The journalism Facebook is willing to pay for

...isn’t the kind that it’s forced to

Cutting off Canadian news websites isn’t an impossibility for Facebook, whose national head, Kevin Chan, reinforced there are no corporate plans to pay to link to them. He spoke to a parliamentary committee after Facebook pledged an additional $8 million in support of journalism. Canada’s newspaper lobby continues to ask for regulated funding.

An upvote for urban offices

The announcement of Reddit setting up shop in Toronto to focus on advertising sales includes noting its Canadian audience spending an average 31 minutes of daily distractions on its app. A physical presence for Reddit also counters the work-from-home trend: TikTok Canada has similarly been hiring Toronto office occupants.

Rogers and Shaw tell Ottawa that joining forces will increase competition. The parliamentary committee grilled both companies on the anti-trust aspects of the $20-billion deal. Shaw spent years arguing its Freedom Mobile service was helping to lower telecom prices from the Big Three: their study claimed a drop of 25 per cent.

Drama from the variety store

“Save Kim’s Convenience” became a rallying cry by Bowen Yang on Saturday Night Live, although stars from the ending CBC sitcom are already moving on to new shows. Nicole Power’s character, Shannon, will lead Strays, and Andrew Phung is starring in Run the Burbs. But the Globe and Mail story about the abrupt move exposed more tension:

It’s like somebody saying…‘I like your new haircut,’ and you go, ‘Thanks,’ and then he hits you over the head with a shovel.” Randy Bachman’s reaction to Vinyl Tap being cancelled after 16 years on CBC Radio came with a vow to find a new outlet for what he considered a weekly cultural event for boomers listening on weekends.

Finally, the mystery of Mr. Q

Jay W. McGee died due to COVID-19 on January 8 in Flint, Michigan, a passing that went without media notice in the country where he lived for about 25 years. Along with once being nominated for a Juno Award in 1990 and releasing a final album in 2020, McGee seems to be responsible for the first rap records in Canada, under a pseudonym: