Open Sources Guelph - November 15, 2018


This week, Open Sources Guelph is awash in galling behaviour. In the United States, the President decided to skip the opportunity to remember veterans so he could pout and rage tweet in his hotel room, and in Ontario's capital building you still never know who might be a scandal waiting to happen. It's a bummer to be sure, and one that's compounded this week as we say goodbye to a regular guest as he retires from the political stage.

This Thursday, November 15 at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Armist-diss. What was supposed to be the solemn commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, became just another tent in the Trump Circus as the American President made himself a national embarrassment and an international disgrace for skipping one ceremony because of rain, and showing up late after the procession of world leaders to the Champs-Élysées. Then there was the scandal of Trump maybe making time to meet Putin while in France, and the further disgrace of Trump doing no Veterans Day commemorations back home in Arlington. Is this Donald Trump's biggest indignity yet?

Scandal in the Wind. Meanwhile, disgrace is on the menu on the government bench in Queen's Park. While still reeling from the dual resignations of cabinet minister Jim Wilson and an aide in the Premier's office for misconduct, a third person resigned as the executive director of the Progressive Conservative caucus bureau because he didn't speak up about the misconduct sooner. Then, on Tuesday, came news about the Premier's office was interfering with Ontario Power Generation by pushing for the removal of an executive that used to be an aide to Patrick Brown. What's up with all this upheaval in the PC ranks?

Karl Jam. It's always sad when you have to say goodbye to a member of city council, even when it's on their own terms. This week, we'll talk to outgoing Ward 6 Councillor, and friend of the show, Karl Wettstein, as he says farewell to politics, and hello to retirement. We'll talk to Wettstein about his multiple terms on city council, his proudest accomplishments, his most disappointing experiences, and what lessons he hopes to take with him. We'll also discuss Wettstein's departing advice to the council, and his hopes for the future as he starts his new life as a private citizen.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 6 pm on Thursday.


End Credits - November 14, 2018 (The Girl in the Spider’s Web)


It's another week of End Credits, and another review of a would-be franchise just waiting for us to cast our critical eye down upon it. Yes, we will tackle The Girl in the Spider's Web, and before that, we'll try and lighten things up by talking about some of our favourite cartoons, ones of the 21st century variety.

This Wednesday, November 14, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

Animation Fascination. The Grinch opened in theatres nationwide this week, another animated hit in a series of new and exciting cartoon hits. Of course, cartoons have changed technically speaking. Computer generated animation is the new art form, and has been growing in capability and technicality since Toy Story first hit the big screen in 1995. So this week, our panel will recount their five favourite CG animated films (so far).

REVIEW: The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018). Based on the Swedish novel series that started with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, master hacker Lisbeth Salander is back, and she's here to save the world. Claire Foy gives up The Crown for a Dragon Tattoo and a Ducati as she zips around Stockholm foiling government spies and getting revenge on very bad men. But can Foy keep the Tattoo alive and build a new franchise, or are we overestimating the need for a cyberpunk Jane Bond?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Wednesday at 2 pm.


Open Sources Guelph -November 8, 2018


After taking a couple of weeks off from election talk, we're back at it this week on Open Sources Guelph! In fact, we've missed elections so much, we're importing coverage. First, we'll get a delivery from the U.S. as the highly contentious midterm elections have wrapped up for another four years. Meanwhile, people in Calgary are having an election, but in this one you can't ignore the issues because it's a plebiscite! Back home, we will welcome to the show our first post-election interview with a new city councillor.

This Thursday, November 8 at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Midterm Relief. After months of campaigning, door-knocking, and racially-tinged conspiracy drivel, the midterm elections in the United States have finally come to an end. We'll talk about the results and what they mean, but we'll also talk about the implications. What lessons will the Democrats take from this as they look to unseat President Donald Trump in 2020? What will they do in the meantime to hold Trump to account? How much uglier will the campaigning get in the future? And how much longer can the Republicans deny that Trump is an anchor pulling them deeper into racist territory?

Gamesmanship. Next week, Calgarians will vote in a plebiscite to determine if there's a public appetite in Calgary to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. Of course, this is all going down 30 years after the '88 Olympics were held in the Stampede City, and eight years after the Vancouver Winter Olympics made a lot of promises about housing and development that didn't materialize. Back in Calgary, big promises are being made, big names like "Eddie the Eagle" are being brought out to promote the idea, but all signs point to the same old empty promises. Will Calgary go in on an Olympic encore?

