GUELPH POLITICAST #127 - The OGRA Sessions

30May

It was a major conference of municipal leaders, influencers, and business people. Appearing live on stage where politicians from the three major parties, including the interim leader of the Official Opposition, and the Premier of Ontario. Only one person could interview them on the issues that matter, and get straight answers, and somehow, that person was me.

Back in February, I was invited to take part in the annual conference of the Ontario Good Roads Association and interview Premier Kathleen Wynne, interim leader Vic Fedeli, and Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates in front of between 1,000 to 2,000 delegates. The setting was the conference floor of the Fairmont Royal York hotel, and the possibility was mind boggling. To say this was the biggest thing I've even done as a political journalist is something of an understatement.

These were interesting times just three months ago. Fedeli was embroiled in the immediate fallout of Patrick Brown's resignation and the beginning of a contentious leadership race. Gates was speaking on behalf of a party that many thought had no shot at forming a government. Wynne had to convince a cynical electorate that the Liberals were worth the investment of four more years in government. A lot can change in 90 days. Well, for two out of three anyway.

So let's get to the OGRA Sessions on this week's expanded edition of the Guelph Politicast!

You can learn more about the Ontario Good Roads Association by visiting their website here. Remember that if you haven't voted yet in advanced polls, Election Day is June 7, and the polls are open 9 am to 9 pm. If you have yet to receive your voter information card, you can learn where and how to vote at the Elections Ontario website.

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 - May 24, 2018

28May

It's a first this week on Open Sources Guelph! As the provincial election marches on, we will go into expanded edition mode in this episode with three big guests who are all running to be Guelph's next MPP. The first is hoping for an Orange Crush to help launch her to Queen's Park, the second is a man who's struggled to find a good home for himself in terms of parties, and the third proudly states he's the "none of the above" option.

This Thursday, May 24, at 4:30 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Guelph Needs an Aggie? If there's a reason that Agnieszka "Aggie" Mlynarz stands out from the Guelph pack, it's because of her age. If she wins, she would definitely be one of the younger MPPs to sit in Queen's Park, and it's a notion that should not be dismissed as the NDP has been steadily gaining ground in this campaign. Still, Guelph's going to be a tough run with strong contenders from the Liberals and the Greens all vying for the left wing vote. We'll ask Mlynarz about that struggle, the NDP's efforts to stand out on the left, the increasingly shorter odds of a Premier Horwath, and why her youth is an asset.

Man on the Mooney. It's been quite the journey for Thomas Mooney in this election. He was originally looking to be the PC candidate, but behind the scenes skullduggery scuttled that notion. He then joined the Ontario Alliance, but it turns out the new party had some of the old problems. So now Mooney is running solo, but with his principles intact. We'll talk to Mooney about the strange course of his journey in this election, why he still wants to be Guelph's MPP party or no party, and why the question of who's representing constituents, and who it is they're really answering to, is the under-reported issue of the election.

Paul of the Above. Not for the first time, Open Sources will host a member of the None of the Above Party. For this election, in Guelph, Paul Taylor is carrying the banner for the [official] None of the Above option. Taylor drove transport trucks for many years, but was sidelined in 1997 due to a workplace injury. Since then he's take on the role of advocate and support for workers injured on the job, and he's made it a major point of interest in his political campaign. We'll talk to Taylor about his advocacy, why he's running for None of the Above, and what he thinks the real important issues are in this election.

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

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End Credits - May 23, 2018

25May

This week on End Credits, after a couple of weeks of heavy dramas, we kick back, relax, and get back to the thing that makes cinema life worthwhile: superheroes, but with jokes! Yes, we review Deadpool 2, even though it’s probably about as critic proof as you can get, and before that, we look back at 18 years of X-Men cinema and decide once and for all which ones are the best.

This Wednesday, May 23, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) The X-Men Movie Draft 2018. Second only to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of the number of entries, the X-Men film series is the oldest, continuous comic book franchise in movie history. Here’s the thing: all 11 movies in the series so far have veered wildly in quality from one to the other, from the dizzying highs of X2: X-Men United, to the disappointed lows of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. For posterity, we’ll draft the Top 5 X-Men films so far, and talk about our picks.

REVIEW: Deadpool 2 (2018). Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the X-Mansion… The Merc with the Mouth returns for a follow-up to his 2016 smash hit, Deadpool. What follows is a non-stop series of gross out gags, graphic violence, slapstick humour, and comic book movie references out the wazoo as Deadpool puts together his own team of mutant heroes, X-Force (sounds like a f**king franchise), to stop Cable, a cyborg soldier from the future, from killing a troubled young mutant. Seriously, it’s a family film!

