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Chad Rubel
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Here is our wrapup of the U.S. TV upfronts for the 2019-2020 television season 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.Cobie Smulders will be the lead in Stumptown on ABC based on the graphic novels. Smulders will play returned home Army vet Dex Parios who becomes a private eye.Smulders had an impressive 9-year run on How I Met Your Mother and also starred for 2 years on Netflix's Friends From College, which featured Canadian Sarah Chalke in Season 2.The "overnight success" for Tantoo Cardinal continues. Cardinal will play Sue Lynn Blackbird on Stumptown. Her recent films include The Grizzlies, Through Black Spruce, Angelique's Isle, and Falls Around Her. Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Canadian Crossing
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Happy Victoria Day 2019. The day theoretically applies to Queen Victoria's birthday falling on the Monday before the actual birthday (May 24). In reality, this is the start of Canadian summer.CanadianCrossing.com NBA coverageStaying up later to watch the Toronto Raptors win their first game of the Eastern Conference semifinals 118-112 in double overtime was easier if you didn't have to go to work today. The Raptors are now 1-0 in double OT in the NBA playoffs.This was Milwaukee's first road loss in the playoffs. Milwaukee only has 2 playoff losses this season. Game 4 is Tuesday night at 8:30 pm Eastern on TSN in Canada and TNT in the United States.The New York Times introduces Americans to butter tarts and more Canadian foodIFC should applaud the unique drink that is a CaesarCelebrating the Caesar Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Canadian Crossing
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Dwight Ball and the Liberal Party are in a new reality with only the second minority government in the brief history of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Liberals won 20 of the 40 seats in the House of Assembly in St. John's. This was a far cry from the 31 seats the Liberals won in the 2015 election.The Progressive Conservatives remain in opposition, moving up to 15 seats. The New Democratic Party had neither incumbent running (2 seats) and now have 3 seats. There are 2 independent MHA. The new NL Alliance produced o seats.The previous minority government came in 1971. That lasted less than 6 months. The dynamics are much different in the 2019 election. The Canadian media, including the CBC, has pounded the point of incumbent governments losing, implying that will also happen federally in October. What they have missed is that this is the 3rd straight election in the Atlantic provinces that have gone to a minority government. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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The last [bleepin'] thing I want to do in covering sports is to deal with another [bleepin'] strike or lockout.The CFL has been supremely lackadaisical in its speed to get a deal before the current collective bargaining agreement expires on Saturday. Training camps are scheduled to open on Sunday. The first CFL preseason game is scheduled for May 26 in Edmonton.The talks took a 3-week break in April when the league unilaterally delayed the negotiations. If a deal had been struck in that April 9 meeting, that timing would still be considered "too late" for comfort for CFL fans. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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Xavier Dolan went out of his way to skip the Cannes Film Festival with his previous film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. We still don't have a U.S. release date for that film.Dolan's latest release Matthias et Maxime makes its world debut at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The film is about a group of friends in their late-20s. Dolan will be on screen in the new film; his last screen appearance in his films was Tom à la ferme | Tom at the Farm.Dolan's Cannes success includes the Jury Prize for Mommy and a tie for the Grand Prix for Juste la fin du monde | It's Only the End of the World.Matthias et Maxime will compete for the Palme d'Or, the top prize at Cannes. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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Cold Comfort is a mix of a scary, creepy film and a play with few characters. A traveling salesman is caught in a blizzard. He gets rescued by a tow truck driver with a few issues. The traveling salesman stays there longer than he wants to be there.Stephen (Paul Gross) is the salesman in Manitoba trying to get to Calgary. Floyd (Maury Chaykin) is the sociopathic illegal tow-truck driver who rescues him and brings him back to his place as a present for his daughter Dolores (Margaret Langrick). Paul Gross usually plays strong characters but not in this film early in his career (1989). You might know Langrick from more pleasant films as Sandy Wilson in My American Cousin and American Boyfriends. Her role in Cold Comfort requires a lot of maturity. Often, older actresses would play a mature 18-year-old but Langrick was 18 when this film was released. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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4 bounces on the rim. And then swoosh. The last of Kawhi Leonard's 41 points went through the net.For the second time since 2016, the Toronto Raptors will play in the NBA Eastern Conference finals. The Raptors took care of the Philadelphia 76ers 4-3 in the conference semifinals.The Raptors will play the Milwaukee Bucks, holders of the top seed, in the Eastern Conference finals. This is Milwaukee's first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2001. The Bucks won a NBA title in 1971 with Lew Alcindor. Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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As an occasional viewer of Busy Tonight with Busy Philipps, I loved that Geena Davis and Emma Roberts were on back-to-back nights last week. Busy Tonight is not a typical talk show though projects get mentioned.Geena Davis and Emma Roberts both have a Canadian film on Amazon Prime Video: Don't Talk to Irene (Davis) and Little Italy (Roberts). We almost never hear about Canadian films from American celebrities on American talk shows.There are several good arguments for why this is so:American talk shows aren't there to promote films that people can't access in American theaters.If an actor or director has several projects, there is a track toward promoting a specific project.That promotion is usually tied to an American film with a large promotion budget.Talk shows haven't figured out to promote projects on streaming video. Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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Global TV in Canada will air the final 6 episodes of Mary Kills People starting this Sunday at 8 pm Eastern. As for when Americans can watch the final season, that remains a mystery.Lifetime carried the first 2 seasons in the United States but will not carry the final season. The channel is shifting its programming from TV shows to original movies. There is a Lori Loughlin joke in there somewhere. Hulu has the first 2 seasons but we don't know about Season 3. In a deal announced last month, UK viewers will get the entire series on Channel 4. Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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The news on American school lunches has not been good since January 20, 2017. Roy Wood Jr. and The Daily Show team along with Margo Wootan, vice president for nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, compare and contrast the school lunch approach under Barack Obama and Donald Trump."Flavored chocolate milk" returned to the menu.The segment allows Wooten to paint a picture of what lunch was like not so long ago. Food "is supposed to help you learn, not make them fall asleep," Wootan explained. "We give kids choices but all of those choices need to be healthy." Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2019 at Balance of Food
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Any kind of change starts with one person. But having a second person along for the ride does help.The Green Party of Canada has shown recent success in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. Now the party has a second Green MP in Ottawa.Paul Manly won the federal byelection in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and will join Green Party leader Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands). May had been the only Green Party MP since 2011. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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Bruce and Vicki Heyman are no longer connected to the role of U.S. Ambassador to Canada where Bruce served from 2014-2017. Given how visible the Heymans have been and how invisible Kelly Knight Craft has been, you might have wondered otherwise.Bruce Heyman has made a number of appearances on U.S. TV talking trade, tariffs, and the relationship between the U.S. and Canada over the last couple of years.Now Bruce and Vicki Heyman have a book The Art of Diplomacy. The two of them served in separate ways to improve relations between the countries. They describe how they were iced out by the Harper Government even before Heyman had presented his credentials. The neutral stance on the Keystone XL pipeline by the Obama Administration brought on cancelled meetings and being called in on a holiday weekend. Heyman pointed out that his initial meeting with then Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was the first and only meeting despite Heyman's desire for more conversation. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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When the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) collapsed earlier this spring, there was an undercurrent of players who weren't going to jump to the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL).Now we are seeing a current of women players who won't play in any professional hockey league for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.The list includes Canadians (Marie-Philip Poulin; Shannon Szabados); Americans (Hilary Knight; Kendall Coyne-Schofield); and others (Finnish goalie Noora Räty).The NWHL says next season will go on. The league had agreed to expand to Toronto and Montréal. That expansion was not mentioned in the league's statement yesterday. The league would have to decide whether the remaining players would justify 5 or 7 teams. Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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For cold weather places, the 2019 farmers market season is unfolding. The farmers will be ready with wonderful produce with hopefully not too much damage from a polar vortex or two over the winter.People who go to farmers markets are usually ready with canvas bags to hold all the great food they find at farmers markets. You should take one more crucial step when going to a farmers market: bring containers to hold the fruits and vegetables.We've heard a lot about the use of plastic and the damage to the environment. Excessive packaging that isn't biodegradable can fill up overflowing landfills. Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2019 at Balance of Food
