Open Sources Guelph - October 22, 2020


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we're going to get into a realm of law and politics you've long demanded we visit: fishing rights! We will head out to the east coast for that big story on Indigenous rights, and then we will look at the recently renewed fracas over the WE scandal. Then, in the second half of the show, we will talk to an old friend and former colleague about the COVID-age at Guelph City Council.

This Thursday, October 22, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Talk Lobster. "Lobster War" sounds like the subtitle for the next Aquaman movie, but in Nova Scotia it's a real thing that's happening with Indigenous fisherman on one side, and the rest of the Maritime fishery industry on the other. The House of Commons held an emergency debate on the matter after another fire destroyed a First Nations lobster facility on the weekend, but is this something the House can resolve, or is it just more anti-Indigenous racism in action?

Here WE Go Again. The spectre of the WE Charity scandal arose again this week on a couple of fronts with new reporting from Canadaland, and new demands from the Opposition to have an open and honest rake out about everything that went in to the decision to funnel a billion dollars of student COVID relief through WE. Justin Trudeau said that this is heading down a road to election, but does he really want to fight an election over ethics? Does anybody?

Allt in the Family. It's October, but there are still a few very busy months at Guelph City Council left, so this week we will be joined by Ward 3 Councillor Phil Allt, and we will ask him to put on his philosopher's hat from the old Beyond the Ballot Box show to talk about the changes to council operations in the COVID-age, whether or not he thinks some of those changes will be permanent, and how it's been going so far. We will also talk to Allt about the upcoming budget season.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.

End Credits - Octobr 21, 2020 (The Trial of the Chicago 7)


This week on End Credits, the whole world is watching. At least that's what the trailer says. Just in time for the American political season, we've got the new film about a very politically charged part of American history from one of the guys that knows how to handle politically charged material best. Before that, we will Run the Series on this week's filmmaker in question.

This Wednesday, October 21, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Tim Phillips will discuss:

Run the Series: Aaron Sorkin's Films. He started as a New York playwright, became an accomplished screenwriter, wrote one of the most influential TV series from the turn of the century, and finally won the Oscar for a movie about the creation of Facebook. In this week's "Run the Series", we will review and rank the screenplays of Aaron Sorkin.

REVIEW: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020). At the Democratic National Convention in 1968, eight people lead thousands of supporters in what was, at the time, the largest demonstration against the Vietnam War. The government called them anarchists, agitators, and left-wing extremists, and then they put them on trial. Through the lens and words of Aaron Sorkin, this new Netflix film draws comparisons to the current political climate, but how effective is it?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Wednesday at 3 pm.

GUELPH POLITICAST #243 – The Library Victory Lap


The Guelph Public Library Board of Directors met Tuesday night, and among their agenda items was the next steps for the new main library plan. For many people in Guelph, these are great signs of progress for a project that’s been gestating since the mid-90s, but there might be even more pressure for the board to now turn those plans into reality.

This week on the podcast we're joined by Scott Butler, who is the current chair of the Library Board. Butler is not the only person to whom credit goes for the new library building’s approval to proceed two weeks ago, and he admits as much in this podcast, but he is now the one that has to lead the Library board, staff, volunteers and friends down the literal and figurative road to the new main library, and its approved $62 million pricetag.

Before we get to all that, let’s take a minute to remember how we got here, all the work that got the project this far, and maybe enjoy the moment. And although there's still some doubt about the wisdom of the investment in some quarters, the project is now on course to be made a reality. There are capital campaigns to plan, final blueprints to draw, groundbreakings to attend, so what does going forward look like right this minute?

Along with that question, Butler will also talk about his immediate thoughts and feelings after the October 7 meeting of council where the Baker Project was approved, and his thoughts about some of the counter-arguments against proceeding. Then, Butler will discuss the immediate next steps, the opportunities for public input and assistance on the project, and where the Baker Project should be at this point next year. In between, we'll talk what happened to that "silent majority", and the value of libraries in the middle of a pandemic.

So let's check out (library pun) what Board Chair Butler thinks now that the vote is done on this week's Guelph Politicast!

To see the supporting documents for the new main library branch, and the audio version of the September 29 presentation of the design plans and building details on the Guelph Public Library’s website by following the links. You also follow this link to more information about the Library’s Board of Directors.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

Open Sources Guelph - October 15, 2020


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we've got some leftovers to dig through on our post-Thanksgiving show. COVID is back, not that it ever really left, but things are getting more dangerous as the colder weather arrives. In other leftovers, we're got "Blue Lives Matter" making a comeback, more news about the American election, and a surprising update about the battle against online hate.

This Thursday, October 15, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

COVID Strikes Back. Last weekend, the Province of Ontario rolled back three COVID hotspots to Stage 2, closing up indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues in the name of slowing a flare up of the virus before we get deeper into the fall. At the same time, those newly closed businesses are asking for more help, long-term care homes are feeling the strain of staffing issues, and the Ontario government is sending out mixed messages. So what is the state of COVID?

Symbol Freeze. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has been under justifiable scrutiny after several Indigenous people were killed in police shootings this year, and getting caught up in the whirlwind of Black Lives Matter, so the RCMP banned all "Thin Blue Line" and other pro-police ephemera. Having said that, the National Police Federation, a police union, are telling the officers they represent to ignore the order. Why do police unions insist on doing themselves harm with these measures?

Do We Care Package. You may have heard that there's a presidential election going on in America right now, but why do we care? It's not unreasonable to say that what happens in the United States politically has an effect on Canada, and American political decisions have  a visceral impact on Canada when you consider relations with China, pipeline construction, and international trade. So why does this election matter to Canada in the short and long term?

Death on Denial. Facebook took a step it has long hesitated to do for some reason: ban Holocaust deniers. The social media site has formally banned posts and groups that deny or distort the fact that the Nazis killed six million Jewish people in World War II, and just in time for the 75th anniversary of the end of the war. Facebook has been hesitant banning anyone because an active user is money in the bank, so what finally convinced Mark Zuckerberg to ban the original truthers?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.

End Credits - October 14, 2020 (The 40-Year Old Version)


This week on End Credits. it's time for another deep dive into the New York arts and theatre scene with all the neuroses, personalities, and creative obsessives that come with it, and it's in black and white! This week, we're reviewing The 40-Year Old Version, and before that we will catch up with some good old fashioned movie news!

This Wednesday, October 14, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

The News. It's been a while since we caught up with the latest movie news, and the biggest news is still the fallout of COVID-19 as more movies move to 2021, and theatres struggle with the lack of new product. We will also look at how the next Spider-Man movie is getting Stranger, a possible Social Network sequel, and the inevitable return of Cleopatra.

REVIEW: The 40-Year Old Version (2020). Radha Blank's directorial debut is about a Black playwright on the cusp of her 40th birthday. She was once hailed as a promising new artistic voice, but now she teaches theatre to school kids, so in her frustration, she puts her doubts and anxieties to a hip-hop beat. Blank's Sundance winner hits nicely in an oeuvre of New York movies about New York arty types trying to make it, so does Version make it for Blank?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Wednesday at 3 pm.

GUELPH POLITICAST #242 - This is Halloween


We know that small businesses everywhere are struggling, but every business is struggling in its own way. Halloween is Christmas for those businesses that sell costumes, make-up, and party supplies, but there’s definitely not going to be any parties this year, and even the possibility of Trick or Treating is in doubt. So what will Halloween look like, and where does that leave the people for whom Halloween is big business?

This week on the podcast, we're joined by Missy Morrow, who is the proprietor of Party Corner Costumes. Believe it or not, the Centres for Disease Control has a list of recommendations for a safe and healthy Halloween, and indoor costume parties and door-to-door trick or treating are among the more high risk activities though. The CDC does offer some alternative suggestions though, so the holiday is not dead, but what about the people that supply the party favours?

But Party Corner is more than a one holiday pony so to speak. In fact, one of their biggest annual draws is St. Patrick's Day, which was more or less cancelled this year because the lockdown hit just before its March 17 celebration. There was lost revenue from all the green and Irish party favours for a university town that enjoys a good St. Patty’s Day shindig, and all occasions in between, so is this Halloween going to make or break the local costume business?

That’s one of the questions Missy Morrow will answer, along with how she’s had to adapt and change her usual business practices because of COVID, and the incredible amount of extra work she’s had to put in to help her business to survive the pandemic. She will also discuss what this Halloween will look like, what people are doing, how much pressure she’s feeling to make the most of her busiest holiday, and whether or not she thinks there’ll be Trick or Treating this year.

So let's talk about Halloween, and the costume business, in this COVID age on this week's edition of the Guelph Politicast!

You can find Party Corner on all social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also fine them on their website, call them at (519) 763-6400, or visit them at their store at 200 Victoria Road South, the Eggcetra Plaza, from 9 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday, and 10 am to 7 pm on Sunday.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

Open Sources Guelph - October 8, 2020


This week on Open Sources Guelph we will take everything we know about a busy news week, pack it in a tote, and leave it in the basement to gather dust because we've got a new standard for what a busy news week looks like. So Trump got COVID, and so did, it seems, most of his senior staff, which cast this week's Vice Presidential debate  in doubt. Meanwhile in Canada, we elected a new Green leader with no problem, and we've got a new provincial election to talk about.

This Thursday, October 8, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

American COVIDiot. Between Thursday and Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he had COVID-19, was taken to Walter Reed hospital, given various treatments, and returned back to the White House where he said COVID was wicked easy to beat and he was discontinuing all negotiations on COVID relief until after the election. Trump claims that he's really learned from the experience, but did he? Also, how should Joe Biden by campaigning now with a month left till Election Day?

Veep Stakes. Speaking of the election, current Vice President Mike Pence met perspective Vice President Kamala Harris on the debate stage Wednesday after much wrangling with the debate commission since Pence might be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus. Pence versus Harris is a debate a lot of people were waiting to see, and a debate that was likely to be more formal that the s**tshow between Trump and Biden last week, but did it debate change any minds?

