Sunday, December 31, 2006

Wrapping up 2006: Dec 27 - 29th

Even in a shortened work week, we managed to cover all the bases and break some details on an unusual robbery.

Wednesday: We wrangled Kelly Dehn off his recliner and had the CTV Crime Beat reporter join us during his holiday break. He went over the big stories of 2006 including the Whitmore kidnapping case, police sting operations against outlaw motorcycle gangs, the arrest of 3 Bandidos in an Ontario biker massacre, and the new Crimestat initiative promised by Mayor Katz as a means of improving police response and preventing crime.

We touched on the life and times of three recently departed figures from American life - former US President Gerald Ford and his career as a college athlete and friend of Canada, Frank Tremaine of Associated Press who was the first to report on the attack on Pearl Harbour, and William H. Booth, the former chairman of the Human Rights Commisison of New York City in the late 60's who embarked on bold initiatives to bring blacks and other minorities into public school administrative positions, and to eradicate systemic racism in civic services such as taxicabs.

Thursday: Adam Clayton of the Winnipeg Sun made his TGCTS debut with a discussion about the Top 10 Civic stories of 2006. Adam is a former Red River College Cre-Comm grad and we were happy to get his perspective.

In our middle segment we had exclusive details of a rare taxi robbery on Boxing Day. Late that night two people came out of a suite at 970 Sherbrook, tossed a blanket in the air towards the front seat to obscure the camera, punched and robbed the driver and stole his Crown Victoria. Go figure how someone thinks they will get away with it when they came out of a specific suite and had answered the phone when Duffy's called to tell them the cab was downstairs; but as the manager put it "people aren't afraid to break the law, all they will get is a slap on the wrist".

We also made mention of the Free Press column by Gord Sinclair where he mocked the Asper family's presumed relief when he revealed his publisher canned his unauthorized Israel Asper bio, which Sinclair admitted was going to be less than flattering. Winnipeg's aspiring Kitty Kelly said he'll look for another printer but he has nothing to pat himself on the back for, because nothing is easier than a drive-by hit on the reputation of a deceased civic leader who can't defend himself.

In our last segment Alex Perez joined us from Duke University and spoke about the great experience he had filming his Slurpee documentary here last week, freezing cold notwithstanding. He hopes to have it ready for a local by the end of March.

Friday: We capped off the year with a compliment for Free Press reporter Bill Redekopp and his coverage of rural stories; and then spent about 30 minutes discussing the potential of an NHL franchise returning to the city. Darren Ford made a number of compelling arguments why the idea has to be looked at closely with so many US teams drawing under 10,000 fans per game, and believes that Winnipeg can find enough corporate and casual fan support to make it a reality. Check out his website, www.jetsowner.com.

Thanks to all our guests and callers, and to Kick-FM station manager Rick Baverstock for having the faith in us to provide the opportunity for The Great Canadian Talk Show to return to Winnipeg airwaves.
Have a great New Year and tune in again for out next live edition on Tuesday, January 2, 2007.

Marty Gold and Captain Audio

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dec. 18th- 21st: Week 5 saw an interview (or two) a day

There was a lot of news and holiday stories to clear out in a shortened week for our program.

Monday: An under-reported story we looked into, was the ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that First Nations' assets could be seized for non-payment of accounts with off-reserve entities. McDiarmid Lumber of Winnipeg had appealed a ruling by Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair, that the God's Lake band could not have their federal funding seized from their bank account to satisfy a $600,000 debt for materials delivered to the band. By a 6-3 margin the SCoC ruled overturned the decision. This paves the way for all reserves, including proposed urban reserves expected to emerge in Winnipeg in the near future, to be held accountable for their transactions and commitments.

One dissenting opinion held that suppliers could simply demand payment in advance; we skewed that theory as coming from someone who obviously had no experience in business and/or a judge who wanted to rule on the inevitable Human Rights lawsuit which would result from such a blanket business practice.

We reviewed two media incidents, the first in the Los Angeles radio market where an on-air verbal skirmish between the AM and FM morning hosts saw KFI's Bill Handle suspended for a week for uttering blooper words over an open mike; the second more serious affair saw News Corps honcho Rupert Murdoch personally order the ouster of HarperCollins editrix Judith Regan because of anti-Semitic remarks she made in an argument with a company lawyer, about her lamebrained idea to publish a book by OJ Simpson.

In the studio, Corydon Avenue's Frank the Italian Barber sat down for a conversation about the art of barbering, the local sports scene, and the atmosphere on the Corydon strip in the summertime.

