Open Sources Guelph - January 18, 2018


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we've got Canadian problems. This will not be an easy one to parse, because these are complicated situations and complicated issues. For instance, what do you do when the system for paying federal employees seems practically unable to work right? What can be done about the persistent allegations of harassment on a Canadian university campus? How should we respond to a made up hate crime? And is it time to give our Indigenous people veto power in lawmaking? It's a conundrum heavy show to be sure. 

This Thursday, January 18, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Disorder of the Phoenix. Nearly two years later, there's still no solution to the Federal government's Phoenix Pay System. So bad is the problem that it made our year end list as one of the "Dumpster-Wrecks"  of 2017, but more importantly then that, about half of federal employees are still affected by over-payments, missed payments, or not getting the salary they're supposed to get. Even Liberal MPs are fed up as their constituency offices are getting one new complaint after the other about the slow progress of repairs. Meanwhile, a new report on the matter says that Phoenix was more or less set up to fail. Is there anything the government can do, and if there is, why is it taking so long to get it done?

2) #MeToo Concordia. The wave of allegations of harassment and inappropriate sexual relations hit a Canadian campus in a big way last week, when the once [open] secret culture of predatory professors in Concordia's creative writing department was revealed. Montreal novelist Heather O'Neill says there's an open culture of harassment and power abuse in the department, which included groping and pressure on underclass women by their male professors for sex. This is not a thing of the past either. Concordia has tried to address the situation, but not to the satisfaction of high-profile writers like O'Neill. The more concerning implication though is how many other [open] secret harassment is happening on other Canadian campuses?

3) Not Running With Scissors. The story was shocking. An 11-year-old girl walking to her Toronto school with her brother was attacked by a smiling Asian man with scissors who cut her hijab twice. The Toronto School Board and Police Service scrambled, condemnations were delivered, a suspect was sought, the story spread internationally as politicians righteously declared that this was not Canada. But it never happened. The girl had made it up. So where did it all go wrong with this hysteria? The board? The media? And what happens the next time someone reports an actual hate crime? Are they going to be believed? Will those in power take such a report seriously?

4) This (Could) Change Everything. A case is coming up at the Supreme Court of Canada from the Mikisew Cree First Nation in northern Alberta who are challenging changes made to the Fisheries Act, the Species At Risk Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act by the Harper government. The argument is that the First Nations should have been consulted before these changes were made, and that their treaty rights were violated, which seems reasonable. Here's the question: Should First Nations have a more official voice in laws made in Canada? That could be the implication of the SCOC ruling according to a University of Saskatchewan law professor. So here's our question: Isn't it about time we start taking nation-to-nation relations seriously?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thurs


End Credits - January 18, 2017


This week on End Credits, things get real. Unlike last week's jaunt into the realm of magic policing and getting small to save the world, we've got real life problems to talk about. Specifically, we have to get back to the latest, constantly shifting news about the social movement of our times as new allegations are revealed, and the blowback has begun in earnest. And then, we'll tie that in with this week's movie, which is about events almost 50 years ago, but still feel oddly timely.

This Thursday, January 18, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) Not All the Money... Ridley Scott got a lot of praise for acting swiftly to remove Kevin Spacey from All the Money in the World in order to save the movie and thousands of hours of work by hundreds of film professionals. If only the lead actress hadn't been paid 1,500 times less than the lead actor... It was revealed last week Mark Wahlberg made $1.5 million versus the $1,000 paid to Michelle Williams, and while the situation's been redressed by Wahlberg and his agents, isn't this just the kind of systemic issues that #MeToo and Time's Up is trying to undermine?

2) Time's Up (Again). In the latest from this ongoing story, we saw James Franco hit with several allegations of misconduct after his Golden Globes appearance, Eliza Dushku opened up about her assault on the set of True Lies when she was 12 years old, and then we started getting the blowback. Liam Neeson said in an interview that he has started thinking that this was becoming a witch hunt, and 100 French actresses penned an open letter saying that this was American puritanism run amok. All this before the new allegations about Aziz Ansari broke too.

3) In the Black, Panther. The next film in the Marvel Studios juggernaut comes out in less than a month, and if early online sales are any indication, Black Panther is set to be one of the biggest releases yet. Fandango says that the pre-release ticket sales for Black Panther have outpaced all other Marvel films so far, and the crowdfunding campaign to buy Black Panther tickets for kids from Harlem made four-times its goal in less than a week. With a majority black cast and an acclaimed black director at the helm is Black Panther this year's Wonder Woman?

REVIEW: The Post (2017). In a particularly difficult time in American history, one newspaper was all there was that stood between a despotic president, and the truth that would shake the nation. About 47 years later, the story of the publishing of the Pentagon Papers is loving told in this film by Steven Spielberg, which captures the zeitgeist with two stories about the leadership of the paper under its first female publisher Katherine Graham, and a newspaper's quest to stand up to the power of the White House. It's the movie Nixon doesn't want you to see...

