Radio Topics for November 25th

Winter has come to Ottawa. Wake up and enjoy the freshly fallen snow by listening to the Tuesday Morning Blend. Mike is away this week so Adam will be joined by Simon Cameron and Joel Eastwood. At 7:30 I will be speaking with Christie Blachford about her book Fifteen Days which recently won the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction. As well at 8:30 we will be talking with a representative of the United Way about their current fundraising campaign. We will also have our usual mix of news, music, concert listings and community announcements. As per usual we air on CKCU 93.1fm in Ottawa. For those out of town we you can listen to us on the web at by clicking on the listen live link.

Hate speech shouldn’t be covered by human rights act says new report.

…and then there were three. Bob Rae enters Liberal leadership race for real.

Mammoth DNA reconstructed from fur. Humanity takes another step down the road towards Jurassic Park.

Queens University to introduce the speech police.

University of Ottawa students vote to join the CFS.

Perfect condition piano found in the middle of the woods. What?

Radio Topics, November 18

It’s Tuesday! Adam, having finally recovered from his ascent up Dunton Tower, will be speaking with author Gwynne Dyer at  7:30. At about 8:40, I’ll be speaking with Julian Armour, President of Ottawa Festivals, about the proposed city budget. Needless to say, I think that he will have criticisms of it.

Here’s some of what we’ll also talk about:

Clive and Christine Leadman have a transit plan of their own! Too bad it is slower and more expensive than the other plan.

Budget cuts could mean the end to Ottawa’s swans

Larry opposes Lansdowne design competition

Canadian Emission increase by 22%

Donors replace monument dedicated to Ottawa’s fist Stanley Cup win, having realized they won’t need to fund a similar plaque for this year.

Pirates have captured a ship carrying one quarter of Saudi Arabia’s daily output of oil. They have tanks AND oil now.

It’s back to school day on Parliament Hill. Today? They elect a speaker. Tomorrow they have a thrown speech. That means the first made up confidence crisis in the government should come some time on Thursday.

From Norman Spector’s blog at the Globe, emphasis is mine:

Still, these days, one increasingly hears commentators invoking the rocky relationship between Prime Minister John George Diefenbaker and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the 1960s as evidence of the difficulties that Conservatives experience when they are in office at the same time as Democrats. That, of course, misses the irony that it was Mr. Diefenbaker who stood up to the Americans while the Liberals ultimately agreed to station nuclear-tipped missiles on Canadian soil.

Not quite.

The Bomarcs were purchased in lieu of interceptor aircraft (originally the Avro Arrow, but I suppose the goverment could have opted for another type of plane). Canada needed these as part of its NORAD commitments to blow up Russian bombers as they crossed over the North Pole. Diefenbaker agreed to purchase them in 1958.

The pickle is that they were only really effective if they were nuclear tipped- the bigger the boom, the better the ability to blow up the bombers. When these bombers are on their way to drop nuclear bombs on cities, preference is given to machetes over scalpals. Diefenbaker announced the purchase of the missiles, and then promptly realized it would mean committing to Canada having nuclear weapons. He waffled, and this went on to be part of the shit storm that contributed to Pearson’s election.

Pearson did accept missiles, but did so reluctantly (the Canadian Encyclopedia reference on the matter is a lesson in understatement): Canada had purchased missiles to fulfill our NORAD obligations, and these missiles weren’t much use without nuclear warheads. By the time that the missiles were phased out, we were well enough into the ICBM age to need them less.

History is open to interpretation, but Diefenbaker’s “standing up” to the Americans hardly seems noble when he agreed to purchase missiles in the first place, and Pearson’s “capitulation” is a lot less severe when you consider that we had already actually bought and installed the missiles. Heck, if memory serves, Dief had (crazily!) already agreed that the missiles might be so-armed in the event of an emergency, but that the warheads must be stored south of the border. Pearson certainly may have had warmer relations with the United States,  but he also is the dude the championed a whole lot of economic nationalism and famously pissed on LBJ’s rug.

(This is, ofcourse, an aside in a post about how the Canada/US relationship might change with the Obama election. I think that Harper is way to smart to pull a Diefenbaker and let a frosty relationship with the US get in the way of him staying in power. Remember: the Tories are now the party of Canada/US cooperation, the reverse was true in 1960.)

Trimming the Budget

I have not had a chance to work through the proposed budget yet – that is saved for this weekend, so as to prepare in advance of some meetings next week- but it is worth a quick comment on the proposed cuts to arts funding.

Now, city funding might be needed for such organisations to look for funding from other levels of government, and some organisations (I’m looking at you, Bluesfest), are probably large enough to survive without direct subsidy, even if it means reducing the profile of some of the acts. If it goes, I will miss Centretown movies, but admittedly have seen exactly one show in the last 3 years (Khaaaan!).

But, as it is with most of the proposed cuts, it is worth figuring out what the actual per-household costs of such programs actually is. In 2006, there were 350,917 households in the city. So, with $4.1 million in proposed cuts, that works out to a per-household cost of $11.68.

Let’s say that again, but this time in bold: $11.68.

Obviously, that’s assuming each home pays the same, the vagaries of property taxes would mean that something different. But I think that the question should be whether an extra 12 bucks a year per household (or a little more than $4/person) is worth having the sorts of arts programs we are about to cut. I also think that is a fair question as we look towards other cuts and, more importantly, as we look towards other spending. The game shouldn’t be getting the budget to a magic number, it should be about making sure that we are getting value for our money.

With these arts programs, I’m comfortable with the cost.

Radio Topics for November 11th

Its Tuesday and Remembrance Day. As a reward for all our listeners who donated, Adam will be running up a floor of Dunton Tower for every fifty dollars we raised on the show. Since we raised over $1100 Adam will be running up all twenty-two stories. Tune in at 7:30 to hear Adam run and possibly collapse with exhaustion on-air. As an added bonus he will be discussing the topic of the day while running. It will also be filmed for Youtube posterity. We will also have our usual mix of news, music, concert listings and community announcements. As per usual we air on CKCU 93.1fm in Ottawa. For those out of town we you can listen to us on the web at by clicking on the listen live link.

Remembrance Day ceremonies take place across the country.

Canadian journalist kidnapped in Afghanistan a month ago is finally…just nobody is sure why.

Macleans annual university rankings released and Carleton is only middling.

Another election to follow: Quebec!

Maldives looking to buy a new homeland

President-Elect Obama talks with Lame-Duck President Bush about the economy. He also won an election.

Hope you don’t run a festival in Ottawa because you aren’t getting any money this year

Harper government kills portrait gallery.

In a race where the headlines have been who isn’t running, we finally get one about who will be running.

Radio Topics, November 4

Welcome to standard time! Tuesday marks the second of our annual funding drive shows. As you probably know, CKCU raises $108,000 over the course of three weeks – 1/3 of its annual budget – via listener donations. Last week, our show raised $450, and we are looking to match it this week. Remember- for every $50 of donations, Adam will run up one story of Dunton tower LIVE on air next week. Your donations will help keep the station on air, but also increase the possibility of Adam’s heart exploding. Really, a win-win for everyone. To donate online, visit; be sure to list the “Tuesday Special Blend” as the show you support.

But we won’t be panhandling all show! At 8:30, Adam will be speaking with Randall Hansen about his new book Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany 1942-1945. I haven’t read it, but my understanding is that it is the sort of light-hearted romp that we are all looking for this holiday season. (What? Aww, Hell.)

We’ll also talk about at least some of the following:

The seemingly-permanent US Presidential Campaign ends today. I’m looking forward to an electoral change we can believe in.

The Wakefield train is coming back! Maybe.

Ontario finally gets in on the equalization game: Alberta’s money is fun to spend! (Newfoundland is apparently off now. Up is the new down.)

CIC not letting HC ask IIHF to ask IOC WTF?

Sparks Street Bureaucrats causing problems for Haunted Walk.

Happy Birthday Transitway! Don’t worry- soon you’ll be put out to (tunney’s) pasture!

This week in banning things: cellphones/iPods/GPS while driving.

Your Nalgene? Dangerous? Asbestos? Totally not dangerous.

Frank goes to the big recycling bin in the sky.