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Chad Rubel
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If Americans could freely move to Canada in the way French people could move to Germany, the stories would be the long lines of people crossing into Canada. But unlike those imaginary border crossers, the flood of people leaving the United States for Canada are risking their health in crossing because they can't cross at regular border crossings. In conventional times, the Safe Third Country Agreement would apply, where people claiming refugee status have to make that claim in the country where they first land. The rule, in place since late 2004, has given refugees in either country a shot at having that refugee claim status approved. We don't live in conventional times thanks to Donald Trump and his policies. We are supposed to get tomorrow a revamped Trump travel ban, likely on the same 7 countries from the first travel ban. Somehow, certain refugees aren't feeling safe in the United States. While there are several border crossing areas is that latest push, the two prominent locations are Hemmingford, QC and Emerson, MB. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Canadian Crossing
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Hockey Day in Canada 2017 takes us to Kenora, ON for the festivities. For our new readers, Hockey Day in Canada is the birth mother of Hometown Hockey with a primary location and reports from other Canadian locations. This also means that every Canadian team is featured on Hockey Day in Canada. With an odd number (où est Ville de Quebec?), Chicago is the invited U.S. team in 2017. The NHL Network takes the Rogers Sportsnet feed of the Edmonton Oilers in Chicago. For our Canadian viewers, WGN will also carry that game. Stunningly, the NHL Network will carry a U.S. matinee instead of the Hockey Day in Canada matinee. CBC runs a tripleheader with the Winnipeg Jets in Montréal as the matinee game. The Battle of Ontario continues in the prime time slot from the Air Canada Centre that will also be on City TV. The Calgary Flames visit Vancouver in the nightcap. The Hockey Day in Canada coverage starts at noon Eastern on CBC. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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"I'm always intrigued by the fact that opportunities like this are used to talk about the issues of the day as opposed to the issues of the relationship. It's a press conference with the prime minister of Canada and the president of the United States. I know the convention is to whenever the president is available, ask him any question that's possible. "I actually hoped there would be more questions about the Canada-U.S. relationship as opposed to what are our international crises. We know what they are. We hear about them daily. We'll hear about them tonight, I'm sure. I would have liked even more conversation about the relationship, which I thought was the subject of the meeting." Gordon D. Giffin was the second U.S. Ambassador to Canada under President Bill Clinton from 1997-2001. Giffin was a guest on MSNBC's coverage of the press conference on Monday afternoon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump. As someone who writes about Canada, who has covered politics on both sides of the border, I had wondered about the huge gap in knowledge of Canadians who know too much about the United States and Americans who only knows stereotypes about maple-syrup-covered polar bears who play hockey and speak French. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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Justin Trudeau was down in the first of 3 rounds with Patrick Brazeau in the charity boxing match. The first round really didn't go well for Trudeau. As Canadian politics fans know very well, Trudeau outlasted the much-larger Brazeau where the fight was stopped in Trudeau's favour in the 3rd round. The Canadian prime minister knows that the fight on NAFTA and trade is a long battle. Prime Minister Trudeau is up against Donald Trump, known for short-term, not well-thought-out thinking. Even with Trump's bombastic nature, expect Trudeau to outlast Trump in a trade fight. The best takeaway from the initial meeting had little to do with policy but everything about a handshake. Several people, including world leaders, were taken off-guard by Trump's abnormally aggressive handshake. Justin Trudeau went on offence in anticipation and grabbed Trump's shoulder with his left hand to prevent his arm from being yanked by Trump. But let's get down to issues. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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I love writing about Canadian film and I love love. So where can you turn on Valentine's Day for a love film that is Canadian? If you Google "Canadian love films," you don't get too many well-known options. I don't even know most of the films in the search. The first one in the search is When Night Is Falling, a beautiful love film we have reviewed. The one on the list you are more likely to find is The F Word. I have not seen the film but that film looks more along the lines of a traditional love film. So if you asked me on this Valentine's Day for the one love Canadian film to recommend, I would offer up Better Than Chocolate. The love story centers around Maggie who starts a new relationship with Kim. Maggie's mother and brother end up moving into her loft but don't know she is a lesbian. The other major subplot involves a Vancouver bookstore that keeps running into problems with Canada customs over the material the store is trying to sell in Canada. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Canadian Crossing
We've wanted a U.S. ambassador to Canada to have some knowledge of Canada. The rumours of former Alaska governor and 2008 vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin drew considerable uproar on social media. When Palin was first asked about which countries she has visited, shortly after being announced as John McCain's running mate in 2008, her initial answer was Germany, Kuwait, and Ireland. No Canada on that list. A Palin spokesperson corrected the list to include Canada. The second time Palin was asked, she included Mexico and Canada. The McCain campaign said she also went a quarter mile into Iraq, likely without permission. And Ireland was a refueling stop. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
NBCSN and Rogers Sportsnet (minus SNP) will both cover the Hometown Hockey game Sunday night as the Montréal Canadiens are in Boston. The Hometown Hockey festivities will be in Cochrane, AB. The NHL Network returns with a Hockey Night in Canada game for the first time in 56 days. The channel will pick up the City TV feed as the St. Louis Blues travel to Montréal. The NHL Network makes Valentine's Day a bit nicer with the Vancouver Canucks in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, the channel will pick up the Rogers Sportsnet feed (minus SNW). CBC starts out on Saturday with the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting its U.S. neighbours from Buffalo. The late game has Chicago in Edmonton. That game will also be on WGN. Rogers Sportsnet has a Saturday doubleheader with Vancouver in Boston for a matinee and the Winnipeg Jets hosting Tampa Bay in the early evening slot. Wednesday Night Hockey has the Maple Leafs in Columbus. Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Donald Trump's people put out a list of terrorist attacks that they claim mostly were underreported. The attacks in Quebec and Ottawa in October 2014 are on that list. I saw U.S. cable news showing coverage of Parliament following those attacks. The attack in Quebec might have been a little undercovered but you can find plenty of media accounts for the first attack. We can always call for more coverage of Canada, but we have no criticism for the coverage of the 2014 shootings. The Trump people haven't responded to the Quebec City mosque shooting last month. Fox News erroneously reported a Muslim suspect; that person of interest turned out to be a witness who called in the shooting. The alleged perpetrator is a Quebecois man who reportedly has far-right and anti-Muslim views. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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We made note some time ago of the idea that seeing French-Canadians on English language TV was a big deal but they did exist. Evelyne Brochu as Delphine on Orphan Black and Jessica Pare as Megan Draper on Mad Men pulled that off on shows visible in the United States. English language Canadian shows rarely show anything remotely French or Quebecois. Karine Vanasse may help change that in her new drama Cardinal on CTV. Vanasse has spoken French in U.S. TV dramas Pan Am and Revenge but in those shows, her characters were French not Quebecois. (Yes, we know Delphine is French, not Quebecois, but that show keeps the Canadian element on the down low.) Cardinal takes place in the fictional town of Algonquin Bay, Ontario and shot in Sudbury, Ontario. So her character is Quebecois in a show in English that takes place in Ontario (Sudbury is 29% francophone). Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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We know the Canadian TV ratings for Super Bowl LI took a 39% plunge, but what does that mean for the CRTC no Super Bowl simsub experiment? Super Bowl 50 only on CTV drew 7.32 million while Super Bowl LI on CTV, CTV Two, and TSN drew 4.47 million. By contrast, RDS drew comparable numbers to last year. Each Super Bowl is different: this year, Atlanta jumped out to a huge lead so some viewers could have tuned out. Then again, based on my Twitter feed, some people tuned to CTV out of habit being unaware that they had a choice. Bell Media also responded to the online concerns about the error message people were getting when they entered the contest designed to keep Canadians watching the Canadian feed. Bell Media said when replies were delayed, the incorrect message would go out. The company says those people were registered for the contest. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
We saw some really amazingly clever and emotional Super Bowl LI ads. Too bad most of those ads were for cars (I'm no longer in a job that covers cars) and beer. As for the food and drink ads, most of them were okay. But this wasn't the year for food and drink in Super Bowl ads. The King's Hawaiian Rolls ad was by far the best of the food ads. The ad built on the existing ad campaign of hiding the rolls because they are so good. The dad has a secret compartment in the kitchen not realizing the kid finds them in the grandfather clock. The ad also mentions the new BBQ sauces that are coming this spring. While mixing more than a message in an ad that costs $5.1 million combined with a future message can cut back on the value, the BBQ sauces mention is growth for the company. Presuming this ad will run for awhile, the BBQ sauces become more relevant in the next few months. Just don't make the Blackberry mistake of promoting a product people couldn't get for awhile Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Balance of Food
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Canadians could finally watch Super Bowl ads but there was little of Canada to be found in those Super Bowl ads. Super Bowl 50 ads were chock full of Canadians but Canadians were scarce this year. Justin Bieber made the biggest impact by far in a T-Mobile commercial. Drake starred in a T-Mobile commercial last year, so the company is consistent. Bieber leads the commercial in a celebration of touchdown dances. The ad shows Bieber at his best as a "celebration expert" going through the history of touchdown celebrations. New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (who was injured and couldn't play in Super Bowl LI) and former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens are also featured in the ad. #UnlimitedMoves allows Bieber to show off his own dance moves. Not true to form of a lot of Super Bowl ads, the content correlated to the product. This ad was well above average. Our main criticism would be for the company since the Kristen Schaal ads that ran later in the game were more interesting in lots of ways and its angle took away from the message in the Bieber ad. Competition is fierce in Super Bowl ads without trying to compete with yourself. Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Welcome to Super Bowl Weekend where Canadians can finally be guilt-free in watching U.S. commercials Sunday night. The CBC has the Toronto Maple Leafs in Boston for the Saturday night doubleheader. City TV will also have that game. The late... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The blitz was intense. Powerful pass rushers trying to sack the quarterback that wasn't used to such outside force. In the end, the CRTC evaded the pressure from the United States and Canadians can watch Super Bowl ads on Sunday during Super Bowl LI. The NFL, Barack Obama’s outgoing trade representative, and U.S. senators Marco Rubio and Ron Johnson, among others, wanted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to overrule the CRTC. Bell Media in Canada, owner of CTV, was part of that pass rush from the start. There was even word this week that the NFL complained to Donald Trump. We've known this was going to happen since a 2015 CRTC decision to prevent CTV from simultaneous substitution (simsub) of the Super Bowl. For the American protesters, the decision came down before Trudeau was elected prime minister. CTV will still carry Canadian ads on the Super Bowl LI telecast on Sunday. The difference is that Canadians can tune to the Fox station over-the-air (in limited parts of Canada) or on cable and satellite and get the American ads. Bell Media thinks its CTV ratings will crash as a result. Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Gold sounds like a pretty good story. Found gold. People invested. Turns out the gold wasn't. Huge stock crashes after finding out there is no gold. But like the stockholders in real life, the film audience is being sold a bad story. The Matthew McConaughey film takes place in Reno, Nevada. The actual Bre-X scandal took place in Calgary. The fake story is set in the late 1980s; the real story in the mid-1990s. The fake story combines 2 people into one, so instead of 3 major real characters, we get 2 characters. The 2 real-life people: the Indonesian geologist fell or was pushed from a helicopter and the Dutch prospector escaped to the Canary Islands. Now, a South American geologist. In 1996, Bre-X claimed a massive gold find in Borneo, an Indonesia island. Gold also chases gold on the same island. McConaughey plays Kenny Wells, who is based on David Walsh, the leader of Bre-X. In an non-Hollywood move, the film makes Wells to be balding and pot-bellied, neither of which applied to Walsh. Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Welcome back to the NHL after the All-Star break. The action starts tonight. The only telecast through Thursday night is the late game on Wednesday on Rogers Sportsnet 360 with Calgary hosting Minnesota. SNW and SNP make cameos on the telecast. Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued this tweet in response to the Donald Trump draconian 90-day ban of travelers from 7 predominantly Muslim countries — Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Iran, and Iraq. There was initial concern and worry since the information wasn't clear about whether the ban also applied to Canadian dual citizens. The ban does apply to other dual citizens. A number of people did run into troubles and some had to change travel plans as a result of the uncertainty. Eventually, the Prime Minister's Office was able to find out that the ban did not apply to those who also have Canadian passports. The Globe and Mail had a story on how the immigration ban can help the Canadian tech industry as a result of the uncertainty in the United States. That makes Trudeau's message that much more significant. We should point out that the ban appears to be arbitrary since people from those countries haven't been responsible for terrorism attacks in the United States and that countries where the U.S. president has business conflicts are not on the travel ban. Also, the ban on those from Syria, the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, and the 120-day ban on the refugee program seems especially contradictory since the fleeing Syrians are the enemy of ISIL. But in case you forgot about the contrast to the Syrian refugees between the Trudeau Government and U.S. states that freaked out over Syrian refugees, here is a past reminder. Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Mike Myers is a proud Canadian. Though he is more known for his work in the United States, Myers has sprinkled a bit of Canadian in his work. His Stan Mikita's parody of Tim Hortons in Wayne's World. His surprise appearance with Ryan Gosling on Saturday Night Live telling Gosling to be proud to be from Canada. And if the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing where Myers is, you'll see him in the crowd in Leafs blue. Myers has also channeled his love for Canada in a new book called Canada. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Ryan Gosling may be singing and dancing his way to a status few Canadian actors have ever held: a Oscars statue. Christopher Plummer and Anna Paquin are the only Canadian-born actors in the modern era (1949-present) to win an Oscar. Gosling was nominated in the Best Actor category for La La Land. He will go up against Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea; Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge; Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic; and Denzel Washington, Fences. Gosling won the Golden Globe for their best actor nod, amusingly in a musical or comedy, for La La Land. Gosling beat out the other Canadian acting Ryan as in Ryan Reynolds, who was nominated for Deadpool. Gosling also beat out Colin Farrell, The Lobster; Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins; and Jonah Hill, War Dogs. This is Gosling's second Best Actor nomination: he previously was nominated for Half Nelson (2006). Rachel McAdams was the last Canadian actor nominated for a major acting award for Best Supporting Actress for Spotlight (2015). Denis Villeneuve received a nomination for Best Director for Arrival. Villenueve is up against Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge; Damien Chazelle, La La Land; Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea; and Barry Jenkins, Moonlight. Arrival is the second time Villenueve has been recognized by the Academy. Incendies made the Top 5 cut for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010. Arrival is the 4th film Villenueve has directed since his unofficial split from doing French-Canadian films. His next film, Blade Runner 2049, also stars Gosling. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The NHL Network will actually pick up a Hometown Hockey game with the Rogers Sportsnet feed as the Vancouver Canucks are in the Windy City complete with the festivities from Vernon, BC. Unfortunately, the coverage will be blacked out for your humble narrator. Sigh. For our Canadian readers, the game is offered on WGN-TV. The CBC has the revenge games of the Battle of Ontario (early) and Battle of Alberta (late). The games are in Toronto and Calgary. City TV picks up the simulcast of the Battle of Ontario. The NHL Network once again is very afraid to carry the Battle of Ontario. Rogers Sportsnet gets the Montréal Canadiens hosting Buffalo on Saturday. Wednesday Night Hockey has the Centennial Classic rematch at the Joe. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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The Rock is in the Hall. Tim Raines got 86.0% of the vote in his final year of eligibility to make the Baseball Hall of Fame. Raines finished his career with 808 stolen bases and an impressive 84.7% stealing efficiency. His career on-base percentage was a stellar .385. He was a 7-time All-Star from 1981-1987. Raines led the National League in stolen bases from 1981-1984. He won a batting title in 1986 with a .334 average. Raines hit .301 in a Montréal uniform, though .294 overall in his career. Raines played with the Montréal Expos from the beginning of his career in 1979-1990 and 47 games in 2001. Raines got a significant boost in the vote from last year's 307 votes and 69.8%. A player needs 75% to get into the Hall of Fame. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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Michelle Obama will leave behind an incredible legacy as First Lady of the United States on food, nutrition, childhood obesity, and school lunches. Let's Move made an impact on trying to get kids to spend less time on screens and more time playing. The First Lady used television well in a natural manner to spread the message. iCarly fit in well to attracting young people to hear the message. The Biggest Loser was a natural fit with people trying to lose weight. Let's not forget the many talk show appearances from Ellen to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. You might think that her natural grace and flair comes easy. Some of us still can't shake the image of Nancy Reagan on Diff'rent Strokes talking about drug abuse. And Nancy Reagan used to be an actress. Like Batman, Michelle Obama had her list of enemies: Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Chicago Tribune, Basil Marceaux, James Sensenbrenner, those against federal school lunch programs. Instead of being constructive, they were destructive. Obama played it cool every time, even when the other side won significant victories. As she noted during the 2016 election campaign, "when they go low, we go high." Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2017 at Balance of Food
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Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had time to come up with a strategy on what to do. However, how Donald Trump will deal with Canada remains a mystery. Here are a list of maybes: He might make Canada his first international visit. He might not make that many international flights. He might bring his own plane. He might run into significant protests if he does visit Ottawa. He might be really strict on border security. He might also find a way to have security and still let trade and tourists through faster and smoother. The recent increases in screening will help that. He might push that to happen faster. He might reopen NAFTA. He might reopen NAFTA just with Mexico. Maybe Canada, too. He might come up with a deal on softwood lumber, as soon as he learns why softwood lumber is important. Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
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We write a lot more about Canadian film than television, but TV dominates the excellence in the nominees for the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards. Traditional favorites Orphan Black and Schitt's Creek are joined this year by the newcomer Kim's Convenience. Orphan Black has 14 nominations; Schitt's Creek leads the comedies with 13 nominations and Kim's Convenience tallied 11 nominations. Kim's Convenience is nominated for best comedic series as well as individual noms for Paul Sun-Hyung Lee; Jean Yoon and Andrea Bang (both in the best actress category); and Andrew Phung. Simu Liu, who plays the son, was actually nominated for the TV drama Blood and Water. Schitt's Creek is also up for best comedy. Eugene and Dan Levy, father/son in real life, are both up for best actor. Catherine O'Hara is up for best actress. Annie Murphy wasn't nominated this year but Emily Hampshire was in a supporting role. John Hemphill got a nom in a supporting role. Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
A woman who was born, grew up, and still lives in the same small town takes a detour for something different. Molly Parker brings to life the story of Leila Murray in Suspicious River from writer/director Lynne Stopkewich. The story is adapted from the book of the same name by Laura Kasischke. Murray, who is married, works at the local motel offering rooms and, to select men, company. Things get rougher and a bit more complicated when she meets Gary Jensen (Callum Keith Rennie), a passerby to Suspicious River. Along the way, Murray engages in conversations with a young girl who tries to stay away from her mother, who is sleeping with her husband's brother while the husband is out of town. Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2017 at Canadian Crossing