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Weekend Newsstand: May 31, 2014

Voting! Austerity! Rob Ford in a bar! This weekend, your news is fairly old hat. Take a look anyway, because it's still worthwhile: advance polls open today in the provincial election, Ford celebrated his birthday (sober) at a bar, and the CBC will "absolutely" be cutting more jobs and resources.

matt newsstand gull

Advance polls open today for the provincial election, and if you are unable to make it to a polling station on June 12, you are welcome to avail yourself of them. They’ll remain open until June 6. If you don’t know where to go, Elections Ontario has a helpful form that will direct you to your nearest station. Happy voting!

Mayor Rob Ford, currently on a leave of absence and receiving treatment for substance abuse issues, will be back in Toronto by July 1 for Canada Day celebrations. This news comes courtesy of Rob’s brother, City Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North). Rob has been on a leave of absence since late April, though he has been seen in towns near his Muskoka-region rehab centre. Reports also have him celebrating his 45th birthday in a bar on Wednesday, where he drank diet pop.

There have already been massive layoffs at the CBC, but the head of English-language programming says there will be more to come. Heather Conway, who’s only six months into her job at the CBC, has already overseen cutting 657 jobs and has cancelled several under-performing TV programs, among them Arctic Air and The Ron James Show. Republic of Doyle will come to an end after the upcoming season as well. Conway says there are no immediate plans to scale back Radio 2 and only air it online, though she didn’t rule out the move for the future. With the loss of hockey rights, a major cash cow for the CBC, and a federal government whose antipathy to the broadcaster is well-known, this may not even be the worst of it.


  • estta

    My mom and her husband are going to be seriously down about The Ron James show getting cut.

    • mixandserve

      So are at least four other people across the country. Sad day indeed for less than half a dozen Canadians.

      • James D Paterson

        I literally chuckled out loud at your comment. Thanks for the laugh. :)

        • HotDang

          That makes the comment at least twice as funny as Ron James.

      • estta

        I broke the news to her and she said that while they used to enjoy the show, Ron James has been getting too old and grumpy in his humour for them. He may actually have zero fans at this point.

        • OgtheDim

          The man always was old. When he got success, then he got REALLY grumpy.

  • James D Paterson

    Goodbye CBC. May your poorly acted, written and directed shows no longer tarnish any airwaves.

    • MrLittlejeans

      Goodbye Rob Ford. May your poorly managed, reckless behaviour and drunken stupors no longer tarnish our great city ever again.

      • James D Paterson


        Although I’d rather him go away for good. In some sort of violent downward spiral.

        • MrLittlejeans

          All good things to those who wait! If he really comes back on July 1st, I give him 2-weeks tops before there’s another embarrasing video/episode, another nail in the coffin.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            I’m no so sure. He may be able to go a few months without an incident. What I think drives Ford now is his anger at all the Conservatives who have abandoned him. Never mind that they had good reason, fellow Conservatives like Tory and Stintz are nothing but backstabbers to him. Ford knows he’s up against it but will campaign hard in order to deny Tory the Mayoralty. To Ford, the worst thing that could happen is that Olivia Chow would become Mayor and if Toronto is going to defeat the “best Mayor ever” then it deserves Chow. It sounds childish but sticking it to Tory and going down in a blaze of glory quite likely appeals to our man-child Mayor. If he has to stay away from the booze for a few months to accomplish this, then he’ll work at staying dry, or at least covering his tracks better.

          • MrLittlejeans

            I don’t think Ford is that smart politically. If he makes it to the end of the election without running himself over, he will finish a distant third, maybe 10% of the vote. He’s already said he’d prefer to lose to Chow instead of Tory. He’s already looking past his defeat to a role on “Dancing With The Stars”.

    • rich1299

      “poorly acted, written and directed shows” as compared to what other Canadian TV station’s shows? CTV had a short run there of fairly good scripted shows with Corner Gas and Flashpoint but they’re both long gone and I can’t think of a single Canadian TV show I’ve seen on TV anywhere else but the CBC since them, obviously not counting the news or “reality” TV and admittedly I don’t watch a lot of TV any more. Can you think of any TV show off hand that Global TV has ever made? That’s it for Canadian national TV companies large enough to fund a Canadian TV series.

      If your idea of Canadian television is Rob Ford jokes on US late night comedy shows then it really doesn’t matter if there’s a CBC or not. I don’t know about the current crop of Canadian TV shows since I’ve not been watching much TV for a while but when funded the CBC has made some of the best TV series anywhere on TV and local programming for every region anywhere in Canada. No other TV station even comes close if you want to see anything other than US programs.

      • James D Paterson

        Is Remedy not Canadian? It stars the guy from Flashpoint, Toronto is mentioned often. I’m pretty sure that’s Canadian and it’s on Global, so there’s the one show you asked for off hand in regards to Global.

        And just because CBC and its shows are Canadian, that means I must automatically support it and be happy with everything they’ve done?

        As far back as I remember, all I watched on CBC as a kid were episodes of The Simpsons. As an adult, hockey. CBC hasn’t been relevant since the late 90s. And prior to that? I refer to my first comment.

        And why would my idea of Canadian television be of Rob Ford jokes on U.S. late night? That’s a ridiculous statement. No one is that stupid, and if they are, they probably watch CBC.

        • VictorianShuter

          “Prior to that?” Road to Avonlea, Degrassi Junior High, The Friendly Giant, Mr. Dressup, The Nature of Things, CODCO, The Kids in the Hall… Basically you’re saying you’re too young and ignorant to remember when CBC had good shows.

          • James D Paterson

            You’re right, I forgot Mr. Dressup, which I loved as a child, and KitH. Degrassi gave us Drake, so regardless of how good it may have been, that’s been thrown out the window.

          • VictorianShuter

            The CTV incarnation of Degrassi gave us Drake. You’re even too young to remember the critically-acclaimed original CBC version of Degrassi.

          • James D Paterson

            I quite possibly am, being in my 30s. But if what people are using as a case for the relevancy of the CBC are shows that ended decades ago, the original point still remains; it’s no longer a relevant network, and is unsustainable.

          • VictorianShuter

            Your argument is a shallow self-fulfilling prophecy. “Decades ago,” CBC was more adequately funded. It’s being purposely underfunded to make it less relevant and sustainable. The President and CEO of CBC is a lawyer whose expertise is in securities, and mergers and acquisitions. Hardly the kind of visionary you’d want at the helm.

        • Talbot

          Yes, Remedy is Canadian and was just renewed for a second season. And as tyrannosaurus_rek mentioned, both Continuum (Vancouver) and Orphan Black (Toronto) are Canadian, and happen to be the two best sci-fi shows on television.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        Continuum on Showcase is currently raking in the accolades and awards. Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz about Orphan Black?

    • torontothegreat

      Replace “The National” with Fox news……….

      Replace “Marketplace” with “The Price is right”

      Replace “The Nature of things” (With David Suzuki ) with “Survivor”

      Replace “The Rick Mercer report” with ” Special Report with Bret Baier”

  • Steveinto

    Sad that so many people do not know what a public broadcaster is and what their roll is. Even though Stephen Harper did not start the demise of the CBC, it was a liberal covernement, he has made sure to keep Canadians blinded by turning us into the headlights of American right wing destruction of a civil society.
    If there is no checking in and criticism of who governs us we are domed.

    • torontothegreat

      And they can be totally unapologetic for it. There isn’t one other media outlet that has that freedom and some people are okay with throwing it away. Sad.

      That’s before all the great content they have both on radio and television.