Open Sources Guelph - October 12, 2017 (Brief)

16Oct

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 cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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End Credits - October 12, 2017

12Oct

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 cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #99 - Listener Q and A

11Oct

You had questions, and I had answers. Last week, I put out a request on the various social media lines for your queries about current events at city council and the City of Guelph, and you responded with about a dozen of them. This is where you get your answers.

On this week's Guelph Politicast, we do some serious role reversal as I find myself the one taking questions, not throwing them out them. Meanwhile, you the listener are not some passive participant overhearing a conversation with whoever, for it was you guys that came up with the content. The substance of that content cuts across various subjects including infrastructure, the media, city finances, transit, the 2018 election, hydro, and the latest in news concerning fast food outlets.

But just having the questions wasn't enough, I still needed a partner. So this week on the podcast, I am joined by my End Credits co-host and local politico Candice Lepage, who will serve in the honorary position of quiz master. Over the course of about 50 minutes, the quiz master poses all the various queries submitted, which will hopefully give you a baseline of what all is going on in local Guelph politics at this moment. Didn't ask a question? That's okay. The chances are that someone here asked about something you're interested in. The goal today is knowledge! Let's hope you find some over the next hour.

So let the inquisition begin on this latest edition of the Guelph Politicast!

I hope that this Q and A was informative. If you would like me to do it again sometime, feel free to post a comment or send it to me via one of the usual sources on Facebook, Twitter or email at adamadonaldson [at] gmail.com.

As you will have noted above, this is the 99th episode of the Guelph Politicast, which means that next week is episode #100. There is something special planned for that edition of the podcast, so be sure to come back next week to see who the guest is.

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.

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End Credits - October 5, 2017

6Oct

The impossible is finally happening this week on End Credits. For instance, we'll review a Tom Cruise movie where everyone's favourite self-serve stuntman finds himself in a role where he's not on cruise control (pun intended). In the news, a certain sequel series finally begins production, although the jury's still out for cynics as to whether or not we'll ever see it, and Netflix may be home to the new Beachcombers, or a similarly appropriate piece of TV Canadiana. Finally, more bad news if you're hoping that we've finally reached the bottom of the harassment barrel. 

This Thursday, October 5, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Vince Masson will discuss:

1) Ain't It Cruel News. In harassment news this week, Harry Knowles joined the growing list of men who's alleged past as an abuser has caught up with them. The Ain't It Cool News founder was outed online for harassing and grabbing an employee of the Alamo Drafthouse years ago, and when that news made the web, the flood began with several other women joining the chorus of victims. Speaking of the Drafthouse, this is the second black eye for them and their Fantastic Fest after the Devin Faraci affair a few weeks ago. What is going on in the film criticism community, and how much worse can it get for the Drafthouse?

2) The $1 Billion Man. Production fiiiiiiiiiiiinally began last week on the series of four Avatar sequels under the direction of James Cameron. The long-in-the-works sequels to the 2009 hit that remains the highest-grossing in movie history began principle photography, and the price tag for the movies has gotten the most attention: $1 billion. That's a lot of money to cut a cheque for at one time, and Cameron is likely worth the investment, but let's be honest, when was the last time you heard anyone talk about Avatar? Can Cameron capitalize on the success of the original, or was Avatar an anomaly?

3) Canuckflix? The Federal government has announced changes to the Canadian Media Fund to help make digital production easier for Canada's writers, directors, and musicians. At the same time though, the government is partnering with Netflix so that the streaming giant will spend $500 million over five years on new Canadian-made production. But what does that mean? Will that just be covering American productions using Canada as a location, or will that money be going to tell Canadian stories by Canadian content creators? We'll talk about that, plus we'll talk about the current state of Canadian production, and why Netflix might have more Can Con than even homegrown media outlets.

REVIEW: American Made (2017). Tom Cruise takes a break from being the unflappable man with the plan (although he didn't take a break from his workout regime), to play a real life character. In the late 70s/early 80s, Barry Seal flew missions to Central America for the CIA, embroiling himself in the twin devils of the Reagan administration: cocaine and communism. Oh yeah, he made himself super rich while doing it. Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith director Doug Liman tells another unusual spy tale that's miles away from James Bond as Barry chases the American Dream and stays one step ahead of drug cartels, dictators, and every law enforcement agency in the alphabet.

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

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GUELPH POLITICAST #98 - Tara Baker, City Treasurer

4Oct

It's the most wonderful time of the year... if math is a hobby, or you fetishize your calculator. Yes, the 2018 budget deliberations are about to start at city council, and to put you in a budgeting kind of mood, we go behind the curtain this week to see how the the ones and zeros add up before they make it to the council floor.

Occasionally on this podcast, we like to take you, the listener, on a behind the scenes tour of how certain sausage gets made at city hall. That is to say, how does something like, say, the City of Guelph budget go from a blank spreadsheet to a completed document brought forward to city council for advice and consent, and for the people of Guelph to offer feedback. Needless to say, it's more complicated than you think...

Taking us on this immense responsibility on a yearly basis is the General Manager of Finance and City Treasurer, Tara Baker. She doesn't do all the math, but she does direct it. She co-ordinates between her own staff, and the financial staff of all the various city departments, the managers of those departments, the senior city staff, and the mayor and council. By the time the budget gets to the regular public process in the fall, it's already been in the works for the better part of a year. Almost from the moment the old budget process ends, the new one begins.

So on this week's podcast, Baker takes us through that year of budgeting. How does the budget come together from the various demands, desires and responsibilities of all the city departments, to a coherent document that balances the wants and needs of all city departments together to make up the annual City of Guelph budget. When does council get their say? When do the people? What makes a new spending item a priority, and how does something end up in an expansion pack? And for a special trivia note, how will next year's budget be affected by the 2018 municipal election?

It's a very special Guelph Politicast this week as we finally answer the question: where do budgets come from?

The budget process begins at the end of the month. To learn important dates, and to keep up with all the latest developments, you can, well, follow Guelph Politico, but you can also visit the budget page of the City of Guelph 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.

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End Credits - September 28, 2017

29Sep

This week on End Credits, we tackle our first documentary review. Now one could argue that we go to the movies to escape real-life issues, but documentaries do very well going into the issues we don't see on the news, and deeper into the issues that we do see. To wit, this week we review the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth to learn whether or not we've solved climate change, and how much we owe its resolution to Al Gore. Before that though, the crew will review some of their favourite docs of all time (or right now). 

This Thursday, September 28, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Tim Phillips and Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) Hot Docs. In honour of this week's review, we recount some our favourite documentaries. As a filmmaking genre, the documentary offers a wide range of stories and styles, and the fact that they're telling real-life tales only heightens the appeal. So each of our panelists this week choose three of their favourite docs, and they cover an very diverse slate of films. There's the first film from a left-wing provocateur, an expose of a religion, a series about famous filmmakers during wartime, a classic spotlight on policing fails, mega-length odes to slasher film franchises, and an elegy for a reality TV star. Prepare to make notes...

REVIEW: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Al Gore is back, and this time: it's personal! Well, one can make the argument that it's always been personal, as Gore has been personally attacked for daring to sound the alarm on climate change again and again. Gore returns in this rare documentary sequel to talk about the tremendous strides that have been made in the battle to save the planet, but a shadow looms over the affair, a shadow in the shape of a bloviating New York real estate developer and reality TV star. Gore's positivity has suffered from the political setbacks, but can he and his cadre of supporters overcome the critics to tackle that pesky inconvenient truth?

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

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GUELPH POLITICAST #97 - Trying to Privatize Toronto’s Garbage

26Sep

Last week, city council heard from an interim report on the first service review being conducted by staff. The result of that investigation into Solid Waste Resources was that the service is almost entirely on par in terms of delivering service for money as many of the municipalities that are compatible to Guelph. There was just that one thing though...

