Christie Blatchford left an awful lot to talk about

Canada’s real-life writer dead at 68

A late-stage lung cancer diagnosis in November put Christie Blatchford’s columns on hold after the federal election: she hoped to write about the lighter side of the medical experience for the National Post, but wasn’t able to before her death. Tributes to Blatchford note how she wrote to provoke, yet she was dedicated to being a reporter.

Tapping free trips in Toronto

The symbolism of using streetcar wraps to promote using the imperfect Presto system to pay for Toronto transit is up against a report that revealed how one-third of all fare evasion in 2019 appears to be due to adults fraudulently paying the cheap kiddie rates.

The anti-pipeline blockade leads Via Rail to cancel trains in advance. The ongoing disruption on the tracks near Belleville have put routes between Toronto and Ottawa and Montreal on hold until the end of Thursday. Similar disruptions on rail corridors across the country are in protest of the RCMP breaking up Wet’suwet’en camps in B.C.

John Baird keeps on lurking

Stephen Harper’s preferred successor remains unconfirmed as a Conservative leadership candidate. Meanwhile, while Erin O’Toole is pushing a harder line on the likes of “eco-extremists,” against the view of Peter MacKay as more similar to Trudeau:

Drake picks Caffeine over trying to be a restaurateur. The latest deal for the 6ix God involves bringing content like the Ultimate Rap League battles over to a new 21st Century Fox–funded video streaming service, But he’s likely avoiding the Toronto eating business now that Pick 6ix’s signage has been removed.

Dreaming of a Daily Double

The streak of feel-good stories involving Alex Trebek continued with one about Kristyna Ng of Calgary, who credits Jeopardy with helping her learn English. She ended up coming in second, even though Ng scored the correct answer in Final Jeopardy:

Whomst Among Us Let the Dogs Out.” The podcast 99% Invisible probes the long and winding history of the song “Who Let the Dogs Out?,” which was also the topic of a recent documentary. Noted in the episode is how the barking part in the 2000 hit version came from Toronto-based Wreck Shop Radio, which aired on Buffalo’s WBLK.

Finally, a real second city DJ

John Records Landecker was recruited to Toronto from Chicago in 1981 by Rogers Radio, which was trying to ignite ratings at 680 CFTR. The importation led to some industry backlash, and he got the most press for a lawsuit over a Beatles song parody. After two years, Landecker returned to Chicago for long enough to get a big honour: