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October 2011 Archives




Our blog about life behind the microphone...


(Left to Right: Peter Johnson, Nathalie Walther, Shawn Apel, Nancy Wood)

For more about the Quiz

See below...


 At 11:57 in the morning, I'm sitting in the control room. Bernie is off, LOREEN PINDERA is subbing in as Radio Noon's host and CLAUDIA SANCHEZ, the technician, is moving around the control room, trying the phones at various desk positions.

 "The call-in phones aren't working. We have no lines", she tells me.

 It's going to take time to get those phones up and running. So what are we going to do in the mean time? Radio Noon is only minutes away to airtime.

 We plan our show with calls in mind. Interviews are key, but we also count on showcasing the opinions of our listeners to round out a segment on the program. We want to hear from our callers.

(read on...)

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Radio Noon's October News Quiz

Who has been named to head up the provincial inquiry into corruption in the construction industry? France Charbonneau.

Who holds the record for all time professional passing football yards? Anthony Calvillo.
Listen in as Quiz Master Bernard St-Laurent challenges the knowledge of CBC personalities Nancy Wood, Shawn Apel, Peter Johnson and Nathalie Walther.


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Seeking role models for gay teens

CBC personality Rick Mercer appeals for more role models for gay teens following the suicide of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley of Ottawa.

Our listeners call in to share their personal stories of growing up gay and the bullying they faced.

As well, we hear about a straight-gay alliance group formed at Centennial Regional High School in Greenfield Park.


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Marois staying as PQ leader

Marois says she'll lead party into next election.    (photo: courtesy Radio-Canada)

li-maroiscacus-620.jpgThe PQ holds long caucus sessions to air grumblings about Pauline Marois' leadership.
Marois emerges to say she's not stepping down.

We hear from National Assembly reporter Tim Duboyce and columnist Josée Legault.

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Adrienne Clarkson's 'Room for All of Us'

The former Governor General joins host Bernard St-Laurent for a wide-ranging discussion stemming from her new book describing the loss and transformation that many newcomers face in Canada.

She also talks about a well-established anglophone family in Quebec City that transformed itself by embracing bilingualism. 

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Long gun registry on its way out with its records

Quebecers react to the Harper government's move to end the long gun registry as promised during the election.

A few callers say it didn't have any effect and cost way too much, but the majority of callers don't want to see it dismantled and also want its records passed on to Quebec for a provincial registry.


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Day 2: Construction work stoppage

Construction sites are quiet for a second day as stories emerge of intimidation. The labour minister says she was left an anonymous voicemail message threatening to break her legs if she pushes ahead with Bill 33, the legislation aimed at reducing union control over construction hiring.

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Farm Panel Tuesday October 25

Dairy farmer Jeannie Neveu, sheep and beef producer Bob Laberge, and agricultural communications specialist Hugh Maynard join acting host Loreen Pindera for this week's farm round table.

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Overnight bars?

Would letting bars in downtown Montreal stay open until 6 in the morning bring in more tourists? That's one idea being suggested by a committee headed by Gilbert Rozon of the Comedy Festival.


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Inside Radio Noon

Our blog about life behind the microphone.

 Some days we know exactly the stories people will want to talk about. Other days we go forward trusting our broadcast instincts and hoping ...!

 Our Radio Noon format is deliberately designed to be more than a call-in show. We're a hybrid of interviews and phone-in topics. We think that keeps the format free. It lets us turn around a story quickly. And, it takes full advantage of BERNIE'S skills as a veteran reporter.



I will admit that sometimes I'm surprised by who calls in. About 90 per cent of our calls on the OCCUPY MONTREAL movement came from men.

Our phone-in on online teacher threats had fewer calls, but women callers outnumbered the men.  

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'Mafia Inc.' updated

Co-author André Nöel joins us in studio to talk about organized crime in MontreaL and the launch of the English version of the French language bestseller.

Nöel also comments on the Charbonneau inquiry into corruption announced this week by Premier Jean Charest.


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Calling on Good Samaritans

We discuss what makes Good Samaritans and when should you intervene in the wake of shocking video from China. That footage shows18 people walking around a wounded child who was struck by two different vehicles. Today that little girl died.

We talk with a first aid expert and a university chaplain.

Our callers tell us about their Good Samaritan experiences including helping a pregnant woman in need, and rescuing a cyclist who went off the road, down a hill and hit a rock.  

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Gadhafi is dead: Quebecers react

Details are still sketchy surrounding the death of the Libyan strongman. We discuss Libya's future, the role of NATO, and what his death means for regional and global politics.  

UQAM's Rashad Antonius comes to our Montreal studio while Radio-Canada's correspondent Joyce Napier joins us from our studios in Washington.

One of our Quebec callers is worried Libya will follow in the chaotic footsteps of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.  


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Two dozen St-Jérôme students suspended for online threats

Police say it's now up to prosecutors to decide if charges should be laid. The threats against teachers had been circulating on facebook, but have now been removed.
On Wednesday's show, we debate internet threats and where do you draw the line.

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Richelieu River flood victims mobilize

Many people, flooded out in the spring, meet in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu to help each other.
One community mayor says he knows of a man who got so fed up with living in a tent that he moved back into his house even though it had a serious fungus problem from the all the moisture. 

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Liberals prepare to launch a corruption inquiry

Quebec Liberals will hold a party gathering this coming weekend. At their last get-together a suggestion that the government hold an inquiry was met with silence. Now it's believed Premier Charest will announce an inquiry before this weekend's event.

A Leger poll published on Tue. Oct. 18, shows the party's support has slipped to its lowest level since 2007.
Our callers to our Tuesday show debate the pros and cons of an anticipated about-face by the Charest government.

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'Occupy Montreal' protest settles in

The Wall Street protest comes to Canada on the weekend with tent sites established in a handful of cities including Montreal.

A portfolio manager calls in to say he visited Victoria Square on the weekend to encourage the demonstrators.


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Inside Radio Noon

 Welcome to our blog: Inside Radio Noon, Chapter Two. 

 Every morning we struggle with what should be our lead story. Sometimes, it's impossible to know.

 Tuesday October 11th, our morning editorial meeting: we are split - lead with the open letter from a borough mayor who feels cornered by the Quebec law forcing municipalities to award contracts to the lowest bidder (even if that bidder has links to organized crime) or, the pending walk-out by Air Canada flight attendants after their rejection of a second contract offer?

 Both, important good stories. I actually poll some other journalists in the room, here at CBC: three for one story; three for the other. What to do?


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Steep price jump at Montreal gas pumps

Between Wednesday night Oct. 12 and Thursday morning Oct. 13, the price of gas climbs by 10 cents at many gas stations in Montreal. The head of independent gas retailers lists the reasons why. But many of our callers aren't buying it, especially the owner of a small trucking firm.

Listen in... 

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Farm Panel Tuesday October 18

We have dairy farmer Jeannie Neveu and sheep and beef producer Bob Laberge on the line with Bernard St-Laurent to talk about this week's farm issues. Agricultural communications specialist Hugh Maynard can't be with us.


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Mulcair enters the race

The Outremont MP surrounded by supporters announces his bid to be leader of the NDP.
Many MPs from Quebec along with a handful of others from other parts of the country are on hand.

Chambly-Borduas MP Mathieu Dubé explains why he's backing Mulcair saying he's the one to take on Stephen Harper.

Our callers and texters are split between Mulcair and Brian Topp. 


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More than one safe injection site coming to Montreal

Cactus organizer Jean-François Mary defends safe injection sites for drug users as a way to save lives while a caller argues they will only increase crime and not help addicts.

Other callers weigh in, including one who volunteers at an emergency drug centre.  

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Key NDP strategist defends backing Brian Topp

Raymond Guardia says the stakes are different this time for the NDP compared to past leadership contests. He says the NDP must consider who could lead a government as it chooses its new party chief.

Guardia says it's hard to pick one person over another. While he's sure Thomas Mulcair is disappointed with his decision, he also knows Mulcair will prove to be a formidable contender.

The Outremont mp is expected to announce his leadership candidacy on Thursday.
As party president, Brian Topp has stepped out from the party's backrooms to run.

