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Chad Rubel
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Usually when you think of Rogers in Canada, you might think Sportsnet. But you should also think Fred Rogers. The documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? from director Morgan Neville is giving us a chance to revisit the incredible story of a Presbyterian minister turned children's TV show host named Fred Rogers. Canadians also watched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood via PBS. What they may not know and virtually all Americans don't know is that Fred Rogers first went on camera in Canada. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Canadian Crossing
Canada, United States, and Mexico are often caught in NAFTA headlines but the countries will work together to host the 2026 World Cup. The Canadian portion will be 10 early round games in Edmonton, Toronto, and Montréal. The sites will be Commonwealth Stadium (Edmonton); BMO Field (Toronto); and Olympic Stadium (Montréal). The 10 games would be early in the soccer tournament but the 10 allotted games and the sites are not guaranteed. The FIFA council makes those calls on number of games as well as sites. The United States is scheduled to host 60 games; Mexico is down for 10 games. When Canada hosted the 2015 Women's World Cup, one major concern was forcing the women to play on artificial turf. The men were supposed to be too good to play on turf. BMO Field has grass while Commonwealth Stadium has had field turf since 2010. The Olympic Stadium turf isn't even close to field turf. FIFA put in artificial turf for the women's 2015 World Cup, including a grass field in Moncton. Olympic Stadium may get a temporary grass field inside the dome. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Canadian Crossing
Attention: people of Ottawa. Have you seen this woman? She is Kelly Knight Craft and has not been seen or heard of in months. Craft was last reported being sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada. If you have seen her or know of her whereabouts, contact the authorities immediately. We didn't expect much from Kelly Knight Craft as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, but we didn't expect her to be on the side of a milk carton. Steel and aluminum tariffs. NAFTA negotiations. Tariffs over softwood lumber and Bombardier. The Daily Show investigating the ongoing refugee surge into Canada. A series of temper tantrums inside and outside the G7 in Charlevoix. All of this and a lot more and nothing from Craft. Craft took her sweet time even getting to Ottawa. She was confirmed on August 3 yet didn't take over in the post until October 23. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Canadian Crossing
ESPN2 gets the opening week of the 2018 CFL season as perfect as one can get with carrying all 4 CFL games. The season starts out Thursday night with Edmonton traveling to Winnipeg. The teams from the East final from 2017 will play at the new Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Friday night. Saturday offers a Western doubleheader with the Tiger-Cats in Calgary early and the longest west-bound CFL trip with the Montréal Alouettes in Vancouver late. The furthest destination in Week 1 is Winnipeg. The Ottawa RedBlacks draw an extra week of practice before the season starts in the nation's capital. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Canadian Crossing
You might have heard that former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel signed a 2-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL on May 19. Manziel's troubled past is a part of the story as to why he is in Hamilton. Unlike the Cleveland Browns, Manziel will have to learn the playbook from coach June Jones, who is staying in Hamilton after taking over as interim coach last season. The CFL will be tougher for Manziel to conquer than he might think the league will be. The speed difference has overwhelmed QBs with more focus than Manziel has shown. Fellow Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith learned that in Montréal. --- The 2018 CFL season now has a 21-week regular season. There will be no 5-game week: great news for Toronto and Ottawa. There will be 3 weeks in the season where 3 teams will have a bye in the same week, so only 3 games on those weeks. Toronto and Saskatchewan have 2 of their 3 byes on those 3 bye weeks. The Roughriders draw the last bye of the season while Ottawa draws the first bye of the year. The CFL schedule has 4 autumn Saturday tripleheaders to avoid the need for a Sunday game. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Canadian Crossing
History meets food in the Canadian version of the British show Back In Time For Dinner where a family gets to see what it was like to eat in 6 consecutive decades: 1940s-1990s. Carlo Rota will host the CBC version. Back In Time For Dinner debuts June 14 at 8 pm (all times 30 minutes later in Newfoundland). Summer on the CBC feels a bit lighter since Still Standing and Baroness von Sketch Show got promoted to the CBC fall lineup. Still there are a few new shows to take in for summer viewing. Canadians have been able to stream Crawford, the offbeat comedy involving Jill Hennessy and raccoons (in that order), since February 2. The show get its 12-episode run on the CBC also starting June 14 at 9 pm. For U.S. viewers without a CBC feed, Comedy Central will carry the program. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Canadian Crossing
Canada is a significant step closer to marijuana legalization as the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-45 by a 56-30-1 decision. The Canadian Senate waited until the last possible day to pass the bill, having sat on the bill for months. The sticking point is the 46 amendments the Senate attached to the bill. The House of Commons has to decide which amendments to keep. Even if the House changes one amendment, the bill will have to go back to the unelected Canadian Senate. The original bill allows for home cultivation up to 4 marijuana plants. The Senate amendment allows provinces to prohibit home cultivation; Quebec and Manitoba are on board with banning home cultivation of cannabis plants. Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
The Toronto Blue Jays went from being on Sunday Night Baseball on July 8 to losing Sunday Night Baseball in only 4 days, but the loss was not the fault of the team. The New York Yankees, the real reason why ESPN put the Blue Jays in the U.S. prime slot, had a doubleheader on July 9 in Baltimore. The team objected to playing 3 games in about 26 hours, coupled with a flight and customs issues. The doubleheader didn't get moved to a different date. The New York Yankees threatened a ESPN boycott, so ESPN moved the Blue Jays out of Sunday Night Baseball. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Doug Ford, who started 2018 outside the Ontario parliamentary spectrum, will be the next premier of Ontario as the Progressive Conservatives won the 2018 Ontario election. The PC party won 76 seats as compared to the 27 seats at the dissolution of Parliament. The number of seats went up to 124 seats, up from the previous 107 seats in Queen's Park. The NDP will be the official opposition with 40 seats, a significant jump from the 18 seats before the election. The actual NDP vote percentage was a lot closer to the PC vote percentage, but the NDP vote traditionally has had fewer seats vs. vote percentage. The Liberals had 55 seats when the election started, but fell dramatically to 7 seats. The 7 seats means the Liberals barely missed official party status. The Liberals missed the 8-seat mark to be a "recognized party." With 8 seats, the party would get funding for administrative staff and research activities as well as keeping designated time to speak in the legislature. Mike Schreiner won a seat in Guelph for the Green Party. Schreiner is the first Green Party member to be a MPP in Queen's Park in Toronto. Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
The G7 leaders will be in La Malbaie, Quebec in the Charlevoix area of central Quebec on Friday and Saturday for the G7 summit. The economic cabinet members met in Whistler, BC last week. This will be the 6th time Canada has hosted the G7 summit since 1981. Stephen Harper hosted the G7 summit in Huntsville, Ontario in 2010. Jean Chrétien hosted the 2002 G7 summit in Kananaskis, Alberta. Canada has the G7 presidency for 2018. The meeting comes on the heels of the steel and aluminum tariffs from Donald Trump. The press will point out that this will be Trump's first trip to Canada, but summits are not considered official state visits. Parlez-vous Francaise? The tariffs against Canada and the proposed tariffs response will also have a significant impact on today's Ontario election. Ontario is a large economic force in North America. The province is also intertwined with the ongoing NAFTA negotiations. Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
When Ben Affleck made Argo, the criticism was that Canadians couldn't tell their own story too well. The story of Ken Taylor and the Canadian Embassy staff in Iran was an amazing story that certainly deserved better than Argo. This pattern entered my head when I watched part of Gross Misconduct: The Life of Brian Spencer, a made-for-TV movie about the life of Brian Spencer, a NHL player that could have been the inspiration for Goon who died at the very young age of 38. Atom Egoyan directed and Paul Gross wrote the script. They stretched out the most amazing and sadly true story not of Brian Spencer but his father Roy Spencer. A central theme is that father and son were both angry men, so the son's violence is reflected in his fathers violence. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
CBC Radio 2 has gone through a few name changes: CBC FM, CBC Stereo, CBC Radio Two, and CBC Radio 2. But you might be confused to find that CBC Radio 2 is under the CBC Music banner. There had been some confusion over what CBC Radio 3 was and whether that also was CBC Music. (We have a similar confusion over ESPN3.) So CBC Radio 2 no longer exists but you can find the CBC Radio 2 programming under the CBC Music app. I personally have the CBC Radio app and can still access the "Radio 2" programming on the app. You can also access that programming on the CBC Music Web site and the CBC Music app. The same rules apply outside Canada: you can only access the Eastern and Pacific feeds. If you were listening to Saturday Night Jazz, you can listen from 6 pm-8 pm Eastern or 6 pm-8 pm Pacific. Those in Canada are only limited by the time zones in Canada from Newfoundland to Pacific. Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Adventures in Public School and Allure have a few things in common. Both films played at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Neither film played at the 2017 Windsor International Film Festival. Both films made the TIFF Top Ten Canadian films of 2017. And both films played under different titles at TIFF 2017: Public Schooled and A Worthy Companion, respectively. Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
"That Canada could be considered a national security risk to the United States is inconceivable." — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau National security is the official reason why Canada, which had been expected to being exempt from the of 25% steel tariffs and 10% aluminum tariffs, will now suffer those tariffs. The U.S. suddenly switched that position because Canada wouldn't accept a sunset clause on NAFTA. The U.S. tariffs kicked in at midnight. The proposed Canadian tariffs would be in place on July 1. Those tariffs with a matching $16.6 billion value to the steel and aluminum tariffs would involve goods from the U.S. — including beer kegs, maple syrup, whisky, toilet paper, and "hair lacquers." Let's explain the sunset clause issue. The NAFTA negotiations from the U.S. side have caused instability in U.S.-Canadian trade even before the tariffs were announced. The sunset clause would actually discourage long-term trade investment between the 2 countries, much less Mexico. The sunset clause hurts businesses in the U.S. and Canada. The sunset clause would require any country to withdraw from NAFTA every 5 years, discouraging long-term investment. The current people in power in the U.S. want instability. Canada and Canadians want stability to grow trade between the countries. Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
We've seen Donald Trump lie about big things and small things. We've seen the horrible diet of food that Donald Trump eats. So when Bloomberg News, a trusted news source, reported in March that Donald Trump was on a diet, was that a fake story fed to them or was it reality? Trump's doctor at the time, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson (who withdrew his nomination for Secretary of Veterans Affairs after a number of significant allegations), recommended a new diet since Trump, at a reported 6'3" and 239 pounds, was one pound below the obese guidelines. Those numbers — height and weight — may be overstating both height and weight. Bloomberg News reported that Trump was adding salads and soups to the mix. The article is very specific as to whether or not he had stopped eating burgers. "One person said it’s been two weeks since he saw the president eat a hamburger." That doesn't mean he has or hasn't, just not from the personal knowledge for one person. Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at Balance of Food
Evan Rachel Wood and Julia Sarah Stone are 2 really amazing young actresses to watch. A film where they get to work together and dominate the screen should be incredible to watch. And yet Allure is a tedious film to sit through to the end. Laura (Evan Rachel Wood) is a messed-up person right from the start. Eva (Julia Sarah Stone) is a teenage girl whose life is pretty good but there are a few problem spots. Laura cleans houses, including Eva's home. Laura makes the moves on Eva, complimenting her incessantly. All of a sudden, Eva ends up at Laura's place. There is virtually no character development in the film. Character motivations for anything feel haphazard and random. Eva is trapped in a horrible circumstance but the audience is numb. There is a scene where Eva almost gets on a city bus, a potential for freedom. Instead of a dramatic moment, the scene feels false like they threw it in to serve an insincere purpose. Later Eva is riding a bike as if her life is normal. Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Judy Greer is enough of a reason to see Adventures in Public School, but you will also find yourself enrolled in a smart, sweet film. Adventures in Public School follows a home-schooled boy who is about to take the graduation test to pass high school. He has to take the test at a public school where he falls in love with a girl with one leg. So he messes up the test to go to public school to get closer to the girl. TIFF Rising Star 2017 Daniel Doheny carries the film as Liam, who thinks of his mother (Judy Greer) as his best friend and is wholesome enough to back that up. A kid adjusting to public school could easily go in a bad direction within a film. The film could easily make fun of these characters for cheap laughs but Kyle Rideout and Josh Epstein, who have cameos in the film in their day job as actors, let the characters shine in their awkwardness. Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Winnipeg isn't one of the big 3 in Canada (Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver). Winnipeg is often too cold and occasionally too hot. The tourism activities aren't as obvious. But Winnipeg can be a fun travel destination. The city of Winnipeg and its people got a lot of notice and publicity from the exciting hockey run this spring for the Winnipeg Jets. The Winnipeg Whiteout inside Bell MTS Place and the even larger crowd outside the arena looked great on television. NBC even carried 2 games in Winnipeg, a first for the Jets in recent memory. Winnipeg has been on display in recent times from the 2015 Women's World Cup to the 2016 Heritage Classic to the 2015 Grey Cup. The Forks area is really nice. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights was a meaningful stop. St. Boniface has a French twist to the Prairies. Watch a CFL game where the fans are passionate. So to honour the recent success of Winnipeg in the spotlight, we have a few articles from the archives spotlighting an interesting place that is Winnipeg. And save some room for Saskatoon berry pie. Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
The CBC release of new programming and schedules shows an embarrassment of riches. There are quite a few new dramas, all but 1 are Canadian. This also leads to some awkward programming nights. The loss of the Rick Mercer Report will be huge, but a couple of summer shows have moved to the fall to help fill the gaps. Most of the awkwardness of the schedule has gravitated to Wednesday and Thursday nights. Wednesdays will have reality, drama, and comedy at some point in the fall and winter. Murdoch Mysteries (fall and winter) and Frankie Drake Mysteries (fall) make a nice pair on Monday nights. Coroner and Street Legal take over the post-Murdoch Monday timeslot in the winter. Coroner (8 episodes) is from Morwyn Brebner, co-creator of the CTV drama Saving Hope. Street Legal (6 episodes) is a reboot of the CBC series that ran from 1987-1994 and bringing back Cynthia Dale (above) from the original show. The Tuesday night comedy theme will miss the Rick Mercer Report. CBC moved up 2 of its summer shows – Still Standing and the Baroness Von Sketch Show – to bookend This Hour Has 22 Minutes in the fall lineup. Kim’s Convenience starts the night on Tuesday followed by This Hour Has 22 Minutes with the traditional players of Schitt’s Creek and Workin’ Moms. The original press release does not list a show at 9:30 pm on Tuesdays in the fall. Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
