Category Archives: Uncategorized

Andrew Scheer opens shelters for millions of Canadians left homeless by job-killing carbon tax

Saying he’s doing his duty as a patriot, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer opened up a series of shelters across the country to care for the millions of Canadians who have lost their jobs as a result of Justin Trudeau’s job-killing carbon tax.

The federal tax, which took effect on Monday, only applies to Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, and most of the shelters are in those four provinces, but Scheer said other provinces also have job-killing pricing on hydrocarbons, and people in Alberta and Quebec will also be able to make use of his party’s shelters when they inevitably get laid off from their jobs.

Scheer couldn’t say how much the shelters cost or how many people have taken advantage of them so far, but he noted the costs should be minimal because they’re only needed until October, when his removal of GST on home heating bills will turn the economy round. Enough food, mainly in the form of white bread and baloney, has been stockpiled to last that long.

Besides, he said, if the Liberal government could use taxpayer money to bring in cots for a late night marathon voting session at the House of Commons, surely that money could be better used on Canadian families.

“Be sure to use the words ‘Canadian families’ a bunch of times in your story,” Scheer said.

STM admits new underground construction at Côte-Vertu métro is just a giant Bitcoin farm

STM photo shows excavation of large tunnel near Côte-Vertu metro.

Though it was sold as a necessary infrastructure upgrade to allow more trains to be put into service on the Orange Line, the half-billion-dollar garage near the Côte-Vertu métro station is actually mainly a state-of-the-art Bitcoin mining operation, documents obtained through access to information reveal.Trains will still be circulating through the tunnels, but the main purpose isn’t to increase service as much as to provide air circulation to cool the thousands of Bitcoin mining machines lining the tunnel walls, explained STM chairperson Philippe Schnobb.

“At the current exchange rate of about $5,500 per Bitcoin, we expect this mining operation to pay for itself within eight years,” Schnobb said. “If Bitcoin goes even higher, which it obviously will when you look at its historical levels, we expect that number to go much lower. By 2025 we could be making a profit and by 2030 we could be getting most of our revenue through Bitcoin mining. By 2035 we should be able to drop fares to zero and actually pay dividends to the Quebec and municipal governments.”

This isn’t the first time the STM has gone into the blockchain game. It’s a common myth that the metro doesn’t need heating because enough heat is generated by braking and acceleration of the trains, but in fact it’s Bitcoin servers installed in the undercarriage of metro cars that generate most of the heat in the system these days. It’s the same on new hybrid buses. “We know what we’re doing,” Schobb said. “This is guaranteed to pay off.”

The new Côte-Vertu Bitcoin farm is set to begin mining in 2021.

Super fan of CBC’s 2017 series 21 Thunder anxious to find out when second season starts

Corey Kabongo has some unanswered questions. “Did Declan survive the stabbing? What happened with Junior’s long-lost brother? Are they going to come after Nolan? What’s going on with Lara and that match-fixing ring? Will the team find out what Davey tried to do?”

Kabongo says he’s been waiting since September 18, 2017, to get answers, after watching the first season finale of 21 Thunder, the sexy CBC Television drama about a Montreal under-21 soccer team filled with personal intrigues and tough moral choices.

CBC hasn’t announced a premiere date or even a start of production for the second season of the series, but Kabongo said he is keeping an eye out. “Since it went on Netflix last year, and Refinery29 called it ‘Canada’s answer to Gossip Girl‘, its popularity has only soared. Wikipedia says its reviews were ‘generally positive,’ which is high praise. I just can’t wait to be chanting ‘THUNDER!’ again with fans all over the world.”

Kabongo, who insists he’s not related to series star Emmanuel Kabongo and it doesn’t matter if he is because Manu is a great actor and even better guy, says he’s been in touch with some of the actors in the series and while they’re all busy on other projects, he’s hopeful production of the second season can be flexible enough to work around all their schedules.

The series says it’s working on getting a second season off the ground despite being cancelled by CBC a year ago.

Richard Martineau asks François Legault to reconsider his plan to solve reasonable accommodation debate forever

“I’m worried,” Richard Martineau said today. “This could have a major impact on my career.”

