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Archive for the ‘Have to Laugh’ Category

The Economist’s take on Rob “Model T” Ford

In Gravy, Have to Laugh, Rob Ford, Toronto on December 11, 2012 at 15:04

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Even if I wanted to it would be to embarrassing to post the full article.  He’s just a snippet of  Economist and the full Michael Enright essay from the CBC’s Sunday Edition

“…The mayor was caught talking on his mobile phone while driving (against the law in Ontario), reading while driving on the expressway (also illegal), using city staff and money to run a high-school football team that he skipped out of council meetings to coach, and ordering city staff to mend the road in front of his family’s business. He shrugged off most of these accusations, although he denied giving the finger to a woman and her six-year-old daughter who had gestured to him to stop using his mobile phone while driving.

The offence that caused Mr Ford’s ejection followed a familiar pattern. While still a city councillor, Mr Ford used his official status to raise C$3,150 ($3,170) for his private charity, a football foundation. He refused to repay the money, ignoring a request by the city’s integrity commissioner that was endorsed by the council. As mayor, he took part in a debate and a vote last February overturning the integrity commissioner’s findings. That was a breach of the law and the mandatory penalty was loss of office…”

You can read the full article here ~

Well, that tears it.

When the most important magazine in the English-speaking world cracks you across the forehead, your goose is not only cooked; it is boned, sliced, carved and served up nicely.

When The Economist, in a few elegantly poisonous columns, reminds you and the world that you and your neighbours live in Idiotville by the Lake, there is little hope of commutation of sentence by the court of public opinion.

Emblazoned over two pages in this week’s issue, the article showed how the government of Canada’s largest city had become Canada’s latest national joke.

The headline: Model T Ford Breaks Down.

The article goes on to describe in painful detail the shambolic clown car that is Toronto City Council.

From horrific money problems to a collapsing transit network to a political system in gridlock and confusion, the magazine traces the chaotic two-year administration under Mayor Robert Ford.

Compounding the train wreck is a decision by one judge to throw Mayor Ford out of office for a conflict of interest, and the decision by another to stay the expulsion.

A city is a complicated political organism, noisy, combustible, in constant tension with and among a myriad of factions.

A city council is not supposed to be a model of orderly self-government. It is by its very nature a raucous arena of contention and argument.

The hope is that when the smoke clears, decisions will have been made and things will get done.

That’s not the way it works at Toronto City Hall.

For example, a previous council voted to spend about $80,000 to install a measly little bicycle lane on a downtown street.

Then the current council came in. Egged on by Mayor Ford, the council decided to remove said bike lane.

At a cost of between $280,000 and $300,000.

A tiny, almost perfect former mayor once told me that Toronto has usually been chaotically governed but efficiently run.

Sadly now it is both badly governed and badly run.

Years ago on As It Happens, we used to run a weekly feature from Newfoundland on the fights in St. John’s city council between then-Councilor Andy Wells and the then mayor, the late John Murphy.

The feature became a national sensation. People tuned in just to hear the shouting matches between Wells and Murphy.

Everybody talked about that crazy St. John’s Council.

It was great fun.

These days in Newfoundland, they’re telling Toronto jokes.


Hockey Night in Canada sans the #CBC

In Business, Canada, Customer Service, Have to Laugh, Hockey, Sports, The CBC, YouTube on May 29, 2012 at 16:24

Just a tad…

“Rogers Media is broadly hinting for the first time Tuesday that it would be keen to win the television rights that the CBC has held for six decades.

Broadcasters pay the National Hockey League for these lucrative rights, whose costs have been rising substantially.

In 2007, when HNIC’s rights were last on the auction block — the price the CBC paid was not revealed, but media reports suggested it ranged from $90 million to $100 million for the six-year contract, up $20 million from the previous deal.” via CBC

Loose our 2nd national anthem to TSN then loose the only reason to watch hockey in Canada to Sportsnet.  Thank goodness I’ve got CBCRadio3 (no pun)


Rob Ford writes for the Globe & Mail

In Customer Service, Government, Gravy, Have to Laugh, Rob Ford, Toronto, Transportation, TTC on February 23, 2012 at 15:29

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Try to enjoy it.  Please visit the original page here in the Globe & Mail.  The comments alone are worth it.


A better way to retool Toronto’s ailing TTC

Toronto is one of the most congested cities in North America, something that costs our economy $6-billion every year, according to the Toronto Board of Trade. The impact on families is just as bad. The average Toronto commute is 24 minutes longer than in Los Angeles: That’s 100 hours a year better spent playing with children, exercising or even working a little longer to save for vacation. This is a quality of life issue, not just an economic one.


