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Chad Rubel
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ESPN2 has a pair of CFL games this week. You have to stay up late for the first game however. The Friday Night Football doubleheader starts with the Ottawa RedBlacks in Winnipeg. ESPN2 will have the nightcap with the Tiger-Cats in Vancouver. The 11 pm Eastern start is the latest we've seen. Depending on how late the early game goes, the U.S. audience could catch the end of that game. The Toronto Argonauts welcome back Montréal Saturday night for the Argos' next to last division game. ESPN2 has the Sunday afternoon contest as the Saskatchewan Roughriders host Calgary. Edmonton will nurse its 5-game losing streak into the week off but probably doesn't want the break. Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at Canadian Crossing
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Farmers grow food. People eat food. Getting farmer food to consumers requires creative planning. Let's look at the pros and cons of delivering fresh food to consumers: Farmers markets Advantages: Get to meet and talk with customers. Get a fairer price for the produce. Disadvantages: Farmers have to be salespeople or hire people to sell their produce. Grocery stores Advantages: Willing to buy a lot of food. Disadvantages: No personal touch. Won't take "less than perfect" produce. Stores don't pay farmers too well for their produce. Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at Balance of Food
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We know little about what has been discussed in the NAFTA talks. We do know that the negotiators from the United States, Canada, and Mexico spent time in the United States in August and wrapped up a stint in Mexico earlier this month. Now the NAFTA negotiations make their way to Ottawa for talks that start on Saturday. The negotiators will be in the Canadian capital until September 27. The rush for negotiations to end in a deal by the end of the calendar year is based on a 2018 election (Mexico) and pure ego (United States). For all the jokes about NAFTA 2.0, this almost feels like NAFTA 1.1 in that a lot would need to be covered in a little time. Even if the 3 countries had been working the entire time while, let's say, Barack Obama was president, there would be a lot of ground to cover. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Canadian Crossing
The Toronto International Film Festival gives out major awards to Canadian film: Best Canadian Feature Film and Best Canadian First Feature Film. The 2015 winners got a lot of recognition from winning their awards. The 2016 winners virtually disappeared at the box office. We might get a split decision in 2017. The Best Canadian Feature Film went to the Quebecois zombie film Les Affamés from Robin Aubert. Zombies might make people forget their fears over subtitles. Then again, as you can see in the trailer above, I couldn't find a trailer that had English subtitles. The Best Canadian First Feature Film went to Luk' Luk'I, directed by Wayne Wapeemukwa. The documentary showcases 5 Vancouverites on the low rungs on society during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The film was built out of a 2014 short from Wapeemukwa about a full-time mother/part-time sex-worker who goes missing in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside during the 2010 Winter Olympics. I had to look back to find Luk' Luk'I and barely remembered Les Affamés. They weren't on my obvious radar. Same goes for the 2016 award winners. Neither came close to playing in Windsor and have had little notice since. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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Margaret Atwood standing on the 2017 Emmys stage getting an extra round of applause after the latest adaptation of her 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale just won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama. That gesture was a nice salute to the power of the word and dystopian vision that is more relevant in 2017 than in 1985. The Handmaid's Tale was nominated for 13 Emmys, winning 8 Emmys, including the major awards of Outstanding Drama; Elisabeth Moss for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama; Ann Dowd for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama; Showrunner Bruce Miller won for Outstanding Writing in a Drama; and Reed Morano for Outstanding Directing for a Drama. The Handmaid's Tale won 3 Creative Arts Emmys before the telecast, including Outstanding Guest Actress in a drama series for Alexis Bledel. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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The CFL returns to U.S. TV for the first time in over a month with a Sunday afternoon matinee in Montréal. The Alouettes will go with interim coach and current GM Kavis Reed after firing Jacques Chapdelaine (above). This game is crucial for playoff positioning for the Als and their newest rival Ottawa RedBlacks. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats host Saskatchewan in a battle of surging last-place teams on Friday night. The Saturday doubleheader feature local late afternoon starts in Toronto with the Esks at BMO Field and Calgary hosting the BC Lions in southern Alberta. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers get to rest after their Banjo Bowl victory on Saturday. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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The Vancouver Canucks are in the China Games, the NHL's initial offering in China. A split-squad of the Canucks along with a split-squad of the Los Angeles Kings will play in Shanghai on September 21 and Beijing on September 23. The Canucks will be the home team in Beijing. NBCSN will carry the Shanghai game live while the NHL Network will carry the Beijing game live. Rogers Sportsnet will carry both games live. Quebec City hosts 2 preseason games, both featuring the Montréal Canadiens. Boston is the opponent on September 18 at Centre Videotron while Toronto pays a visit on September 27. The Invictus Games at the Air Canada Centre forces the Maple Leafs to host 3 preseason games at Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Toronto Marlies. Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The very unofficial habit of Americans coming to Canada to buy low-dose codeine tablets with acetaminophen may not be around too much longer. Health Canada wants to ban sales of tablets with codeine without a prescription. That essentially leaves Americans out since they would need either a) a Canadian prescription, which would seem impossible to get or b) an American prescription, which means they wouldn't need to go to Canada. Codeine is an opioid. Fentanyl is the more common opioid that we hear about in terms of abuse and overdose. The argument can be made that low-dose codeine — 8 mg codeine with acetaminophen — isn't really the problem. The loophole for the medications is the maximum of 8 mg of codeine in a pill and 2 other medications have to be present. Caffeine counts as one of those medications. The 222s have acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), codeine, and caffeine. Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The Handmaid's Tale. Alias Grace. "What are hot new TV series?" Sorry. The answer we were looking for is "What are Margaret Atwood novels being rediscovered by a new generation?" The Handmaid's Tale has received 13 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Elisabeth Moss as Offred. The Emmy Awards are on Sunday. Alias Grace premieres this afternoon at 1:45 pm at the Toronto International Film Festival before airing on CBC in Canada starting September 25 and later Netflix in the rest of the world. Another airing at TIFF 2017 is Thursday at 8:30 pm. The TV version stars Sarah Gadon in the title role along with Anna Paquin and Paul Gross. Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Canada is the only G7 nation without a federal school lunch program. Traditionally, Canada hasn't had a national school lunch program because kids would go home for lunch. Clearly those school lunch patterns have shifted. There are schools that have school lunches, but that funding coming from provincial and territorial governments, municipal governments, and charities. Sasha McNicoll, coordinator at the Coalition for Healthy School Food, organized by the advocacy group Food Secure Canada, and Diana Bronson, executive director of Food Secure Canada, have been behind a lot of this press, including this op-ed column in the Toronto Star. Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Kids still in their snowsuits trying to hurriedly eat their brown bag lunches. The noise is rather loud and rambunctious with very little adult supervision. We've seen a lot of press in Canada lately about the push for a national school lunch program. This imagery is shown to be an improvement over previous requests for a federal school lunch program in Canada. Traditionally, Canada hasn't had a national school lunch program because kids would go home for lunch. Clearly those school lunch patterns have shifted. There are schools that have school lunches, but that funding coming from provincial and territorial governments, municipal governments, and charities. Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Balance of Food
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The CFL will run a speed round as the league gives us 4 games in about 26 hours. The Alouettes make the long road west to Vancouver for Friday Night Football. Saturday has back-to-back-to-back games. The Banjo Bowl starts things off in Winnipeg. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are in the nation's capital in the middle game. The rematch of the Labour Day Battle of Alberta is in Edmonton. Toronto needs to reflect on its loss to Hamilton on the bye weekend. Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival starts today and runs through September 17. The unofficial theme of this year's festival is "fewer films." We took a look at the upcoming Canadian films last month. Click here or below to see our preview. TIFF 2017 Canadian films preview There were a couple of last-minute adds to the list. Hochelaga, Terre des Âmes (Hochelaga, Land of Souls) tells 5 stories about the history of Montréal over 750 years traced back to the base of Mount Royal at Percival Molson Stadium. Karelle Tremblay and Caroline Dhavernas are part of the huge cast in the film directed by François Girard (The Red Violin). Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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If you listen to CBC Radio 2 in the evening for the last decade or so, your nightly listening habits are going through a significant change. Tonic helped out jazz fans from 8 pm-10 pm local time while The Signal brought out eclectic music from 10 pm-Midnight. Tim Tamashiro hosted the jazz program for about a decade. Laurie Brown hosted The Signal for about a decade. Now, CBC Radio 2 listeners have AfterDark with host Odario Williams (right) Monday-Friday from 8 pm-Midnight. Tamashiro left Tonic at the end of June. For the summer, CBC Radio 2 employed 5 top female jazz vocalists to fill in on the show: Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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If our protagonist had her way, most of New Waterford Girl would take place in New York City, not Nova Scotia. Fortunately, we get to stay a bit longer in the Maritimes. Liane Balaban made her screen debut in this coming-of-age 1999 film about a young woman who wants to escape her life in New Waterford, near Sydney in Cape Breton. Moonie, as she is known, is one of 5 children in a loud, chaotic Catholic family in a Catholic town. She doesn't even have her own room, just a cut away section in the hall for her bed. Moonie gets a friend with the new neighbours from New York City, the place where Moonie wants to go. They have a daughter around Moonie's age named Lou. Tara Spencer-Nairn is a Canadian actress, known mostly for being a police officer on Corner Gas, who is playing an American in Lou. In many years, Lou is the New Waterford Girl because she likes being there, even though the town doesn't accept her because she wasn't born there. Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Twin Peaks was 5 miles south of the Canadian border. Canada was the home of the casino/brothel One Eyed Jack's. Audrey Horne made her way up to One Eyed Jack's not realizing her father was behind the establishment. Canada is where Audrey auditioned by tying a cherry stem with her teeth and tongue. You might remember Jacques Renault, one of three Renault brothers with his older brother Jean and younger brother Bernard. Walter Olkewicz who played Renault in the original series, was reincarnated as Jean-Michel Renault in the 2017 version. The Renault brothers owned The Roadhouse, located in Twin Peaks proper. Even though the Canada part was British Columbia, bringing in a French-Canadian element was something rarely seen on U.S. television back then. Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The CFL knows how to party on Labour Day weekend. Rivalries are renewed and fans are paying more attention. The 200-km distance has helped a new rivalry between Ottawa and Montréal. The teams start out Thursday at Molson Stadium. The prairie teams once again meet in the new Mosaic Stadium on Sunday. Their last meeting was extremely memorable. Labour Day weekend has the relatively new pattern of the Battle of Alberta in the late afternoon in the east with the Battle of Southern Ontario in prime time in the east. Those games are in Calgary and Hamilton, respectively. The Tiger-Cats are eager to get off to a new start with a new coach. The BC Lions enjoy a weekend off on the long weekend. Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Canada 150 is going strong. The Canadian dollar has risen a bit with a falling U.S. dollar but the exchange rate is still at about 20% in favour of the American tourist. Perhaps you are on vacation in Canada right now. If not, why aren't you in Canada? The free admission to national parks has certainly helped increase interest. In the first 7 months, more than 14 million have gone to national parks and historic sites, up 12% from the same time period in 2016. The increase is more than 1.5 million visitors. Point Pelee in southwestern Ontario has seen a 66% spike over the same time from last year. Prince Edward Island National Park is up 37%. We thought we would look back at some of our best travel-related stories in 2017: Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Winnipeg plays once again on Thursday, this time traveling to Montréal. The green battle features the Roughriders in Edmonton on Friday Night Football. The Saturday doubleheader gets a supper break. The BC Lions make their last major east trip going to Ottawa. Then, after supper, Toronto will be in Calgary. Hamilton draws a much-needed week off. Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The T-shirts during the BC-Saskatchewan were just the beginning of the Diversity is Strength campaign by the CFL. Last week, the league ran an ad during its games. And the CFL got some nice publicity from CNN International. The Diversity is Strength campaign was in the works before the events in Charlottesville, but the league decided to step that up. CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said on CNN International that one of the executive team members to "send a positive message about diversity" given what was happening south of the border. "Having that positive view of diversity only serves, it serves to be a great reminder of how great things can be if we all pull together. Again, that is how we feel about it. I can’t tell others how they should handle their business. But for us, this felt like the right thing for us to talk about at this important moment in time," Ambrosie said on CNN International. Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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"So it's root, root, root for the best team. If they don't win, it's a shame." You knew Don Cherry would put his spin on the time-honoured classic Take Me Out to the Ball Game in the 7th-inning stretch at Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon. Cherry getting a chance to sing was part of the Toronto Blue Jays second-ever trip to the Chicago Cubs heralded legendary ballpark. The Blue Jays only previous appearance to the north side of Chicago was 2005, the first year after the Expos were moved from Montréal. Even if you are a casual MLB fan, you might wonder why a second Blue Jays trip to the Windy City in 2017 was such a big de Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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My childhood was filled with "syrup" straight from the bottle with the rural wood-based domicile brand name. That syrup went on pancakes made from a mix. Once I discovered real maple syrup, my taste buds have been enthralled since that point. Even though I love maple syrup, I didn't know much about how the process worked. But I was eager to learn. The Essence of a Country (Le goût d’un pays) takes you through the path of maple syrup from the taps on the trees to the food on your plate. You might think a documentary on maple syrup would be as exciting as watching maple sap drip into a bucket or the excitement in watching maple sap boil down for hours into what looks a bit like maple syrup. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2017 at Balance of Food
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I thought I knew syrup — using the rural wood-based domicile brand name as a kid on my pancakes made from a mix. A lot of syrups are made from high-fructose corn syrup and regular corn syrup. Discovering maple syrup, real maple syrup, really changes your thinking about what to put on pancakes. The Essence of a Country (Le goût d’un pays) takes you through the path of maple syrup from the taps on the trees to the food on your plate. You might think a documentary on maple syrup would be as exciting as watching maple sap drip into a bucket or the excitement in watching maple sap boil down for hours into what looks a bit like maple syrup. Francis Legault takes us through the process of maple syrup in context to the meaningful relationship that his home province of Quebec has with maple syrup. Families and friends bond over the experience of gathering maple syrup. The days are long, often 12-16 hours. The buckets are emptied into larger buckets and carried onto alternate terrain vehicles and small trucks back to the shack. The sap must be boiled down for hours, no sleeping on that job since you have to wait for that crucial moment when the syrup is ready. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Edmonton heads east to Winnipeg for Thursday Night Football. The Friday night doubleheader starts with the Ottawa RedBlacks at Tim Hortons Field followed by the Calgary Stampeders in Vancouver. The Montréal-Toronto rivalry shifts to BMO Field for a Saturday afternoon contest for the top spot in the East. The Saskatchewan Roughriders want to keep the momentum but get a week off. Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The dog days of summer and trade negotiations aren't usually found in the same sentence. The NAFTA negotiations start today in Washington. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is bringing in the originator of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA from the Canadian side in former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Trudeau is also bringing in recent interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose. Trudeau should also bring in some NDP support as well since NDP supporters are more likely to be on the bad end of free trade in North America. Canada is a lot more aware of the potential concerns of NAFTA than the U.S. team. For all the cries about softwood lumber and dairy, neither fell under NAFTA. This isn't trying to discount Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer. They are relatively new to the game and don't understand Canada's background. The Canadian coalition knows more about the United States than the U.S. delegation knows about Canada. Donald Trump thinks his reputation is about making amazing business deals. The more likely Trump is to get involved, the better off Canada will be. Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2017 at Canadian Crossing