Democracy North: Interview with Arundhati Roy, protecting medicare rallies

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This week, Democracy North includes an interview with Arundhati Roy and looks at medicare and the expiry of the Health Accord. 

A weekly independent Canadian & global podcast.



  • • 02:45 — This week's top grassroots Canadian & global news headlines (see below).


  • • 13:10 — Interview with acclaimed writer Arundhati Roy (Booker-winning novel 'The God of Small Things') on her new nonfiction book, 'Capitalism: A Ghost Story.' Interviewed by Derrick O'Keefe and Jahanzeb Hussain, broadcast on Apr. 3 & 4.


  • • 34:40 — Interview with NDP Health Critic Libby Davies (MP, Vancouver-East) on the fight to protect Medicare and the expiry of the federal-provincial health accord. Interviewed by David Ball on Apr. 3.


  • • 43:25 — Interview with Rachel Tutte (BC Health Coalition) on the health accord's expiry and Medicare rallies held across the country for Medicare last week. Interviewed by Jane Bouey on March 31.



  • • — TOP STORY: TORONTO: MAYOR ROB FORD COURT DOCUMENTS — Mayor Rob Ford’s friend Alexander Lisi threatened people in the Dixon Rd. community that they would all be killed if the crack video was not turned over, according to new documents ordered released by a judge. “You’re f---ing dead and everyone on your block is dead,” Lisi tells people in the community, according to conversations caught on wiretap the May 17 morning that news broke about the existence of the video of Ford smoking crack cocaine and making racially charged and homophobic comments (STAR).


  • • — FEDERAL: HEALTH ACCORD EXPIRES — Monday was a sad day for health care in Canada, says Roy Romanow, former NDP premier of Saskatchewan and one-time chair of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care. The day marked the end of the Health Council of Canada and the 10-year health accord that led to its creation (STAR).


  • •  — CHILE: EARTHQUAKE — A powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake has rocked northern Chile, just over 24 hours after an 8.2 tremor killed six people, destroyed 2,600 houses and led to mass evacuations. A tsunami alert in Chile and Peru was again issued, but was later lifted after waves of 0.7 meters) hit coastal areas (BBC).


  • • — BC: CHRISTY CLARK LOBBYING TIES — B.C. Premier Christy Clark's transit policies and her position on the Enbridge oilsands pipeline are being questioned after revelations she worked directly on a contract for TransLink when she was briefly partnered in her ex-husband's lobby firm before returning to politics. The news broke after the Vancouver Observer obtained a Burrard Communications internal file showing Clark was listed as a full partner in the firm, which prior to her time there lobbied for Enbridge, proponent of the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline (24H).


  • • — ALBERTA: OIL SANDS HEALTH — As health concerns stir explosive passions among opponents and defenders of the oil sands, a new Alberta Energy Regulator report finds that emissions from the multi-billion-dollar industry may be causing significant health woes in the northwest of the province (VO).


  • • —  NUNAVUT: SEAL HUNT THREATS — Musician Tanya Tagaq showed her support for the Inuit seal hunt last week by posting a "sealfie" on her Twitter account. But the backlash she received was more than she could possibly imagine. On March 28 Tagaq posted a tweet which shows her baby beside a dead adult seal near her home town of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. One particular tweeter who allegedly established a petition demanding Tagaq's baby be removed from her (HUFFPOST).


  • • — ONTARIO: CONSERVATIVE RIDING FLAP — Mississauga MP Eve Adams stands accused of abusing Conservative Party and Commons resources in her bid to grab a new seat; of insulting and bullying board members in the new riding, and of threatening the riding association’s 2015 election plans (STAR).


  • • — SYRIA: CIVIL WAR DEATHS — At least 150,000 people have been killed in Syria's three-year-old civil war, a third of them civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said. The UK-based Observatory, which monitors violence in Syria through a network of activists and medical or security sources, said the real toll was likely to be significantly higher at about 220,000 deaths (GUARDIAN).


  • • — PALESTINE/ISRAEL: PEACE TALKS — The Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) has said its decision to seek membership to several UN organisations should not mean an end to US-brokered peace talks with Israel, where officials have warned of hefty prices to be paid for the move (AJE).


  • •  CLIMATE: UN REPORT — Arctic sea ice remained on its death spiral on Wednesday, with the amount of winter ice cover falling to its fifth lowest on the satellite record, scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said. The news comes as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its much anticipated report, saying that unless governments act now to reduce emissions, no one will be safe from effects of climate change. Exxon Mobil issued a report on Monday on the risks that climate change policies could pose to the value of its assets and future profitability (GUARDIAN).


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