Open Sources Guelph #325 - May 6, 2021


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we're coming down from May Day, Star Wars Day, and Cinco de Mayo. The news week was almost as busy with provincial pandemic politics this week focused on the long-term care enigma, and the conundrum of anti-lockdown protestors. Federally, the sexual misconduct story in the military keeps getting bigger, and then there's this other big education story in northern Ontario...

This Thursday, May 6, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Care Bares. Last week, there were two reports about long-term care in Ontario, and they both said the same thing: the province got caught with their pants down at the start of the pandemic, and a lot more people died in care because of those shortcomings. The minister in charge of the file, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, tried to respond this week, and let's just say it didn't go very well. Have any lessons been learned from these reports?

Lonely Trinity. The Ontario attorney general's office forced the doors of Trinity Bible Chapel closed last weekend. It was the first time that this church, which routinely flaunts stay at home orders and capacity limits, was pre-emptively acted against by local authorities who have been too often skittish about taking action against lockdown scofflaws. Is that tune finally changing, and what happens this coming weekend in Waterloo?

Conduct Disorder. The Federal government's problems ridding the Canadian Forces of sexual misconduct keep adding up. This week, it was the head of the military intelligence school that was forced to resign, while the opposition have called on the Justin Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford to resign over the mixed messaging about how much the PMO knew about these deep routed problems. We'll try to sort out the mess.

College Tumor. While all universities and colleges in the province are struggling with the financial pressures of the pandemic, Laurentian University has filed for creditor protection. With liabilities of over $300 million, Laurentian has slashed its educational programs in response by chopping 58 undergrad programs, 11 grad programs, and 116 teaching positions. How did this happen, and can Laurentian be saved?

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

End Credits #197 - May 5, 2021 (Things Heard & Seen)


This week on End Credits, we're going to get spooky again! It's been a while since we tackled a good, old fashioned ghost story (unless dead malls count), but we're going to make up for lost time with the new streaming hit Things Heard & Seen. It's not exactly breezy summer viewing, but we're also going to talk about the good old days of going to the movies in summer time.

This Wednesday, May 5, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Candice Lepage will discuss:

Summer Lovin' Part 1: 1982. Normally, this Friday would be the start of the summer movie season and the first of a long, string of blockbusters consisting of animated flicks, franchise entries, and tonnes of sequels. So if we can't have a regular summer season, then let's live vicariously in the past. To kick things off this week, we're going to go back in time nearly 40 years for the first great summer of sci-fi!

REVIEW: Things Seen & Heard (2021). It's another Netflix haunted house movie! This time, it's the Hudson River Valley in 1980 and a cursed farmhouse that's now the new home for an art professor and his wife. Amanda Seyfriend and James Norton play the couple, and while their new setting is idyllic. their marriage is far from being so. It's not exactly the best time to start dealing with a ghostly presence in their lives, but what about we, the audience? is this a good time, or are we going to bust this ghost story?

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

GUELPH POLITICAST #271 – A Political Unsolved Mystery


In May 2, 2011, it was the 41st general federal election. That was the day that Stephen Harper won his first and only majority government, and while that did shake up the normal political order, it was not the only thing that happened that day to reverberate in Canadian political culture. Remember Pierre Poutine? Remember Robocalls? Well this is the day for a little political unsolved mystery.

On Election Day 20211, thousands of people around Guelph received a robocall telling them that their polling place had been changed to the Shops of Old Quebec Street downtown. This was, to use the modern parlance, “Fake news.” We don’t know how many people fell for it, but we know that some people did. We also don’t many know how many ridings this and similar schemes happened in, but it was at list six, and likely dozens more.

But Guelph was where everything would come to a head, and it was the only place that someone would ever pay a price for the crime. At some point, the name of a young Conservative staffer named Michael Sona was leaked to the media, and that become the only name. Several years later, Sona was charged and convicted for the Guelph robocall, and he’s been the only person to have  ever been taken to court for it even though the convicting judge said in his decision that Sona hadn’t acted alone.

The fact of the matter is that this is something that could happen again tomorrow. There was no hacking required, or state-sponsored cyber security apparatus, and on top of that, the perpetrators know that there’s not much in the way of legal deterrents. So this week’s show will remember that fateful day ten years ago, and the political controversy it launched, and there is no greater local resource on this than Susan Watson who's spent much of last 10 years trying to make sure we never forget May 2, 2011.

So let's gig into the unanswered questions from the Robocall scandal on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

You can revisit the coverage of the Robocall scandal, but you may have to call up the old Blogspot version of Guelph Politico in order to find it. If you would rather watch the movie version, you can rent Peter Smoczynski’s documentary E-Day Canada: When Voter Suppression Came Calling for $3.99 on Vimeo.

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 Podcasts, 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.

Photo Credit: Press conference demanding further action on the robocall investigation in 2015.

Open Sources Guelph #324 - April 29, 2021


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we don't have anything snappy to say. The pandemic is getting way out of control in India, and we desperately need a response. Meanwhile, in the United States, where the virus used to be out of control, the POTUS took a sort of victory lap. We'll talk about that, and we'll talk to a member of the provincial NDP caucus from a neighbouring riding about the Ontario angle.

This Thursday, April 29, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

India's Sorrow. In the space of just a few weeks, India has become the world's COVID hotspot, with thousands of new cases per day, hundreds of people putting pressure on ICUs, and 24/7 business for local funeral homes. How did this happen? It's complicated, but getting India out of this COVID death spiral might be equally difficult. We'll talk about the Indian pandemic, how the world's responding, and the effects here in Canada.

Joe-mentum. On the 99th day of his presidency, President Joe Biden gave his first address to a joint session of Congress, or at least as much of a joint session as possible given pandemic restrictions. Biden is riding high on early successes, but he will soon be tested on all manner of issues including infrastructure, police reform, and gun violence. Can "No Drama Biden" continue his winning under-promise/over-deliver strategy?

Lindo of Opportunity. There's been a lot of drama at Queen's Park lately, and it's been reflected in the sometimes random-seeming pandemic response on the part of the Provincial government. From the official opposition benches this week, we're joined by Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo, who will talk about sick days, anti-lockdown protests, being an MPP and a single parent, and how even she gets confused following the Ford government's plan of attack on COVID.

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

End Credits #196 - April 28, 2021 (Bad Trip)


This week on End Credits, we're going high-brow and low-brow. We're going to review the new comedy Bad Trip, which, yes, is a double entendre, but is the Bad Trip, really a bad trip, or is it a good trip? Is this Inception? We'll find out, and we'll also talk about this year's Oscars ceremony, which was very different, but still somehow managed to court controversy.

This Wednesday, April 28, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Tim Phillips will discuss:

Golden Moments. The Oscars took place last weekend, and it was a perfect show. Ha! Of course, it wasn't. No Oscars show is perfect, but this year's show was definitely interesting. The show was filmed at Union Station in L.A., it was a small crowd, there were no elaborate musical numbers or gags, and there were surprises. We'll run down the pros and cons of this year's Oscars ceremony.

REVIEW: Bad Trip (2021). We've seen so many movies where two best friends get in a car and go on a road trip with comedic results. But consider this: two friends from Florida go on a road trip to New York City and enjoy some hilarious hijinks, but while those actors know they're making a movie, no one else will. Part road movie, part prank show, Bad Trip offers a lot of comedic gold, and a lot of cringe-worthy moments, but how well does it manage the two parts of its personality, and did those people really think they were looking at a real gorilla?

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

GUELPH POLITICAST #271 - Takin’ Care of Business


As you may have noticed, it’s a tough time out there for businesses, and a tougher time for businesses run by Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour. No one knows that better than Chidi Nwene because he talked to BIPOC-owned businesses to discuss their struggles in this third wave of the pandemic. What he learned was not necessarily surprising, but it still needs to be said.

Nwene literally went door-to-door to talk to business owners for a project he called “On the Streets of Guelph” and what he discovered about the immediate future of small businesses, especially the ones run by people from marginalized groups, is difficult to accept. While they might be able to survive the pandemic, they might not be able to rebuild their businesses and get to the supposed post-pandemic economic boom that’s coming. 

Business and community are what Nwene is all about. Through his day job, he helps businesses diversify and work towards environmental sustainability, and when he’s not got his mind on business, he’s working as a community activist. Nwene has had a couple of different roles including a seat on the Community Grant Allocation Panel, and as Social Justice Co-ordinator for the Guelph EDA of the Green Party. 

This week, Nwene will lend us his experience as he talks about the problems that BIPOC-run businesses are facing, and how those business owners are facing different challenges when compared to White businesses owners despite the same lockdown. He will also talk about what recovery might look like, and how many of those businesses might not be around long enough to enjoy it. And finally, Nwene will tell us about his work developing the social justice platform for the Green Party.

So let's talk about the pandemic struggle for BIPOC businesses is the topic on this week’s Guelph Politicast

If you would like to help out locally owned Black businesses, you can find a directory for local connections here, while the Guelph Market has a list of products created by BIPOC people, and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce has a list of diversity and inclusion resources, which you can find here. Also, the #ChangeStartsNow Anti-Racism Summit takes place this weekend virtually.

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 Podcasts, 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 #323 - April 22, 2021


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we can't handle all the drama at Queen's Park. There are a lot of juicy stories coming out of the Ontario Legislature this week, but who can keep track of it all? So let's go to Parliament Hill, where they delivered a budget after a 25-month hiatus, and then we'll head stateside for a talk about social justice. After the break? Back to Ottawa, and a chat with China's most hated Canadian!

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

Two Years a Budget. For the first time in two years, the Federal government delivered a formal budget, and for the first ever, the new shoes bought for the Finance Minister came in a woman's size. Chrystia Freeland announced all kinds of new spending meant to finish the fight against the pandemic, and thanks to Jagmeet Singh it seems unlikely that this budget is going to force an election. So what all was in the budget?