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

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GUELPH POLITICAST #126 - Martin Bauman, Canadian Mental Health Association

23May

Mental health has been one of the most talked about issues of the current election, and it's understandable. Over the last few years, the stigma around mental health issues has been receding, and people have been able to share more openly, which has been a good thing. The problem is that the healthcare system is showing the strain.

Consider this: funding to treat addiction and mental health accounts for just 6.5 per cent of the overall healthcare budget in Ontario. In "real numbers" that's $3.5 billion out of the total $54 billion healthcare budget. Ideally, the Canadian Mental Health Association would like to see 10 per cent of the healthcare budget go to mental health. It's a campaign called "Erase the Difference", and it supposes that we should treat mental illness like we treat the flu.

That's good thinking because one in five Canadians has to deal with a mental health issue, and in Ontario, the average wait time for a counseling is five months. It's no wonder then that all the political parties are promising more money, and more resources for mental health services. But wait, are the parties just responding to the political demand? Do they really know what services like the CMHA need to deal with a growing problem?

These are a couple of questions we put to Martin Bauman in this week's podcast. Bauman is a communications specialist with the Waterloo-Wellington office of the CMHA, and he joins us to talk about the economics of mental illness, how poverty and housing issues come into play, whether or not mental health is looked at too often in it’s own silo, and if it should be integrated into the bigger healthcare picture.

So let's talk abut what it's going to take to get mentally healthy in this week's Guelph Politicast!

You can learn more about the CMHA, and the entire array of services and programs they offer by visiting their website here. If you immediate need help, you can also call the CMHA help line at 1-866-531-2600.

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 - May 17, 2018

21May

Open Sources Guelph is the only place where you'll be able to hear long form interviews with each of the candidates running to represent Guelph in the 2018 Provincial Election, and it starts this week with two of the Guelphiest! First up is Juanita Burnett of that little party that could started in a Guelph farmhouse almost 100 years ago (the Communist Party). Second is a man also hoping to make history, and no stranger to the show, Mike Schreiner. The Green leader returns to make his case to be Guelph's Member of Provincial Parliament.

This Thursday, May 17, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Carin' Burnett. It's not a Guelph election without a Communist Party candidate, and once again Juanita Burnett will carry that banner in 2018. Now, people may write off the Communists and their platform, but as Burnett reminded at the All-Candidates Debate last week, it wasn't so long ago that her party was the only one promoting a $15 minimum wage. So the Communists got that one right, but what other policies might mainstream parties be able to steal from them in five years? We'll discuss all that with Burnett,  talk about the Guelph Communist tradition, and the issues that the main political parties aren't really talking about in this election.

2) Magic Mike. It's hard to find a candidate with more at stake this election than Green Party leader Mike Schreiner. Even before the writ was drawn up, Schreiner and local Greens were pulling out all the stops in Guelph in order to make history: get the first Green Party MPP elected in Ontario. History may be on Schreiner's side, Guelph's is an open race, and he's worn a lot of shoe leather the last four years to get here. We'll talk about all that with Schreinert, plus the potential for a green shift in the economy, balancing idealism and practicality, and what challenges he thinks he needs to resolve to win that seat at Queen's Park.

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

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GUELPH POLITICAST #125 - Kithio Mwanzia on Debate Prep

19May

Guelph's provincial candidates will get together again on Tuesday to face-off in another debate. Well, four of them are. The four major party candidates will be grilled before a live audience, and a TV one, and the one doing the grilling is Kithio Mwanzia, the President and CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. Today though, he's the one being grilled.

As part of Guelph Politico's election coverage, going beyond the platforms and attack ads, we sit down for this week's bonus podcast with Mwanzia, who will be hosting his second Guelph election debate this coming week when he moderates the Guelph Chamber's Provincial Election Candidates Debate.

Now this debate will be different from the one last week hosted by the Guelph Wellington Coalition for Social Justice in that only the four major party candidates will take part. For the four candidates excluded, this is a miscarriage of democracy, but to Mwanzia it's an uncomfortable necessity in order to allow more time to go deeper on the issues, and hash out the Guelph effects and influences. We get into this first thing on the podcast.

Mostly though, for people that have ever wondered about the challenges and responsibilities of moderating a debate, this is the podcast you've always wanted. We dig into Mwanzia's mind on the process: Where he’s going to put the emphasis on his questions, how much he’s digging into the policy binders for each party, and his thinking about the format and how this debate might be different from the last. Also, why does the Chamber of Commerce have a debate anyway?

So let's question the questionner on this week's bonus edition of the Guelph Politicast!

The Chamber of Commerce debate takes place on Tuesday May 22 from 6 to 8 pm in the Council Chambers of Guelph City Hall. Doors open at 5:30 pm, and the debate will be broadcast live on Rogers Channel 20. For more information on the debate, you can visit the Chamber 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 - May 16, 2018

18May

It's not yet time for the End Credits team to ride off into the sunset, but today we get on our horse and ride out for some old-fashioned coming of age drama (with a horse) in Lean of Pete. Before getting there though, we will saddle up and talk about a man and his donkey, and their two decade long journey to the big screen, and then we'll talk about John, and Bill and Ted, who are all making a comeback to varying degrees.

This Wednesday, May 16, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Tim Phillips will discuss:

1) Too Big to Fail. Terry Gilliam has been working on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote for 20 years now, so screening the completed film at Cannes later this month had to feel like a moment of tremendous triumph for all involved, right? Not so fast. A former producer on the project tried to undermine Gilliam's success with a last minute injunction to stop the screening, which is just the latest twist in the drama of Don Quixote, a production so troubled that three documentaries have been made about it. It's a fascinating tale, and we'll talk about the latest details.

2) Rambo Vs. Monsters. Last week it was announced that John Rambo was going to return to the big screen in a new adventure next year in which he'll fight a Mexican drug cartel. Same old, same old for Rambo, but there was once a time when there were much grander ambitions for the war veteran turned killing machine. For instance, how about Rambo fighting an inhuman monster? It almost happened, but while filmmakers swing for the fences, are they betraying the original vision of the character to begin with?

3) Bill & Ted's Excellent Return? It's been over 25 years since Bill Preston and Ted Logan piled into a phone booth and went on a time travelling adventure. But since this is an era in which everything old is new again, it seems that the time has come for a middle-aged Bill and Ted to Face the Music, and the reality that they have not accomplished their grand destiny. A lot of people are excited about the prospect, but are we getting too deep into nostalgia porn, and are we capable of digging our way out to something more original?

REVIEW: Lean on Pete (2018). Just another charming movie about a boy and his horse... Is not the tagline for Lean on Pete. Young Charlie is a 15-year-old kid with an absentee mom, a dad in arrested development, no money to speak of, and a lot of free time with nothing to do. So he gets a job at the local track looking after a race horse, and a special bond is formed, but then it all goes wrong. Lean on Pete features complex character work wrapped up in the simple narrative of a boy just trying to find a home, and the horse that gives him the hope to get there.

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

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GUELPH POLITICAST #124 - Debate Debrief with Scotty Hertz

16May

You know you have a packed house when you actually have to make the house bigger! That's what happened last Thursday at the All Candidates Debate hosted by the Guelph Wellington Coalition for Social Justice. There's been a lot of arm chair quarterbacking from social media pundits, but now it's time for the semi-amateur official community radio pundits to have their say.

With seven of the eight candidates taking part, it was the first chance Guelph voters got to see the various ideas and ideologies of the people vying to be Guelph's next Member of Provincial Parliament. The added bonus too is that Guelph's is an open seat; the incumbent isn't running so each candidate sees their odds of winning as good so long as they can convince enough people to vote for them. No pressure, really.

This week on the podcast, with the help of Open Sources Guelph co-host Scotty Hertz, we proctor how each of the candidates were able to make their case. We also talk about why so many people were interested in the debate, our thoughts on the format and the moderator, and what the next debate is going to look like with only the four main party candidates participating. It's like Open Sources, but on the Guelph Politicast, which non-existent focus groups tells us is what the people want.

So let's play pundit on this week's edition of the Guelph Politicast!

If you liked this debate, keep in mind that there will be another debate on Tuesday May 22 hosted by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. It begins at 6 pm and will take place in the Council Chambers of Guelph City Hall, but if you can't make it there, you can tune in to Rogers Channel 20 if you're a Rogers subscriber.

Also, keep an ear out this weekend for a special episode of the Guelph Politicast with Kithio Mwanzia, the President and CEO of the Guelph Chamber, who will moderate this debate.

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 - May 10, 2018

14May

Enjoy our last burst of punditry for a while, because next week on Open Sources Guelph it's going to be all about the candidates. Before all that though, we're going to be talking about the Ontario election in a broader sense by catching up with the leaders, and then we will look west where the Alberta Conservatives are counting down to their own change election. Also, we'll talk about the new anti-hate organization that's arisen from the response to the Toronto Van attack and other incidents of extremism here in Canada, and we'll finish off with something a little... mellow.

