facility.

Prior to being given the official go ahead, though, the project must go before the province's environmental review board (BAPE).

Among those presenting their concerns at those hearings is Equiterre. Their executive director Sidney Ribaux joined us to explain what they'll be presenting this afternoon.
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School board officials say they will have no choice to reduce student services

marois-cabinet-20120919.jpgFor Quebec's school boards association, the meeting yesterday with the Education Minister Marie Malavoy and Premier Marois was a pivotal one.

They wanted some sign of help to deal with the $200 million cut in budgets affecting almost every board across the province.

For its part, the government wants the boards to reduce school taxes. We spoke to David D'aoust, chair of the English School Boards Association.

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David Lemelin on current Quebec City politics

IMG_4518.JPGQuebec City's Mayor Régis Labeaume has been able to breeze through City Council meetings the last four years without any organized opposition. David Lemelin hopes to change that. 

He's the leader of the new Démocratie-Québec party, which hopes to dethrone Labeaume. Lemelin is a former journalist, who wrote a critical essay about the mayor's tenure, called "Labeaume, la dictature amicale" - the friendly dictatorship.

Lemelin joined us in studio.
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