Monday, April 30, 2007

Greedy gangsters?

That was one caller's opinions of the striking workers at the IWK. What do you think? Take our poll today and let us know! Despite Bert's call, we had a lot of callers supporting the workers too. Sadly, Joan Jessome had to cancel her appearance on the show and didn't call us back during the 12 o' clock hour.

After Rick talked to Ray, I tried to find the C-E-O salary for both hospitals, but I could only find the Q-E 2. Their top person can make between 270-thousand and 350-thousand dollars a year! Wow! As Rick said, sometimes people take a C-E-O's salary with the grain of salt, but fly into a uproar when a union is asking for something like 3 per cent a year. Let's hope there's a resolution soon for this strike, the first one since 1981.

Rick Clarke, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour was in, talking about the strike, but also what happened on Saturday. It was the Day of Mourning for workers hurt or killed on the job in Nova Scotia. Rick brought with him some staggering statistics and 22 workers will killed on the job last year alone! I think that is outrageous and unbelievably sad.

Caller Dennis brought up the crosswalk issue again with some great ideas. He wants the city to paint LOOK before a crosswalk and two lines, one about 20 feet it front of it, and the other right at the crosswalk. It makes sense to me! Especially since I was nearly mowed down on Friday and today by two drivers talking on their cell phones! Thanks guys! Dennis suggested something else too. Red light cameras at intersections. I think the drivers of Halifax would probably protest since I see a staggering amount of drivers completely disregard red lights in this city. They would be impoverished!!! Dennis wants there to be free parking downtown, and have that income substituted with the income from these cameras. It's a cutting edge idea, so it won't go anywhere. But thanks for the call and the suggestion though Dennis! I agree - Dennis for Supreme Leader! At least he won't have to go head to head with Rick, who is holding out for "President of the World".

Did you like the Ant vs. Grasshopper story? The Canadian version of it Rick read on the air today was classic. I lost it when he mentioned Roy Romanow....that was so clever.

Since the weather sucks this week, it's a great time to sit back, listen to the Rickster and give us a call! Hope to chat with you tomorrow! Dave Rodenhiser is in, so basically it's an all open show. I was really hoping to gloat about correctly predicting the winner of the Nova Scotia Liberal leadership, but sadly, I cannot.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, April 27, 2007

Eating cheesies on the couch!!!!

That's what caller Scott accused AJ of doing during the sports hour this morning!! He called up and said he had a problem with the sports show, because AJ was on. So AJ told him he could outthrow him anyday and Scott responded by saying AJ has the co-ordination of his 3 year old! All Rick and I could do was sit back and howl with laughter as AJ went on the offensive. So apparently they are going to have some sort of "sport off". Rick and I have our money on Scott!

That call started off the show, which was a complete whirlwind of activity, thank you so much for the calls!!

We launched a Hotline phone assault against a Miramichi high school today. It's the school that suspended a Grade 9 teacher after he sent a student to the office for not standing up for O Canada. Unbelievable. We hope you gave them a (polite) earful when you called. It's a poll question today too, so be sure to vote!

The Liberal leadership convention goes this weekend at the Sportsplex. Dave Rodenhiser from the Daily News will be covering it, so be sure to check out his columns this weekend. It's interesting to read the online polls on both papers' websites. The overwhelming feeling seems to be apathy from Nova Scotians. But they do have around 14-hundred people going this weekend, so it should be interesting. I'm sure we'll have the winner on Monday's show. Who do you think it will be? I know MacNeil is the frontrunner (and DR's guess), but I think Diana Whalen might pull it out. It all depends on the speeches tonight. As Paula Lunn told us, the first voting results are expected around 11:30 tomorrow morning.

Rick described himself as "calm, cool and collected" today. Thoughts?

Well, I have to go grab some lunch before it starts pouring rain.

Have an excellent weekend - see you Monday!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

One more thing...




Never did I imagine an entire Hotline program would focus entirely on lightbulbs.

I use the energy saving ones. I used them more at my old house and did notice a substantial savings on my power bill. My new house already had bulbs in, so I'm going to gradually replace them. I bought a couple of new ones from the grocery, but I really hate the light they give off. It reminds me of a bug light, it has a blue tinge to it and I hate it. I guess you've got to experiment to find the ones you like. One caller suggested "Phillips Marathon Brand" to stop the problem Rick experiences with the slow to turn on light. Another caller says there are dimmer switch friendly bulbs you can buy. Also, I'm pretty sure you can't use regular energy efficient light bulbs outside, you have to buy specialty ones. Anyway, it's probably a good idea to do a little research before investing in the bulbs, because they are very expensive.

Rick had an interesting conversation with Councillor Harry McInroy today. He says in Yarmouth, they paint crosswalk lines using fluorescent colours - something that's apparently illegal in Nova Scotia. But they do it anyway. So far, to my knowledge, no one's been arrested or charged. LET'S DO IT HERE!

Speaking of crosswalks, I have my nomination for Hotline Nova Scotian of the Year: Tina Chaulk. I'll be giving Rick my nomination in December.

Peter Duffy is always a riot don't you think? You can check out the website: It's hysterical to read other people's pet peeves! (and to relate to them)

One of the callers slammed the Police today saying: The police here couldn't catch a cold! Yikes!!!!

It came after I gave Rick the stat that there are 39 unsolved murders in Metro, the oldest dating back to 1955. I don't think that's entirely fair. I remember Stephen Kimber wrote this incredible article in the Coast about this detective who was so passionate about his job, but couldn't do it anymore because his body was breaking down. There are a lot of cops with a tonne of passion for the job, but hey, sometimes you just don't get the breaks you need on a case. Anwyay, being a police detective is a tough job and I certainly wouldn't want to do it. I have a hard enough time trying to crack the mystery that is Rick Howe's fashion choices!! Ha!

Enjoy the sunshine, as it's expected to rain this weekend!



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thank You

Thank you to all the callers who are normal and believe Rick when he says no one is controlling the show.

Oh, hold on, Rodney's here and just tapped me on the shoulder...hang on...

I'm back. Man, those Tories at Province House are just doing a fantabulous job aren't they? And Harper, wow. What vision, what drive, I mean eliminating energy inefficient light bulbs by 2012? The care and concern showed to the environment, and all Canadians for that matter, is (insert small tear) truly inspiring.

Enough said?


Did you hear the father of the Eddie Power call the show today? He had just come from a meeting discussing the suspension of his son. A couple of callers thought maybe 1 day would have been enough, rather than the maximum of 5 days suspension. I think it's completely WRONG! A student is targetted by a group called the "Murder Squad", gets STABBED and then gets suspended for fighting? Yeah, he totally should have taken a knife to the heart. He'd probably be dead, but hey, he wouldn't be suspended!! I wish Eddie a lot of luck. He's going to get his one remaining credit and will not be returning to Halifax West. Maybe they should be looking a little deeper into the "Murder Squad" and suspending some of those students.

Did I mention the gang was called the "MURDER SQUAD"?

What did you think about the Mayor facing off with Ann? Here's some background - Ann says she called the Mayor about an issue on Shore Dr. in Bedford about 5 years ago. Ann is in a wheelchair and says she told the Mayor this and the mayor became kind of impatient and told her he had 15 more calls to respond to, and then he hung up. I don't think Ann is lying, but I know the Mayor. I can't see him hanging up on anyone. I've seen someone get right in his face, swearing at him right in our own studio and he didn't lose his cool. So I can't see him hanging up on someone with a very valid concern. He's the most even tempered man I've ever met, I've told him this. So, hopefully she called the office and they can get everything sorted. It was kind of funny..Graham Steele called for his interview and we were taking a break before putting the Mayor and Ann on together. Rick told me to tell Graham to call back in 5, but I told him what was about to happen and he wanted to stay on the line to listen!

Seriously...thanks to everyone for calling and recognizing that our show is a free and open one, with any issue up for discussion, except for the hours when we are discussing very specific issues, like gun control. It's fairly straightforward. of our favourite guests - Peter Duffy!!

Let's see who or what whips Rick into a lather tomorrow!



Tuesday, April 24, 2007

If you're going to hurl...

...go to Ireland!

Seriously, you learn something new every day on the Hotline. Today we learned "Hurling" is the national sport of Ireland, and it has nothing to do with drinking beer!

We want to wish Tony Griffen luck with his bike ride across the country! All money raised goes to 3 charities including Lance Armstrong's.

What a busy show! I know you love it when Rick gets fired up and the caller John certainly did that in the first hour! Just hearing Rick read about the torture from the newspaper article today made me sick. I am a firm believer in "Do unto others" rather than "An eye for an eye".

The rally at province house should be interesting tomorrow. Students from Kaitlyn Murray-Selinger's school will be rallying for better crosswalk safety measures. Kudos to them, as I feel this is another issue the media has focused on, and sadly, has had to leave it behind. As someone who has nearly been smoked at crosswalks in my neighbourhood, I wish them all the luck in the world.

Can you believe what went down at Halifax West yesterday? Someone gets stabbed over some windshield washer fluid? Wow. That's our poll question today - if a student uses a weapon on school grounds, should they be expelled for the rest of the year - take it and you can view the results right away. I was blown away by Will's story today too - the student who fought back against a bully and was suspended for the rest of the year. That is so bogus. I know someone who was bullied in school and the bully tried to beat him up one day, and ended up breaking his own knuckles! (This person has an extremely hard head!!) After that, the bullying stopped. But what was the student Will was speaking about supposed to do? Snitch and be a pariah at school, or continue to be bullied? As Rick said last week, bullying is a cancer. If only we put more resources into fighting this cancer, a few of society's problems might be alleviated.

What did you think about the gun debate? All I'm going to say is that I'm with JH on this one. It's a good debate though and not one that's going away anytime soon!

Ben called from the Island today. He didn't get on, but he took issue with David calling Rick "The Rickster"!! He says he has copyrighted it and he will be suing David for copyright infringement! Ha!! I guess he hasn't read the blog or I'd be on that list too. Ben's calls always brighten my day. Yesterday he called to volunteer to ride the Gay Pride parade float with "The Rickster". I think it's a great idea - but no thongs, please.

One caller started out the show suggesting we pray for gays and lesbians to change their ways. I won't be doing that. Instead, I'm going to be praying that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq end. I'm going to be praying that there isn't another school shooting. I'm going to pray that things that cause harm to people and to things are somehow alleviated by someone or something.

Busy show, long blog.

Talk to you tomorrow - it's an all open show! (I think!)



Monday, April 23, 2007

Thong = wrong

Was it just me or were you getting grossed out when Rick starting talking about the Premier and the Mayor wearing thongs on the Gay Pride parade float? WRONG WRONG and more WRONG. It wasn't the best visual for a Monday morning!

Our poll question asked if the Mayor should ride the float this year. You know, call me naive, but I believe PK when he says he has scheduled commitments. He always does the flag raising at city hall etc. I guess I've had experience with homophobic mayors in the past, so I know PK is not homophobic. I went to school in London, Ontario and the mayor at the time, Dianne Haskett would not proclaim Gay Pride week. That was back in '97. The name might sound familiar. Haskett ran in that London-North Centre by-election and was trounced by a lady named Elizabeth May.

Another factoid from the show today: Stephen Harper's stylist is also psychic!! I'm surprised she didn't tell him having a stylist and being hypocritical about it would lead him to be slammed in the media. But maybe she doesn't have the amazing skill of our own Debbie Young!

What did you think of Gloria Mac and Andrew Younger? They were really attacking each other, but it wasn't personal, believe me, they are actually quite friendly. Gloria's surgery is on Friday and of course, we hope it goes well because city council would frankly, suck, without her.

Tomorrow's 11 o' clock hour should be very interesting - Tony Rodgers and Jim Hoskins will be in about gun control! It promises to be a good debate. As always, Rick needs your calls though, so hopefully we'll talk to you tomorrow!

Enjoy this great day,


Friday, April 20, 2007

It's the little things

It truly is, isn't it?

As Rick pointed out today, it's a pretty sad state of affairs when someone calls to compliment a guest on answering a question. Speaking of Constable Mark Young, what a nice person, so well-spoken and someone who sounds very passionate about his job. I enjoyed listening to him today, along with the professor and the mother of the daughter at Virginia Tech. I may be biased, but I thought the whole show was excellent today.

I was riveted but sickened listening to Rick reading the recounting of the events from the student in Jocelyne Couture-Nowak's class. Can you imagine what you would do when confronted with absolute terror? At the same time, I was moved and saddened by Rick's account of the childhood the shooter had. It's absolutely not an excuse for doing what he did, but you have to empathize with any child who is bullied and starts to hate life. Again, it's not an excuse, but I agree with Rick 100 % when he said "Bullying is a cancer".

"The planet's going to cook!"

That was a quote from Rick as he was talking to Bruce about climate change. Do you think John Baird has a point or do you think he was simply fearmongering? Brendan Haley with the Ecology Action Centre thought the latter. He was quite funny when he mentioned Baird should have just said everyone in the world will have to pay 1 MILLION DOLLARS to meet Kyoto targets!!!! There will be a cost, of course, but shouldn't we be prepared to eat a little bit of it, rather than eventually just die off from climate change?

I'm suprised Nova Scotia Power hasn't blamed climate change for an outage, I mean, it's so topical. We had some excellent suggestions for future excuses too:

-Bovine flatulence (thanks Ben!!)
-excess bird excretement
-time change
-Heather Foley-Melvin decided to start conserving energy by actually shutting the power off (thanks to Deb at for that one!!!)

This particular exercise was so amusing all day, as I told some people back home about the wily power-outage causing raccoon and they nearly died laughing.

I want to say hi to my Grandpa Joe in Windsor, Ontario who is reading this after getting out of the hospital today! You're the best.

Next week promises to be another good one - Peter Duffy on Thursday!

Have an awesome weekend!


Thursday, April 19, 2007


We got a couple of angry phone calls about everyone's fave power company today! That major outage in Clayton Park being blamed on a raccoon getting into a substation sparked a little bit of Hotline disbelief today. It brought back memories of such things like "salty fog" and a wayward gay pride day flag. As macabre as it sounds, you almost want to see the charred raccoon just to see if they're telling the truth.

Speaking of visual treats, the Rickster will be on CBC tonight with Norma Lee. He'll be part of the political panel, so if you can't wait until 9:30 tomorrow morning, you can see him tonight.

So Stephen Harper has a stylist eh? That's interesting. I bet you any sum of money he got her after going to Afghanistan and the media commenting on his stomach. Plus, when he went to Mexico to meet with Bush and Fox and he was mocked for wearing this heavy flak style jacket. I mean, no one wants to be criticized for what they wear or how they look, but can't his wife do the job for free? I'm not saying it's a woman's job, but isn't your spouse supposed to be your own personal quality control? I guess because she doesn't have "stylist" on her card, an expert was necessary. Whatever.

Did you hear the dog stats today with the Calgary guy? A man tried to get on, but we were about to break and to go the Calgary guys and he asked me what they were going to be talking about. I said "Dog control in Calgary" and he replied drolly, "That'll be fascinating". But it was really interesting!! 95 per cent of all dogs in Cowtown are licenced and they are making great progress in getting cats licenced. I really liked the guy, he seemed passionate about his job and he had vision! Can we hire him here??'s sports during the first hour tomorrow and lots of other fun things per usual!

Until then,


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hit the brakes....

I hardly know where to begin. Again, a complete and total information overload today on the Hotline!

My title relates to the Virginia Massacre. We talked about it today, but because there's a reason it's called "news", different topics come up. It's one thing I hate/love about the news, that there is always something "new", meaning the older topics must be left behind. Sometimes I think that's why problems aren't solved because the media is all about the new, new, new and despite the fact it's our job, it would be great to be able to hit the brakes or just stop - try to deal with one major issue and then move on. Sadly, it's not realistic and I just don't want something as horrible as the massacre to become "just another news story". I thought the cartoon in the Herald summed it up perfectly. This kind of thing shouldn't be routine!!!!

Many, many other topics today on the show, like education. Don't you love Gary Carson? The man makes so much damn sense!! I was laughing whenever he started talking about these "tiles" they use in classrooms. One of his classic lines (and how true, especially speaking as a female) "You don't see a dentist when you need a gynocologist". You don't have teachers who can't do math teach math! Is this some sort of difficult problem that needs to be broken down further? Is this the Da Vinci code? I think Gary Carson should have been asked to be the one person school board. Viva Gary and common sense!! All the callers, both on and off air, agreed with Gary 100 %.

The budget has been finally passed at City Hall. Again, an eye-opening interview from Gloria McCluskey. She says they spent 48-thousand dollars on a consultant from Ottawa to suggest ways to get more members of the public to attend meetings. WHAT? Rick said he'd do it for 10, and Gloria said she'd do it for free - and suggested something brilliant like, I don't know, placing more advertising? Seriously, there is a complete lack of common sense in this world, but hey, if everyone had common sense, we probably wouldn't have a show!

So..the bet! Okay Earl - you're on! Earl e-mailed Rick with a challenge. If Elizabeth May wins in Central Nova, he will come on the air and sing "We shall overcome". Apparently, he's not a union fan. Now, if Peter MacKay wins, Rick (and I volunteered to help) will sing "Oh Happy Day". AJ just called and is willing to loan us his record to help us learn the words.

Call me crazy, but I think May has a chance. For the sake of your ears, you had better start thinking the same thing!

Tomorrow....busy day.....Rick will be speaking with Muhammed Ali's daughter for a few minutes in the first hour and then an hour on the Charter, and then the third hour is all open. Can't wait!

Until then,


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


As expected, the Virginia shooting dominated the show today.

I never imagined the death toll could climb higher than 22, that number seemed so completely disturbing to when it reached the Now with all the details coming out, it's just so senseless and let's hope and pray something so tragic won't happen again anytime soon. But the sad part is, I know it will.

Onto other topics..........

Rick Hillier and this fund. All of our callers, including a mother of a son in Afghanistan think Hillier is totally off base on this one. But then Tim called off air and said what's the difference between raising funds for schools etc. that should be paid for by government. So...what is the difference? Good might want to call the Hotline tomorrow and give us an answer!

You got a little sneak preview of Gary Carson in the Daily News today. In the article, it makes it sound like they don't do timestables anymore in schools. Is this true? How else do people learn how to multiply? Apparently there are these "evidence-based solutions". I guess I missed the memo when it was revealed the old methods weren't working anymore! The overwhelming opinion of the callers is to get back to basics...I'm sure we'll hear more of those thoughts tomorrow on the show.

Some of the callers were upset today by the Liberal/Green party alliance in Central Nova. Rick is all for it, and frankly, I am too, but I see everyone's point, including Rodenhiser. If the tables were turned and two parties teamed up to beat Stephane Dion or another M-P, I could see both Rick and myself being outraged. But, I guess it's a Peter MacKay thing!

