Marc Montgomery, Lynn Desjardins, Levon Sevunts, Marie-Claude Simard

The LINK Online Feb 16-17-18, 2018

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Your hosts this week, Lynn, Levon, Marie-Claude, and Marc (video of show at bottom)

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We start with our colleague Jiangang Wang from the RCI Chinese section to chat a bit about Chinese New Year in Canada.

Vancouver’s Chinese New Year parade is famous for its lion and dragon dances. PHOTO-Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver

This month the trial of a Saskatchewan farmer ended in a verdict that caused bitter outrage amongst Canada’s indigenous people.

One of dozens of protests and vigils held by Indigenous groups across Canada protesting the “not guilty” verdict. PHOTO-CBC

It’s a trial and decision that is dividing Canada

Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley was accused of second degree murder after a group of young adults came onto his property and one of them ended up shot and killed. The farmer said it was an accident, and after long deliberation, the jury came back with a ‘not guilty” verdict. Indigenous groups said it was proof the justice system was biased against them.

Marc spoke with the head of the Criminal Lawyers Association of Ontario, Michael Lacy, who said though people didn’t like the verdict, there was nothing wrong with the trial, and the Prime Ministers comments about the verdict were also out of place.

Sears Canada paid billions in dividends to investors at the same time as sales and profits were dropping and the pension plan was going into deficit, say pensioners. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press/file)

Employees of what had been an iconic Canadian retailer had been concerned for years that the company pension fund was underfunded. This was even as the company was paying big dividends to shareholders.

The company went bankrupt and now ex-employees are going to court to get some of that money back.The pensioners want to recover some of the $2.9 billion dividend payments made between 2005 and 2013, much of it from the sale of Sears Canada assets including prime real estate.  The pension fund for some 16,000 ex-employees want to recover the $270-million shortfall in the pension fund, and about $400 million in unpaid health and life-insurance benefits.

Lynn spoke with Christo Aivalis, a post-doctoral fellow specializing in labour and political history at the University of Toronto.

A scandal has rocked the standing of one of the world’s respected humanitarian aid agencies, OXFAM.

A pedestrian walks past a branch of Oxfam, in London, Britain February 12, 2018. (Peter Nicholls/REUTERS)

The scandal involved allegations of sexual misconduct by some OXFAM workers in Haiti and Chad, and has caused the deputy head of Oxfam Britain Penny Lawrence  to resign on Monday.

Now Canadian aid agencies are taking a hard look at their own staff and activities abroad.

Levon has an excerpt of his conversation with Canada’s Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau. He had also spoken with Denise Byrnes, executive director of Oxfam Quebec, and Julia Sanchez, president and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. All the interviews are in the story which can be found in the highlights section of the website.

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