The Current

The Current for Sept. 22, 2021

As COVID-19 vaccines for kids get closer, experts weigh how to combat hesitancy; Jesse Wente on his new book Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance; Alberta Premier Jason Kenney faces an uncertain political future; and Merlin Bird ID, the app that can identify a bird's song
Matt Galloway is the host of CBC Radio's The Current. (CBC)

Full Episode Transcript

Today on The Current:

Pfizer-BioNTech says a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine recorded a robust immune response in five- to 11-year-olds, and the company plans to seek regulatory approval as soon as possible. Some experts say that approval process must move quickly to protect children against the virus, but also with the necessary transparency and efforts to reassure the hesitant, and combat misinformation. Matt Galloway talks to Halifax parent Fallon Jones, who is keen to have her eldest vaccinated, but sees hesitation among other parents; Dr. Cora Constantinescu, a pediatrician and infectious disease doctor at Alberta Children's Hospital, who also works at the Vaccine Hesitancy Clinic; and Dr. Kashif Pirzada, an emergency physician in Toronto, and a co-founder of Masks4Canada, a group that advocates for masking, vaccines, rapid tests, and improved ventilation.

Plus, politicians have been talking about reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples for years — and for two decades, Jesse Wente has been talking about how difficult that will be. The Anishinaabe broadcaster and arts leader talks about the multi-generational impact of residential schools on his own family, and his new memoir Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance.

Then, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney all but declared the pandemic over a few months ago. Then he saw his health-care system buckle under a fourth wave, reversed course on a vaccine passport, and became a factor in the federal election. Now he's facing calls for his resignation. We talk to Stephen Carter, president of Decide Campaigns, who served as chief of staff to former Alberta premier Alison Redford; and Dave Cournoyer, host of Daveberta, a political podcast.

And have you ever heard a bird in the wild, and wished you knew what it was? There's an app for that! We talk to Jessie Barry, one of the founders of Merlin Bird ID, an app developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that can identify birds using a sound recording.