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 Our blog about life behind the microphone...


banner_logo.pngCBC AT 75: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
      On our CBC memory show we go to the front lines of history. We replay for our listeners some amazing tape of gunfire recorded during the OKA CRISIS of 1990.

      It is gripping.
     CBC Reporter LAURENT LAVIGNE is on the air, under fire, describing the scene. You can hear the gunshots and the confusion around him. Laurent tells Host BARBARA SMITH that "I'm just going to step behind a tree" to ensure he doesn't get hit.  

      The tape takes you right there at the most intense moment of the stand-off between the natives and the police.

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      LOREEN PINDERA also reported on that 76-day seige. On Wednesday she reminds Radio Noon Host BERNARD ST-LAURENT that the Oka crisis was one of the first stories where cell phones really came into play.  
      Those shoe-box-sized phones let us be in the middle of the action and share that front-line view of history-in-the-making with our listeners.

      We also play on the program a charming memory from CBC documentary producer TERENCE MCKENNA** about an early "scoop" from his beginning days as a journalist in Montreal:

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      We are very touched by the phone calls on Wednesday. People tell us they learned to speak English listening to CBC Radio, or French, thanks to Radio Canada. A psychologist says we helped her through a difficult year.


     ALESSANDRO COMMADERI, our stock market go-to-guy, has a great story about his glory days on REACH FOR THE TOP.

     For the first program, he showed up with a "John Travolta pompadour Saturday Night Fever kind of look".

     Alessandro says he froze during the first game but "I redeemed myself in Game 2 and we went on to the Quebec championships".

     We also recorded CBC memories from our colleagues that we didn't get to play. (We got so many calls). We liked these memories from Daybreak Host MIKE FINNERTY so much - that here it is:

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     And so, votes for THE FRIENDLY GIANT, BARBARA FRUM and THE WORLD AT SIX. A pretty fine list.

     It's close. Many callers and texters comment on the CBC's 75th and they also call in on the White Poppy campaign focussing on war's victims during Remembrance week. But it's the TAX CRACKDOWN show that wins.


     On Monday, listeners really want to vent about the pending government crackdown on restaurant cash transactions. 
      As of Nov. 1, every cash register in a Quebec restaurant is to have a device in place to track sales. The government complains it's losing $150 M a year to tax evasion. 
     Most callers are not impressed. BIANCA, for example, is tired of small businesses being targetted. She thinks the government should clean up its own books.

     We asked McGill economist PROFESSOR THOMAS NAYLOR, whose latest book is CRASS STRUGGLE, about the underground economy. He says there are all kinds of 'off the books' transactions.
     Here's an excerpt from that interview:

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     John calls in. "I'm livid", he says. He can't believe all the calls from people justifying dodging the taxman. After six eye surgeries, John tells us he's deeply grateful for our health services - paid by our taxes.


(photo: CBC Quebec City )

     RUBEN, hands down. We're talking about MAYOR RÉGIS LABEAUME's call to protesters in Quebec City to leave the Occupy Quebec encampment because of safety reasons.

     RUBEN, 90 years old, phones in to tell the protesters they got their message out and now it's time to move on. Then he shares a personal story, his first protest in 1933 when high school was "neither compulsory nor free". 
     At age 14, he demonstrated over a 50-cent monthly increase in the cost of schooling, "at a time when that could feed a family for a week". 
     A rare window on the world of the 1930's.


      PQ MNA CLAUDE PINARD says PAULINE MAROIS must step down because most Quebecers won't vote for a woman premier.
       We look into what it means to lead a party as a woman in 2011.
       Federal Green Party leader ELIZABETH MAY tells us she believes people will vote for a candidate they trust whether that politician is male or female.
       But she tells Bernie, "I never before in my life had to endure public attacks on my appearance" before she entered political life. 
       Here's that interview:

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       Marking 75 years of CBC, it was very gratifying to hear from our listeners, their stories and memories.
        **I, too, am very grateful for many stimulating years at the CBC. But mostly, I am thankful to the corporation and MIDDAY MAGAZINE for hiring TERENCE McKENNA, that young man with the scoop and for sending me to Montreal as a young reporter in 1976. We've now been married for 32 years and have four wonderful sons and a wonderful daughter-in-law.
       Happy Birthday CBC!


Sally Caudwell
CBC Producer Montreal
Radio Noon desk line 514 597 4468  

November 4, 2011

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