No language proficiency test for citizenship applicants?

Tomorrow we’ll get at the news that federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration John McCallum is promising “radical” changes to the Citizenship Act.  Busy little bee, that Mr. McCallum.

One rumour is the language proficiency test will be turfed as a prerequisite for citizenship.  Now, why would proficiency in one of Canada’s two official languages be deemed a necessity when becoming a citizen? Well, Mr. McCallum will no doubt have an explanation if that’s his decision.  He’s being pressured by fellow Liberal MPs according to the Hill Times.  I’ll be joined by immigration lawyer Richard Kurland and former Canadian Ambassador to Syria and Lebanon, Martin Collacott.

When is running up deficits much larger than promised during an election campaign acceptable?  Well, now.  That’s what our PM is saying will happen.  And he’s receiving some level of support from economists.  Now I’m not an economist, but kicking deficits north perhaps double of what you committed to during an election has a failed moral component and  makes me wonder what else have you overpromised on?
And when the dollar is cratering, is that time to be increasing your national debt with no prospect of balancing the books when you promised you would?
Ah well…..taking care of the middle class, eh?
Catherine Swift, Linda Leatherdale and Michelle Simson will have at this one tomorrow.

We’ll talk about the wrap up of the Ghomeshi trial with Toronto criminal lawyer Chris Murphy and about the Tim Bosma murder case underway in Hamilton.  CHML reporter Alex Pierson will join me.

Busy show tomorrow (Saturday).  Oh, if you usually listen in on AM640 in Toronto, for this one occasion the station won’t be carrying my show.  Tune in to 900 CHML in Hamilton. Also available on HD.

Have a great day!

today on the show (Sun Feb 7)

We start with Toronto criminal lawyer Chris Murphy on the Ghomeshi trial.  I spoke with Mr. Murphy in 2014 when Ghomeshi related information was just starting to be revealed.  We’ll talk about the issue of fairness to women when they report a sexual assault.

The GOP debate last night in New Hampshire.  The winners and the loser??  Fran Coombs, managing editor of Rasmussen Reports (polling) will share the pollster’s perspective and I’ll ask you whether you’re still firm about who in the GOP field should occupy the Oval Office.

We’ll get at the $69,500 transition and retirement allowance for a former Quebec municipal politician who moved to federal politics last October.  He thinks it’s perfectly fine.  Michelle Simson and Aaron Woodrick of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation join me and we’ll include your verdict.

The Super Bowl.  Information you might otherwise not know from Mark Yost who writes on the business of sport for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of numerous great books on the biz of sport.

Dr. Jay Keystone of Toronto General Hospital and Dr. Arthur Caplan medical ethicist at NYU will have different angles of the Zika virus concern to speak to.

Some of what’s on today’s show.

Join us and call in.

First responder suicide in the first weeks of 2016. The ignored national crisis

The Tema Conter Memorial Trust informs that in the first weeks of 2016, 9 first responders have died by suicide nationally.  In 2015, 39 first responders committed suicide.

Firefighters, paramedics, police officers.

Not only is the job they do inherently difficult and dangerous, what they witness frequently is carnage. The emotional toll weighs so heavily that they like their brothers and sisters in military uniform (12 died by suicide in 2015) develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This week, Darius Garda, a young and by all accounts caring Toronto police officer battling PTSD entered Lake Ontario. His colleagues later retrieved his body.

Constable Garda had been involved in a shooting at age 23 as a rookie officer and from what I’ve read, was deeply affected by that occurrence.

There is word WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) abandoned Constable Garda, as the WISB routinely abandons first responders by their accounts and that Constable Garda had financial difficulties.  His fellow officers took up a collection to help the young police officer pay his mortgage.

Today I’ll speak with a former Mississauga, Ontario Firefighter of the Year also struggling with PTSD.  His name is Norman Traversy.  Kicked to the curb by the bureaucracy supposedly there to assist him and his paramedic colleagues, Norman Traversy, who received a commendation for bravery from the provincial Solicitor General, is fighting back at a Human Rights Tribunal.

Also today, Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo.  For several years Ms. DiNovo has had proposed legislation in place to assist first responders in distress.  it’s named Bill 2.

Never heard of it?

Maybe that’s because the Liberal governments running Ontario’s political theatre have made only semi-congratulatory noises about the bill.  That’s as far as they’ve gone.

Listen today if you’re a first responder anywhere in Canada, and struggling with PTSD, or know someone who is. Do not miss hour 1 of today’s program.

The rest of us?  Time we stood with the men and women who fight the fires, arrive by ambulance and save lives on the spot, or are vilified frequently because they wear a badge and a gun, but will also use the power of that badge and that gun to protect you and your family before they think of their own.

Our first responders are saving others, then taking their own lives.  Stop sitting by.

Otherwise a 911 call may be met by silence.