May 19, 2020: Episode Transcript
Editor's note: This transcript has been re-posted in plain text to address a technical issue that resulted in the original missing text.
The AIH Transcript for May 19, 2020
Hosts: Carol Off and Chris Howden
CAROL OFF: Hello. I'm Carol Off.
CHRIS HOWDEN: Good evening. I'm Chris Howden. This is As It Happens.
CO: War on a war on women. In a seeming first in Canada, police have laid terrorism-related charges against a teenager they say was inspired by the incel movement.
CH: Blood money. A businessman who funded the Rwandan Genocide has been arrested in Paris. A survivor tells us if it wasn't for him, her family and countless others may have been spared.
CO: Cutting classes. Ontario says students won't be going back to school for the rest of the academic year. One mother of four tells us it isn't just inconvenient — but devastating — for her son with special needs.
CH: A fuzzy, buzzy bolt from the blue. An ultra-rare blue bee thought to be extinct may be back from the brink in Florida. We talk to the man who's made it his mission to find out.
CO: She kept on believing — and she was right. We revisit the story of a man who was wrongfully convicted of a terrible crime. He says it was his mother's unwavering support that got him through.
CH: And...Chopping blocker. Today's special, piping hot from the archives — a Glasgow restaurateur writes a savagely blunt "help wanted" ad. His goal: to make sure would-be cooks wouldn't blanch at the kitchen they'd be blanching in.
CH: As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that's glad they weren't frying blind.
Part one: Incel terrorism charges, Genocide financier arrested, Glasgow Chef
Incel terrorism charges
Guest: Leah West
CH: The crime was terrifying. And now police say it was terrorism. A Toronto teenager now stands accused of terrorism-related charges in a deadly attack on a massage parlour, because of his alleged hatred of women. The 17-year-old was already charged murder by stabbing a young woman who worked at the Crown Spa erotic massage parlour to death. He also faces an attempted-murder charge for attacking another person. Now, in what appears to be a legal first, police have upgraded the charges to include terrorism motivated by misogynist incel ideology. Leah West is a Canadian national security law expert. We reached her today in Pueblo, Colorado.
CO: Ms. West, what do you make of today's Inell related terrorism charge?
LEAH WEST: I think it's a really important step in acknowledging that this movement, the Incell movement, is an extremist movement that can rise to the level of terrorism in perpetrating violence with the intent of advancing or that's motivated by this ideology in order to threaten a segment of the population. That's really what this is signalling to me is the recognition that the Incel movement is an ideology that can drive terrorism.
CO: Can you give us a brief description of what this young man, he's a minor, so we can't name him, but what is he alleged to have done?
LW: He's alleged to have intentionally murdered a woman working in a Toronto body rub parlour. And when that act was disrupted, he is alleged to have attempted to kill another woman working in the parlour before he himself was injured in her resistance of the attack.
CO: And so he's 17 years old. He had been charged with murder and attempted murder. What is it about the Incell movement that the prosecutors were pursuing? What can you tell us about that movement?
LW: Incel stands for Involuntary Celibate. It's a short-form for that. So men who feel rejected by women, or who have very little luck in regards with having sexual contact with women, who want to have that contact. And then this movement kind of gives their grievances a greater meaning. It ascribes to them certain heroes who have lashed out, you know, their feelings of rejection upon other women through acts of violence. And it really creates this echo chamber where young men who would typically maybe seek community or solace with friends in regular community can go online and find this collective of angry, rejected individuals, who then turn their anger out on other elements of society.
CO: And there is an actual manifesto for the Incel movement, isn't there, by a man named Elliot Rodger, who put that out. A man who also killed people. Describe a bit more how it manifests into an actual ideology that could be considered terrorist?
LW: To be a terrorist activity, one of the elements of that offence is that it has to be motivated by a religious, political or ideological motives. Ideology isn't defined in the criminal code. And this will be one of the interesting things that prosecutors have to face in bringing these charges is because they're trying to prove that the Incel movement is an ideology. So how they choose to define that and prove that will be the real interesting element of this prosecution.
CO: We know that the last time we were doing a number of inquiries about this Incell movement was in 2018. A beautiful spring day, when a man named Alek Minassian went up on a sidewalk and is alleged to have killed a number of people, about ten people, and injured many others. He was associated, he was writing about, he was connected to the Incell movement. Why do you think the police didn't charge him with terrorism?
LW: That's a really great question and one that myself and others have been asking for a long time. Part of it could be that more is known of the movement now. There is an understanding. There is literature. Prosecutors might feel capable of actually proving that this movement does rise to the level of an ideology that motivates violence. That maybe didn't exist in 2018. But I think the question isn't why now and why not then? The question really is, why not then? It's my belief that there is sufficient, if there's sufficient evidence in this particular case, to say that the Incel extremist movement is an ideology and will meet the definition for terrorist activity in the criminal code.
CO: And this is the first time that anyone has been charged in Canada with terrorism that's not related to Islamic extremism. And that includes the gunman in the mosque in Quebec. Alexander Bissonnette was not charged with terrorism either, was he?
LW: That's true. Prior to today, there were 57 charges of terrorism in this country since 2001, 56 of them related to Islamic-inspired jihadist extremism. One that's related to the Tamil movement. And there's been a call to recognize other actions like the killing of six in a Quebec mosque as terrorism. It serves an important signal to Canadians to understand that these movements are just as repugnant as Islamic-inspired extremism that leads to violence.
CO: What do you think prosecutors will have to do to prove the case that this is a terrorist act?
LW: First, they'll have to prove the murder. And also, they'll have to prove that this is an offence that's terrorist activity. It requires proving, in this case, ideological motive. That the purpose was to intimidate a segment of the population, which you might say in this case is women who work in the sexual contact industry or just women in general. And then third, that element of violence that was actually perpetrated. So that goes back to the proof of murder. I suspect that when they completed their investigation, they came across evidence that led them to believe that this act was motivated by that Incel ideology — and specifically targeted a certain subset of the population because of that ideology.
CO: There are people who have been advocating for police to take violence against women more seriously. And the Incel movement is definitely one of misogyny. Do you think that even if this in part is to send a message about how the police are now going to deal with with violence against women?
LW: I think it is an important element of the choice here. But I also hope that it's just recognizing that there are terrorist movements that pose a threat to Canadian society beyond those that have typically been charged. And recognizing the kind of disgusting hate that fuels these movements.
CO: Ms. West, I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.
LW: Thank you very much.
CH: Leah West is a Canadian national security law expert at Carleton University. Today she was in Pueblo, Colorado.
[Music: Sombre guitar riff]
Genocide financier arrested
Guest: Theodora Umurorwa
CH: Felicien Kabuga's money paid for some horrific war crimes in Rwanda. And 26 years later, the man himself could finally pay for that. The Rwandan businessman funded the weapons, the militias, and the radio broadcasts that abetted the killing of more than 800-thousand ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994. After the genocide, Mr. Kabuga disappeared. Last week, French police arrested the now-84-year old in Paris. He had been living under a false name in an apartment on the outskirts of the city. He's the highest-profile fugitive of the Rwandan genocide to be arrested in years. Theodora Umurorwa survived the genocide with her son. Two of her children, and her husband, were killed. We reached Ms. Umurorwa in London. And a warning, some of the content of this interview is disturbing.
CO: Theodora, what were your thoughts and your feelings when you learned that Felicien Kabuga had been arrested?
THEODORA UMURORWA: The first reaction was unbelief. I couldn't believe it. I had to double check. I went to the social media. I went to the news channels. To confirm whether this was true. After 26 years, we had actually given up the fact that this man will ever be caught. Then slowly, I started speaking to my fellow Rwandan survivors. We had a lot of mixed emotions. You know, some of it's just not angry, really. It's taken a long time for him, you know, to be arrested.
CO: Can you give people an understanding of how important his role, how significant his role is said to have been in the genocide?
TU: His role was very instrumental. This man was one of the top richest people in Rwanda. He owned a lot of businesses. Some of it was important and exports of goods. Some of the goods he imported were machetes. They used them to kill us, yeah.
CO: And in fact, that's what happened. Machetes were used.
TU: They were using machetes, even though they used the other weapons. They had guns, grenades. They used all those things on us. But the machetes were plentiful, and it all was coming from his depots.
CO: The other key role, well, he owned, he was financing Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, which was well-established by the criminal tribunal as to have been key in motivating people through its propaganda to commit genocide. What role do you think he played in getting that genocidal propaganda?
TU: So I think in 1992, '93, that's when the radio was really broadcasting, inciting the Hutus to kill the Tutsi. He admits that he had shares in that radio station.
CO: There were actually broadcasts to go and to kill Tutsis, and even telling people that he's going down the street, go and get him now. It was that specific, wasn't it?
TU: Yes, exactly that. The name calling us that we are not, the Tutsis, are not human beings. They are cockroaches. Go kill the cockroaches. They shouldn't be living on the same streets as you. And it didn't broadcast just you know for one day or two, it was just, you know, every day, seven days a week, all night long, you know, preparing, you know, for the killings, if you like.
CO: And killings. We're talking about possibly as many as a million people killed in a period of about 100 days.
CO: The key militia was called the Interahamwe. And was it possible that without money, without financial backing, that it would be possible to have a massacre on that scale?
TU: No, it would have been t would have been, you know, killings, because killings didn't happen only April 1994, because for about two years there were silent killings, killer on the street, my street where I lived in 1993, they killed a single man about who was a Tutsi.
And they killed, you know, with machetes. And then in 1993 on. You know, one day my husband was coming from work.
And Dad, they just shot him. They said, yeah. So what is it? Talk to his dead. And we just took him to hospital and he got operated on. They took out the bullets and that's it. No consequences. So those kind of things were happening prior to the 1994.
Your own your own experience. And I'm I'm going to ask you about this, Teodoro, but I know you. You were ended up in a place in the Enza, a place people went for refuge. And this story is well documented about how people were killed there. How were you able to escape that massacre?
I didn't escape. I was left to death. So two of my young children. And because I had three young children when we were taken to that place, they just threw grenades, machetes, bullets. They did everything they could to kill four to it is who we were with Belgian troops.
And then we were left by them to fend for ourselves. So of 4000 people. Not more than two hundred and fifty people that survived that. So when they left me to death, I lost consciousness. And the following day, when I yet gained conscious, you know, I do sign myself. I was surrounded by dead bodies. So you can imagine I couldn't walk.
I couldn't stand. I was just crawling and trying to call names of my family to see if anyone who survived. You know, it would that they will respond to it or for free.
And you had your one child, though. You did survive.
Who's now 30 something kids? My son. Yes. He is here with me in London.
What does it mean for him? He was just a baby when all this was happening. A young kid. What does it mean for him all these years later to know that somebody who financed what happened, the killing of the rest of his family is now going to stand trial?
He very much, you know, thing. See, it's good tat justice. That is sad day. It did sad. Justice denied. That's what he said. They attacked for me. I think Italy never over the years, he just learned to get over the raids and did not move on with life, which I don't blame him. You know, he he's a young man and I can't hold him to this prison of emotion.
I go through all that. I let him, you know, live his life freely. That's how I raised him.
So what will it mean for you when you see Mr.. Mr. Cobargo, 84 years old, who's managed to evade the police for all these years? And he's now going to face justice for us.
All we ever wanted is justice. And for him to have finally been, you know, captured, even though we don't know which and which circumstances he was arrested in. I don't know when I see him in court. I feel like something will change in me because at last, at last, you know, that's my feeling.
I'm sorry to hear it. I hope it is that for you that at least you get the satisfaction of seeing justice after everything you've been through. And I appreciate very much you would talk to us and tell us some very painful things.
Thank you. Thank you very much. All right. Good night. Good night. Thank you to Dora Marois.
As a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, we reached her in London.
There is a saying, if you find the warmth excessive in the cooking area, go away from it to somewhere else. And in the case of the. Sir. What? Pardon? Sorry. My director is telling me it's if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. It really doesn't sound right to me. But anyhow, it's the gist of what Justin Valmeyer SoI was telling anyone who wanted to work at his restaurant. Although his version was more like if you can't stand the heat, the low pay, the cramped quarters and the relentless honesty, don't bother coming into the kitchen. Mr. Venomously is an American chef who was opening a place in Glasgow, Scotland back in 2015. He needed staff, but he also wanted them to know exactly what they were getting into. He explained his extremely honest help wanted ad to Carol.
Justin, before we send any one year away, you've got to give us the straight goods. What's it like to work with you in your kitchen?
I'm probably not nearly as frightening as the ad might have led people to believe. I'm just very blunt. I think I'd be perfectly normal in America. But for Britain, I'm a little abrasive, but I don't think I'm horrible.
Well, in the ad, you I mean, first of all, you warn them off. He said if you if you're just if you if your idea of a good sandwich is a tuna mayo like your grandma's, then don't even bother responding.
It's because I've lived in a bunch of kind of like major metropolitan areas in America. And so this is the first city that I've moved to where I've had like legitimately bad food. I wasn't accustomed to that. I guess I take it for granted that even kind of like a mediocre sandwich in America is pretty, pretty decent without it.
So give us your pitch. What is it? Dave, you can give it to us in a nutshell. What how would you pitch your job of being a sous chef in your kitchen?
I just genuinely need someone who wants to give people something just a little bit better. I'm not looking for fine dining. I don't need to make an art project on a plate. I mean, really, if if you're not going to put something out that you would rave about to, you know, somebody else and there is just no point. I don't think that should be that, you know, out of the box or anything.
I really don't want people to leave the restaurant and want to come back and you want to tell your friends about it. So if people aren't interested in that, if they're just in it for the money or they're, you know, speaking of money, if they're in it for the money, they should certainly not apply because you make absolute blessedly clear.
So I don't even think about getting rich doing this seven pounds an hour and a cut of the tips. Don't ask for more. I don't have it. You're not going to get it. And if you even think for a moment, you're going to get more money or get better hours and this and just don't even show up.
Well, the last couple of places that I've had to hire for now is the thing. And you said you go through like an hour long interview and you meet someone and they sound fantastic. And then they're like, oh, that sounds great. I need ten bucks an hour and like that. That's not on the table. You know, I mean, like, that's I can't do it. I cannot provide that. It's like we we basically had backers financially and they backed out. So it's just my wife basically put her whole life on the line for it. I'm just the chef. I'm a I'm a puppet of my wife. But if we had any money, we would do all kinds of lovely things. And I would pay the chefs double what the waitstaff make. But we have no money. So you could be the best chef in the world. I just can't afford you.
So I said, well, what's in it for them? What's what's in it? What are you saying that you will make? How will you make it up to them then?
I will I will let you experiment if you want, and I will try and help teach you as much as I can. You know, and that is actually really rare in the industry.
You're also offering that you'll let them if they're good enough, you'll let them put whatever horrible music they want on the stereo and you're going to buy them beer.
There is there's a there's a line you have to walk. But I do. I genuinely value my staff whenever I add them. So if you're good and you make my job easier, I will do everything I can to make yours easier as well. I'm not here to burn anybody out. I'm not here to work anyone to death. So if I can make your day a little bit nicer, anything I can do, I will do. The only thing I can offer is money.
So how many offers of you how many people have responded to your ass?
I think about one hundred and fifty at this point, which is about 100 hundred more than I really wanted. But, you know, I'm. Well, you interview them all.
I will interview about 20 that seem like they might be hopefully. Ideologically aligned with what I'm trying to do.
All right. Would you seem to be ideologically in line to do? Is that you? Why did you say you were going to make a better breakfast than Glasgow knows what to do with it?
How bad is breakfast in Glasgow and most restaurants? It's not that it's bad.
What it is, is it there's there's a really, really good fine dining. But it's very Deere's very expensive and it's more of like a special occasion type thing. And then there's a lot of very like, you know, kind of stodgy or salty, you know, a hangover breakfast, but kind of middle ground between those two doesn't really exist. And also, literally, every single restaurant in this town does an Eggs Benedict for breakfast. And I love the eggs Benedict to death. It's a classic for a reason. But for God's sake, there's so many other breakfasts out there.
I want breakfast to be exciting instead of just kind of dependable, you know, like it doesn't have to be just the meal that you eat before you go off to work. It can be some that kind of makes your day. And I would like that to catch on here. I really would.
Okay. So now distant. And in finally the end of your ad, you say that if you get a resumé and you're assuming that says that you're a hardworking team player that can function well alone, then that you value customer service and punctuality, that you will stab yourself in the face with a pencil and no one will get the job all the way into my eyes until it hits the back of my skull.
You just get the same resumé over and over and over again, and no one will ever tell you what they're actually like. You know, it's just I mean, every Wednesday, I'm very punctual. You're never going say like I'm perpetually 10 minutes late for work every day because you think that no one would hire you. But I'd rather know that upfront than have to sift through literally almost the exact same CV 400 times with just the names swapped out. So if you're like, I'm a bit lazy. But you know what I mean? I'm really I just really am into the thing that you're doing. I would rather have an honest response.
And how are you doing? You got a few weeks before you opening. Are you going to have your your sous chef?
I'm hoping I have more than enough, you know, Seabees to dig through that. At least one or two have to be have to be decent. Right.
Oh, I love averages is on my side.
So watch for your opening and make sure we don't order. Try to have eggs Benedict. Justin's good to talk to you. Thanks. Thank you very much.
From our archives, I was Glasgow restaurateur Justin Velma Sois speaking with Carol in 2015.
That interview is on our web page at CBC Nazieh Slash A-H. Now, incidentally, Mr. Venomously is now the chef at a different place, a Glasgow restaurant called Nanaka. And recently on Instagram, he posted a new help wanted ad. It reads in part, We need someone who can perform sandwhich, art and sauce dispensing at the speed of sound with the accuracy and elegance of an Olympic gymnast in a space the size of a Nissan Micra. You can literally start right now. You can start while you're reading this. Are you finished reading this? Then you're late for work. Not a great way to start. It seems like he's mellowed.
School may not be over just yet, but students in Ontario aren't heading back to the classroom anytime soon. Today, the Ontario government announced that schools would remain closed until the end of June, although online learning would continue. Premier Doug Ford said the decision wasn't an easy one, but it was necessary.
After consulting with a health experts, it is clear that we cannot open schools at this time. I'm just not going to risk it. We've made the decision to put our kids safety first and at the same time we have a plan to ensure that our children's education can continue outside of the classroom. We're doing everything possible to make sure our students have the opportunity to graduate this year, and we're working hard to ensure that child care centres will begin to open safely. Once we get the stage to a reopening, that's Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaking today.
He also announced that overnight summer camps would not open in the province, but the daycares might be able to open their doors next month. If trends continue to improve, those decisions have real consequences for parents like Charlotte Dobelle. She's the mother of four children, one of whom is intellectually disabled. We've reached Ms. Dobelle in Toronto.
Charlotte, you just heard Premier Doug Ford. What did that news mean to you?
It's meant what it's sort of what it's meant all along, which is that the measures in place sort of support the needs of typically developing kids, not and even then, not all of them, but certainly not one of my children who is not typically developing has an intellectual disability.
And so what how do you feel about this announcement?
I know I wasn't I wasn't shocked. I was still you know, I was holding out hope, as I think most parents were, but certainly not shocked.
And I understand the rationale behind it. But I think that using the words safety first and that we've consulted with the chief medical officer, I think that encompasses one element of health and safety, but certainly not others. And children are going to be impacted by this. And a lot of ways and I don't think that it captures how they're going to address those those other impacts.
You have four kids at home right now. How old are they?
Ten, nine, six and a half and 17 months.
And you have your one son you mentioned. That's OK for kids who are developing normally, but not for, I guess, Isaiah. Is that your son?
It is, yes. Is 9.
And tell us about how he's handling being out of school.
Well, he has he has an intellectual disabilities, so his place sort of below the first percentile in terms of skills and abilities. And he's also on the autism spectrum. So for children like him, routine and consistency are sort of of the utmost importance and in terms of skill development and and overall health. His mental health, his physical health, everything is eventually affected when the routine and consistency are not present.
And so when school was sort of pretty abruptly halted in March and, you know, we had plans in place for the couple of weeks and we would, you know, give it as much structure as we could. But certainly nobody contemplated an indefinite period of school closures like this.
And so we haven't been able to give him the same routine and the same structure as school can provide. And as his summer camp also provides.
And so what effect does that have on those that he has had major regressions in skill? Not to sound dramatic, but they're devastating for him and ensuring they're devastating for us, because everyone, you know, has worked collectively to bring him to the point that he was out in the middle of March and he's already lost a lot of that.
And so the fact, I mean, must be really disappointing for you given how much capacity he has for developed.
Yeah, it's terribly disappointing because we've all, you know, his teachers and ABC therapists for the most part. And then, of course, you know, his family have made a massive investment in his well-being. And that includes supporting, you know, his learning and his skills development.
And right now, I'm watching my child suffer and I'm not able to give him what he needs to feel better.
Okay. You got four kids, ten, nine, six and a half, 17 months. You have Isaiah, who needs your attention, you know, just to be in a holding pattern. I understand that you're working from home as well.
I am, yes. OK. How are you managing this?
I am not doing anything particularly well right now, but everything is getting done. I've seem to have shifted to. Working really early in the morning, working late at night, working a little bit on the weekends, and then during the daytime, mostly just tending to the kids and their online learning and getting their assignments done and and feeding them like fifteen hundred snacks and meals a day.
So not sustainable though, I guess.
I know it's not it's not sustainable. You know, it wasn't sustainable. You know, a day into it. But we're just doing what we have to do right now.
So when the premier when Doug Ford says that he's not going to risk the kids, safety comes first.
What would you say to him?
I think that they need to step back and look at, you know, these these groups of children and children with different types of needs who are much better supported in the school and camp programming than they can be at home.
And look at what the overall impact will be to those kids with all of these regressions. And the passage of time is is a terrible thing without the support that they need.
And we need to make decisions based on that.
What would the cost be to us later if we don't do what we should be doing now and supporting their needs?
Now, you're losing so much hard fought for development for Isaiah, aren't you?
So much. It's like I said, it's it's been devastating to watch it.
The Ontario government says it plans to introduce a two week program this summer to help support special needs students. So how much will that help you with your son?
It's laughable for a number of reasons. This is not a one size fits all issue. So you're devising and implementing a plan for two weeks for these children to ease the transition back to school.
I don't know what that could possibly entail. That will actually suit the needs of every child that it purports to serve.
So I won't to like the entire government to do them.
They need to reassess whether or not they can actually conduct classes for children with special needs. Are smaller classes for the most part. I think those can be supported even under all the current restrictions. And I think that the summer camp programming, which has been cancelled for the city of Toronto at least, can also be held, you know, with know special special measures taken. But I think that that can actually still provide that routine and structure to these children. They're just not doing it.
I'm sure that you've given us a lot to think about. We'll let you go. I know you've got everyone to stay quiet for the duration. It's been really amazing. What's the control you've got? And does so. I appreciate that all of you would accommodate us. Thanks so much. Thank you very much. Bye bye.
Charlotte Doba was the mother of four kids, one of whom is intellectually disabled. We reached Ms. Adobo in Toronto today. The Ontario government announced that students would not return to the classroom for the remainder of the school year. Bill Mullin's Johnson always maintained his innocence, and for years the only person who stood by him was his mother. Mr. Marlin's Johnson is from Sue St Marie, Ontario. He spent 12 years behind bars for the rape and murder of his 4 year old niece. But his conviction hung on crucial testimony from Charles Smith, a pathologist who would later be disgraced for his flawed work. Bill Mullins Johnson was found to be wrongfully convicted and was released in 2005 in a feature interview with Carroll in 2007.
He said his entire family had disowned him except his mother, Marina Hill. Ms. Hill died last week at the age of 72. From our archives, here's Bill Mullins. Johnson Speaking with Carroll in 2007.
The majority of them turn their back on me. They treated mum poorly all those years because they couldn't get at me. That's what I saw. And I felt really bad from them that what she had to go through cause she got the brunt of it. I didn't. I had the would being in prison and that whole environment. But to see what they were doing to mum, it was unwarranted, uncalled for and unjustified. And I feel really disgusted by that.
Did your mother always believe that you were innocent? Oh, yes. Oh, yes, she did. Unwavering.
You know, she she came and saw me. I think I think I was the day after my first bail hearing. And right from that day, she was at my side trying to make sure that I was okay mentally and emotionally trying to get me back in some sort of normalcy in that regard. She would write to me. And finally, when I got sent to the federal system, she was coming to see me four or five, sometimes six times a year, frighten me almost every week. I was calling her just to let her know that I was alive and kicking. Just to put her mind at ease.
It destroyed her life as well as mine in so many of these cases of the wrongfully convicted. There is a mother like that's a mother that continues to believe all choice. No guide being a guess that most well known example of that. Yes. How much was your mother's support, your mother's efforts? How much did that contribute to where you are now?
To a very high degree. She was contacting lawyers on my behalf. She kept notes of my trial. She posted on doors. If it wasn't for her pounding on doors, I don't know where or would be right now. Tell you the truth, I all Greek built my mother.
That was Carol speaking with Bill Mullin's Johnson in 2007. His mother, loreena Hill, her son's most and at times only dedicated supporter, died last week. She was 72.