Three Strikes. In a move that was somehow both expected and surprising, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts stemming from his murder George Floyd last summer. So justice is served, right? Not if you ask 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario, or Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed a short drive from where Chauvin was on trial. Where does the fight for equal justice go next?

Chong on China. Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong has been hitting China so hard lately, they actually sanctioned him. As the Foreign Affairs critic on the Conservative bench, Chong has pushed against China on a variety of causes whether it's the Uyghur genocide, or the continued detainment of the Two Michaels. Chong will join us this week to talk about all of that, plus how we can be critical of China without stoking ant-Asian racism at home.

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

End Credits #195 - April 21, 2021 (Jasper Mall)


This week on End Credits, we will go to the mall. But you say it's not open because of the lockdown. Well that would be true in real life, but in screen life going to the mall is as easy as calling up your Amazon Prime app. This week, we're going to check out the documentary Jasper Mall and also give a few Oscar predictions.

This Wednesday, April 21, at 3 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Pete Salmon will discuss:

Best Bets. The Oscars are happening this Sunday and the event itself will look will differently, but one thing will stay the same: there will be winners, and there will be a great many losers. In our last show before the big night, we will take the cover off the official End Credits crystal ball and consider the ones who will win, and the ones who are probably better suited to win if the Academy watched movies with their eyes open.

REVIEW: Jasper Mall (2020). Guelph's own Stone Road Mall has shown incredible resiliency, but not all malls are as lucky. The titular mall in Jasper Mall is one of the unlucky ones. Filmmakers Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb spent a year chronicling the slow decline of Jasper Mall after it lost two anchor tenants, and follows the workers, entrepreneurs and characters who are now spending their days trying to save it. Is Jasper Mall a valuable time capsule about the seismic shift in commercial commerce, or is it just scenes from a mall?

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

GUELPH POLITICAST #270 - On-Demand Transit is Lit!


Belleville is a little bigger than one-third the size of Guelph, but next month we’re going somewhere that Belleville’s been for a while. Since the invention of public transit, it’s been run simply by posting a map, scheduling the stops, and running buses and trains with regularity. It was static, it was predictable, and it was the simplest way we knew how to run a transit system. But is all that about to change?

Like Guelph, Belleville has a thriving local cultural base, a beloved local junior hockey team, and a very active student population thanks to Loyola College. They also have transit issues like we do. They needed to provide service to people at off hours, and they didn’t have the capacity to run a conventional service at times like Sunday evening. So what do you do? In Belleville, the answer came in the form of an experiment: on-demand transit.

The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) proposed that Belleville team up with the Toronto-based software company Pantonium to give their on-demand transit software a shakedown. It turns out that there was an app for that: tell it where you are, tell it where you’re going, and the bus will come and get you and drop you off. It worked so well for that Belleville Transit started to roll it out to fill other holes in their system, but is it everything it’s made out to be?

Belleville Transit General Manager Paul Buck thinks it is, and this week he'll tell you why. Buck will take us through the mechanics of an on-demand transit system, how it works, and what the buses are doing while waiting for someone to book a ride. Buck will also discuss how on-demand has changed transit service in Belleville, and how on-demand transit ended up helping Belleville Transit weather the pandemic’s effects on its budget better than other services. Plus, the future!

Let's talk about the pros and potential cons of on-demand transit on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

You can learn more about Belleville Transit, their on-demand service and their entire transit operation at the City of Belleville website here. You can also follow them on Twitter @BUSBELLEVILLE. You can now get the details about Guelph Transit’s implementation of on-demand bus service at their website here.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, 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 #322 - April 15, 2021


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we have really mastered the art of covering politics virtually. We start the show with the latest news from the third wave of the pandemic, and then pivot to the online-only policy conventions for two of the major Federal parties from last weekend. After that, we will be joined by another member of Guelph City Council thanks to the power of Zoom. Who is it? Let's find out!

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

"There's no confusion." When the premier of the province has to say that, at a press conference, you can probably bet there's some confusion out there. Between vaccine delays when there are hundreds of thousands of doses in freezers, to the friction over the latest lockdown measures, the persistence of the variants, and outside pressures on vaccine viability, we may be in the most precarious phases of the pandemic yet. What happens next?

Zoom-topia. The Liberals and the NDP both held their party policy conventions last weekend. The Liberal con was a relatively smooth affair with star candidates and the usual platitudes, while the NDP declared war on the wealthy with talk of a wealth tax and a $20 minimum wage but with well-covered technical disruptions. We will look at both conventions and talk about who made the best case that they're election ready.

Pick Up Six. Ward 6 Councillor Dominique O'Rourke was one of the last people we had in studio before the start of the pandemic, and this week she will join us in the new normal via Zoom to talk about the blame game by small businesses against the City for the lockdown, the pending redrawing of the ward map, and the ongoing traffic issues in the south of the city. Plus, we'll discuss this week's vote on the Parkview supportive housing project.

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

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