Open Sources Guelph #316 - March 4, 2021

8Mar

This week on Open Sources Guelph, we going to go far north if only in spirit because we can't presently leave our protective bunkers. Dr. Pierre Fogal, a certified climate change hero, will take us around 80 degrees north this week as we talk about his work and his research at the Arctic Circle. Before that, we will stick closer to home with Alberta politics, and then go far afield with the intelligence report about the high-profile murder of a journalist.

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

Kenney on the Block. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is in trouble, and so is his United Conservative Party government. There's widespread dissatisfaction with the COVID-19 response, the economic tumult from the low cost of oil, and another austerity budget that promises better days once COVID is gone and with the "return of crude", but it looks like there are a lot of people in the Wildrose Province that don't share that optimism. Is this the beginning of the end for Kenney?

Legends of Jamal. As promised, the Biden administration released the full report on the cold blooded murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. The report unequivocally named Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the prime suspect, but despite promises to the contrary, there was no follow-up announcement of sanctions against the Saudi government, royal family, or MBS himself. So what's the long game for dealing with Saudi Arabia?

Fogal Prize. This week, University of Toronto physicist Dr. Pierre Fogal will receive eMERGE's Climate Change hero of the year award. It's a distinguished prize for a distinguished scientist who's spent much of the last 15 years shuttling to and from the Arctic Circle managing one of Canada's most remote research stations where so much vital climate research is happening. Fogal will join us to talk about his work, his new award, and what he's learned in the Greater White North.

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

End Credits #188 - March 3, 2021 (To All the Boys: Always and Forever)

5Mar

This week on End Credits, it may be March, but we're still in the mood for love. Our movie this week will take us back to high school and the difficult balancing act of school, romance, and the future. We're reviewing To All the Boys: Always and Forever, and we're also going to talk about another love affair, Hollywood's love of affirmation through the awarding of gold statues.

This Wednesday, March 3, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Candice Lepage will discuss:

Golden Jeers. The Golden Globes were handed out last weekend, and it was horrible. People were attacking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for its lack of diversity, they attacked the glitch-heavy Zoom-centric ceremonies, and all the usual jokes that fell flat. On the plus side, Chloe Zhao, Nomadland, and the late Chadwick Boseman won so things weren't all bad, right?

REVIEW: To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021). Will Lara Jean and Peter end up together forever?! If you're a fan of the two previous To All the Boys I've Loved Before movies, this question has haunted you since this time last year, but for everyone else just know that Lara Jean and Peter are the Bella and Edward of the 20s sans the vampirism. In the end, forces try to keep our favourite couple apart, but can they overcome all challenges, ahem, always and forever?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 3 pm.

GUELPH POLITICAST #263 - They Had Concerns

3Mar

You may remember Xinyi, a Chinese glass manufacturer that wanted to try and build a plant just next door in Guelph/Eramosa Township. All but one of the township's councillors rejected the proposal in the wake of wide-spread public outcry about the effect on the local environment, especially the water supply, and that seemed to be the end of that. It wasn't. The story then moved to Stratford.

Last fall, it was announced that Xinyi was trying again in the Festival City, and this time they had a Ministerial Zoning Order in hand. Typically, and MZO is meant to be used in the event of an emergency, or for projects of provincial significance, but according to Environmental Defence, more MZOs were handed out in 2020 than in the previous 20 years combined. One of those MZOs was intended for Xinyi's new plant.

MZOs have been the great boogeyman for activists lately as they override the normal planning processes and timelines, and Stratford is just one of the places that is fighting back. An organization called Get Concerned Stratford organized, even though the Xinyi plant seemed like a done deal, but they still demonstrated, petitioned, delegated, and they forced Xinyi to put the entire project on pause. So does this mean public pressure still works?

Melissa Verspeeten, who is a member and spokesperson for Get Concerned Stratford, will help us figure that out on this week's podcast. She will talk about her beginnings as an activist, and the political and planning conditions in Stratford that led to this project being proposed in the first place. Verspeeten will also talk about the difficulty in getting materials on the project, and Xinyi’s attempts to discredit Get Concerned. She will also discuss the future of her group, and what other groups can learn in their own local fights against MZOs. 

So let's get back in the fight against Xinyi on this week's Guelph Politicast!

You can learn more about Get Concerned Stratford and its activism via their website and social media pages. The Stratford Beacon Herald had complete coverage of Xinyi, and you can check that out here.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

Open Sources Guelph #315 -February 25, 2021

1Mar

This week on Open Sources Guelph, we will wrap up the month with a multifaceted discussion that will take us from the present, to the future, and back to the past. We will look at the contentious debate about a certain Conservative motion this week, and we will look at the provincial conservatives move to... protect the environment? In the back half, we're talking again about Facebook's world takeover, and we'll remember a notable bit of Canadian political history.

This Thursday, February 25, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Motion Captured. This week, the Conservatives brought forward a motion to declare the treatment of the Muslim Uyguhur minority in China a genocide, and it succeeded with broad support from other parties, and despite the Liberals. But why vote against it? It seems like a no-brainer, but does it make sense when only Canada is going out on a limb to call out China? Was Erin O'Toole perhaps more obsessed with "pwning" Justin Trudeau than the plight of the Uyghurs?

Greenbelt New Deal. Last week, the Government of Ontario announced that they were working on a plan to expand the Greenbelt and its protections, even extending them to the Paris Galt Moraine in Guelph's south end. If this sounds weird to you, you're not alone in that assumption. What are we supposed to make of the Ford government's new commitment to the environment, and why are they still proceeding with MZOs and other measures if we're protecting the Greenbelt?

Beatdown the Press. The Australian government introduced a law to get Facebook and Alphabet, the company that owns Google, to start paying for the news that gets shared on their platform, Facebook responded by blocking all Australian sites until the government started seeing things their way. Now Canada is looking at the "compromise" as something that can be initiated in our country, but what makes anyone think this will support the need for local news?

Handshake Diplomacy. It was 25 years ago that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien manhandled anti-poverty protestor Bill Clennett after a Flag Day event in Hull. The incident, where Clennett was grabbed by the neck and chin, and forced to the ground while losing a tooth in the process, was cutely called "the Shawinigan Handshake" and became an infamous bit of Canadian lore that was mostly dealt with humorously. But was that the right call? Should we take a second look at the "Handshake"?

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

End Credits #187 - February 24, 2021 (Sound of Metal)

26Feb

This week on End Credits, we're going to appreciate the gift of hearing a bit more after seeing this week's movie. Our review on this episode is the new drama Sound of Metal, which features a couple of great performances, and some excellent sound design. Less excellent though are the people we will be talking about in this week's news items.

This Wednesday, February 24, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Tim Phillips will discuss:

Show Us the Money! Back when all theatres were open, it was a Sunday tradition to get the weekend box office numbers, but more and more studios are keeping that information to themselves. We'll talk about that story in this week's news section along with the new Woody Allen doc series and the improbable return of Brett Ratner with a Milli Vanilli bio-pic.

REVIEW: Sound of Metal (2020). The Oscars are still a couple of months away, but everyone's talking about the main performance in this movie as a likely Best Actor contender. Riz Ahmed plays a heavy metal drummer who suddenly loses most of his hearing. Thrust into a new world without music, or his musical partner (played by Sophia Cooke), he has to learn a whole new way to live. So what did we make of the journey, and its central performance? Tune in and find out!

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 3 pm.

GUELPH POLITICAST #262 – The View From the GRCA Board

24Feb

It's a difficult time for conservation authorities across Ontario. Pandemic? Yeah, that’s part of it. Conservation authorities can’t take part in their usual programming, and they’ve lost normally dependable funds because of that, plus there are all the new precautions they have to take in areas of their parks that are open. But that’s just the beginning of the current headaches for conservation authorities.

Back in November, the Ontario government announced the 2020-21 provincial budget, and like their previous budget there was some very non-budget related stuff in the fine print. Schedule 6 of the budget bill, Bill 229, took away some autonomy from the province’s 36 conservation authorities including a clause that forces those authorities to issue permits at the insistence of the minister. There was some disagreement on that.

The person now charged to work through those disagreements on our end through the Grand River Conservation Authority is Guelph/Eramosa Mayor Chris White. White has been mayor of Guelph/Eramosa since 2006, he was Warden for the County of Wellington from 2011 to 2014, and he’s been part of the GRCA board since 2014. He was appointed chair of the board just last month, and the complex situation coming out of Bill 229 is a lot to deal with for someone with less than two months on the job, so how's he coping?

That’s one of the questions Mayor White will answer, and he will also talk about why the GRCA is so important to him, and the current stresses the GRCA is facing because of the pandemic. On the issues with the Province, White will talk about why he intends to proceed with the working group in good faith, and the legitimate issues concerning the management of conservation authorities that really do need to be addressed. And finally, White will discuss his goals and concerns for 2021.

So let's talk about the view from the GRCA board on this week's Guelph Politicast!

You can learn more about the Grand River Conservation Authority at their website. The next meeting of the GRCA board of directors is this Friday at 9:30 am, which is also the annual general meeting for the GRCA, and you can find the agenda and links to the virtual meeting here.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

Open Sources Guelph#314 - February 18, 2021

22Feb

This week on Open Sources Guelph, we will consider a great many others. This episode of the show will take us from the still bruised U.S. Capitol for one senate hearing, to the red chamber of our own senate where there's very important social matters being debated. From there, we'll talk about election misses on the east coast, and the aforementioned salesmen above.

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

Acquitted Place. Even though it was the most bipartisan impeachment vote in American History, the Senate was still 10 votes short of preventing Donald Trump from running from office again and losing his post-presidential privileges. To say it's disappointing is an understatement, but this may not be the end of the troubles for Trump who is already being sued for the insurrection by the NAACP and is facing electoral fraud investigations in two states. So now what?

Death Notes. Canada's assisted dying legislation is in the midst of a court-demanded upgrade, but the friction now is between the House of Commons and the Senate as the upper house is debating their amendments, including new provisions that will expand access to doctor assisted dying. The real question is whether or not the House will take up the amendments, especially now that the Liberals don't have a majority, so is this process about to get somehow more complicated?

The Vote was Rocked. Newfoundland and Labrador is in the middle of a pandemic like the rest of us, but unlike the rest of us they are also in the middle of a provincial election. A spike in new COVID-19 cases prompted election officials to cancel in-person voting in favour of an all mail-in election, which has forced the extension of the deadline and a lot of questions about proper election procedure and making decisions without input from opposition parties. Did Elections NL eff-up?

The Aristocrats. Earlier this month, Centre Wellington councillor and deputy mayor Steven VanLeeuwen joined something called the "End the Lockdown Caucus", a group of Canadian politicians who find accepted actions to stop the spread of COVID-19 "too restrictive". It's a group that includes Maxime Bernier, Derek Sloan, and Randy Hillier, but are we to take this as a serious political movement, or are some of Canada's most well-known political agitators just living up their reputations?

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

End Credits #186 - February 17, 2021 (Judas & the Black Messiah)

19Feb

This week on End Credits we're getting back on track with another tribute to Black History Month. Judas and the Black Messiah is the movie we're reviewing on this episode of the show, and perhaps in keeping with the theme, we will also talk about the week's news, which was all about problematic white celebrities doing and saying gross and inappropriate things.

This Wednesday, February 17, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

The New Cancelled. It was quite a week for geek icons behaving badly. On the one hand, we had Gina Carano being fired by Lucasfilm for sharing conspiracies and anti-Semitic memes, and on the other hand we had more allegations against Joss Whedon, but these ones come from the halcyon days of his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We'll talk about both stories.

REVIEW: Judas and the Black Messiah (2021). In 1969, the 21-year-old leader of the Chicago Black Panthers, a young man named Fred Hampton, was killed in an early morning police raid, and what nobody knew at the time was that his trusted head of security was an FBI informant. Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield star in this true life story ideally situated for a Black History Month release, but does the movie live up to the moment, and its important place in the culture?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 3 pm.

GUELPH POLITICAST #261 - The Impossible Return of Con-G

17Feb

From 2009 to 2014, a group of University of Guelph students who were fans of gaming, comics, anime and other geeky things organized a yearly winter convention designed to bring people together and share their passions. It was perfect in its way, but all good things must come to an end, but sometimes they come back, and they come back at the most surprising times.

In so much as the demise of Con-G had to do with the core group of now-former U of G students growing apart, and moving on to adult demands like careers and families, it was also a victim of its own success. There was no venue in Guelph big enough for the size of event that Con-G had become, so the organizers took the money they made and donated it to the Guelph Food Bank, and that was apparently the end of it. 

They moved on, but in the shadow of the pandemic there was opportunity. Could you run a convention where size was only limited by your audience’s bandwidth? Could you capture the fun, creativity and camaraderie of an in-person con while running it all online? This week, we're joined by Lindsay Barker, who is also one of the originators of Con-G years ago, and ask her all about the miraculous comeback.

So this week on the podcast, Barker will recap the history of Con-G, and why the pandemic provided the perfect opportunity to bring it back. Barber will also talk about how she and her fellow organizers, all Con-G originals, are adapting all their favourite events for an online audience, and the technical and organizational challenges of a virtual convention. And finally, she will also discuss the growing geekiness of Guelph, how she will judge the success of the event. 

So let's talk about how the con is back on on this week's Guelph Politicast!

You can find all the details about Con-G, which takes place at your home this weekend from February 19 to 21, at the Con-G website, or through its various social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

Open Sources Guelph #313 - February 11, 2021

15Feb

This week on Open Sources Guelph, we've not news, analysis and a healthy dose of informed speculation. We will spend the first half of the show talking about provincial politics as the economy is re-opening and the legislature is returning. In the second half, we will talk about that latest spectacle happening now in the U.S. Capitol, and then we will go to India where farming has become a matter of international interest.

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

Normal-ish. This week, most Ontario schools got back to in-person classes, and on that same day Premier Doug Ford announced that most of the province will come out of the state of emergency and lockdown the day after Family Day next week. This is good news for a lot of struggling small businesses, but the typical Ford government approach to announcing a direction without a plan remains intact. So is this a good move, or is the Province threatening to undo weeks of hard work?

Same Time, Next Year. Also returning next week is the Ontario Legislature. The Provincial government has been in recess since the second week of December, so the opposition parties have had a lot of time to think about what they're going to do, and the NDP have decided to shake up their front bench. Why does this matter? Because this time next year we will be talking about the coming Provincial Election. So do opposition parties stand a chance against the kinda okay Ford?

Impeachment 2: Impeachment Harder. The second impeachment trial of former social media influencer Donald Trump began this week in the U.S. Senate, and Day One did not go well. While the House managers delivered a harrowing video and an emotional opening statement from Rep. Jamie Raskin, Trump's lawyers stumbled through a rambling counterargument that did not belie the reputation of the only lawyers Trump could get. So there's a chance Trump might be convicted this time, right?

Old Mohindra's Farm. You may have heard about the protests being held by farmers in India against their government, what's the deal? Well, they're protesting the passage of three new bills in the Indian Parliament that thousands of small and family farmers in the country say will give too much control to argricorps, including the possibility of price fixing. The anger and concern have been felt be Indian communities all the way here in Canada too, so we will talk about why this has become a global affair.

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

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