Media Mornings: Mon, Apr 1 — Jackie Wong (Tyee Solutions Society), Marianne Breton Fontaine (Québec protests)

W2MEDIA.CA  |  On today’s 7-8am broadcast of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 fm, we speak with journalist Jackie Wong (Tyee Solutions Society) about Vancouver’s Chinatown housing challenges. Plus Québec activist Marianne Breton Fontaine on recent mass arrests of student demonstrators.

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Rosesari Rosesari, 92, lives in the May Wah Hotel in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Photo by Jackie Wong
  • Host: Jane Bouey. Guest host: Maayan Kreitzman.
  • Interview with journalist Jackie Wong (Tyee Solutions Society) about her investigation of housing challenges in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Vancouver’s Chinatown has been home to generations of immigrants since 1858. Today, the neighbourhood is changing as new businesses and residents move in next to decades-old grocery stores, butchers, and restaurants. But amidst this influx of new life, an unknown number of seniors who speak only Cantonese or Mandarin face discrimination, marginalization, and a lack of affordable, culturally- and linguistically-appropriate housing.
  • Interview with Québec activist Marianne Breton Fontaine on recent mass arrests in student tuition protests.
  • Broadcast of “Gender Failure” performance in London, UK by Rae Spoon & Ivan E. Coyote.

TODAY’S NEWS HEADLINES

  • TOP STORY: ENBRIDGE PIPELINE COMPLETED — B.C. Environmental groups and First Nations have expressed outrage after Enbridge announced it already quietly completed construction of its controversial Northern Gateway pipeline five months ago while a National Energy Board review was underway. The Calgary based firm has faced intense scrutiny after more than a year of public hearings and fears over potential oil spills. But this week, it revealed it has already shipped 200 million barrels of diluted bitumen, on board dozens of tankers, to Asian markets. A spokesperson for the company said construction proceeded rapidly last November, while public attention was focused on environmental assessments and safety hearings. A spokeswoman assured the public that there have only been a few ruptures and spills during this time, and “there’s really nothing much to worry about.”
  • CHINA: CUTS CANADA TIES OVER PANDAS — China recalled its Ambassador from Ottawa and threatened to cut trade relations yesterday, after one of two recently arrived panda bears became critically ill with the norovirus, believed to have been contracted from another Toronto zoo animal. The tragic sickness came only a week after the pandas’ celebrated arrival in Toronto, a 10-year, $10 million loan which Prime Minister Stephen Harper said would serve as a symbol of Canada’s enduring and unbreakable relationship with China. Harper promised to swiftly replace the sick panda in order to restore ties, suggesting “some black spray paint on a Kermode, or ‘spirit’, bear will hopefully suffice.”
  • CANADA: JASON KENNEY IMMIGRATION CONTROVERSY — The Canada Border Service Agency may have been in the headlines recently over its televised raids and deportations of undocumented migrant workers. But the Agency raised eyebrows again this morning after it announced that former Citizenship and Immigration minister Jason Kenney had failed his pre-removal risk assessment and would be immediately deported to County Cork, Ireland. Kenney — at one time tapped to someday succeed Harper as Prime Minister — was swiftly dropped from the Conservative caucus on Saturday after leaked documents revealed he had been working illegally in the country for decades under false papers. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was swift to defend his disgraced colleague, adding, “There must be some mistake here, I mean, obviously Jason posed no threat to Canadians. He helped protect the economy from thousands of illegal queue-jumpers during his time in office. This is totally unfair and, frankly, racist.”
  • SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY: NEW SUPERNOVA STUDIED — Scientific American reports that the world’s astronomers are excitedly studying the galaxy’s youngest supernova, following the sudden and spectacular implosion of BC Liberal party.

APRIL FOOLS… AND NOW IN SOME ACTUAL NEWS…

  • BC: SOCIAL HOUSING & ELECTION — Heading into next month’s provincial election, one of the big issues for many voters is the Liberal government’s track record on building social housing. Barely a week has gone by this year without a government news release about a new housing initiative (Tyee).
  • VANCOUVER: IDLE NO MORE RETURNS — Idle No More returned to the streets of Vancouver on Saturday. Media Mornings listeners tell us that over 200 supporters of the movement for Indigenous rights gathered at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre on Hastings near Commercial. Led by drummers and elders, they marched to the intersection of Broadway and Commercial, gathering more participants along the way. Idle No More spokespersons have called for a new series of actions this spring and summer to refocus public attention on the struggles for Indigenous sovereignty and against poverty (Media Mornings).
  • CANADA: HARPER WITHDRAWS FROM UN DROUGHT DEAL — Canada has announced it will withdraw from a United Nations convention that fights the spread of droughts. The United Nations calls the withdrawal regrettable, according to Mike Blanchfield of the Canadian Press. Prime Minister Harper says the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is not worth Canada’s $350,000 annual contribution (CP).
  • PALESTINE/ISRAEL: LAND DAY PROTESTS — Protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers on the weekend as they demonstrated in the occupied West Bank before the 37th anniversary of Palestinian Land Day. Annual protests in the West Bank and Gaza mark the deaths of six protesters at the hands of Israeli police and troops during mass protests in 1976 against plans to confiscate Arab land in the northern Galilee region. In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians held rallies and planted olive trees to mark Land Day (AlJazeera).
  • IRAN/EGYPT: COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS RESUME — The first commercial flight between Egypt and Iran in 34 years marks the latest step towards normalising ties broken following the 1979 Iranian revolution. Egypt and Iran had agreed to resume direct flights in October 2010 before President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power, but no flights were made (AlJazeera).
  • CYPRUS: BANK BAILOUT — Bank of Cyprus depositors with more than 100,000 euros could lose up to 60% of their savings as part of an EU-IMF bailout restructuring move, the BBC reports. The central bank says 37 percent of holdings over 100,000 euros will become shares. Another 22 percent will go into a fund attracting no interest, and may be subject to further write-offs. The larger than expected loss could also have devastating consequences for large depositors such as schools and universities, and it could spread fear in other indebted eurozone countries that Cyprus might set a precedent (BBC).
  • ECUADOR/UK: WIKILEAKS’ ASSANGE ASYLUM — Ecuadorian diplomats have discussed the Julian Assange case with the shadow foreign secretary of the opposition British Labour Party. They want assurances he will not be extradited to the US if he travels to Sweden to face charges. Assange has taken asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London (RT).
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