Open Sources Guelph - November 9, 2017


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 at 5 pm on Thursday.


End Credits - November 9, 2017


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 Thursday at 10 am.


Open Sources Guelph - November 2, 2017


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 at 5 pm on Thursday.


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


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.


End Credits - October 26, 2017


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 Thursday at 10 am.


GUELPH POLITICAST #101 - Mayor’s Dialogue on Poverty


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.


End Credits - October 19, 2017


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 Thursday at 10 am.


GUELPH POLITICAST #100 - Gerry Barker, Guelph Speaks


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.


Open Sources Guelph - October 12, 2017 (Brief)


Open Sources Guelph is your voice for depressing news. Not always, of course, but definitely this week. For instance, we have to talk again about why Truth and Reconciliation with our Indigenous people seems just as far away as it's ever been. We also have to talk about why there seems to be no new help for Guelph's most vulnerable people. And to top it all off, we have to talk about why another beloved pipeline will never see the light of day. Okay, so that last topic is not so depressing to some, especially this week's guests who are two leaders of the Green Party. 

This Thursday, October 12, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Mike and May. You can feel it in the air if you're a member of the Green team in Guelph. Though the provincial election is still over 200 days away, Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner is open for business at his new campaign office on Suffolk Street. Schreiner's federal counterpart, Elizabeth May, came to town to help celebrate, and the recent result in British Columbia was foremost on their minds. Being green with ambition is one of the things we discuss with Schreiner and May in a joint interview with them, and back in studio we'll talk about how Liz Sandals deciding not to run for re-election is going to shake up the local race come next spring.

2) Boo Scoops. Back in the 1960s there was a thing called the "60s Scoop", and it sadly had nothing to do with ice cream. Starting in the 1960s, the government "scooped" up Aboriginal children, took them from their families, and placed them in foster care because, well, they needed to be made more white (basically). In the interest of Truth and Reconciliation, the Federal government has apologized for the practice, and has offered a settlement to all those affected except, notably, Métis people. We'll talk about what the Feds aren't doing for Truth and Reconciliation, and that includes more problems with the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. 

3) Doubly Homeless. There's been a lot of news about the new tenant at 40 Baker Street, but not a lot of discussion about the old tenant. The Out of Poverty Society was effectively made homeless after being evicted earlier this year when the anchor tenants of 40 Baker left, and in its homelessness, Edward Pickersgill has still tried to help Guelph's needy with a mobile version of his service. The poverty picture in Guelph remains sketchy after we discussed it earlier this year, but is there a new urgency now with winter coming? What isn't being done for Guelph's poorest residents, and is this going to be a major issues in the weeks and months to come?

4) Low Energy. Last week, Trans Canada announced that they will not be proceeding with the Energy East pipeline. The pipe would have connected Alberta's tar sands with the Atlantic coast, but it also connected pro-oil economic cheerleaders with anti-oil environmental activists. So naturally, when the project was announced done-zo, the reaction covered a range of perspectives from "We just economically hung ourselves" to "Huzzah, we just saved planet Earth!" The truth, as always, is probably somewhere in between, so we'll talk about the implications, both economic and environmental, of Energy East's cancellation, and we'll talk about whether or not the time has come to have a grand discussion of our fossil fuel future.

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


End Credits - October 12, 2017


This week's panel on End Credits has seen things you people wouldn't believe... We have not seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, and we haven't watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate, but we did watch Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 back-to-back. We'll look at the lessons we learned from what is arguably Ridley Scott's greatest film, and how they apply to Denis Villeneuve's audacious follow-up that dares to go where no filmmaker has gone before. Or is that another franchise?

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

1) Blade Re-Runner. Before diving into this week's review, it behooves us to revisit not just the film that formed the basis for a sequel 35 years later, but a film that ended up inspiring science fiction film, TV, books, and games for over three decades and counting. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, then hot off his dual franchise roles in Star Wars and Indiana JonesBlade Runner was a complex and daring film vision, one that's been dissected and recycled by many filmmakers both great and no-so great over the years. We'll revisit the original Blade Runner, discuss its enduring appeal, and how its themes that still fuel dreams of electric sheep.

REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049 (2017). With this film, Denis Villeneuve dared to lasso a sacred cow and managed to find himself equal to the enterprise. The director of Arrival and Sicario teams up with fellow Canadian Ryan Gosling to pick up the story of Blade Runner set 30 years after the original, and they dared to not just match the cult classic, but surpass it. Bolstered by a great cast, including the returning Harrison Ford, and featuring the fantastic visuals of cinematographer Roger Deakins, 2049 is easily the best-looking movie of the year, but will it stand the test of time along side Scott's Blade Runner? Time, and this week's show, will tell.

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


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