I unabashedly signed off my last News and Views at Noon on Wednesday afternoon by quoting my friend and mentor Tayler "Hap" Parnaby. As many of you will know, Hap signed off his 1150 (10-2-12) cast every day by saying, “Take care and thank you for your time.” I didn’t dare offer a entry from the Tattered Little Date Book.
So I got to say my “S’longs” on the air from the “Chair that Sinclair Built”, (how cool is that?!). I've had my one-on-one meetings with the News staff and at the close of business today I will be unemployed. That will be the case, at least, until I take up my new duties as Managing Editor at Global News in beautiful downtown Don Mills. That'll happen first thing Thursday morning. Well, I should clarify. I'll be there in the morning. I expect there will be a few weeks ...
Just some final thoughts on the 9-11 Anniversary:
I would agree with Dave Agar who says it's time to move on now that we've marked the tenth anniversary of the Al Qaeda attacks on the US. The efforts are already underway to "rebrand" the site, to get away from calling it Ground Zero. There's a push to refer to it as the 9-11 Memorial Plaza or the World Trade Centre. But it will be a LONG time before we stop calling it GROUND ZERO and that's because of what we saw unfold in Lower Manhattan this past weekend.
The media and officialdom will tell you nearly three thousand people died in the 9-11 attacks. But what's abundantly clear after listening to the eulogies and remembrances is that each of those victims died three thousand times and millions more were shattered by the senseless violence of their deaths.
It will be ...
All kinds of nice notes and comments from many of you this week. Thanks for taking time to do that. For those of you who are in the loop, I announced on Wednesday that I am leaving Newstalk1010. My last day will be September 14th.
There was, however, some measure of angst in the reaction I received. So, to make it perfectly clear, “NO I AM NOT BEING PUSHED!” I am making a move to GLOBAL TORONTO where I will be taking over as Managing Editor. Ya, it all sounds very exciting. But to be honest, I'm not sure who might be more anxious - the guy who's jumping into the job with no TV experience, (I mean....I struggle with the remote on a good day), or the crack staff in the award winning Global Newsroom who will have to put up with the new guy who has no ...
That was a pretty eventful Summer! Some great weather. Lots of sunshine. Some downtime with family or at least away from work. Now, with the change in the season comes changes in routine and the changes to my routine will be anything but routine for me.
I’m being asked a lot of questions this week about the highlights of my summer. Mostly because I had a lot going on at home and at work.
I made my first, (and probably last) trip to Las Vegas. The casino scene and the tacky “GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS” on the strip isn’t really my thing. But I did do a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon and had an outstanding dinner at Mario Batali’s restaurant at the Palazzo.
My wife and I also went to the other extreme from the “life is a midway” in Vegas to spending a week at the cottage ...
No surprise that all the chatter this day after Labour Day is all about the kids going back to school. It’s less of a surprise that the two leading candidates to be premier of the province staged photo op messaging events, (otherwise known as campaign stops), to highlight their grand plans for education in this province.
Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak will increase public education spending by $2 billion dollars while making it a priority to reinstate the fall report card. (Really? That’s what’s wrong with our Education system?)
Dalton McGuinty unveiled his education plan on Labour Day and, among other thing, included a plank that, for all intents and purposes, reinstates grants for university and college students. It’s not a new idea. There was a day when the Ontario Student Assistance Program offered grants to students heading off to post secondary but OSAP support amounts to loans these days.
Remember all the self righteous nonsense being spewed by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council back in January when it banned the Dire Straits song “Money For Nothing” from radio play, (yes, the 25 year old Dire Straits song “Money For Nothing”)?? Yes, the ban based on one single complaint about the second verse of the song that says:
See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy that’s his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he’s a millionaire
In case you’re just catching up, the pejorative homosexual slur is the offending issue that spawned the singular complaint a quarter of a century after the fact! Cue the talk radio outrage.
Well, hundreds upon hundreds of you officially complained about the CBSC ruling to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissions. So, as a courtesy to the CRTC...the Council reviewed that ruling.
While we all get back to our routines on this Monday, (maybe you're getting back to work after your vacation – as I am or you're racing around getting the kids organized for school next week), the Layton family begins this week in relative quiet. Something they haven’t had in a while when you consider the controlled chaos that was last spring’s federal election campaign, followed by the giddiness of the NDP’s historic success in forming the Official Opposition and the deflating news last month that he would step down to fight yet another battle with cancer. There has been little or no real quiet.
But today, it’s quiet. No longer do they focus on the treatments or the symptoms of the cancer that killed Jack a week ago. The stress of the funeral planning is over and they've been relieved of pressures of having to mourn in public. The ...
Wonder if Mayors Fords would consider hiring him when we start digging subway tunnels in Toronto? Great pipes!
My Uncle Kevin would love this…if it could be done on Black Velvet!
My Uncle Kevin would love this no matter what...
Not to sound like an “old guy”….but this sure is nifty. (You might want to turn up the volume before you launch this link though.)
WARNING: this stoopid cat owner video contains language that is unsuitable for young ears. Make sure you only watch it after Prime Time.
Betcha didn't know that the Beluga colony (?), herd(?), gaggle (?), pride(?), murder(?), flock (?), whatever (?) in Tadoussac had its own interactive Mariachi Musem. Never thought Belugas would be the cha-cha-cha type.
I'm surfing Youtube at my desk, (because it's research) ...
If you'd walked into my office just before 11 on Friday morning, it may have appeared to the untrained eye as though I were simply gawking out the window, perhaps longing to start my weekend a little early, to get out there and enjoy that glorious midday sunshine.
But you would be wrong. You would be forgiven, but you would be wrong. No, my friends, I was not just wasting time, staring out the window.
I am a PAID OBSERVER and I professionally observed a couple of city workers changing the lamp on a street light out on Yonge Street.
But through further in-depth coverage of this event I also observed a banner hanging from the stanchion attached to the lamp post. The banner is one of thousands you see around the city promoting some slice of life in Toronto. Some of them promote the great music or great theatre ...
Wow. It was a 22 and a half hour meeting. Toronto City Councillors and the Clerk are pretty sure it was the longest meeting since amalgamation in 1999. It was weirder, wackier and wilder than usual, considering there were nearly 350 public deputants lined up to offer their views and advice on how and where the City should spend its cash.
Interesting to see Councillors leaving the room around 5 o’clock in the morning, (about 20 hours after the meeting began) to grab the newspapers so they could read about the meeting that was still going on!
Now for those of you who think they accomplished anything you have to know that the Committee simply voted in favour of accepting the KPMG reports and asking staff to take a closer look at the Core Services findings. This isn't even close to being finished. Staff still need to complete an efficiency ...
Just a question …
Am I the only one struck by the irony of a protest by religious advocates over prayer in our schools that degrades into an irrational bigotted shouting match? That’s what came of a demonstration outside the Toronto District School Board offices earlier this week. At issue is a weekly prayer session for Muslim students at a North York School. The protest was a gathering of ecumenical activists whose common ground was essentially “the enemy or my enemy is my friend”.
The demo was spearheaded by Ron Banerjee, the self proclaimed head of Canadian Hindu Advocacy. He was joined by the Christian Heritage Party and the Jewish Defence League. It was pretty much a platform for Banerjee to spout spin thinly veiled hateful misinformation.
Rather than convincing me that prayer and religion have no place in school I'm more convinced that neither religion nor prayer has much ...
I’m reading Robert Weiner’s book called LIVE FROM BAGHDAD. Weiner was CNN’s senior producer in the Iraqi capital the night the U.S. led coalition unleashed Operation Desert Storm.
There is a line in the book that summarized the whole mess by saying - the more you know about the Middle East the less you understand. That pretty much applies to Toronto City Hall and I'm not just talking about the paid observers who make up the press gallery at the HALL.
It's clearly the case for the forty four elected members of that council – and particularly our Mayor. The more they know about City Hall, the less they really seem to understand about how it works - never mind how it should work.
Here we are nine months since Rob Ford was elected Mayor of Toronto and he continues to make up numbers. He just spouts this crap off ...
Just a note on all the furor and outrage over the verdict in the CASEY ANTHONY trial. She's the florida mom who was acquitted of murdering her 2 year old daughter. The one who was convicted on four counts of lying to police investigating the little girl’s disappearance. The one who was sentenced to four years in jail and four thousand dollars for telling those lies. The one who’s going home less than a week after sentencing was passed because she’d already spent three years in prison while facing charges and trial for Caley’s murder. The one who, by all accounts, was well behaved during her stay with the STATE of FLORIDA.