Major transit systems in Toronto are built and managed by the Toronto Transit Commission, an organization that came into its own in the 1940s with the construction of its first subway. Today, the TTC is a designated essential service moving more than 1.5 million customers every day.

The TTC is a jewel in Toronto’s crown – but it has lost its shine. It has become a large, inefficient organization. Just over a year ago, I told the TTC it needed to make serious improvements. I wanted to see cleaner vehicles, subway stations and better customer service over all. While the TTC has made some changes, real improvement requires top-down leadership. It’s not just another project.

The TTC’s core business model was developed at a time when federal and provincial governments provided major operating subsidies. Rightly or wrongly, that time is over. It’s time for the organization to undertake a complete rethink of its mission, vision and fundamental business model. The TTC needs to reduce its cost base while maximizing the value of its real-estate assets, its retail opportunities and its licensing opportunities. In short, a new leader is required to reshape the TTC and move it forward with a vision that will serve Toronto to the end of this century.

The TTC must become a sustainable, world-class transit system that connects people with jobs, homes, families and recreation. It must be rapid and reliable. Operational excellence should produce superior customer satisfaction and outstanding efficiency. This will attract new riders out of their cars, reducing congestion and commuting times.

I passionately believe a world-class city builds world-class rapid transit. Toronto’s old “Transit City” plan, with projected vehicle speeds only slightly faster than buses, was never planned to be rapid. Subways will make Toronto a world-leading 21st-century city.

A hundred years from now, Toronto will have more subway lines providing reliable high-speed transportation for millions more people. The only real question is whether we will start building those subways now, or wait another 20 years and build them at 10 times the cost. Inevitably, though, we will have subways.

I believe we should start building subways now. And we shouldn’t stop.

We can afford subways. Gordon Chong’s recent report on the Sheppard subway identifies a number of revenue sources, including development charges and tax increment financing. His estimates are conservative and many industry sources say these can produce more revenue than he projects. Dr. Chong also identifies a number of additional revenue tools that can fill in any funding gap that may exist.

According to KPMG, a modest parking levy could generate more than $90-million annually. That would fund a public-private partnership model to build the Sheppard subway and generate ongoing revenue for future subway expansion. Some partnership models don’t require any taxpayer funding in the first few years. Parking revenue during those years could fund early implementation of a bus rapid transit solution in the Finch corridor. With such funding available, Toronto should move forward with a Sheppard subway plan.

With a revitalized, modernized TTC and a commitment to start building subways now and keep on building them, Toronto will continue as Canada’s economic engine. In fact, Toronto can become the world’s preferred city for raising a family, building a business and enjoying an urban vacation. The time to start is now.

Rick Mercer is a bad bad man

In Have to Laugh on January 12, 2012 at 15:35

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That’s right Councillor Katie Mahoney,  let’s blame it all on Rick’s Rants!


Read Megan O’Toole full article in the National Post

“Mississauga is grappling with a rise in graffiti on city property, and one councillor blames an unlikely culprit: CBC comedian Rick Mercer.

Councillor Katie Mahoney says Mr. Mercer’s famous rants along Toronto’s graffiti alley, an area specially designated for that use, has damaged the anti-graffiti cause.

“Rick Mercer needs to know that he’s not doing anybody any good with his rants down the graffiti-tagged alley,” Ms. Mahoney fumed during a city council meeting Wednesday, suggesting the Mercer rants may have unintentionally encouraged the spread of graffiti throughout Canada.”


In BlackBerry, Canada, Customer Service, Have to Laugh, RIM on December 2, 2011 at 09:53

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It’s just about sums up this wonky story. Thanks to Julius No, Ph.D. from the CBC comment page, ” This kind of Bold behaviour should not be in the Playbook! They should Torch these guy’s passports for this! @ those RIM guys, here’s a Pearl of wisdom: your company has hit a Curve in the road but when you’re in the sky you need to play it straight. Sorry, best I can come up without my first Java….”


From the Canadian Press

Drunk RIM workers fined $70K for disrupting flight

“Two Ontario employees of Blackberry maker Research in Motion are facing a big fine after their drunken rowdiness forced an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Beijing to be diverted to Vancouver on Monday.

Forty-five-year-old George Campbell of Conestogo and 38-year-old Paul Alexander Wilson of Kitchener have been ordered to pay restitution of $71,757 after pleading guilty to mischief.

They were also given suspended sentences and probation for a year.”



In Business, Canada, Celeb, Customer Service, From Coast to Coast to Coast, Government, Have to Laugh, Media, The CBC, YouTube on November 30, 2011 at 07:47

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The good people at Friends of Canadian Broadcasting have put out new ads to show a “worst-case scenario arising from the government’s hostile attitude toward the CBC.” Enjoy!

