The Current

The Current for June 18, 2021

Today on The Current: Inadequate housing and overcrowding exacerbating Kashechewan COVID-19 outbreak; Cheri DiNovo on her life as a queer evangelist; national affairs panel on Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq’s exit speech; and how cactus poaching threatens to wipe out entire species.
Matt Galloway is the host of CBC Radio's The Current. (CBC)

Full Episode Transcript

Today on The Current:

Inadequate housing and overcrowding has exacerbated a COVID-19 outbreak in the northern Ontario Cree community of Kashechewan — but those issues date back years before the pandemic. We talk to Peter Lazarus, Kashechewan First Nation's housing director; and Dr. Sarah Funnell, founding director of the Centre for Indigenous Health Research and Education at the University of Ottawa's faculty of medicine, whose background is Algonquin and Tuscarora.  

Then, Cheri DiNovo has had quite a career, and quite a life. She has experienced homelessness and addiction, worked in queer activism, and later became a member of the Ontario Legislature. Now, she's a United Church minister. She joins us to discuss her new memoir, The Queer Evangelist: A Socialist Clergy's Radically Honest Tale.

Plus, in Canadian politics this week, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul said an attempt to oust her was driven by sexism and racism, and outgoing Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq made a blistering exit speech. We discuss these events with our national affairs panel: Karyn Pugliese, journalism professor at Ryerson University and former executive news director for APTN; and the CBC's senior parliamentary reporter, David Cochrane.

And last year, Italian police caught a man trying to smuggle more than 1,000 cacti and succulents into the country. They repatriated the plants back to Chile with the help of Barbara Goettsch, co-chair of the cactus and succulent plant specialist group at the International Union for Conservation of Nature. She tells us why this type of poaching poses an extinction threat to entire species.