Open Sources Guelph - February 21, 2019

25Feb

We're back! After taking a week off to help CFRU mark Black History Month, Open Sources Guelph returns with more stories than you can shake a stick at. So let's start shaking! We will metaphorically march on Queen's Park, as everyone seems to be doing, since everyone seems to have a beef with the provincial government these days. Next, we'll go to the Federal government, where they're certainly not immune from scandal. Speaking of immunity, there's not much of it anymore thanks to Anti-vaxxers. And speaking of contagions, we'll say goodbye to a dream called "HQ2" because of creeping socialism.

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

Winter Smolder. The Ontario Legislature has been back in session for two days, and already there's been enough controversy for about an entire term. Parents with autistic kids are still fuming about changes to funding for therapy, and they were understandably displeased when a Conservative MPP waved off their concerns with a dated Seinfeld reference. Tuesday began with students still angry about proposed changes to post-secondary education, and Wednesday brought another potential scandal involving patronage and giving high-paying jobs to loyal party members, and the week's only half over... What next?

Nothing to SNC Here. If you really want scandal these days, go to the Federal government where the mysterious transfer of Jody Wilson-Raybould from Justice Minister to Veterans Affairs Minister was answered with the revelation that the PMO tried to lean on her to lean on the prosecutor to go easy on Montreal engineering firm SNC Lavalin. This type of old school influencing scandal would be a bad look anytime, but in an election year? Combined with the fact that it looks like Justin Trudeau pressured the only Indigenous woman in his cabinet to quit, is it safe to finally say that the "Sunny Ways" agenda is dead and gone?

Bullet to the Headquarters. Late last year, Amazon announced that New York City was the winner of its HQ2 contest, meaning that the Big Apple was the chosen location for their second headquarters. People cheered because it meant 25,000 jobs in exchange for about $3 billion in tax subsidies, but along the way, the socialists started winning, and getting ideas. Amazon suddenly pulled HQ2 last week, and blamed it on politicians like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for not giving them enough love, and being downright rude about all the benefits one of the world's richest corporations had received. Is this the end of crony capitalism?

Vax Populi. In the grip of a worldwide measles outbreak, the blame for the spread of a disease declared eradicated in North America for almost 20 years falls squarely on the shoulders of the so-called "Anti-vaxxers", people who believe vaccinations in kids leads to autism and other developmental conditions. Now this is hokum thoroughly debunked by scientists everywhere, but the damage, it seems, has been done, and is being undone as "herd immunity" has started to suffer, and outbreaks now grip Vancouver and several U.S. states. So have we learned our lesson on this, or are we doomed to suffer from diseases once thought cured? Polio, anyone?

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

End Credits - February 6, 2019 (Happy Death Day 2U)

22Feb

After a short break for Black History Month programming, End Credits returns this week with the biggest scandal of our times: why is the Academy making changes to the Oscars ceremony that sucks? Yes, this week. we're all about the 91st annual Academy Awards in the top half of the show, and for the second half we're going to talk about time loops and psycho killers who party like it's your birthday! 

This Wednesday, February 20, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

Oscars Pee-ew. It's been a rough Oscar season as taste makers have looked down their nose at nominees like Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book, and the awards show itself has been dealt blow after ridiculous blow as the Oscars try (and fail) to figure out a way to stay relevant. Ahead of this Sunday's show, we'll make our best guesses about who will win the top prizes, and we'll talk about the weeks (and months) of controversy leading up to the show.

REVIEW: Happy Death Day 2U (2019). Just when you thought you had vanquished the killer that you had to die over and over again and live through the same day repeatedly to discover and unmask... Yes, Happy Death Day didn't really re-invent the wheel. It was a fun, little, low-budget, high-concept slasher, but its sequel triples down on the weird science by making our heroine Tree have to find a new psycho killer in a different dimension while reliving her birthday again and again, all while having to learn the physics to get her home. And you thought your birthday was rough.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 2 pm.

GUELPH POLITICAST #161 - The State of the City 2019

20Feb

The State of our City remains strong, but there's room for improvement. That's the "too long; didn't read" version of this year's State of the City address. There's been a lot of discussion and analysis about Guthrie's fifth State of the City, but as with past speeches in the last few years, the Guelph Politicast is giving you the chance to hear from the mayor directly.

What's the deal with the State of the City? It's an annual event held by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce so that members, leaders of the business community, can hear from the Mayor of Guelph about his or her goals for the year, and the political and economic standing of the city from the point of the view of City Hall. This year's State of the City was held at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre on February 4.

Like Throne Speeches or State of the Unions, it’s a good way to get an inside look at the political thinking of our leaders: What’s important to them? What are their priorities? A clear priority this year for Mayor Guthrie was his Task Force on Homelessness and Community Safety. Guthrie said it was his intent to use the State of the City as a call to action to get the business community involved in his initiatives to address poverty and need in Guelph, and you'll hear that directly from the mayor.

But along with getting action on homelessness, Guthrie touches on the forthcoming Community Plan, Guelph’s status as a finalist in the Smart Cities Challenge, the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan, the upcoming budget, the Transit Service Review, affordable housing, and many references to the NBC sitcom The Office. #NeverForget

So let's get into the State of the City on this week's Guelph Politicast!

The original coverage of the State of the City can be found here.

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.

PODCAST SPECIAL: Student Groups Push Back Against Student Choice Initiative

15Feb

Nothing sours your journalistic objectivity more than being emotionally invested in the story, but that's the way it is for proposed changes to post-secondary funding called the Student Choice Initiative. The move might take away important funding for campus groups, and it might take away funding for an important factor to Guelph Politico's success.

In case you don't know, the Guelph Politicast is recorded at CFRU, which receives substantial funding from student fees collected by the University of Guelph. That could change if the Student Choice Initiative from the Provincial government is approved. The measure will allow undergrad students to opt out of all student fees save for athletics and recreation, thus putting a lot of campus groups at risk for losing as much as 50 per cent of their current funding.

That includes CFRU. I also co-host two radio shows on CFRU, one of which features interviews with local councillors, Members of Parliament, and Members of Provincial Parliament. It's the only venue of its kind in Guelph for long-form interviews with these important newsmakers.

More than that, I got my start at The Ontarion, the U of G's independent student newspaper. If I had not wondered in there to volunteer one Thursday evening on a whim, then it's quite possible that you would not be reading this right now. There would be no Guelph Politico.

I say this because the anecdotes and advocacy about "freedom of choice" that will surely come out of the provincial ministries will not take into account the freedom of discovery. They will not take into account how one choice can change your life and lay out a whole new path for you to consider. Who might be robbed of their chance to discover who they might really be because there was no one to guide them at our university and college campuses?

This goes not just for the media, but for any of the numerous opportunities provided by student groups on campus. Student government is often a gateway to careers in politics, environmental and human rights groups create tomorrow's activists and advocates, and whole communities are formed and allies created through various student-run ethnic, religious, and gender-based groups.

But now the question must be asked: Can they survive Doug Ford, and what happens if they can't? This past Monday, CFRU hosted a live panel in the University Centre courtyard to try and answer those questions.

Moderated by CFRU's Marketing & Outreach Co-ordinator Andrea Patehviri and Volunteer & Mobile Studio Co-ordinator Jenny Mitchell, the panel also features Rachel Schenk Martin of the Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity (GRD-GED); Natalie Euale, the Co-ordinator of Organizational and Policy Development of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group; and, VP External of the Central Student Association Kayla Weiler. 

The following is a podcast special, a recording of this panel hosted by CFRU and hopefully a warning about what stands to be lost if the Student Choice Initiative goes forward.

So what happens next? The Ontario Legislature returns on Tuesday, so stay tuned.

GUELPH POLITICAST #160 - Paul Tavares, Homelessness Advocate

13Feb

Homelessness is a hot issue right now. In the midst of an incredible winter cold spell, it's probably quite timely that we should think about the people who have no choice but to live out in the elements. But one man is living out in the cold voluntarily, and he's hoping that his example will galvanize more attention to the plight of homelessness in Ontario.

