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,

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

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,

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 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 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 ( 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 :).