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Zoomer Week in Review

Local News

Join host Libby Znaimer as she brings you the latest Zoomer Headlines from around the world and shines a spotlight on the key issues affecting you. You’ll also get the freshest perspective from CARP and Zoomer Media experts on health, wellness and living the good life!


Toronto, ON


Local News


Join host Libby Znaimer as she brings you the latest Zoomer Headlines from around the world and shines a spotlight on the key issues affecting you. You’ll also get the freshest perspective from CARP and Zoomer Media experts on health, wellness and living the good life!






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Israel's Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism & A Surgeon's Gender Could Mean Health-Care Savings

Irwin Cotler is a former Canadian justice minister who served as Canada's special envoy on Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism and is the focus of the cover story in the latest issue of "Zoomer Magazine". He's also under around-the-clock police protection because of a threat to his life. His daughter, Michal Cotler-Wunsh was named Israel's new special envoy to combat antisemitism just before October 7th. She joins Bob Komsic to discuss the current state of rising international antisemitism and Canada's failure to address it. AND A study carried out by two U of T doctors has discovered that the gender of a surgeon can save health-care a lot of money. It involved over one-million adult patients who had about two dozen common elective and emergency surgeries between 2007 and 2019. The co-authors found costs for patients, whose health data was checked at one-month, three-months, and one-year after surgery, were about 10% lower if they had a female surgeon. The study can be found in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Surgery. Co-author Dr. Angela Jerath joined Bob Komsic to discuss their study.


Freeing Hamas Hostages & Be a Santa to a Senior

There's no scenario where a former senior Israeli army officer sees Hamas freeing ALL remaining hostages. Moty Cristal served for several years in various official negotiation capacities in the prime minister's office and Israel's ministry of defense and for the past 22-years has been an expert negotiator in the private sector. AND The shriek of a boy or girl on Christmas morning when they open their presents overjoyed they got what they’d wanted. For that child in most of the rest of us that’s a present in itself and, for most of us, luckily not the only one. But what about those seniors who may not otherwise get gifts? Home Instead partners with nursing homes and other groups interested in bringing them presents and smiles with its "Be a Santa to a Senior Program" as Mark Maclean explains.


Giving To Charities Intelligently & Canada's Best New Restaurant

The lead up to the holidays has begun. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, when charities, companies and individuals rally for favourite causes. The world’s largest generosity movement, Giving Tuesday, encourages donation of time, talents, and resources to address various challenges. Charity Intelligence does the homework and is the go-to source for info so that donors can give intelligently. Greg Thomson is research director. AND Looking for something different in a dining experience? Check out Canada’s best new restaurant, Kappo Sato, in Toronto on Mt Pleasant Road. Takeshi Sato is chef owner of the Kappo-style Omakase restaurant. Its Marketing Director, Ken Masuda, explains why such restaurants are so rare in Canada. Food Critic Amy Rosen was the one who determined Kappo Sato to be Canada’s best new restaurant. She dined anonymously at over 30 establishments nominated by food industry experts during her month-long journey and shares her experience.


Lonely in Toronto & A Warning About Retirement

Sharon Avery: Lonely in Toronto Toronto could be one of the loneliest cities in Canada. A new report on the quality of life in this city paints a grim picture. Released this week, the Vital Signs Report by the Toronto Foundation finds residents more lonely, struggling more with mental health, and less civically engaged. We reached Foundation CEO Sharon Avery about the findings and how to remedy the problem. Cathrin Bradbury: A Warning About Retirement Is it time to think of a 60 year career rather than 40? One recent Toronto retiree thinks yes, as it’s been a less than dreamy passage to retirement than she planned. Author and journalist Cathrin Bradbury is among the largest generation in Canadian history to move into retirement. In a just published article, she spoke with dozens of experts on everything from finances to health and discovered retiring in your early to mid 60’s can be summed up in one increasingly terrifying word - longevity.