Tuesday: Once again crime took the lead, from a crack house shooting on Selkirk Avenue, the epidemic of bus shelter destructions costing $40,000, and how a 16 year old boy convicted of stabbing a man who was tossing the kid and his brother out of a drinking party in the man's house, got 4 months in custody and 2 months in care of his father. Oh, and someone was robbed at HSC again, this time right inside the front lobby. So much for all the talk about increased security patrols.



Two callers, one from suburban Charleswood and the other from inner-city Point Douglas, had similar views about the responsibility of the elected politicians and of the courts in coddling those convicted of property and assault crimes, particularly juveniles. The fellow from Point Douglas related how he has been accosted in the past and has to literally make a dash for his home on occasion because of the roving gangbangers and thugs. Meanwhile his MLA, NDP'er George Hickes, has been silent and invisible as the neighborhood fights to survive against long odds.

In the middle segment, the author of the book " The Man Who Scared a Shark to Death and Other True Tales of Drunken Debauchery" joined us on the phone. Christopher Lombardo, a contributor to Frank Magazine, related some of the anecdotes from the book he co-wrote with Noel Boivin, and warned of the dangers of office Christmas parties. He even had a Winnipeg entry in his collection of the stupid things drunks will say and do. The Penguin publication is available at local retailers and makes a fun gift.

We ended by looking at some legends of the cartoon world who just passed away. Joseph Barbera (with partner Bill Hanna) created innumerable childhood memories with The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Johnny Quest, Huckleberry Hound and many more. Chris Hayward, a key writer of the animated Bullwinkle The Moose Tv and revamped the old Dudley Do-Right character in the 1960's (did you know that originally those cartoons were banned from Canadian TV?). He then moved on to create The Munsters with Allen Burns, won an Emmy with Burns for the vastly underappreciated CBS series He and She starring Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin, and was best known for his writing and producing of shows like Emmy-winners Get Smart and Barney Miller.

Wednesday: The two Kelly's were prominent this afternoon.

Kelly Dehn of CTV gave firsthand impressions of the murder trial of a man who shot a store clerk after a botched robbbery, and the unique alibi offered: when the clerk swung at his head with a bat and connected, the criminal shot in self-defence. After the usual HSC crime spree update, Kelly recapped the Selkirk Avenue shooting where a woman was charged with drug and weapons offences - but not with pulling the trigger.

In a brief review of other news, we suggested the Fraser Institute's study into charitable giving was slanted. By measuring only tax-deductable donations, they were shortchanging the nickel and dime and loonie contributions parents and working folks make to schools, teams and charities which was causing a kind of collective giving exhaustion at this time of year.

And why were all these groups putting their hand out? Well, we surmised maybe it has something to do with all the local millionaires pumping millions into each other's museums and campus building projects, taking the tax deductions and newspaper glory, but also creating a kind of tier system that leaves other worthy causes looking second rate and SOL in their own fundraising. Food for thought.

In the last segment, a well known figure on the local music scene, Kelly Fairchild, gave an interesting glimpse into the creative process behind his impending CD release "Starland". A lot of top-shelf Winnipeg musicians such as vocalist George Belanger of Harlequin, drummer Mark Sawatsky of the Harlots and LA-based drummer Brent Fitz, are all part of Kelly's project. Kelly is the frontman for The Paul Stanleys so of course the conversation briefly turned to Alex Perez' documentary and how we helped get a Kiss tribute band into a film about Slurpees.

Check out all the news about the CD at
www.kellyfairchild.com

Thursday: Our last show before the Christmas break (day 7 for the Menorah lighters out there) was set aside to speak with two legends of the local pop culture scene.

Laurie Mustard has rarely been on the other side of the microphone but he was a great guest, speaking about his youthful theatre background on stage in The Dybbuk with the voice of Spiderman's cartoon nemisis J. Jonah Jameson - "PAHR-KERRR!", Paul Kligman. Laurie even did the hamoitze bracha to prove it.

His break into CJOB, moving into the morning slot with Red Alix, his concurrent CBC kids series Switchback which everyone of a certain age in the city remembers, and now as a columnist with the Winnipeg Sun, Laurie Mustard is a guy who has done it all. He explained he loves his job and that being able to address serious issues like second-hand smoke and animal neglect in his column, does as we suggested, surprise people who think of him as the goofy guy from the 33 Jim Gautier car dealership commercials. We were delighted to have Laurie with us in the studio and he is welcome back anytime.

For our final pre-Christmas segment Santa sent us a special guest -
"HOHOHO, merry Christmas, mein freund, dis is de Baron mit a message from Santa Claus!"

From 1974-86 the Clawmaster, Baron Von Raschke, was one of the most popular performers in the AWA and he headlined cards across the midwest. His appearances on CKND-Tv and at the Arena made him one of the most imitated characters of the era on schoolyards and at parties. His bald pate, menacing mannerisms and mangled English promos were all part of an unforgettable package, but he was a tough competitor and a true athlete.

