When the Raptors came back to play

With a national interest exemption

The pre-season homecoming for the fully vaccinated Raptors drew an enthusiastic crowd, even if it was guessed only about 6,000 turned out despite attendance announced as 8,016. NBA players who remain unvaccinated will have 1/91.6 of their pay docked for each game they miss, but the national interest exemption gets them into Toronto with a negative COVID-19 test.

He’s running from something

Becoming the next Calgary mayor has gotten trickier for one of the 27 candidates: Kevin J. Johnston has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. That’s three months for each of the six contempt of court charges Johnston was facing in Ontario, related to videos with defamatory comments against Paramount Fine Foods owner Mohamad Fakih.

I am Doug Ford, the leader of the Ontario PCs, and we are the party saying yes.” Provincial pre-election radio ads have arrived, and Liberal leader Steven Del Duca says it’s an honour to be attacked. But the premier is getting it himself, as evangelical Charles McVety is pushing claims of a vaccine passport conspiracy.

What most media can agree on

National Newspaper Week is now underway, as the publishers still printing them continue awaiting federal legislation to support their continued existence. But a wider swath of Canadian media has a different common cause in new waves of digital harassment, something Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party have been involved in encouraging:

Jonathan Goldstein is savaged for selling out to Spotify. Heavyweight debuted as a Gimlet Media series five years ago, as the ex-Montrealer’s sequel to CBC’s Wire Tap. Despite an initial promise that Gimlet would maintain a podcasting presence on all platforms, Goldstein’s shift to streaming via Sweden met with a backlash from fans.

Finally, a metaphorical forecast

Majid Jordan securing a Canadian radio hit with “Waves of Blue” was a breakthrough among OVO Sound artists who aren’t Drake. The duo of Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman will try pushing it further with their third album, Wildest Dreams. But a chorus about how “you came like the summer rain” is a harder sell for a follow-up in autumn: