“Vaughan Working Families” kill the newspaper

When fake news can be bought

After no one at Queen’s Park could figure out who paid for a full page in each of the Toronto-based daily papers—their advertising departments won’t disclose details—Ontario election rules might be the only way to find out who’s behind the teachers’ union attack campaign from a possibly phantom parental platoon.


Whose news is it anyway?

Steven Guilbeault stepping forward to claim he really didn’t mean that the Liberals aspired to monitor news content as part of broadcast regulation reform gave Andrew Scheer a chance to quip that the heritage minister was using George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four as an instruction manual.


Peter MacKay would rather not have his team tweet about Justin Trudeau’s yoga expenses. The stream of milquetoast motivational messaging from the Conservative leadership candidate took a detour into attacking the PM for expensing leadership funds at a spa. MacKay didn’t even want to further discuss his disapproval.


A new kind of rock journalism

Word of the Toronto Star scaling back arts reporting staff has brought on snark about where traditional journalism priorities lie instead. And while Hamilton Spectator music scribe Graham Rockingham has been retired by Torstar, the biggest band from that city is offering fans a typewriter shirt if they show proof of paying for the writing that remains:


Justin Bieber’s test case of trying to contrive a hit via TikTok. “Yummy” was unveiled with hopes that TikTok users would tap it toward 15 seconds of fame—but it ended up eclipsed by upstart rapper Roddy Ricch. It appears that all the remixes in the world can’t override the fact Bieber is now a married man with psychodramatic baggage.


Sleeper story of the Junos

Neoclassical pianist Alexandra Stréliski’s Inscape was nominated for album of the year against pop competition at the Juno Awards: a fascinating feat that didn’t seem especially noticed beyond Quebec. And yet, her three-minute piece “Plus tôt” racked up more than 32 million Spotify plays, and she evidently has the kind of fan who gets a cover tattoo:


Pamela Anderson can realistically be considered Canada’s next best governor general again. A dozen days after her secret marriage to an old flame, the actress and Jon Peters ended what was the fifth marriage for them both. Anderson’s sentiment was shared in an Instagram caption: “🇨🇦 is my forever home.”


Finally, very online chatter

Blocked Party is a Vancouver-based podcast hosted by comics John Cullen and Stefan Heck with a premise pivoted on talking to luminaries about who’s blocked them on social media. The latest guest, New York Times writer Taylor Lorenz, inspires a cross-border health care conversation before the talk about a celebrity block: