W2MEDIA.CA | On today’s broadcast of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 fm, we speak with one of the founders of the Idle No More movement, Sylvia McAdam, and Rob Fleming, the BC NDP’s environment critic, about the election, and an update on the Enbridge hearings.
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- Interview with Rob Fleming, the BC NDP’s environment critic, about the provincial election, and an update on the Enbridge hearings.
- Interview with Sylvia McAdam, one of the four founders of the Idle No More movement:
- Interview with Charlie Smith, editor the Georgia Straight, about residential schools, BC education funding, the provincial election and Idle No More
- Media Mornings Latin America Report, with Alfonso Osorio
- Music: Cat Power (“Cherokee”), Plex (“The Way It Should Be” feat. Wab Kinew & Sarah Podemski)
TODAY’S MEDIA MORNINGS HEADLINES
- TOP STORY: SPENCE HUNGER STRIKE ENDS
*Breaking on program: Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence may have officially ended her fast Thursday but last night was admitted to hospital as a precaution and remains there on an IV. Spence, who was facing pressure from her own band council and the leadership of both Official Opposition parties, was scheduled to appear at a press conference along with fellow hunger striking Manitoba Elder Raymond Robinson in Ottawa (APTN).
- TORONTO: ROB FORD DECISION
Toronto will learn the fate of beleaguered Mayor Rob Ford tomorrow morning when a Court rules on whether to toss him from office. The state of turmoil stems from a council meeting in February in which Mayor Ford argued that it didn’t make sense that he should have to pay back $3,150 in donations from lobbyists to his private football foundation, which the city’s integrity commissioner ruled he had obtained improperly through the use of city letterhead (National Post).
- CANADA: ELECTORAL COOPERATION
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she questions how NDP MPs can “stomach” their party leader Thomas Mulcair’s edict forbidding them from taking her up on a proposal to begin discussing electoral alliances to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the next federal election, and go on to reform Canada’s election system with a new government (Hill Times).
- CANADA: PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE
Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, whose five-year term ends on March 24, says that Parliament and Canadians must decide whether they want a hard-hitting, transparent Parliamentary Budget Office or if they want it to disappear. Page has voiced concern that the government is dragging its feet in appointing his successor, and will ultimately use the opportunity to appoint someone weak. He has often butted heads with the Government, for instance criticizing flaws in the pricing of billions of dollars for new fighter jets (Hill Times).
- USA: SIERRA CLUB DISOBEDIENCE
In what’s being described as an “unprecedented” moment in an organizational history that encompasses landmark fights to protect the Grand Canyon, block nuclear power projects and preserve millions of hectares of pristine wilderness, the Sierra Club has formally decided to engage in its first-ever act of civil disobedience in a bid to stop one of Canada’s biggest economic development projects. The country’s largest environmental group is opposing TransCanada Corporation’s planned construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to pump oil-sands petroleum from Alberta to refineries in the U.S. (Canada.com).
- CHINA: WORKER PROTESTS
They have occupied factories and taken to the streets. But Chinese workers chose a more unusual form of protest when they highlighted their unpaid wages by dancing Gangnam Style outside the nightclub they had built. Confrontations over unpaid wages are common in the runup to the lunar new year, often the only time when migrant workers can return home. Many fear they may never be paid if they leave their cities without their wages. The leader of the dancers, who gave his name only as Mr Lu, told the Wuhan Evening News that in total 40 workers were owed roughly $50,000 (Guardian).
- LAOS: RIGHTS WORKER DISAPPEARS
In Laos, one of its most well-respected activists has gone missing after stopping at a police checkpoint. Sombath Somphone disappeared on the night of 15 December in the capital, Vientiane. CCTV footage shows the activist stopping at a police post. His disappearance has prompted the Laos government to suggest he was “kidnapped”, but rights groups suspect he may have been abducted after campaigning against land grabs. As founder and former director of Laos’s Participatory Development Training Centre, an NGO working with civil society and government in community development and poverty reduction, Sombath has campaigned for land rights for subsistence farmers (Guardian).
- SOUTH AFRICA: WINE BOYCOTT URGED
After trouble in South African labour relations last year led to a two-month violent standoff in the mining sector, the country’s economy is now under pressure from a stop-start farm labourers’ strike in the $1.5 million-a-year fruit and wine sector. Since November, low-skilled workers demanding a pay increase to 150 rand a day ($25) have clashed with police and been arrested in their hundreds. Amid allegations of excessive police force, three have died. Unions and charities supporting the Western Cape’s 500,000 farm workers say pay and working conditions are so bad that South African wines, table grapes and granny smith apples should be as unacceptable to responsible consumers as they were under apartheid (Guardian).
- MALI: CANADA AIDS & RIGHTS ABUSES
Canada is considering deploying a second aircraft to support the mission in Mali, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated he’d like to see a “broad consensus” across Canada about any help for the country (CBC). Meanwhile, Mali’s army has sealed off a central town amid allegations that some of its soldiers had summarily executed dozens of people allegedly connected to rebel fighters. The International Federation of Human Rights Leagues said today that in the central town of Sevare at least 11 people were executed in a military camp near a bus station and the town’s hospital. Credible reports also pointed to around 20 other people having been executed in the same area and the bodies having been dumped in wells or otherwise disposed of, the organisation said. The rights group, Human Rights Watch, said witnesses have also reported “credible information” of soldiers sexually abusing women in a village near Sevare, and called on the government to urgently investigate these incidents (Al Jazeera).
- UK: POLICE INFILTRATE ACTIVISTS
A senior United Nations official has called on the British government to launch a judge-led public inquiry into the “shocking” case of Mark Kennedy and other undercover police officers who have been infiltrating protest groups. a UN special rapporteur, Maina Kiai, said the scandal involving undercover police cultivating intimate sexual relationships and even having children with anti-capitalist and climate change activists over long periods of time was deeply concerning (Guardian).