Archive for September, 2008

TSX – WTF

The largest point drop ever! The TSX is hurting after news in America spooked the market. Is the sky falling? Not sure just yet but it I’m sure it will be a bumpy ride. Some economists saying we have 3 quarters worth of slow to negative growth ahead in Canada. OUCH!

Praying for the best. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the debates. Jack Layton, in Toronto campaigning, called for a meeting of all parties on the potential Canadian crisis but this was rejected.

Layton and Dion in Toronto

Stephen Harper is taking the day from his campaign today. Jack Layton and Stéphane Dion were both on the attack here in Toronto. Jack Layton unveiled the NDP’s platform today and Dion celebrated his birthday at a Liberal Celebration of Women.

Stéphane Dion makes a stop at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel on Yonge St. to speak at the Liberal Celebration of Women in Politics.

Stéphane Dion makes a stop at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel on Yonge St. to speak at the Liberal Celebration of Women in Politics.

I’m sure things will continue to heat up as we approach the debates. Advanced voting starts this week (October 3rd, 4th and 6th) and to vote by mail you have to apply by October 7th. Otherwise get out there October 14th!

Place Hands and Friends Bring the Rawk On!!!

If you aren’t already barging the My Bloody Valentine show tonight at Kool Haus you may want to catch Place Hands at the Press Club. A more modestly priced show for sure and you can “support” the local scene at the same time. An interesting Toronto mix to be sure. Psychadelic noise pop from THE PINK NOISE, shoegazer/garage from PIRATE/ROCK and the post hardcore of PLACE HANDS.

PLACE HANDS – with The Pink Noise and Pirate/Rock
The Press Club
850 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5R 3B7
Canada

Only $5…

COLOR 6.4 Release Party – FRIDAY!

Friday night a party to celebrate the release of the latest issue of COLOR Magazine hits 751. The doors open around 9pm and music will be provided by DJ JUBE and THEY LIVE.

COLOR Mag 6.4 – Release Party
Friday September 26th
751 Queen St. West
Doors Open at 9pm
Music by DJ Jube and They Live

MY BLOODY VALENTINE

The venue has changed but they are still coming to Toronto. My Bloody Valentine are playing at Kool Haus (instead of Ricoh Coliseum this Thursday). No worries all tickets for the Ricoh Coliseum show will be honoured at Kool Haus. Door and show times have been pushed back by 30 minutes to better accommodate the fans.

My Bloody Valentine were a shelved project for the more than 10 years until last summer. A total treat for faithful fans since many dates on this “reunion” tour have been completely sold out and this is one of their few Canadian dates. Rumours are that they have nearly an albums worth of new material but they likely wont play it just yet. No worries their catalogue has many treasures for sure. Loveless is a classic and still critically acclaimed after 17 years. As the Guardian’s John Moore can attest My Bloody Valentine are a band you FEEL live.

Bring your earplugs and prepare for the wall of sound!!!

My Bloody Valentine
Kool Haus, Toronto, ON
Thu, Sep 25, 2008
Doors open at 7:30 – 8pm

Tickets Available at all TICKETMASTER locations or by phone 416-870-8000
Rotate This, Sonic Temple or www.livenation.com

Candidate Drops Out of Toronto Centre Race

The riding of Toronto Centre has been a turbulent one for the Conservatives. Mark Warner, an international trade lawyer, was rejected by the party as a candidate in 2007. Over the objections of the Toronto Centre riding association, Mr. Warner was removed by the Party’s National Campaign Manager, Doug Finley and Don Plett president of National Council of the Conservative Party. It appears that Mr. Warner’s support of local issues and those important to his constituients like education, affordable housing and HIV/AIDS issues were “off message”. Warner’s bid to fight for Bill Graham’s old seat came to a halt and Bob Rae easily won it.

