Waiting for a place in our planet’s long line

The agitations around a vaccination

Moderna chairman Noubar Afeyan assured Canada that it won’t wait forever for its vaccine, on the eve of submitting it for regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe. Erin O’Toole blames a collapsed collaboration with China on a slower roll from Justin Trudeau, whose staff prematurely hitting send also exposed their tensions.


The higher price of partying

A house party at an Airbnb rental in Mississauga resulted in $47,000 worth of fines among young revellers. Younger still are the attendees of a party rumoured to have stoked a COVID-19 outbreak at Swansea Public School in Toronto.


Is the deck stacked against Tim Hortons card collectors? The question asked by the Toronto Star was sparked by one dad’s complaint that the valuable inserts weren’t appearing in hockey packs at a rate that matched the promised odds. Suspicions point to in-store weighing of the unwrapped cards helping reseller cheaters find riches.


SkyDome drama took a turn

Word of the impending demolition of the Rogers Centre was doused somewhat by its owner stating the pandemic put those plans on hold. The discussion coincided with a different ending on the Toronto Blue Jays front, as Mike Wilner confirmed he lost his dream job doing radio for the team, four minutes after the official Sportsnet tweet:


I’m a broccoli eater, I’m a health nut. It’s hot inside there! Paul Anka provided entertaining exit interviews after being revealed as a green stalk on The Masked Singer. He credits a broccoli-headed existence with helping him stick around long enough to go from having his own NFB documentary in 1962 to a TikTok in 2020.


Finally, trapped in a hype house

Nathan Fielder ended Nathan for You with a cinematic finale three years ago, but his sensibilities were furthered in his executive production of another show, How To with John Wilson. A low-key six-episode run on HBO was capped with a video with Fiedler stepping in to house four dancing teenage guys in pursuit of fresh fortunes on TikTok:

The week pandemic protest became a big show

Lockdowns are the last monoculture

Goldie Ghamari quoted a TikTok ditty in her window, as Queen’s Park saw another anti-lockdown rally that led to charges for the organizer, former Ontario PC MPP Randy Hillier. Protest also came to Doug Ford’s house after the third action-packed day at Adamson Barbecue, until owner Adam Skelly was hauled away to spend the night in jail.


Field of post-concrete dreams

Rogers Sports and Media’s own outlets had to reference the scoop from the Globe and Mail, which cited multiple unnamed sources revealing hopes to demolish the building initially known as SkyDome in favour of a smaller stadium and additional residential development. At least the Blue Jays already broke ground on having an alternate home.


Loblaw’s media platform goals now involve something it bought from Torstar. A bigger story lies between the lines of the news publisher selling the digital marketing technology Eyereturn to the retail conglomerate. It seems to involve Galen Weston Jr. aspiring to be Canada’s version of Jeff Bezos, even if he’s eight years behind.


Musk of fake funding news

Narcity Media might have money from Google, but its websites perpetuating a narrative about how Grimes “got over $90,000 in funding” from FACTOR spread wide enough that the organization issued a statement to set the record straight. The factually incorrect outrage that originated on Twitter was still taken as accurate by some:


Luckily, I happened to be dating the greatest woman on the face of the planet at this time.” Matthew Perry is countering a couple decades of tabloid stories forecasting his imminent demise by getting engaged to Molly Hurwitz. The onetime schoolyard sparring partner of Justin Trudeau has recently been trying to unload real estate.


Finally, a floating fanny pack

Dwayne Johnson was using the wrestler name “Rocky Mavia” when he posed as a Sunshine Boy for the Canadian tabloid chain. The photo later became an eternal meme—which has now peaked with NBC using a crowd-free Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to tease its upcoming sitcom, Young Rock:

We’re living in the coronavirus vortex now

And you can either cry or laugh

With the bursting of the Atlantic bubble, previously viewed as a beacon of normalcy during the pandemic, came a reporter who audibly relieved himself amid a briefing in New Brunswick. The province also supplied the story of a superspreader who didn’t self-isolate in Saint John after doing business in Calgary. His name is Cortland Cronk.


Live from the #BBQanon

Adamson Barbecue owner Adam Skelly was searching for a locksmith after Toronto police acted on a public health order to prohibit entry to potential dine-in customers. Skelly was slapped with multiple charges after two lunches that also became an anti-lockdown carnival. Journalists flocking to it weren’t happy with their parking tickets.


Homework assignment to list ‘positive’ stories about residential schools under investigation.” The school district in Abbostford, B.C., is looking into evidence of a Grade 6 assignment that one mother noticed her daughter working on. Krista MacInnes drew national media attention to her disgust after taking it to TikTok.


An about-face about Facebook

“Justin Trudeau Not” has appeared to disappear into the social media ether, leaving over 80,000 followers to rely on better sources for shitposts critical of the PM. But this was presumably the only such Facebook page being run by a successful social media influencer, who shrugged off criticism of the content when initially confronted about it:


Charlie Angus isn’t a fan of Roz and Mocha. The latest Rogers cutbacks to radio staff across the country are partly being offset with the Toronto morning show duo being simulcast on three stations across northern Ontario. In response, the NDP MP for Timmins–James Bay says he’ll be rethinking the advertising time bought by his office.


Finally, a rock ’n’ roll suicide

Stardust has received the expected critical bludgeoning for its unauthorized portrayal of David Bowie in 1971, as enabled by Canadian film subsidies. Marc Maron had co-star Johnny Flynn on his podcast to defend their movie against the backlash. Despite the failure to get Bowie song rights, Flynn still got to play him strumming Jacques Brel:

Rage against the machine of a masked media

The ribs keep falling off their bone

Doug Ford “can’t get angry” at Adam Skelly, whose decision to break the province’s Toronto lockdown orders by inviting people to eat at his indoor tables led to a circus scene. The owner of Adamson Barbecue also voiced his opinion about media outlets who came out in droves. What politicians and police might do still remains to be seen.


Rage against the vaccine speed

Canada’s inability to match the U.S. and U.K. timelines for rolling out COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020 is due to a lack of domestic manufacturing capabilities, explained Justin Trudeau, who’s back to speaking from home. Meanwhile, the Ontario auditor general’s new report is critical of how the province responded to the pandemic.


Penguin Random House Staff Confront Publisher About New Jordan Peterson Book.” Vice got the story about tearfully dismayed internal reactions to the announcement of Beyond Order. But the 12 Rules for Life sequel was first announced two years ago. The book also navigated internal criticism at the American office.


Pho giving way to forgiveness

Did you hear the one about the Toronto broth bar accused of cultural appropriation? The clothing store that hosted the pop-up from Ripe Nutrition ditched the deal in the wake of accusations, and many reactions were typed. But after the Golden Turtle restaurant was dragged into things, its owner responded by initiating a partnership with Ripe Nutrition:


The Weeknd sees corruption behind a shutout from the Grammys. After being showered with other music awards, he accused the Recording Academy of lacking transparency because he turned down its performance invitation in favour of the Super Bowl. But the Grammy chief said that isn’t how these nominations are determined.


Finally, decoding a lively obit

Claire Kent died at age 96 on May 16, but a newspaper death notice took half a year to appear, referencing an intriguing media career. Starting in 1947, she co-hosted The Jay and Ginger Show on Toronto radio station CKEY, and was billed as Claire Olsen for two decades on TV, which included doing interviews for the Barrie-based Show Biz:

Jordan Peterson is competing with the vaccine

Waiting for all of these jabs to land

Publication of Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life was announced via YouTube by Jordan Peterson in his recuperating state: the book will be released March 2, into a different world than the first volume. JBP’s daughter, Mikhaila Peterson, has persisted with her own content, which recently involved talking to Matthew McConaughey.


Hard not to think about this

Hudson’s Bay kept its flagship store open at the Toronto Eaton Centre despite Ontario law appearing to forbid it. Claiming that the basement food selection made it essential only lasted one day. (HBC is also fighting eviction elsewhere in the city.) Pushback on Toronto’s lockdown has shifted to Adamson Barbecue’s ambition to serve diners inside.


I do not believe in changing a dance partner in the middle of a dance, especially when he’s a great dancer.” Doug Ford stuck up for Ontario’s chief medical officer, David Williams, postponing his retirement. The province also tapped retired general Rick Hillier to lead its vaccine team, as Ottawa urged patience regarding the rollout.


Behind this blow to Trudeau

A flashback to a pre-coronavirus time was provided by Russian pranksters with a clip of their January phone call to Justin Trudeau while pretending to be Greta Thunberg expressing concern over the Ukrainian plane shot down in Iraq. But the PM caught on around the time fake Greta asks to meet with Terrance and Philip from South Park:


David Hemblen dead at 79. A cast member in several of the movies directed by Atom Egoyan, along with over 100 other Canadian credits, he was most widely heard as the voice of Magneto in X-Men: The Animated Series. Hemblen was a Toronto stage actor prior to playing a time-travelling salesman in 1975’s The Adventures of Timothy Pilgrim.


Finally, eight nights earlier now

Love, Lights, Hanukkah! was one of many Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas movies shot this year in Canada. But it’s the only one with a Jewish theme: the main character swings that way after testing her DNA. While originally scheduled to premiere after the holiday it acknowledges, Hallmark corrected this potential affront to card sales:

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