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We are introducing a new segment at CanadianCrossing.com for our film coverage. We have danced around the idea of Canadian films that aren't so Canadian. We will pick a Canadian film and showcase what does and doesn't make it Canadian.Roads in February | Les routes en février made the TIFF Top 10 Canadian film list for 2018. On the surface, the film takes place in Uruguay though the main character lives in Montréal. I did make the remark before watching the film that the story will start briefly in Montréal but spend most of the time in Uruguay. The example is my head was Incendies. So much for optimism. Roads in February spends no time in Montréal, Quebec, or Canada literally or figuratively. The entire film is set in and filmed in Uruguay. Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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Newfoundland is celebrating 70 years of being a part of Canada. The territory officially joined Canada at midnight on April 1, 1949.For most of that time, Canada hasn't treated Newfoundlanders well. They were different and not just because The Rock was 30 minutes ahead of the Atlantic Time Zone.Reducing the people of Newfoundland to "Newfie" is simplistic, especially since their Maritime neighbours don't suffer a similar fate. If the insinuation is more rural as opposed to the "big" city of St. John's, most of Canada could be identified by that word.South Park used that word in It's Christmas in Canada (Season 7, episode 15) in 2003 and implied that people from Newfoundland were into sodomy. There might have been some controversy but the Internet is broader in scope 16 years later. Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit .250 over the weekend in his Toronto Blue Jays debut. The Blue Jays 3rd baseman had a double and 2 singles, adding a walk but with 3 strikeouts.His impact on the Blue Jays was larger than his statistics. MLB Network changed its schedule to carry Friday's Guerrero debut with the Blue Jays. Toronto is now 14-14, winners of 9 of their last 12 games. Given the horrible start, especially on offence, the Blue Jays are playing rather good baseball. Oakland swept Toronto last year but the Blue Jays swept the A's this season.Not all of this success is because of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. whether the hype before his arrival or once he went from Buffalo (AAA) to Toronto (MLB). The Blue Jays are 3-0 with Guerrero on the team. Now the team heads on a road trip to Anaheim and Texas, places where his father Vladimir Guerrero called home in the major leagues.The senior Guerrero was there in Toronto for his son's debut. The junior Guerrero wore his father's Montréal Expos jersey to the press conference to introduce him to Toronto. This reminded people of the walk-off home run in Montréal's Olympic Stadium in the final exhibition game of 2018. Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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The Simpsons have spent time in Canada before last night's episode: Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver leap to mind. Now they can add Niagara Falls and Windsor to the list.The family is trying to use up travel points as they go to Niagara Falls, New York. Lisa blows away into the falls and lands on the Canadian side. The authorities think Lisa is trying to seek political asylum in Canada. Marge works hard to get her daughter back to Springfield.Here are some of the Canadian highlights from The Simpsons episode D'oh Canada:The welcoming mountie points out that Canadians are too modest to brag. The same mountie determines that Lisa Simpson is a victim of political persecution and therefore assigned a hockey team. Lisa softly says "Please, not Ottawa" but draws an Ottawa Senators cap. Her IV in hospital says "maple syrup."Lisa's foster parents (Gord is the father) help Lisa pick a place for dinner. The mother suggests Harvey's and Swiss Chalet. Lisa suggests Mr. Submarine and Earl's. Gord says they shouldn't forget Humpty's. Homer starts drooling over restaurant chains he has never heard of before now. (I know the first 4 pretty well; Humpty's is mostly in Alberta and Saskatchewan with nominal locations in Manitoba and British Columbia, nowhere near the foster family in Ontario. The Keg would have also been a good choice.) Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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The Toronto Raptors have had some recent playoff success but the 2019 version did something no other Raptors team had done: win a playoff series in fewer than 6 games.The Raptors have certainly lost playoff series in 4 or 5 games, but had never been on the winning side of such an equation.Game 1 once again went to the opponent: Orlando in this case. The Raptors changed the momentum winning 4 straight. The current 4-game playoff winning streak is the longest in franchise history. The 2017 Raptors won their last 3 games over Milwaukee in the 1st round. Imagine if Toronto could win Game 1 on Saturday. Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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The 3 Canadian teams were eliminated in progressive lengths with Calgary going in 5, Winnipeg falling in 6, and Toronto tripping in 7. The Flames and Jets staggered through their series with a combined 1 win on home ice. Toronto succumbed more to the juggernaut that is Boston and the referees allowing just about everything to give Boston a huge, undeserved advantage.The less said about the Nazem Kadri suspension, the better. The NHL shows its bias against Canadian teams. Matt Cooke is a horrible goon, except when he severely injures a player on a Canadian team (Erik Karlsson — Ottawa). Zdeno Chara slammed Max Pacioretty's head into a stanchion, likely with intent and no suspension. Nazem Kadri in a Philadelphia, Boston, or New York Rangers uniform might have had a 1-game suspension. Since Kadri plays for Toronto, the suspension is deeper.If the National Hockey League is sincerely upset about what is going on, and it isn't, then more honourable officiating would have prevented either Kadri incident. Boston shouldn't keep getting preferential treatment on and off the ice.Calgary has only won a single playoff series since the 2004 Stanley Cup final. Vancouver Canucks fans will remember that well from the spring of 2015. This was a really good year to snap that streak. The Flames acclaimed ability to score in the 3rd period and overtime disappeared as did James Neal. The officiating was particularly bad in this series. The Flames have lost 12 of the last 14 NHL playoff games.Winnipeg had 1 shot in the 2nd period of a critical Game 6. The Jets basically gave up in the 3rd period of Game 5. Maybe the team would have fared as poorly against the Dallas Stars, but not playing well down the stretch gave them a very hot St. Louis club. Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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Prince Edward Island had a bit more attention from outside the island with the prospect of the Green Party forming government in the province. Prince Edward Island is known for firsts with the first female premier, openly gay male premier, and a premier of non-European descent. The Green Party government did not materialise but there were a few firsts in the 2019 election.multiple members elected from 3 parties in the provincemost number of Green Party seats in any provinceGreen Party opposition in any provinceminority government in the modern era of the province**The 1890 election produced a 15-15 tie between the Conservatives and Liberals. The incumbent Conservatives started out in power until 1891 when the Liberals took over. This is a much different minority government.The Progressive Conservatives picked up the pattern of 3 Liberal elections followed by 3 PC elections since 1966 except for a 4th Liberal election in 1978. The PCs won 12 seats last night to 8 for the Greens and 6 for the Liberals.Dennis King has only been the PC leader since February. To his credit, King ran a campaign based on civility and working together. King's speech was as kind as Jason Kenney's Alberta speech was mean. That might be the difference between "united" and "progressive." Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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Gord Miller and Cassie Campbell-Pascall would rank high on a list of Canadian hockey announcers to hang out off the ice. Seeing the two of them in the same Sobey's/Safeway ad was an absolute treat. They aren't on screen at the same time and they work for rival outlets.In the ad, Campbell-Pascall is shopping to try and increase her chances of winning. By doing the ad, she would be ineligible to win any prizes.The two look a little out of place doing an ad such as this but that awkwardness helps the ad be more believable. Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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Newfoundland and Labrador premier Scott Ball is going for a second term for the Liberal Party in calling a spring election on May 16 for the province.Ball's challengers have had precious little time in party leadership. Ches Crosbie has been leader of the Progressive Conservatives for days short of a year. NDP leader Alison Coffin has been in charge of the party since March 5. The NL Alliance party just got officially registered. NL Alliance leader Graydon Pelley will only have a smattering of candidates.The Liberals start with 27 seats, down from 31 in the 2015 election. The Progressive Conservatives have 8 seats, up from 7 in the last election. The NDP has 2 seats, same as the 2015 election results. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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The transition in power in Alberta as a result of Tuesday's election will mark the end of an era with the loss of the last female premier in Canada. You have to go back to December 2, 2010 for the last day Canada didn't have at least one female provincial premier.There were as many as 5 female premiers for most of 2013 and briefly in 2014 but only 2 by late April 2014.Alberta has had 2 female premiers while British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador have had a single female premier. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2019 at Canadian Crossing
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Failure is when you don't try. — somebody famous, probablyIf you recall our column from 2 weeks ago, we profiled an amazing burger, a rarity in our travels. If you are kissing princes, you kiss a few frogs (all with consent, of course).So let's talk about another Cooking Channel and Food Network burger we found in Santa Monica, CA.Texture is a primary reason why you might or might not like a food. Sauteed mushrooms taste good; raw mushrooms, not so much. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2019 at Balance of Food