The Current

The Current for June 23, 2021

Today on The Current: Afghan interpreters who helped Canada’s military face death threats as allies pull out; how COVAX has fallen short in securing vaccines for poorer nations; and democracies facing threats around the world.
Matt Galloway is the host of CBC Radio's The Current. (CBC)

Full Episode Transcript

Today on The Current:

Before the Canadian military pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014, personnel relied on local interpreters to help them build relationships. Now those interpreters face death threats from the Taliban as NATO allies are also poised to withdraw their troops. We talk to retired infantry officer Dave Morrow and his interpreter, Abdul, who fears for his family's lives and wants to come to Canada. (The Current is not revealing his full name over fears for his safety.) We also hear from Liberal MP Marcus Powlowski, who has been trying to help interpreters find safety here.

Plus, the global initiative COVAX was meant to ensure poorer countries weren't be left behind as COVID-19 vaccines rolled out, but wealthy countries struck their own agreements to jump to the head of the line, says Jason Nickerson, the humanitarian representative to Canada for Doctors Without Borders. He discusses Canada's role in how COVAX fell short. And the Globe and Mail's health columnist, André Picard, talks about the pandemic here at home, and why some Canadians are cancelling vaccination appointments when their preferred dose isn't available.

And in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, are the world's democracies under a cloud of doubt? We discuss the rise of authoritarianism and the threats to democracy globally with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Anne Applebaum, and Ben Rhodes, a former advisor and speechwriter to past president Barack Obama.