GUELPH POLITICAST #89 - Dr. Hugh Whiteley, “Emeritus Council Delegate”


City council wrapped up this week as the traditional summer break began, and it wound to a close without a distinctive voice... But at least until you'll be able to hear it on this week's podcast. 

Dr. Hugh Whiteley is a regular face and voice at city council meetings, usually delegating on planning matters, and usually to point out that city council and staff are doing something out of bounds according to the pertinent master plan. What makes him an expert? How about decades of experience as a hydrological engineer, and actually being a part of past city planning processes?

Whiteley's been in Guelph since the University was barely a university, and he's been delegating to city council since the councillors were called aldermen. That's a rare kind of institutional memory, and one that Whiteley still likes to employ at council, which is sure to the delight or annoyance of the present council depending on the mood or the tenure of debate. Hence the joke above, "Emeritus Council Delegate"

But that's part one of the reason I wanted Dr. Whiteley on the show; part two is the general question about how one gets involved in council? A lot of people want to engage with city hall, they want to stay on top of things in their neighbourhood, they want to get to know the inner workings of city council, but how can they begin? What can they do? I think there's some solid advice here from Dr. Whiteley. 

So on this week's podcast, I talk to Dr. Whiteley about his life's work, some of his experiences working with the city and council over the years, his own experience running for local office, and how you - yes, you! - can get better informed and engaged in City of Guelph the Whiteley way! (Granted, you'll have to get your own Ph.D.)

So let's learn from a master on delegating and being a planning policy wonk on this week's Guelph Politicast. 

I'm sure that you will hear from Dr. Hugh Whiteley again at a city council meeting coming up in the near future. That will have to be after the summer hiatus, if course. Council is on break until September.*

*Next week on the Guelph Politicast, there will be a recap of the council year so far, stay tuned for that.

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 - July 20, 2017


This week on Open Sources Guelph, things go a little topsy-turvy. The one member of the team that usually goes out and gets the political interview, was too busy to do it this week. Then, at the other end of the show, we cross a little into End Credits territory by talking about the rare intersection of pop culture and politics. In between though, we've got juicy stuff about addressing Canada's racist past, and its trading future. 

This Thursday, July 20, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Plenty for the Guy. This past Monday, the latest NDP leadership contender came though the Royal City at NDP campaign headquarters at the Red Papaya in Old Quebec Street. Guy Caron, the only Quebecer in the race, arrived in town to convince local Guelphites that he's the guy (pun unintended) to lead the New Democrats into the next election, and hopefully a rebound in their political fortunes. Open Sources' own Scotty Hertz caught up with Caron, who joins our growing collection of interviews with NDP leadership candidates, to find out what makes him the man to take the NDP all the way.

2) Farewell Cornwallis. A few short weeks ago, some Indigenous protestors gathered in Halifax in front of the statue of founder Edward Cornwallis for a ceremony of Truth and Reconciliation before they were interrupted by the alt-right group the Proud Boys. Since then, Cornwallis continued presence in the town he founded has been called into doubt as some are now demanding the statue be removed; the city compromised and threw a black tarp over him instead. The debate reflects similar ones in the United States where statues of Confederate soldiers are being brought down, and a demand on the part of a students group at Ryerson to change their university's name. Is this debate helpful, or is history just too ugly to throw a tarp over or tear down?

3) Trader Dough. While the Trump Administration appears stymied on just about any number of domestic priorities, it seems that they are able to move forward with their idea to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. A week of meetings has been set for August 16 between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico representatives in Washington D.C. Canada's protectionism of its dairy market, and U.S. tariffs on softwood lumber are sure to be sticking points, but other difficult areas might involve a free movement of workers between the three countries, and state governors wanting to keep Canadian and Mexican companies from bidding on local contracts. Can a consensus by reached?

4) Doctor Her? The BBC announced the newest Doctor Who this past weekend, and to the surprise and delight of many people it was actress Jodi Whittaker that got the nod, and the key to the TARDIS. For the first time in 54 years, the Doctor is a woman, and this seemed to drive a lot of people nuts. Sure, you get your usual MRA whack jobs that starting asking about when Wonder Woman will be recast as a man, but British tabloids immediately celebrated Whittaker's casting by publishing pictures of scenes she had done nude in other movies and series. Classy, and proof that we've still got a long way to go than just letting the woman drive through time and space...

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


End Credits - July 20, 2017


This week on End Credits we've got female issues. Or rather other people have female issues and we have to talk about them. For instance, the man that gave us Pulp Fiction, and The Hateful Eight is tired of made-up violence and wants to tackle real life incidents of monstrous murder, in this case against a Hollywood actress. And then, one critic thinks a made-up test to promote better women characters in film is destroying movies, and Disney can't find two Middle Eastern people that can sing and dance and act out of seven billion humans on Planet Earth. And we'll top all that off with review of a film that's a new spin on an old theme. 

This Thursday, July 20, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson, and Candice Lepage will discuss:

1) Good Luck, Chuck. Quentin Tarantino is prepping his new movie, and while it's not about cowboys or gangsters, it is about killers. Real-life killers. In something of a shocking move, it was reported that Tarantino is working on a film about the Tate/LaBianca murders of 1969 committed by Charles Manson and his "family" of followers. Given Tarantino's style, his love for exploitative violence, and the sensitivities given that victims' families and many of the perpetrators of the crime are still alive to be offended, it's a very unusual move for the filmmaker. So it will it be the ultimate statement about the Manson murders, or a disaster picture?

2) Test the Limits. A National Review columnist decided to make himself persona non grata on the internet by saying that the Bechdel Test is stifling artistic liberties. What is the Bechdel Test? In the 80s, a cartoonist included a line in one of her graphic novels about how a female character only sees a movie if there are two named women characters who talk to each other, and not about a man. It was kind of a joke at the time, but a lot of cultural critics now use it as a yard stick to measure how women are portrayed on film, perhaps too much because we ask the important question: Is the Bechdel Test the be all/end all to how women are portrayed on film, and aren't their better ways to gauge good representation?

3) Arabian Slights. Disney is basically trying to turn all their animated classics into live-action remakes, and they've got their sights set on Aladdin next, but there's just one problem: It's hard to find people of Middle Eastern ethnicity that can sing, dance, and act. Or maybe it's not that hard. Disney announced the casting for Aladdin and Princess Jasmine last weekend at their D23 convention, and this after leaked reports that a worldwide casting search had come for not. So was Disney actually having a hard time trying to find ethnically correct actors, and were their expectations way too high given what's typically expected from actors in similar roles?

REVIEW: The Beguiled (2017). Sofia Coppola has established herself was one of the pre-eminent film voices of her generation, but her newest film very pointedly takes on the past. This remake of a 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood takes the same plot, a wounded Union solider finds himself in the midst of an all-girls boarding school in the Confederate South, and his presence starts to foster sexual tension amongst the older students and the remaining faculty until things take a surprising turn. The Beguiled may be one of those films that is mesmerizing to some, and infuriating to others, but did Coppola successfully put a modern spin on a nearly 50-year-old story, or is this, oddly enough, a good-looking movie that doesn't have much to say?

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


GUELPH POLITICAST #88 - Steve Kraft, CEO of Guelph Public Library


A lot of people probably remember a row between then-Toronto Councillor Doug Ford and vaunted Canadian author Margaret Atwood over supporting libraries, and not closing branches in order to save the City money. Well, six years later Ford is out of council and Atwood is more popular than every because of The Handmaid's Tale TV series. You know what else is more popular than ever? 

Yes, you don't hear a lot of calls to close the public library anymore. Maybe it's because the library, as a place to borrow things like books and DVDs, is one of the last places you can find and use physical media without paying an arm and a leg for it. But maybe it also has to do with changes that the library itself has made over the last couple of years. The library still has all the books you can ever read, but it's also got new technology, digital archives, and can even allow you to access virtual reality!

Libraries across the country are trying to define what it means to be a library, which includes the Guelph Public Library, and by and large those efforts seem to have been successful in Guelph. According to GPL's own annual report over 59,700 people in Guelph have a library card, and last year they borrowed over 2.3 million items, not to mention accessing library services like the internet, physical and digital newspaper archives, 3D printing, ebooks, and numerous workshops, lectures and public forums. The public library, in other words, still plays a central role in the Information Age. 

So who better to talk about all this with than Steve Kraft? He came up through the stacks, and now sits in the corner office, and for three years, he's governed over a difficult transition period for the library as its tried to find its place in a world where information is as close as a Google search. This week on the podcast, I talk to Kraft about some of those challenges, the potential limitations of the library, what the library means for customers in the 21st century, and where the library is going, physically, in the not-to-distant future. 

So let's go to down to Norfolk Street, and that hub of knowledge, skills and general ephemera still called the main branch of the Guelph Public Library, for this week's Guelph Politicast. 

To learn more about the Guelph Public Library and stay about to date about upcoming events and activities, you can go to its website 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.


Open Sources Guelph - July 13, 2017


This is going to be a highly controversial week on Open Sources Guelph, geo-politically speaking. Sadly, we must dip back into Trumpland this week as the race for the title of the President's stupidest son heated up. Meanwhile, things got pretty heated in Canada as some people thought that $10.5 million was too much to pay for being tortured in a black site, and things might really get heated if North Korea gets the bomb. Back in Canada, we've got our fingers crossed for a juicy government grant.

This Thursday, July 13, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Money Monster. The Canadian government reached a settlement with Omar Kadhr, a child soldier that was wounded, arrested, detained, tried, and convicted by the American government while three different Canadian administrations twiddled their thumbs. The bill is $10.5 million, and it was supposed to close the door on a particularly painful episode of Canadian history, but look out, the Conservatives smelled an opportunity to wedge, and they have wedged like the wind! We'll try to sort out the complex feelings, discuss why the government probably did the right thing, and why this has been so controversial.

2) Oh, Fredo. After months of trying to cast the investigation into Russia collusion as "fake news", the biggest bomb yet came from none other than Fredo Cor... I mean, Donald Trump Jr. DoJu was sent an email from someone he never met, who told him that they had dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government that they wanted to offer his father's campaign, and he thought, "Sounds legit to me!" After some hard-hitting reporting from The New York Times, DoJu had to admit that yup, he was that stupid. We'll mine the latest developments of the case, which seem to be changing by the minute.

3) Nuclear Options. Meanwhile in North Korea, they're getting closer and closer to finally having intercontinental ballistic missiles tipped with atomic bombs, something that the majority the world sees as not a good thing. But what can be done? Conventional warfare would create millions of refugees that would flood the borders of China, letting Kim Jong-Un have nukes would destabilize the Pacific Rim, and getting rid of him through assassination features a whole host of moral, ethical and political concerns. So how do we get out of this stalemate, and what is the North Korean endgame other than, you know, "kaboom!"?

4) Drain Stream Media. This fall, the federal government is expected to announce what, if anything, they're going to do to help bolster the failing mainstream news industry. Post Media has been on "death watch" for a while, TorStar just killed its tablet app Touch, and ad dollars keep dwindling, and dwindling forcing further deeper and deeper cuts. So what can the government do? What should they do? Should they do anything? One cannot deny the importance of the news, but might government propping up a failing business model stifle innovation? And is there a Guelph lesson to be learned here?

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


End Credits - July 13, 2017


This week, End Credits does what ever a radio show about movies can. Spins a web, any-size, but by web we mean a yarn, as in a way to explain something. You can't really set theme music to it, but that's okay. To celebrate the particular release of a certain superhero's new film, we'll kick the show off by digging into a genre that some people think is awesome, and other people think is ruining Hollywood, and together we'll find some gold. 

This Thursday, July 6, at 8 am, Adam A. Donaldson, Vince Masson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) Tales to Astonish. To mark this week's release, and our review of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the End Credits gang this week recount some of our favourite, most-beloved, and bestest comic book and graphic novel based movies. From outcast heroes, to frustrated curmudgeons, to dark anti-heroes, there's actually lots out there for movie lovers of every taste as comic book movies keep stretching the genre in strange new directions, and it can probably be argued now that comic book movies are their own genre now. For the first half of the show, the gang will post their top three.

REVIEW: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). In the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, young Peter Parker returns to his Queens high school after fighting side-by-side with the Avengers (as seen in Captain America: Civil War) only to find out that high school still sucks if you're the Amazing Spider-Man. It's John Hughes meets Richard Donner as Peter tries to prove himself to Iron Man, stop the fiendish Vulture from stealing high-tech weapons, and overcoming his nerves by asking his dream girl to the dance as Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man makes his highly anticipated big screen return.

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


GUELPH POLITICAST #87 - Holly Mastrogiacomo, Guelph’s #TamponTuesday


When you think about the essentials, the things that you need on a daily basis, what do you think about? Food, shelter, and clothing are obviously the big three, and once you've got those maybe you start thinking about other essentials: a tooth brush, toilet paper, and if you're of the female persuasion, you're probably also thinking about tampons...

By now, you've probably heard about Tampon Tuesdays. It started in 2009 in London, ON, but it's carried on through to other cities, including Guelph, where Holly Mastrogiacomo of Smitten Apparel has taken it upon herself to be a community champion and fill the need for feminine hygiene products at the city's various aid agencies. So far, it's been pretty big success.

This is a fascinating topic on a number of levels, and we address many of them on this week's podcast. Sure, there's the direct issue of how Holly and her donors are filling a need that wasn't being met, but there's the broader issue of gender equity too. In Canada, there was a fight to take the HST off tampons and other products, and in the States there's legislation before committee in Congress demanding Menstruation with Dignity. It's almost as if there's a movement afoot. 

In the meantime, Holly and friends are collect pads, and making a pretty good success of it while they're at it. So this week we talk about the mission, why it matters, and what it means to think outside the [tampon] box in terms of meeting the needs of city's vulnerable citizens. 

So this week, Tampon Tuesday is on a Wednesday, at least so far as the Guelph Politicast is concerned.

If you want to give a box of tampons or pads to the #TamponTuesday efforts, you can drop them off at Smitten Apparel at 259 Grange Road, Unit #11, and you can also get in touch with Holly at the store's website by clicking 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.


Open Sources Guelph - July 6, 2017


Welcome back for the summer session! Open Sources Guelph rolls on this week, adequately rested after a long weekend to talk about the latest political stuffs. For instance, did you know that the Liberal government in B.C. fell last week? The NDP/Green coalition is now put to the test as their relationship has to go from theoretical to practical, and we'll talk about threading that needle. Also hoping for a rise in Green power in Ontario, is our guest this week Mike Schreiner, and we'll have lots to talk about with him. And in our outrage of the week, a group calling themselves the "Proud Boys" don't give us a lot of reasons to be proud. 

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

1) Horgan's Heroes. Tried as she might to delay the inevitable, Christy Clark had to cede that the time had come for the B.C. Liberals to call it a day and let the NDP/Green coalition give governance a whirl. Presently, John Horgan is putting together his team, and there should be a cabinet announcement soon, but what are the implications going forward? The NDP made a lot of promises to the Green Party, and that will have some serious implications on relations with the federal government and neighbouring NDP-governed Alberta when it comes to pipelines. Will the coalition work out for the long haul? And what of the Liberals, what does the future hold for them after their cynical attempt to hold on to power?

2) Not So Proud, Boys. Accompanying celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday this past weekend, were protests by Canada's First Nations people, some of whom saw the anniversary as a commemoration of how they had their land and culture stolen. One such protest in Halifax near a statue of Edward Cornwallis was interrupted by a bunch of white guys that didn't like the oppressed stepping on their patriarchy (or something). These were the Proud Boys, a "fraternal organization of Western Chauvinists who will no longer apologize for creating the modern world," and while these organizations have been growing in strength and visibility, it's not everyday that six active service members of the Canadian navy are caught amongst their ranks. We'll shed some light on this controversy.

3) Everything's Schreiner. In a nice compliment to our first topic (it's nice when things work out weeks in advanced), we welcome back to the show the Green Party of Ontario leader and prospective Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner. At the end of the month, Guelph Greens will decide whether to endorse Schreiner's nomination to run for the riding, a decision that will likely come back in the affirmative, but Scheiner's got his eyes on the bigger game. We'll talk to the GPO leader about whether or not the Greens have a shot at tipping the balance of power in Ontario, and we'll discuss the last year at Queen's Park, recent environmental concerns and why Schreiner recently came out to city council to talk about "woornerfs" (and what is a woonerf?).

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


End Credits - July 6, 2017


Did you wake up early this morning expecting a new End Credits? Sorry, but we have a new home for the summer, and it's Thursday mornings at 10 am! To celebrate we're going to meditate on creativity and talk about how being creative sometimes gets you fired, especially when you're working on a Star Wars movie, and we'll also talk about how you're nothing now without an extended universe. Along with that we'll consider if its possible to win an Oscar for playing an ape, and to show there's creativity left in the world, we'll rave about a new car chase movie.

This Thursday, July 6, at 8 am, Adam A. Donaldson, Tim Phillips and Jenna Gare will discuss:

1) Howard's End. Usually the drama's on the big screen, but in this case the drama's all on set. Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired as the director's of the young Han Solo Star Wars movie, and while the exact story isn't yet known, what's become clear from multiple sources is that the filmmakers were having way too much fun taking liberties with the script. With so many millions of dollars at stake, the studio has to be sure that the people making those movies don't go rogue (one), but what effect does that have on the creative, and the artistic processes, especially since every other movie being made now is a franchise film?

2) Hail Caesar. With the release of The War for the Planet of the Apes coming soon, the question's been asked, doesn't Andy Serkis deserve an Oscar? Serkis is one of the pioneers of motion capture performance thanks to his work on The Lord of the Kings, King Kong, and the three Apes movies, so he's definitely worthy of some kind of recognition, but there's some philosophical questions about what form that would take. Can you recognize the actor alone without the computer effects artists? On the other hand, the costume designer doesn't share a Best Actor Oscar, do they?

3) Collapsing Universes. Marvel, DC, Transformers, X-Men, Dark, Spider-Man, Hasbro, Fast & Furious... These are some of the cinematic universes that are in some form of development, and it's not over because now they're talking about a James Bond universe, which is literally named after the one guy. Why is Hollywood so obsessed with these multi-movie spanning storylines? Is it the money? And are we sacrificing a greater variety of movies and voices by dumping an overwhelming amount of money and energy into creating films that tie into a dozen other films?

REVIEW: Baby Driver (2017). From the man that brought us Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End, and Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, comes the touching story of young love against the backdrop of high-stakes crime in the Atlanta underworld. Edgar Wright's new movie is a great mix of action, comedy and romance as Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, learns the eternal lesson of the criminal life: just when you think you're out, they bring you back in. Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, and Jon Hamm co-star in this outstanding summer movie that is as much about dancing as it is about cars driving. Call it The Fast and the Glorious...

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


GUELPH POLITICAST #86 - C.J. Smith, This Crazy Train


Surely, you've gotten on a train or a bus and been aghast at the bad behaviour of some of the people you were riding with: muddy feet on the seats, somebody crowding the entrance or exit, using empty seats as bag racks... People can be rude, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with it, right? That's what C.J. Smith thought in 2010 when she started "This Crazy Train". 

Now Guelphites know that if they want somewhere to learn more about public transit, the changes and the critiques, then this is the place you want to be. Admittedly, it's hard in Guelph at times to find people who are passionate about transit, and do little more than grin and bear the problems and the issues as we struggle to get where we're going on a daily basis. But there are a few, a happy few, that see public transit as a preferred method of transportation, and want to do their part to make it better.

And that's C.J. Smith. She started "This Crazy Train" as a way of highlighting the rudeness and the indignity she saw on her daily commute on the GO Train to Toronto. In the era right before social media, and with really no where else to vent, "This Crazy Train" is an oasis of sanity in a world of bad manners. At least that's how I've found "This Crazy Train" over the years. It's hard to confront people in real life, but on "This Crazy Train", you can give the gift of shame. It only occasionally works, but that's not the point.

Smith has long been on my guest list for the podcast, and she was eager to appear when I finally extended the invitation. So this week on the show we talk about the origins of "This Crazy Train", the ways she defined some of the usual suspects she still encounters on her commute, and whether or not those people do more harm than good by dissuading others to get on public transit too. We may not solve the mysteries of transit life, but I think we had an excellent conversation, and it's always talk to someone and nerd out over public transit use.

So whether or not you are on some crazy train or bus right now, sit back, relax, and listen all about it on this week's Guelph Politicast.

If you want to check out the latest of what's going on with "This Crazy Train", you can do so by visiting the blog here, and you can point out the bad behaviour of GO Train users by trading tweets with "This Crazy Train" 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.


« Newer Posts - Older Posts »