Cowboys in Israel & The Queen's Statue

Israel is receiving help of all kinds from all corners of the world and from all types of organizations, such as American humanitarian group HaYovel, whose volunteers include cowboys. The operations director is Joshua Waller and joined Bob Komsic from Israel. AND Following years of delay, the bronze sculpture of the late Queen Elizabeth II is finally on public display, joining a statue of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria elsewhere on the grounds of the legislature also known as "Queen’s Park." The woman behind the work, artist Ruth Abernethy, joined Bob Komsic to discuss.


A Canadian Doctor in Israel & New Tele-Psychology Guidelines

When medicine called, Brad Strauss answered. A cardiologist at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for years, he answered another call in early October when he, like the world, witnessed the terrorist attack against Israel and decided to head there to try to save lives. He joined Bob Komsic on the phone from Israel to share his experiences. AND For many, the only way to see your doctor or therapist was in-person. But, like so many things in the world, March 11th 2020 changed everything, likely forever in a lot of cases. That’s why the Canadian Psychological Association decided it was necessary to come up with new tele-psychology guidelines. Psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Church chaired the working group and joined Bob Komsic to discuss.


Anti-Semitism in American Universities & RSV Vaccines for 60+

Shortly after the news of what happened in Israel, on October 7th, reached the eyes of the world condemnation followed but at least two American academics couldn’t believe what they were hearing and not hearing from leading universities in the U.S. The two wrote an article titled "Why Was It So Hard for Elite Universities to Condemn Hamas Terrorism?" One of their opening lines pulls no punches, "What they said, and what they did not say, provides a window into the culture of intellectual and moral rot and cowardice that reigns at these once great institutions." Co-author Michael Poliakoff, adjunct professor of classical studies George Mason University in Virginia, joins Bob Komsic to discuss. AND Remember the "triple-demic" of last fall and winter? Seasonal flu, COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). With a new highly effective RSV vaccine recently approved for those 60 and older, the National Institute on Ageing feels a lot more needs to be done as vaccination rates in this age group are underwhelmingly low. Arushan Arulnamby co-authored the Institute’s report on this and joins Bob Komsic to explain.


Israeli Hostages & Small Business

With many in Canada and around the world having ties with Israel, families in the region whose relatives were taken hostage by Hamas are doing all they can to help the government secure the release of all captives. Among them is Malki Shemtov who recalls the day terrorist gunmen grabbed his 21-year-old son Omer. AND With Small Business Week now in the rearview mirror it’s not too late to recognize and celebrate the more than 400-thousand small businesses in Ontario and their 2-million employees. The president of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Rocco Rossi, begins by looking down what the Bank of Canada still sees as a rocky road as companies expect sales growth to slow over the coming year.


First-Hand Account of Life in Israel & The Mental Anguish of War

Simcha Jacobovici, the filmmaker behind "The Naked Archeologist" lives in the centre of Israel but one of his daughters was stuck in a shelter in the border town of Sderot for 30 hours and made a narrow escape while terrorists rampaged through the streets. His son’s best friend was killed in the fighting and his assistant’s nephew has been taken hostage. He joins Libby Znaimer on the phone from Israel to offer a first-hand account of life in Israel in the week following last Saturday's barbaric terror attacks by Hamas. AND The images coming out of the barbaric Hamas attack on Israeli civilians are more graphic than ever, they have been playing out on social media in real time, and they are also being broadcast on mainstream media. The perpetrators want to instill terror and the victims want the world to know what is happening but watching these images can be traumatic. Libby talked to psychologist Dr. Sam Klarreich to discuss the mental toll that come with closely following the news on the war.