Can I just say the jury got it right? I will. The jury got it right.
The social media mob mentality and courthouse rallies blew up as soon as the verdict was read - primarily because the MEDIA ...
I would be among those who would sniff at the Rupert Murdoch “News of the World” and dismiss it for what it is - tabloid rag. The difficulty for me is that rag is viewed as real journalism. So the cell phone hacking scandal that forced the 168 year old LONDON paper to close splashes on all media outlets because, for better or worse, all media gets lumped into the complaints and conversations.
This would be one of those times when I am embarrassed by my industry. So whether it is out of spite or a self righteous streak, I’ll admit that part of me is actually pleased to see that the paper has crashed and burned. It's the right thing. Not sure it will make any difference in the way news gets covered in the UK. Yes, hundreds of people lost their jobs. I’m sure they find jobs with ...
The countdown hit a minor bump with just over thirty seconds on the clock but the weather over Florida co-operated and the Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off Friday morning just before 1130am ET. The Atlantis mission is the last shuttle mission. It's likely this mission will get more media attention than usual only because it's the last one.
But there are some important stories that need to be told as NASA prepares to mothball the program. If you were a kid in the 60's you will know the name John Glenn. He was the first American to orbit the EARTH and Glenn's worried the US has all but given up on the final frontier. There is no plan to replace the SHUTTLE program.
“Now because the Shuttle’s going down," says Glenn, "we won’t even have our own means of getting into space.” It may be five years before the ...
The change in the weather may be long overdue but it is welcomed nonetheless. As we make the turn into June, we move into prom season, wedding season, and festival season. T’is the season to be outside!
We had a long list of outdoor activities on the agenda here in Toronto this past weekend and it spawned the predictable chorus of whining and complaining. The most vocal complainers come from Mayor Ford’s camp. Brother Doug is repeating the same ridiculous nonsense that came up in last fall’s mayoral campaign. We need to move these events off of our streets and into parks.
The Mayor and his team would have you believe that this city grinds to a halt “every weekend” all because of the local street festivals and walks and runs and charity events that pop up once the weather gets warmer.
You had no idea that there ...
It's Memorial Day weekend south of the border and it's Memorial Cup weekend here in the GTA. That’s the Junior Hockey equivalent to the Stanley Cup. Boasting rights as Canada's best junior hockey team is on the line and we're down to the final three.
The Semi Finals are set for Friday night at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga featuring the St. Mike's Majors going head to head with the Kootenay Ice. The winner moves on to the Sunday night final against the St. John Sea Dogs. As many of you know I'm a St. Mike's Old Boy so, needless to say, I'll be pulling for the Majors.
The last time St. Mike's played in the Memorial Cup, it was a best of seven final. The Majors beat the Edmonton Oil Kings four games to two and all those games were played in the Edmonton Gardens. That was back ...
So tell me this. What would you do if your neighbour had a couple of puppies in the house, (for argument sake we’ll call them Bentley and Barkley the Golden Labradoodles) and your neighbours kept the dogs tied in the back yard? What if they never took them for a walk? What if they never let them run around in the school yard behind your house?
Hands up if you think that’s a mistreatment of Bentley and Barkley?
Sure it is. And if word got around that Bentley and Barkley were being penned up or housebound day in and day out, there’d be outrage in this social media world of ours. There would be calls for OSPCA investigations, if not strongly worded memos! There’d be letters to the editor and scathing comments posted online.
Now what if Bentley and Barkley were kids and not dogs?
The outrage and steam are ...
It's a big weekend for Runners in the GTA.
We've got the International Marathon here in Toronto on the SAME DAY as the Mississauga Marathon.
Now, I'm a member of the club; I'm a runner - done four or five marathons, half a dozen half marathons and a few triathlons. You don't need to convince me about the merits of marathoning. All the great cities of the world have great Marathons. They are destination events in New York and Chicago and London and Berlin and Boston and Vancouver.
Tens of thousands of runners travel to these cities every year to take part in these events and they typically bring their support and cheerleading crew. So those numbers grow exponentially when you talk about the total visits and dollars generated by these events.
BUT we are ass backwards - AGAIN - when it comes to taking advantage of this opportunity.
Well, now you've gone and done it!
You got so mad the federal government was forced to say something!
And you know they're taking it seriously. They're responding to the real needs and worries of Canadians and nobody's running for re-election! AND, just to punctuate the point, they staged a photo op/media briefing in the drive way of an “average Canadian family”, just to show they care and understand.
For all intents and purposes, Industry Minister Tony Clement took the opportunity to state the obvious when it comes to the effects of gas costs.
“We understand that household budgets across the country are very tight” says Clement. “And we are hearing the questions and concerns about rising fuel prices. We know that the high cost of gasoline can be a burden for Canadian families. Everyone is feeling the pinch at the pumps.”
So he's committed to doing something about it. ...
From the British Airways staffers at Heathrow to the Canada Customs agent at Pearson International Airport; from the list of radio hosts across the country who had me on their programs over the past week to family, friends, colleagues and co-workers, the most often asked question has been – So!? How was it?
It was a ROYAL Blur!
Covering the Royal Wedding is the kind of assignment that tests your journalistic abilities, your sense of timing, your stamina, and your bladder!
But tests shmests! It was an unbelievable experience.
Many of the million who jammed the “Mal” on wedding day told me they couldn’t see a bloody thing except for the backs of heads and perhaps a fleeting glance of the Landau or a limo from where they were in that crowd, but they all felt the need to be there for the experience.
Just as it is on any ...
While we all trundle off to the polls, Londoners will be relaxing and enjoying their second “Bank Holiday” Monday in as many weeks. And by Tuesday morning, as London is getting back to business after the Royal nuptials, we will be getting used to a whole new political landscape in Ottawa.
This federal election will be historic no matter the final outcome, if only because we Canadians are more engaged in this campaign than we have been in years. It may or may not be reflected in the voter turnout; it may or may not be reflected in the “orange crush” surge by Jack Layton’s NDP and an historic number of New Democrat seats in the House of Commons.
But when all is said and done, the only thing that’s clear from the polling is that the final picture is anything but clear. The Compas Poll released Sunday morning suggests ...
There’s no doubt that London’s prepared for a party this week. Union Jacks draped from flag standards up and down the mall, (or the MAL as I have been corrected.) It’s the magnificent broad boulevard that leads to Buckingham Palace. At the other extreme, street vendors and souvenir hawkers are jostling for prime space on the sidewalks throughout the City of Westminster. Add the warmest April on record, an unofficial 11 Day weekend and there’s a grand buzz on the streets of the UK capital.
But of course, security is top of mind for everyone here as well as the Wedding Day approaches. Now I’ve had the experience of covering the G20 weekend in Toronto, the Inauguration of Barack Obama in D.C., the funeral of Pope John Paul in Rome. And while this may be billed as one of the biggest security efforts in recent history, I’ve gotta tell you ...
I know I was lamenting the lack of Canadian news over here in Britain, but when you check out the local papers it’s clear that only the names change. The stories, however, remain the same.
While we brace ourselves for Monday’s federal election and what appears to be an historic polling performance by Jack Layton’s New Democrats, London’s INDEPENDENT has a front page story all about the UK parties sniping and finger pointing as Brits get ready to vote in a national referendum on Alternative Voting. It’s essentially a proportional representation debate.
It might be interesting to see where Jack Layton lands on this debate if indeed he ends up with more seats than his popular vote would support..
Check out the Daily Mail and they’re taking issue with salaries being paid to head teachers. Not quite a SUNSHINE list because the paper had to dig for the ...
When I tell people I’m in London with the NEWSTALK 1010 team to cover the Royal Wedding, the locals want to know what Canadians think of the whole regal affair. I tell them it falls somewhere behind the Stanley Cup playoffs and a few lengths ahead of the federal election. Interesting to note, the Brits are aware of just how important our traditional Spring hockey tournament is to the national psyche, but very few are even aware that we’re heading to the polls a week today.
I know there is no shortage of pre-nuptial naysayers among you; no shortage who insist that you couldn’t give a rat’s rectum about Kate the Commoner being bound by Windsor knot to Prince William on Friday morning of this week. Then there are those who rank somewhere between skeptics and cynics, prepared to post a wager on the life span of this matrimonial match. ...