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


GUELPH POLITICAST #108 - Gibson and MacKinnon on Being a Councillor


Not to alarm you guys, but there's a municipal election in October. There is certainly anticipation for this event in local democracy, and there's already a working list out there about who on the present council is running and who is still just a maybe. But let's forget the horse race for a moment, and talk about the job itself. More than that let's talk about what the job looks like after doing it for the last three years.

Today, we bring together Ward 1 Councillor Dan Gibson, and Ward 6 Councillor Mark MacKinnon for a crosstown summit on what it takes to be a city councillor. Now Gibson and MacKinnon have a lot in common: they're both relatively younger members of council, they have young families, they represent parts of the city that are booming, they both overlap in terms of how they lean on a lot of issues, and they both joined council in 2014.

So the experiment of this episode was to take out the policy discussion (we save that for Open Sources Guelph) in order to talk about the nuts and bolts of decisions making. What does it take for people to succeed on city council? How are you affected? How do you navigate the transition from candidate to councillor without compromising your principals or backtracking on the things you ran on once you get that "insider" knowledge?

In addition to Gibson and MacKinnon's own experiences, the hope of producing this week's podcast was to offer some kind of insight to those running, or thinking about running, for city council this year. Also, if you're interested in some further listening, revisit this earlier Politicast from 2014 with Ward 2 Councillor James Gordon and Ward 3 Councillor Phil Allt that was recorded before the start of the term. Together, they might give you a picture of what life on council looks like before and after. 

So let's talk about how council works on this week's Guelph Politicast.

You can follow Dan Gibson on Twitter or at his website, and you can follow Mark MacKinnon on Twitter and at his website. The nomination period for the 2018 election opens on Tuesday May 1, and Election Day is Monday October 22.

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.


Open Sources Guelph - January 11, 2018


We're back! After a holiday break, Open Sources Guelph returns for its epic fourth year of practical news discussion and interviews with local newsmakers. There's none of the latter this week, but we've got plenty of the former. Read any good books lately? Well, we hear there's one about a certain American administration. Also, it turns out that Trudeau might have been palling around with terrorists after all (in a manner), for some reason people are angry about a pay raise for the people making the least, and people out in the cold are still getting the cold shoulder. So it's another year in paradise, apparently. 

This Thursday, January 11, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Trumpster Fire Season 2. At the end of season 1, President Donald Trump retired to his Florida resort for a working golfing vacation after a long year of getting nothing tax reform done. But he was no sooner back at the White House when controversy began a new. Author Michael Wolff released a brand new book called Fire and Fury, which chronicles Trump's election and his first several months in the office, and it's not a pretty picture. Team Trump's ham-fisted attempts to block the book's release only resulted in more interest, and despite concerns of its veracity, Fire and Fury has had very real consequences (for Steve Bannon anyway). We'll talk about the latest from Trumpland.

2) A Festering Boyle. Joshua Boyle came to the attention of the nation late last year when he and his family were released from Taliban custody. He and his wife were taken prisoner in Afghanistan, and held for five years. All three of their children were born in captivity. It was a riveting human interest story that has now taken an unexpected turn. Boyle was charged with 15 counts over the holidays including assault, sexual assault, and unlawful confinement, all of which happened after Boyle arrived home. So now what should we think? Was Boyle adversely affected by his time in custody? Was the press not probing enough into Boyle and his background? It's yet to be answered why he and his pregnant wife were backpacking in a war zone, for instance. Of course, there's also the blowback on Justin Trudeau. Did the PM screw up meeting Boyle while he was being investigated?

3) Minimum Overdrive. January 1 saw one giant leap in everyone earning a living wage, when minimum wage earners in the Province of Ontario saw their paycheques jump to $14 an hour. The shift in fairness saw an almost equal seismic shift in vindictiveness, especially the Tim Hortons in Coberg, which is owned by the company's founders, and was notable for cutting breaks and days off for staff as consequence of the hike. Just about any move in the business world the last week has been blamed or credited to the increase, but why is this such a boogie man? Why are people coming to the defense of corporations instead of workers that could really use the bump in their pay? And why aren't we discussing the long term benefits of the increase instead of the imagined short term consequences?

4) Long John. The last few weeks of extreme cold showed, again, the holes in our social safety net, especially in Canada's biggest city. The capacity of homeless shelters was being reached nightly, and rumours were heavy that people were being turned away though city staff big to differ. Still, the responsibility fell on Mayor John Tory, who, from his Florida vacation, was quick to point out that it wasn't his vote to not open Toronto armories in the case of extreme cold that was causing the problem. But the crisis was real, and it is bound to be felt again as winter rolls on. So where does the ultimate responsibility fall? How much of the problem is connected to the cost of housing, and the lack of social housing? And is Mayor Tory's true blue conservative colours showing with his apparent disinterest? And in an election year, no less.

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


End Credits - January 11, 2017


It's back to business as unusual on End Credits this week! As we took a couple of weeks off thanks to the magic of recording episodes in advanced, the movies still kept on coming, so we cleared the slate of movie news for this week in order to bring you two back-to-back reviews. One is an unusual tale about two cops, and the other is the unusual tale about a guy trying to go big by getting smaller.

This Thursday, January 11, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson and Vince Masson will discuss:

REVIEW: Bright (2017). Just another night on the mean streets of L.A. Two cops must overcome their mutual distrust and enmity, feelings built on decades of racial prejudice, in order to keep the people of their city safe from... a magic wand? Oh yeah, one of the cops is an orc! This is the world of Bright by David Ayers, which supposes a magically realistic world where humans and fairy tale creatures live and work side-by-side. Netflix enters the special effects-driven blockbuster game with a Will Smith vehicle that has many fans , but nearly as many detractors.

REVIEW: Downsizing (2017). Speaking of divisive, we'll take a bite out of two such films this week, and the other is Alexander Payne's new one, Downsizing. In a world where shrinking to the size of an action figure is an option, Matt Damon is the typical Payne midlife crisis suffering schlub from the Midwest that says, "Hey, why not?" Predictably though, life is not better when you're small, in fact it's pretty much the same. Payne's incredible shrinking polemic becomes increasingly problematic as it goes along, but does any good come out of such a small world after all?

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


GUELPH POLITICAST #107 - Best of OSG: Budget and Hydro


So I think many of us feel like the last month went by in a blur, there were a lot of big issues, big discussions, and a lot of consequential decisions made by council. So before diving into a new year with new issues and new decisions, let's revisit what happened in the tired and true format of the clip show.

Open Sources Guelph will return to live episodes this Thursday on CFRU with another year of punditry and conversation, but first let's revisit two moments from December. In the first clip, you will hear from Councillors Cathy Downer and Phil Allt who discuss the implications and decisions of the 2018 budget, which had passed just 48 hours earlier. Then, in the second clip from December 14, your congenial hosts talked about the Guelph Hydro merger with Alectra, and the year that was in local politics. 

Although you're probably aware that you can listen to the podcast version of Open Sources on the Guelph Politicast channel, perhaps you might like to enjoy getting to the Guelph-stuff without having to sit through the latest Trump follies or whatever vacation disaster that Trudeau has undertaken. 

At the same time, it's worth promoting Open Sources as a way to say "stay tuned" because when we start getting into the two elections this year, the candidates for Members of Provincial Parliament and the candidates for Guelph's mayor will be invited to appear on the show and talk about why you should vote for them. Likely, there will also be some election night specials along the way too. 

So let's recap the end of the year, courtesy of Open Sources, on this week's Guelph Politicast. 

You can listen to new episodes of Open Sources Guelph live every Thursday at 5 pm on CFRU

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.


Open Sources Guelph - January 4, 2018


Welcome to the start of the fourth year of Open Sources Guelph, and we're going to kick things off with a discussion of last year! Or, to be more precise, we're going to give out our annual awards in our annual awards special. For the last two years, we've taken the last show and handed out awards in four categories as we each saw them, and always resulting in eight winners. Of course, "winner" is relative in some of the categories, but to kick off 2018, we will give out the proverbial hardware in all your favourite categories.

This Thursday, January 4, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Worst Politician of the Year.  "Hey!" you might be saying, "This one's going to be easy, this year," but you're forgetting that last year that we gave "45" the Lifetime Achievement Award for this category. Instead, we'll have to find other worthy candidates to be called the "worst", and fortunately (or unfortunately) there were a lot of people to choose from. In 2017, from another failed businessman-turned-politician to a failed judge-turned-failed senate candidate, the worst came frequently and thoroughly.

2) Good News Story of the Year. Why yes, there was some. We had to take a two-day retreat in order to do the in-depth research necessary in order to find the good news, but it was found in any event. For under the surface of constant scandal, and controversy, and obnoxious tweeting, we managed to find a couple of gold nuggets, from the avalanche of progressive candidates coming out to run in the U.S. to better news for people making the least possible salary.

3) "Dumpster-Wreck" of the Year. Because of recent events, we thought it would be prudent to rename this category this year, but the intent of it remains the same: a news story so heinous, vicious, or unbelievably stupid it stands out above all the rest. Like "Worst Politician" this is a tough one, but when you turn on your TV every night, or if you're a federal employee trying to get paid right or on time, then maybe the situation isn't so tough.

