Scamming the scanner at the self-checkout

Before the facial recognition arrives

British academic research on the extent of losses from self-checkout has been given a second life thanks to Canadian retailer reliance on the technology. This comes in the wake of a Medicine Hat, Alberta, man who allegedly switched bar codes on action figures and DVD box sets. Shopper surveillance can only get more invasive.


Name a more iconic HNIC duo

The selfie siblings at the Leafs game in Pittsburgh weren’t hard to find after his frowning reflex went viral. Naturally, more folks initially tuned in to see what Ron MacLean would say about Don Cherry: “Coach’s Corner is no more,” decreed the Hockey Night in Canada host in a monologue that ended a long week of poppy talk.


Right now she does modelling when the opportunity presents itself.” Marcella Zoia’s lawyer Greg Leslie updated the media on the life of Chair Girl leading up to her guilty plea for tossing furniture off a 45th-floor condo balcony in February. Leslie said that her anxiety is exacerbated by the prospect of being sentenced to jail time in early 2020.


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Where there’s smoke there’s law

After dreams of widespread cannabis advertising were preempted by government, e-cigarette marketing is being vapourized in Toronto. But the vaping industry found a loophole in Instagram influencers, who’ve revived the heyday of cigarette marketing:


Evan Solomon returns to the daily TV goat rodeo. Don Martin is retiring soon from CTV’s Power Play and will be replaced by Solomon—who was fired from CBC’s Power & Politics in 2015 due to his art-dealing sideline. (Bell Media hired him less than one year later.)


Not young, not wild, but free

Triumph, the Mississauga rock trio that first reunited two decades after their breakup (with two 2008 concerts held in Sweden and Oklahoma), hosted a “Superfan Fantasy” at Metalworks Studios to feed a forthcoming film, Triumph: Lay it On the Line. The band’s display of memorabilia came with live music, for the requisite rockumentary wrap-up:

Canadian media freedom after Don Cherry

Might feel a bit harder to find

A year after a Metro Morning segment about the trouble with Facebook went sideways, Jesse Hirsh reflects on what the experience says about the state of media. Meanwhile, the CBC had Winnipeg-based reporter Ahmar Khan delete a popular tweet critical of Don Cherry, because it didn’t meet standards outlined in CBC social media guidelines.


An apology for talking hockey

The Social co-host Jessica Allen says that she wished she used her own privilege to confront the rink-rat “white boys” who she criticized. CTV apologized to those offended, but Allen won’t lose her job. And while Rogers keeps internal talk about five-year employee Don Cherry out of headlines, Bobby Orr is among those firmly in the coach’s corner.


Cenotaph spray painting came with a confession on Facebook. Thomas Zaugg was arrested and charged with two counts of mischief in Toronto for vandalism outside Old City Hall. He said that it was a protest act related to the firing of Don Cherry. Zaugg appeared in that building at the same time that Chair Girl was pleading guilty.


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Frenemies of the squash court

Roel Bramer’s self-published memoir, Golden Roel, concluded with the legendary nightlife impresario addressing a conflagration at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club—by accusing fellow member Jonathan Kay of orchestrating his suspension. Kay reciprocates with a review of the book that Bramer wrote:


Two writers fight over who wrote the less trite recap of the re-election of Justin Trudeau. John Ivison’s feature for Postmedia emphasized the role that Barack Obama’s endorsement played in the federal election results. It led Althia Raj to accuse Ivison of lifting material she recently used for HuffPost, which drew from similar sources.


OK boomers no longer lonely

“Karen” has emerged as the preferred post-millennial pejorative for Generation X, whose members could only dream of being unscathed by the demographic meme war. Toronto-based BuzzFeed News reporter Lauren Strapagiel is suddenly the Douglas Coupland of this new categorization, which doesn’t even require you to read a book:

The week Coach’s Corner lasted eight days

Just two or three of them left to go

“Epstein didn’t kill himself” was on one of the signs protesting Don Cherry’s dismissal at Rogers headquarters, a scene involving about 20 participants and an estimated 1:1 ratio of protestors to media. No word on who or what fills in this Saturday night. Joe Warmington says they should just bring Cherry back.


The new meta-Grapes debate

Jessica Allen clarified her comments about parents of peers who’d spend $5,000 a year on minor hockey, which became the stuff of backlash. The hashtag #FireJessAllen trended on Twitter as symbolic retribution. (The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council is overloaded with complaints about her, too.)


Cannabis Council of Canada wants Doug Ford to bring on more stores. Weed producers wrote an open letter about the dearth of legal retailers in Ontario—currently 24, compared to 324 in Alberta. Meanwhile, the prospect of a Tokyo Smoke store at Yonge and Bloor is foreshadowed by a cannabis accessories pop-up at Holt Renfrew.


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Correcting a C.K. consent claim

Mark Breslin took a victory lap for booking Louis C.K. in Toronto, in a column for The Canadian Jewish News. The Yuk Yuk’s owner’s insouciant view garnered an incensed reaction from Julia Wolov, one of the women C.K. admitted to masturbating in front of:


Cineplex sees decline in the amount of popcorn being sold. Concession revenues per movie patron broke the $5 barrier five years ago, and reached a height of $7.04 halfway through 2019. The latest quarterly results show that the number fell to $6.68.


Pasqually P. Pieplate, R.I.P.

Chuck E. Cheese entered Canada in 1983, and earned a rave review in the Toronto Star, particularly for the pizza whose slices the chain recently denied recycling. That first Toronto location is still there, but the robot mascots are now entirely gone everywhere:

Paying with your face at the supermarket

Self-checkout surveillance is near

Canadian grocery chain Foody Mart initially got coverage from Yahoo, which noted privacy concerns for its planned facial recognition payment system. More attention arrives with a National Post story detailing how this technology comes from SnapPay, a Toronto firm with links to Beijing, where there’s more pushback against face scans.


Grapes still falling off the vine

Fox News was just one outlet where Don Cherry appeared, as the no-apology tour for his comments on “you people” morphed into something more contrite. Now he’s got 98-year-old Hazel McCallion rooting for a rally to get Rogers to rehire him right now.


Surely there are other more representative groups on campus to play this role? UBC professor Marina Adshade made news for tweeting about “frat boys laying wreaths” on Remembrance Day. Adshade previously shared a claim that six women were drugged in UBC fraternities, but police found no evidence of it after six weeks.


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Stronach scion’s shocking substance suspension

Nicole Walker is provisionally suspended by the world governing body of equestrian, after testing positive for a cocaine metabolite. The show-jumping daughter of Belinda Stronach says that she isn’t a drug user. (The culprit might’ve been Peruvian coca tea.)


Canadian cannabis journalism website takes a final toke. The Leaf News, which seemed like a subversive Winnipeg Free Press project before legalization, has run out of roach. What was once imagined as a wider appetite for pot reportage wafts along at Postmedia’s The GrowthOp, and the Globe and Mail’s $999 a year Cannabis Professional.


An anonymous account speaks!

@parkdalelife accrued more than 50,000 Instagram followers for its chronicle of Toronto gentrification ridiculousness. But the focus has now widened to poverty experienced by longtime Parkdale locals. The surrounding issues feed this discussion:

Remember the day Don Cherry was cancelled

The culture war’s oldest casualty

“I could’ve stayed on if I wanted to and knuckled under, and turned into a simp, but that’s not my style,” said Don Cherry about the end of his run on Hockey Night in Canada, which came following a rant about “you people” not wearing Remembrance Day poppies. But after four decades of Coach’s Corner, it means Rogers will save money.


The defending of Don Cherry

Social media pressure was blamed for rousing complaints, which works both ways when petitions start flying. Remembrance Day can now be remembered as the day Don Cherry got fired. (But the Toronto Old City Hall Cenotaph was vandalized overnight.)


American writer comes to town to school you on the “neoliberal bullshit” of Justin Trudeau. Lauren Duca’s book tour for How to Start a Revolution reaches Toronto, at the Hot Docs Cinema. The former columnist for Teen Vogue has made her own share of enemies, which Duca addressed in her newsletter tirade about being crucified by clickbait.


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War on reluctant bag checks

Canadian Civil Liberties Association head Michael Bryant has a new fight: retailers demanding customers show their receipt and bags before exiting the store. If no consent is provided, anyone has the right to refuse:


Drake getting booed off stage at Tyler, the Creator’s music festival, explained. A video of Camp Flog Gnaw attendees wishing the surprise opener was Frank Ocean had Drizzy replying with a troll that he plans to return there for the next 10 years. But maybe kids today aren’t thrilled by a 33-year-old whose mansion has been built with a singing toilet.


No form of a question in here

Alex Trebek signed on as a spokesman for the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. In a PSA, he expresses a wish that he got his persistent stomach pain checked out sooner. His battle also inspired this emotionally viral moment that closed an episode of Jeopardy:

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