So, here we are well into another Stanley Cup tournament and another year when the game is losing traction. The on ice stories are being overwhelmed again by office distractions. And most of those distractions come directly from the NHL's head office.
Most of the hockey watchers are focused on the impending announcement of pro hockey's return to Winnipeg. All the insiders claim to know for certain that the Phoenix Coyotes will be packing up their gear and heading for Portage and Main before the puck drops next fall.
Of course, the League has handled this with club fisted deftness - nodding yes while saying no - all the while the desert dogs are in the middle of a first round tilt against the Red Wings. It's a variation on last year's distraction....which included all the backroom Ballsillie drama....
So, the only thing that's clear is the NHL learned nothing ...
“OUCH” just doesn't say it.
There doesn’t seem to be any relief from the pain at the pumps. Looks like we’re just going to get use to paying a buck thirty-ish for a litre.
Not that I need one, but it’s just another reason why I wouldn't want to be doing a 2 hour commute every day. I had some work to do with our St. Catharines stations last week and was reminded of the stress and pressure that comes with that kind of daily grind. But the the Canadian Federation of Municipalities actully quanitified the cash costs. Sitting in stop and go gridlock costs the economy $292 million dollars and Canadians have wasted 2.7 million working days stuck in traffic.
My normal round trip takes less than forty five minutes. There’s no way I could put up with 80 or 90 minutes on a good day. Add a 30% ...
As you know by now, the “media consortium” and the three major Federal parties have agreed to reschedule the French leaders’ debate because of a conflict with the Habs-Bruins playoff opener.
Now that you’re finished tsking and feigning outrage because we’ve “moved the debate to accommodate a hockey game”, give your head a shake. There’s nothing wrong with this decision, (which has nothing to do with accomodating a hockey game, by the way). We couldn’t have scheduled the debates any sooner in the campaign, and the hockey schedule wasn’t set until this past weekend. So, moving the French debate to a night when more French Canadians would watch makes all the sense in the world.
Why wouldn't they avoid that kind of conflict? The HABS playoff game will be appointment tuning across the country on Thursday night, nevermind in Quebec. It’s also important to note that the game is a ...
As many of you will know, I have committed a good deal of my time and energy to coaching and mentoring young athletes, broadcasters and musicians over the past thirty years or so. I did it because I had great coaches and mentors - none better than my dad Dave. But I was also blessed to know the men of St. Michael's as a young man. I know some of you have shared that experience. They were formative years that continue to inform my life and values. That's where I met and learned great lessons from the likes of Martin Story, Neil Hibberd and Robert MacKinnon.
Thirty six years after darkening the doorways of 1515 Bathurst Street, St. Mike's is still part of my regular routine - playing my weekly hockey match with the Old Timers and, most recently, I've put a few hours into an exciting new project at ...
This is one of those stories that got buried in the past few days and needs to be told.
I heard Dave Agar talking about it Tuesday morning and it astounds me there hasn't been more made of it. Thanks to the SUNSHINE LIST, we know that a former deputy minister of health was paid more than three quarters of a million dollars last year. But this same guy he resigned his post in November 2009. Ron Sapsford never worked for the government in 2010.
To add insult to injury Sapsford quit (he wasn't fired). He quit at the height of the e-health scandal at Queen's Park. Sapsford was the deputy health minister who helped create the electronic health records program and ended up being e-health's interim CEO after Sarah Kramer was forced from the post.
As Newstalk1010's Katie Franzios is reporting, the Premier's essentially washing his hands of the ...
So the games dwindle down to a precious few for the Toronto Maple Leafs and this will be another April when they clear out their lockers following the final game of the season. That will happen when they take on the playoff bound Montreal Canadiens on Hockey Night in Canada.
The Leafs will not make the playoffs.
BUT rather than uttering that annually hopeless mantra of “MAYBE NEXT YEAR" I think Leaf Nation can confidently say definitely NEXT YEAR. No, I’m not suggesting a parade next June, but based on the way they roared through the Winter of 2011, these Leafs will not only be entertaining, I’m predicting they’ll finish top 6 in the East!
They’re the only team in the league with three thirty goal scorers, (assuming Grabovski and Kulemin can pop one in the final three games). They’ve got two certified studs on defence in Captain Phaneuf and ...
Are you kidding me?
- Listen to Dave Trafford at 12noon Monday to Friday for his View of the News and the FINAL WORD...on Newstalk1010.
What's all the Fuss and fury over this week's NOW Magazine cover? Let’s face it – the entire incident has only reinforced the Magazine’s and the Mayor’s brands. NOW and Ford simply played to type.
Who is seriously surprised that NOW ran a photoshopped picture of the Mayor - showing off his boxers and a big bare belly on the cover next to the headline - THE NAKED TRUTH ABOUT ROB FORD ? The urban hip rag has always been a thorn in the side of anything that resembles a moderate perspective never mind anyone who even slightly limps to the right. So Ford is an obvious target.
It's a tabloid headline, a tabloid photo, from a tabloid paper. NOW Editor Alice Klein was a guest on Moore in the Morining saying it was all fair game. The cover and story photos are in the great tradition of satirical political ...
With all due respect to our friend and colleague Jerry Agar, investing in Public Transit benefits all of us - whether you routinely ride the rocket or not. It's about keeping the city moving in a timely and affordable fashion. So, rather than talking about hiking fees for a ride, (as Jerry suggested during his Thursday show), we should actually be talking about the other extreme – lowering the rates.
I always think that the TTC would have been a loss leader if it had been run by the late Honest Ed Mirvish. Ed built an international business that included retail, restaurants and entertainment on the back of a Discount Store and free Christmas turkeys because he understood the value of moving traffic through his store, his eatery and his theatres.
I've got news for you, if the transit fares cost next to nothing, (if not nothing), we'd have ...
The first three or four days on the federal election campaign were swamped by all the talk about a Liberal, NDP, Bloc coalition. Good news is, we’ve changed that channel. Bad news is, we're all in a fuss over whether Elizabeth May should have a podium at the leaders's debate.
The media consortium says “No” simply because the Green Party isn't represented in the House of Commons. The networks are right. Not that a seat in the Commons should guarantee a seat at the debate, but the fact of the matter is, the party has never elected a member of Parliament.
Cue the complaining.….and if that doesn't work get the lawyer on the line.
Elizabeth May, the offended Green Party leader, is not going to take NO for an answer. She’s going to press her case with the support of legal opinion, (if not authority). To be honest with you, ...
I know you’ve had a hectic week and you may not have had the chance to waste time surfing the net….er….I mean….doing the kind of in-depth research expected of us in the Newsroom. Here are some of the pressing headlines that may have been below your radar.
Now...yer up to date!
- Listen to Dave Trafford at 12noon Monday to Friday for his View of the News and the FINAL WORD...on Newstalk1010
Talk about a dumb idea.
The notion that we should be hiring a citizen CEO to run the business side of the Police Service while leaving the operational issues to the Chief is absurd.
If you believe the reports floating around this morning the Mayor's office is floating that idea in his inner circle. The spin suggests it would free the Chief up to deal with the law and order stuff and not clutter his agenda with administrivia details.
As a matter of perspective there are at least 10 hospitals in the GTA and Hamilton regions where the President and CEO is a professional healthcare giver. Six GTA hospitals have registered nurses at the helm. Four are led by MD's. Isn't that what we want? Healthcare professionals making the budget and resource decisions in a healthcare institution?
We need a good and experienced cop making the big decisions ...
How's this for a healthcare hook....
A clinic in West Des Moines Iowa has launched a new ad campaign focused on the March Madness tournament. (i.e., the NCAA Basketball Championship). It will spawn bouncing ball jokes when you hear that the clinic is urging men to : Have a vasectomy on Thursday or Friday then spend the weekend recovering while watching NCAA tournament basketball.
The ad reads, “After your vasectomy: Stay on the couch. 32 games in two days. Return to work on Monday.”
The clinic performed 102 vasectomies in March 2010 when the ads debuted. There are 129 procedures scheduled for this month.
We don't know whether all the snips are being performed on March Madness Nuts.
- Listen to Dave Trafford at 12noon Monday to Friday for his View of the News and the FINAL WORD...on Newstalk1010.
