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Chad Rubel
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The Rolling Stone profile of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn't as sweet as pure Canadian maple syrup. Stephen Rodrick, the profile's author, covered a lot of what 60 Minutes showed in March 2016 with added details about Trudeau's childhood. We got recent stories including the Omar Khadr settlement and the future marijuana legalization legislation. Rodrick followed Trudeau to Fredericton, New Brunswick. The province doesn't get much coverage in Canada much less the United States. Rodrick mentioned his Canadian wife in the article. Rodrick noted on Twitter that he is moving to Vancouver in January. Rodrick contrasts Trudeau to Donald Trump in a rather sarcastic fashion. "His words are coherent and will not need to be run through Google Translate when he is done (except if you want to translate his French into English)." "Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods." Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at Canadian Crossing
The CFL goes west this weekend, not playing a game east of Winnipeg. ESPN2 jumps back in with more of the CFL Thursday as the Montréal Alouettes are in Winnipeg. Friday Night Football also airs on ESPN2 with BC in Edmonton. ESPN3 and TSN carry the Saturday night doubleheader with the Argonauts in Regina early and Tiger-Cats in Calgary late. After 4 games in 17 days. Ottawa gets its only bye week before the final 2 in the last 3 weeks of the CFL season. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Canadian Crossing
Fans of The Border TV show will remember the awkwardness of Slade, the computer geek. If you somehow thought Slade wasn't awkward enough on the show and you want to see a similar character on the big screen, then My Awkward Sexual Adventure is your kind of film. Jonas Chernick, who played Heironymous Slade, wrote and starred in My Awkward Sexual Adventure about an accountant from Winnipeg who wants to marry his girlfriend Rachel. She has other ideas and goes on at length as to why Jordan is an inferior lover. Jordan goes to visit his friend Dandak in Toronto. Dandak, a true ladies' man tries to help his friend improve his situation. Jordan also seeks solace in a strip club where he meets Julia, played by Emily Hampshire. Julia is heavily in debt; Jordan needs to learn how to be a better lover. So they strike a deal. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Canadian Crossing
People in Chicago were set to have a soda tax conundrum of magnitude proportions. Grocery tax, a 3% City of Chicago tax, and a Cook County tax charging 1¢ per ounce. That's right. Not a fixed percentage but tied to a measurement. The Cook County version isn't limited to regular soda but impacts soda and diet soda; ready-to-drink sweetened coffees and teas; sports and energy drinks; and juice products that aren't 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, among other products. The latest tax was scheduled for July 1 but has been delayed as we figure out some of the logistical hurdles this new tax would reveal. Regular readers know I don't like soda taxes, especially since millions of taxpayer dollars are given to the people who make high-fructose corn syrup. Consumers aren't paying the real price for those soft drinks. Want to discourage soda consumption? Zero out those subsidies for high-fructose corn syrup. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Balance of Food
CBC takes our advice in running Canadian films, but on Saturday nights during the summer. To sweeten the telecast, CBC will run The Filmmakers leading up to the Canadian films. The companion show run 30 minutes prior to the film that night and offers candid conversations with the people who made the film shown that night. Johanna Schneller will be the host. Guest panelists include Connor Jessup, David Suzuki, Stephanie Morgenstern, Cameron Bailey, Sook-Yin Lee, Edward Burtynsky, Cazhhmere, and Sylvain Bellemare. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Canadian Crossing
The Ottawa RedBlacks draw the chance to play twice within a calendar week, taking over for the Toronto Argonauts. The two teams will wrap up the week on Monday on ESPN2 and TSN. This marks the return of the CFL to U.S. TV after a 16-day drought. Ottawa hosts Montréal on a special Wednesday night edition. Edmonton travels to Tim Hortons Field for a Thursday date with Hamilton. The BC Lions host Winnipeg late on Friday. The Saskatchewan Roughriders explore life on the road at nearby Calgary on Saturday. Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