A Nebraska State AAU wrestling champion in both Greco-roman and Freestyle, Herr Baron learned the basics of the pro game from scientific master Verne Gagne, before Mad Dog Maurice Vachon took him under his wing and taught the otherwise mild-mannered schoolteacher the tricks to starting fan riots in the Montreal Forum.

A champion in all the old territories, he was in the ring with all the legends including the Crusher, Dick the Bruiser, WWWF titlist Bruno Sammartino, The Road Warriors, Ivan Koloff, Ric Flair, and Nick Bockwinkel. Oh ya, he knew Hulk Hogan too.

The Baron spoke very fondly of his wife Mrs. Claw, his son and daughter, and of his dear friend, Andre the Giant.

At the end of the conversation the Baron told about how a play about his life is being produced in Minneapolis this April for a 5 week run in which he will star and presumably, clamp the iron grip on a hapless thespian or two. A move is afoot to bring the Baron to the city after the play for a public event or two, and we will be sure to have him in the studio.

If there was a ever a guest we could do a full hour with it is the Baron ... " Das is richtig Marty and DAT is all da people need to know! Merry Christmas HOHOHO ".

It made our holidays and we hope you all enjoyed the trip down memory lane with the beloved Baron von Raschke. ( Keep up on all the news and look at the classic photos at www.baronvonraschke.com )

December 11th- 15th: Jubilee shooter exclusives and more

The weekend brought a number of issues immediately to the table for our program to start with on Monday.

On a lighter note, we took on the role of Associate Producer for Alex Perez' Slurpee documentary and began by lining up the Winnipeg's famous rock bar, the Zoo, as a filming venue and arranged for the concert by Kiss tribute band, The Paul Stanleys to be captured for the film.
But the big story was the Jubilee shooting and the trickle of rumours and information which came together into more TGCTS exclusives.

Monday: The weekend papers were full of stories about the accused shooter Daniel Anderson, his family, the raid and the aftermath, much of it focused on criticism of Chief Ewatski and his insistance that the operation had followed protocol. And oh yes, our exclusive from Friday was confirmed - that one of the officers injured was shot not by Anderson but by a fellow officer.

On his Free Press blog, sports scribe Paul Wiecek, a former cop beat reporter, echoed many of our concerns about how the Chief had fumbled the support of the public for his force, into immediate distrust for anything he had to say about the shooting or whatever the investigation would uncover. His comments bear repeating:

"Only the Winnipeg Police Department could have three of its members shot in a cowardly ambush and still come away smelling as though it was them who did something wrong.

Because only the Winnipeg Police Department would have an executive so paranoid as to attempt to cover up the apparent heroic actions — and remarkable restraint — of its officers in their handling of the drug-raid-turned-wild-west-shootout on Jubilee Thursday night.

It’s as though a police department so often accused in the past of covering up misconduct no longer even knows what to do when its officers do good. And so they revert to what they know best — man the barricades and damn the media.

Well, way to go Jack — now everyone’s trying to figure out what you’re trying to cover up."

Although the MSM had repeatedly refered to the accused police shooter as being a victim of a violent swarming outside a Winnipeg nightclub a few years ago (as a possible explanation for why he kept a shotgun in the house), no one had looked into that particular incident.

We did the research, and learned that only a week before the police stormed into the house, Anderson had filed a lawsuit against the bar for among other things, failing to protect him or come to his assistance.

This gave us the opportunity to break the news not only of his lawsuit, but to break the story of the bouncer who led the charge into the parking lot, fended off the knife-wielding attacker and his gang, and used his own shirt in -20 December chill, to stem the blood pouring from the stab wounds until the ambulance arrived 20 minutes later.

Andrew Shallcross of the Astoria Holiday Inn refuted the allegations (not yet heard or proven in a court of law- ed.), starting with the claim the fight started outside their door and the staff stood by and watched the assault unfold.

Andrew maintained it began off their property and Anderson ran back onto their parking lot, where he was swarmed and stabbed. He spoke about backing off the assailants and helping the bleeding victim in the freezing cold until authorities arrived, of the nature of keeping bar customers safe, and of improved security measures undertaken by management afterwards -- including aiming their security cameras at an area off their property, to better watch over their patrons.

Andrew was not impressed that a lawsuit was filed which, he says, completely misrepresented the role of the Lid in the incident and tried to place blame on him and the rest of his staff when he believes that his actions that night saved Anderson's life.

Tuesday: Media reports about more robberies near HSC (as we predicted), we break news about a suburban crime wave, and the police trying to turn the PR tide -- and we were all over the stories and the coverage.

Having seen the Chief lose the confidence of the public, the police service trotted out a spokesman to say, sorry, we can't give out the details about what happened, this case will be tried in the courts not in the media, but ... the shooter is responsible for seriously injuring at least two of our officers, move along, nothing to see here, yadayadayada.

We called that for what it was, with the police trying to have it both ways, effectively convicting the accused before the trial while refusing to give any evidence or details.

The Winnipeg Free Press ran a story claiming experts had supported the police service secrecy about the details of Thursday's raid gone wrong. However when we looked at the details, we found that the experts consisted of a Simon Fraser University criminologist who was not an expert on policing, but rather a 'restorative justice' specialist; the other expert, from the U of Winnipeg, was also not an expert on policing- but he was a former student of the first professor. Some qualifications.

And the reporter didn't bother looking for a criminologist who was either a recognized expert on policing or at least a critic of the police handling of the Jubilee affair. Nope, the Free Press packaged an opinion piece as news and said, here you go readers, the police did nothing wrong, after all we asked the "experts".

Meanwhile remember that caller from last week who said North Kildonan was full of crime? Well we were contacted by another victim of crime, whose house was one of 6 broken into and robbed in the middle of the day in the middle of suburbia. Last Thursday around 3 Pm to be precise.

Across the Chief Peguis Bridge in West Kildonan, another homeowner had emailed us and said, he has had enough and was going to do something about it. He moved out of the West End to what he thought was a better neighbourhood, but in the past year West K has become yet another destination for the criminal element.

In an exclusive interview, Curt Webb told our audience all about his plan to make taggers, vandals and thieves accountable by starting a new website,
www.winnipegtheft.com.

Curt said he wasn't interested in prosecutions because he shares our belief that the police may catch them, but the justice system just lets them out again.

No, he said, he will publish their pictures, and any information he can get, their names, addresses, schools, etc, and force taggers and vandals to be accountable. Curt was sure that without a criminal complaint, the usual prohibitions against publication or identifying the perps wouldn't apply. So he had handed out 200 flyers, started the website, and was going to wire properties with infra-red cameras to capture images of the taggers and thieves caught in the act for publication on the internet.

Just another example of how far homeowners in Winnipeg feel they have been pushed by kids who have no respect and no fear of consequences.

Wednesday: Yet another segment with Kelly Dehn of CTV was dominated by - what else?- HSC and this day, a shooting about 4 blocks from the hospital. Kelly offered a bit of a defence for Chief Ewatski's seeming evasive, and the kind of situation he is put in when there is an ongoing investigation into not only the Jubilee shooting but also inside the house pursuant to the search warrant.

With Kelly on the air with us, we broke the news that we had found a report online from the Free Press quoting a police spokeman (by name), that a second officer was shot with a bullet, meaning that two cops had been hit with 'friendly fire' last Thursday and not just one.

Kelly had not seen the story and said he would look into it, but we thought it may help explain why the Chief had been so reluctant to divulge details of what went down inside the house.

Also on the show, we took note of the vicious in-fighting which marked the Progressive Conservative nomination battle in Portage La Prairie won by incumbant David Faurschou; discussed the obvious manly physical characteristics of the former East German Olympic women's swim team in the 1970's and the newly-approved settlement of their claim for having been systemically steroided up by their trainers; and discussed the fascinating life and career of actor Peter Boyle ( TV's Something About Raymond, won an Emmy for the X-Files in 1996), who passed away after a lengthy illness.


Boyle passed up the Popeye Doyle role in The French Connection (which made Gene Hackman's career), and met his future wife on the set of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein 3 years later. He was in in full Frankenstein make-up and asked her on a date. She was a Rolling Stone reporter who was friends with Yoko Ono, and the best man at their wedding was John Lennon.

Thursday: Yoram East of our sponsor CanadaSheli.com came onto the airwaves for the first time on our new location at Kick-FM and gave the rundown of the Holocaust deny-ers conference in Iran, focusing on a "Dr." Dossa who was discovered to be a political science professor from a Canadian university. Yoram dismissed the frantic denials of St. Francis Xavier officials who claimed they had no idea such a character was in their midst - for 18 years mind you - and reminded listeners that those who deny the Holocaust are not only anti-Semites, but also smear the memory of innocent Russians, Poles, homosexuals, intellectuals and all other groups who faced death in the Nazi concentration camps.

The roving reporter for City-TV's Breakfast Television, Jimmy Mac came into the studio for a wild and wide-ranging interview about his career as an aspiring hockey player with the Notre Dame Hounds, on the road as a stand-up comic, his CBC-TV specials and the fun of meeting Winnipeggers from all walks of life in his job, even if he does have to get up everyday at 4 AM. Jimmy wasa very engaging guest and will be returning to our studio on January 9th to preview his headlining a fundraiser for Winnipeg Harvest on January 11th.