O'Rourke in the Road. Council won't get sworn in till December, but we're getting ahead of the game when it comes to having members of the new council in studio! This week, we'll welcome new Ward 6 City Councillor-Elect Dominique O'Rourke for her first live Open Sources interview as a member of the horseshoe. We'll talk with O'Rourke about her decisive election victory, how she's been preparing to take up her role as a city councillor, and what she expects some of her first initiatives will be. Do you have a question for the incoming councillor? We'll ask those too!

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 6 pm on Thursday.


GUELPH POLITICAST #145 - The Armistice


It's been 100 years since the Great War, "the war to end all wars", finished with the signing of an armistice between the Allied powers and the Central powers. As the guns fell silent on the battlefields of Europe, thousands of people back home were waiting to hear the good news, and the Guelph Evening Mercury brought it to them. 

When word came down that the armistice had been signed, it was pretty early in the morning here in Guelph. Editors were roused from their beds, a special eight-page edition of the paper was put together before 6 am, and the newsboys were sent out to deliver 6,500 copies to the town, a copy of which is now on microfiche in the archives of the University of Guelph library.

Washington Post publisher Philip Graham once called journalism the "first rough draft of history", and we will look at that through the lens of the immediate reporting after the end of World War in the Guelph Mercury

As Guelph celebrated, the effects of the war reverberated throughout Europe as peace brought out a bunch of new problems. Families on the homefront here in the Royal City were still getting word about their sons, fathers and brothers fighting overseas, some of whom were still months away from being shipped home. And as the dead were counted, the pages of the Mercury were filled with concerns about the next deadly crisis, the Spanish flu.

So let's read today's paper, 100 years ago, on this edition of the Guelph Politicast!

Remembrance Day ceremonies marking the centenary of the end of the First World War will happen in various locations here in Guelph, and around the world, at 11 am.

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.


End Credits - November 7, 2018 (Bohemian Rhapsody)


We will rock you on this week's End Credits! Yes, we are bringing you our review of the new musical bio-pic Bohemian Rhapsody, but we can't promise that we'll be your best friend by the end of it because of our opinions. Enough Queen puns! We'll also be talking about Netflix's Oscar hopes, a new Gladiator and a new Game of Thrones series, but the sad death of a film streaming service. Guess they weren't the champions...

This Wednesday, November 7, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

Netflix has Chilled. Hoping to finally breakthrough the Academy's wall to Oscar nominations, it seems that Netflix is easing its policy of releasing its original films time and day online, and in a few theatres. Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, the Coen Bros. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and the Sandra Bullock-starring Bird Box will now get theatrical runs before debuting on Netflix, but will it be enough for Old Hollywood to finally let the upstart streamer into the Oscar Club?

Gladiator Too? Last week, it was announced that Ridley Scott is working on a sequel to his 2000 Oscar-winning hit Gladiator. If everything goes according to plan - and it does sound like it might be Scott's next feature directorial effort - this could come out in time for the 20th anniversary of the original's release. But seriously, what value is there in getting a Gladiator sequel two decades later?

FilmStruck Down. The latest casualty of the streaming age is one that might hit film fans the hardest. Last week, WarnerMedia announced that FilmStruck, which includes the library of Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection, will be shuttered by the end of November. So is WarnerMedia being cheap, or are we reaching a limit to just how many streaming services we'll buy? But more importantly, how else are we supposed to enjoy all these classic movies?

Game of Clones. It was a big week for Game of Thrones news: Entertainment Weekly released a sneak preview of the final season, HBO threatened legal action against Trump for using a GoT trademark, and HBO announced the star of the long-in-the-works prequel series, The Long Night. Naomi Watts is going to play the unnamed lead, which is a good sign, but is the series set 1,000 years before Thrones going to bore us with what's already been done, or give us something new?

REVIEW: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). This long in the works Queen bio-pic had a lot of work to do. It has to be about the band in order to balance out the larger-than-life Freddie Mercury, it has to focus on the music while not ignoring Mercury's status as a queer icon, and it has to please Queen and non-Queen fans alike. There's no doubting the power of the classic rock sounds, or of the star-appeal of breakthrough leading man Rami Malek, but can the film overcome the weight of its own expectations, and of the behind the scenes drama?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Wednesday at 2 pm.


GUELPH POLITICAST #144 - Lessons from the Campaign Trail


The election has been decided, all the votes have been counted, the successful candidates are now preparing to take the seats they've been appointed to fill by popular vote. What is there left to say? Actually, there's a lot. An election is about more than who wins it, and this is a podcast about the lessons learned from the ones who tried but didn't succeed.

On this edition, we're joined by Charlene Downey and Matt Saunders. Downey ran in Ward 1 and Saunders ran in Ward 4, two of the most competitive races in the 2018 election with two incumbents running against six challengers in each. Neither Downey nor Saunders were successful, finishing in fourth and fifth places in their races respectively, but they definitely have lessons on politicking to teach us.

Now running in municipal elections isn’t easy. There’s no party apparatus, the campaign is long, and you’ve got to fit little things like jobs and family around all the additional hours of door knocking, attending events, and answering questions from press and constituents. So what do you take with you when the campaign is over, and you don't take office? This is the insight we'll try and get from Saunders and Downey on this podcast.

In this conversation a lot of ground was covered, insights on all the hard work, the homework, the long hours, the long list of demands for time, and how, as candidates, they balanced it all. There's also some discussion about Downey and Saunders' desire to have had a more substantive debate about policy and issues during the campaign, and how media might do better while covering the election beyond the horse race. On top of that, there's some talk about election night, and what happens next so far as their political careers are concerned.

So let's see what wisdom we can gleam from the campaign trail on this edition of the Guelph Politicast!

The new city council will be sworn in on Monday December 3, and Guelph Politico will be there with live coverage. In the meantime, there will be a "lame duck" session of council, the final meeting of the 2014-18 council, on Monday November 19.

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.


Open Sources Guelph -November 1, 2018


This week on Open Sources Guelph, it might get ugly. We're coming off a very bad week south of the border, and it only seems to promise to get worse if you-know-who has his say. Worse still, that style of politics seems to be spreading, so we'll make a pit stop in Brazil before heading home where fighting action on climate change has become a way to bring the country together it seems. We'll also play catch-up with what will hopefully be a more positive development in democracy.

This Thursday, November 1 at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Tree of Strife. A shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was the final leg in a hattrick of hate in the last week in the United States. Letter bombs sent to prominent critics of U.S. President Donald Trump, and a shooting of two black men at a grocery store by a gunman that first tried to break in to a black church were the other two, and America must once again confront a legacy of hate that does, unfortunately, trace back to Trump himself? Is America finally posed to break the cycle of hate, and will this have any effect on the outcome of Tuesday's midterm elections?

"Trump of the Tropics." That's what they're calling Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right politician and now president-election of Brazil, the biggest country in South American, and third biggest in the western hemisphere. He's pledged to give the police in Brazil more powers and to plough through the rain forest and whatever Indigenous tribes that get in his way; he's said on the record that a woman was "too ugly" for him to rape, and that fathering a daughter was "a moment of weakness." Cool guy. But hey, he might be super good for Canadian businesses, according to this deeply cynical CBC piece. We'll talk about all the implications.

Deniers Unite! "Nothing more than a complete scam." That's what Ontario Premier Doug Ford called Ottawa's plan to impose a carbon tax starting next year, and he did it at an announcement with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe as the two formalized an alliance to fight the federal legislation in court. Later in the week, Ford met with Conservative leadership Andrew Scheer, which, for environmental activists, means there's a full court press to rewind action on climate change even as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is sounding the alarm that time's running out. Will the climate deniers be successful in their push to cease action?

Electoral Maelstrom. Sure, we just had an election, but the time has come to talk again about how we hold elections. For this discussion, we head out again to the coast where British Columbia is counting down to the time to vote on their electoral reform referendum. Residents are being asked to choose between First Past the Post and Proportional Representation, and then to choose the preferred form of PR. Just one hiccup though as the ballots have started to arrive in mailboxes: the proponents seem to be having a hard time explaining the new systems. We'll try and do better as we look to see if B.C. can change the way we vote.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 6 pm on Thursday.


GUELPH POLITICAST #143 - Dr. Aleksander Essex, Cyber Security Expert


"Safe and secure online voting" was the pitch from Mayor Cam Guthrie and several other candidates running for city council during the campaign, and why not? Over 100 municipalities in Ontario had online voting this municipal election, and though Guelph had it in 2014, council decided in a 7-6 decision not to try it again. So were we being too cautious?

Aleksander Essex would say we were being just cautious enough. Essex is a Ph.D., who's now an assistant professor of software engineering with a specialization in cybersecurity and applied cryptography at the University of Western Ontario. He also runs Whisper Lab, the Western Information Security and Privacy Research Laboratory. All this is to say he's an expert in the security concerns with internet voting.

Presently, he's against.