The lineups are introduced for the All-Star Game. The MLB on Fox music comes up. Joe Buck takes the audience to a commercial break. Once the commercial break ends after several minutes of spots, then the U.S. anthem is heard. What the MLB on Fox won't tell you is that O Canada is being played at the stadium during the commercial break. This is not a fluke. This has happened for about a decade. MLB and Fox have done this dance where O Canada disappears from the U.S. airwaves. No one, outside those organizations, has a clue as to why. The U.S. audience missed the most memorable moment from the 2016 All-Star Game when one of The Tenors went rogue and changed the lyrics. The 2016 change in lyrics from The Tenors was a surprise even to the rest of the members. Remigio Pereira went with "We're all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great" instead of "With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free." Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Just before Rod Smith sends the audience to the site of the game, Smith reads off a potential winner in the Safeway and Sobeys' Touchdown To Win contest. If a kickoff is run back for a touchdown, the contestant wins a Visions $25,000 home theatre package. If a second kickoff is run back, the contestant could win $1 million. Imagine you are Karen Kuldys of Winnipeg. Winnipeg's Ryan Lankford runs back the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Your team is winning and you win the theatre package. In the second quarter, Toronto's Martese Jackson is running down the field. You're waiting for Chris Cuthbert to mention any flags on the play. Jackson scores. You are set to possibly win $1 million. But wait. There is a late flag. Toronto Argos receiver Llevi Noel makes contact with the back of Winnipeg's Mike Miller. Miller falls down. The flag goes up. The penalty didn't affect the play. If this were the NHL, both players would serve 2 minutes. The referee saw the hand on the back, and the other player fell. The call had to be made, even if it potentially cost Kuldys $1 million. Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Astronaut. Engineer. Knows 6 languages. Order of Canada winner. Charity work. Francophone. Woman. Canadian. This fall, Julie Payette will transition into being the 29th Governor General, succeeding David Johnston. Payette, the second Canadian woman in space, has logged 611 hours in orbit with NASA flights on the Space Shuttle Discovery (1999) and the Space Shuttle Endeavour (2009). Payette operated the iconic Canadarm. She also was the first Canadian aboard the International Space Station. Johnston's original 5-year term was extended by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper extended Johnston’s term by an extra 2 years in 2015 just before the election cycle. Payette will be the 4th woman to serve as Governor General. Before Payette, 3 of the last 6 Governors General have been women: Jeanne Sauve, Adrienne Clarkson, and Michaëlle Jean. All 3 female Governors General were selected under Liberal prime ministers. Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
The MLB Extra Innings free preview starts today. The Toronto Blue Jays started the season on the road and will also begin the second half of the season away from Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays are close to the U.S. border over the weekend in Detroit. The Jays will play at night Friday and Saturday with a Sunday day game. The Blue Jays go to Boston next week for 3 night games followed by a day contest on Thursday. Provided the patterns continue with only home feeds, there will be no Canadian ads to analyze. Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
ESPN goes dark on U.S. TV pretty quickly into the season, so ESPN3 is the only American option. The Toronto Argonauts go west to Winnipeg on Thursday Night Football. Friday night has a doubleheader as the Stampeders are in Montréal early with Ottawa visiting Edmonton late. The BC Lions eastern party continues Saturday night in Hamilton for the Tiger-Cats home opener. Saskatchewan can spend more time checking out its pretty new stadium. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
We have written about Omar Khadr but not lately. Khadr is back in the news in Canada but the story about what happened to Khadr is an American story that few Americans know. Omar Khadr was a 15-year-old child soldier in Afghanistan. In the summer of 2002, Khadr was severely wounded in a battle in Ayub Kheyl. Khadr was charged with throwing the grenade that killed American medic Sgt. Christopher Speer. Khadr was taken to Guantanamo Bay. He was held there until 2010 when he finally had a trial. We know the answers that led to his conviction were gathered because of torture. There was no proof of a specific act done by Khadr tying him to the grenade. He was alive at the end of the battle. Khadr was finally repatriated to Canada in 2012 and has been free since 2015. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