Martineau, the LCN host, QUB Radio host, Journal de Montréal columnist, Francs-Tireurs host and next season’s newest judge on La Voix, was referring to how Quebec premier François Legault is finally solving the reasonable accommodation debate after 12 years of it dominating Quebec politics.

Legault’s plan, which he laid out in a video published on Sunday, involves taking a hard line but also improvised compromises calculated to be the most grudgingly acceptable to the maximum number of uninformed people.

But while this new law is guaranteed to end public discussion about the impact of religious and cultural diversity on our society forever, ushering in a period of racial harmony and religious acceptance the likes of which this province has never seen, it will be devastating to the media angrytariat, of which Martineau is a major figure.

“Do you know how hard it is to write a column every day where I’m angry about something? And on top of that host daily TV and radio shows? I don’t have time to find other issues to gripe about,” Martineau yelled, in a voice that sounded sarcastic even though he wasn’t saying anything sarcastic.

“I’m not saying that I don’t have other things to talk about, I do. I can always whine about Radio-Canada or Québec solidaire or celebrities, but nothing brings in the audience like me putting on a burka. This issue is to me what classified ads were to newspapers in the 90s: a moneymaker.”

Martineau said he understands there’s a higher purpose, but he hopes Legault understands the need for us to continue to sarcastically mock each other’s opinions on this issue, and maybe insert a few loopholes into the bill that will cause the debate to flare up again in a few months.

“Not everything needs to be perfect,” Martineau said. “Please, just let me have this.”

Google and Facebook agree to give everyone $100 to just do their own local news reporting

Under fire for sucking up all the advertising money from the print media industry, Google and Facebook have agreed to a groundbreaking new program in which they simply give every Canadian citizen $100 each a year to report on their local communities.

The “Everyone’s a Journalist” program, which begins today, requires people receiving the money to report on at least one local news story per year, including going to town council meetings, interviewing old ladies complaining about something, promoting a bake sale for the children’s hockey team, or filing access to information requests and having secret meetings with dozens of sources to expose corruption at the police department.

“We believe this will be a revolutionary move toward hyperlocal journalism, one that has no real down side,” said Esteban Frobisher, who has been put in charge of the project. “We’re empowering millions of journalists here, and more is always better.”

The program is already having an effect. Frobisher says dozens of stories have already been submitted about how gas prices are rigged and how Jody Wilson-Raybould is a traitor to poor Justin Trudeau and do you want Andrew Scheer in charge of the country, come on.

Cousin Vinny goes crawling back to radio job after failing to be named minister of justice and attorney general of Canada

“Cousin” Vinny Barrucco

Cousin Vinny has quietly returned to the air. The radio DJ went back to his old job — in fact, his old, old job, doing late nights at Virgin Radio — after he was passed over for the job of minister of justice and attorney general of Canada in January.

Vinny Barrucco announced he was leaving The Beat 92.5 on Jan. 29, 15 days after Jody Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the justice ministry and into veterans affairs. “I thought to myself, this is my chance, I got to go for it,” he said in an emotional interview. “I’ve always wanted to work in the justice field, but … I guess now is not my time. So I’m back to my other passion, taking requests from drunken teenagers for that song I’ve already played five times in the past two hours.”

After getting over the shock of not being considered for the important ministerial position — in part because David Lametti had been named to the post two weeks earlier — Barrucco took some time off to spend with his family, caught up on a bunch of TV he’d left on his PVR, and is now ready to get back to cramming as much entertainment as he can into the seven seconds of airtime he has between Shawn Mendes and Imagine Dragons.

Passersby say they won’t give La Presse money because wine columnist will just spend it on booze

Two months after launching its voluntary contribution program, La Presse says it has been falling below expectations for donations from the public because of concerns that wine columnist Véronique Rivest will spend their money on alcohol.

“I believe quality journalism is something worth supporting, but I know what they say about wine columnists,” said Avril de Pouassohn as she was asked to spare some change. “I don’t want to make the problem worse by feeding their vices.”

She had similar concerns about donation money being spent on non-essential things like auto reviews, hockey coverage and recaps of La Voix. But it was the spending on alcohol and “drugs like marijuana” that most bothered her.

Rivest said the money would be used for important investigations into political corruption, but evaded the question when asked if she would ever spend money on booze.

De Pouassohn said she would prefer to give her money to a journalism shelter that La Presse can go to. La Presse said the journalism shelter keeps turning it away and it would prefer the cash. But it wishes her a good day.

Quebec TV networks ask cultural institutions to churn out more celebrities for their talk, game and lifestyle shows

Facing an unprecedented shortage in celebrities as talk show guests, game show contestants and artiste-invitée of the week, Quebec’s TV networks banded together to request the province’s cultural training centres create more celebrities to fill those positions.

“We’re reaching the bottom of the barrel of the Union des Artistes,” said Radio-Canada VP Noam Fikteef. “Les Enfants de la télé is down to people who were minor characters on Auberge du chien noir, and just filmed its third special devoted to La Petite vie. We’re desperate.”

The letter is addressed to the École nationale du théâtre, the École nationale de l’humour, as well as ADISQ and Quebec’s sporting associations. “Singers, athletes, struggling comedians, we don’t care at this point. As long as a reasonable case can be made that they’re an artist who should be known by someone, we’ll take them,” Fikteef said.

The fall TV schedule for Radio-Canada, TVA, V, Télé-Québec et al include 35 new shows based on having celebrity guests. As many as half may need to be cancelled if enough celebrities aren’t found.

New Canadian Press millennial-friendly style replaces S with Z for all uses

After previously replacing “per cent” with “%” and doing away with abbreviations on names of states and provinces, The Canadian Press is further bringing its stylebook into the 21st century by adopting a new rule that replaces the letter S with the letter Z for all uses.

As an adherent to CP style I will do the same starting now.

Canadian Prezz’z prezident zaid the change waz a long time coming, and reflectz the evolving Englizh language that millennialz have adopted. He couldn’t point to any actual ztudiez or zurveyz that zhow millennialz have ztopped uzing the letter.

The change to the official ztyle meanz changing the zpellingz of many wordz, and a complete rewrite of itz Capz and Zpelling guide. The provincez of Britizh Columbia, Zazkatchewan, New Brunzwick, Nova Zcotia and Prince Edward Izland, for example. Nova Zcotia now getz abbreviated az N.Z. and Zazkatchewan az Zazk.

Zome Canadian Prezz clientz have already announced they will adopt the new zpelling, including Poztmedia, the Toronto Ztar, Global Newz and Rogerz Zportznet.

The Globe and Mail, CBC and CTV have not yet announced their planz.

One CP journalizt, who zpoke on condition zhe not be named, zaid the change waz an excezzive caze of pandering to youth and zhe would be looking at wayz to rezizt the change.

CP’z francophone counterpart, La Prezze Canadienne, haz not announced any planz to follow zuit with changez to itz zpelling.

Jody Wilson-Raybould excited at new role as overnight DJ on The Beat 92.5

After deciding being a federal minister isn’t for her, Jody Wilson-Raybould announced this morning she’s taking on a new role as overnight announcer on 92.5 The Beat, where she will be presenting the hottest new tracks for an audience of preferably women 18-54.

“I may still be bound by solicitor-client privilege about SNC-Lavalin, but when it comes to the latest music and Hollywood gossip, I can dish dish dish,” JWR joked about her new job. She takes over at midnight starting tonight. “The only pressure I’ll be feeling is the need to get you the sickest beats and not to swear on the air!”

She will be joined by regular contributor Jane Philpott, for a segment called “Jody and Jane’s Juicy Judgments,” where they will talk about celebrity fashions and poor life choices. Though she said she’d take a more human approach than what you might usually hear. “I know what it’s like for anonymous people to talk about you in the media.”

“Anyway, it’s gonna be a hoot,” Wilson-Raybould said. “We’re going to have so much fun, and I can’t wait to connect with our audience.”

MTL Blog to put up paywall

Saying it is not immune to the economic crisis affecting professional journalism outlets around the world, MTL Blog announced this morning it will be putting its award-winning news and lifestyle content behind a paywall and charging visitors $20 a month to read it.

“We understand some of our most loyal fans will be disappointed by this news,” said co-founder Chuck Lapointe, “but we need their financial support to fund our important work into stories like the recent Verdun hostage crisis and our exhaustive list of best Churros in the city. It takes many minutes to write up these stories.”

The paywall will apply to news stories, news listicles and news stories about listicles. Sponsored content will remain free.

TL;DR MTL Blog is putting up a paywall

Canadiens hire Tony Marinaro as GM, coach, equipment manager, athletic therapist…

Describing it as the job he was born for, Tony Marinaro announced this morning that he will be leaving his job at TSN Radio 690 to join the Montreal Canadiens hockey team as general manager, and his first act was to fire the entire front and back offices and install himself in almost every management position at the club.

Effective immediately, Marinaro becomes general manager, director of player personnel, head coach, assistant coach, goaltending coach, video coach, team services coordinator, director of player development, equipment manager, athletic therapist, massage therapist, performance director, sports psychology consultant, nutritionist, pro and amateur scouting director, and director of media relations.

“Dr. David Mulder can keep his job as chief surgeon,” Marinaro said, “but I’ll expect him to check every procedure with me.”

Marinaro, aka “Tony from LaSalle,” has extensive experience in knowing how to manage a professional hockey team, even though he has not formally held the title of head coach or general manager at the NHL level.

“It’s an unconventional pick,” said Canadiens president Geoff Molson. “But Tony spent a few hours explaining it to me using a lot of Italian words I didn’t understand, and when the ringing in my ears stopped, I realized he had a point.”

Besides, Molson said, with Marinaro assuming most of the management jobs, the team can save a lot in salary.

Asked about his plans to turn the season around in its last week, Marinaro said he would “do whatever it takes — WHATEVER IT TAKES — to get the power play back from the dead and get this team scoring SIMONAC” and then ripped his shirt off for some reason.

Marinaro was last spotted in the dressing room yelling expletives at Jonathan Drouin.

Review: A mostly flawless election night for 2/4 English TV networks

Election nights are always fun. All hands on deck, at night on the tightest of deadlines, working together to report on the story of the year.

Each medium has its own challenges, but TV has the highest stakes. Everyone’s watching — including the politicians — and seconds count. Make an early call that turns out to be right, and you get supreme bragging rights. Get it wrong, and you’re a laughingstock. And you have to fill hours of programming, usually without even the benefit of a commercial break.

Four TV networks broadcast live election specials during primetime on Monday night on their local TV stations and all-news networks — Radio-Canada, TVA, CBC and CTV. Two others had live wrap-ups at 11pm: Citytv and Global.

I checked in with all of them on election night (though I was busy with helping put out a newspaper), and reviewed recordings of the four English networks after the fact. (I’ll leave it to my francophone colleagues to review how RadCan and TVA did.) Here’s how they did:

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Radio station program director admits son’s all-fart-sounds show probably wasn’t the best idea

Radio station 107.5 Le Poisson in Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade is ending its Saturday evening show made up entirely of fart sounds after its program director admitted that it wasn’t the kind of success he was hoping for.

“My son’s proposal sounded so innovative,” said Paul Natrillé, who has been at the helm of the station’s programming for seven years. “When we launched it last fall, he was really excited about the possibilities. But since then his interest has waned a bit, and we don’t think it’s the best fit for the station anymore.”

Natrillé’s son Thomas said he had fond memories of the show, but it was time to move on anyway. He has several interviews with morning shows in Quebec City.

107.5 will fill the discontinued hour’s time slot with its usual music programming of classical and easy listening music.

CRTC staffer can’t understand why colleagues aren’t also freaking out about how lit the next notice of consultation will be

Saying she’s hyperventilating at even the thought of it, CRTC junior legal affairs staffer Janet Phehknaim just can’t bring herself to comprehend why her colleagues aren’t jumping over themselves about how exciting the notice of consultation to be issued next Tuesday is going to be.

The notice, related to an application received for a new low-power radio station in Dryden, Ontario, and a corporate reorganization at Vista Radio, will be posted to the commission’s website at 11am on Tuesday. Phehknaim said she assumed the announcement would be pushed back to 4pm to avoid any market impact, and that media advisories would be issued on Monday to invite journalists to a press conference.

“The CRTC is an exciting place to work and there are announcements almost every day that affect people’s lives, so you can imagine what this will mean to the people at Dryden and the accountants at Vista,” Phehknaim said.

“Personally, I’m planning a viewing party at work for when the application goes live. It’ll be a potluck, but my colleagues are being slow in getting back to me with what they’re going to bring.”