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June 2014 Archives

Sticky question of maple syrup labelling

If you're pouring some maple syrup over your pancakes this morning, or drizzling some onto your strawberries and yogurt, take a look at the label. It could be labelled Canada No. 1, or USA Grade A, or even Quebec No. 1 - different labels for different jurisdictions. But after years of discussion, new categories have been put forward by the International Maple Syrup Institute. We hear from Stanley Holmes, a maple syrup producer in Way's Mills about the proposed changes. Listen here.

Regional impacts of new CBC/Radio-Canada strategy


The CBC is shifting its priorities, from television and radio to digital and mobile services. This move will reduce staff, supper-hour news broadcasts and programs produced in-house. To find out more about the impact on CBC's regional mandate, we speak with our Managing Director for English Services, Shelagh Kinch. Listen here.

Off Coaticook's beaten track

coaticook.jpg When you think of Coaticook, your thoughts probably drift to the iconic ice cream. Or perhaps the picturesque Gorge and suspension bridge. But there's more to it than that... Our Townships Reporter Alison Brunette has been exploring the town to find its hidden treasures, coming up to its 150th anniversary. Listen here.

Junex's pilot project for shale gas exploration

Four years after shale gas exploration in the St. Lawrence River valley came to a screeching halt, there are definite signs of renewed interest. The government's environmental review board, the BAPE, has just completed public hearings and will file recommendations by the end of the year.

Quebec exploration company Junex presented its ideas last week. President Peter Dorrins explains their pilot project meant to demonstrate that drilling for shale gas can be done properly.

Pat Burns inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame

brad crowfor_burns.jpgPat Burns will have his place in the Hockey Hall of Fame later this year. Our Townships Reporter Alison Brunette went to the Stanstead arena which is named after the iconic hockey coach to get reaction from local fans.

Gaspé's York River not contaminated, says biologist

Gaspé_Hooké_Saumon.jpgThe York River is a popular salmon fishing destination, located downstream from the Gaspé landfill. Documents obtained by Radio-Canada appear to show above-normal levels of contaminants, including heavy metals and fecal coliforms. The city of Gaspé and the vigilance committee that monitors the York River say the run-off coming from the landfill is not causing significant contamination. Benjamin Gagnon, a biologist and assistant manager of the Société de gestion des rivières de Gaspé, tells us more. Listen here.

Rhéal Séguin looks back

RhealSeguin.jpg A feature conversation with our longtime political contributor Rhéal Séguin. He retired last week, as the National Assembly rose for this spring session. We invited him by to look back at some of the political figures and the events he'll remember from his 26 years as the Globe's one-man Quebec City bureau. Listen here.

Quebec psychologist brings solace to Ebola outbreak zone

ebola_reine lebel.jpgDoctors without Borders are now calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa "out of control". They are working in Sierra Leone and Guinea where the virus has killed over 300 people. We speak with Mental Health Officer Reine Lebel, who's returned from a mission to Guinea, where she supported the people who were infected with Ebola as well as their families. Listen here. 

200 years of history at the Eaton Corner Museum

musee-eaton-corner.jpgThe Eaton Corner Museum is taking visitors on a trip back in time with their new exhibit "A Tale of the Townships." Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette walks us through with museum director Sharon Moore. Listen here.

Quebec Chronicle Telegraph blows out 250 candles

The Quebec Chronicle Telegraph is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the first printing of its predecessor, the Quebec Gazette.

Listen back to Susan's conversation with staff writers Bill Cox and Bethann Merkle, as well as Clive Meredith, who was copy editor at the Quebec Chronicle Telegraph dating back to the early '80s and has written for the paper consistently over the years.

Turning tomatoes into wine

tomato.jpgWine enthusiasts can choose from an abundance of varieties these days. They can now even enjoy a tasty glass of... tomato wine. Le Domaine de la Vallée du Bras in Charlevoix has been producing its "Omerto" product for three years now. Lucie Hotte tells us how they adapted the family recipe created in Belgium over 80 years ago.

Beauce: Hub for Quebec entrepreneurs

IMG_6013.JPGThe Beauce is known as one of the most entrepreneurial regions of the province. Marika Wheeler takes us there to find out why, and to meet some young business people who went to the region to learn to take their businesses to the next level. Listen Here.

Envisioning a new downtown Lac-Mégantic

The first anniversary of the train derailment in Lac-Mégantic is just weeks away. After months of cleanup, the rebuilding of the town is set to begin. But what will the downtown look like? Tuesday evening, ctizens had a chance to look at a preliminary plan yesterday, a plan based on a series of consultations. Radio-Canada reporter Claudine Richard was at the meeting where the plans were unveiled last night. Listen here.

Questions linger over tragic bike accident in Sherbrooke

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Citizens in Sherbrooke are asking the city to make its roads safer for cyclists & pedestrians. Their demands come after Déliska Bergeron was hit by a truck and killed last week. We hear from Karine Cliche, who was on the scene and narrowly avoided the same fate. Listen here.

Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette also tells us about the impact this accident has had in the community.

Jeans and bike companies in Beauce react to budget

Jacob Wazana.jpgThe Beauce is a region that is build on the ingenuity and willpower of entrepreneurs. The new provincial budget includes new measures for small and medium sized manufacturing companies. Marika Wheeler headed to the Beauce to find out what a jeans company and a bike company think of the changes. Listen here.

Neptune Technologies re-opens

Neptune Technologies in Sherbrooke is re-opening this week, a year and a half after a deadly explosion at its plant. Our Townships Reporter Alison Brunette was the ribbon cutting ceremony, and brings us the details of how the new plant has implemented security measures in the hopes of preventing this kind of accident from ever happening again. Listen here

Earlier reports: 

The Costa Family: From Quebec to Brazil

Fortaleza is one of the venues for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. It's also the hometown of a Brazilian family who have been living in Quebec for 8 years now. Luciana and Ricardo Costa are leaving for Brazil with their three boys, Lucas, Felipe and Andre. Susan checks in with them to find out which matches they'll get to see, and who their favourite players are. Listen here.

Celebrating 25 years of friendship in Lennoxville

friendshipday.JPG The borough of Lennoxville was one of the busiest spots in the province over the weekend, a nd the flurry of activity was all in the name of Friendship. This weekend marked the 25th anniversary of Friendship Day. 

Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette stopped by to find out more about the longstanding tradition. 

Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph celebrates 250 years

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The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph holds the distinction of being North America's oldest newspaper, and this week, it celebrates its 250th anniversary. Bethann Merkle gives us the scoop on what the paper has planned. Listen here.

Stay tuned to Breakaway for more on the special events planned throughout the coming week.

Judge: $200 million for homeowners

Home sweet home has been anything but for hundreds of homeowners in the Trois-Rivières region. Their homes were built with concrete containing pyrrhotite, causing millions of dollars in damage. Now, a judge says homeowners should be compensated. We hear from Hélène Verrier, one of the Trois-Rivières homeowners involved in the pyrrhotite case. We also speak to Ghislain Lavigne, who works with the law firm of Lambert Therrien, and represents most of the 814 homeowners. Listen here.

Quebec City band Mauves in studio

mauves.jpg"We're a real band now." That's how the members of Mauves reacted when they heard they'd be performing at the Francofolies in Montreal this year. And even though they sing songs about Montreal, in many ways they are a quintessentially Quebec City band. Cédric, Alexandre and Jean-Christophe joined Susan in studio on a rainy Friday morning to talk about growing up musically, and where they're off to next. Listen here.

Recyc-RPM challenges Quebec recycling industry

Recyc-RPM is the oldest plastic recycling company in Quebec, and it's on the verge of bankruptcy. The owners have had to fire 90 employees, and they're  asking the government to step in. Jean-Yves Bâcle is the Vice-President for Sales and Marketing, and he tells us why the company says Quebec's current recycling programs, should be put out to the curb.  Listen here.

Students and seniors smashing stereotypes

A group of young authors at Lennoxville Elementary School have published an award-wining book about some of the misconceptions about aging. Earlier this year, we brought you the story of the Multi-Age Class at Lennoxville Elementary. The pilot project involved nearly 50 students from three different grades in one classroom. This week, the students got a chance to spend a day with their pen pals at the Maison des Grandparents in Sherbrooke. Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette stopped in to find out more about the award-winning project. Listen here.

Orsainville helicopter escape fallout

There's a lot more than meets the eye to the story surrounding the helicopter jail break in Quebec City on Saturday. So far, neither the Public Security minister nor the Premier are happy with the answers they're getting. We look at what the upcoming investigation needs to examine. Gérard Deltell, the Coalition Avenir Québec MNA for the riding of Chauveau -- where the detention centre is located, weighs in.

We also hear from Yves Tremblay, the president of Photo Hélico in Magog - a company that specializes in taking aerial photographs. He tells us what happened when he was stopped by provincial police after he flew his chopper too close to the Talbot Detention Centre in Sherbrooke. Listen here.

David Saint-Jacques on becoming an astronaut

People in Puvirnituq knew David Saint-Jacques as a family doctor, but that changed five years ago when he was named to the NASA astronaut program. This week, he's back in his hometown of Quebec City. 

David Saint-Jacques joined us in studio before jetting off to a class visit, wearing his bright blue uniform. He talked to Susan about what it takes to become an astronaut. Listen here.

International students fight for their son's health insurance

Over the past week, the community at Laval University has been rallying behind a couple from Mexico studying here. Doctoral students Marco Lopez and Sandra Escalera found out in mid-May their 5-year-old Bruno had cancer. Shortly after the diagnosis, they found out their insurance policy wouldn't cover his treatments. 

CBC reporter Catou MacKinnon has been looking into this story for us and joins me now. Listen here.

Since we first brought you this story, the Lopez-Escalera received more bad news. With the situation still in doubt, the family is still grateful for donations and support. Listen here.   

If you are interested in contacting the family, find out more here

Limoiloup rises from the ashes to grant wishes

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Back in January, we first met the Limoiloup: a taxidermied wolf known to all those who stroll down 3e avenue in the Quebec City neighbourhood of Limoilou. It was a familiar sight in the storefront window of Fourrures Falardeau, but when that building was destroyed by fire in January, the wolf was left to roam the streets and find a new home. Our Julia Caron tells us who has helped bring the Limoiloup back to health. Listen here.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos of the Limoiloup

Ecole Primaire Sacré Coeur's year end concert

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Many schools across the province are gearing down extra curricular activities, as they gear up for the end of the academic year. But at the Ecole Primaire Sacré Coeur in Sherbrooke, the fun is just getting started. Students there have been learning violin, cello and piano along with their regular curriculum. Now, all 600 young musicians are getting ready to take the stage at one of Sherbrooke's biggest concert halls. Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette stopped by check out the rehearsal for the school's 42nd annual year-end concert. Listen here.

HMS Jerry Jan II found in Lévis

Jeffy_Jan_II_1943.jpgNaval buffs or World War Two history buffs might recognize this vessel's name: the H.M.S. Jeffy Jan II. It was commissioned into the Navy in Quebec City in 1940 and played a very special role. 

For years, people thought it was lost -- that is, until this spring. André Kirouac is the Director of the Naval Museum of Quebec, and he tells us more. Listen here.

Quebec's assisted reproduction program under fire

Jill Gagnon is a Quebec city mother who spent thousands of dollars on unsuccessful fertility treatments in her home country in the U.S. She questions whether the Quebec programme in its current form isn't inviting abuses. Listen here.

We also speak to one of the leading experts in the field. Marc-André Sirard is a professor in the Reproductive Biology Research Centre in the Department of Animal Science at Université Laval, and Canada Research Chair in reproduction genomics. Listen here.

Lennoxville Farmer's Market

Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette stopped by the Lennoxville Farmer's Market this weekend to see how producers have dealt with this year's particularly long and harsh winter. Along the way, she met the local market's founders, and some people who have travelled far and wide to celebrate Townships grown goods. Listen here.

Teens hooked on fly tying

Fly-tying might not be part of all extra-curricular activities in a lot of schools, but it is at Three Rivers Academy. Former principal Bill Dousett runs the workshop. The students who take part say they get more out of it than learning to make something with their own hands. Visit our Facebook page for photos of what the classroom looks like when taken over by fishing tackle. Quebec's Travelling Journalist Marika Wheeler takes us to a workshop to see what's got students hooked. Listen here.

Sherbrooke seniors reeling after series of housing closures

Moving can be a stressful event for anyone, and the anxiety that goes along with it can be compounded when a person is elderly or mentally ill.  Dozens of people in Sherbrooke are in that situation right now following the closure of residences. Maison Marquette closed in March, Les Résidences de la Cathédrale in May, and just this week the Complexe St-François announced it would be closing in July.

Our Townships Reporter Alison Brunette has been taking a close look why this happened, and what's next. Listen here.

Budget reaction from Marie-Soleil Tremblay

The new Liberal government -- with no need to dress up its finances before an election -- dropped its first dour-sounding budget yesterday. No immediate dip into our wallets, but get ready for restraint, restraint, restraint. For a closer look at this budget, we're joined by Marie-Soleil Tremblay. She's an accountant and professor at l'École nationale de l'administration publique, and a researcher with the school's centre on Governance. Listen here.

3 assisted living residences forced to close

The Complexe St. Francois in Sherbrooke will be forced to close in July. It's the third residence to be shut down in Sherbrooke this spring because it doesn't meet building code and safety standards. Just last week, we brought you the story of Les Résidence de La Cathédrale, a home for elderly and mentally disabled people who are also being forced to find new accomodations within the next two months. Before that, the Maison Marquette closed its doors for similar reasons.

All of the homes in question had the same owner - they are now all in receivership. Philippe Jordan is a partner at PriceWaterhouse Coopers. He is acting receiver for the residences being shut down in Sherbrooke, and told us about the situation. Listen here.

Animated NFB classics, Frame x Frame

NFB 003.JPGCanada's cultural landscape would not be the same without the National Film Board's animated films... from Norman McLaren's innovative experimental short films, to childhood classics like the Cat Came Back and the Log Driver's Waltz. Over the course of its 75 year history, the animation team at the NFB forged many memories for a whole lot of people. Julia Caron stopped by the Musée de la Civilization to drawing back the curtain on some of these classics. It's all part of a new exhibit called Frame by Frame, which runs until August 23, 2015. Listen here

Karine Sergerie on the fight of her life

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Karine Sergerie was the first Canadian female World Champion in taekwando, winning a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. But the glory of the podium was overshadowed by personal trials and tribulations that were taking a huge emotional toll on the young woman. Depression, anxiety, and a sense of never being quite good enough in the eyes of her coach - and father - were some of the factors that weighed in to Karine Sergerie's decision to retire from competition. The former Olympian joined Susan in studio to talk about this difficult decision, and where she's headed next. Listen here.

Davie Shipyard offers Arctic icebreaker for half price

The Davie shipyard in Lévis didn't have much swagger three years ago when it bid on the huge federal contracts for new navy ships and Coast Guard vessels. Barely out of bankruptcy protection, the yard lost the contracts. But now solidly back on its feet under new owners, Davie is making itself heard again. The country's biggest yard has let Ottawa know that if it's serious about getting its new icebreaker built on time and on budget, it should call Davie. The chosen yard in B.C., Seaspan, apparently won't deliver it for another 10 years and at a higher cost. But Ottawa is still far from convinced.

Alex Vicefield is the chief executive officer of the Inocea Group, Davie's parent company. Listen here.

Tea time at the Morrin Centre

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It all dates back to a duchess with an appetite for afternoon snacks... yes, Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, created a tradition in the early 19th century that lives on today. What better place than the beautiful Victorian library of the Morrin Centre to enjoy afternoon tea today? Our Julia Caron serves up some of the sounds of afternoon tea. Hear about the Centre's president Sovita Chander's memories of tea ceremonies, and meet one of the guides who will tell you all you need to know about tea, Benjamin de Sève-Simard. Listen here

Government gives go-ahead to Gaspé cement plant

mcinnis-cement.jpgThe big cement plant in Port Daniel is going to be built. After a few weeks of hesitation, the new Couillard government has confirmed what the old Marois government announced in January -- a $1 billion project and no environmental hearings.  

André Belisle, President of the Quebec Association against atmospheric pollution, tells our Glenn Wanamaker why he has major concerns over the project. Listen here.

We also hear from Michael McSweeney, President of the Cement Association of Canada. He weighed in on the issue back in February as well.

Environment minister David Heurtel on oil and gas development

Quebec's new Environment minister David Heurtel and his cabinet colleague outlined their plan for dealing with the many oil & gas issues in this province, from the Haldimand project in Gaspé to the shale gas lands in the St. Lawrence river valley. Susan puts some of those hard question Minister Heurtel about some of those issues. Listen here

Field issues dog Sherbrooke soccer clubs

soccer.jpgSome of Sherbrooke's soccer clubs say their playing fields have been in terrible shape for years - and they are fed up the city hasn't been doing more to fix the problem. Many of the clubs' leaders have even quite over the issue. Our Townships reporter Alison Brunette spoke with several of the local clubs, and some of Sherbrooke's elected officials, to find out more. Listen here.