This is the Lenten Season in the Christian Church. It is the time for the faithful to prepare for the gift and blessings of Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and Lent reaches its dramatic crescendo on Good Friday – commemorating the death of Christ. While there are plenty who can better navigate the catechesis, I can tell you that Lent is supposed to be a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Ironically, there a generally accepted sense of gloom about the Lenten season as we enter the most promising and uplifting calendar season. There is repentance in the air right alongside Daylight Saving Time and the urge to get back into the garden. While I expect there is something poetically purposeful about that, Lent is metaphorically the time to take stock of what’s about to grow in that garden.
Prayer, fasting and almsgiving all sound like very heavy, if ...
We know the province will be tabling a budget in a couple of weeks. But the latest news out of the Park suggests the province is set to merge or axe thirteen agencies. It's been labeled an “austerity program” by the McGuinty Liberals.
Among the agencies being targeted is the STADIUM CORPORATION OF ONTARIO. Yes...the STADIUM CORPORATION OF ONTARIO. I know. You're wondering, “Why do we need or have a STADIUM CORPORATION OF ONTARIO?”
Well, that was the corporation oversaw the construction and operation of SkyDome. Remember SkyDome? The Dome cost about a half a billion bucks to build and was home to the soon to be World Series Champion Blue Jays and things were good and giddy in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
It was good at least until the Stadium Corporation managed to drive that business into the ground and the value of the asset right along ...
The re-trial of two men charged with the murder of Jordan Manners is set to begin next week. There were pre-trial issues to dispose of and the business of choosing the jury. All of that’s been taken care of, and the case will start March 21st.
Of course, this case will attract a good deal of interest from the media and the public as it deals with the circumstances that led to the murder of fifteen year old Manners – shot and killed in the hallway of his high school – C.W. Jeffreys. It happened nearly four years ago now.
It’s safe to say this trial will likely take a while to complete. Most trials take a few days maybe a week or two at most. But I'd expect this onewill be measured in months. So that in itself posed some challenges when it came to choosing a jury.
Just a few notes on the debate that has gripped the hockey industry in this country, (and let’s face it, nobody beyond our borders gives a rats rectum about this “problem”). You need to check out a weekend piece in the Toronto Star about the development of new helmets. There's some pretty interesting stuff in there that speaks to a number of problems.
First, it’s pretty clear we can make a better helmet for players to help mitigate brain injury. The designs are out there. They can’t prevent concussion but they can do better than what we’ve got now.
Second, the technology now available would make it easier to get a handle on the severity of a hit and the impact it has on the head. One of the helmet designs had airbag like technology. These things would pop when the head or helmet took blow that registered a certain ...
In case you were wondering, or didn’t know, we are in a provincial election campaign in this province. Even if you knew that, I’m guessing you’re not sure when we vote. Well, mark October 6th on the calendar. You get to cast your ballot in the provincial election just before you head off for the Thanksgiving weekend.
....and that poll result will determine who will govern the province in the coming years.
Sure, we're still more than 6 months from election day, but that doesn't stop the private pollsters from interrupting your dinner to ask who you'd vote for if an election were held today. And the latest polls have all suggested that it will be a dog fight between the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. For all intents and purposes they're in a statistical dead heat.
And that already has the pundits and know-it-alls posturing and predicting the ...
This could be symbolic of the new world order at Toronto City Hall.
There was room in the Council for the budget debate to take three days but Council gave the Ford plans its blessing at the end of day 2 so there was no need for another session. Rushed? Maybe. But a thirty three per cent reduction in meeting time must have saved a few bucks…Right?
And while the budget may be a done deal, it sounds as if Councilor Raymond Cho got an early start on next year's debate. Unless you're an avid City Hall observer....you probably haven't heard much about the Scarborough councilor. He's generally a quiet, get-down-to-business centrist who occupies the middle of the road at Council.
But Cho wasn't playing to type this week.
He launched into a speech - described as impassioned, sometimes sarcastic speech on the perils of the FORD plan. Based on ...
An update on our friend and colleague Tarek Fatah.
In case you've been out of the loop lately, the co-host of Friendly Fire was hospitalized last week complaining of back pain and weakness in his legs. He thought he'd pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve. But it was something more serious. He required emergency surgery and doctors at St. Mike's hospital removed a cancerous tumour from his back.
He's been undergoing a battery of tests and assessments as the team at St. Mike's plans his radiation and chemo treatments. The question is whether the cancer has spread and as of Wednesday morning, things are looking good.
Needless to say...the cancer diagnosis is tramautic enough. But those of you who've been through it will know that the follow up tests and scans can be all the more nerve wracking. It’s difficult to measure the emotional toll of waiting for those results.
Toronto needs a Strong Mayor. We need a Mayor who isn't simply one vote among 45 members of council. That's why the Mayors in New York and Chicago are able to drive an agenda.
Council still has to vote on the plans and policies but the Mayor and the Executive Committee have far more say in how budgets are prepared..and presented, how infrastructure programs are laid out and how taxes are levied.
Now lets be clear, this isn't about Rob Ford. It's about the office. Yes, the City of Toronto Act gave our Mayor more leeway and it gave our council more power to levy taxes. But it's not a STRONG MAYOR system.
Should the MAYOR have veto power? Absolutely. But the Mayor shouldn’t have an absolute veto. Council would need a 2-thirds vote to overturn the Mayor’sveto. That means two things – first, the Mayor couldn’t just push things ...
Big UNION doin’s in town this week. We told you about CUPE's plans to hold a three day gathering at the downtown SHERATON CENTRE and the big item on the agenda is some frank and earnest discussion about the affects of PRIVATIZATION on public service workers across the country.
Of course those conversations are going on right across the street fromToronto City Hall where the Mayor's team is taking steps towards privatizing trash collection here in town.
To his credit, National CUPE President Paul Moist was taking the high road in his interview with John Moore Wednesday morning on Newstalk1010. No overheated rhetoric; no hint of sabre rattling. Moist was sounding reasonable in his approach and analysis. That was the case, at least, until John Moore asked him to comment on critics who say unions have become obsolete – suggesting they represent fewer and fewer workers.
His answer? “It always ...
Yes, the meetings have been in the works for a while......and sure....the organizers....say they're taking the big picture view...
But, considering the tone of debate and discussion coming out of Toronto City Hall, it's pretty interesting that The Canadian Union of Public Employees is holding a three day brainstorm session here in Toronto. The delivery of quality public services in the face of underfunding and privatization will top the agenda.
Now CUPE represents more than 600 thousand workers across the country, 150 thousand of them are municipal workers and more than 24 thousand of them work here in the City of Toronto. And unless you’re living under a rock, you will know that the matter of privatization is going to be a hammer and tong battle this year. The public service contracts in Toronto expire at the end of this calendar year...that means...we can expect a short but fierce fight.
For those of you still not worried about the pain we're going to experience in the 416 as our Toronto City Council tries to fill in a $774,000,000 dollar budgetary hole, it's worth noting that our Mayor Rob Ford spent the day fighting a kidney stone rather than face this week’s gathering of the Budget Committee.
The Mayor had another appointment, the day after the meeting to check out his “lower midtown region” and by all accounts Rob Ford's doing alright. But at this writing, he still hasn't passed the stone.
His doc at Sunnybrook says the stone’s about 5-6mm in size. That’s just a little less than a quarter of an inch! That’s about the size of an orange seed!! Given its size, the stone needs some coaxing.
In the meantime it's painful – as in hurtin' right where you live!
Not to worry. The Mayor will have painkillers to help him ...
If you venture through Toronto's westend, you may come across Todd Baylis Boulevard just north of Eglinton in the Black Creek and Trethewy area. Chances are pretty good that hundreds of people come and go through that intersection...or actually drive along Baylis Blvd every week without knowing that Todd Baylis was murdered in that neighbourhood back in 1994.
Todd Baylis was a 25 year old constable on patrol when he was shot and killed on June 17th. He was chasing down a drug dealer in a Trethewy housing complex. Now, most of you will be familiar with Baylis's story because his name came up in stories and discussions following the murder of Toronto Sgt. Ryan Russell.
But one of the reason's Baylis isn't simply a footnote to the Russell story is because the city named a street after him. It’s not where he grew up, not where he lived but ...
I know it’s politically correct to cheer for the protestors in Cairo; to join the calls for democracy in Egypt. It’s an ingrained cultural reaction among we Westerners. Dictators = Bad. Democracy = Good. But, you’d think by now, that we’d have learned our lesson.
Democracy in Egypt could actually be a dangerously destabilizing agent in the Middle East.
The irony is freedom takes work. Freedom comes with responsibilities as well as rights. Not to be patronizing, but Egyptians have never had to govern themselves in a democratic fashion.
I’m no political scientist, nor am I a philosopher. I am merely an observer and my observation is: Democracy is like Jazz. It’s something that can be learned. It’s not something that can necessarily be taught. It isn’t as simple as following the will of the people. It doesn’t just happen by setting up a ballot box at a polling station.
I know we all made a grand fuss about the grand gala and grand debut of "SCORE - the Hockey Musical" at last fall’s edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Expectations were hyped beyond the movie’s ability to deliver.
It was a goofy effort to capture the culture of sticks and ice that defines the heart of this country. Heck, “Canada's Hockey Dad” Walter Gretzky was even in the movie. Walter didn’t help.
Nope...The film just didn't ring like the sound of puck snapping off the boards of an outdoor rink on a clear Winter day.
But there is a "hockey" film that does manage to do just that. It was produced in 1980 by the National Film Board. It's called the Hockey Sweater - based on a short story written by Roch Carrier.It recounts Carrier's recollections of being a young Quebecois kid. His mom ordered a Rocket Richard sweater from ...
I’ve got to admit, this Hydro story is not easy to digest when you try to understand why the province has to pay neighbouring jurisdictions to accept excess energy on our power grid. We are spending millions of dollars a year because we have no use for the surplus. Add those millions to the value of the wasted power and the net loss is significant.
Yesterday we told you that Ontario Hydro had to pay other utilities to manage our excess power at least four times this month. Today, Newstalk1010 has confirmed that Ontario Hydro had to cough up cash to other jurisdictions 11 times last year and the payout totaled approximately 6 million dollars.
When we first contacted the Energy Minister, Brad Duguid dismissed the concerns over the cash spillage suggesting it's just the way utilities do business. Duguid claims other utilities also pay Ontario to take their excess ...
Well that was a frosty bit of a weekend - bright blue skies and a real crack in the air. It’s been a while since the winter air was cold and dry enough to make your nose hairs stick together.
Evelyn Macko nailed it when she warned you your tires would feel square Monday morning with the temperatures down around -27 Celsius.I know mine c-c-c-clunked through the first couple of kilometers of the morning commute as they regained their shape.
“Yes” it was COLD and “Yes” we all talked about it.
And I heard some of the morning crew argue the merits of whether the kids should be kept inside for recess because of the frosty temperatures. As I listened I realized I can't actually remember being cold as a kid. I know have been cold and I'm sure I must have been cold when I was a kid. I ...
Events and ignorance converged this week with the highlights ranging from the ironic to the moronic. In some cases, they were both. Much of it displayed in the comment section on my last blog. (Police Were Right To Arrest Eric Brazau
The clownish behaviour of Eric Brazau during the funeral of Toronto Police Sgt Ryan Russell morphed into a surreal, disconnected “debate” over freedom of speech against a bizarre backdrop of criticism and complaint about the respect we owe our first responders who die in the line of duty. Those who showed neither regard nor respect for Sgt. Russell’s sacrifice demanded respect from Police. They complained that the “portrayal of police as heroic and self-sacrificing is, at best, tiresome.”; they dismissively suggest that Police should just suck it up - putting themselves in harms way is “part of paid duty”; they whine that the funeral services for Sgt. ...
Eric Brazau has proven one thing. There is no law against being a disrespectful twit. I can’t believe the amount of time some of you have spent praising Mr.Brazau’s clownish behaviour at Sgt. Ryan Russell’s funeral.
Brazau was among the thousands who stood on the sidewalks in downtown Toronto as thousand of first responders processed to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre ahead of the cortege carrying Russell’s flag draped casket. But Brazau was carrying a sign. On one side it simply said: “Soldier’s Die, Electricians Die and People Die”. On the other its said: “No Police State”.
On any other day he would have been ignored. On this day his ignorance was noted and another by-stander took issue with his sign. A dustup ensued and police stepped in. (There were a few on the street that day!). Brazau was taken into custody. The official line is, Brazau was removed for ...
Ripped from the HEADLINES:
Bell telemarketers aggressive, abusive: CRTC documents
So let me get this straight.
We’ve got a Broadcast Standards Council that bans a 25 year old song, based on one complaint, because the Council can't grasp the ironic use of language.
We've also got a broadcast and telecommunications regulator that gets 10 thousand complaints about Bell Canada about telemarkerters accused of spewing profanities and making threats. The CRTC takes no obvious action
A Toronto woman alleges she was gang-raped by Police in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
B.C. resident Mike Di Lorenzo was shot in the leg during a gangland execution while he was vacationing in Mexico.
…and who among you still think it’s okay to travel to Mexico?
Sikhs turned away due to kirpan
Have you heard the Quebecois definition of irony??
Representatives of the World Sikh Organization of Canada were invited to appear before a ...
For those of you who thought the Rob Ford administration was going to be a GONG SHOW at Toronto City Hall, Mississauga Council is giving the new Toronto team a run for its money.
Let's compare how things went this week.
The Ford Team had a minor fumble when the Mayor failed to make an appearance on Wednesday when Toronto Police Sgt Ryan Russell was killed. But we'll chalk that up to inexperience.
Otherwise, Mayor Ford not only presented a balanced budget to council, he drew the line in no uncertain terms for City Managers who can't manage AND he coerced, coaxed or otherwise cajoled the TTC to dial back its plans to hike fares next month.Will it work? Dunno...But Ford and company have at least been focused on City business that matters to you.
A different story in Mississauga.
We already told you about the Mayor's rant and wild tangent when she was ...
If only the snow had passed us by.
We haven’t had many snowy days in the past couple of Winters. The GTA has been spared the SNOWMAGEDON scenarios and the 416 could barely boast a dusting of the white stuff in more than a year.
But this week, we had some flurrious activity in town and woke up to about 3 or 4 centimeters accumulation on Wednesday morning. We knew it was coming and we were prepared. Oh sure, there were more collisions and bumper benders than normal, but that’s to be expected on any snowy weekday morning. Some of you still have seasonal memory loss and forget how to handle the car when the snow sticks to the road and your tires don’t.
But imagine if that snow has passed us by. You would have arrived at work without cursing the clown fishtailing his way through the neighbourhood; you ...
A message for all of you who sent the snotty emails, text messages and voice mails to our News staff and Producers because Newtalk1010 didn't announce Sgt Russell's death BEFORE it was confirmed by the Police Chief Bill Blair:
It is not our practice to rely or report on unconfirmed reports of someone being killed, especially when it’s a police officer being killed in the line of duty.
We heard and saw what you heard and saw.
And you will have heard and saw there was nothing official attached to the reports. The CBC only tweeted that the MAYOR'S office had confirmed the officer's death. We contacted the Mayor's office and his staff denied making any such confirmation to the CBS. The CBC eventually had to retract the statement; clarifying that it was an “unconfirmed report”.
We preferred to wait until we had an attributable, official, reliable source confirming that ...
Well Rob Ford's got everybody's attention....
He started this year’s budget review at City Hall with a biblical allusion. The Mayor noted it's been forty days and forty nights since he was sworn into office - and in that time he faced down the temptations and historic budgeting pressures he says were the ruin of past administrations. He also managed to lead most of the department heads out of the wilderness converting them to the "Gospel of Rob."
The budget must be balanced.
It must have no tax hikes.
It must have no major service cuts.
....and he got an AMEN from all but a few of his disciples.
Yes, there are a few sinners in the flock who’ve crossed the boss. They not only failed to reduce budgets by five per cent, they presented budgets that call for funding increases. The Transit Barons and the Top Cops are among ...
A few notes about this year's edition of the WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP tournament in Buffalo.
First, there were no favourites. There may have been some legitimate questions about Norway's involvement but other than that there was no runaway squad in this tourney.
To make the point - there is a distinct possibility that the BRONZE medal winner, (either the Americans or the Swedes) will have fewer losses than the GOLD MEDAL champion. That will happen if Russia beats the Canadian kids in the final game. The best team on paper would finish THIRD.
Second, it’s abundantly clear that this tournament could and should be held in the Greater Toronto Area. It is pure unadulterated horse hockey to suggest that Toronto wouldn't support the World Juniors. Thousands of southern Ontarians crossed the border to fill the rink in Buffalo for the past 2 weeks. What makes you think we wouldn't stay home for the tournament?
At a recent Christmas gathering, a boyhood pal noted how much my brother looked like our father. Kelly expressed mock relief and I suggested, “We actually know what causes that…”
To be fair, Tom hadn’t seen Kelly in a while so his resemblance to Dad was all the more obvious, I guess. As I looked around the room that evening I saw plenty of “kids” who resembled their parents. Andrew reminds me of John as a kid; Dani looks like her mom Lisa; my niece Kate takes after Kelly’s wife Jill. We have our own “rogues” gallery of family photos on display and guests often think that the cute curly haired mop top is our daughter Erin, (but it’s her mom Anne).
So, when I look at Kelly, I agree: he resembles our Dad. But it’s not just “looks”. It’s “the get of him”, as my Mom would say, that ...
All kinds of fuss and fluster about Hollywood’s inability to create a Christmas Classic movie, one that would compete with the likes of “A Christmas Carol” starring Alastair Sims, or “It’s A Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.
The answer is simple. We in the media has lost any sense of what Christmas really is all about. We crank up the carols and deck the halls in November and shut it all down on December 26. We play the 12 Days of Christmas on the radio right up until they arrive!
The Christmas season, as far as most are concerned, will end on Saturday. (It actually starts Saturday and ends the first week of January.)
That’s why you can’t get a Christmas movie made for the theatres. Who wants to go to a Christmas release of a Christmas show, when you’ve already got the tree out at the curb.
So, we ...
Just to make it clear...
NO: you shouldn't throw stuff on the rink......during a hockey game.
YES: you should be spoken to sternly; you maybe even be asked to leave the arena if you’re tossing foreign objects over the boards.
BUT do we really need to get the cops involved?
The toughest the TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS can get in the month of December is to crack down on a 31 year old Oakville guy who let fly with a fist full of Eggos during third period play between the LEAFS and the THRASHERS earlier this week.
Police have busted Joseph Robb, charging him with mischief.
Newstalk 1010's Mark Carcasole dropped in on the outdoor practice the Leafs held at Trinty-Bellwoods Park Wednesday morning...and the waffle toss was all the talk. Check out the audio I’ve attached to this blog
For the record, we called Mr. Robb for a comment on ...
Triage staff in Emergency Wards is trained to ask the questions that will help determine the severity of and treat a patient's ailment. At St. Mike's hospital in Toronto, emerg nurses are asking women if they “feel safe at home”. The point is to identify victims of domestic violence - many of whom may be reluctant to come forward. What's noteworthy is the women needn't show signs of being abused.
I heard all the reactions this morning. “It's unnecessary”. “It's intrusive.” “It assumes men are monsters.” I've got to admit, my initial reaction to the story was to be dismissive. But there are reasons to ask the question.
St. Mike's hospital is dubbed the Urban Angel - a world class trauma centre; a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto - situated in an inner city neighbourhood that is home to some of this city's most vulnerable and marginalized people. So the St. ...
There are just some things that are too funny for words, so I’ll spare you my lack of literacy and leave you to add the laugh track.
This is how we found doing our “research” in the Newsroom this morning.
Consider this our gift of giggle for you and yours.
- Listen to Dave Trafford at 12noon Monday to Friday for his View of the News and the FINAL WORD...on Newstalk1010
The last time he wrote for the Montreal Gazette in April 2010, he was anticipating that he might not make it to another Christmas. But Tony Proudfoot made it and the former CFL star wrote a piece this week that was published in the Gazette and the National Post.
He begins by quoting the Walrus from the Lewis Carroll classic "Through the Looking Glass" who says, “The time has come to talk of many things.” And Proudfoot did just that in a personal, poignant first person display of self awareness and courage.
Proudfoot's elite athletic body has been withered by the ravages of the same disease that killed and bears the name of Yankee great Lou Gehrig. He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in May of 2007 and, by its nature, ALS attacks the body but with an evil biological twist allows the mind to remain alert and intact. So Proudfoot, like thousands of others, ...
Two weeks before Christmas is normally hell
For Assignment Desks scrounging for stories to tell.
But this year is different – I’m pleased to report.
Our gift is Don Cherry and new Mayor Rob Ford.
The seasonal news may be all red and rushin’
But pinkos on bikes top this year’s discussion.
A clownish buffoon known for wearing bad suits
Is a blessing for talkshows; a ratings boost too!
Then there’s our Mayor, our “taxpayer’s hero”
Who’s bound and determined to cut waste to zero.
Don’t ask him for figures; don’t ask him for facts;
He just guarantees that he’s going to act.
The Elites have been sidelined, their perqs are passe.
He’s slashing their budgets, but won’t cut their pay.
Rob Ford says all councillors will share in the pain
He’s promised to stop that OLD GRAVY TRAIN.
So, two weeks before Christmas, we’re not ...
Dalton McGuinty won’t apologize for secretly giving police wartime powers during the G20 summit last summer. And he's right not to apologize.
What good would it do for him to say "I’M SORRY”???
We don't want an apology, some lame mea culpa laced with lines like “I'm sorry if anyone was offended” and other such politically crafted crap. We get more than enough of that.
We need and want some level of accountability.
Even before Ontario's Ombudsman released his report on the regulation secretly enacted under the Public Work Protections Act, I predicted that Police Chief Bill Blair would find himself squarely in the cross hairs. But I also said Blair's not the one who should take the brunt of the blame - if any of the blame for it.
The weight of this lies squarely in Dalton McGuinty's lap.
It was his government that passed the law.
It was his government that ...
Not sure what Rob Ford’s going to mean in your life, but it’s going to be great for the Talk Radio Business and we’re loving it. On his first official day as Mayor in the City Council Chamber, Rob Ford left it to his special guest, Don Cherry to set the tone for the day, and it was more colourful and offensive that the horrid jacket Cherry was wearing.
If you think little of Ford and Cherry already, you will think less of them now. If you are in the Co-Coaches Corner you think more highly of them. The swearing in ceremonies at Toronto City Hall made it apparent that Cherry and Ford are of one mind, and Cherry took his opportunity to speak his portion of it when he addressed the newly minted Council. It was vintage Cherry buffoonery.
Cherry played to type, not only making disrespectful and personal ...
Just a thought on the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle Campaign...
I spent some time in Chicago last week, wandering along the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. That's where Chicago went to shop on the Thanksgiving weekend. Stores and sidewalks were jammed with shoppers and at first I thought it was because there was real demand for gifts and goodies. But after about 20 minutes of walking the street, it occurred to me, some of those pedestrians were just trying to get away from the Salvation Army Bell Ringers...
They were on every street corner, swinging and ringing that bell like their hands were on fire. It wasn't long before it felt like somebody was driving a nine inch nail into my head. Things got so noisy, I found myself ducking into Ann Taylor for refuge! But it was shelter from the storm.
Keep in mind, that bell ringing was going ...
Wow…Where has the year gone? We've just blown through the final week of November. December is bearing down on us. Santa Claus has made his annual downtown splash. There are hints of winter in the forecast while shop windows and malls across the land have been buried in a blizzard of tinsel.
Buckle up folks. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is on the horizon. Yes, that means the kids get to open their calendars and scarf down their daily intake of stale chocolate – getting squirellier with each passing sleep.
For everything that will be written, said and sung about “the season” in the next month; despite the noise and the frantic pace; amid all of the chaos that consumes us, (not to mention the consumer chaos), the pressure and panic that comes with the planning and wrapping and stuffing and cooking and wishing and wanting, this season ...
You think there problems with the Commonwealth Games in India this summer? Most of the issues were related to infrastructure gaps and substandard construction. Just imagine the adventure organizers and athletes would be facing if the 2018 Winter Olympics land in South Korea. By then they may be renamed as the Nuclear Winter Games....
You know by now that the Korean peninsula lit up earlier in the week after the North launched hundreds of Southbound artillery rounds, some of which killed South Korean civilians and marines living on an island in the Yellow Sea. The heat hasn't subsided.
The Americans and South Koreans are getting set to stage military manoevres this weekend. The North has answered with its own artillery drills...warning that the Washington-Seoul move has placed the region squarely on the brink of war.
How does one gloss over that when making the glossy pitch for the 2018 Olympics? That’s ...
Yes, it's the busiest travel day in the UNITED STATES. Best guesses are there were about a million and a half of people pushing their way through lines in airports across the continent on Wednesday trying to get home or get away for the American Thanksgiving holiday.
And, yes, they all had to go through security before getting on their planes. And, yes, a staggering majority of them didn't give a rat's rectum about the “National Opt-Out Day”. Nobody - and I mean NOBODY - was protesting the pat downs or body scans.
Why? Because they just wanted to get where they're going. The only people who got excited about this junk touching junk were Newsroom Editors, internet geeks and the late night talk show gag writers.
Bloggers and all-news operations across the continent warned of long line ups and lengthy delays because of the planned protest. Nothing of note ...
I had some fun reading a piece in Tuesday’s Toronto SUN. It was penned by our friend and former colleague Brian Lilley. Brian’s made some sport and good fun out of taking on the CBC over its loss of the old Hockey Night In Canada theme. (I like to think of it as one of two alternate national anthems. It ranks right up there with Stan Rogers’ “Northwest Passage”.)
You know by now that the Corp coughed up the theme a couple of years ago. It had been a Saturday Night standard since Doris Claman penned the tune in 1968 specifically for HNIC. As the story goes, Claman was quite prepared to renew the license with HNIC. Relatively speaking, the CBC could have had the song “for a song”, but the broadcast execs balked at paying $500 per game. So it was “game on”.
CTV stepped up and bought ...
Let's see....we had the big guy and his minions and of course a good number of clowns in attendance. Yup! Rob Ford and a number of Toronto City Councillors took time out of their Sunday to catch the 106th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade.
But, as always, the parade’s about the kids. I got such a kick out of our Special Correspondents Ethan and Michael who hooked up with Newstalk1010's Shane Mercer. The pair of 6 year olds were colourful and creative in their reportage from the curb, but the best moment happened just as the parade was beginning. Ethan and Michael gamely described horses leading the way...AND the “clowns carrying garbages (sic) and shovels….It’s SO COOL”.
I'm pretty sure Ken and Melissa at CTV didn't have that kind of passionate reporting on the poop and scoop clowns. No siree….
I’ve got to admit, it’s been a while since my ...
....and he went directly to newstalk1010.com to prove it!
This story began at around 730am last Friday morning. Newstalk1010’s Amber Gero was called to the scene of an accident at the intersection of Queen's Quay and Spadina. A 60 year old cyclist had been struck by a streetcar. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Based on the information Amber got from Toronto Police, it sounds as if the cyclist rode into the path of the southbound streetcar and the mistake was fatal.
No matter how you look at it, no matter who’s to blame, this guy's family and friends will be devastated by his death. And no matter how you look at it, no matter who’s to blame, we should have some respect for the victim and his family.
But we can’t count “Ron from Etobicoke” among those of you who are family, friends or in any way sympathetic. ...
As I noted a couple of weeks ago....no sooner were the last of the ballots counted in the US midterm elections earlier this month than the next Presidential campaign began.
Barak Obama's already unofficially on the hustings simply because he's half way through his first term and will need to use the next 18 months or so to salve some of the wounds he's inflicted on the soft democratic vote that landed him in the White House. On the right side of the ledger, the Republicans are clearly in motion.
As Jim Acosta so pithily writes on CNN.com - ”Can Sarah Palin see 2012 from her house? You betcha”.
Palin's "reality show" kicked off Sunday night AND her new book, “America By Heart” will be a pre-Christmas highlight in book stores. That, my friends, is no coincidence.
The bad news for Palin is the Tea Party candidate she endorsed for governor of Alaska ...
Think its interesting to hear the Education Minister telling media that our kids need to have safe school yards and classrooms in order to succeed. She made the comments Tuesday morning at Don Mills Collegiate unveiling details of the Safe Schools Grants program. The province is investing 1.68 million dollars in the plan.
Leona Dombroski says our kids need to feel safe and know that any form or violence or harrassment is totally unacceptable.
Too bad that doesn't extend to the students attending the Pathways Education program in Regent Park. Violence in their community forced the program co-ordinators to rejig their schedule over real safety concerns. They didn't want the students walking home after 7 at night. They don’t want the kids walking the streets of Regent Park at SEVEN O’CLOCK! But the Education Minister’s willing to invest fifty grand at a crack to set up anti-bullying programs.
But there ...
There are all kinds of ways to spin numbers. That’s exactly what’s going on in Regent Park these days and none of the number spinning makes it any safer for the locals in the community.
For example: If you figure the muzzle velocity of a semi automatic hand gun and that the slugs find their mark before the sound of the shot passes. A shooting doesn't last all that long. It takes less than a second!
So, Regent Park's had 10 shootings since the summer. That's 10 seconds, give or take, among more than 31 million seconds in a year.
“Statistically”, Regent Park's a pretty safe place....RIGHT???
Ya, that's the kind of "statistical" analysis you tend to hear when we start talking about safety in the city; it’s the kind of nonsense being spun out in the wake of Newstalk1010’s Exclusive story on how the increased violence has prompted the ...
I was lucky enough to have a day out of the office, but it wasn’t a day off. It was a bright, sunny, crisp autumn morning that belied the somber tone of the hour. Christie Blatchford and I were broadcasting LIVE from the Remembrance Day observances at the Old City Hall Cenotaph in downtown Toronto. For some ninety minutes or so, the intersection of Bay and Queen Streets was closed to vehicular traffic to allow thousands of downtown residents and workers gather around the memorial monument.
As I noted in a previous blog, it’s an incredibly poignant experience and expression of shared gratitude and grief. The eleven bells toll on the Old City Hall clock tower, the bugler intones the “Last Post”, then the City observes two minutes of silence – and it’s a deafening quiet.
It’s a prayerful quiet. It’s a quiet that makes you feel uncomfortable because it ...
By this time tomorrow we'll all be back about our business. Maybe you've got a lunch date or perhaps you're heading down to the Royal Winter Fair with the kids’ class. Whatever your assigned duties for the afternoon our “remembrance duties” will have been fulfilled for another year.
But on this eve of Remembrance Day 2010, while the debate and rhetoric swirls around Canada's role in the NATO mission and whether our troops and cops should remain in Afghanistan beyond july; while we are consumed by our perennial complaints about losing our poppies; while we all secretly delight at the thought of making Remembrance Day a statutory holiday – (because who couldn’t use a day off at this time of year?) - lest you forget, eighteen Canadians have been killed in action and an untold number have been wounded and maimed in Afghanistan since last we last gathered on November ...
We told you this about a year ago when the province unveiled its Economic Statement last Fall. The McGuinty government denied it, saying the worries were overblown.
Don't think so....Unless something drastic happens, something drastic is about to happen. Ontario is facing the kind of public service layoffs, downloading and service cuts we saw during the Harris years in the 90's.
We've got yet another arbitrator saying public sector workers should be given a raise in their next contract. This time it's Kevin Burkett, who happens to be one of the most respected arbitrators in the country. According to reports, Burkett has awarded a pay hike to about 16 hundred healthcare workers at 38 hospitals across the province.
Most of the news reporting on this includes copy that says something like: “The pay hike was awarded despite the government's decision to freeze public sector wages...”
WRONG!…on a couple of counts.
So, how many of you were rhyming off your own cabbie stories when you heard that a Toronto taxi ride costs more than a cab ride in New York, Paris or Los Angeles?
Yes, a cab ride in Toronto’s wildly exorbitant.
Just last week, I ended up tacking $100 onto the cost of an evening out just because I wanted to have a cocktail before dinner and a glass of wine with my meal. One hundred dollars! It was a fifty-plus dollar fare to the Porter terminal at Bathurst Quay to catch a flight to Halifax this past weekend. When we arrived back on the Island early Sunday evening there wasn't a taxi to be seen. There were about 80 people hanging around outside that terminal wanting to go home or get to their hotel and NOT ONE CAB!
The excuse? The Bills and the Bears game at Skydome. Really? ...
One day later and I'm now convinced that the KKK and blackface slave costumes at the Campbellford Legion were a good thing.
Because now, at least, the racists and their apologists aren't hiding in plain sight. They are front and centre, speaking up, (often in vile terms), making it clear that there is a certain constituency among us who see absolutely nothing wrong with Halloween embarrassment. Up until now, they were an invisible minority.
Fortunately, most of you know and understand full well that the pointy hood and the black slave in tow is not JUST A COSTUME and it wasn't “just a party”.
It's the KKK: born and bred white supremacists waving the confederate flag – the flag of the pre-civil war south- the LAND OF THE FREE and the HOME OF THE SLAVE. The hooded Klansman and the “black slave” with the noose around his neck ...
There are no laws against stupidity, bad taste or ignorance.
Nor are there any laws against wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit draped in a confederate flag. Nor are there any laws against including a white guy - in blackface with a noose around his neck as a costume accessory.
But surely there'd be outrage; surely there'd be embarrassment and disgust if someone were to show up at your Halloween party in that kind of get up. Surely these clowns wouldn't get past the front door - maybe not at your house.
But it seems this was suitable attire at Branch 103 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Campbellford on the weekend. The local legion held its Halloween Party on Saturday night and the KKK character, with his Blackman in tow, was parading through the legion hall. The only one who seems to have done anything about it was Mark Andrade. ...
If it weren't for his sister, we wouldn't have paid any attention to him today. A 17 year old kid skips class and doesn't go home after school. The first thought for most is...he's rebelling, just doing what lots of 17 year olds do so there's no real reason to worry.
But this 17 year old. is brother to Mariam Makhniashvili. She disappeared without a trace a year ago September. So there were a few flags and a few more eye brows raised when George was declared missing by his parents. The scenario begged all kinds of questions and was met with even more speculation.
But as you heard just after 630 Tuesday morning on MOORE IN THE MORNING, George was ushered by Toronto Police from 53 Division into his family’s apartment on Roe Hampton Avenue. To hear his father a few hours later, it sounds like the young guy ...
This won't come as much of a surprise if you've got kids in school – particularly the public system.
A report by People for Education says parent councils spend less time working with parents and principals to improve student achievement than they do trying to raise money. You might remember that these councils were set up in the Harris years, presumably to give moms and dads more of a hand in the way their kids’ educational experience. It wasn’t about the curriculum, it was about making sure that parents had a means of better understanding school policies and activities; it was about communication; it was about helping organize and being involved in school activities.
Fifteen years after being introduced, parent councils are all about MONEY.
The report suggests that schools across the province raise more than half-a-billion dollars a year – HALF A BILLION!! That’s a lot of pizza days, ...
As the old saying goes: "Throw enough crap at the wall and some of it will eventually stick". There's no shortage of crap slinging at Queen's Park.
It took FIVE days and THREE tries for Ontario's Minister of Research and Innovation to apologize for the torqued language in his Twitter rants he posted last weekend.
The only reason Glen Murrary has finally issued an "unconditional" apology is because the grief isn't going away. There isn't a broadcaster in this country that would have gotten away with that lack of discipline on the air or online!
Just a note for those of you looking for a compelling read....
You need to pick up Christie Blatchford's new book - Helpless.
Those of you who are close and careful listeners to Newstalk1010 will know that Christie is a regular contributor to Moore in the Morning and the LIVE DRIVE with John Tory. Oh ya, she spends a good deal of her time and energy writing her column for the Globe and Mail.
Christie's already a Governor General Award winner for her outstanding book called Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army - focussing on the lives and experiences of our soldiers who've served and died in Afghanistan.
Helpless is Blatchford's unvarnished view of the Native occupation in Caledonia - turned violent stand off; turned battle of attrition; turned a blind eye by Ottawa, Queen's Park, the OPP and most of ...
If it takes more than 140 characters to apologize for something you posted on TWITTER then you've got a serious problem.
Glen Murray’s got a serious problem.
He posted messages on his Twitter site over the weekend that accused Ontario Tory leader Tim Hudak, Mayoralty Candidate Rob Ford and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of being bigots. That’s WAY OVER THE LINE for anyone - never mind a minister of the crown.
Dalton McGuinty’s Minister of Research and Innovation issued an explanation, a justification, which he seems to think qualifies as an “apology”. It reads as follows:
“The use of hateful homophobic messages in the final days of the municipal election demands a response from all leaders.
This kind of divisive intolerance that is more pervasive in American conservative campaigns is increasingly making its way into right wing messages here in Canada.
I do not believe Rob Ford or Stephen Harper ...
Not that they will have much effect but I do think it’s interesting to read the editorials in the Mississauga News and the Toronto Star this week.
Both papers make it abundantly clear that Hazel McCallion deserves respect for her long years of public service - but longevity alone can't be the sole criteria for being appointed to yet another term as Mayor of Mississauga. I noted some time ago, McCallion can't possibly need more time to "finish the job", to complete the vision, to fulfill her mandate. McCallion's been in the Mayor's Chair since 1978!
In all that time, Mississauga's best known as former farmland carved up by 12 lane highways that's close to the airport. It represents all that's gone wrong with GTA urban planning in the past thirty years; a seemingly endless sprawl of cookie cutter suburban development, industrial and commercial centres, and acres of boxes stores. Just ...
There can be no comfort found in the Russell Williams story.
I know the columnists are struggling with their copy, trying to ensure that Marie France Comeau's courageous fight for life is not lost among the lurid accounts of her attack and murder; that Jessica Lloyd's stoicisms and nobility in the face of her humiliation and certain death at the hands of a coward not be buried by the density of documents detailing the depths of Williams depravity.
But there is no comfort in hearing or reading any of it. It is the stuff that churns the innards of even the most hard boiled of observers – journalists, cops and Crown alike. There is no way to frame the facts of this story and come close to any real sense of the loss of dignity suffered by these women nor the inhumane contempt they were subjected to at the hands of Russell ...
I had 8 grandparents when I was born. EIGHT!
Grandma Meilleur was my mum's GREAT Grandmother – my GREAT GREAT Grandmother! Nan Bissell, Grandma and Grandpa Dantineau were my Great Grandparents.
And I have memories of all of them.
I remember making the trip from the Soo to visit Grandma and Grandpa Dantineau on McGill St in downtown Toronto. That was just around the corner from Maple Leaf Gardens!
Nan was living at Kipling Acres by the time we moved to Toronto in 1968.
And Grandma Meilleur actually ended up in the Guinness Book Of World Records...She was the oldest person on the planet when she died at the age of 117 in 1998. My own kids still have the Christmas cards she used to send them.
But today is the first day of my life on this planet without a living grandparent.
STUART TRAFFORD passed away quietly on October 14th at St. Hilda's ...
Boy....you are a fickle bunch...
A year ago...he had some of the worst approval rating numbers ever seen. They were worse than Brian Mulroney's! Almost 8 in 10 of you were wiping your hands saying "good freakin' riddance". Ten months of campaigning here in Toronto has taken pot shot after pot shot at his legacy.
But the latest numbers from the Ipsos Reid polling done exclusively for Newstalk1010 suggest David Miller has an approval rating of nearly 60 per cent!
FOR THE RECORD: The unpoken thought bubble above the mayor's head reads....nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah....
- Listen to Dave Trafford at 12noon Monday to Friday for his View of the News and the FINAL WORD...on Newstalk1010.
I told you this was going to be the most important week in the municipal election campaign...
....And I told you it was going to start at 4pm Wednesday, October 13 on the LIVE DRIVE with John Tory.
Boy, did it!
We released the Ipsos Reid poll, done exclusively for Newstalk1010, and the results make it clear that the race for the mayor's chair is shaping up to be a squeaker. In fact,it paints a pretty interesting picture of what the candidates are facing in the coming days.
That future was obviously pretty bleak for Rocco Rossi. He was polling below the margin of error and that prompted him to shut down his campaign.
But true to form Rossi's most important message didn't cut through. (I know you're thinking the key message was his decision to quit the race, but it wasn't. He was out of the race whether he ...
Checking the weather forecast and the conditions don’t exactly make you think of HOCKEY!
But t'is the opening weekend of a new NHL season and Toronto is still the centre of that universe – despite or in spite of the lousy play we see perennially from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Leafs are embarking upon what will be their latest six month exercise in futility. And that’s okay because this once great hockey Mecca has become a “market” where flirting with mediocrity would exceed the wildest of expectations.
The puck hadn’t even dropped on the home opener against the Canadiens at the ACC and our Sports guys – Mike Toth and PJ Stock were opining that Ron Wilson’s job was already on the line – i.e., he’d get the gate if the Leafs don’t demonstrate some on ice commitment to being marginally adequate. Missing the playoffs by a point or ...