If you had submitted a list of Toronto Blue Jays players for the 2017 All-Star Game at the beginning of the season, Justin Smoak wouldn't be on that list. Smoak is the Toronto Blue Jays only starter and player on the originally announced lineups for the game. Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin, and Troy Tulowitzki would have been higher on those lists. Smoak is headed to Miami to be the Blue Jays rep to start at first base. This is Smoak's initial appearance at the All-Star game. Smoak is the first Blue Jays player to start at that position since Carlos Delgado in 2003. Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Grace Park is leaving Hawaii 5'O after 7 seasons of playing Kono Kalakaua on the CBS remake. There have been multiple reports that Park and her co-star Daniel Dae Kim were seeking significant raises. There have also been reports that Park either wanted to do a partial season for Season 8 or be written out of the show completely. Park hasn't commented. We don’t want to speculate further. When Hawaii 5'O launched in 2010, Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan were the stars with Kim and Park being lower on the call sheet. Kim and Park were better known in 2010 than their Caucasian co-stars. The fact that O’Loughlin and Caan are getting back-end payments from the studio and not Kim or Park comes across as more insulting. In fact, the roles for Kim and Park significantly increased on-screen in the past few seasons. In the original Hawaii 5'O series, there was a separation in star power between the two Caucasian leads and the rest of the cast. Some things should have changed. Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Eating poutine, donuts, macaroni and cheese, and Cheetos separately can be an occasional source of calories, and you would get a lot of calories per gram of any of these foods. The need to combine foods into other foods isn’t interesting or creative or a good use of junk food points. If you are going to eat poutine, eat a really good plate of poutine, not potato wedges, cheese curds, and gravy on a relatively bland donut. If you are going to eat a donut, find one with flavor and real taste. If you are going to eat macaroni and cheese, make a good quality plate. A good macaroni and cheese does not need Cheetos as a shell. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Balance of Food
Tim Hortons, now owned by the folks at Burger King, decided to have a little fun with Canada Day in the United States with a poutine donut. The best of poutine with the best of donut on Canada Day but not in Canada. To my Canadian friends, feel joyous that you were spared this Frankenstein collaboration of Canadian stereotypes. The poutine donut brought to you by the same parent company that produces Mac n' Cheetos, macaroni and cheese with a dusting of Cheetos on the outside. The Tim Hortons concoction was a honey dip donut "topped with potato wedges, gravy and cheese curds." Potato wedges isn't a good sign in a poutine though the Tim Hortons version was likely better than the sincere attempt at poutine at the Canada Day celebration I attended. The fries were steak fries not all that warm with a gravy that needed more love in the mix. There were jalapeno slices available as an option. NAFTA poutine? Even a good poutine will not enhance a donut. The honey dip donut can use some flavour help but not from a poutine. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
The longest CFL road trip starts out the Thursday action with the BC Lions in La Belle Province. ESPNews picks up that game in the States. ESPN2 goes deep late into Saturday night with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats visiting Mosaic Stadium. The Calgary Stampeders are in Winnipeg for Friday Night Football. The battle of Eastern Ontario kicks off the Saturday night doubleheader from the nation's capital. Edmonton sits in the bye chair this week. Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Time and patience were needed when dealing with the 2017 British Columbia election. NDP Leader John Horgan showed a lot of patience and eventually became the new premier of the province. The May 9 election followed by recounts left us with a 43-41-3 mark. The Liberals had the first shot of forming government. Christy Clark had key points from the NDP and Green Party in the Throne Speech. The vote on those measures was defeated in a party-line vote. Parliamentary tradition calls for the premier — Clark — to approach Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon. Guichon had options: dissolve the legislature, which would kick in a new election, or see if Horgan could form a new government. Clark said she wouldn't ask the lieutenant governor to dissolve Parliament, then changed her mind and did so. Guichon gave the whole matter considerable thought and ultimately decided to have Horgan (right) form a government. Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Canada's sesquicentennial is an ideal time to reflect on the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) list of Top 10 Canadian films. As we noted yesterday, I have now seen all 11 films on the list. Goin' Down the Road had been my white whale for some time: the one that got away. Click here to read that review. Video review: Goin' Down the Road So on this Canada Day 2017, the sesquicentennial of the founding of the dominion of Canada, we share some insight about these treasured Canadian films. Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Goin’ Down the Road is an iconic Canadian film known more to Canadians because of the SCTV parody Garth and Gord and Fiona and Alice. But what about the actual 1970 film considered to be the launching pad for English-Canadian films? The theme of Goin’ Down the Road is about socio-economic concerns as well as the stark perceived differences between Maritimers and the big city of Toronto. Joey and Pete are Nova Scotians who travel to Toronto looking for promised jobs from those who had already fled to Toronto. When Joey and Pete get to Toronto, they find the jobs aren’t there. They want jobs but jobs outside the menial cannery jobs back home. Sure enough, Joey gets a cannery job right away. Pete has dreams of having an office and a secretary. But he finds that he doesn’t have the experience. Pete eventually joins Joey at the cannery plant. They find like-minded people who also fled the Maritimes for Toronto. Doubt creeps in on the way to Toronto, their first night in Toronto, and throughout the film. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
The U.S. audience gets another game from BMO Field as the Lions cross the country to Toronto on ESPN2. ESPNews has the debut of the new Mosaic Stadium in a pre-Banjo Bowl game on Canada Day. My DVR still has Saturday's game on ESPN2 so be prepared. We will update as needed. The Grey Cup re-rematch starts out the week. The teams will play in Calgary this week. Unlike in Ottawa, one team should actually win this week. The Montréal Alouettes head to Edmonton in the Saturday nightcap. Hamilton gets to enjoy extra time on the Canada Day long weekend. Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
Peter Mansbridge will anchor The National one final time on Canada Day on Saturday. But if you were wondering who will be the new anchors on the new revamped edition of The National launching on October 30. There will be 3 hosts for the updated newscast. Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News, says the show will be brought more into how viewers consume news in a digital world. Peter Mansbridge to step down from 'The National' in 2017 Wendy Mesley, Ian Hanomansing, and David Common could easily be the new hosts. If CBC does anchors in different cities, Hanomansing can stay in Vancouver and offer a West Coast base. Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
French fries are not French, as any Belgian will tell you. Belgian frites, a distinct product separate from French fries, is under attack from the European Union, based in the Belgium capital of Brussels. The EU concern stems from the formation of acrylamide, a chemical reaction when starchy foods reach a temperature above 120° C (248° F). Belgian frites are cooked at a lower temperature in the initial stage to actually cook the frites. In the second step, the frites are cooked at a higher temperature for crispness. The resulting Belgian frites have a crispy exterior and a soft interior. Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2017 at Balance of Food
For the first time in recent memory, all 4 games in a week will be on U.S. television. The CFL season debut will be on ESPNews as the Saskatchewan Roughriders meet up with their former quarterback Darian Durant in his new home in Montréal. The ESPN family usually skips the Grey Cup rematch but ESPNews will have the rematch of the 2016 Grey Cup from the site of the 2017 Grey Cup. The Stampeders actually lost their first game in 2016 but didn't lose again until the last regular season game. Of course, Calgary lost its last game of the year so revenge, of sorts, is in order. ESPN2 has a couple of weekend games as Edmonton travels to Vancouver late on Saturday. The Battle of Southern Ontario will also be on ESPN2 from BMO Field Sunday afternoon. Winnipeg gets to enjoy an extra week of getting ready for the CFL season. Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at Canadian Crossing
The 2017 CFL season begins Thursday after a topsy and turvy off season of moves, a celebration not seen in Ottawa since 1976, and the prospects of Winnipeg or Hamilton finally breaking through since every other CFL franchise has won a Grey Cup in the 21st century. We have a new stadium in Regina: the Mosaic Stadium name is the same, but the new facility, just west of the old stadium, is rather remarkable just from the pictures we've seen. The topsy-turvy off-season wasn't limited to the first couple of months after the Grey Cup. We thought Toronto would stay pat on the sidelines and the front office. The old Montréal team of Jim Popp as general manager and Marc Trestman as coach reunited in Toronto at the end of February. Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at Canadian Crossing