CKUT Audio Uncategorized

Old Trees Matter

Source: Sauvons la falaise facebook page

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On March 29th, the association Sauvons la Falaise organised a peaceful gathering to protest against the decision of the owner of the Meadowbrook Golf course in Cote Saint Luc to cut down old silver maple trees. This event is part of the association’s general fight for the preservation of old trees in Montreal. CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed the founder of the association, Lisa Mintz, and an active member, Louise Chenevert, to get more information about the protest and the general state of tree preservation policies in Montreal.

“Imagine if you went outside in the spring and didn’t hear any birds singing […] you would feel inside that there is something missing” -Lisa Mintz 

lisa mintz
Lisa Mintz (source: Dario Ayala for the Montreal Gazette)

Lisa Mintz created Sauvons la Falaise to protect the falaise St-Jacques, a four-kilometer forester area between the Turcot Interchange and Montreal West. In this interview, she explains the ecological and cultural value of trees for people living in Montreal. She also denounces the state of  the city’s tree policy: few trees are being planted every year, laws are not implemented consistently and trees are being cut down without the consent of local residents.


In 2012, the city of Montreal decided to launch the Plan d’action Canopée, an ambitious project to plant 300 000 news trees over 10 years. While this might be a positive step towards the preservation of green spaces in Montreal, this plan overlooks the difference between new and old trees. As Louise Chenevert explains in this interview, older trees have a greater capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, their roots prevent erosion and they contribute to reduce urban temperatures.

“Sure they can replace trees in a few years with a little sapling that’s got have a dozen leaves on it but that cannot possibly replace a tree that’s got a huge canopy and that does an incredible amount of work for the environment” – Louise Chenevert

It is the Schéma d’aménagement et de développement de l’agglomération de Montréal that sets out the conditions under which Montrealers can cut down trees. According to Jonathan Théorêt, the director of the GRAME, these conditions are quite loose. While some municipalities systematically require a permit to cut down trees, it is not the case in all legislatures. CKUT reporter Chloe discussed with him the GRAME’s proposals to solve this problem.

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Idefix cries each time anyone cuts down a tree (source: Astérix et Obelix “The Mansion of Gods” p.12)


More, More, I want more! 

  • Contact Lisa ( and Louise (514 464 9094) to get involved with Sauvons la Falaise or for any further questions. They are thrilled to answer any questions about starting your own environmental association. Check out their facebook page 
  • Tree Planting! Sauvons la Falaise will be planting trees on March the 2nd (9am) with NDG WMAC [meeting place: St-Jacques and Cavendish]. BYP- bring your own poetry about trees. 
  • Join the GRAME’s campain “Un Arbre pour Mon Quartier”  and check out the group’s facebook page 
  • Join the Jane’s walk organised by Sauvons la Falaise. All the info is available here




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Living on the Streets: Toronto vs MTL

Source:“>Download here

On March the 15th, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) officially released its report Out in the Cold on the state of the Toronto shelter system . The study’s findings are based on numerous interviews with service users and workers. It points out to a shelter system in crisis, plagued by constant overcrowding, harsh living conditions and a city government unwilling to take action.

Source: OCAP report “Out in the Cold”

CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed one of the writers of this report for a summary of the OCAP’s findings. Some of the statistics are hard to believe. For instance, 81% of the people surveyed stated that they had been denied a shelter bed because the shelters were full (see the chart above)! Equally shocking, in most shelters occupancy levels exceeded 90% every night. This is highly problematic given that  overcrowded shelters lead to a high stress environment, a poor night’s rest and health issues. Luckily, OCAP volunteers and engaged citizens are taking action against this situation. Check out this video to get an idea of the scope of the protests happening in Toronto. 

Francois Boissy

To get a sense of the state of the shelter system in Montreal, we also interviewed Francois Boissy who is the director of operations at La Maison du Pere, one of the largest homeless shelters in the city. He points out some of the differences between the way the cities of Toronto and Montreal deal with their homeless populations.

Aside from the administrative aspect of the shelter systems of Toronto and Montreal, an important question remains: “how does it feel, for people on the ground, to experience the shelter system in both cities?” Michel, an ex-homeless man that lived on the streets for two years from 2009-2011, explained to our reporter his personal experience with Montreal shelters. In this fascinating interview he talks about the reasons why he became an itinerant in the first place, the different shelters he slept in,  food conditions and how shelter services helped him get out of the streets. We are truly grateful for his trust in sharing this story, the full interview is available for stream and download below.

Download here

More More I want More!

  • For the history of the Toronto shelter system click here. 
  • Find a critical (but pretty short!) analysis of the Montreal shelter system here

Excerpt from Beyond ‘No War’: A Panel Discussion on Demilitarization and Transformative Social Movements

Photo on 2015-11-13 at 7.19 PM

Click here to download audio.

On Friday November 13th, Demilitarize McGill hosted the panel discussion “Beyond ‘No War’: Celebrating Resistance to Canadian Nationalism,” in the McConnell Engineering BuildingThe organization exists to “oppose research, recruitment and other activity for military purposes… by ending military collaboration at McGill.” Beyond No War was moderated by the artist-activist Kama La Mackerel, and was held as part of “#Rememberthis : A Series of Events Against War and Militarism.”

Panelists include:
Harsha Walia  : author of Undoing Border Imperialism, co-founder of No One Is Illegal
Mostafa Henaway : community/labour organizer and long-time Palestine solidarity activist
Toghestiy : grassroots land defender and Hereditary Chief of the Wet’suwet’en Likhts’amisyu Clan
Freda Huson : spokesperson and land defender of the Unist’ot’en Camp in British Columbia

This recording was produced by Claudia Edwards.


Pre-Moving Day Live Housing Panel

Image Credit: magazine
Image Credit: magazine

Click HERE to download the Mp3 file.

On the eve of July 1st, the Moving Day, CKUT Community News Collective got to renew a tradition of holding a Housing Panel on June 30th to inform our listeners about their housing rights as tenants and answer some of the pressing questions. Anouk Millet, Aaron Maiden and Sheila Ferrando along with Emma Noradounkian, who helped with topics research, sat down with Emilie Joly of FRAPRU, Alexandra Pierre of Project Genesis and Fred Burrill of POPIR to discuss the housing questions that are always asked, but the answers to which are hardly known by many.

Did you know about this right?

If it’s your move-in day and there are obvious problems with your apartment, you can “refuse to take a position at a dwelling”. Take pictures to prove it!

~ POPIR & Project Genesis

The panel consisted of roughly three categories such as basic rights, Régie du logement, rights in application and campaigns as well as activism. Kateryna Gordiychuk was live tweeting to get the word out for those who couldn’t listen, and to get radio-lovers and housing rights enthusiasts to participate.

Did you know about this right?

“Your lease renews automatically. Under no circumstances you have to leave your apartment. [… Moreover], the landlord is responsible for the temperature of your apartment”. Montreal’s winter doesn’t seem so scary now, huh?


The housing panel was not only an informative information session for everyone interested, but also a great way for CKUT News Collective to discover a potential for live-panels and in-call questions.

Did you know about this right?

“Rental contract is an agreement between a leaser and a leasee. I say, sign, and complain!”


Read our tweets posted during the live panel HERE. We thank everyone who made the panel possible and special thanks is to our knowledgable guests!


Mexican Horror Story: Legislative Elections and the Future of the Crisis-stricken Mexican State

Photo credt: Emma Noradounkian

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Mexico is in the midst of an internationally-ignored humanitarian crisis, with more than 24, 000 cases of state-perpetrated disappearances and kidnappings since 2006, and a most recent case of 43 missing students from the College of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico.

Adding to these numbers, the lead-up to the Mexican legislative elections saw dozens of political assassinations and more than 70 kidnapping and extortion cases. Despite his and his party’s alleged complicity in these human rights violations, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) re-secured a majority in Congress in the Mexican legislative elections on June 7.

On that same day, families of the 43 missing students and other Mexicans  took to the streets in several states in Southern Mexico and burned ballot boxes, as a way of disrupting these elections that were seen by many as a referendum on Peña Nieto and his political party.

CKUT’s Emma Noradounkian spoke with Andalusia Knoll, a freelance multimedia journalist based in Mexico City, and Dagoberto Acevedo, a member of the Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine, to get their take on what the future holds for the Mexican state and its people.

ckut Community Radio news VIBE 105

Good-Bye CHRY: “Urban alternative” opted over diversity in CHRY’s unexpected rebranding to VIBE 105


click HERE to download the audio file

Previous volunteers, York University students, programmers, and other members of the Jane and Finch community mourn the loss of CHRY which was once proudly celebrated as the “leading source of diversity” in Toronto. On April 30th 2015, all volunteers of CHRY were unexpectedly dismissed as the station unilaterally chose to rebrand as VIBE 105, a music station dedicated to a new urban alternative format. The #savechry campaign  was created consequently to hold the station accountable to the community and still allow the station to be accessible by the community. In a recent interview with Brother Sankofa – a radio programmer at CHRY, and local community activist- the consequences of this change will be discussed as well as the ongoing campaign.


Interview with Terry Audla on Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa

This is a snapshot of a video retweeted by TRC. Over 7000 people joined them!
The picture features the Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa, March 31, 2015. This is a snapshot of a video retweeted by TRC. Over 7000 people joined them!

Click HERE to download the Mp3 file.

Beginning May 31 and till June 3 the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) is holding its closing events in Ottawa. The Committee has been working hard to raise awareness about more than 120 years of injustice and suffering that Aboriginal Peoples of Canada went through in Indian Residential Schools funded by the federal government. The Schools had been created with the purpose of assimilation of the marginalized communities to Canadian population, but instead deprived Aboriginal Children of language, cultural identity and traditions.

The closing events organized by the TRC include the Walk for Reconciliation on Sunday March 31, Education Day on June 1, Induction of Honorary Witnesses followed by other educational activities and a Report by TRC on June 2, and closing presentations on June 3.

CKUT’s Kateryna Gordiychuk had an opportunity to discuss the issue with Terry Audla, the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami organization. TRC and Inuit Tapiirit worked side by side to make this diverse educational and cultural conference possible. Terry shared his hopes with CKUT as to the significance of the conference and the Walk for Reconciliation particularly.

Image Credit: CKUT’s snapshot of a video posted by Waubgeshig Rice on TRC’s twitter.

CKUT Audio

Dawn Paley on “Drug War Capitalism” and Current Struggles in Mexico



Click here to download audio

Independent journalist and author Dawn Paley is currently on a book launch tour across North America for her latest work, “Drug War Capitalism”, just released on AK Press. In this interview with CKUT’s Aaron Lakoff, she discusses some of the main points of her book, as well as ongoing protests in Mexico for the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa.

En profondeur Palestine

Génocide à Gaza ? Entrevue avec Frank Barat du Tribunal Russell sur la Paléstine



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En entrevue avec Frank Barat, fondateur du Palestine Legal Action Network ainsi que coordonnateur du Tribunal Russell sur la Paléstine, nous avons fait la réflexion sur le Tribunal des crimes de Guerre et crimes contre l’humanité à la suite des actions israëliennes en Gaza cet été. Nous parlons entre autre du poids associé à la question de s’il y a eu lieu un crime rattaché à l’acte de génocide.

Médias communautaires

\/\/\/\/WAVES OF GLORY/\/\/\/\/ Support Off the Hour/En Profondeur During CKUT’s Funding Drive!

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Waves of Glory
Amplifying the tiniest voices with the biggest ♥ ‘s on your FM dial
Support Off the Hour and CKUT!

As you may know, CKUT radio’s annual funding drive, “Waves of Glory” begins on October 23rd and runs until November 2. We’re asking you all as friends, allies, colleagues, and comrades to encourage you to donate a bit (or a lot!) of money to support one of the most important institutions of media justice and amazing music on the planet.

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What does sexual assault mean at McGill?

In recent years, several high profile sexual assault cases have come to trial in North America. The issue is now coming to light in Montreal. In the first instalment of her series on sexual assault at McGill University, Camille Baker speaks with a student involved in efforts to define McGill’s policy on sexual assault for the first time.

Canada CKUT Audio news

Report from Bill C36 Hearings

Robyn Maynard of Stella speaking at the Bill C36 hearings in Ottawa. Photo: CTV News
Robyn Maynard of Stella speaking at the Bill C36 hearings in Ottawa. Photo: CTV News

From Monday,July 7 to Thursday, July 10 the justice committee heard testimony from actors in the sex work industry to hear commentary on the proposed Bill c36, named the ‘Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act’, which would criminalize the purchase of sexual services, replacing the previous law which was struck down by the supreme court last december in the bedford case.

This piece features the voices of:

Robyn Maynard, of Stella, a community group located in montreal created and run by sex workers to support sex workers, gave testimony at the hearings on Tuesday, July 8.

Chris Atchison is a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Victoria, and is working on ‘sex, safety, and security: a study of the experiences of people who pay for sex in canada’, and gave testimony at the hearings.

CKUT Audio

Report released by CCA on the state of knowledge around shale gas fracking



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On May 1st, the Canadian Council of Academies released a report titled “The Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada” under commission from the Canadian Minister of the Environment. CKUT’s Una Jefferson talked to Gretchen Fitzgerald and Heidi Verheul from the Atlantic chapter of Sierra Club Canada about the report’s findings and implications.

The report, which Gretchen Fitzgerald calls “pretty damning in terms of the lack information on what is going on in the industry,” looked at the state of knowledge of the impacts of shale gas fracking in four areas: the degradation of ground and surface water, greenhouse gas emissions, disruptive effects on communities and land, and potential adverse effects on human health.

The report can be accessed here.


Transcript: Simon Van Vliet on Police Killings in Montreal


Transcription provided by Cecile Branco

This interview originally broadcast on CKUT 90.3fm in Montreal and highlights the gaps in mainstream reporting and the constant focus on police narratives that dehumanize the victims. Looking specifically at the case of Jean-François Nadreau, killed in a hail of police bullets at home two winters ago, this interview details the underreported aspects of the growing number of police shootings deaths in the city.

This interview was broadcast in the lead up to the annual protest against police brutality in Montreal that takes place on March 15 each year.

Interview with Simon Van Vliet on policing issue and homeless by Stefan Christoff.

Stefan: We are going to be addressing the issue of police brutality and the crisis of police killings in Montreal. More specifically, we are going to be looking at the case of Jean François Nadreau, who has been killed in February 2012 by a police shooting at his home in the east end of Montreal.  Just like week-end, there was a visual to commemorate the two years anniversary of his death, and this of course is taking place within the context where we see a broader spike in police killing in the city. Of course, within the last two month we saw the death of Donald Ménard, who has been killed in a rooming house in Centre-Sud (killed November 11th 2013).  And more recently, Alain Magloire who has been killed close to Berry UQAM, metro station in downtown Montreal (killed February 3d 2014). Both of these people were unarmed, and so to talk about this crisis and violence taking place in the street, I am joint by a fellow independent journalist, Simon Van Vliet, contributor at CISM FM radio, good afternoon and thanks for joining us today.


We Don’t Need No Don – Organized crime & politics in Jamaica

‘We Don’t Need No Don’ – Organized crime and politics in Jamaica

Audio MP3 (25:30, 128kpbs, stereo)

On Sunday, May 23rd, 2010, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding declared a state of emergency over the Jamaican capital Kingston. The following week, a four-day offensive by the Jamaican State’s armed forces left 73 dead, a number many fear could be significantly higher. The violence predominantly occured in the Kingston neigbourhoods of Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens.

What had caused this desperate situation? Som say, that the roots of the problem can be traced back to the United States’ extradition request for Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, made to Jamaica in September 2009.

But the extreme violence not only highlights the repercussion of this attempted implementation of international justice. It also sheds light on the roots of organized crime and politics in Jamaica, as well as how other nations, particularly the United States, are implicated in the situation through the international drugs trade.

This CKUT documentary explores the roots of organized crime in Jamaica, how the Jamaican diaspora accross Canada and the United States are affected by the recent violence, and investigates potential long- and short-term solutions to the problem.