Yes, the Material Resource Facility (the MRF) has an over $2 million difference between how much it costs to run, and how much it makes for the City of Guelph. That's not chump change, and understandably, the employees of that facility (referred to as "The MeRF") are worried that the axe will fall on them in order to bring those costs down. Well, some outside workers down the road in Toronto can relate.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416 marshalled their resources to petition Toronto City Council to not act on Mayor John Tory's proposal to privatize Toronto's garbage for all areas east of Yonge Street. Of course, former-Mayor Rob Ford famously privatized all garbage collection in the west end of the downtown during his term in office, ensuring that all areas of the city west of Yonge received private waste collection. In the end, CUPE won the right to keep garbage in the east end public, but this is still likely to be an election issue next year.

What's interesting about this debate was the emphasis not on the public/private divide, but on the case of quality of work. In other words, in terms of diversion rates, and ensuring that the recycling stream is free of contaminates, the public workers just seem better at their job then the private workers. In the end, though there may be immediate savings in terms of staffing, isn't the City of Toronto going to pay latter on by not meeting its diversion targets and filling up the landfill faster?

These are the questions we're looking at on this week's podcast, and to tackle them completely, we're going to take them in two streams. Covering things from the environmental side is Emily Alfred of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, who prepared a report on the City's diversion rates in advance of the council meeting earlier this year, and covering things from the labour side are National Representative Humberto da Silva and Solid Waste Unit Chairperson Brian Demareski of CUPE 416.

So let's take out the trash, and recycle the spin, on this week's Guelph Politicast.

If you want to read more about the Toronto Environmental Alliance's findings about diversion rates in their city, you can check out the report for yourself by clicking here. And to learn more about CUPE 416's efforts to protect their jobs, you can visit the website for their campaign "Kicked to the Curb", 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.

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Open Sources Guelph - September 21, 2017

25Sep

Scotty's back! The Hertz will be back on Open Sources Guelph this week, in person, following his international tour, and we'll give him some time and space this week to get back into a Canadian frame of mind with a couple of sweet topics. One the one hand, a new NDP leader is about to be named, and on the other, a beloved face of the past is promising a political return (for us to make fun of). All that, plus some news from away, and an interview with a U of G prof that knows all about statue drama...

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

1) Travelling Man. There's been a lot of discussion and debate the last few months about statues and historical figures that may not be as inspiration as they should be in a woke age like ours. One such example is in Halifax, NS, where sits a statue of that city's founder Edward Cornwallis, and there's another in Charlottesville, VA of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. This week on the show, we hear from someone who's lived in both places, University of Guelph landscape architecture professor Martin Holland. We have a wide-ranging conversation with Holland about what people thought of these statues before recent events, and what he thinks should be done about them looking to the future.

2) Orange Rush. This weekend was the last chance for the four people running for NDP leadership to make an impression, at least on a national stage. The last debate between Guy Caron, Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Jagmeet Singh was held in the labour Mecca of Hamilton, ON, and now it's up to the membership of the New Democrats to make their first, second, third and fourth picks as to who will lead the party into the next election. Momentum is on Singh's side, but surprisingly some in the NDP have voiced concern that a turban-wearring Sikh can hold on to support in religious symbol-phobic Quebec. Singh does have the momentum though after that viral video, so is this race officially his to lose?

3) Rebirth of a Nation. Proving that he learned nothing from his four years on Toronto city council, or his 2014 loss to John Tory, Doug Ford is throwing his hat again into the political ring by telling the Ford Fest crowd a couple of weeks he's the first unofficial candidate in the 2018 Toronto municipal election. Why? Does Doug not remember how much he hated his time on council? Does he not remember that he had the worst attendance record during his term on council? Does he not remember how frustrated he was that council wouldn't do exactly what he and Rob said? Does he not know that his late brother was light years more personable then he is? All those questions and more...

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

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End Credits - September 20, 2017

21Sep

This week on End Credits we're getting oblique and mysterious with plenty of disturbing imagery. We're reviewing the latest Darren Aronofsky movie, which features a mysterious exclamation point for some reason, and we're talking the latest movie news including bad bloggers, unpopular choices to direct Star Wars, and a franchise that never seems to end no matter how much we want it to. All that, plus one of our panelists comes back to the show to tell us what he's been up to lately. (It's TIFF related!)

This Wednesday, September 20, at 8 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Vince Masson will discuss:

1) Devin Can Wait. It was almost a year ago that Devin Faraci, editor of Birth.Movies.Death., was fired after allegations of sexual assault became public. Faraci is a well-known name in film blogging despite a reputation for being salty and insulting to others online, but the allegation seemed to have sunk Faraci's career, and sent him quietly to seek amends and remediation... Or did it? Last week it was revealed that Faraci was quietly rehired by the Alamo Drafthouse as a writer for Fantastic Fest, which has resulted in several boycotts and other measures. Was Drafthouse founder Tim League right to help a friend, or was this a deeply stupid move on his part?

2) The Coarse Awakens. Last week, we talked about the firing of Colin Trevorrow as the director of Star Wars Episode IX. This week, we have a new director for the ninth chapter of the Star Wars saga, and it's the man that relaunched the franchise back in 2015 with The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams. While the rehiring of Abrams seems like a safe and solid choice, many fans aren't pleased. Abrams may be too safe, they said, and his previous Wars effort was far from exemplary. Didn't he just copy and past A New Hope into The Force Awakens? But seriously, what's with all the J.J. hate, and is the franchise hedging their bets after high-profile director drama?

3) Termin-hater. Because if you've failed three times, then the fourth time's the charm! That seems to be the attitude when it comes to Terminator, and just when you thought it was over, it's actually starting all over again as director Tim Miller and Terminator originator James Cameron are teaming up to reboot the franchise back into profitability. But here's a serious question no one is asking: Do we really need another Terminator movie? If the dwindling returns of the last three Terminators are any indication, the answer is definitely, "No".

REVIEW: mother! (2017). Confused, astonished, grossed out, these are a few of the emotions you will feel watching mother!, the new film from writer/director Darren Aronofsky. The entirety of the film is told within the confines of a stately country home where a poet (Javier Bardem) and his wife (Jennifer Lawrence) are building a nice little quiet life for themselves. All that is thrown upside down though when a mysterious couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) arrive, and that's when things get really weird... Yup, mother! is one of *those* movies and we're going to do everything we can to try and explain it, including the laying out of some spoilers.

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

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GUELPH POLITICAST #96 - June Hofland on the Lafarge Site

20Sep

What was once an oasis from urban sprawl, a developed piece of land that nature had reclaimed from a century of industry, is once again a big empty field ready for construction. For over a decade, the area residents that enjoyed this natural space, and its tress and trails, have been dreading this moment, and the journey is far from over.

Having said that, we don't know where we're going with the development of the so-called Lafarge lands. Despite the urgent urgency of clearing the land, evident from the sudden approval of an application to remove trees back in July, no rezoning or construction plan has been filed with City Hall. Many of the long-term residents in the area are now concerned that all that work in the past, the 10 year journey to agree to terms and conditions for development between the neighbourhood, the City and the landowners, will be paved over like so many trees. Two-thousand of them.

Considering that the question of what to do with this land goes back over a decade, it's entirely possible that there are people reading this for whom how the start of this story pre-dates their time in Guelph. For context, what we need is to go back to the beginning. What was negotiated? When was it complete? Where are we going now? Why the sudden urgency? Who could help us answer these questions?

That last one was easy to answer. Before she was Ward 3 Councillor June Hofland, she was citizen activist June Hofland. Hofland, along with some of her neighbours, formed a group called the Howitt Park Neighbourhood Residents Association and began the long, difficult process of working with all parties to reach an agreement to development the Lafarge lands in a way that all parties would be satisfied with. The process went all the way to the Ontario Municipal Board, and then.... Nothing happened. Until this past summer.

That part, you probably know about. On this week's podcast, we get into the wayback machine with Councillor Hofland as she takes us on a journey that lead to peace and hope for a reasonable development on the Lafarge lands, and a journey that ended up taking Hofland herself on a side trip to city council. One of the things I think people have found Politico valuable for is stopping the deluge of current events in order to provide a historical context, and here we are again.

Anyway, the wayback machine awaits on this week's Guelph Politicast.

Stay tuned for further developments about development on the Lafarge site, and you can search Guelph Politico's archives to get more information about where we've come from on this issue.

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.

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