The CFL preseason might have sneaked up on you, but the 2018 CFL regular season is starting earlier as well. All the Canadian teams are out of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoff teams, so why not have some football. The action starts Sunday with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Edmonton. Toronto has the quickest turnaround with its preseason games at 6 days. The quarterback carousel that has been the off-season, not just Johnny Manziel, will lead to some intriguing chemistry experiments on the field. Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Saving and growing Canadian journalism has a soft spot for us at because of 1) journalism; 2) Canada; 3) Canadians; and 4) accountability. We recently wrote about the idea of putting government money into non-profit news ventures. Proposed money for Canadian journalism about sprouting non-profit news templates Now one well-established Montréal newspaper is going the non-profit route. La Presse, which has been completely online since the beginning of 2018, announced that the paper will go the non-profit route and will cut ties with the Desmarais family, who will donate $50 million to the not-for-profit. La Presse is one of 4 major Montréal newspapers avec Le Devoir and Le Journal de Montréal en Francaise and the lone English-language newspaper, the Gazette. La Presse has gone through significant changes in recent years, giving up Sundays in 2009 and weekdays in 2016. The Saturday printed edition went out as 2017 ended. Le Journal de Montréal is the only printed Montréal newspaper to be available on Sundays. In Canada, the major weekend paper is on Saturdays, not Sundays. Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Canada's largest province by population is having the kind of election cycle that makes the race feel as big as the province itself. The national and international headlines focus on Doug Ford, brother of the late Rob Ford, and his bid for the Progressive Conservatives to return to power in Ontario. Premier Kathleen Wynne from the Liberal Party has been in charge since 2013. The Liberals have been in power since 2003. The PCs were in charge from 1995-2003. The NDP did hold power from 1990-1995 under Bob Rae, who switched to the Liberals and is now Canada's special envoy to Myanmar. Normally, these past associations would be ancient history. But for Andrea Horwath, New Democratic Party leader since 2009, the NDP in Ontario runs under a shadow of the era from 1990-1995. Ford is running under the shadow of Mike Harris, who ran Ontario for most of the PCs cycle, but is running under the pseudo-populist strain that is Ford Nation. Mike Schreiner is the Green Party leader; the party currently has 0 seats. Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Gary Bettman's Frankenstein experiment ended up being the roadblock to the best Winnipeg Jets season in their NHL history. The Jets can hold their heads high, despite the lack of timely offence in the Western Conference final. Winnipeg can say with pride that the team won the "Norris" division title in the postseason. The Jets have been consistent in not falling into long bad streaks. Before the series, Winnipeg hadn't had back-to-back losses since March 10-12 and hadn't had 3 straight regulation losses in over a year. For the first 4 games, the desert team responded quickly in crucial moments with a goal following a Jets goal. Even in Game 5, that team got the goal when needed. Mark Scheifele ended the postseason with 14 goals, 11 on the road setting a new NHL record. Scheifele had 2 of those road goals in Game 3 from primary assists by Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor, respectively. Game 4 goals came from Patrik Laine and Tyler Myers. Josh Morrissey ended up with the lone goal in Game 5. Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
The headlines were supposed to be about Hannah Simone, an actor who belongs to the world (Canada included), being cast as the Greatest American Hero on ABC this fall. Even though the update of the early 1980s show got a pilot order, ABC isn't going forward with the reboot. We do have the wrapup of the U.S. TV upfronts where major networks determine which shows are cancelled, renewed, or might get a new run either as a midseason replacement or on another network. Within that world, we look at where Canadians are in the U.S. TV landscape. Nathan Fillion is in the lead role of The Rookie on ABC about the LAPD's oldest rookie. Rachelle Lefevre is the lead in Proven Innocent on Fox this fall. Lefevre plays a woman who is wrongfully convicted who later becomes a lawyer to fight for those who are wrongfully convicted. You might recall Lefevre in many roles but she recently portrayed Olivia Bloom in Mary Kills People. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Know your farmer. That was our opening line last October when CBC Marketplace went undercover to discover that several vendors at the Peterborough Farmers Market in Ontario were lying about where their produce is grown. Justice should have been served as the vendors who were deceptive would either be kicked out of the market or required to post signs that stated the truth about their produce. Turns out the farmers who were deceptive got to stay at the Peterborough Farmers Market and the 5 vendors, who grew all of their food on their farms, who complained got kicked out of the market. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at Balance of Food