Recipient of experimental Multiple Sclerosis treatment doing remarkably well (radio Q&A)

Five years ago, medical student Alex Normandin made a decision that could have helped his Multiple Sclerosis, or could have killed him. He decided to let doctors in Ottawa use chemotherapy to destroy his immune system in an effort to reboot it.

His gamble had unexpectedly positive results, and his treatment stopped his condition in its tracks.

Normandin is now a doctor in Montreal. Nick Ashdown reached him in his clinic over the phone.

Read more of this post


Professor Jane Dickson-Gilmore discusses Aboriginals in Canada’s correctional system (radio Q&A)

Canada’s prison system just flunked a big test.

Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers released a scathing report last Thursday condemning the system for failing Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The Aboriginal inmate population has jumped forty three percent in the last five years.

Carleton law professor Jane Dickson-Gilmore is an expert in Aboriginal justice issues.

Nick Ashdown talked to Dickson-Gilmore about Sapers’ report.

Read more of this post

Advocates criticize Canada’s refugee policies at Refugee Night (radio documentary)

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wasn’t very popular at last Friday’s Refugee Night, held at the University of Ottawa.

Doctors and lawyers told a packed auditorium what they think of Canada’s new refugee laws, and they didn’t mince words. They are concerned about a new measure cutting medical care to refugee claimants.

Nick Ashdown was at the event.

Read more of this post

Geoengineering may be option in battle against climate change

As scientists’ predictions about climate change become ever more grim, some are saying we have another weapon in our arsenal.

Geoengineering is the intentional intervention in the climate system to counteract the effects of human-made climate change.

Examples include putting sulphur dioxide droplets into the upper atmosphere to deflect solar radiation away from the Earth, or spraying saltwater into clouds to make them more reflective.

Such measures may become necessary as climate change spirals out of control.

Read more of this post

Most Canadians in favour of changing pot laws

Most Canadians are opposed to the legal prohibition of marijuana, according to a new poll.

The Toronto-based Forum Research Inc. polling agency found that sixty-six per cent of Canadians are in favour of either decriminalization or legalization of cannabis, which is the most widely used illicit drug in Canada.

With the majority of Canadians in favour of less stringent pot laws, the Conservatives find themselves in the minority with their prohibition policies.

Read more of this post

Tessum Weber, arctic adventurer (radio Q&A)

Tessum Weber was raised for the cold.

The twenty three year-old Wakefield native recently made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest person to ski to the North Pole.

Weber’s family operates the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, Canada’s most northerly resort.

He tells Nick Ashdown about his family’s long history in Canada’s far north.

Read more of this post

Local organization teaches children Ghanaian drumming (radio documentary)

It’s often said that children should be seen, but not heard.

Kathy Armstrong wants to shatter this belief, and she’s doing it with West African drums. Her organization Baobob Tree teaches children how to play Ghanaian drums.

Read more of this post