Green with Annamie. After eight rounds of voting, Toronto lawyer Annamie Paul broke all kinds of barriers to be named the new leader of the Green Party of Canada. Paul is the first Black woman and the first Jewish woman to lead a national party in Canada, and she's only one of two major national party leaders who are People of Colour, so will representation make people take a second look at the Green Party, and how will Paul be able to build on Elizabeth May's legacy?

Moe Better Choose. As scheduled, the Provincial election in Saskatchewan is underway, and it seems pretty unlikely that Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party will be dethroned with a shift to the left and the NDP. Having said that though, at least one Saskatchewan Party candidate had to resign from the race for espousing support for QAnon, while another is getting attacked for a history of juvenile behaviour that doesn't sit well post-#MeToo. Still, can Moe be denied?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.

End Credits - October 7, 2020 (The Babysitter: Killer Queen)


This week on End Credits we're going to blind you with science, and then blind you with Satan! In terms of the former, we're going to talk to a U of G professor with some expertise in the subject matter of the documentary we reviewed last week, and then, in this week's review, we cross streams again with another horror comedy that features a Satanic cult.

This Wednesday, October 7, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Candice Lepage will discuss:

Talk to an Expert. Last week we reviewed Kiss the Ground, which is about carbon sequestration and better farming practices, but we broadcast from Canada's "Food University", so we can get more information from the source, right? This week we do just that with Prof. Rafael Santos from the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph who will discuss his research into getting more carbon into the ground, and issues the movie might not have mentioned.*

*(Click here for the stats Prof. Santos mentioned in the interview)

REVIEW: The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020). Just in time for Halloween (or Thanksgiving depending on how you feel about the original), we get a sequel to the 2017 Netflix hit, The Babysitter. Two years after the original, young Cole is still the nebbish, low-end of the social totem pole, but that might change with a weekend at the lake with his best friend Melanie and her friends. Still, you can't escape the grasp of high school Satanists so easily. So does this movie re-capture that dark energy again, or is it just another needless sequel?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Wednesday at 3 pm.

GUELPH POLITICAST #241 - The Real Work of Helping Children and Families


There was a gathering of people in Riverside Park in late August, and even though they said that they didn't identify with QAnon, they still knew all the buzzwords like “save the children”. And then, one of the counter protestors said something interesting: “Why don’t these people, if they’re so concerned about child welfare, volunteer with a local organization that does just that?” Good idea!

In that spirit, this week's episode of the podcast features Sheila Markle, the executive director of Family and Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County. FCS used to be known as the Children’s Aid Society, but the name change was meant to flush away the old image of a child care worker forcibly taking a kid from his or her home after one negative report, the type of scene that launched so many “Lost Love” stories from Unsolved Mysteries.

In fact, nearly 99 per cent of children under FCS care remain at home with their families, and it’s only in circumstances where there are no family, relatives, or other type of personal connection that children end up in care. FCS offers clinical support, parenting groups, foster parents, and adoption opportunities, but working with children can be difficult at the best of times, so how as FCS been coping with the added anxiety of COVID-19 and public health crisis on their usual workload?

That's one of the questions we'll ask Merkle, along with a broader discussion about the work that she and her staff do, how the work has changed over the years, and where things currently stand in terms of the demand and requests for assistance. Of course, we will also discuss the effects of COVID, what kind of help FCS is looking for from the general public right now, and what kind of help their clients need in these difficult times. 

So let's learn more about helping children and families here in our own backyard on this week's edition of the Guelph Politicast!

To find out more about the work of Family and Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County, or to learn how you can get involved, or what kind of volunteer assistance they need, you can go to their website.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

Open Sources Guelph - October 1, 2020


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we begin October with a discussion of the most terrible show on Earth. Yes, we will dive into the sewage of the first Presidential debate for 2020, and then we will talk about some of our own issues right here in Canada with people who think they're cops trying to arrest people on fake charges. In the realm of the real, we'll talk to a member of city council about the always controversial library project in Guelph.

This Thursday, October 1, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Debase Night. The first Presidential debate of the 2020 cycle was... Uh, what's a polite word for "$h!tshow"? Indeed, the worst predictions for what the first round of Biden Vs Trump would like like were not bad enough to capture what actually happened, including another chance for the President to refute white supremacists that even his loudest supports [almost] couldn't forgive. We'll talk about the debate highlights (?) and whether or not there'll be a second.

Citizen's Oppressed. On Parliament Hill, one man has decided that he's going to clean up the place, but no one elected him, and he has no law enforcement powers beyond the ones he's given himself. The same guy that tried to arrest Justin Trudeau this past summer, has been harassing other people on the Hill, which compounds the issues of government members and other politicians who are being harassed and receiving threats. Do MPs need more protection?

Library Marred. Coming up next week at Guelph City Council, there will be a vote on two major infrastructure projects, the South End Community Centre and the new main branch of the library. The latter is a project that's been on the City's to-do list for the last 25 years, and it's starting to look like it's in danger of not going forward. Ward 5 Councillor Cathy Downer will join us to lend her vast experience on the file, and to discuss her hope that the project will still move forward.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.

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