Friday: Breaking news from Victoria topped the show with a live report from "Dirty Money" Shaun Myall, a former Winnipegger who works in the BC capitol as a business consultant. The third storm in less than a month left thousands without power and heat as winds up to 125 Kph whipped the island. Shaun decribed the scene and how islanders just aren't used to such havoc. He will become a regularly featured part of TGCTS in January, with his tips about service, marketing and branding for small businesses and start-ups.


The Winnipeg Police Service announced that charges had been laid against not only Daniel Anderson (weapons offences and attempt murder), but trafficking charges against his parents and girlfriend as well based on their claimed discovery of 3.1 kilos of pot, some paraphenalia and pills as well as cash. Normally the police are quick to parade such evidence before the press the day after they find it, but in this case it took a week.

A sitation somewhat parallel to the Jubilee shooting showed why some question how Chief Ewatski handled the press inquiries.

Yesterday in New Westminster, B.C. a task force made up of officers from numerous police forces in the Greater Vancouver District (GRD) raided a crack house. During the raid a cop was shot by, you guessed it, another cop. Yet even with multiple police forces to co-ordinate with, a clear announcement about what happened was issued a mere 8 hours later. No claims that the ongoing investigation would be jeopardized by giving the public the information, no fudging on what went down.

We also looked at an incident last night which started in St. Boniface and ended in the Wolseley neighborhood. A man serving a sentence only on weekends, was driving suspiciously and was pursued, drove into a snowbank, then hit the gas and dragged the cops apprehending him. He rammed two police cars before finally being found near the Misericordia Hospital.

By our count that makes about a dozen cruiser cars put out of service in 2006 by suspects ramming the vehicles, which is costing Winnipeg taxpayers a pretty penny in replacement vehicles, lost police manhours, and injuries sustained by officers trying to do their duty.

Dec. 4th - 8th: Hitting our stride in Week 3

Breaking stories about a police shooting, crime coverage, a new documentary and local entertainment events were front and centre this week on the show.

Monday - The robbery spree in the Health Sciences Centre area was at the top of the agenda with news of 2 incidents late Friday afternoon. Some of the blame was being placed on construction projects at HSC displacing parking spaces, forcing health care workers to navigate the dangerous streets beyond the help of security staff.

Councillor Mike Pagtakhan answered our interview request on very short notice and didn't duck a question. He said that clearly new procedures had to be developed to enhance the safety of the area, and that it was time to review the role of the "catch-and-release" justice system may be playing in the brazen actions of criminals on our downtown streets. Mike said he'd come into the studio with us in the new year to discuss how the situation played out over the holidays and to take calls from our listeners.

Meanwhile we also got an update from Richard Solomon about the safety of residents at 101 Marion to pass on (" I'd come on the air but I've had enough threats on my life"). The Manitoba Housing Authority had installed new deadbolts and lighting, hired round-the-clock security, and 3 arrests of troublemaking tenants had been made by police.

Conspicuosly absent from the solution process in St. Boniface was area Councilman Dan Vandal, who was supposed to call Solomon last Wednesday but had yet to speak to the residents of 101 Marion or meet with them, despite stumping for their votes only 6 weeks ago.

Tuesday: A lesson in bureaucracy for our listeners. It appears no one in Ottawa wants to address our questions about the legality of the province redirecting the $100 monthly Child Care Benefit from foster parents of kids under 6 and redistributing the money into a subsidy of all kids in care, regardless of age.

We called it a case of pure socialism, taking monies from a specific federal program and treating it as a federal transfer payment, with Manitoba bragging about increasing funding for foster care without once admitting 33% of the "new" funds was from the feds.

Of course all it will take is putting more direct pressure on the officials; after all, isn't that what got the residents of 101 Marion some protection from the hooligans victimizing their apartment block? Bureaucracy sloughs off the little guy as long as no one shines the light on it. The Great Canadian Talk Show will be that light for people being ignored by the pencil-pushers and political apologists, and we won't take no for an answer.

We spoke to Mary Dawson of the Winnipeg Children's Access Agency about the 'chair-ity' fundraiser, the auction of autographed sports jerseys redone into easy-chairs (Walter Gretzky was the guest speaker at the event). Mary's service fills an important role for families in crisis in the city and she deserves all the support possible to continue to provide a supervised meeting environment for children and their parents.

Lastly we broke a story that swept through the media, and introduced Winnipeg to Alex Perez of Duke University. The 23 year old filmmaker was coming to Canada for the first time to do a short about our world-leading love of Slurpees as recognized by 7-11 Food Stores. Many of our listeners emailed Alex volunteering to be interviewed on-camera about their affection for the sweet slushy treat and explain why they insist on drinking Slurpees even in the coldest Winnipeg winters.

