The Beaver Will Save the World!!!

A growing number of scientists, conservationists and grass-roots environmentalists see the beaver as a much overlooked tool when it comes to reversing the disastrous effects of global warming and world-wide water shortages. The Beaver Whisperers will revisit the industrious rodent and see it through the eyes of people like the University of Alberta’s, Dr. Glynnis Hood, whose astonishing scientific research findings are presented in her new book, “The Beaver Manifesto, ” and former trapper, Michel Leclair, who today “employs” an army of beavers to help him control flooding in Quebec’s Gatineau Park.

The documentary accompanies these and other “beaver whisperers” as they reveal the ways in which the presence of beaver transform and revive landscapes. The Beaver Whisperers reveals what it is that makes our national icon such a brilliant hydro-engineer and explores how beavers are being recruited to accomplish everything from finding water in a bone-dry desert to recharging water tables and coaxing life back into damaged lands.

Jian and the Giant Breach

When the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced a few weeks ago that it was severing ties with their star broadcaster and host of immensely popular radio show, “Q,” I initially dismissed it as an over-reaction by a bureaucratic monster along the lines of when they grossly over-reacted by threatening to fire supremely talented on-air talent, Sook Yin Lee of “Definitely Not the Opera” fame, for her nude appearances in movie roles.

It was clear within a day or so that something was different here. First, Ghomeshi took the unusual step by responding immediately and publicly, identifying himself the transgressions he was being accused of and dismissing them as simply BDSM games that were consensual and safe. What was even more surprising was how CBC refused to hide behind the usual “We can’t comment because the the issue is under litigation” boilerplate. Within days, a large variety of CBC programs were reporting and investigating their own story. Then the Toronto Star reported it had been investigating sexual assault allegations against Ghomeshi by a larger variety of women. As I write this, nine courageous women have publicly come out and made allegations, three filing complaints with the RCMP. A senior executive producer of “Q” is on leave and details are being published about how CBC management abetted the alleged Ghomeshi sexual harassment against the the program’s female staff.

However the story ends up playing out, it is clear that CBC committed a giant breach by turning a blind eye to the accusations against their “talent” by his own program staff . They were that afraid of killing the Golden Goose, a critically acclaimed program picked up worldwide, quite a feather in the cap of an organization dying by a thousand paper cuts. All the investigations and reports by their own journalistic programs can’t hide that.

By ignoring, obfuscating, excusing and thus enabling Ghomeshi’s alleged behaviour, the CBC itself has breached the public trust a government-run cultural powerhouse should be expected to have. Nor are the CBC alone. Canada’s public institutions are rife with incidents of similar toxic cultures in the military, the RCMP and Parliament.

A Confession

I have a confession. I am in love. I am in love with …. Sook Yin Lee. I have never met Ms. Lee; I have never listened to her music; I have never seen her in any of her movies; I never even saw her when she was a VJ. Nevertheless, I am in love with SYL’s persona on CBC’s DEFINITELY NOT THE OPERA. Even here half a world away, I download the weekly podcast and she makes me smile, make me think … makes me hope.

Thank you Sook Yin Lee.