CBC’s The National Redone

CBC has been sold to a US Investor and Wrestler Promoter

CBC Radio Remix 666



Ottawa (29 November 2011) The Conservative Party is gaining the trust of voters when it comes to Canadian culture and the CBC, but that trust could quickly evaporate if forecast cuts to the national public broadcaster’s parliamentary allocation come to pass.

These findings emerge from a national opinion survey sponsored by the watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

If Stephen Harper’s criticism of Canadian culture during the 2008 election campaign that many observers believe cost the Conservative Party a majority government was the low point in the public’s estimation of Mr. Harper’s trustworthiness on cultural matters, this survey provides some good news for the Prime Minister.

The survey found that the Conservative Party leads the other two major parties as the most trusted to handle matters of national culture and identity (Conservative Party 27%; NDP 24%; and Liberal Party 14%). 

The Conservative Party is most trusted by 3 in 10 voters (29%) to protect the CBC, second behind the NDP, which enjoys the trust of almost half of voters (46%) and ahead of the Liberal Party (25%).

“The Conservatives promised time and again before and during the election campaign to maintain or increase CBC funding.[1] It would appear Canadians, who in overwhelming numbers support public broadcasting, are responding in a supportive way,” said Friends spokesperson Ian Morrison.

But, the survey also found that the government’s hostility toward the national public broadcaster and its cost-cutting agenda could put the Conservative Party off side with voters, a strong majority of whom want to see the CBC’s budget maintained or enhanced.

  • When asked what advice they would give their MP on how to vote in the House of Commons concerning funding for CBC, 46% would counsel maintaining CBC funding at current levels, while another 23% would advise their MP to vote in favour of an increase. Only 17% favour decreasing CBC funding.
  • 52% believe that Canada’s level of funding of its public broadcaster is insufficient to maintain a unique and vibrant Canadian identity and culture vs. 21% who disagree.

“A ten percent cut to the CBC’s budget, as the Conservatives are contemplating, would have devastating consequences that would be visible and of great concern to the vast majority of Canadians.  In addition, the steady attack on the CBC by various government MPs could change the direction of public support in on this issue,” Morrison said.

CBC budget cuts could undermine the Conservatives’ new-found trust on matters related to culture and put them at odds with a majority of their own base.  Among Conservative Party supporters:

  • 57% would advise their MP to maintain or increase funding for the CBC.
  • 63% think the CBC plays an important or very important role in protecting Canadian culture and identity.
  • 64% give the CBC high marks for meeting its mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain
  • 70% believe that the federal government should be somewhat or very responsible for ensuring that Canadian programming and content on television and radio is protected.

Voters who identify the Conservatives as their second choice also strongly support public broadcasting:

  • 81% would tell their MP to maintain or increase funding for the CBC.
  • 78% think the CBC plays an important or very important role in protecting Canadian culture and identity.
  • 84% give CBC high marks for meeting its mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain
  • 75% believe that the federal government should be somewhat or very responsible for ensuring that Canadian programming and content on television and radio is protected.

The survey found that Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative government carry a reputation for being hostile to Canadian culture and the CBC:

  • Half (52%) of Canadians think Canada’s level of public broadcaster funding is insufficient to maintain a unique and vibrant Canadian identity and culture, and 55% think Canada’s level of public broadcaster funding is indicative of the federal government’s treatment of the cultural sector overall.
  • Half (50%) think the Harper government is underfunding the CBC so that it can turn it into a private, commercial broadcaster. Only one in four agree that privatizing and commercializing the CBC is the right thing to do.

CBC remains extremely popular with Canadians, who by wide majorities give the CBC high marks for meeting its mandate to present programs that inform, enlighten and entertain (77%) as well as its mandate to serve the broadcasting needs of Canada’s regions (68%)

In defence of our national public broadcaster, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is launching STOP THE CBC SMACKDOWN, a satiricaonline campaign calling on the Conservative government to keep its election promise to maintain or increase CBC funding.

“This effort dramatizes what is perhaps our greatest fear – one that grows with each passing day’s events on Parliament Hill – that the Conservative government secretly intends to privatize some or all of our national public broadcaster, selling it to the highest bidder.  Two SMACKDOWN videos portray this worst-case scenario arising from the government’s hostile attitude toward the CBC,” says Friends’ spokesperson Ian Morrison.

The videos feature messages from the new CBC’s new owner, Lance Fury.

A personal friend of the Prime Minister and a former professional wrestling promoter from the US, Lance has purchased the CBC for an undisclosed amount.  In his video messages, the new owner-operator of the former public broadcaster outlines a radical overhaul of CBC News and his plans to introduce commercial advertising to CBC Radio.

Fury says, “Canadians are gonna love this.  I mean, let’s be honest.  They’re very unique in that they’re just like Americans, except for the Quebeckians, who are more like the Puerto Ricans.  But now that I’m here, there will be something for everyone.  But don’t worry Canada, I won’t be touchin’ your wheat.”

“As the survey demonstrates, the CBC continues to enjoy high levels of public esteem.  The video campaign is about lifting those numbers off the page to demonstrate that without great care and support for our national public broadcaster, the new found gains in public trust the Conservatives have achieved could be short lived,” Morrison said.

The online survey of 2022 adult Canadians conducted from November 4 to 10 has a margin of error of +/- 2.18%, 19 times out of 20.  The survey was designed and administered by political scientists, Daniel Rubenson, Associate Professor at Ryerson University and Peter Loewen, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto.  The survey was fielded by the national polling firm Angus Reid/Vision Critical.

Don’t hate Nickelback

In Canada, Customer Service, Have to Laugh, Media, People that Matter, South of the boarder, Sports, YouTube on November 25, 2011 at 10:04

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It couldn’t have been easy for Chad and the boys.  Talk about a rough start.  The hard knocks band from Hanna, Alberta, released their third album Silver Side Up on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  But since that day, Nickelback has raked up 32 Awards from Billboard Music, AMA’s, MuchMusic Video, The Grammy’s and The Juno’s.  They’ve sold more than 50 Million records.  So why so much hate for this truly Canadian band?  The answer may never fully be understood.

“There’s almost something fun about disliking Nickelback,” says Sam Sutherland with Toronto-based AUX TV, which created the Nickelblock plug-in for Firefox and Google Chrome. “I think it bonds people.”

It’s a meme, a sort of pop cultural flu, says Robert Belton, a professor in the faculty of creative and critical studies at the University of British Columbia. “Someone somewhere said, ‘Nickelback stinks,’ and it was funny, so everybody else piled on, whether they actually think that or not.”

Well, not everyone has been piling on – the Canadian Football League petition only had 52 signatures as of Wednesday.”

Well here’s hoping the City of Detroit made it through their Thanksgiving Day game shedding more tear for the Lion’s 27 – 15 loss to the Green Bay Packers than to Nickelback’s halftime performance.


The letter reads as follows:

“This game is nationally televised, do we really want the rest of the US to associate Detroit with Nickelback? Detroit is home to so many great musicians and they chose Nickelback?!?!?! Does anyone even like Nickelback? Is this some sort of ploy to get people to leave their seats during halftime to spend money on alcoholic beverages and concessions? This is completely unfair to those of us who purchased tickets to the game. At least the people watching at home can mute their TVs. The Lions ought to think about their fans before choosing such an awful band to play at halftime.”





Here’s Nickelback’s response on Funny or Die ~

Is it the end of the world yet? Bieber makes ’em scream!

In Celeb, Customer Service, Have to Laugh on November 22, 2011 at 14:21

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It’s a precursor to 2012.  Enjoy!


Rob Ford is now the ‘worst person in the world’

In Canada, Customer Service, Have to Laugh, Media, The CBC, Toronto on October 29, 2011 at 22:09

Just a tad,

Now to be fair, Keith Olbermann’s Countdown dubs different people ‘worst person in the world’ on a daily basis but you have to love that an American news program feels that our major needs some extra exposure to the US masses.  Thanks Rob.  Thanks for everything.

(fast forward to 2:14)


Yup, Rob Ford IS A LIAR

In Have to Laugh, Law & Order, Media, The CBC, Toronto, YouTube on October 26, 2011 at 21:23

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Say it ain’t so Rob…

At least you have SunTV to save your bacon Robbie…

And the National Post’s Kelly McParland puts up here dukes…

“Lots of people are mad at [Ford], since he’s not the most polished guy in the world and he hasn’t exactly been diplomatic while pursuing his promise to chop the massive city budget and eliminate a spending gap measured in the hundreds of millions. The local papers treat him like some lame-brained buffoon who stumbled into city hall while trying to avoid a Pride parade.

So maybe he did in fact realize his attacker was just an actor and he wasn’t really under threat, and maybe he just didn’t feel like going along. Mary Walsh has unleashed her Marg character on lots of other politicians, though generally during the work day when they’re on their political rounds, not on the front lawn at 8 a.m. They usually react in one of two ways: they either spot the character and play along, making it all very jolly and a bit boring, or they don’t get the joke and are a bit cool. People must like it, because they’ve been doing it for years.

Either way, Ford wasn’t up for the gag. Can’t really say I blame him. Politicians aren’t game animals; you can’t just hide in the woods and fire at will.”

Fine just watch it here