Wednesday: CTV's crimewatch reporter Kelly Dehn gave our audience some background on the bumpy road traveled by RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, who had survived a number of controversies but couldn't outlast the outcry over his admission that maybe his contradictory statements about the Arar case didn't pass the sniff test. Kelly went over the details about the Sherbrook Street attack on James Lathlin by a a man facing trial for in a prior assault on Lathlin - did you know that intimidating a witness or journalist can get you 14 years in the hoosegow? Finally Kelly expressed surprise that as we predicted, HSC continued to be a destination for stick-up artists and admitted maybe we were onto something.

Later in the show I told the story of a girl who I met riding the bus, who told of what it was like to work downtown at a call centre and be accosted every day by derelicts, panhandlers and bums. She explained that teenage girls are seen as easy prey at bus stops and inside parkades, where the scum lurk on the upper levels knowing security doesn't patrol.

A caller from North Kildonan chimed in that she agrees with our characterization of the Spirited Energy branding campaign as PR propaganda. She won't come downtown for the same reasons identified by the girl on the bus, and told of being harassed by groups of 3 or 4 panhandlers this past summer when she came downtown with visitors from England. The caller added that crime in her suburban neighborhood is terrible, has had her car stolen, house broken into, and oh ya, her car was shot at while driving in St. James.

Thursday: The show opened with a quick interview with Pedro Aurelio of Grant Park High School, the choreographer of their $50,000 production of Ragtime debuting at the Pantage Playhouse Theatre. Pedro spoke highly of the ability of the kids in the cast and told of the visit to November rehearsals by Canadian impressario Garth Drabinsky.

Winnipeg Sun columnist Krista Boryskavich joined us for the final time before moving on to her new position with the City of Winnipeg. Krista picked apart the 28 page federal Liberal Party 'Pink Book', noting it had only 14 actual pages of policy details and was pretty thin on the, em, details, and who could take seriously an initiative supposedly for the benefit of working women in Canada, when it is championed by Belinda 'born to a fortune' Stronach?

Dennis Owens came into the studio to explain how the Frontier Centre for Public Policy saw energy and Hydro policy. The gist of it, is the Manitoba government should increase Hydro rates to increase conservation by consumers, build the hydro dams, get the feds to create a national east-west grid, and make suitable compensation arrangements with First Nations. Sell the excess power and voila- we go from being a have-not province to a have !

Of course there's the little matter of the taxpayer paying for all the construction, all the compensation, and forking out for higher power rates and the increased prices of goods and services. We agreed to disagree and will have Dennis on again in the new year.

Finally to wrap up a busy show, Spike-TV star and Garden City's own Johnny Devine plugged his appearance for PCW at the Lid Nightclub later that evening, and spoke about his career with TNA Impact! on Spike every Thursday night and his love of the traditions of old-school pro wrestling.

Friday: Driving back from the PCW card at the Lid coming north on Pembina Highway, we saw the police cars blocking off access to Jubilee Avenue. little did we know that only 2 hours before, a chaotic bust resulted in 3 officers and one suspect in a drug raid all being shot and hospitalized. We briefly touched on the details as we knew them and raised a number of questions about the evasive handling of the morning press conference by police Chief Jack Ewatski, and why the media didn't track down a single representative from federal Liberals to ask them why they had enacted criminal-coddling legislation when in office and had refused to support new measures brought forward by the Harper government.

Rochelle Squires of the Winnipeg Sun joined the show for the first time, to review the too-short Legislative session and the few pieces of legislation that had passed, such as the revived Whistleblower Act ( but private citizens who uncover wrongdoing are still sitting ducks for retribution by bureaucrats) and the revised Employee Standards Code, the highlight of which appears to be that employers will no longer be able to arbitrarily deduct so-called fines and costs such as alleged shortages and breakage from workers paycheques.

One bill breezed through all 3 readings on the last day, so-called 'date rape' amendments to the Liquor Control Act to allow for bar patrons to take their drinks into washrooms - which we saw as a precursor to future violent and bloody assaults outside of the view of club security (if not hepatitis outbreaks).


Hadn't any of the politicians known the good reasons why glass was not allowed off the seating or dancing areas? And was the need for this amendment based on any kind of real evidence, not just hearsay? Squires admitted she had never heard of a case here or once thought someone would try to spike her own drink at a club, but then again, she always finishes hers before going to the washroom. She told our listeners to keep an eye on the Sun in January for a special series she was working on, as we wished her well in the new year.

We went back to reviewing the matter of the police shootings and Chief Ewatski refusing to answer simple questions such as:

- what kind of weapon were the officers shot by ?
- had they checked the gun registry before entering the home ?
- were any female officers on the team executing the search warrant ?

Lo and behold, a caller who works in the corrections system gave us the answer before any other media outlet in Winnipeg had reported it: one of the officers had been wounded not by the suspect, but by another officer discharging their weapon. Another scoop for The Great Canadian Talk Show as we ended week 3.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nov. 27th - Dec. 1st - Recap of week 2

Monday: For the first time we welcomed a guest into our studios, and Winnipeg's Mayor Sam Katz handled everything we could toss at him, starting with an introduction he said was the most unique he had ever heard.

He said that the media scrutiny of his professional and family life would dissuade anyone who had been successful in business from ever again stepping forward to serve in public office. He explained how Crimestat would help stop crime and that the Police force management and rank and file were committed to work on the needed cultural changes to implement the new system. Nothing made him more upset than when the reporters tried to say crime was declining in the city when during the October election it was all he heard about at people's doors.

In an exclusive, Mayor Katz called for the Blue Bombers to release the feasibility study into a new football stadium, said he would endorse anyone who came forward with a waterpark proposal (and would be doing it if he were still in private life), and that new development announcements were imminent at the Met Theatre location and on Portage Avenue to help revitalize downtown. He promised to join us in studio once again in the new year and would take calls from our listeners. This interview will be replayed in its' entirety during the Holidays.

Big Daddy Tazz, the hottest comedian around, joined the show afterwards and discussed the Michael Richards debacle and showed the right and wrong way to handle hecklers.

Tuesday: With revelations that the Spirited Energy branding campaign had fudged the actual contributions of private sector supporters, Winnipeg Sun reporter Tom Brodbeck made his TGCTS debut and gave us the behind the scenes story of how Competativeness Minister Scott Smith had cracked in a scrum and bllurted out the truth about the campaign "contributions".

Tom spent 20 minutes with us going over the use of Crown Corporation monies as a substitute for private dollars, and volunteer hours being valuated at $200 per hour, as proof the province had misled the public from the beginning while spending $1.6 million of taxpayer dollars on promoting and advertising the campaign. A number of callers followed Brodbeck and railed about the dishonest tactics used by the government to portray the campaign as having genuine support in the business community when it did not.

Wednesday: CTV Crime reporter Kelly Dehn went over the latest wave of assaults and robberies in the inner city and around the Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Brian Oleson of the University of Manitoba explained his report that grain farmers were finally about to turn the corner financially after bumper crops and high prices. We looked at CBC and the Free Press wanting to take the Mayor to court to force his divorce proceedings to be unsealed and how the public was overwhelmingly behind the Mayor's attempt to protect his children's privacy.

Thursday: Adrienne Batra of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation came on the air with us not to do her usual analysis but rather, we spoke at great length about her background in the Canadian military. She told the audience she joined the Forces as a lark with some girlfriends in Saskatchewan and stayed on 6 years, and afterwards she went on to get her degree and work as a political researcher before going for the posting with the CTF in Manitoba. It was a different look at one of the provinces most talked-about personalities and she gave us the scoop- contrary to the rampant speculation on local blogs she has no interest in running for political office.

The second half of the show was spent with well-known Winnipeg radio host Brian Cook in studio.

Brian was with us to promote World Aids Day on December 1st and the JoinRed.com campaign, where specific consumer goods from brand labels like The Gap are designated as contributing part of the purchase price to the world anti-poverty movement. His band Why (
www.myspace.com/whyy) have a song 'RED' which is getting major airplay across the continent and is tied into the campaign. It was a real eye-opener to hear Brian explain his passion to help eradicate disease and poverty in Africa and how his music is a means to get people involved. We'll have Brian on again soon

Friday: When even CJOB's Vic Grant, hardly a friend of Sam Katz, went on the offensive against the CBC/Free Press demands to pry into the Mayor's divorce file, you know something stinks. And we said so.

And Freep editor Bob Cox writing in his blog how the public 'misunderstood' their intentions, and how they had to fight to prevent the records from being sealed because the public had a right to know? well we asked the question: when was the last time the newspaper used the Freedom of Information Act to force goverment files into the open? ...nope we couldn't remember either.

The CBC and Free Press sure had ignored a lot of newsworthy divorces involving other well-known Winnipeggers (some of whom were their own reporters) and never worried about the public's right to know then. To us it was an ongoing smear against a mayor who was overwhelmingly re-elected and who is far more popular with the public than the MSM that claims to represent the people's interests.

In the last half of the show we spoke to rising wrestling star Jon Cutler, jokingly refered to as Selkirk's Greatest Athlete but a quiet unassuming young man who was main-eventing an RME card at a fundraiser for the Glenview Community Centre. Jon is a good guy and a real fan favorite around Manitoba and in his own household (sorry Jon :).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 20-24th: Inaugural week in review

Our return to the Winnipeg airwaves on 92.9 Kick-FM started out with a huge show and kept the momentum strong all week long.

Monday: Kelly Dehn, CTV crime reporter was our first guest. He spoke about the first story he and Marty worked on together cracking leads in the Talwin and Ritalin injection epidemic in 1987, and then touched on current crime issues and his fancy new haircut.

After taking our first two callers, Brian Smiley of Manitoba Public Insurance went over the details of the refund of premiums ordered just hours before by the Public Utilities Board, and assured listeners that the cheques would be out in April. The former sportswriter also agreed to appear in-studio to debate the issue of whether former Montreal Canadien's toughie and Winnipeg Jets GM John Ferguson deserves to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

To our surprise City Film officer Kenny Boyce, an old friend, called in to offer congratulations and promised to come in for an interview in December and catch us up on all the Hollywood-based action being filmed in the province.

Adrienne Batra made her first TGCTS appearance in her role as Canadian Taxpayers Federation honcho for Manitoba. She agreeed that there was something fishy with the province intercepting the $100 monthly Child Benefit cheques meant for the care of 6 years olds in foster care, and redistributing the wealth to all foster families instead.

Tuesday: The assault and torture of a senior citizen inside her suite at 101 Marion by two female lowlifes led to a tenant revolt and an emergency meeting on Monday night with their MLA, Finance Minister Greg Selinger. After a lot of questions about why Manitoba Housing authority officials ignored the crack-dealing and unsafe conditions in the 210 suite building, MHA acting GM Dr. Tom Moody called in to give his side of the story abd explain how security was being beefed up. Also on the agenda was our critical examination of the Spirited Energy branding campaign and how the province was spending taxpayers dollars without providing any breakdowns for who was being paid.

Wednesday: After promising to be interviewed about the situation at 101 Marion, Councillor Danny Vandal canceled claiming he had a meeting at City Hall at 4.30. So we contacted tenant organizer Richard Solomon and boy did the audience get an eye-opener. Vandal had been asked by the helpless residents to help but hadn't responded, and Solomon expressed his personal disappointment having just voted for Vandal not a month ago.

Another tenant of 101 called in to back up Richard's claims of how MHA had ignored the growing problem of riff-raff and graffitti infesting their seniors high rise. We also found out a community police station had been located in the building but had been closed in last year. Another caller said she had lived in a west-end MHA building and suffered the same kinds of security issues until she had enough and moved out.

Thursday: The truth about Dan Vandal came out when a student reported that he was not at a city hall meeting yesterday, but rather he was at a local tavern explaining he didn't come on TGCTS because "I didn't want to get cornered".

After asking what kind of politician runs for mayor (2002) but won't address a crime problem in his own neighborhood for his own supporters, and discussing how we moved the story into Question Period that day, on to the other topics.

- Ron East of Canada Sheli, an Israeli advocacy and support group, spoke about the activities of his group including the international news coverage they got last summer for holding North America's first pro-Israel rally during the war in Lebanon. He also explained his charity organization, mybrainmatters.com, which educates the community about preventable head and brain injuries suffered by young people.

- Winnipeg Sun columnist and blogger Krista Boryskavich (kristasrants.blogspot.com) touched on Michael Richards' image problems and the whole concept of using racial insults as humour.

- Finally one of Winnipeg's most recognizable athletes, Shane Madison, called in and let loose on the management of the Blue Bombers and the merits of a new vs refurbished stadium.

Friday: Still no Dan Vandal phone call or sightings and no response from HRDC in Ottawa about how Manitoba was redirecting the Child Benefit cheques and whether this practice was even legal. This was a lesson on politicians and bureaucrats for the listeners.

Then it was on to the startling admissions by Competitiveness Minister Scott Smith that the Spirited Energy campaign didn't have a dollar of actual cash from the so-called private sector contributions, and the NDP had redefined private sector to include Crown Corporations like MPI. Somewhere in the middle of this is the Free Press whose owner is co-chair of the Spirited Energy committee but whose newspaper appears to be getting paid big bucks to run the ads.

At the midway point a very interesting interview with midget wrestler "Short Sleeve" Dan Sampson who has worked for Vince McMahon's WWE and on Spike-TV'sTNA and was in Winnipeg for an IWM event. Sampson was very articulate and sharp-witted. He stated he had no time for bleeding hearts who claim he was being exploited by wrestling promoters, because as Sampson said, he is an entertainer who makes his own living and travels the world without regret.