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January 2012 Archives

Farm Panel Tuesday January 31

Dairy farmer Jeannie Neveu, beef and sheep producer Bob Laberge and agricultural communications specialist Hugh Maynard gather for our weekly farm round table.
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Legal aspects of the Shafia murder verdicts

Hamed's defence lawyer Patrick McCann talks about the honour killing hype in the media. CBC reporter Dan Halton takes us through McCann's grounds for an appeal while   
Montreal defence lawyer Eric Sutton explains the ins and outs of the appeal process. Sutton says a quick verdict can indicate an emotional verdict.  Take a listen.

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Callers react to Shafia murder verdict

Callers to Radio Noon overwhelmingly believe justice was done, that the three accused were, indeed, guilty of the murders of the three Shafia teenage girls and Rona Amir Mohammad.

Where callers differed was whether they thought this was a case of 'honour killing' or not.

CBC reporter Justin Hayward, La Presse reporter Michèle Ouimet who interviewed Tooba Yahya's sister Soraya in Afghanistan and Concordia academic Yasmin Jiwani all join in the discussion with host Bernard St-Laurent.

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Here's the link to Michèle Ouimet's exclusive for La Presse:



Our blog about life behind the microphone...

I admit it: I manage to put a lot of angst into our monthly quiz (which is strange, because I love it and I think it makes for really fun radio).

I do worry.

Are the questions too easy, too hard? 
Will they draw listeners in? 
Is there the right mix - of lighter lifestyle questions

ie) "This next question is about Archie -- everybody's favorite comics character. What did he do for the first time this month"?
Archie attended the gay marriage of Kevin Keller. Keller, an American soldier who was injured in Iraq fell in love with the African American doctor who took care of him

and serious, informative questions:
ie.) Here's a question on Quebec politics: What is Luc Harvey trying to revive?
A Conservative Party on the provincial front

I don't want to stump the panel too much, but I also don't want the quiz to be a pushover. I want to challenge them and our listeners. And not forgetting --- the whole issue of making sure we have the right answer.

BERNARD ST-LAURNET helps (he adds good tough questions, especially about Quebec politics). Our program director HELEN EVANS also has a good sense of when Bernie and I have gone way too 'ins-y' on the political side and pulls us back into the fresh air.

After Friday's quiz I actually got a voicemail message from a listener (ANDIE) saying she likes the quiz so much she thinks we should do it at least once a week instead of once a month.
Don't think I could take the angst.  Sure loved the message. though!

Here's a sample of what our Quiz sounded like this past week, thanks to contestants Nancy Wood, investigative reporter with Enquête and Daybreak broadcaster Shawn Apel, assignment editor Katherine Canty and CBC reporter Elias Abboud.

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Check out the Radio Noon Monthly News Quiz

Listen as our quiz master and host Bernard St-Laurent puts (Team A) Enquête investigative reporter Nancy Wood and Daybreak broadcaster Shawn Apel and (Team B) assignment editor Katherine Canty and CBC reporter Elias Abboud to the test. 

a.) What Quebec film got the most Genie award nominations? (Hint: it wasn't 'Monsieur Lazhar')

b.) What is Luc Harvey trying to revive in Quebec? (Hint: it has a lot of clout in Ottawa) 

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Should Old Age Security be delayed?

hi-harper-cp-01961658-default.jpgRadio Noon takes on pension reform. Raised by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Davos, Switzerland we debate what changes are needed to Canada's pension system.

Should pension benefits, such as the O.A.S. be pushed back from 65 to 67 years of age?

One listener says "Welcome to Texas North."

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Richard Gwyn's 'Nation Maker'

Author Richard Gwyn comes to studio to talk about how Sir John A Macdonald made Canada. Gwyn has just published his second volume on the life and politics of our first prime minister.

'Nation Maker' takes us from confederation through scandal, defeat, the Riel rebellions and the building of the continental railroad.

Gwyn joins host Bernie St Laurent in studio to talk about the man who he says shaped who we are, even today in 2012.

He also fields calls from our listeners including a young Métis woman who challenges the Macdonald 'colonizer' legacy.

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Shafia trial delayed by security threat

Justin Hayward reports everybody will have to have their bags checked and go through metal detectors to get back into the courtroom this afternoon. Hayward says they could sit into the evening to let the prosecutor finish her closing arguments.

Hayward also gives Radio Noon listeners a recap of the closing arguments made by the three defendants' lawyers.

Mohammad Shafia, Tooba Yahya, his wife, and their 21 year old son Hamed have pleaded not guilty. They are accused of killing four family members.

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CAQ first caucus produces shadow cabinet

120125_227hw_caq-caucus-legault_sn310.jpgCoalition Avenir Québec held its first ever caucus meeting in Quebec City Wednesday morning.

CBC's Tim Duboyce says it was all smiles among the MNAs at their meeting.

Duboyce adds it was very slick and smooth, in keeping with the presence of televison cameras.

Here's Tim Duboyce's debrief with host Bernard St-Laurent: 

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Coderre on his political future, 'at a crossroads'

Montréal-20120125-00131.jpgLiberal MP Denis Coderre says he's "at a crossroads".

In a feature interview with Radio Noon host Bernard St-Laurent, Coderre says he's thinking about his political future.

While we've known about his interest in a possible run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, he's also considering a possible bid for the mayoralty of Montreal. 

Coderre says people are approaching him about running for mayor in 2013. 

He stresses no firm decisions have been taken. And right now he says he's focussed on the return of parliament next week and being an MP. 

Coderre represents the riding of Bourassa.   

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Farm Panel Tuesday January 24

Dairy farmer Jeannie Neveu, beef and sheep producer Bob Laberge, and agricultural communications specialist Hugh Maynard join host Bernard St-Laurrent for their weekly round table on farm issues. 

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Animator Patrick Doyon delighted by Oscar nomination

li-dimanche-sunday.jpg(courtesy: "Dimanche/Sunday" - National Film Board of Canada)

Patrick Doyon says "I screamed" when he learned his NFB animated short "Dimanche/Sunday" was nominated for an Academy Award.

Doyon likes the control he has in animation: "It's like playing at God are the actor, you are the director, you are everything, it's very 'control freak'."

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Impact of detention centres on refugees

More than 400 children are in refugee detention centres across Canada, according to Montreal immigration lawyer Dan Bohbot. He says crime bill changes could mean stays of a year and he points out there's no provision for schooling.

McGill psychologist Janet Cleveland says refugees who are detained are twice as likely to suffer post-traumatic stress compared to those who aren't in detention centres. And she says they were detained for just a few weeks - not anywhere near a year. 

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Thorsten Heins new RIM CEO

Thorsten Heins takes over as CEO

hi-thorsten-heins-3col.jpgA Montreal analyst says the changes at Research In Motion are "just putting a new face" on the BlackBerry company. 

Troy Crandall who's a technology analyst with MacDougall, MacDougall and MacTier tells host Bernard St-Laurent that he likes the boardroom shifts the firm has made but feels RIM is wrong to continue with the same corporate strategy.

Here's that interview:

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Daniel Breton joins the PQ

120120_j61yl_pauline_marois_sn635.jpgA fighting Pauline Marois stands firm at the head of party as she unveils a new candidate for the Parti Québecois: well-known environmentalist Daniel Breton. 

Breton attacks the Charest government over its handling of the environment from its Plan Nord to shale gas.

Breton goes on to say the provincial Liberals are giving away Quebec's natural resources, that they are "dismantling the heritage of Jean Lesage and René Lévesque" and the policy of "Maître Chez Nous." 

Here's Daniel Breton talking to host Bernard St-Laurent:

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Québec Solidaire and the PQ: "Only one meeting" in November.

Françoise David describes a conversation instigated by the Parti Québecois that went no further. The co-leader of Québec Solidaire says there are no negotiations.

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'Lola vs Eric' divorce implications

PC_111019_yf8jy_cour_supreme_8.jpgSupreme Court judges are now weighing the high profile divorce case.

'Lola' and 'Eric' never married. They lived together for seven years and have three children. 'Lola' is now seeking alimony.

(Supreme Court of Canada, photo - courtesy - CP)

Quebec law doesn't allow for spousal support or division of property acquired during a common law relationship. 'Lola' is challenging that.  

The Legal Education Action Fund supports her position. Lawyer Johane O'Hanlon is with the Quebec branch of LEAF. She expects the Supreme Court judges to rule in about 6 months.

She talked with Radio Noon host Bernard St. Laurent:

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Lawyer Jordan Charness fields questions from Radio Noon listeners on what the divorce case could mean for common law couples.

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Dual citizenship and political leadership

NDP leadership hopeful Thomas Mulcair finds his dual citizenship under attack.

Liberal MP Stéphane Dion says we shouldn't question the loyalty of Canadians because they have links to other countries.

He says the controversy he faced as Liberal leader in 2006 didn't last long and doesn't think it will last long for Mulcair, either.

Here's Dion's interview with host Bernard St-Laurent:

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Many of our listeners agreed with Dion, but not all. Have a listen to our complete section on dual citizenship and political leadership:

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Gender selection editorial sparks ethics debate

mb-110215-ultrasound-tp.jpgA CMAJ proposal calls on doctors to delay telling couples the gender of their fetus until it's too late for an abortion.

We hear from the writer, an ethicist, spokespeople from a women's federation and a Chinese Canadian organization. 


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Farm Panel Tuesday January 17

Jeannie Neveu, a dairy farmer in Rawdon in Lanaudière, beef and sheep producer Bob Laberge in Danville in the Townships, and Hugh Maynard who's a specialist in agricultural communications and development and lives in Ormstown join Bernie for Radio Noon's weekly farm discussion. 

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Our blog about life behind the the microphone

Welcome to 2012...


weddingbells.jpgFATHER OF THE BRIDE

Bernie is back behind the mic - back from a holiday that included the December 30th marriage of his eldest daughter, Jasmine to Cameron Brady in Toronto.


Our beloved host looked smashing in bow tie and tux. He has a great tale about the wedding party taking a streetcar to the ceremony and all singing "Going to the Chapel". You just know in the anniversaries to come there will be lots of laughs and jokes remembering that cross-Toronto pre-wedding trip. 


Congrats to the bride and her hubbie. 



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Electric car expansion

George Iny of the Automobile Protection Association talks about the expansion of services for electric cars in and around the Montreal area. He thinks it's the overlooked story at the Montreal Auto Show.



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Should marijuana be legalized?

Radio Noon tackles the Liberal resolution backing the legalization of marijuana.

Liberal MP Marc Garneau, who's considering a leadership run, says he would support the resolution, but he "personally prefers" decriminalization.

Lawyer Jordan Charness explains the differences.

Our listeners are full of opinions ... from what they will tell their kids to wondering if that "homework" the Liberals say they're going to do before implementing the provision as policy, is noting how many NDP members "smoke pot".

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Haiti: two years on

On the anniversary of the killer earthquake, CBC reporter David Gutnick brings us up to date on the Merisier family. David profiled the Merisiers in his gripping 'day in the life' radio documentary in 2010.

Actress Fabienne Colas also shares with us her family's unexpected immersion into Montreal's culture, weather and way of life. 

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Justin Trudeau on the future of the Liberals

Interim leader Bob Rae at Liberal policy convention in Ottawa, Jan 13.

120113_iz8qb_bob-rae_sn635.jpgJustin Trudeau who represents the federal riding of Papineau says the Ottawa convention is about reinvigorating the third place party.

He tells host Bernard St-Laurent that changing the rules to let an interim leader such as Bob Rae be a possible leadership candidate is a topic in the media, but not a resolution before the convention.

In his interview, Trudeau also says the Liberals get "the pain, difficulty and anguish" that infighting inside a party causes.

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Mid-game trade "a disgrace": sports marketing prof

Laval University sports marketing professor André Richelieu says trading Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri between the second and third periods of Thursday's game shows the storied Canadiens hockey brand is going "from bad to worse".

AFP_111116_rj8kt_cammalleri-canadien_sn635.jpg(photo: courtesy AP)

Radio Noon also hears from Gazette sports writer Pat Hickey and our listeners.


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Questions about Same Sex Marriage Legalities


hi-gay-marriage-671406-852-4col.jpgArguments from federal lawyers in a lesbian divorce case in Toronto have created a lot of confusion for same sex couples who chose to get married in Canada because their home countries wouldn't recognize such unions.

(photo: courtesy 

According to the federal lawyers, those couples aren't legally married in Canada, either.

Residency doesn't come up as an issue in getting married, but it does when a couple is getting divorced.

Montrealer William Raillant-Clark says he's "very frustrated" and "very frightened" by the news. Riant-Clarke and his partner come from France and New Zealand. They married in Vancouver in 2004:

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American Dan Savage writes a syndicated column called Savage Love. He says that stance has "real world implications" for himself and his partner. Washington State where he lives considers their union a domestic partnership but, he adds, that's because they were legally married in Canada. Now he's not sure:  

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The Prime Minister said in the morning during an appearance in Nova Scotia that he didn't want to re-open the same sex debate. In the middle of the afternoon, the justice minister issued a statement saying he has asked for clarification of the law.

Here's our full Radio Noon debate on the issue, including reactions from our callers and McGill family law professor Robert Leckey:

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Changing Role for Pharmacists

li-pharmacy-620.jpgA controversial ad casting a positive light on pharmacists at doctors' expense is irritating an association of GPs based north of Montreal.

The ad comes as pharmacists are poised to get new powers, such as renewing prescriptions.
Normand Cadieux speaks for pharmacist owners. He welcomes the new changes.
Our callers are split.

(photo: courtesy Associated Press) 

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Farm Panel Tuesday January 10

Dairy farmer Jeannie Neveu, sheep and beef producer Bob Laberge, and agricultural communications specialist Hugh Maynard talk with host Bernard St-Laurent about the roller coaster winter weather and other farm issues.
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Political defections hit Quebec and Ottawa


On the Quebec provincial front, François Rebello who was elected an MNA for the Parti Québecois in LaPrairie has switched to the newly-minted Coalition Avenir Québec under Leader François Legault. His defection increases the CAQ's representation in the National Assembly. 


120110_1j2q3_lise-st-denis1_8.jpgLise St-Denis was elected as an MP for the riding of St-Maurice-Champlain, part of the NDP's orange wave in Quebec during the last federal election in May, 2011.

She announced Tuesday morning in Ottawa that she was leaving to join the Bob Rae Liberals.


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Young adults return to Gaspe

Returning retirees to the Gaspe are being joined by another demographic. Marika Wheeler says young adults wanting to raise their families are also returning to their roots.


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Is Montreal ready for right turns on red?

Bernard St-Laurent hears a host of concerns from callers and just the occasional pro-turn point of view. A cyclist fears it would lead to more cars.
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Quebec hike in jobless numbers


PC_111117_9p3gm_canada-chomage-emploi_sn310.jpgQuebec posts the only increase in unemployment numbers compared to the other provinces for the month of December. It's now 8.8 per cent. The national rate is 7.5 per cent.

One listener in Lévis tells guest host Loreen Pindera he has been looking for a job for three years while another caller from Trois Rivières excitedly reports he has just found work.

Hassan Deeb with Professional Recruitment talks about job hunting prospects.

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The Chief Economist of the CIBC, Avery Shenfeld, talks about the economic outlook for 2012. 

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Dog whispers back?

Many dog owners believe they can communicate with their pets. Now a European study suggests they are right, that dogs pick up on human communication, with a glance, just like a small child. li-620-dog-intelligence-cp3.jpg

 (photo: courtesy Current Biology)

Guest host Loreen Pindera talks to Gabrielle Dufresne Cyr who's a Montreal animal behaviourist and dog trainer.


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Canadians score high in CQ - Cultural Intelligence

Radio Noon hears about a study looking at cultural awareness and motivation amongst Canadians.

We talk to Jack Jedwab with the Association for Canadian Studies, McGill's Suzanne Gagnon who is a professor in organizational behaviour, Daniel Lagacé-Roy who teaches ethics and leadership at the Royal Military College and Mohawk Ellen Gabriel from the Kanesatake territory.

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Bergeron pushing a Montreal carbon exchange

Projet Montréal's Richard Bergeron will present a motion setting up a Montreal carbon trade market at the next council meeting.


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Death of the leader of 'the Apostles of Infinite Love'

apostles of infinite love.jpgJean-Gaston Tremblay who headed the ultra-conservative monastic community, 'the Apostles of Infinite Love' died on New Year's Eve at the age of 83. 

I(photo: courtesy

His controversial group, based in the Laurentians, was at its peak in the 1970's. 

Radio Noon reached Mike Kropveld of Infocult to talk about Tremblay and the Apostles. At one point, Infocult fielded more than 240 calls about the sect, including requests seeking aid to leave the community.

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Canadian CEOs high pay queried

mi-stronach-magna-cp0061934.jpgA study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says CEOs make 189 times the amount of the average worker.

We talk to David Macdonald, senior economist with the Centre and to Norma Kozhaya with the business organization, le Conseil du Patronat.

As well, our listeners wade in. 

(photo: CP) Frank Stronach of Magna International is top of the list


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Farm Panel Tuesday January 3rd

Dairy farmer Jeannie Neveu and agricultural communications specialist Hugh Maynard talk farm issues - including snowmobile safety and the amount of snow in rural areas on either side of the St. Lawrence River with guest host Loreen Pindera.


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Lost Harp Seal

A salt-water harp seal has been sighted on the ice of fresh water Lac-St-Louis, west of Montreal and hundreds of kilometres away from its natural habitat.

We talk with Véronique de la Chenelière with the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network.

The seal was last seen yesterday.

The emergency response organization asks anyone who sees the harp seal to call 1 877 722-baleine.


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