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Mayor appeals for a new law for contract bids

Rivière-des-Prairies Mayor Chantal Rouleau writes to the premier calling for an end to the lowest bidder law. She says it ties her hands. She has told Radio-Canada that her municipality has been forced to accept bids from companies with links to organized crime.


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Farm Panel Tuesday October 11

Dairy farmer Jeannie Neveu, sheep and beef producer Bob Laberge, and agricultural communications specialist Hugh Maynard join Bernard St-Laurent for the weekly farm round table.

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Inside Radio Noon

Rad Noon team photo.JPG


Claudia Sanchez, Bernard St-Laurent at the back; Sally Caudwell and Lindsay Michael in front.


With this blog, we want to give you some idea of how we work behind the scenes. We'll let you know which topics captivated folks, what calls to our phone-in grabbed our attention and what storyline set our talkback and text lines a-buzzing.

 There's always a certain buzz before a show: last minute scripts, calling up guests, dashing to the studio ...but in the midst of that last minute 'busy-ness', let   me take you back to just 17 minutes before showtime on Tuesday: Bernie's cell phone goes off and then a whoop from our host. (A signature sound, I might add). 

 He puts down his phone, wipes his eyes and turns to us: his daughter has just delivered a healthy bouncy baby girl - a first granddaughter and a second grandchild! Cheers all around.

 How Bernie managed to pull it together for the program, I'll never know.

 As soon as the show is off the air, Bernie is out the door and on his way - heading down the highway to welcome Cecelia to the world.

 Also lucky for us on the Radio Noon team - SONALI KARNICK is able to step in and fill Bernie's shoes on the noon show for the rest of the week.

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Listeners share their 'French Immersion' memories

As the send-up comedy 'French Immersion' hits Canadian movie theatres, we hear from Ali Hassan, an actor in the film, as well as from Montrealer Geordie Raine about their own experiences learning the French language.

Our callers wade in with their remembrances as well, including a romance that has led to 35 years of wedded bliss.

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Quebecers remember computer innovator Steve Jobs

Our listeners pay tribute to the co-founder of Apple - acknowledging his visionary sense, his marketing skills, and his tenacity. 


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Coach's Corner fallout

Don Cherry's denouncing the NHL's efforts to rein in fighting brings out fighting words from our listeners. As well, we hear from a sportscaster, a university coach, and a hockey dad.

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Champlain Bridge gets the go-ahead

The Conservatives will replace the rundown Champlain span. Transport minister Denis Lebel
is looking at pay tolls and a public private partnership to finance the bridge.

You'll hear parts of the Lebel news conference, reactions from our callers, an economist on tolls, the NDP transportation critic and the mayor of St. Lambert.

Listen in as Sonali Karnick sits in as our acting host for Radio Noon, replacing Bernard St. Laurent.

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Property owners are targeted by anti-graffiti bylaw

The borough of Cote-des-Neiges NDG has adopted a bylaw that penalizes owners if they don't clean up any graffiti painted on their buildings. Small businesses got an exemption. Larger property owners say they are being victimized twice.

We hear from the councillor behind the bylaw as well as a graffiti artist. The owner of Moishe's Restaurant shares his personal story about a tagger  and how he came to paint the mural on the side of his building.

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Farm Panel Tuesday October 4

Beef and sheep producer Bob Laberge and agricultural communications specialist Hugh Maynard join Host Bernard St-Laurent for our weekly round table on farm issues. Dairy farmer Jeannie Neveu couldn't be with us for this week's panel.

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Native Montrealer: co-winner of Nobel medicine award



The Nobel committee announced earlier in the day that three researchers in immunology would receive this year's award for medicine. But for several hours after the announcement, Steinman's award was in limbo. He died of pancreatic cancer on Friday and the committee does not usually honour people posthumously.

Our listeners debated the issue - most arguing that he should still be honoured. On our program, we also heard from an old fraternity friend, and a McGill teacher who explained how Steinman used his own research to battle his cancer. 


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FYI An hour after our program went to air, the Nobel committee decided that Ralph Steinman should, indeed, receive his award.