Open Sources Show Notes for Thursday March 16, 2017

This week Open Sources Guelph is going 14 days without mentioning “45”, that is unless he does something Earth-shatteringly stupid before showtime. In lieu of talking about orange-coloured drama, we’ll look within our own borders for news worthy discussion topics, and we’ll bring in a new friend to talk about the very important issue of protecting whistleblowers. After that, we’ll look at the guy who’s giving the senate a bad(der) name, and the slate of by-elections to fill high-profile vacant seats in the House of Commons. We’ll wrap up the show with something European was we mediate whatever’s going on between Turkey and the Netherlands.

This Thursday, March 16, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Whistle Blown. Whistleblowers. We depend on them to keep us in the loop when big governments or corporations don’t want us to, but there’s actually very little protection for them should they decide to come forward as they face harassment, legal action, and other threats of retaliation for speaking out. A House of Commons Government Operations Committee is currently looking at the matter, and Democracy Watch is hitting hard to make sure that the federal government acts where other levels have failed. Duff Conacher, the co-founder of Democracy Watch, will joins us by phone from Ottawa to talk about this important issue and why the government, till now, hasn’t done enough.

2) Senator Disaster. It looks like it’s the end of the line for Senator Don Meredith as his senate colleagues have law clerks combing through the Constitution to find a way to get rid of him once and for all. You know, from the Red Chamber. Meredith is accused of grooming a 16-year-old young woman to be his mistress when she came of age, and while the senate could just vote to suspend, they’re actually looking at putting him out of a job before he… embarrasses the senate further (we guess). Sadly, we know we’re going to be paying for Meredith until the day he dies, but is this evidence of accountability in the upper chamber, or is it too little too late?

3) By-Reflection. You’ve probably haven’t heard a lot about them, but there are five federal by-elections currently in progress across the country, and they’re out to cover some pretty big vacancies in the House of Commons. The old seats of Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, Stéphane Dion, John McCallum, and Mauril Bélanger are all up for proverbial bids, and while the the power of Parliament isn’t at stake, this will be a pretty big test of the public’s acceptance and/or dismissal of Justin Trudeau’s reign thus far. The most drama so far has been the nomination Emmanuella Lambropoulos in Saint-Laurent, who overcame establishment Liberals to seize the nominee, but is there anything really substantively at stake?

4) Danish Turkey. And you thought tensions between the U.S. and Mexico were bad? Last week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Netherlands of “Nazism” for barring two Turkish government officials from entering the country to campaign with the country’s Turkish minority  ahead of this week’s national election. It’s tricky, Danish Turks aren’t exactly uniformly behind current Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Rutte’s already in trouble with the crushing wave of nationalism led the populist Geert Wilders. Turkey meanwhile is having a referendum on April 16 to give its president greater powers, and is looking to rally support from Turks living abroad. If you’re still confused, we’ll try and sort out the implications, and talk about the results of the Netherlands vote.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.

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