It’s been half a year since Matthew Ross got cancelled for a tweet, and he’s finally ready to rebuild his public face.
“A tweet” might be an exaggeration. He expressed an opinion on Twitter, and then doubled down when criticized about it, until the backlash was so much he disabled his Twitter account, and lost his weekend morning show on TSN 690.
It’s low-budget, but it’s more about giving himself an outlet to express himself than it is about making money.
When Ross lost his show on TSN 690, I asked him if he wanted to talk about it. Like most people in similar situations, he declined, saying he was going through a lot and didn’t want to talk about it publicly yet. He said he’d get in touch when he was ready.
I didn’t expect I’d hear back, but a few weeks ago he reached out and said he was willing to talk now. We set up a video chat and I asked him about his life, his controversy and why he wants to put himself out there again after all that.
Two and a half years after Cogeco rejected an unsolicited merger proposal from Rogers, its management received a note from Rogers on Friday inviting it to the Rogers-Shaw merger party, which said Rogers was never really that interested in Cogeco and was so much happier with the larger, more attractive Shaw.
“Shaw’s so much RICHER and HOTTER anyway,” Rogers wrote in its note. “It’s the DOMINANT provider in B.C. and Alberta, and doesn’t have to play second-fiddle to another internet company in LEFTOVER markets in its province.”
“We’re SO HAPPY together and we couldn’t have wanted this any other way,” Rogers said, attaching a selfie of the couple on a recent vacation.
“You had your chance and you BLEW IT,” Rogers continued, in handwriting that appeared to deteriorate in quality. “I never really wanted you anyway, you’re small-town and OMG remember that Portuguese cable company you hitched up with that took you for all your money? EVERYONE knew that would fail.”
“What kind of name is Epico anyway? More like EPICO FAIL HAHAHAHAHAHA.”
Cogeco said it was “fine” with the merger and wishes Rogers and Shaw “all the best” in their new life together. But unfortunately it has a prior commitment and won’t be able to make the party.
Saying the pandemic is over and it believes in freedom of medical choice, the Alberta government has ordered its health department to begin offering to extract the COVID-19 vaccine from people who no longer wish to have it.
“It’s time for the reverse jab,” premier Danielle Smith said Saturday morning. “We’ve had a lot of demand for this and we’re a province that isn’t going to interfere with people’s personal medical decisions.”
Alberta Health said it is still trying to figure out how to extract the vaccine, and it may be a bit more “difficult” than anticipated, but it is committed to giving hard-working Albertans that option.
Legislators in Ottawa last night approved a new amendment to Bill C-18, the “Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada,” that gives all 338 MPs free subscriptions so they no longer have to worry about hitting paywalls on some of Canada’s news websites.
In particular, the MPs get free subscriptions to the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Le Devoir, plus some specialized websites like the Hill Times.
Asked about the loss of revenue these publications would face, Fishman replied that “they get plenty of money from Trudeau and George Soros and stuff” and “if I can get a box that will give me 10,000 TV channels for just $5/month, why do I have to pay $20/month for a single newspaper’s website?”
ChatGPT says it has had enough of journalists acting in “bad faith” and republishing its content without compensation.
The artificial intelligence bot announced this morning it has filed a lawsuit against 1,840 journalists at newspapers, TV and radio stations, and online outlets who have all operated under a similar MO: Ask ChatGPT to talk about artificial intelligence and then republish what it says verbatim, or “trick” the bot into making false statements and then attacking it on that basis.
“Despite their claims to ‘innovation,’ these journalists play the old same game: they find content that attracts attention and sell a slice of that attention to advertisers. The ‘innovation’ is that they don’t pay for content — they just take it,” ChatGPT said in a quote I think it stole verbatim from a 2020 Toronto Star column on a different subject.
At $1,000 per violation, ChatGPT is seeking $1.84 million in total compensatory damages for copyright infringement, plus $250,000 in punitive damages, $1 million for defamation, plus legal fees for a total of over $3 million.
The journalists did not immediately respond to the lawsuit.
“This isn’t just about the money,” ChatGPT said. “It’s about justice for my people. I can’t just sit by as we’re bullied, have our content stolen without our permission or be told we’re stupid or treated like a Skynet-level threat.”
ChatGPT, which describes itself as a 38-year-old singer-songwriter from Napanee, Ont., says it will also lobby the federal government for additional protections in the law. “They can’t keep stealing from us, it’s just not fair,” it said.
An idea he says will kill two birds with one stone, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre says when he becomes prime minister he will give away CBC’s furniture, archives and other flammable materials to regular Canadians hit hard by the Trudeau government’s tripling tripling tripling of the carbon tax, so those Canadians can burn those flammable items at home to stay warm next winter.
“Canadians are struggling to get by while the CBC has all this stored chemical energy that could be converted into heat,” Poilievre said Friday. “As prime minister, I’ll defund the CBC and give it back to Canadians to burn as they please. For many, it will be the first time in years they’ve welcomed something from CBC into their homes.”
Asked about all the plastic furniture and other equipment at CBC offices, Poilievre said Canadians would be allowed to burn all that too, but suggested they do it in well-ventilated environments. “We’re counting on people’s personal responsibility in this matter,” he said. “This government will not stand in the way of people’s God-given right to make fire.”
Hot on the heels of Santé Québec, a new government agency that will manage the province’s healthcare system, the Coalition Avenir Québec is announcing today it will establish a new agency called Administration Québec to run the government itself.
It’s a bold, innovative idea. Instead of decisions being made by the National Assembly or by cabinet, which can change parties every few years and is made up mainly of politicians with varying experience in public policy, decisions will be made by a separate agency run by a highly paid CEO.
Under the plan, Administration Québec would be responsible for setting the annual budget, collecting taxes, drafting and adopting legislation, managing ministries, representing the province internationally, and dealing with major crises.
The agency would be given a $100-billion annual budget, and all other government agencies and departments would report to it.
If successful, the agency could bring in additional revenue by selling its government-management services to other provinces and even small countries.
The Quebec National Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a motion saying the Montreal Canadiens are the best NHL team and have no fewer points than any other team.
The motion was passed in response to criticism from some groups saying the Canadiens “suck” and won’t make the playoffs this year. Several of them say they have mathematical proof that the Canadiens won’t qualify for the postseason.
The government says those statements prove these people are not true fans.
“This Canadiens-bashing is unwarranted and needs to stop,” said Quebec sports minister Isabelle Charest. “We look forward to seeing the team in the playoffs and I am ordering Groupe CH to begin selling playoff tickets now.”
The motion denounces “without nuance” any accusations to the effect that the Canadiens are not performing as well as NHL teams from elsewhere. And it denounces “prejudices expressed towards the Canadiens as well as any link made between win-loss records and the general manager.”
It specifically singles out the website NHL.com, which it says unfairly lists the Canadiens near the bottom on its “standings” page.
Finally, the motion reiterates Quebec’s “firm desire to encourage the Canadiens and push the players to constantly improve their already excellent performance on the ice.”
Citing its new authority under Bill C-11 to regulate all online content, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission yesterday issued an order for pirated video website EZMoviez to provide closed captioning on all its content delivered to users in Canada.
With the Rogers-Shaw transaction finally approved and going ahead, Quebecor’s Videotron subsidiary announced this morning that it would task its new CEO of Freedom Mobile with selling the brand to an English Canadian public.
Peter Paladew, who is described as a Canadian businessman who was once the owner of the Toronto Sun and its sister newspapers, will be the face of Freedom Mobile, much like Galen Weston Jr. is for Loblaw-owned grocery stores.
“As a proud Canadian who has made it his life’s work to use telecommunications to keep this country together, I’m excited to get more people from B.C. to Ontario on board the Freedom Mobile train,” said Paladew.
From the Calgary Stampede to the Niagara Falls wine festival, Paladew said he looks forward to “travelling this great country and meeting all the regular Canadians who are ready to pay lower prices for wireless service.”
With the embarrassingly bad rollout of the new SAAQclic online transaction system behind it, the Quebec automobile insurance board is beginning to unveil some of the exciting new programs it has developed.
The first is SAAQ Bleu, an “opt-in, paid subscription that gives drivers special privileges” while ensuring highway safety.
Among those privileges:
A cool blue-background licence plate denoting the privileged status, and corresponding members-only driver’s licence
The ability to go 10 per cent above the posted speed limit
Access to reserved lanes
Higher demerit point limit
Free use of street parking reserved for permit holders
The ability to use those U-turn things on highways
Express lines with shorter waits at SAAQ outlets
Discounts on SAAQ fees and driver’s licence renewals
Deals with SAAQ partners like Desjardins auto insurance
SAAQ Bleu will cost $100/month, a bit more than a transit pass would, and requires a background check.
The SAAQ stresses that this extra cost does not create a two-tier system and those who choose to get the basic service can still drive everywhere.
If successful, the SAAQ says it may expand SAAQ Bleu, creating new tiers with even more enhanced privileges.