4) Best Politician of the Year. Oh  yes, there are some people out there doing good work, and to cap off 2017 we're going to recognize two of them because after the year we've had, we all need something good to focus on. This year, we're going to acknowledge the good work of the new opposition leader of the United Kingdom, and a mayor in a beleaguered American territory as two among the few politicians to break the odds, and do good work for the people.

5) Word to Retire. Following up on a new category we added last year, we will once again choose two words that should be permanently retired from our common political lexicon. One is an expression used far too often as a synonym for compromise, and the other is a phrase that's expanded beyond its original, very specific, media definition to become utterly meaningless.

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


End Credits - January 4, 2018


This first episode of End Credits for 2018 is going to look back at 2017. While it's true we've already awarded the Top 5 of 2017, there are some other accolades we'd like to consider for before moving on to the new year and new movies. Yes, it's time for the first annual End Credits Awards, which will feature winners in a quartet of unconventional categories.

This Thursday, January 4, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson, Vince Masson, Peter Salmon, and Candice Lepage will discuss:

1) The Anti-Canon. If "The Canon" is a movie that we should never forget and be a part of every cinephile's diet, then the Anti-Canon is a movie that should be forever removed from the collective consciousness of pop culture. Last week, we honoured the Best Movies of the Year, this week, we talk about the ones that we're trying to forget.

2) Most Improved. Life isn't binary. At the end of the year, we like to talk about what is best, and what is worst, but there's a lot of stuff in the mushy middle that, while not being remarkable, definitely shows improvement. Whether they're coming back from a bomb, or an unfortunate production disaster, these movies, and their makers, made 2017 a year of second chances.

3) Time to Retire. In so much as every filmmaker, or actor, or production gets a chance to improve, there comes a point when we all have to say that enough is enough. In spite of everything they've done, even past successes, there comes a moment when event the most stalwart actor, filmmaker or franchise has to call it a day.

4) Most Promising. In so much as this episode is about looking backwards, we also take a moment at the end to look forward. In so much as 2017 had some surprises and some things we'll treasure, we look toward 2018 with new eyes and some big expectations about what's coming next. Who's ready for another big year at the movies?

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


Open Sources Guelph - December 28, 2017


We've had a very busy revolving door this year on Open Sources Guelph. In 2017, we've had about 40 different people come through the studio or talk to us on the phone. We've hosted City Councillors, Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Parliament, candidates for party leadership, party leaders, professors, and activists. So for our final show of the year, we've got two more guests: a well-known and topical Canadian comedian, and a well-known and popular host of syndicated radio show you hear every day on CFRU.

This Thursday, December 21, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Making new friends!

1) Ron the Road. Back in October, comedian Ron James performed two back-to-back shows at the River Run Centre here in Guelph, but different from other shows he's done in the Royal City, these ones were being taped as James' annual CBC New Year's Eve stand-up special, this year called The High Road. James will one again bring his everyman sensibility and tongue-twisty punchlines to the biggest news events of the year, but how does James manage to stay so topical when recording weeks in advanced in such a rapidly changing news environment? That's one of may questions that Adam had for James in their interview backstage at the River Run. Ron James: The High Road airs on CBC on Sunday December 31 at 9 pm and repeats January 4, 2018 at 8 pm.

2) Democracy Then! Also back in October, Scotty got to scratch a pretty big thing off the old bucket list when he interviewed Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman in front of a *yuge* crowd at Rozanski Hall at the University of Guelph. Goodman was on tour promoting her new book, Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America, and squeezed Guelph in as one of a number of Canadian stops in a hectic weekend. After talking about her show, covering the changing face of America, and her own brushes with the law while covering the story, Scotty asked Goodman about water rights issues, creating meaningful change in government, and the award-winning work she does on Democracy Now!

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


End Credits - December 28, 2017


This week, with this being the last episode of End Credits of the Year 2017 and all, we do what all famous movie critics do at this time: make a list. The topic we've chosen, naturally, is the best films of 2017, and it was another great year of cinema if you know what to look for. So this week, we've got four lists, and while there's some overlap, but more than enough proof that in spite of everything, it was still a fun and interesting year at the movies.

This Thursday, December 28, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson, Vince Masson, Peter Salmon, and Candice Lepage will discuss:

1) The Top 5 of 2017. What a year at the movies! No, seriously. Of course, on the surface the North American movie industry is filled with superhero flicks, family-friendly cartoons, and remakes by the buttload, but there are also a lot of treasures too. This year, some of our winners include topical thrillers, strange dramas, romantic comedies that are touching and hilarious, and, yes, even a couple of superhero movies that were able to break the mold. To mark the last show of the year, each of our panelists have put together their own Top 5 list of the greatest hits of 2017.

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


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