It was nice to see some fireworks between Rick and David R. today!! They butted heads on Afghanistan and about the Central Nova issue. I thought fisticuffs were about to break out, but rest assured, I was ready to step in and give them both time outs if need be!

Talk to you tomorrow...after another action-packed 3 hours of the Hotline!



Monday, April 16, 2007


One of the best parts about working as a journalist is that anything can happen. The most banal of days can suddenly be turned upside down with a big story. The downside is that those stories can be so devestating and sad, all of sudden, you're wishing that normal workday was back again. That's what's happening today. Rick mentioned this school shooting in Virginia about an hour ago and now officials say at least 22 people are confirmed dead.


Police are saying there was one shooter and that he's been killed. It's just an incredibly sad story.

Again, I have to ask: Why?


Life is all about balance, so on a MUCH lighter note, the generosity of Metro was in full effect on Friday night. I was at the wrap of the AM 92 CJCH/C100 Radiothon for the IWK where over 400-thousand dollars was raised!! Thanks to everyone that phoned in with a pledge. The stories heard over the three days were incredible and inspiring, and the Change Bandits alone raised over 80-thousand dollars! Congrats to everyone involved and a big thank you as well.

One of our favourite guests is on the show tomorrow -- an hour with David Rodenhiser is always a good one! I told Rick he and Dave must have been brothers in a past life because they just get along so well! It's always fun to listen to, so I hope you tune in.

On Wednesday, our Hotline education expert Gary Carson will be in studio. I remember when I met Gary for the first time last year and I was listening, but I heard him say something about how some students in N.S. don't have textbooks for some classes. I asked him to clarify during the break, because I thought, "that can't be right!" Turns out, it is! Unbelievable!! Not to compare, but going to school in Ontario, I always had a textbook for each class and I asked my youngest brother, who is 10 years younger, and despite budget cuts etc., he says he always had textbooks too. It's pretty sad that when people go to Cuba or the D.R. they bring books and school supplies for the students who don't have those essentials. It's pretty sad that travellers coming here could do the same thing and have it be beneficial. Talk about ridiculous.

Well, that's it from me today. I'm sure the Virginia situation will be one of the topics on tomorrow's show, sadly.

Take care on this cloudy, cold day.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Guilty of "crapping"!

What that was in reference to, I can't remember..but it's always worth hearing bon mots from Gloria!!

I can't believe her surgery has been delayed. I hope she gets it soon, so as Rick says, she can come back and serve for another 20 years. I have so much respect for that woman. She is a straight shooter, doesn't take things personally, is not afraid of conflict and again, tells it like it is. While she's convalescing she should write one of those guides "Being a city councillor for dummies".

Step one:

Go to meetings

Step two:

Tell the truth

I'm sure Glo will have a few more steps!! Take the poll question we have today on the right side of the blog. I can say on the record, I voted "YES".

Thanks for all the calls today! Another busy show with with the abysmal math scores being the main issue. 72 % of Grade 12s flunked the provincial exam. Wow. That is just depressing. I am looking forward to hearing what Hotline education expert Gary Carson says about that next Wednesday on the show.

If you missed the very end of the show, we got a call from one of the many Davids that call the show. This is the David that strongly hinted Jim Mills would be running against PK for mayor. Rick checked with Jim, who said that was totally untrue! But David called us today and says May 20th....a prominent businessperson will be making an announcement about a mayoral run. I was thinking maybe Victor Syperek might be at it again. We'll see what happens. It would be great if it was someone completely out of the blue, like the Dogfather!!!

Didn't you feel so bad for the caller having the WCB problems? Like he said, one day he's putting in an honest day's work and in an instant, he's in the middle of bankruptcy. It scares me to think how quickly your life could change for the worse. I pray the caller finds the help he needs and hopefully Wayne, the guru of WCB issues in Nova Scotia, can help him out.

The caller, Brian, mentioned something near and dear to my heart - RENT CONTROL!! I don't just blame the province for the lact of rent control. Fast fact: Rent control was eliminated under the John Savage government. I was recently looking at apartments and the rents were exorbitant!! Or if you do get a fair rent amount, you have to pay your utilities. It's the city's fault, the province's fault, the utilities' fault and our fault - for not standing up and saying enough is bloody enough! It is so expensive to live nowadays on a fair wage, let alone if you're making minimum. Continue to call the show and express your concern - it's all we can do until the next municipal, provincial and federal elections.

Speaking of, no one really brought up the issue of "the deal" between Stephane Dion and Elizabeth May. I think it's awesome! Nice strategy there, even though I doubt a Green candidate is going to stand in the way of Dion getting re-elected. But not running a Liberal is a pretty good step in May possibly defeating MacKay. In the last election Peter MacKay won with over 17-thousand votes ( The Liberal candidate came in third with just over 10-thousand votes. The NDP finished second with over 13-thousand votes. If the Green party takes away NDP votes in the riding (which is why Jack Layton is so angry), our Elizabeth has a chance, in my humble opinion.