For years, the blue calamine fabby has evaded scientists and researchers who've wanted to study it, which is weird because you wouldn't think it would be a Where's Waldo situation. As its name suggests, it's actually blue. Nevertheless, experts weren't sure whether the ultra rare B even still existed. But now, good news. Researchers in Florida have spotted the metallic blue bee in Florida's Lake Wales Ridge. Chase Kemel is a postdoctoral researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History. We reached him in Venus, Florida.
James, what's so special about this bee?
Well, this bee is really unique in that it's endemic to Florida.
And it was recently described and it's in a really small area. It's only known to really go to one host plant. And we're trying to find out more information about other things that it might go to and other ranges. But it's just it's a very rare, unique bee in a in an ecosystem that's already under a lot of pressure from humans.
Can you describe what it looks like?
Well, it's blue. It's about it's metallic blue. So whenever the sun's kind of behind you, it does glow a very pretty blue colour. It also has these white hairs all over its body. That's about 10 to 11 millimetres long. And so it's relatively small. And it has unique hairs on its face that's thought to be used to collect pollen. But more research needs to be done to see if those hairs are for that adaptation. But it's very unique in how it looks. It also has a unique behaviour in that it grabs the flower of ashes. Chalamont, while it's actually on there, it takes its head. And in this head motion kind of bobs its head two to four times on the flower. And as a result, it actually collects pollen on its face and will keep that pollen on its face for an extended period of time at times before it will transfer it down to its abdomen.
So what was your reaction when you thought this little critter?
Oh, man, it was it was very exciting. And at the same time, also very scary. So the reason that it was scary is because I was questioning my own eyes and skills and identification.
I have a history of identifying bees. And so I like looking at these characteristics. But I've never seen one of these bees alive in the wild. I've only seen specimens in museums as well as down here at Archibold Biological Station. So seeing the behaviour in this blue bee at the first time and looking underneath a hand lens and taking lots of photos, I was still questioning my ability. And so fortunately with the photos were able to take pictures of these diagnostic features on the bee that can confirm its identity.
But you didn't capture the bee.
We did capture the bee. Yes.
You've gotten the back and and.
Yes. Well, so what we did is we actually captured it out in the field and we've caught it around 17 different times in various locations. And we put it in a little plastic bag and we cut a hole in that bag. And the bee, actually, we can coerce it up into that hole and it sticks its head outside the hole. And with that, we can actually take pictures of justit's head. And then once we're done determining its identification, we just open the bag and it flies away unharmed. And so from that, we can get an identification and we can also get a pollen sample from the bee itself.
We must have been just about as surprised and scared as you were.
Right. Right, right. Yeah. So fortunately, in most pollinator studies, we actually do need to take down the insects and take them to a lab to identify. But fortunately, we spent enough time with this insect to know these key features and can identify it out in a field and release it unharmed.
Now, is this blue bee? Is it rare because its habitat has been so disrupted or is it was it rare anyways?
Well, even before any human influence, the Lake Wales region as a whole was very restricted. So it's a very small strip of historically islands.
And so there's a lot of really unique things that only occur here. There's a lot of endangered plants and animals. And unfortunately, we as humans also utilise the lake wells rich for a lot of our uses where the weather that's urban development or agricultural purposes. So it already was a pretty rare bee, I'm sure, historically. But there are definitely human pressures that have gone on to really increase that risk of not finding it.
But you had a small number of orchards in that area, this farming area. So the pollinators must be pretty important.
Oh, yes, for sure. And a lot of the citrus groves are pollinated. I don't know if this bee goes to those orchards, but pollination of the citrus. To my knowledge, is is a big business for beekeepers. Sometimes I know that some citrus farmers don't necessarily need the citrus to be pollinate because they don't have seeds in their oranges. But unfortunately, I'm not an expert in citrus pollination.
I'd never invest in something. I've just learned from you about oranges. Yeah. OK. About now, just with birds, when peoplethere rare birds eat that no one's seen before. It's huge business among bird people. How is this around? Among be people that you've actually had a positive sighting of this animal found.
Oh, it is exciting news. But it should be noted that there are other little blue bees around. So a lot of people that see blue bees, it's not necessarily the species, but it is a pretty exciting find. Most of it is because a lot of the stuff hasn't been studied before. The original research out of Archbold really did a great job of describing the species where it was, some of the things that where it was found on.
And we've just worked with them and taken that information and expanded it to try to find other areas.
All right. Chase, we'll leave it there. And happy hunting. Hey, thank you very much. Bye bye. Bye.
Chase Kimmel is a researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History. We reached him in Venice, Florida.
It's not easy getting green. At least it hasn't been since the pandemic changed everything about how the Calgary Zoo acquires food for its residents, most of whom I'm just going to say it may think globally, but do not eat locally. Last week, the zoo announced it was sending its two giant pandas back to China because it couldn't find good bamboo for them here. But they're still here. And today, the zoo says it remains hopeful the Canadian and Chinese governments will expedite the permit and logistics processes as much as possible. To help us get our beloved pandas home as soon as possible. Don Mao and our nation are on loan from China, and we're meant to remain in Canada for several more years. But the way giant pandas get sold, giant, is by eating roughly 38 kilograms of bamboo a day. And while other species will settle for, say, a frozen entree. Pandas like their bamboo fresh. In fact, they insist upon it. But feeding them has become so difficult that the zoo has reluctantly decided to send the endangered creatures back home. Here's Calgary Zoo President Klima launch.
So we have seen fewer flights coming to Calgary. We have seen fewer flights coming to Canada than we have seen no flights coming from the United States. We have seen trucking issues moving Bambu. We have seen delivery babies being delivered to a wrong city. We have seen Bambu sitting in a warehouse. We were seeing, you know, our inability to get access for days, the bamboo that was at the airport. So this is this is too much of a stress on my team and on the panda. Can you imagine the risk of not having bamboo for a few days? The the panda are eating almost exclusively bamboo. I need fresh bamboo being delivered twice a week. So couple of weeks ago. If you can't recall, even the Canadian government has issues to source. And so with all of their I mean, they they couldn't they couldn't pull this out. So how can we expect the charity to to be able to support that risk? It's it's not possible. So we have to send them back to China. And we need the Canadian and Chinese governments to expedite the permit process to make sure that we can send it back as soon as possible. We spoiled a lot of bamboo because arrive too late was too dry. Sometimes the panda just didn't like the flavour because it came from a new source and didn't like the terroir or whatever. We cannot explain, but they don't like the bamboo they get. They get fewer bamboo. The baby was too dry. It's too unpredictable. And I cannot manage a collection here at the zoo with that kind of uncertainty about, oh, how are they going to. Are we going to be able to feed this species or that species tomorrow?
That's that's unacceptable. Bamboo terroir. Calgary Zoo President Kleman launches speaking with the CBC is Mike Symmington about the zoo's soon to be former residents? The giant pandas Damo and are shown. On Friday, Dakotah Holmes was out walking her dog in Vancouver. The 27 year old Indigenous woman has seasonal allergies and at one point in her walk, she started sneezing. And that, she says, is when a man started yelling anti-Asian racist slurs at her and violently knocked her to the ground. Dakota Home spoke with CBC Vancouver about what happened and why she decided to share her story. As reports of hate crimes against the city's Asian community continue to rise during the pandemic.
I started sneezing because I have allergies and you know, this guy to see this. Lost it on me. He is yelling a lot of racist slurs against Asians because he thought I was Asian. So he's telling me to go back to Asia. Like I don't belong here. Go home. And then he punched me in the face. He didn't care about anything. I was trying to say, like I'm not even Asian. I'm indigenous. So it was took me by surprise. And, you know, luckily, my guy. He's very protective of me when he knows I'm in danger. So he was able to keep distance between me and the guy. And, you know, it's kind of standing his ground, making sure the guy knew. You said nipping at is the person you know, at that point, the guy said he was going to have my dog taken away from me for being aggressive and then all his stuff. And I think he just punched me in the face. I don't understand. Now, it's my fault that you're the victim. Now, I think I was probably in shock for a second. There. There's no way this is happening to me or Malik. I just wanted to walk my dog. And yet I'm on the ground to Africa. I see this. Isn't this guy yelling racial slurs at me. You you read about it. You see it. And the last thing you expect is it to happen to you. And, you know, this isn't the first incident that's happened to me like this. You know, I'm an indigenous woman, so it is something I face on a pretty regular basis. So that sucks to say that I'm used to it. Everyone's a human being and you shouldn't treat anyone else like that. Doesn't matter what race, gender, sexual orientation like, no one should be punched in the face for any of that. Definitely. It's made me think about where I walk my dog now. But you know, as long as I have my dog, I'm safe doesn't really change too much. I got a very strong individual and like I can stand my own ground. I can take all the hate comments, one of them my way any day. You know, it's important that this story gets out there so it doesn't happen to anyone else.
I was Dakota Holmes speaking with CBC Vancouver. The 27 year old indigenous woman was out walking her dog on Friday when she says a man assaulted her and told her to go back to Asia. Vancouver police have responded to Miss Holmes report and said that the department's diversity section and hate crimes officers have opened an investigation.
A coalition of community based organizations in Toronto says it's willing to shelve its request for an emergency injunction against the city for now. The decision comes after Toronto pledged to improve physical distancing in its homeless shelters this morning. But today's agreement does not end an underlying court challenge against the city and the province of Ontario. And coalition members say they're going to keep the pressure on. Big canoe as the legal director at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, one of six organizations behind the legal challenge.
We reached her in Toronto Kristo What exactly has the city of Toronto agreed to do?
Well, the city of Toronto has agreed to take some of the most important steps, namely physical distancing in the shelter systems and respite centres prior to the action being raised. Physical distancing standards in the shelter system were not ensuring that people were sleeping 2 meters apart and there was use of bunk beds. And unfortunately, that's within six feet or two meters. So as a result of six parties raising a legal action against the city, one of the reasons was that the physical distancing standards for everyone except for people in the shelters was making sure that they were not in harm's way in terms of the health care debate.
So basically what they were agreeing to do is use the same public health guidelines that they have. Everybody else.
Yes. For in every other circumstance. So over the next number of weeks, we'll be getting progress reports that will show both the capacity. So in terms of how much space is available and how many people are accessing, you know, on a daily basis for shelters and also for respite centres, which is important because a number of those are 24 hour centres like woman's droppings or temperate response when other things have shut down.
What were the conditions that led you to launch? What is also a constitutional challenge as well as to seek this emergency injunction, which you have now temporarily dropped, or at least for the time being dropped? What were the conditions?
Right. Well, we serve indigenous clients. So from Aboriginal legal services perspective, what we were hearing from clients was that there was a choice between either physical safety. So you go to a shelter. Indigenous people have an increased risk of violence and discrimination when they're on the streets, particularly women. So often they will want to access shelter services because then they know they're inside, they're safe, they're staff. They're going to reduce the chance of being violated or have any type of physical harm. But when all of a sudden you're less than two metres away from someone in the sleeping space or in the respite centres where the nuts were almost beside each other, you didn't have the health safety. So all of a sudden there was no choice. So either you were going to put yourself in potential physical risk of violence or at health risk of over 90. And so once it became an issue for individuals and they started leaving or not or being turned away from shelters, then they're put at higher risk.
And so it can't be an acceptable condition that our most vulnerable people can't access safe shelter systems, where there are some numbers that have come out recently about just how many homeless people in Toronto actually have been diagnosed with covered 19. Can you give us those numbers?
Well, just in the most recent I've seen, it was three hundred and forty eight then that was just earlier today, have been confirmed positive for cofan 19. And there was two deaths.
Two people have died in the homeless population of Toronto. Now, well, how will this be different? How will these new conditions do to to ameliorate that?
Well, the first what the first thing that will happen is giving that actual safe distance.
That's six feet or two meters as what everyone else's standards are. Right. Whether you're going to line up for a grocery store or going to other places. And so when you think about it, when you're sleeping, if you're closer than that vicinity to potentially strangers and you don't know what their health risks are, you're exposing yourself. So it seems like a little thing, but it's a big thing. Having said that, you know, the people that have to access shelter systems and respite centres are dealing with poverty and lack of housing. So, you know, if we're moving forward in a good way, achieving good health would be achieving good housing for everyone.
Now, there were some encampments in Toronto that had been growing in order to to avoid having to go to these overcrowded shelters or to where you couldn't get the distancing is trying to are now going to to push to dismantle those camps.
It's our understanding and belief that, yes, they are there already starting to dismantle. So that's one of our ongoing concerns.
From Aboriginal legal services perspective, as people you know, people were leaving the shelters and going and they would find a sort of safety in numbers or with people they know, so they would set up encampments and the city seemed to have a moratorium on taking down the encampment. So now they are starting to take down. So our ongoing concern is as they're meeting the standards and making space, you know, will they have the capacity if they're also then increasing people that aren't sheltered in the encampments?
OK, so what commitments? Because obviously, if we're going to have people further apart. The reason why they're close together is to get as many people into the shelters as possible. So what happens when they have to give those distances with the numbers? Where will they go if they can't get room there?
Well, that's part of the agreement, right, is that the city is required to provide shelter to clients by making available such beds as necessary to achieve physical distancing standards. So part of the reporting back on a weekly basis is important, too. And the reports are public. But as an applicant, one of the parties that raised this lawsuit, we have the ability to actually ask questions when the reports come out and it's reasonable to expect the city will provide a meaningful response.
And if they do it because Drongo has agreed to, quote, use its best efforts.
If you find those best efforts fall short, then will you enact your injunction again?
Well, if we haven't cross that bridge yet. But but the constitutional challenge remains in place. Right. So the injunction is been adjourned. Sunny day. So unless it needs to come up again and the actual constitutional challenge continues. And part of the reason for that is to actually see the progress. It's to allow the city to make their best efforts. Right. So if you're acting in good faith and the city has said we're going to put our best efforts and then we should be able to see that, and they'll be giving us the progress reports on that. But that's part of the Cavitt of not completely letting go of the full lawsuit.
All right, Krista, we will be watching. Thank you. Thank you. Bye bye.
Krista Big Canoe is the legal director at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto. That is where we reached her.
With states in the U.S. loosening their stay at home measures, business owners are having to think outside the box about ensuring people aren't too close inside the usual boxes. Patrick O'Connell is the chef at the inn at Little Washington in Virginia. He's concerned about his customer's personal space, but he's also concerned about the restaurant space. So when the state announced that establishments like his would only be able to operate at 50 percent capacity, he found a creative way to make the dining room feel less empty mannequins. We reached Patrick O'Connell in Washington, Virginia.
Patrick, how on earth did you come up with this idea to fill your tables with mannequins?
Well, there happens to be a beautiful lamp shade that hangs over all of our tables.
And we knew we had to reduce seating somewhat. So we experimented with removing every other table and realised that was an unsuccessful look because you had lampshades just hanging in the middle of the room that people would be hitting themselves on. So we wanted the room to look full and fun.
And I've always loved mannequins.
They're terrific to have around.
But can you just have. I've seen a picture, a few pictures of how you're going to dress up your restaurant with them, but maybe describe how you have positioned these mannequins.
Well, they can be positioned anywhere you like. But as they are, they can occupy every other table.
So they'll be about eight to 10 feet between tables. Each table will still have a lampshade. But your neighbours may be mannequins.
And how are they dressed? I mean, this is they're not just do you actually have clients some extent here to do well?
We worked with a theatrical company in northern Virginia and they came out. We could have put any costumes we wanted on them, but their idea was that they needed to look at home on the set in the space and that they shouldn't really upstage the other living guests.
So we kind of gave them a forty's look sort of interesting, but they're somewhat low key, but they have wonderful attitude and great posture.
Can you. I mean, there's this series of little vignettes and you can sort of try to imagine what's going on. What's it what is your favourite?
Well, we just sort of peopled the room, as they say, so that even if you walked in as the first guest, you would feel that you had gotten out and you were in a in a happening restaurant. One of the guests is on bended knee, a young gentleman, and he's proposing to an elegant woman, also a mannequin. And we're known for a place that people often propose in.
It happens at least once a month, a special occasion kind of place.
And the others are sort of curiously looking around to see the sort of living theatre of the proposal taking place.
And you have as these little one sitting having their meal or whatever. But the where do the waiters are instructed to do as to how to deal with these customers?
Well, we have to give them the same attention and find service that all of our guests get. So they'll have wine and they'll be looked in on and attended to. And the idea is that after a regular guest has had a few glasses of wine, it'll all feel completely real.
Okay. No, but a bit creepy.
Maybe not in the slightest bit. In fact, much more real than creepy. It is as if they have come alive in the space. There's something about the gorgeous space in the restaurant that has changed them. They don't feel or look like mannequins at all. As you walk through, I mean, we're not yet open, but they've been placed. But anyone who walks through feels as if, oh my God, we've already we've already seated people.
They're here just because of the configuration of the room and the way it's lit. Each table has a kind of glow over it. Each table has its own little stage. And they look really real and they feel really real. And they give you a sort of comforting feeling rather than anything odd. It's not a lot at all.
And they don't make a lot of noise, you know. Have you bothered by the chatter at the next table?
I guess no, and they don't complain about anything. Do they tip? We don't know yet, but they're very patient. No. When do you open?
We open on May twenty ninth. We had intended to open earlier. Each state in the US is dictated by their governor in terms of what is required. So our governor said restaurants could open and we were poised to do that. But then he said with the stipulation that you can only serve outdoors. And that's a rather large stipulation to sort of not have any control of the weather. So we decided to wait until we could serve indoors.
But when we open indoors, we will be limited to half of the normal capacity. So most restaurants are removing tables or leaving space between them or putting up plexiglass shields or something like that. But this seemed a more charming, fun way to people the place and give our guests a photo op if they should want and make them feel that they were dining out again, as they always did in the past.
I wish you success with the opening. I hope those customers are as as polite and well-behaved as you anticipated.
Well, they've generated quite a lot of interest here. We're giving them names based on their personalities or they should become regulars. I would think absolutely. They're in residence. Thanks, Patrick. Okay. Thank you. Bye.
Patrick O'Connell is the chef at the inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia. Meanwhile, in another part of the United States, an events company is working to ensure customers keep a safe distance from one another by making a bumper crop of bumper tables. Aaron Siamak is the founder and CEO of Revolution Events, Design and Production, which created the tables to help people stay apart. We reached Ms. Samak in Ashton, Maryland.
Aaron, these tables, I don't know, they kind of like bumper cars. What do they actually look like?
They do look like bumper cars while they're round. And they have a huge one foot round round circular bumper that surrounds the tables of a four foot centre and all that. The table and the two are set on a carriage that is attached to a welded aluminium frame with wheels that kind of go in every direction.
Okay, so how do you actually get into this thing?
So you just tip up the tube and it tips the whole undercarriage as well. And then you just kind of dip in or you can duck underneath the whole thing as well.
Either way, to be fairly agile to get into one of these things.
It's too bad. It's not too bad. We had some older people do it this past weekend and they had no problem.
Once you're inside, basically, you look down and you're surrounded by table. You have you are actually a self tabled person.
That's correct. Yeah. And it and it moves. You can move it with your torso. So you can you know, you could have a cocktail in each hand and be moving that table, you know, around with just your torso and directing it any which way.
Okay. So I see you have this 4ft a table then a couple of feet of innertube rubber tubing around. And then the next person has the same thing. So basically you get more than good six feet between each other. That's right. Okay. So how are people responding to this?
Well it is fake. They couldn't respond any better. Honestly, I think I think people are just, you know, looking for a way to maintain, you know, what they've invested the last two months in. You know, they're kind of quarantine status, you know, like being safe and being, you know, on lockdown for two months. And I think they still want to, but they're done. So they want to go out, but they still want to be safe, you know. So it's a it's a catch 22, because if you you know, we had them down at the boardwalk in Ocean City this weekend, and I was in one of the tables and my friend was doing the photography and she was outside of the table. And we were talking later on and she said, you know, I couldn't wait to get off that boardwalk. She said it just felt so unsafe.
And so, like, it gave me anxiety. And I said, really, I had the complete opposite. I felt absolutely fine. And that was because no one could accidentally fall into me. Nobody could come up and talk to close to me. You know, it just it is it isn't possible. So it gives you this great sense of safety.
It must seriously reduce the numbers of patrons you can have.
Well, absolutely. But you can't have that many patrons anyway at the moment. You know, people were able to serve cocktails, kerbside and cocktails to. So now so we thought this was again, another pivot for some of these restaurants where they could now, you know, capture their parking lots and let people roll around in their parking lots and have a big old cocktail party and not, you know, take up any valuable space inside a house.
That's where basically because you can't go in a door with these. So you're outside in the parking area.
They come apart. So you can get through the door if you wanted to move them inside. But they don't. You know, you can't just roll through a door unless it's like a garage door.
Okay. I can't be the only person who's wondering what happens if you have to go to the bathroom. You just duck out and go to the bathroom. OK. So you could you certainly can't take that with you, can't you?
We we did not at that.
No. OK. Yeah. I think you shouldn't. You know what? No beholders. Yes. Hooks. Yes.
Feature now built in toilets? No. And not a good idea. We've seen some other efforts of this nature. There's in Germany, they've come up with pool noodles, hats that have pool noodles in them. So you're basically wearing a hat that has pool noodles all around. So no one can get closer to your than your noodle. And that candidates and people have done this with hockey sticks. But have you seen anybody else who's tried for the the bumper car table trick?
No, I have not. I have not seen them. And you know, you haven't seen them. Do you think you'll get many takers for this? We have had an enormous response.
Are like Facebook is blowing up. Our Web is blowing up with orders. A lot of people, you know, a lot of outdoor cafes, ice cream shops. We had some interest from a major league sports team. We had interest from event planners. You know, everybody's just trying to figure it out, you know, and right now like this. This actually came about because we work in events. You know, that's what we do. And. And we're known for our creativity. And, you know, when the different hotels have been presenting their floor plans on what is going gonna be, you know, kind of covered.
Okay. Moving forward, you know, it's like a ballroom with 40 people in it, with like four people seated at a table that normally seats twelve. You know, too, it's just kind of, you know, while it's okay and everybody's doing their thing and trying to be as conscious as possible, it's just not fun. And no one has conquered cocktail parties or a dance floor. Right. So now all of a sudden, you know, this is a cocktail party. So even if you're only seating for 40 people for dinner, at least they can go out and have fun. And you, you know, like I'm not a I'm not a real extrovert, but I got in one of those tables and I went and was like bumping into people I didn't know. You know, like just hit home and we were laughing or whatever. So it's like a great you know, you just you just get it. It makes you happy. It just feels fun.
All right. Yeah. Sounds like what I'd like one is for walking down the street.
Well, you know, there there is that because you walk down the street and like I said, everybody has their own level of, you know, how they quarantine. Right. So when you can tell it, when you walk down those street, you know, like the people that have maybe quarantine harder, they'll move out of the way and walk to the other side of the street, you know, to to avoid being on other people's path. So, you know, it just gives you this great, great, you know, sense of comfort, really.
They sure. We got your way if you're really down the street. Yeah.
I'm with you on this one, Erin. OK. Have fun. Thank you. All right. Bye-Bye.
Erin Semak is the founder and CEO of Revolution Events, Design and Production. She's in Ashton, Maryland. And you can find both of those stories on our Web page at CBC NCEA Slash a-I H.
The poems in Chi Kahlo's collection, Magnetic Equator are about being in between between North and South America, between Canadian and Caribbean cultures, between the Amazon and the Atlantic in a constant state of transit and travel, both literal and figurative. Today, though, Mr. Callow has arrived. This morning, the Montreal based poet took home this year's $65000 Griffin poetry prise for a Canadian writer. It's one of the world's richest for poetry, and it's his last month. Kai Kellow spoke with the CBC. Sabrina marrin Dola on Let's Go about his now prise winning collection.
It's really about living in that kind of fascinating place that a lot of us live in whose families come from elsewhere, where when you're here you think of elsewhere and when you're there, you carry here with you. So you never completely arrive in a way. And you're always kind of. It's almost like there's always this suspension, the suspension of arrival. And so it's about it's really about that experience. It looks at that experience.
And I know that some of your work in this book, you also touch on experiences like racism and anger. Tell me a little bit about that.
Well, the book was written about growing up partly as as a as a mixed race Caribbean Canadian in Calgary, in Alberta and western Canada sort of at the time in the I guess in the 80s and 90s. So what I can say is that experience there, there was a different kind of discussion around some things that we take for granted now. I mean, our discussion of diversity has changed very much and has evolved in a way. And there wasn't that same discussion going on at that time. And so one of the things that the book looked back on and drew upon was that experience of in a way. Being in a particular society, but not existing culturally, having no place in the dominant discussions, and it looked back and tried to establish a vocabulary for that experience. So one of the things that I tried to sort of imbue the book with was a narrative movement. So there are family narratives that interweave through all of the other narratives. There is a lot of talks about the experience of of going to Guyana with my uncle's ashes to bury them there because he lived in Vancouver, but he didn't want to be buried in Vancouver. So we took his ashes back to Guyana to to lay them to rest there. So that's one of the narratives as well. And the other narratives are about family. Seeing family members in the setting where they grew up and you're changing relationship to them as a result of that kind of travel.
Kai Kellow spoke with the CBC Sabrina marrin Dola in April about his collection. Magnetic Equator. Today, he won the 2020 Griffin poetry prise for that work.