This Thursday, May 10, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Finally... After talking about it for many, many months now (why do we have fixed election dates again?), the Ontario Provincial Election finally kicked off at 12:01 am on Wednesday. To prove the campaign began before the campaign began, a leader's debate was held by CityNews Monday night, which featured a lot of screaming and posturing by the three invited party leaders - Kathleen Wynne, Doug Ford, and Andrea Horwath. It was so bad at times that some people think the person that won, was the person not invited to the debate (that's Green Party leader Mike Schreiner by the way). We'll launch the campaign with appropriate pith.

2) "Green Left". Getting party members fired up for an election one-year from now, United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney declared war on the "Green Left", and we don't mean the progressive news site from Australia. But while Kenney's fiery attack on David Suzuki, and less high-profile environmental activists, got the most attention, Kenney was setting off some markedly different fires with social conservatives by waffling on the party's stand against Gay Student Alliances, and then there was another waffle about the motion on parental consent for "invasive" medical procedures (*wink*). Is the United Conservative really that United?

3) Hate the Haters. As we've seen with Alexandre Bissonnette and Alek Minassian, and the proliferation of groups like the Soldiers of Odin, the Northern Guard, and the Three Percenters, hate groups are growing in size, number, and ferocity here in Canada. For those looking for a way to combat the spread of hate in Canada, there's now the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. Set up to be our country's answer to the Southern Poverty Law Centre in the U.S., CAN is crowdfunding to launch their research and activism. We'll be joined by journalist Evan Balgord, the executive director of CAN, to talk about the organization and how he hopes it will start a backlash to the hate.

4) Up in Smoke? In a little less than two months, Canada is supposed to be enjoying a new era of legalized weed, but even at this late date there are signs that it might not end up happening. Indigenous communities across the country are concerned because they don't think they've been consulted enough, a senate committee is recommending last minute changes, provinces and police forces are concerned they're not ready, no one's sure what to do when U.S. Border Security asks about pot use, and then there's the fate of all those people in jail for recreational (but illegal) pot use. So will the Liberals buckle and delay or is this full-speed ahead?

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

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Open Sources Guelph - April 26, 2018

13May

The warmer weather has ushered in a very political news week on Open Sources Guelph. We'll catch-up with the latest in local political news, and the latest from the Federal Liberals who are acting like an election's coming. Circumstances also demand that we revisit Trump World on today's show, while another set of circumstances demand we revisit the growing influence of the alt-right. 

This Thursday, April 26, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) The Final Countdown. It was a very busy Saturday in local politics. While Mike Schreiner rallied for the Green Party with special guests Elizabeth May, David Suzuki, and Sarah Harmer, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath came to town to get the Guelph wing of the party hyped before choosing their nominee. Meanwhile, Doug Ford made the unusual move of appointing 11 candidates in ridings where there were still none, including Guelph. That probably wasn't the best move for a party overcoming accusations of being anti-democratic in local races, but hey, we have a full slate now of main party candidates! All that's left is for the writ to drop...

2) And Having Grit. The Liberals had their National Convention in Halifax last weekend, and the goal was obvious aside from the handling of party business: the Liberals are getting ready for next year's federal election. Trudeau played an oldie but a goldie in "Sunny Ways", but the attention was on the sexual harassment workshop on Saturday, which brings to mind another two words: "Me Too." It seemed that everything went according to plan until allegations emerged Sunday night that Liberal MP Francis Drouin was accused in an "incident" at the convention. So have the Liberals learned any lessons from the last two-and-a-half years?

3) The French Connection. This week, U.S. President Donald Trump received two European visitors, including French President Emmanuel Macron, pictured above posing with Trump for a Pink Floyd album cover. Macron was hoping, among other things, to talk Trump out of not renewing the Iran Nuclear deal, the next renewal deadline for which is May 12. Of course, there are also implications here for the pending meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un, which Trump is already hailing as a success despite the fact that Kim's done nothing to denuclearize, and Trump's own foreign policy team is in upheaval. Just another week in Trump World!

4) White Men Can't Job. A column in the Globe and Mail aimed to answer an age old question: why can't a white guy catch a break? The r/Canada subreddit responded to the post with a flurry of racists responses about how affirmative action has ruined a generation of young while guys who just can't get head of women and minorities. Was the Globe stoking alt-right sentiments here? Also, we're learning that Alek Minassian, the suspect behind the Toronto van attack, saw himself as "incel", meaning someone who's involuntarily celibate, another alt-right cat call. What the heck is going on out there? Is Canada going alt-right crazy without us even knowing it?

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

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