Well...after work today I'm volunteering at the IWK Radiothon. I'm going to be answering the phones, so give me a call to make your pledge!! 1-800-595-2266. Maybe I'll talk to some of you later on. Give C100 a listen later if you want to hear some incredible stories from some incredibly brave kids.

Have a good weekend...and I'll chat with you on Monday.



Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spring...for a day

Good afternoon!

Sorry this is a little later than normal! I had to run downtown to go to the orthodontist (it's a long, drawn-out retainer saga) and I got to experience the absolute joy emanating from the people downtown! No coats in sight! It's incredible outside, but unfortunately it will all come to an end tonight when we will get some snow....BOOOOO!

Another crazy busy day!!! A listener called after the Titanic guys left and said "Wow, what a great hour, didn't you think Amber?" I replied that I hadn't heard any of the hour because of the interest in winning the books (which look great by the way). We had so many calls, the receiver did not leave my ear all hour!! Besides Blair Beed's book and Allan Ruffman's book, a listener recommended "Unsinkable" by David Brown.

In the first hour, Rick really ticked me off! I know a lot of people hate Belinda Stronach, but there's something about her I really like! I mean, it's tough to hear criticism of yourself. But she stuck around, won another election, and tried to do some good things for her riding and the country. Blind ambition? She didn't run for the Liberal leadership. When Rick said she was "running back to Daddy", I gave him a death glare. I think she's a talented businessperson, tried something new, did well at it and it's her perogative to do whatever she wants! That's the beauty of this country, as Rick is constantly reminding us!!! I can't be too hard on Rick since he did give me a ride downtown this afternoon. Thanks boss!

I got an interesting phone call off the air. As Rick was talking about the Mayor picking up garbage on the streets of Metro, a lady called me and said "Peter Kelly don't pick up the garbage, you liars". Then she hung up on me!!! CTV was in taking some shots of Rick for a piece on Live at 5 tonight, and the cameraman and Peter Malette confirmed - the mayor does pick up garbage on the street. No lie!

So...sports tomorrow....Cecil is in. How great are the battles between Cecil and Joan? I live for those. Rick and I sit back and die of laughter as they go at it!!

I'm not sure what else is up for tomorrow....but as you know, anything can happen on the Hotline!

Thanks for listening...and enjoy this day as it's going to be another winter wonderland tomorrow!

Take care,


Wednesday, April 11, 2007


That's how I felt today writing down things to remind myself to write about after the show. It was INSANELY busy today with so much going on, but hey, that's what makes the Hotline the #1 show in Metro! A huge thank you to the listeners for that honour! Love the Rickster or hate the Rickster, you're listening and we appreciate it.

Hey...breaking news!! Belinda Stronach is quitting politics to go back to Magna. I'll have all the latest on C100 news this afternoon at 4 and 5. Have you noticed how many Liberals aren't re-offering in the next election? Do you think this has anything to do with Stephane Dion? I think the Liberals are in big trouble in the next election. I hate to say it, but Conservative majority, here we come.

Did you read Rodenhiser today? Great headline!! 'In your face, Upper Canada". I think it's hysterical that Maritimers call Ontario "Upper Canada". I'm an Upper Canadian by birth, but now I can really appreciate the mockery of Ontario since I've lived in Halifax since 2000. I definitely consider myself a Haligonian. I'm going to say it loud and proud "In your face Upper Canada"! But hi to all my friends and family reading this back home! (Hey, you gotta cover all the bases).

What did you think of the author we had on today? I thought it was interesting...I'm always willing to hear about how to be more successful! Here's the website if you want more info:

Are you listening to the IWK Radiothon? It continues on today, tomorrow and Friday. Brian and Deb will be broadcasting live for the rest of the week and you can listen on our sister station C100 too. There are some incredibly moving stories...and you can donate by calling 1-800-595-2266. When adults get sick, it's obviously sad, but at least you feel that they've had a chance to live their lives, have some experiences, see the world. But when it's kids, it just seems so unfair. The kids' stories you will hear though, show wonderful, mature beyond their years individuals who don't look at anything as unfair. It is a true inspiration and I can't wait for the wrap-up on Friday to see how much was raised for this very worthy cause.

We talked about organ donation quite a bit on the show today. I admit, I never gave it a second thought until the Hotline opened my eyes!! When Yvonne hosted last summer, she did an hour on organ donation and it was one of many times she made me cry during that two weeks! Anyway, after that I got my new Nova Scotia Health Card and signed up to be a donor. I guess I feel it's the least I can do.

No matter what happens, I am grateful for what I have and grateful I live in this country. I was shockingly reminded of that this morning as I read this quote on the front of the Daily News:

"My biggest problem was that they kept putting off killing me". That was from a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. Enough said, I think.

Thank you again for listening and being a part of the Hotline. We could not do it without your calls and support.



Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mr.Rogers - cold blooded killer?

That was one disturbing tidbit we heard about on the Hotline today! Turns out - it's not true.

Apparently, it's one of the most popular urban legends floating around in cyberspace.

Andrea Hill-Lehr was right though about Mr.Rogers being a minister. That seems more in line with his character don't you think?

So what did you think of the debate today between Hill-Lehr and John Boileau? I thought it was very interesting!! It wasn't a knock down, drag out affair, but there were some fireworks at some points! Both of them are very articulate and I thought they made their points well. Off the air, I got calls in support of both sides and they shook hands at the end, so it was all good.

Rick mentioned Fahrenheit 911, the Michael Moore film. Personally, I enjoyed it very much and it's a film that definitely provokes discussion, so check it out! I haven't seen the film "Loose Change" yet, despite the urgings of several listeners. Apparently, it's getting a lot of attention and it's narrated by Charlie Sheen? I'll try to check it out this weekend, apparently it's only available on the internet? True?

One of the listeners really had a hate on for Justin Trudeau today eh? I don't dislike Justin Trudeau. I mean, he comes from a very prominent, wealthy family, but at least he's trying to do some good and wants to run for office to try to improve the country (hopefully anyway). At least he's not Paris Hilton, who is also famous for her name but not much else!! I'll withhold my full judgement until I see what he does if he's elected to office. But let's be real - sometimes Parliament can suck the drive and new ideas right out of a person. Let's hope he doesn't fall into the party system trap and continues to speak his mind on behalf of the people.

Tomorrow on the Hotline - an all open show and an interview with Elizabeth May!

Enjoy your day!


Monday, April 9, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

As are a few photos I took over the weekend. The lines are very faded, so let's hope these crosswalks are slated to be re-painted this year.

Anyway...the issue of crosswalks wasn't an issue on the show today, as we focused mainly on the military. What terrible news from Afghanistan. A lot of people were really upset about it and with good reason. Be sure to tune in tomorrow to hear a debate between John Boileau, a former soldier and Andrea Hill-Lehr, the mother of a soldier. It should be very interesting.

There is something I have to get off my chest. The mere insinuation that anyone tells Rick what can or cannot be discussed on the Hotline is LUDICROUS! Seriously! It could not be a more laughable or just plain WRONG suggestion. Rick is the be all and end all to what goes on the show. There is no one pulling the strings from behind the scenes. You've seen Rick on TV! You know he hasn't been bought! One of the first conditions would probably be to remove his hat! He doesn't take off his hat and no one tells him what he can and can't talk about on the show. Seriously, that could not be further from the truth.

Somone mentioned before, the Hotline is one of the last bastions of democracy in N.S. I couldn't agree with that assertion more!

So thanks for listening and although there are conspiracies out there (with good reason), Rick's show is a free and open one and we encourage everyone to call and take advantage of it!!

There will probably be a change in the poll for tomorrow though. We did set a new Hotline record with some 25-hundred votes at one point! I think tomorrow, you will be able to vote once from each computer. I don't think the question was that controversial, as to generate so much interest. But - thank you for reading, voting and listening!

Talk to you tomorrow,


Thursday, April 5, 2007

In a fog...

Literally - you can barely see outside it's so foggy.

I come from Windsor, Ontario and there's never any fog there. Suddenly one day in 1999, thick fog moved in and there was an 82 car pile-up on the 401. I covered that story and started associating fog with terrible things. So, when I drove to Nova Scotia and crossed over from New Brunswick, there was thick fog and I was terrified!! I thought I was going to die in a horrible car accident! But now I know fog is a fact of life in Nova Scotia and I'm not scared of fog anymore. Wow, there's my ridiculous admission du jour.

We had a great show today! Thanks to everyone for calling in...and thanks for the comments so far on the blog! I'm really enjoying being able to purge after the show, as I injest so much information from the listeners, the guests and the Rickster himself. I thought Bob Rae was interesting to listen to. I liked how Rick asked him about switching parties and he was just honest with his answer. He didn't try to do what a lot of politicians do -- assault you with verbosity until you just give up and ask another question. We can think of a couple of those can't we??? He just said, people change. Thank you Bob!!

The tax guy was fun. We were kind of nervous because we thought he might be a little dry, but he was really cool, nice, smart and had a bit of fun with the (kinda dull) subject matter. I'm scared for Rick and his taxes though. I hope he has a good accountant because Rick didn't even know there are different Schedule 1s for the province and the feds. Let's hope he doesn't get audited!!!!! For everyone that wants to know, that disability form was a T2201. (remember - April 30th is the deadline!)

Pretty sick about the puppies found eh? Here's the SPCA # if you have any information on it: 835-4798 or click on:

Rick tore a strip off the traffic guy today, but for good reason!! The changes YOU are calling for are being dismissed. Best to get on the horn with your councillor, but even that seems futile. If they are bringing your concerns to staff and they are being waved off....well, I guess nothing will ever change in this city - and that's depressing. (but sadly...good for our talk show!)

Check out the blog on Monday. I'm planning to walk around town this weekend and take some photos of these "painted" crosswalks. Should be interesting! I just hate when people say something you blatantly know is not true. We had a couple of councillors in the studio in January and they were saying "Halifax is a safe city", so that's when I started keeping my crime stats. I give them to Rick to use when it's topical, but I am planning to do a year end report on crime and I guarantee you will shocked by the numbers once they're tallied. Maybe I'll do it at the halfway point of the year too...which is coming up...which is insane. Times moves so fast, so take a little extra time this weekend to keep yourself safe.

I wish everyone the happiest Easter!

I will chat with you Monday!

Thank you so much for listening to the show!

Take care,


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

No more P.K.?

Is the city ready for another mayor?

That was one huge topic on the show today with the insinuation that a prominent businessman is pondering a shot at the mayorship. HMMMMM. Rick, using his masterful investigative journalism skills, asked what the person's first named rhymed with and deduced (nothing gets by him) it was Jim Mills. You might remember Jim and his brother Don on the Hotline back in February talking about the Commonwealth games. Rick said he received the most e-mails in the history of the show from that hour!! So, you know, maybe Jim Mills could be a polarizing figure that could be a challenge for the mayor. Rick asked our fave iron lady, Gloria McCluskey about it and she dismissed it straight up. But man oh man, I can't wait for the 2008 municipal elections. Can you say "high drama"?

Did you read Rodenhiser today? That man cracks me up. He wrote a column on Feb. 28th entitled "Bold leaders venture forth" about councillors giving up their parking on the Parade Square. It's a must read. I have it pinned up at my desk to re-read whenever I need a laugh. It's a classic. Anyway, he had a great column today too. Check out what he says about the Commons on the "If you go" information section. His column on civic pride and the lack thereof sparked a lot of debate as well. A couple of people were blaming teens for a lot of the litter and it's not like I don't agree, but the other day I was walking down Robie Street to go to the dentist and there was an elderly couple about 20 feet ahead of me. Well, all of a sudden I see the lady biff a Robin's donuts cup right on someone's front lawn!! I couldn't believe it!! I was going to say something but they crossed the street. So, it's young and old alike making the city look like crap, that's for sure.

Oh, just to let you know - Rick, Brian, Deb and myself already have the winning ticket for tonight's lottery and we've been practicing our happy dances, so you might as well save yourself some money and abstain from buying one!! HA!

Talk to you tomorrow...and thank you for listening!


Tuesday, April 3, 2007


The crosswalk issue is one that isn't going away anytime soon.

We had Tina Chaulk on the show today. She's the mother of Mary-Beth, who died last year after being hit in a crosswalk in Dartmouth. It kind of makes you realize how insignifcant your problems are when you think about what she has gone through, and what the parents of Kaitlyn Murray-Selinger's parents are going through. I can tell you, Tina brought a lot of quiet strength into the studio and we so appreciated her coming in. She came with a very intelligent 17-year old girl named Fern and both of them provided some amazing insights and a lot of what's lacking around these here parts - COMMON SENSE!!!

There are a couple things Hotline listeners can do to press the issue. One of our listeners Pat has a petition going around. Give me a call tomorrow and I can give you her number. Also, the infamous Bruce Devenne has a new website: It's not necessarily for the crosswalk issue per se, but it's very handy to get phone numbers, address etc.

People have been calling me with so many suggestions and it's been great. I think the best thing to do though, would be to call your city councillor with those suggestions. It's budget time, so now is your chance!! They are paid to serve US, so let's get them to do just that.

Global was in filming the Tina Chaulk hour, so if you want to get your television fix of the Rickster, tune in tonight!

It wasn't all serious today on the show. Earlier Ben called. Ben cracks me up. I know, people think he's, well a little wacky, but the banter between he and Rick is hysterical. Today he dropped "The DeVenne Code" and well, it was tres drole.

Tomorrow, it's an all open show, so I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

Thanks for listening!


Monday, April 2, 2007


Welcome to the newest addition to the Hotline - my blog!

It's Amber here, the producer of the Hotline, or the voice you hear very cheerfully answering the phones (well most days anyway!) Now the brass wants me to share my thoughts on things, kind of like a behind the scenes look at the show. You can check this space every couple of days or so for the scoop on the Hotline and other interesting things. I'll let you know what's coming up, give you phone numbers and websites you might have missed on the show and maybe throw some of my own thoughts into the mix too! So, I really hope you enjoy the blog as much as you enjoy the Hotline!

Thanks for listening!