Hopes of the Tokyo Olympics being pushed back to 2021 were exacerbated by Canada and Australia saying that their participation is contingent upon a postponement. Calls for a delay to the Conservative leadership race are also getting louder. As for reopening all that’s now closed, Quebec is first among the provinces to plan for no sooner than May 1.
The rising price of COVID-19
The richest retailers in Toronto have conspicuously moved their merchandise out of sight as non-essential retailers were all but forced to close. An infamous holdout, EB Games, was widely named and shamed for hosting lineups. Starbucks and McDonald’s closed to walk-in customers, while supermarkets are providing pay raises.
CBC Television’s newscast suspensions are getting a reprimand. The decision to defer to national CBC News Network coverage over local shows provided a share of critical jabs at the decision and a Friends of Canadian Broadcasting petition asking parliament to intervene. But the CBC is sticking by what it calls a temporary pause.
The new masks of marketing
Doug Ford’s appeal to companies to produce medical items for fighting COVID-19 found a taker in Labatt, which is now producing hand sanitizer—something smaller breweries and distilleries were already doing. Meanwhile, notorious Montreal native Dov Charney is getting goodwill for making a line of masks, even if they fall short of hospital grade:
“It’s a feeling that’s very hard to describe. It feels like you’re serving your country.” Kraft Heinz plant manager Danielle Nguyen gave the Financial Post that money quote about how its Montreal plant is responding to a 35 per cent surge in demand for macaroni and cheese. Kraft Dinner and peanut butter are currently being produced 24/7.
Spun gold in tarnished times
While not promising the pandemic soundtrack of the Weeknd, a new album by Gordon Lightfoot started streaming on schedule, just before he was about to go back on tour after recovering from an injury. But the 81-year-old remains eager to explain how his Solo consists of 20-year-old demos, which got lost amidst personal chaos:
Kenny Rogers dead at 81. While his band, the First Edition, was debating whether or not to sound more country than rock ’n’ roll, they headlined the variety show Rollin’ on the River (later just Rollin’) via CTV in Toronto from 1971 to 1973. At least some clips from the series survived, including Rogers introducing Badfinger’s “Baby Blue.”
Finally, a word from Chair Girl
Marcella Zoia was the subject of a new report from the Toronto Sun, which inferred from a friend’s Instagram feed that she was partying the pandemic away, even though Chair Girl’s social media went into self-isolation prior to her still-pending final sentencing. Attention to what Zoia claimed was a throwback video led her to post this: