The Current

The Current for Feb. 10, 2021

Today on The Current: Experts wary of provincial reopening plans; New Zealand MP on why he won’t wear a tie in parliament; the looming crisis in antibiotic resistance; what’s at stake in the possible Line 5 pipeline closure; and a microchip shortage in the auto industry.
Matt Galloway is the host of CBC Radio's The Current. (CBC)

Episode Transcript

Today on The Current:

Some provinces, including Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, are starting to reopen after lockdowns. But medical experts warn that we're not out of the woods when it comes to tackling COVID-19, and that reopening too soon could backfire. Matt Galloway speaks with Dr. Christopher Labos, a cardiologist and epidemiologist in Montreal; Dr. Raj Bhardwaj, an urgent care doctor in Calgary; and Cynthia Carr, an epidemiologist in Winnipeg.

Then, New Zealand MP Rawiri Waititi was ejected from parliament on Tuesday for breaking orders to wear a necktie — the second time he's been kicked out over the issue. That rule around parliamentary attire has since been rescinded. Waititi tells us the tie doesn't represent his Maori culture, and shouldn't be mandatory for politicians. 

And experts are warning of a looming crisis in antimicrobial resistance and superbugs. Doctors have been prescribing COVID-19 patients antibiotics to help fight possible secondary bacterial infections, but that could be making things worse. We speak with Dr. Lori Burrows, associate director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Diseases Research at McMaster University, and Steffanie Strathdee, a Canadian researcher and associate dean of global health sciences at the University of California San Diego.

Refinery workers and energy experts warn that the closure of the Line 5 pipeline — which supplies half of Ontario and Quebec's oil — will bring a spike in gas prices, and fuel shortages. Scott Archer, with the pipefitters union in Sarnia, Ont., and Warren Mabee, director of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy at Queen's University, tell us what's at stake.

Plus, Willy Shih, a Harvard University professor who studies global supply chains, joins us to talk about how the pandemic is contributing to a shortage of microchips in the auto industry.