Open Sources Guelph - November 16, 2017

19Nov

This week on Open Sources Guelph it's a Canadian affair. We sometimes get so enraptured in the pinball machine south of the border, and the sometimes devastating state of things overseas, that we don't look as closely at our country, but that's why this week's show is different. First, we'll talk about someone's talking, and then we'll talk about the latest in trade talks. And then, we'll have another one of our regular discussions with a member of city council and get an update on how things are going at city hall.

This Thursday, November 16, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Peterson Doesn't Help. Once, University of Toronto psychiatry professor Jordan Peterson was just a guy that didn't want to use gender neutral pronouns, but in today's modern backlash against political correctness, he's become a folk hero. More than that, a rich folk hero. His crowd-funding campaign to make video lectures where Peterson espouses on free speech have been extraordinarily lucrative, but he may have gone too far this time when he announced his intention to expose certain courses at U of T as "indoctrination cults." Should some professors at the U of T be concerned that their academic work is under attack, or has Peterson finally gone too far (or just far enough)?

2) TPP 2.0. Sometimes you have to go it alone, or rather go with the 10 other guys. The United States' withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as it turns out, wasn't the end of TPP after all, as the proposed partners gathered in Asia to discuss the resurrection of the massive international trade agreement. Trudeau missed one of the major ministerial meetings, which is either an epic blunder or a masterstroke depending on who you ask, but the message was loud and clear as Canada secured a number of concessions on environment and labour issues. Still, this is going to be an uphill climb in order to rally support for TPP 2.0, so how does this deal shape up as compared to the last, and will we regret that Justin Trudeau didn't go "full Trump" on the deal?

3) Radio Piper. This week, we welcome back to the show Ward 5 Councillor Leanne Piper. It's been a while since we've had a guest from council on Open Sources, so there's an awful lot to catch up on. Obviously, there's all the latest developments from the budget to discuss, and there's the pending merger approval of Guelph Hydro and Alectra Utilities to talk about. On top of that, there are still the lingering issues concerning the fallout of all the Homecoming drama, which is centralized in Ward 5 because of the University of Guelph. There's a town hall coming up next Thursday on that very subject, and we'll talk to Piper about what the current score in town versus gown really is.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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End Credits - November 16, 2017

16Nov

If you make this much news on End Credits in a week, you must be the Walt Disney Company. There are a lot concerns with Disney this week, they're banning journalists, contemplating corporate takeovers, and creating new trilogies, and in-between, the fallout of Hollywood sex abuse scandals continues as not only is old work banned, but upcoming works now as well. All that, plus a remake of a well-known murder mystery featuring one of the most famous detectives of all time...

This Thursday, November 16, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson and Tim Phillips will discuss:

1) Fox Sells Out to Bad Mouse. It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times... That's a line from a book that Disney *can't* buy the rights to (because it's in the public domain), but it still sums up nicely what's been going on at the Walt Disney Company. While picking a fight with the Los Angeles Times over, of all things, coverage about parking at Disneyland, lawyers and execs have been discussing the purchase of the 20th Century Fox film studio with that company's parent 21st Century Fox. Just what we need, more media consolidation. We'll talk about the issues with this now defunct (?) deal beyond what it means for Marvel superheroes.

2) Gone with the Wind. Allegations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and bullying have pretty much thrown Kevin Spacey off the A-list, and into the sewer. The scandal was threatening to take a lot of upcoming projects with him, like Ridley Scott's new movie All the Money in the World, but Scott and the crew have decided to take an unusual approach: replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer, and re-shoot all of Spacey's scenes with just six weeks to go before the film's release. We'll talk about why Scott can do it, and why it was the right call in order to save the movie.

3) What's Tried and True. In other Disney matters, there was, for once, good directors news concerning Star Wars directors. The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson has signed on the dotted line to develop a new trilogy of Star Wars movies that will be unconnected to anything that's come before in the franchise, an incredible vote of confidence coming a month before the release of the next, great Star Wars movie. But here's a conundrum worth discussing: What would you rather see: a new Johnson Star Wars movie series, or three movies by Johnson in the vein of his excellent films Brick, The Brothers Bloom and Looper?

REVIEW: Murder on the Orient Express (2017). The year is 1934, and a man has been murdered on a train from Istanbul to Paris. If there is a murder, then there is a murderer, and fortunately aboard this train is *possibly* the greatest detective in the world. Kenneth Branagh brings to lavish life this classic Agatha Christie mystery, and stocks his train with a murderer's row of acting talent including Dame Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Olivia Coleman, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Can the considerable intellect of Hercule Poirot sort the suspects while keeping his mustache game on point?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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Open Sources Guelph - November 9, 2017

13Nov

This week on Open Sources Guelph, more bad news. The rich are getting richer by not playing by the rules and we once again have the papers to prove it. The government is attacking walkers because a few of them are looking at their phones rather than the sidewalk, which isn't great, but hardly where the problem lies. But at the end of the day, what does any of this matter, because it turns out more of us are being killed by pollution than pestilence, famine, and all the other horsemen combined. But a very progressive positive rookie has just been elected in Montreal, so we've got that going for us, which is nice.

This Thursday, November 9, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Paradise Pity. Following up on last year’s Panama Papers is the shocking sequel, the Paradise Papers, and this one hits much closer to home as several former prime ministers, plus the Liberal Party’s chief fundraiser, have been implicated. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists got access to 13.4 million documents, or 1.4 terabytes of stolen data from two offshore firms, that implicate companies like Facebook, Apple, and McDonalds, as well as individuals like U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Queen Elizabeth II, in complex tax evasion schemes in offshore accounts. It’s not illegal, of course, but might we finally address the core problems of growing income inequality this time?

2) Plante Sale. In a surprise upset, rookie city councillor Valerie Plante defeated the experienced political insider Denis Coderre in the Montreal Municipal Election this past Sunday. Plante, now the first female mayor in the history of Montreal, will have in front of her the task of delivering on her populist/progressive agenda including a new subway line, new bike paths, and a promise to get Montreal moving again. It’s ambitious to say the least, but in reality, how much can Plante do? Her victory was not just an overthrow of Coderre, but of a number of experienced political insiders on council, so the question now becomes: can aspirational politics become politics as usual?

3) Pay of the Dead. Etobicoke MPP Yvan Baker’s got a bone to pick: all those distracted walkers that are making navigation on Ontario streets impossible. Forget the fact that the vast, vast, vast majority of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the road that are the fault of drivers, and forget the week of hell on the 400 series of highways this last week that had absolutely nothing to do with walkers, Baker, with his private members bill, thinks that all we need to do is rein in the real problem: which is pedestrians looking at their phones. Give them a ticket too, and that will teach them a lesson! Is this even enforceable? And speaking of enforceable, how’s it going reining all those distracted drivers, not to mention the aggressive drivers that are really making life more difficult on the road?

4) The Big Sick. The good news is that Nicaragua and Syria have both signed on the the Paris Climate Agreement, but the bad news is that America remains willfully ignorant and now stands alone as the only country on the planet not part of the international effort to reverse the effects of climate change. That's doubly a shame when you look at a new article in the Lancet journal of medicine, which says that the effects of environmental pollution is killing more people annually than war, smoking, hunger, natural disasters, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. That's huge. More than huge! And on top of that, there's the base economics that this bad health is costing $4.6 trillion in annual losses, or about 6.2 per cent of the global economy. Is the crass economics enough to create action, or is this more evidence that's going to be ignored by climate deniers?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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End Credits - November 9, 2017

9Nov

End Credits is back! After a needed break, we're back to business as unusual as we mark the release of one of the biggest films of the year, the latest film featuring your favourite hammer-wielding superhero. Before that though we have to slog through a week of sad news including more allegations of sex abuse in Hollywood, and a feud behind the scenes of one of your favourite franchises. But good news is here too because, apparently, video stores are making a comeback!

This Thursday, November 9, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) It Keeps Getting Worse. It's been over a month since the allegations of assault and harassment about Harvey Weinstein were first published in the New York Times, and since then the proverbial hits have kept on coming. Non-stop. This week alone, there have been an avalanche of allegations against Kevin Spacey, which resulted in him being either fired or suspended from his own Netflix show, House of Cards. Brett Ratner has also been accused of harassment, but he's taken the rare step of actually suing one of his accusers. Even Dustin Hoffman has been forced to answer for a three-decade old accusation of groping on the set of a TV-movie. What the heck is happening (has happened) in Hollywood?

2) Increasingly Furious. It's all about family. At least that's what we're told in every entry of the Fast and Furious franchise, which is about a group of hard-driving criminals who become accidental super-spies tied together in their loyalty for one and other. That's why it's so sad to see the family fall apart so publicly, as last week Tyrese Gibson said he would not appear in the ninth Fast and Furious movie if Dwayne Johnson's in it, especially after Johnson got approval for a Fast and Furious spin-off featuring his character. This follows an open feud between Johnson and Vin Diesel, and Michelle Rodriguez threatening to walk away from the franchise unless the female characters get some love. Why can't they all just get along?

3) Blockbuster Love. It's been almost eight years since Blockbuster went bust, but the video store chain was rediscovered last week in a viral video from VICE that highlighted one of the last 10 Blockbusters still open in the U.S., five of those are in Alaska, as was the store profiled. So what's behind all this video store nostalgia? Do people actually care, meaning would people actually frequent a new video store if it opened in their neighbourhood? Good question, but in the mean time, video stores are trying a new tact: turning themselves into libraries and cultural centres.

REVIEW: Thor: Ragnarok. It's hammer time! Marvel Studios makes a bold departure by recruiting Taika Waititi, director of What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, to direct the third, and perhaps most pivotal, chapter of the Thor saga. The Avenger and God of Thunder returns to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the mythical destruction of his home, and the fall of the Norse gods. Aiding Thor in his quest is his brother Loki, an Asgardian warrior named Valkyrie, and the Incredible Hulk as the quartet teams up to take on Hela, the goddess of death. A lot of action, and a lot of hilarity, follows as our heroes literally fight to stop the end of the world.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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Open Sources Guelph - November 2, 2017

6Nov

Welcome to November, and can you believe it's almost been a year since Donald Trump was first elected as President of the United States? Neither can we. It's felt like three years! But seriously, the man himself will be one of the topics on this week's Open Sources Guelph, as we dive into the highly consequential events this past Monday and what it means going forward. We'll also talk about the recent attack in New York, and why it seems to be treated differently than *other* recent events, and we'll have a sit down chat with a provincial cabinet member who is not our MPP. 

This Thursday, November 2, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) From Russia with Gov. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller tabled the first two indictments and first conviction in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, and Donald Trump immediately pledged to support Mueller to get to the bottom of... Just kidding! Of course, no one in Trump World said anything of the sort, and the fact of the matter is that Trump supporters far and wide have been calling for an investigation into Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party collusion with the Russians, which, of course, is a conspiracy theory that has no basis in reality. We'll break down the latest developments, including the testimony by the heads of social media companies in front of Congress this week.

2) Halloween Horror. For the first time since 9/11, New York City experienced terrorism in the form that many other cities around the world recently have: one man, behind the wheel, running over pedestrians and cyclists in an effort to kill, hurt and maim as many as possible. A 29-year-old Uzbekistan immigrant named Sayfullo Saipov has been arrested, as he allegedly killed eight and injured a dozen others in the name of ISIS. He's a villain to be sure, and condemnation was swift from all corners, and particularly stringent from President Donald Trump who flailed wildly for someone to blame. What we're interested in? How one man that kills eight with a truck is a "terrorist" and another guy that killed 50 with a gun is not....

3) McGarry Tales. In a few months time, like many of her Queens Park colleagues, Kathryn McGarry will have to run for re-election, but this week she faces a far more tenacious challenge: questions from the Open Sources guys. McGarry is the MPP of Cambridge, but she's also the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, so there are many directions we can go in, and will go in. In Cambridge, we'll talk about Guelph envy over the creation of their new library, the Idea Exchange. In provincial news, we'll talk about the new private members bill to stop distracted walking. And, in news from the ministry, we'll talk about fighting pollution in Indigenous communities. There will be a lot of ground to cover in other words.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #102 - Emma Rogers, United Way Guelph-Wellington-Dufferin

1Nov

Now that Halloween is finally out of the way, we can focus on the holiday that really matters: Black Friday! Kidding aside, retailers across town are eager to begin the busy Christmas shopping period, but the holiday season is supposed to be about more than just spending, it's also supposed to be about giving. To that end, efforts are already underway at the United Way.

Now several weeks back, city council heard about this year's United Way campaign, and the ambitious goal of $60,000 they plan on reaching. Although that's a significant amount of money, this will constitute a fraction of what the United Way of Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin hopes to raise this year. To put it in perspective, the United Way raised $3.6 million locally in 2016, which assisted 88 programs at 54 different agency partners.

Who are these partners? They're a who's who of Guelph's leading social assistance and advocating agencies. Think HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health, Family and Children Services, Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, Hospice Wellington, and the Guelph and Wellington Task Force for the Elimination of Poverty. That's just five, and if you consider the work of these agencies and the 49 others, that's thousands of people across our region that are touched every year by a donation to the United Way. 

That begged a question, and it was one of those questions that sometimes leads to a podcast, how many people out there know how the United Way works? How do these individual campaigns come together, and what happens to the money raised? How does the United Way decide where to spend those donations? What's the process? Good questions, right? I decided to ask them of Emma Rogers, campaign manager of the local branch of the United Way on this week's show. 

So let us learn more about one of the preeminent names in charity, and just in time to help raise awareness of this year's campaign, on this new episode of the Guelph Politicast. 

To learn more about the United Way, who it helps, and how you can get involved, you can visit their website here

Programming Note: Guelph Politicast will start an every two-weeks schedule starting next week. A new episode of the show will be posted on Wednesday November 15. 

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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End Credits - October 26, 2017

27Oct

A couple of weeks ago, End Credits covered the documentary An Inconvenient Sequel, which featured Al Gore on his continuing quest to solve climate change. If only he had known that several weeks later the solution would present itself in Geostorm. Okay, so "solution" may be the wrong word, especially since it predictably all goes wrong, like another movie that came out last weekend, The Snowman. We'll talk about that movie's director and his self-sabotage, the latest on the industry from a fan-favourite director, and how we might get a cool new animated vision of an old superhero movie idea.

This Thursday, October 26, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) Fincher Advice. David Fincher is back... on TV! His new series, Mindhunters, just premiered on Netflix, which is a reminder that while many in the industry are concerned about the growing dominance of streaming platforms in the movie business, Fincher was an early adopter by helping to bring House of Cards to life on Netflix. The director of Seven and Zodiac has offered new insights on a number of fronts in the movie business; streaming, Marvel, and franchise filmmaking we're all discusses in a recent, insightful interview, and we'll parse what Fincher had to say about all that, and how he almost was in the running to direct a Star Wars movie.

2) Frosty for The Snowman. Last weekend, The Snowman opened in theatres everywhere, and it was a disaster in terms of both box office and critical reception. It had everything going for it: a prestigious cast, great source material, and an accomplished director, but The Snowman still ended up, at best, being one of those movies that's so bad it's good. In fact, The Snowman is so bad that even its own director, Tomas Alfredson, had basically disavowed it before it had even opened. So was Alfredson just too honest in his appraisal of his own film? Or should Alfredson have stood by his movie until the bitter end (which in this case is really bitter)?

3) Superman Lives Lives? Back in the 1990s, a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel and directed by Tim Burton was in production. Based on the comic book storyline "The Death of Superman", it seemed like all the elements were in place to launch a brand new Super-franchise, but it fizzled. Script problems, and such. It would be 10 more years till we got another Superman movie, but now 20 years after the plug was pulled for Superman Lives, the suggestion's been made that Burton's vision might finally be seen in animated form. Good idea, or awesome idea? We debate.

REVIEW: Geostorm. The Earth can only take so much until it cries out, "Enough!" That's basically the point of Geostorm, a big, dumb sci-fi disaster movie that dares to say, "Come on, you know that this is beneath you." Watch Gerard Butler as the world's most unbelievable science-genius. By way of Dublin, Oklahoma, Butler and his little brother Jim Sturgess, who does something at the White House (it's not clear), try to convince you they really are brothers as they try to stop a massive government conspiracy to turn the machine that saved the world into a world-killer. Or something! Their weapon of choice: a Geostorm! What is it?! Who will live?! And so on...

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #101 - Mayor’s Dialogue on Poverty

25Oct

There's no doubt that there are people in Guelph of limited means that desperately need help, but for every person that knows what need looks like, there are others that see someone poor and sees someone that just hasn't pulled up their own bootstraps far enough. But seriously, how can someone in the middle class or otherwise upwardly mobile understand the plight of people in poverty?

That's the point of the first ever Mayor’s Dialogue on Poverty which took place at City Hall on October 25. The main speaker was Guelph-Wellington Bridges Out of Poverty facilitator and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health nurse Elaine Weir. Weir gives talks to private and public audiences to encourage people to look at poverty in a different light, and confront the issues of poverty by looking at them from the perspective of those living in it. 

For example, think of someone starting a job and showing up late on their second day of work. The immediate impulse is that this person is lazy, maybe they slept in, or may be they just don't care about rolling up to work on time. The reality though may be that this person went out to get their bus, and through no fault of their own, it never came. We've known it to happen, we've seen it happen in recent weeks, and, let's face it, calling for a taxi or hailing an Uber is not an option if you've got limited means. 

On this week's podcast, you will hear these and other examples from Weir. Some of this may be basic for advocates already living and breathing poverty issues, but for the broader community at large, especially a community as affluent as Guelph, this is an important primer. The first part of solving a problem is understanding it, and it's very easy to misunderstand the issues of poverty looking at it from the outside. Let this be the beginning of something better. 

So let's hear about looking at poverty differently in this week's Guelph Politicast!

You can learn more about Bridges Out of Poverty by going to its website here, or by following them on Twitter here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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End Credits - October 19, 2017

20Oct

The title "End Credits" takes on special significance this week, as a particular movie mogul seems to be seeing the end of his career. We'll talk about the story that's transcending the film world and forcing sober discussion on the pervasiveness of powerful men forcing themselves on women. In more pleasant news, we'll then nerd out about the latest Star Wars trailer, and talk about the simple joys of Noah Baumbach's newest film. 

This Thursday, October 12, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Vince Masson will discuss:

1) Harvey. It's a name that has apparently been haunting actress and other females working in and around the movie industry for years. After twin exposes in The New York Times and The New Yorker, Harvey Weinstein has been tossed out of his company, tossed out of the Motion Picture Academy, and tossed out of the Producers Guild because he's been cast in the unflattering role as a sexual predator. So what does this mean? Is Weinstein himself through in Hollywood? And what about other powerful men in the Hollywood in the vain of Weinstein, is the hammer going to fall them too? In other words, has showbiz learned a lesson from all this?

2) The Last Reaction. In happier news, we're drawing ever closer - less than two months now! - to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A new trailer for the film was released last week, and it seems to hint at some pretty spoilery developments as we diver deeper into the universe relaunched in 2015's The Force Awakens. For instance, what's the relationship between our villain Kylo Ren, and our heroine Rey? They both seem pretty strong with the Force, so what do they have in common, and why is Luke Skywalker so afraid of it? And on top of everything else, what the hell is a Porg? We will be one with the Force this week!

REVIEW: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Noah Baumbach's newest movie is a Netflix joint, and it will surely please people that love Baumbach's work especially his breakthrough film, The Squid and the Whale. Set in and around New York, the story follows retired artist Harold (Dustin Hoffman), and his three children Danny, Jean, and Matthew (Adam Sandler, Elizabeth Marvel, and Ben Stiller) who each struggle with their relationship with their difficult father. There's some shouting, a lot of cross-talk, and ultimately, some loving as the characters come to terms with their relationship with each other. Prepare to believe that Sandler can act.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #100 - Gerry Barker, Guelph Speaks

18Oct

It took six long years to get here, but the day has finally arrived. Welcome, to the 100th episode of the Guelph Politicast! To celebrate this auspicious occasion, I wanted a surprise guest. Someone my dedicated audience might never have expected, but nonetheless would enjoy hearing from. In the end,  there was only one person I could think of. For 100 episodes you've heard Guelph speak, well now you'll hear from the guy that does "Guelph Speaks".

Yes, this week's guest on the podcast is none other than Gerry Barker! You may know the name, you may even occasionally visit his website Guelph Speaks, but as they say, "if you think you know Gerry Barker..." I admit that on the surface there doesn't seem to be a lot that Gerry and I agree on, which, to me, was all the more reason to host him on the podcast and have a chat about political things.

And this is a chat. Normally, these episodes of the show are interviews with pointed queries attempting to get information, but I'd like to think that this week's podcast is more relaxed and conversational. It's a getting-to-know-you session between two people coming from different ends of the media spectrum, and I don't just mean in terms of political leanings, although that too. Gerry Barker is an old school newspaper man in a digital world. I can relate, I got my start at a student paper, but most of my media career has been online.

So that's one thing we address on the podcast this week. We also talk about the Guelph media landscape, covering city hall, our various biases, some discussion of provincial politics, and there's even a little Trump talk. Gerry hates him too! So you see? We can all agree on something, can't we? There's was really only one area of the discussion that was out of bounds, and you can probably guess what that is, but otherwise, it was a fairly wide open conversation between the other guys on the Guelph media landscape.

So let's get this centenary party started! Here's this week's 100th episode of the Guelph Politicast!

You read more of Gerry's work by visiting his website here.

In other podcast news, due to the busy budget season about to begin in November, the Politicast will be going down to an every other week release schedule through to the end of the year.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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