Media Mornings: Thu, May 16 — Éric Grenier (threehundredeight.com), Charlie Smith (Straight), Alfonso Osorio (Latin America Report)

W2MEDIA.CA  |  Listen to today’s broadcast of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 fm.

Adrian Dix walks off stage after the BC NDP’s defeat on May 14. Photo by Joshua Berson
  • Hosted by David P. Ball
  • 04:38 — Interview with polling expert Éric Grenier (publisher, threehundredeight.com) on what went so terribly wrong with opinion polling before the B.C. election, as well as possible ways for the industry to regain people’s trust.

  • 19:28 — Interview with Charlie Smith (editor, The Georgia Straight) and our Latin America Report host Alfonso Osorio discuss some possible reasons behind the surprise BC Liberal win on May 14, what failed in the BC NDP’s campaign, and the question of vote-splitting – is it a legitimate fear?

  • Music: Nirvana (“Opinion”), Kelly Clarkson (“Stronger” — chosen by Premier Christy Clark as her election theme song), A Tribe Called Red (“NDN Stakes” from Nation II Nation), Bruce Cockburn (“Call It Democracy” live).

TODAY’S TOP NEWS HEADLINES

  • BC ELECTION: CLARK ‘CLEAR MANDATE’ ON DEVELOPMENT — Emboldened on her first day as Premier-elect, Christy Clark deftly navigated around questions about oil tanker and pipeline safety at her first post-election press conference yesterday. Clark said the BC Liberals’ 50-seat surprise victory last night — shutting out the NDP by 17 seats — demonstrates that voters have given her government a “clear mandate” in its fourth term, particularly on economic and resource development (TYEE).
  • BC ELECTION: OPINION POLL WOES — Veteran polling firm Angus Reid admits it needs to “earn back the trust” of Canadians after nearly all pollsters inaccurately predicted Tuesday’s B.C. election results. Clark told reporters she has “always been a skeptic” of polls. Ipsos Reid also came out with poll results on Monday showing the NDP with an eight-point lead over the Liberals. Firm vice-president Kyle Braid issued a press release on Wednesday defending his company’s record (VANCOUVER SUN).
  • CANADA: RCMP ABUSE INVESTIGATION — The civilian watchdog that oversees the RCMP is launching a public-interest investigation into the force’s treatment of aboriginal women and girls this week in response to a scathing report from the New York-based human-rights group Human Rights Watch. Complaints documented by the rights group ranged from an unwarranted attack by a police dog against a 12-year-old girl and allegations of sexual abuse and gang rape by officers. The report did not include the full names of many of the alleged victims because it said they were too fearful of repercussions from police to allow themselves to be identified (GLOBE & MAIL).
  • CANADA: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL COMPLAINT — In other human rights news, Canada has also come under fire this week by the world’s largest human rights organization, Amnesty International, at a committee of the United Nations. Amnesty argued that Canada is obstructing efforts to compensate three men who suffered torture in Syria — effectively ignoring a key recommendation from the United Nations Committee against Torture. In a brief to the UN committee, the human rights group says it is “profoundly concerned” that Canada has not heeded the committee’s call to provide redress to Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El-Maati and Muayyed Nureddin. The three Arab-Canadians were brutalized in Syrian prisons, in part due to lapses by Canadian agencies documented by a federal inquiry in 2008. All three are suing the federal government (CP).
  • CANADA: SENATOR DUFFY INVESTIGATION —A federal ethics watchdog is reviewing a $90,000 payment from Stephen Harper’s top aide to Senator Mike Duffy to cover improperly claimed living expenses. But opposition MPs want a broader investigation, saying the secret payment made earlier this year “doesn’t pass the smell test.” Nigel Wright, chief of staff for Harper, secretly bailed out Duffy who has been at the centre of a spending controversy around his claims for living expenses for his home in suburban Ottawa. The former CTV journalist had claimed that a cottage in Prince Edward Island, which he represents in the Senate, was his primary residence. Senators can claim up to $22,000 in living expenses — including accommodation, meals and incidentals — per fiscal year when they are in Ottawa on parliamentary business, as long as their primary residence is more than 100 kilometres away. Auditors ruled that Duffy’s primary residence was, in fact, not in PEI at all (TORONTO STAR). Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Duffy billed taxpayers for expenses during the last federal election, when Parliament was dissolved and he was on the campaign trail for the party (CP).
  • USA: POLICE CHARGES IN SHOOTING — A judge has dismissed manslaughter charges against a New York City police officer who shot dead an unarmed Black teenager in his bathroom. Bronx supreme court justice Steven Barrett said the Bronx district attorney’s office failed to properly instruct members of a grand jury in considering allegations against officer Richard Haste for his role in the death in 2012 of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. The NYPD initially claimed Graham ran from officers after he was spotted near his home, but surveillance footage from the property later showed him calmly entering his apartment seconds before men in NYPD windbreakers ran up to the front door with their guns drawn. The officers forced their way inside and Haste made his way to the second floor where Graham was killed. No weapon was recovered (GUARDIAN).
  • CAMBODIA: ASICS SHOE FACTORY COLLAPSE — The deaths of at least two Cambodian workers and injuries sustained by 10 colleagues at a shoe factory southwest of Phnom Penh once more shine a light on conditions in the global garment manufacturing industry. The factory, which has 7,000 staff, is contracted to manufacture shoes for Japanese athletics brand ASICS (DEUTSCHE WELLE).
  • BANGLADESH: WALMART, CORPS. REFUSE AGREEMENT — As American retailers face mounting pressure to join a landmark plan to improve factory safety in Bangladesh, newly found documents indicate that apparel had been produced for a Canadian contractor of Wal-Mart at one of the operations in the factory building that collapsed last month, killing more than 1,100 workers, despite the corporate giant’s refusal to sign a growing agreement. While both the contractor and Wal-Mart denied any knowledge of the production orders there, Wal-Mart announced that it would put in place new safety measures at the factories it was using in Bangladesh. Saying it was unwilling to sign on to the broad safety plan embraced by more than a dozen European companies this week, Wal-Mart said its factory monitors would “conduct in-depth safety inspections at 100 percent” of the 279 factories it uses in Bangladesh and publicize the results on its Web site (NY TIMES).
  • SYRIA: REBELS UNDER FIRE — In the latest news from the Syrian civil war, a video published on May 16 showed fighters of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in Syria executing 11 men they accused of taking part in massacres by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces (REUTERS). But it is only the latest negative publicity for Assad’s opponents, after horrific video footage of a Syrian rebel commander eating the heart or lung of a dead government fighter aroused furious international controversy, fuelling an already heated debate over western support for the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime (GUARDIAN).
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