Nazis in Canada & A "Good Riddance" Obituary

If Argentina was always known as the haven for Nazis then Canada is the unknown one. Canadians got a reminder that many Nazis fled to this country when 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka was recognized in Parliament during the recent visit of Ukraine’s president. Among the many who’ve known for decades that ex-Nazis found safe harbour here is Steve Rambam, a war crimes investigator who joined Libby Znaimer to discuss. AND Losing a loved one is hard and putting what they meant to you in words can also be difficult. But for some it’s actually easy. Take the case of Amanda Denis, who lives outside Sudbury and lost her father. Saying she believes the dead have a responsibility to the living Amanda wrote a "good riddance" obit for her dad. She joined Bob Komsic to explain.


The Michelin Hype & Fecal Transplants

The restaurants that made it into this year’s Michelin Guide were announced with great fanfare earlier this week. But what is the benefit and what is the cost of that designation? I checked in with food writer and consultant Cory Mintz who is something of a contrarian when it comes to the hype around the world-famous Michelin stars. AND Saffron Cassaday’s Designer Shit is a documentary which follows her years long efforts to cure her ulcerative colitis with fecal transplants using with her husband as the donor. The transplants have become a mainstream treatment for C-difficile and trials are underway to test their efficacy for everything from Irritable Bowel Syndrome to depression.


Canada Accuses India & A Look at Toronto's Mayors

The consequences have been mounting since Prime-Minister Justin Trudeau's bombshell accusation that India may be behind the killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Diplomats from both countries have been expelled, India has issued a travel advisory against Canada, and India has suspended visa services in Canada. There are also growing concerns about whether it was the right move. Libby Znaimer talked with former CSIS agent Phil Gurski AND Toronto’s leaders have shaped the city in its 19 decades of existence, and they run the gamut of rogues and rebels as well as forward-looking social crusaders. Mark Moloney looks at all of them in Toronto’s Mayors: A History of the City’s Leaders.


Seniors and Opioids & Jean Augustine

The rates of opioid prescriptions in this country have steadily climbed the past 30-years as Canadians have become one of the top consumers of prescription opioids in the world. While the perception of the crisis focuses on the young, a new study found that it is older Canadians who have the largest overall consumption rate of opioids. All this is found in the latest report from the National Institute on Ageing, one of its co-authors is Dr. Samir Sinha. AND Think hockey and Gretzky comes to mind. Think just about almost anything else in Canada and Jean Augustine should come to mind. The Grenada-born Canadian recently turned 86, the same day the Caribbean Tales International Film Festival celebrated its 18th year with the first presentation of the Augustine Award of Excellence. Jean is the first Black woman MP and cabinet minister, parliamentary secretary to then Prime Minister Jean Chretien, First Ontario Fairness Commissioner and, after leaving that job, she’s continued working with many organizations for education and social justice.


Transitioning to Retirement & Looking Back at "Sharon, Lois and Bram"

If you’re retired, how’d you make the transition, are you just starting to give it some thought, or maybe you're right in the midst of starting the next chapter? It’s not only a financial decision but an emotional and socially challenging one as well, as Mariella Hoy discovered on her journey to becoming a retirement coach. AND Which are some artists that come to mind who are on the soundtrack of your life? The Beatles? Rolling Stones? Just about any Motown act What about Sharon Hampson? One-third of "Sharon, Lois and Bram", Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison have continued carrying on the legacy after Lois Lilienstein passed away in 2015. Not only are they celebrating the 45th anniversary of their first album, they’ve just released their third children’s book based on another of their popular songs, "Peanut Butter & Jelly", both of which Sharon was more than happy to talk about.


TIFF's Challenges & 21st Century Divorce

In its 48 year history, the Toronto International Film Festival has had to face the challenges of 9-11, SARS, and the pandemic to name just a few. This year there’s a strike to contend with. Libby talked with TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey. AND It’s hardly the kind of announcement that you’d think would inspire warm wishes, support, and personal stories - but that was the reaction Justin Trudeau got after he and his wife of 18 years announced their split. What is behind 21st century divorce? Libby reached psychologist Dr. Sam Klarreich


Food of the CNE & Taking on Metrolinx

For the last 15 years or so, the increasingly wild and wacky selections of food at the CNE has taken centre stage. Libby Znaimer chats with the man behind them, the manager of midway concessions and outdoor exhibits at the CNE, Michael Knott. AND It's been a neighborhood gathering place and a local landmark for more than 40 years. The Acropolis Bakery on the danforth is being forced to move and to close to make way for the Ontario Line. Owner Bill Gekas tells us what it is like to take on Metrolinx.


Do We Own Our Genes & A Third Act Career Change

Her cells allowed researchers to develop vaccines for polio, the coronavirus, and treatments for disease including cancer, Parkinson’s, and the flu. But they were taken from Henrietta Lacks, a poor Black mother of five, who was dying of cervical cancer in 1951, without her knowledge or consent. Her descendants recently reached a settlement with a biotech company they claimed were profiting from her cell line named for her. But it raises the question: do we own our genes and DNA? Libby Znaimer reached medical ethicist Dr. Kerry Bowman AND For most Zoomers, it’s a choice between retiring or continuing to work at a slower pace or volunteering. But what about taking up something entirely different? Libby Znaimer spoke with barber’s apprentice Brad Ross, the former chief spokesman for the city of Toronto.


Breast Cancer Screening & Access To High Park

Should breast cancer screening start at 40? That’s a key recommendation in a new study from researchers at the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. Breast Cancer is among the leading causes of death for women in their 40’s and 50’s in Canada. But currently, only women 50 and older get routine screening through the Ontario Breast Screening Program. This new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology argues that lowering the age will offer a better chance of survival. We reached one of the authors, Professor Dr. Jean Seely, head of breast imaging at the Ottawa Hospital. AND Anthony Quinn, the Community Officer with the Zoomer advocacy group CARP, has sent a letter to Mayor Olivia Chow asking the city to reconsider new rules banning cars from High Park. He calls it a “leave grandma at home policy.” Meantime, protestors continue to gather at the west end park in a turf war over City Hall's new anti-car measures that bans vehicles on weekends and holidays while city staff work on a plan to eventually ban cars altogether. But there are many groups who support the car ban, pointing to the success of other big cities around the globe. Tensions recently boiled over at one of the rallies. We reached 84 year old Diane Buckell, of the group High Park Access For All who wants the city to ensure that everyone has access to the park.


Emancipation Month & Air Traveller Rights

Jean Augustine made history in 1993, as the first African-Canadian woman elected a Canadian MP. The 85 year old attended this week’s Emancipation Day in Toronto kicking off a month of events as this city recognizes the struggle for human rights and the contributions by people of African descent. The annual event marks the freeing of slavery of more than 800-thousand Africans in British controlled regions around the world including Canada. We reached Canadian Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard, a strong advocate of social change and also the first African Nova Scotian woman to serve in the Canadian Senate. AND Canada falls far behind the European Union when it comes to compensation for air travellers. In fact, if possible when travelling overseas, advocates recommend choosing a European carrier as the EU is considered the “gold standard” when it comes to compensation for cancelled or delayed flights. In Canada, the much criticized air passenger rights legislation is under review. We reached air passenger rights advocate Gabor Luckacs about what you need to know about compensation plans for other countries when your flight is delayed or cancelled.


Staying Safe During Heatwaves & Fresh Food Safety

Millions of people on three continents are baking under blistering temperatures and scientists are reporting that this month will be the planet’s hottest on record by far. One thing is certain, it is even riskier if you are older or have health problems. It is important to be cautious and get relief quickly when you are overheated. Dr. Samantha Green joined Libby Znaimer with some tips on staying safe. AND Countries and retailers around the world are getting rid of best before dates on fresh food in a bid to cut food waste. How can you tell if a product is still good to eat even if it may be past the peak of freshness? Libby Znaimer talked with Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at the agri-food analytics lab at Dalhousie University.