National News for Take 5, CIUT, on Rememberance Day

National news stories as reported by me on Take 5, CIUT 89.5 FM this morning — and my photographs from the Service of Remembrance at the Soldier’s Tower, University of Toronto

Think you’re biting into wild Pacific salmon? It’s probably farmed Atlantic salmon. That Chilean sea bass?  Patagonian toothfish.  And Tilapia was found posing as snapper and even white tuna.

A cross-Canada study by the University of Guelph found at least one quarter of the 500 fish samples they collected from supermarkets, restaurants and frozen fish boxes were stooges for more expensive species.

Experts say buying local is one way to be sure you’re getting what you pay for.

Gender wars on ice
The 900-member Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association says it is being regularly shut-out of prime ice-time at public arenas to give time to adult male leagues.

Association President Ron Baker said yesterday his league has spent over $1 million dollars in the last five years for practice time in private arenas.  He has written a letter to Mayor Miller asking him to enforce its equity policy at public arenas – or face a human rights complaint.

A spokesman from Miller’s office, Stuart Green, says the issue is a legitimate concern for the Mayor especially as female hockey leagues are on the rise.

The city’s policy dictates that priority at public arenas should be given first to youth recreational leagues, then to youth competitive hockey and finally to adult recreational shinny.

An Alberta Doctor exaggerated cancer rates near the oil sands
Earlier this year Dr. John O’Connor claimed he found an influx of a rare cancer in 12 members of a small First Nations community saying it could be linked to contaminants from the oil sands.

But an investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons found only two cases of the rare cancer and six cases of colon cancer.

O’Connor admitted to the error and does not face disciplinary action.

TTC riders boycott the rocket
Nicole Winchester is one TTC rider who does not want the city to vote in favour of a proposed fare hike on November 17th.  The vote – widely expected to pass – would see an adult token jump from $2.75 to $3.00.

Winchester started a Facebook page – with thousands of members – asking riders to find a different way to work or school on Friday to show the TTC the effect a fare hike could have.

But transit critic, James Bow, editor of the Transit Toronto website says the TTC has little choice but to raise fares because it’s among the two least-subsidized public transit agencies in North America.

He advises protesting riders to send their message not just to the TTC, but to City Hall and Queen’s Park to lobby for subsidies over fare hikes and service cuts.

Remembrance Day Renaissance
All over the world today Canadian military members are pausing to remember the fallen.

About 80 men and women on the HMCS Fredericton are gathering at the Malta Memorial in Valletta, where the names of 285 fallen Canadians are etched on a monument dedicated to Commonwealth military. The ship temporarily docked to mark Remembrance Day, is headed to the Arabian Sea.

In Kandahar a provincial reconstruction team pauses to remember comrades who have died recently in Afghanistan.

And here at home, historians say Remembrance Day is more poignant and popular with Canadians than it has been in 20 years.

Queen’s University military historian Allan English says quote — “There’s a real fascination among young people about the war experience.  I think what it is showing is a real kind of renaissance and interest in part of our history.”

Experts point to the ongoing war in Afghanistan and growing numbers of World War II veterans dying every year as reasons for high turnouts to Remembrance Day Ceremonies.  In 1993, 8000 people attended the ceremony at Ottawa’s National War Memorial – ten years later, 2 million people turned out.

And this year the House of Commons passed a motion asking the public to double the minute of silence at 11 a.m. to go back to the original two-minute silence from 1918.

Speechless in Afghanistan
Only about six out of 252 Canadian government diplomats working in Afghanistan are fluent in Afghan languages – and opposition critics are asking why language training and communication was not given higher priority.

Critics note the government has spent tens of thousands of dollars on translation, but almost $10 million trying to sell the mission to Canadians. And they question why more of Canada’s Afghanistan immigrants have been recruited into the diplomatic fold.

And though Afghanistan Task Force officials say they manage by relying heavily on locally engaged translators, a former mission official is urging current staff to hit the books, saying important messages often get lost in translation.

Reforms to Canada’s international aid agency don’t go far enough, critics say
The Canadian International Development Agency is doomed to fail again because it still doesn’t have a legislated mandate and an independent minister say government critics.

But Minister Bev Oda says CIDA is already implementing most of the recommendations from last week’s auditor general’s report on the agency which found major failings.

The report blames ever-changing leadership and shifting priorities for CIDA’s haphazard approach to distributing international aid money.

Liberal critic for CIDA, Glen Pearson, says unless CIDA’s mandate is legislated it will always be at the beck and call of various government departments and shifting priorities.

And Linden MacIntyre is the winner of this year’s Giller Prize for his novel The Bishop’s Man.
Take 5’s David Peterson interviewed MacIntyre at length about the novel and his award-winning journalism career – and we’ll be re-playing that for you in the next week or so.

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