This week on the podcast, we're joined by Paul Tavares. A long-time homelessness advocate, and a one-time candidate for Mayor of Cambridge, Tavares is presently in the midst of a campaign called 90 Days and Nights in the Cold. It's a stretch he's done before, camping out in a Cambridge park and raising nearly $14,000 for the cause, but his current 90 Days is a bit more ambitious.

Since early January, Tavares has been setting up in an Ontario city for a one-week hitch to raise awareness about homelessness in the area. He's been through Cambridge, Kitchener, and Hamilton (he tried three times to set up in Guelph), and he'll soon bring his tour to Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston, and Toronto, and more. The goal is to not just to raise awareness, but to learn about how different communities are working on the issue. What can we learn from each other, and from different approaches?

So in a free-flowing discussion about his mission to raise awareness about homelessness, Tavares talks about whether the media’s holding up its end, his own personal experience with homelessness, why it drives him, and what it’s taught him about the best way to deal with the issue. He also discusses why it might be more beneficial to appeal more to private groups and individuals to act instead of putting more pressure on governments and aid agencies, and why homelessness is a community effort that should be shared by everyone.

So let's talk about being out in the cold on this week's edition of the Guelph Politicast!

Paul Tavares' 90 Days and Nights in the Cold tour presently sees him setting up camp in Belleville. To follow along with the campaign, you can go to the Facebook page here, or follow Tavares on Twitter here.

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 - February 7, 2019

11Feb

This week on Open Sources Guelph, the state of the union is deeply cynical with a hint of despair. We'll talk about Trump's latest attempt to pivot to presidential, and we'll talk about the Ford government's latest pivot away from transparency. After the break, we'll consider if a serial killer can teach us something about the present tolerance for the queer community, and if a city councillor not taking the bus can tell us something about our transit system.

This Thursday, February 7 at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Stealthcare. Although we're still over a week away from the return of the Ontario Legislature, the press room has been very busy lately with a couple of NDP document dumps from a government whistleblower about plans to overhaul the healthcare system. Official Opposition leader Andrea Horwath called it a doorway to privatization, experts are concerned about a loss of oversight by creating a "super agency" to oversee several specialized health agencies, and the guy that leaked it all is concerned about finding a new job. But what's with all the secrecy, and should Ontarians be concerned?

Day at the Speech. After a brief delay because of the government shutdown he caused and got absolutely nothing for, President Donald Trump made his way to Capital Hill to deliver the State of the Union. Scuttlebutt before the speech was that Trump was going to strike a more harmonic tone, reaching for some more of that bipartisanship we've heard so much about. It was also the first State of the Union for Trump literally in front of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But how well can Trump unify, especially in front of Congress, which is less than two weeks away from another shutdown over the, sigh, wall?

The Lost Village. Bruce McArthur has plead guilty to the murder of eight gay men, and is in the process of his sentencing hearing this week. McArthur's plea allows some closure for friends and family of his victims, and spares them from having to sit through a lengthy trial and the disposition of the horrid details of their loved ones' death. But what about the Toronto Police? Does McArthur's plea also let them off the hook in term of the mistakes they've made as a serial killer stalked the Village undetected. How are the Toronto Police going to win back the trust of the LGBTQ+ community?

Transit Pass. Guelph Transit has some issues, and now the whole country knows about it. Ward 3 Councillor Phil Allt tried taking the "Transit Challenge", where one tries to get everywhere they need to go in a week using the bus, but he gave up part of the way through because, apparently, it's impossible to take the bus in Guelph and keep a full schedule. After Allt did an interview with the CBC, the story got picked up by other CBC outlets, which is probably not the story the City of Guelph wants out there a week after the completion of the service review. We'll talk about why a first-hand perspective matters when talking about transit's issues.

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

End Credits - February 6, 2019 (Velvet Buzzsaw)

8Feb

It's another week on End Credits, your friendly neighbourhood film criticism show that's happy and not pretentious at all. Speaking of pretentious, we get into the snooty art world of Velvet Buzzsaw this week. We also get into the mind of a Hollywood master of transformation, and we get into the minds of the people running the DC movie universe. We also talk about the world of streaming, and whether Netflix is evil, or at least Canadian evil.

This Wednesday, February 6, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Vince Masson will discuss:

Uneven Steven. Steven Soderbergh has got a new film coming out this week, but he's taking a little time for some self-reflection on the junket tour. Looking back at his last two movies, Logan Lucky and Unsane, Soderbergh is still left with the quandary of how best to market a movie, what works, and what doesn't? Speaking of what works, Soderbergh is now with Netflix, so Vince, our resident Soder-expert, is going to talk about the filmmaker's latest reinvention.

Not Batman Forever. To few people's surprise, Ben Affleck was unceremoniously dumped as the Batman of the DCEU, and just as the studio was about to launch another solo Dark Knight adventure. While Wonder Woman and Aquaman have been tremendous successes, this episode shows that there's still a lot of work to do to right the proverbial ship that's the DC Universe. But is firing all the people that played the heroes the way to rebuild?

C.B. See B.S. If you thought the days of imperialist powers was over, then you haven't talked to the CBC lately. The President of the CBC, Catherine Tait, said that Netflix represented cultural imperialism akin to the British and French colonial empires of the 17th and 18th centuries. There's no doubt that Netflix is taking over the world, but Netflix also takes a lot of Canadian hits abroad and makes them international hits. So does Tait have things backwards?

Streaming Dreams. When the internet closes one door, it somehow opens a window. It was announced last week that the cloud site Ultraviolet is shutting down in July, putting a lot of digital libraries at risk since a redemption code has come with almost every disc sold since 2011. If you're bummed, that's okay, you can take comfort in the fact that the Criterion Channel is coming, and it's coming to Canada too. So it is it a good week or bad week for streaming?

REVIEW: Velvet Buzzsaw (2019). The last time that Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, and Dan Gilroy teamed up it was for Nightcrawler, Gilroy's audacious directorial debut about the cut throat world of "If-it-bleeds-it-leads" journalism in Los Angeles. Back with another L.A. tale, Gilroy cuts throats, and other body parts, in this art world satire that's part 80s slasher, and part snarky takedown of self-important gallery taste makers, but can Gilroy make the two halves of his movie work, or does high concept not make for high art in this new streaming hit?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdAR-lK43YU&t=30s

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 2 pm.

GUELPH POLITICAST #159 - Guelph Stuff (Parkland, DCs, Transit and Students)

6Feb

Contentious meetings about development charges and parkland, demands for improved transit, a fight between students and the provincial government about post-secondary funding. Discussions about issues this contentious demands a couple of straight shooters respected on all sides. It's time for another "Guelph Stuff!"

This week on the podcast, we're joined again by Guelph Politico contributor Eli Ridder as we tackle some recent news items from the Royal City. We call this free-flowing discussion of Guelph topics, "Guelph Stuff," and we try to do it on a semi-monthly basis. (The last one was pod #153 on December 29 FYI.)

The first topic this month is money matters. Both the Development Charges update and the Parkland Dedication Bylaw update came forward last month at city council, and both generated significant interest from citizens. How did the meetings play out and were people satisfied by the outcomes?

Then, there's the matter of the Guelph Transit Service Review. The review was long in the works, and there were many promises made in its name in terms of resolve the transit service's many issues, but the results that came back though were hardly surprising. Where will the transit debate go now, and what does one councillor's "failure" with the transit challenge tell us about the bus service in Guelph?

And finally, the Ontario government has caused a kind of kerfuffle with post-secondary students in this province with proposed changes to OSAP, tuition cuts, and opt-outs of certain student fees. Since Eli is a current post-secondary student, the University of Guelph-Humber to be precise, he will provide valuable insight into how students are being affect by the changes, and the protest of said changes.

So let's dig into some "Guelph Stuff" on this week's edition of the Guelph Politicast!

Stay tuned for more coverage of the fight for post-secondary funding, and all the latest Guelph news here on Guelph Politico. "Guelph Stuff" will return sometime next month.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

Open Sources Guelph - January 31, 2019

4Feb

This week, Open Sources Guelph is going to get complicated. In Venezuela, there are some tough decisions about how to handle the tense political situation there. The House of Commons is dealing with some of the same old, same old, but police forces in the country are concerned about a new threat. And finally, we ask the question of our time: do we really need billionaires? 

This Thursday, January 31 at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Maduro Notes. Things have gone from bad to worse in Venezuela. Already suffering from economic recession, President Nicolás Maduro was elected in a vote that many around the world see as less than legitimate. Then, last week, opposition leader Juan Guaidó basically declared himself president, and was promptly recognized by many world leaders including Canada and the U.S. But the chaos has begotten chaos, and some are wondering if military intervention is coming. Is there salvation for Venezuela?

Attack the Block. Centre Block is closed for long, long term renovations, but the change of venue did not create a change in attitude in the temporarily re-located House of Commons. From the firing of John McCallum, to a security threat in Kingston, to all the back and forth about carbon tax, pipelines,  economic development, and all the typical political posturing, it's just more of the usual except this time, with a Federal Election just months away. We'll talk about the start of the winter session.

Sleeper Incel. Last April, Alek Minassian killed 10 and injured 16 others because he was romantically unsuccessful; "the Incel Rebellion has already begun," he wrote on Facebook. A report by CBC's The Fifth Estate has tried to raise the alarm that incels, the so-called involuntarily celibates, are becoming more and more of a threat that law enforcement will need to address. Are we taking the threats of incels and toxic masculinity as seriously as we should, and what can we do about it?

Meh-lionaires. A few weeks after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed a 70 per cent marginal tax rate for people who make over $10 million in the U.S., the idea of taxing the rich seems to be carrying more currency. How do we know? The uber rich hanging out in Davos, Switzerland are already trying to throw cold water on the idea. But it seems like it's too late as people are starting to ask a new fundamental question: How much is enough? If we have a minimum wage, then why don't we have a maximum one?

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

End Credits - January 30, 2019 (The Kid Who Would Be King)

1Feb

This week on End Credits, we accept our destiny to become the greatest movie show on community radio in Guelph! No mean feat to be sure. We'll pull the sword from the stone and review the Arthurian-themed The Kid Who Would Be King. We'll also talk about an award-filled week in the news including Oscars, Razzies, and Chainsaws, and some rather disgusting developments in terms of one of Hollywood's top talents. 

This Wednesday, January 30, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Candice Lepage will discuss:

Oscar the Grouse. The Academy Award nominations were announced, even if there has still yet to be a host named for this year's ceremony. Roma and The Favourite were the two biggest nominees, and diversity still seems top of mind for Oscar voters, unless, of course, you're looking for a female in the Best Director category. We'll talk about who's missing from the nominees presented, and which people made the cut that probably shouldn't have.

Embolden Raspberries. If the Oscar nominations are out, then so are the nominations for the Golden Raspberries, the annual, uh, honouring of the Worst of the Year at the Cinema. But does something feel different this year? Do the Razzies feel more petty than usual? They are nominating low-hanging fruit like John Travolta for Gotti, archival footage of Donald Trump in documentaries about him, and Johnny Depp for voicing an animated gnome. Why bother?

Chainsaw Calibre. Fangoria magazine has published its annual list of nominees for the Chainsaw Awards, honouring the best of horror movies and TV in the last year. If you're disappointed by the fact that there were no nominations for HalloweenA Quiet Place, and Hereditary, then these are the awards for you! Still, were our favourite horror people left off the official list of nominees? Probably!

Singer and the Pain. A new article in The Atlantic painted a disgusting picture of the years and years of accusations against X-Men director Bryan Singer, going all the way back to his second movie, Apt Pupil. People have long figured that it was only a matter of time before #MeToo got Bryan Singer, but they didn't think it would take this long, especially since Singer is still getting movie projects, and a movie with his name on it (Bohemian Rhapsody) is an Academy Award-nominee . So is Singer finally done?

REVIEW: The Kid Who Would Be King (2019). A dangerous enemy, a country in peril, a leaderless people looking for someone to seize the day and lead them to a brave new future. Sound familiar? Yes, the tale of King Arthur has been told, and retold (and retold), but this time, it's a quartet of middle schoolers in modern England who must form their own Round Table before the world ends. If you can't be the coolest kid in school, you can at least lead your classmates in a fight against the walking dead and an ancient sorceress!

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 2 pm.

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