Return iconic Toronto concert hall to its populist roots

Incorporate Hart Massey’s original model for Massey Hall and charge $1 for tickets to the first few concerts

Return iconic Toronto concert hall to its populist rootsCOVID-19 remains a significant health problem around the world. Fortunately, some things are slowly beginning to shift into what’s commonly referred to as the “new normal.” It’s certainly happening in Canada. Many sports stadiums have returned to full capacity. Small and large businesses like movie theatres, gyms, hair salons and (fairly soon) restaurants are increasing…

Spending Thanksgiving with Rumpole of the Bailey

Leo McKern transforms into the barrister with personality, magnificent inflection and dry wit

Spending Thanksgiving with Rumpole of the BaileyThanksgiving in Canada is a wonderful, relaxing time. Turkey dinner with family. Football games and baseball playoffs. Listening to music. Catching up on reading. How could you ask for anything better? As it happens, I can add one cherry on top of the proverbial sundae. I was able to go through my DVD collection of…

If you voted for Trudeau and you’re angry about Tofino, you’re a hypocrite

Our surfer boy PM has been a national and international embarrassment since 2015

If you voted for Trudeau and you’re angry about Tofino, you’re a hypocriteWhen Justin Trudeau was first elected prime minister in 2015, there were political issues he said he wanted to tackle immediately. One of his earliest priorities was a desire to repair Canada's fractious relationship with the Indigenous community. "It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations peoples," he told some Quebec-based First…

Could Kevin Vuong be expelled from the House of Commons?

What Vuong did was morally, ethically and politically wrong. But to be expelled for a procedural matter would be quite stunning

Could Kevin Vuong be expelled from the House of Commons?You may be familiar with the phrase’ game it out.’ It’s a way to examine ideas, scenarios, concepts and strategies to figure out what could happen – and what the end result could be. In politics and the media, we game out everything from written pieces to communications strategies. For fun, let’s game out a…

What will Canada look like the day after the federal election?

The federal election has been a colossal waste of time, effort and money

What will Canada look like the day after the federal election?“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; for now hath time made me his numbering clock: my thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, whereto my finger, like a dial’s point, is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears,” William Shakespeare wrote in…

Wilson-Raybould book could be an election game-changer

Indian’ in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power could open old wounds and create new ones

Wilson-Raybould book could be an election game-changerElections in democracies generally fit under one of two historical patterns. They can be straightforward experiences where parties and candidates take an early lead and romp to victory or win comfortably. They can also be complicated situations where parties and candidates go up and down in the polls like yo-yos, face many twists and turns,…

O’Toole handled his first election pitfall quickly and effectively

He pivoted back to the ineffective Liberal plan against gun violence and moved forward

O’Toole handled his first election pitfall quickly and effectivelyMost political parties face a few potential pitfalls during an election campaign. It seems rather obvious on the surface, right? Yet it’s astonishing how many parties and leaders are completely unprepared for what the march of history has repeatedly warned them to watch, learn and avoid. This year’s federal election has already witnessed a few…

When political protests become hate-filled harassment

Harassment such as that experienced by Rempel Garner and Trudeau must be immediately condemned

When political protests become hate-filled harassmentCanada’s federal election campaign just passed the two-week mark. Alas, we’ve already witnessed an invasion of the privacy of some politicians in public and private spaces. There was the Aug. 27 disruption of a Liberal rally in Bolton, Ont. Dozens of protesters, ranging from government critics to opponents of COVID-19 masks and vaccine passports, yelled…

Manipulated video a sure sign Liberals feeling the heat

If Liberals have a couple more weeks that resemble their first, re-election could be in serious jeopardy

Manipulated video a sure sign Liberals feeling the heatDuring an election campaign, political parties are often faced with situations that could involve a few hiccups, some pitfalls, and even a major controversy or two. The Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats and others aren’t immune to this. What differentiates them is how they handle these situations. From the initial response to the tactical use of…

Welcome to the federal election few Canadians wanted

Could we be witnessing a Liberal disaster in the making?