"An online election doesn't have the transparency there, it's not an evidence-based election the same way a paper ballot is," he told the CBC earlier this year. "My preference would be to vote online, but with this specific problem it turns out hand counting paper ballots is the best solution we have."

Adding insult to injury on the topic of online voting is the 51 Ontario municipalities that had trouble casting their ballots for a period of time on the evening of Election Day. The fault laid with the subcontractor of a software company and a bandwidth issue. So nothing malicious, but for the people looking for reasons to hit the breaks on internet voting, human error is a pretty big hurdle to overcome.

So before we here in Guelph debate the issue of online voting again, we should start by understanding the full mechanics of how internet voting works. This is where Essex comes in as we have a complete and nearly wonkish discussion about how internet security works, why the security demands of internet voting are different from internet banking, and what exactly went wrong with internet voting this past Election Day. It's safe to say that this is the first part of a much bigger discussion...

So cast your internet ballot to vote in favour of listening to this edition of the Guelph Politicast!

You can find out more about Essex's work by visiting his website here. Stay tuned to Guelph Politico as the online voting debate will surely begin again once council has settled in for the new term.

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.


End Credits - October 31, 2018 (22 July)


This week on End Credits, we wrap up Halloween, and just in time. We will conclude our ongoing series of favourite Halloween movies, and we'll cover some of the news from the past week including one rebooted franchise, and one pair of filmmaking twins who aren't doing as well as they used to. All that, plus a movie review about some real life horrors!

This Wednesday, October 24, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Vince Masson will discuss:

Ploughed Atlas. The Wachowski Siblings were among the most celebrated filmmakers in Hollywood almost 20 years ago when The Matrix became an unexpected smashed hit, but it seems that they've fallen on hard times. Their Chicago production offices have been closed down and put up for sale, a symptom of their waning cinematic fortunes and no future projects in development. Is the end of the Wachowskis?

Parrot of the Caribbean. It was just last year that Disney released the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and now we're talking about a reboot. Apparently, Deadpool and Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have been hired to put a new spin on a, ahem, classic, but they will do so, it seems, without Johnny Depp or his iconic character Jack Sparrow. Is Disney really this unimaginative, or do they really like money *that* much?

What Are Your Favourite Scary Movies? (The Adam Edition). Don't lose your head, because it's finally Adam's turn to reveal his Top 5 picks favourite scary movie. (That was a hint by the way!) On the list are giant monsters, slasher killers, vampires, and yes, zombies. We wrap up October by finishing with the final five of our panelists' most beloved spooky stories.

REVIEW: 22 July (2018). A timely film given the week we've had, and a real-life horror story just in time for Halloween, Paul Greengrass' 22 July takes us to Norway, and the worst violence to happen there since World War II. On July 22, 2011, a white nationalist exploded a car bomb at Labour Party headquarters in Oslo, and then went to a summer retreat where he shot dozens including young political activists. All told, 70 people died, and hundreds more were affected, but can Greengrass capture the nuance and subtext for such a prescient movie?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Wednesday at 2 pm.


GUELPH POLITICAST #142 – Bry Webb, Musician and Video Maker


The Guelph Film Festival begins this week, and it's bringing documentaries from around the world to various venues around town. Occasionally though, the Guelph Film Festival highlights a Guelph project through a series called "Hidden Histories", and this year it takes us all the way back in time to the year 2000.

Royal City Summer 2000 is a collection of home movies made by Bry Webb in, yes, the summer of 2000. At the time, Webb was on the cusp of success as the lead singer of the Constantines, an accomplished and renowned Canadian band that got its start in Guelph.

When Webb and his bandmates weren't making music though, he took a borrowed video camera and filmed scenes around the Ward and downtown, capturing the sights of his new city and sending them to a friend out west. Nearly 20 years, Webb dug out the old tapes, and voila, you have this year's entry into "Hidden Histories"!

On this week's podcast, Webb talks about those good old days in the Ward, what he thought of Guelph back then and how it changed, why he filmed the things he filmed, and what it is about Guelph’s past that makes us so nostalgic. And yes, for you music fans, we talk about those good old times with the Constantines, and those famous early days playing shows in the Royal City.

So let's go back in time all the way to the year 2000 on this week's Guelph Politicast!

Royal City Summer 2000 is screening at Brothers Brewing this Thursday at 15 Wyndham St N from 9 pm to midnight. For more information about any of the Guelph Film Festival programming, or to buy tickets, you can go to its website here. And if you want to see Bry Webb in his current environment, he can train you on tech stuff at CFRU and you can get in touch with him at

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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