Instagram influencing the politics of transit

Ontario Line gets likes before trains

The downtown core has, and always will be home for me. Getting around here is super easy, but making my way out is the opposite. Glad to say things are changing with @metrolinx adding a stop here in Moss Park via the Ontario Line along with other stops across the city to look forward to. Growing up and navigating the city, it’s great that they’re making getting around way simpler for everyone in Toronto. Hit the link in my bio to learn more. #MxItsHappening #ad
November 16, 2019

Metrolinx paying Instagram influencers to promote transit projects has earned wider attention, because several are extolling the virtues of the Ontario Line, which won’t exist before 2027. Promoting an $11 billion project that’s still facing opposition from some communities can’t help but appear political to some, in spite of all the smiles.

Head of a murky middle class

Mona Fortier’s cabinet title sounded somewhat surreal upon first glance, so there was a natural curiosity about what the role might entail. But when the minister of middle class prosperity was questioned by the Globe and Mail over which income bracket she was tasked to represent, her deflections were only offset by something about hockey.

Andrew Scheer sent two top aides packing in the process of trying to save his job. The sacking of chief of staff Marc-André Leclerc and communications director Brock Harrison is seen as a signal of the Conservative leader changing course as parliament resumes. But a rising party chorus is pointing to Scheer as the problem.

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Subway suit slapped as SLAPP

Subway claimed that reporting on the paucity of poultry in the sandwich chain’s chicken amounted to $210 million worth of defamation. But the Ontario law to dissuade strategic lawsuits against public participation worked in favour of the CBC, which is off the hook for Marketplace coverage of DNA test results that originated at Trent University:

John Kastner dead at 73. The filmmaker’s candid-camera vignettes were part of CBC’s late-night 90 Minutes Live, and he interrogated children for CTV’s Just Kidding. Kastner then shifted to more serious subjects, like the dark side of seniors’ homes, murderers, and mental health issues.

The record store in the clouds

Yonge-Dundas Square, overlooked by a restored Sam the Record Man sign, is increasingly Toronto’s corner for streaming music ads. It’s where Leonard Cohen’s posthumous Thanks for the Dance album is promoted as something to ask Alexa to play, while Spotify is putting names in lights in a fashion that’s well-situated for a selfie:

I HAVE NO WORDS. Here I am in the time square of Toronto on freaking cloud nine. Thank you so much @spotifycanada for being such a huge supporter of my music since day 1. PEEPS! You can listen to all 13 songs from my new album now on Spotify. Also, swipe right to watch us push security outta the way (haha they were cool ‘bout it) ➡️
November 23, 2019