Welcome to the federal election few Canadians wantedPulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Carl Sandburg wrote, “Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.” Sandburg’s line from his famous 1936 poem The People, Yes could also be incorporated into a modern context for the Great White North. To wit, “Sometime they’ll give an election and nobody will come.” All kidding aside, many Canadians will obviously…

Canada hasn’t always celebrated its Olympic champions

George Orton won Canada’s first gold medal in the 2,500-metre steeplechase in the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris

Canada hasn’t always celebrated its Olympic championsThe 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, are over. They came pretty close to never materializing, however. The Tokyo Games were delayed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. And a surge in COVID-19 cases in Japan this year led some health experts to suggest the Olympics should be cancelled. The Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun…

When travel resumes, Canadians should avoid Cuba

A growing number of Cubans are beginning to see through their government's lies. Why don't Canadians?

When travel resumes, Canadians should avoid CubaCanadians have travelled to Cuba as a vacation spot for decades. I doubt most of them ever considered that these excursions have aided its communist government in political and economic terms. CBC News senior reporter Evan Dyer recently pointed out this disturbing fact. “Cuban-Canadian activists say many Canadians are not aware of the extent to…

We don’t need mandatory COVID-19 vaccine passports in Canada

The role of government in a democracy isn’t to create barriers to free choice

We don’t need mandatory COVID-19 vaccine passports in CanadaAs parts of the world begin to turn the corner with COVID-19, the discussion related to mandatory COVID-19 vaccine passports has started to intensify. A vaccine passport is a document that confirms an individual’s full immunization against COVID-19. It will contain a proper record of the COVID-19 vaccine doses that a person received and may…

Harry will receive a princely sum for a book about nothing

A profile of someone who has been in the public eye most of his life but achieved little of note isn’t a worthwhile subject

Harry will receive a princely sum for a book about nothingPrince Harry is writing a book. Hmm. The crickets are pretty loud today.  All kidding aside, it’s true. “The Duke of Sussex is to publish an intimate memoir of his life,” the Daily Telegraph’s Victoria Ward wrote on July 19, “which he has vowed will be ‘accurate and wholly truthful.’” The book will be published by…

Assembly Required has that old Home Improvement magic

Tim Allen and Richard Karn return to TV with reality series Assembly Required, where they show they remain a dynamic comedic duo

Assembly Required has that old Home Improvement magicSituation comedies – sitcoms – have been a crucial component of television for decades. Everyone has their favourite shows. My list includes The Jack Benny Program, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, M*A*S*H, All in the Family, Cheers, Night Court, The Cosby Show, Newhart, Frasier, Father Ted and others. In particular, I’ve always had…

A civil libertarian who is neither civil nor libertarian

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association director Harsha Walia reacted to the burning of churches by tweeting ‘Burn it all down’

A civil libertarian who is neither civil nor libertarianBritish Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) executive director Harsha Walia retweeted a Vice News article on June 30 about two Catholic churches being burned down in Canada. These terrible incidents were reportedly related to the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at three former residential schools. A retweet wouldn’t have been noticed by most…

Breakup of Toronto homeless encampment has national implications

Allowing homeless people to live in city parks is unsafe, unwise and unnecessary

Breakup of Toronto homeless encampment has national implicationsFor the second time in slightly more than a year, Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park is in the news. Roughly 10,000 people rushed into the park in May 2020 to enjoy a few hours of sunshine and socialization. Most of them were in their 20s and 30s and had expressed frustration at having been cooped up…

Uncovering the myths and celebrating the reality of André the Giant

Bertrand Hébert and Pat Laprade’s book, The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of André the Giant, helped unlock this Giant mystery

Uncovering the myths and celebrating the reality of André the GiantProfessional wrestling has had many great performers with athletic prowess and an ability to engage – or, at times, enrage – audiences. Yet one pro wrestler was always in a class of his own: André René Roussimoff, better known as André the Giant. Inside the ring, André was a massive, near-invincible foe with seemingly unlimited…

Hair today, gone … maybe never

People have worked themselves into a frenzy because they haven’t been able to get a hair cut

Hair today, gone … maybe neverWhat intellectual, hard-hitting and politically-charged topic are we tackling in this week’s column? My hair! That’s an unusual choice. How did it make the (ahem) final cut? Read on, brave and curious souls, and ye shall find out. Many Ontario-based businesses have been closed the past six months during COVID-19. In Toronto, this has included…

The Mayweather-Paul bout was bad for boxing but good for capitalism 

Exhibition matches aren’t a true test of a pro boxer. They are more about showboating

The Mayweather-Paul bout was bad for boxing but good for capitalism Former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought YouTube personality Logan Paul in an eight-round exhibition match on Sunday. The public spectacle attracted extensive media attention and, according to early figures, a significant number of buy rates on pay-per-view. To list all the great boxing matches of every weight class in history is impossible. Mayweather-Paul will…

Phil Mickelson wins one for the ages

We have to stop the temptation of writing off athletes due to age or recent performance

Phil Mickelson wins one for the agesAge is but a number, as some like to say. Phil Mickelson proved the validity of that adage when he won one for the ages. Mickelson captured the PGA Championship on Sunday by two strokes over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen. In doing so, he became the oldest golfer to win a major title, at…

Enjoy the great outdoors in Ontario – just not on a golf course

Premier Ford's faith in science doesn't extend to reopening outdoor sports

Enjoy the great outdoors in Ontario – just not on a golf courseThrough all the political and personal inconsistencies we’ve witnessed during COVID-19, there has been some consistent messaging: practise social distancing, wear a mask in public spaces and crowded areas, wash your hands regularly and go outside as much as possible. With nice weather having arrived, this is the perfect opportunity for Canadians to take leisurely…

What you see with Joe Biden is what you get

Author Jon Meacham’s most important insights about U.S. politics and the presidency are intertwined with the current officeholder

What you see with Joe Biden is what you getJon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and historian. He’s been an executive editor/vice-president at Random House, has worked for the Chattanooga Times, Time and Newsweek, and written for the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post and other publications. Several of Meacham’s books, including American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (2009), Thomas…

Liberals must stop their attack on social media free speech

Want the power to direct, regulate and shut down social media platforms

Liberals must stop their attack on social media free speechFreedom of speech has long been a cherished principle in most Western democracies. While Canadians don’t have the same passion for free speech that our American friends do, we’ve always recognized the importance of preserving and protecting this value in times of war and peace. Until recently, that is. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his…

One man’s vaccine experience in the battle to subdue COVID-19

It amounted to short-term pain for long-term gain. A small price to pay when you consider the alternative

One man’s vaccine experience in the battle to subdue COVID-19The number of Canadians who have received a COVID-19 vaccine is slowly increasing but it took a painfully long time to get there. Slightly less than 30 per cent of Canadians have received one COVID-19 dose of a vaccine from Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca. Only 2.7 per cent, or 1,018,381 people, are fully vaccinated as…

Ontario’s insane three-day COVID-19 roller-coaster ride

Political messages that flip-flopped. Controversial policies announced, modified and removed at a mere snap of the fingers

Ontario’s insane three-day COVID-19 roller-coaster rideSeventy-two hours – 4,320 minutes – three days. Doesn’t sound like an enormous stretch of time. In most cases, it’s not. Yet what Ontario experienced from Friday, April 16, to Sunday, April 18, could easily be described as an insane roller-coaster ride for the ages. Wild highs and lows. Political messages that flip-flopped and flop-flipped. Controversial…

Liberals duck damning defence probe

When the fire gets too hot in the political kitchen, the Trudeau government always looks for an escape hatch

Liberals duck damning defence probeOn Monday afternoon, Global News’s Mercedes Stephenson tweeted out the following: “Liberal motion to shut down the defence committee hearings into sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces passes with BQ support.” Did you do a double-take? You weren’t alone. The controversy surrounding retired general Jonathan Vance, the former chief of the defence staff for…

Trudeau needs to honour Easter and his faith

It seems unfathomable he wouldn’t want to address Good Friday and its significance. In fact, he should be relishing the opportunity

Trudeau needs to honour Easter and his faithPrime Minister Justin Trudeau sent out a Twitter thread on April 2 that started off, “It’s the start of a long weekend, and I know that means you’d normally be getting together with your entire family for a few days of fun. But with the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the country, we’re all…

How can Trudeau allow Sajjan to remain in cabinet?

Two explosive military investigations mean the dark clouds of controversy won't soon fade for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan

How can Trudeau allow Sajjan to remain in cabinet?Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government are dealing with two major controversies involving our military. Both situations went from bad to worse in 24 hours. So did the possible fate of a minister of the Crown. The first controversy involves Gen. Jonathan Vance. He served as chief of the defence staff for the…
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