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culture

Reel Toronto: Orphan Black — Season Two

Tatiana Maslany is back for a second season of clone adventures in and around Toronto.

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.

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When we profiled the first season of Orphan Black it was something of an ascendant cult show. A year later and it’s still a cult show but one with a much higher profile and a dedicated fan base that gets all riled up when lead actress Tatiana Maslany gets her annual snub from the Emmys.

It’s a curiosity for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is the show’s puzzlingly ambiguous setting. It seems to be set in Toronto, and includes occasional undisguised glimpses of the skyline and even (as we saw in the first season) documents that explicitly mention the city. And yet locations rarely play themselves; the notion that we’re in Toronto is never openly addressed—it just sort of is. We’re okay with that, we guess.

Keep reading: Reel Toronto: Orphan Black — Season Two

politics

What Toronto Can Learn From the Police Shooting of Michael Brown

Police militarization, racial profiling, and excessive force—they're not just problems for Ferguson, Missouri.

It might be comforting to think that the tragic shooting of Michael Brown—an 18-year-old unarmed black man—by a white police officer on August 9 and the resulting chaos in Ferguson, Missouri, are a distinctly American phenomenon. The history of racial tensions, the heavy-handed policing tactics, the disproportionate criminalization of young black men—these are issues that have long plagued the United States, a country so obsessed with law and order that it has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

But look a little closer, and the lines between Ferguson and Toronto begin to blur. The photos of police officers in full riot gear brandishing body shields and tear gas canisters at protesters start to look a lot like the images from the G20 summit in 2010. The Ferguson police’s racial profiling mirrors the Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) practice of disproportionately carding and documenting young men of colour. And the six shots fired against the unarmed Brown while he attempted to flee echo the tragic killing of Sammy Yatim, who was shot repeatedly on an empty Toronto streetcar, or Michael Eligon, who was killed after walking toward police officers while brandishing two pairs of scissors.

Keep reading: What Toronto Can Learn From the Police Shooting of Michael Brown

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politics

Rob Ford Faces Conflict of Interest Allegations Once Again

The mayor voted against raising fees on companies participating in a City wastewater treatment program—including Deco.

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Mayor Rob Ford is facing yet another allegation that he violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, this time by voting on a wastewater treatment program in which his family’s company participates.

In November 2012, Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) voted against a proposal put forward by Toronto Water general manager, Lou Di Gironimo, and backed by Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), which would have raised fees for a number of companies that pay the City to treat their wastewater. Deco Adhesive Products was one of those companies.

Keep reading: Rob Ford Faces Conflict of Interest Allegations Once Again