In a world without Norm Macdonald

The next newsletter is Election Day

While he spent several decades claiming different birthdates, Norm Macdonald was 61 when he died, after a nine-year battle with cancer he kept private. His memoir from 2016, Based on a True Story, similarly fiddled with facts in line with the performance art style that the Quebec-born comedian originated on stage in mid-’80s Ottawa.


Laughs from behind the masks

Jean Chrétien was excited to be at a rally for Justin Trudeau in Brampton, which looked uncomfortably crowded for these times. But organizers confirmed the gathering was in accordance with capacity rules, with an attempt to enforce social distancing. The 100-year-old Hazel McCallion also turned up—only to criticize the timing of the election.


Canada’s ‘Mad Max’ stokes anti-vax rage—and could help Trudeau.” Reuters explained Maxime Bernier to the rest of the planet, as polling continues to show gains for the People’s Party. John Ibbitson wrote a Globe and Mail column advocating for PPC representation, later edited to clarify that opposing non-European immigrants is racist.


A filmmaker’s jagged dilemma

Documentaries about Kenny G, Triumph and Dionne Warwick were endorsed by their stars during the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, but attention granted one about Alanis Morissette exposed a divide between filmmaker and subject. Morissette decried Jagged as “salacious,” but director Alison Klayman is defending the efforts:


CBC’s new podcast about how right-wing radio radicalized America. The Flamethrowers kicked off with an episode about how Hamilton-born Father Charles Coughlin essentially invented a genre that became big business six decades later. The second episode, hosted by Justin Ling, is dedicated to the rise of Rush Limbaugh.


Finally, a dressing down cometh

Aurora James got a day of significant media attention for designing the “Tax the Rich” dress that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore to the Met Gala. That’s included highlighting the fact that the “immigrant” status emphasized by AOC refers to James being from Toronto and that the designer’s own boyfriend, Benjamin Bronfman, isn’t poor: