Sunday, December 20, 2009

Full Time Graduate Student Barred from Campus for Political Reasons!

On December 17 Joseph Hickey joined us in studio. His coming to campus to attend the radio station was in itself an action of defiance of the Trespass to Property Act notice that currently bars him from all University of Ottawa property.

Hickey is a full time graduate student with research obligations and a teaching assistant contract with the University. He was served with a trespass notice following his involvement in an action that took place at the 'student walls' (listen to the Dec. 10th show for more background).

The use of trespass laws as a way of 'getting rid' of activist students dates back to the 60's when students were barred from campus for political expression, giving rise to the Berkeley Free Speech Movement.

From Campus to Honduras

On December 10th we began the show by discussing the history of the 'student walls' also known as the 'propaganda walls' located outside Morrisset Library on the University of Ottawa campus. Students have been using the walls to express themselves and display political art. In turn, the university has taken down the student's art and put up marketing messages. It's the story of the battle that is ongoing...

[Producer's Note: Sorry sorry erratum erratum - It's NOT Bolivia, it's Honduras. We meant Honduras from start to finish!]

The second half of the show was dedicated to The Real News journalist Jesse Freeston reporting live from Honduras where he is a first hand witness to the incredible rebellion and repression surrounding the June 2009 coup d'état.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Upper Year Psychology Students on School, Deadlines, Medication and How to Survive University

From negotiating with professors to getting addicted to ADHD medicine, University of Ottawa upper-year psychology students Hawra Sadic and Andrew Faulkner shared their stories during this down to earth and candid interview.

Many thanks to Andew and Hawra for joining us live in studio!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kevin Annett Speaks of the First Nations Genocide

This week we had the pleasure of speaking with one of our favorite guests on the Five O'Clock Train, Kevin Annett. Kevin joined us by phone from Vancouver to speak of his recent action in Rome. Kevin continues to fight for justice and truth in the name of the victims of the residential school system.

Hidden from History web site

Thursday, November 19, 2009

War, Support our Troops, Campus Democracy, Racism and Student Oppression!

This week's show begins with undergraduate students Jeremy Robbins and Dylan Gowans joining us in studio to share their opinions of the Red Fridays Campaign voted down at a recent SFUO Campaigns Committee meeting. Dylan and Jeremy had expressed their views in a Fulcrum issue where they criticized those who pretend that support for our troops can be an apolitical act...

During the second half of the show co-host Mireille Gervais conversed with her colleague Zachary Fouchard about their experience working as Student Appeal Officers with the Student Appeal Centre. The SAC's advice concerning unfair grades was recently featured in Maclean's university rankings issue. Racism, asymmetry of power between students and administrators and how to deal with doing emotionally charged work and many other themes were discussed.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

El-Farouk Khahi

This week activist, lawyer and politician El-Farouk Khaki joined us by phone from Toronto.

A self-proclaimed feminist, Khahi focuses his work on queer rights issues within Islam and works as a lawyer in the filed of human rights and immigration law.

Friday, November 6, 2009

From Freedom of Speech to Spam

Freedom of speech on the Internet, protection of privacy for Internet users, mass communication for political reasons and legal threats sent to website owners... those and other topics related to the World Wide Web were discussed on this week's Train.

Wendy Seltzer is a research fellow for the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She is the founder of Chilling Effects Clearinghouse and a member of the Board of Directors for the TOR project.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ehab Lotayef - Poet, Photographer and Activist

Listen to this unique Five O'Clock Train interview with poet and activist Ehab Lotayef - North American aboriginal rights, Palestine, solidarity, Quebec racism, culture cures, human rights, laws and colonialism...

Ehab ended the show by sharing this poem with our listeners:

To Kill a Suicide Bomber

When should you kill the suicide bomber?
Just do it fast before she dies.

Why would you kill the suicide bomber?
You kill the rage, the girl survives.

Where would you kill the suicide bomber?
Anywhere where there are no chains.

But how would you kill the suicide bomber?
Give her justice, she will defuse.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Discussion on Allan Rock, Marc Kelly and Mario Savio

Five O'Clock Train co-hosts Mireille Gervais and Denis Rancourt opened this week's show with a recording of Allan Rock's short-lived greeting message on the University's main voicemail and telephone dispatch centre (562-5800). A marketing mishap to say the least...

"This is Allan Rock, President of Canada's university; How may I direct your call?"

The show went on to discuss Allan Rock's "shit magnets in his pockets" history as a Canadian politician; then as President of the University of Ottawa, including his role in undergraduate student Marc Kelly's case.

Marc Kelly faces bogus criminal charges following his attempt to video record a public meeting of University Senate at a time when no policy prohibiting filming existed. Since March 2009 the Senate meetings are now filmed by the University and the videos are posted on its website.

The Student Appeal Centre recently called upon Allan Rock to end the political persecution of Marc Kelly.

The show ended with a discussion on campus corporatization, linking back to Mario Savio's famous ''bodies against the gears'' 1964 speech at Berkeley.

Monday, October 19, 2009

About the co-hosts

Mireille Gervais

Mireille joined The Train to co-host with Denis Rancourt in December 2008. Since then Mireille has brought her vibrant activism, feminist, graduate student, and dedicated professional services perspectives as well as her extensive knowledge of both student life and university governance to the show. In real life, Mireille is a graduate student in law at the University of Ottawa and is the director of the student federation’s (SFUO) Student Appeals Centre (SAC). Due to her eclectic music tastes, she has also de facto become the show's music-break editor.

Denis Rancourt

Denis joined co-hosts Chris Jack and Jack DeJong as a co-host on CHUO’s Train in July 2005. Denis took up the activism/politics portfolio whereas Chris and Jack did the alternative arts scenes and community building portfolios, respectively. In August 2006 Denis became the only host of The Train until he was joined by Mireille Gervais in December 2008. Denis is the former tenured physics professor who developed the popular “Activism Course” at the University of Ottawa and is a public intellectual who has concentrated on social justice activism in modern society.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mental Health in the Canadian Military

Straight-talk on the The Train with Lieutenant-Colonel Stéphane Grenier: Special Advisor on Operational Stress Injuries for the Armed Forces of Canada speaks of mental health in the military.

Grenier was recently recognized as one of the 2009 Champions of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH). In 2001 Grenier started a peer support and educational program to tackle stigma and provide resources to the many military men and women who struggle with mental illness as a result of their profession.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Democracy Watch on Corruption and Dishonesty in Canadian Government

Duff Conacher, Director/Coordinator of Democracy Watch, explains how and why Canada is far from being a model democratic society: ''The system is the scandal.''

Democracy Watch is an eminent Ottawa based organization advocating for democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility. It was the first organization in the world to adopt the name "Democracy Watch".

Democracy Watch is typically cited in the mainstream media one thousand times per year and has had direct input into various government reforms and reform laws.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Respect|Spaces: How Organizers Sabotaged Their Cause

Five O'Clock Train co-hosts Mireille Gervais and Denis Rancourt took on investigative roles and reported back from the Respect|Spaces organizing meeting. Their conclusion: the campaign is already dead.

Listen to this interesting analysis of the campaign breakdown including how two key organizers dropped out of the campaign, how one of the authors of the manifesto sabotaged the cause, and how President Allan Rock showed up to the organizing meeting...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Respect|Spaces : A Campaign for Students to Regain Control of the University Centre

SFUO VP University Affairs Ted Horton and SFUO Board of Administrators member Sarah Jayne King spoke about student space, administrative takeover of the University Centre and the Respect|Spaces Campaign on the September 24th Train.

Ted Horton explained how the University of Ottawa unilaterally derailed the funds that students had democratically decided, via referendum, to dedicate to the creation and maintenance of a student social centre. Whereas 60% of the University Centre used to house student services, in recent years that number has gone down to 18% whereas several student organizations have been forced out into sub-standard and unsafe spaces.

The Respect|Spaces Campaign was recently launched to reclaim student space and demand the eviction of non student businesses and administrative services from the University Centre.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

David Noble vs York University and the Israel Lobby

On September 17, Five O'Clock Train co-host Denis Rancourt reported from Toronto where he was a witness to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal hearings in the case of David Noble vs. York University

David Noble's complaint is related to York University's then practice to cancel class on Jewish High Holidays only. Following an unambiguous investigator's report indicating that the practice was discriminatory, Dr. Noble announced that he would challenge the practice by giving class on Jewish High Holidays. Many acts of reprisal against Professor Noble were perpetrated in this unique case of an individual standing for principles of anti-discrimination in the face of the pressures of the Israel Lobby.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

H1N1 Scare and Claude Lamontagne on Academic Freedom

The September 10, 2009 show began with a critical look at the fear tactics used by the University of Ottawa's Office of Risk Management regarding the H1N1 pandemic.

We were later joined in studio by 3M National Teaching Fellow Claude Lamontagne who gave his views on the state of Academic Freedom.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Critical look at Mahatma Gandhi

The September 3, 2009, Five O'Clock train was a lively phone interview with co-author G.B. Singh of the new book "Gandhi under cross-examination", speaking from his university office in Nashville, TN.

Gandhi's life presents many contradictions and much evidence suggests an ingrained racism/classism. He recruited co-citizens in South Africa to fight in a colonial war against blacks. His later pacifism was not for cowards; since he stated that it was better to die trying to aquire arms to fight than to use pacifism as an excuse for cowardice.

Singh's book points us to this key quote from Gandhi that has much relevance in Canada's present colonial war in Afghanistan:

I make no distinction, from the point of view of ahimsa, between combatants and non-combatants. He who volunteers to serve a band of dacoits [robbers], by working as their carrier, or their watchman while they are about their business, or their nurse when they are wounded, is as much guilty of dacoity [robbery] as the dacoits themselves. In the same way those who confine themselves to attending to the wounded in battle cannot be absolved from the guilt of war.

Make no mistake, Canadians are the robbers here... Strong words from the most famous pacifist.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Political Use of the Law

Listen to August 27th's Five O'Clock Train with Human Rights Lawyer Yavar Hameed and York Faculty member David Noble.

In the words of David Noble, ''stop whining, start winning.''

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Finding the CHUO 89.1 FM studio – To be interviewed on the 5 O’Clock Train or just to visit

The studios (and administrative offices) of the CHUO 89.1 FM radio station are in the sub-basement of the Morisset (Library) building (MRT) on the city-centre campus of the University of Ottawa, 65 University Street, room MRT 0037.

Tel. 613-562-5967 (studio), 613-562-5800x2719 (station manager), 613-562-5800x2724 (program manager).

See campus map HERE

The most convenient meter parking is either in Lot K or on Louis Pasteur Street in front of the Fauteux building (see map that outlines all parking).

By OC-Transpo bus:
From the Transitway get off at Campus station and you are on the University of Ottawa campus and a three-minute walk from the Morisset building.

Look for the outside campus maps and ask a student for directions...

>>>>> Enter the Morisset building via the main (East) doors that gives onto the Morisset patio (near the Southern end of Cumberland Avenue). Take an immediate right into the stairwell. Go down one floor (two flights). Come out of the stairwell and cross the hallway in front of you, diagonally and towards your right. (At this point, start looking for CHUO signs/posters with arrows.) As you cross the hallway, you are looking for a windowed door to a smaller stairwell that leads to the sub-basement. The latter smaller stairwell has a spiraling set of cement steps all the way to the sub-basement.

Once in the sub-basement, you are not far, walk around, look for more CHUO signs, and go to room MRT 0037 or the adjacent studio waiting room.

Thanks for making the effort to come to the CHUO studio!

The 5 O’Clock Train is live in studio every Thursday from 5pm to 6pm, with co-hosts Mireille Gervais and Denis Rancourt.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sexual Assaults on Campuses

The August 20th, 2009 interview about sexual assaults on campus:

Amy Hammett, Coordinator at the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa's Women's Resource Centre and Julie Lalonde, Coordinnator of the Coalition for a Carleton Sexual Assault Centre joined us in studio.

Jane Doe, the woman who succesfully sued the police for negligence and gender discrimination in the investigation of her rape joined us by telephone from Toronto.

The interview focused on sexual assaults on campuses, more specifically Carleton University's statement of defence in a lawsuit brought forward by a student who was brutally assaulted on campus in 2007. In its defence, the University claimed that the victim failed to keep the 'proper lookout.'

Other related links:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Faculty for Palestine

The August 13, 2009 interview with Marie-Jo Nadeau, organiser with Faculty for Palestine:

Faculty for Palestine is a pan-Canadian network of faculty committed to extending free speech in post-secondary institutions in Canada regarding the conditions faced by Palestinians, the apartheid-nature of the Israeli state, and the intellectual and educational implications of these conditions and practices.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Three-part series with Dr. Shiv Chopra - Food safety vs goverment corruption

Dr. Shiv Chopra has been called Canada's most famous whistleblower. In his 35-year career as a government scientist at Health Canada he refused to put corporate interests ahead of public health and safety. He was continuously disciplined and eventually fired for his stance in upholding the Food and Drug Act, in defiance of his bosses and a corrupt government system.

The 5OCTrain interviewed Dr. Chopra in a three-part series on July 16, July 23, and July 30, 2009:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This is a remarkable series of interviews about food safety, the agri-food industry, swine and other flue scams, government corruption, the legal framework, and the insanity of the five chemical substance groups affecting food that are NOT regulated in Canada:
  • hormones
  • antibiotics
  • slaughter house wastes
  • genetically modified organisms
  • pesticides and herbicides
Get an inside view of just how bad it is; with government-lead civil servant bosses sucking up to corporate interests, putting ass-kissing careerism and profits ahead of professional ethics and public safety.

Find out how the superbugs came to be and how we could easily adopt sane agri-food practices... It's criminal.

Producer's favorites 5OCTrain interview collection : Andrew Nellis - Anarcho-Mystic

One hour of one on one with Ottawa's anti-poverty activist and organizer Andrew Nellis.

This is one remarkable interview where Andrew Nellis describes many facets of his antivism, politics, and personal philosophy: From his role in Ottawa IWW's Panhandlers' Union, to the Cop Watch program that he organizes, to his anarcho-mysticism, to the power of symbols in social activism, to his participation at anti-capitalist and anti-war demonstrations...

The scene about his hockey stick and rubber bullet interaction with an anti-demonstration police officer is one of the most memorable moments in CHUO radio history.

Andrew Nellis: It's not about personalities and it's all about fighting your own battles. It's a class war.

Other related links:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

All Available Past 5OCTrain Shows on Archive.Org

Click the above image to take you to
the list of all available past 5O'Clock Train shows
that have been archived to Archive.Org.

Enjoy any past show from this list and comment away below.
Or, send us your comments and suggestions by email at