Fast forward to today, Chris Reid was to be the Conservative party’s candidate in Toronto Centre, but has “voluntarily dropped out” of the election race today. Yesterday’s comments by a Liberal blog, BIGCITYLIB, could not have helped Chris Reid’s chances either way. BigCityLib pointed to Reid’s posts on “Political Thoughts From A Gay Conservative”. Reid criticized the passengers and bus driver of the Greyhound bus tragedy and Reid’s “answer” for their “inaction” was no handguns aboard. What?! Forget for a minute the bravery of those aboard that helped evacuate and then held the killer trapped inside the bus. How dangerous would a bus trip be if everyone had weapons? For Reid to say

“we need concealed-carry handgun legislation in this country, so we can defend one another and deter horrible events such as this” – from Chris Reid’s “Political Thoughts From A Gay Conservative” blog

is just plain ridiculous. Reid’s controversial blog is no longer available (but can be read in cache – the internet tends not to forget…)

Chris Reid - Conservative Blog

Chris Reid - Conservative Blog

The Conservatives have reacted quickly, as they have with apologies to Jim Davis, related to jokes made by Gerry Ritz while working on the listeriosis crisis file, and to aboriginal peoples following comments to members of their community. So Chris Reid has been replaced, the new Conservative Candidate in Toronto is David Gentili. Gentili is reported to have worked recently in PM Harper’s office.

In Toronto Centre Riding your list of candidates (for NOW…)

Johan Boyden (Communist Party of Canada)
Philip Fernandez (Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada)
David Gentili (Conservative Party of Canada)
Ellen Michelson (Green Party of Canada)
Bob Rae (Liberal Party of Canada)
Liz White (Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada)

An Election Promise to Build On?

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion and Mayor Miller both support Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion’s $70 Billion Infrastructure Plan (over 10 years). It’s refreshing to see politicians finally realize that taxes paid to the government are best used to invest in its citizens. Merely cutting taxes or increasing tax refunds does little to repair roads, build hospitals or improve our infrastructure.

I’m sure Mayor Miller’s and McCallion’s sentiments ring true from St. John’s to Victoria. This national strategy sounds like a viable promise and one worthy of implementing no matter who finally forms our government in Ottawa. Too much time has been wasted and too little has been re-invested back into Canada (and Toronto’s Infrastructure). Transit, Energy, Water Treatment and the neglected list goes on. A Liberal “Green Shift” promise for now but this should be a non partisan mandate for whomever takes office.

The Sky Is Falling… What’s Happened To Canadian Markets?

Damn! The TSX has been hard hit with the news that financial giant Lehman Brothers was becoming one the biggest bankruptcy stories in American history. Financial markets around the world are reeling with the news and some are calling the current situation the worst they have ever seen. Hard to believe that the TSX index has sunk into the 12,000 range after hitting highs around 15,000 in June. A 20% drop! OUCH!!!

With BCE, the world’s largest leverage buyout, a fading memory I shudder to think of what the index will do or look like under the Conservative plan to allow for more takeovers. This policy plan was shaped by findings made by a government appointed Competition Policy Review Panel.

The government appointed Lynton “Red” Wilson chair of the Competition Policy Review Panel and made the call for more foreign investment. Among the recommendations forwarded by Mr. Wilson, once a CEO of BCE, move the Industry Canada threshold from to investigate foreign investment from $295 Million to $1 Billion! The industries they would like to dissolve? Telecommunications, Airlines and Uranium mining. Hmmm! Considering Canada is one of the world’s largest sources and exporters of Uranium and Telecoms can basically print money in the age of the iPhone this hardly seems prudent. The airline industry has enough problems without further takeover talk. As a leader in at least one of these industries how does selling them off benefit Canadians or Canadian Markets?

The Conservatives, under massive public pressure, blocked the selling off of MDA but under the new proposed rules how many companies would disappear without the so-called watchdog looking? Remember that the MDA deal was the first ever blocked! Not calling for extreme protectionism here but the current trend in selling Canadian assets off doesn’t invoke scenes of sovereignty on the TSX, Alberta or the Arctic. Considering it’s been said that between 70 to 90% of mergers/takeovers fail it would be interesting to see whose lobbying dollars have been spent to push the sale of these industries. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to the TSX and what kind of government enters the fold after the upcoming election.

Local Food PLUS!

A lot has been said about the relationship between what we eat and our health. Recently emphasis has been placed on where and how far our food travels before it reaches our mouths. From the 100 Mile Diet to 50 Mile Diet people are increasingly trying to put this thinking to the test.

With plenty of amazing farm land in Ontario is crazy to see mega grocery stores still buying produce and fruit from the USA and Mexico when local produce is available. Shopping today at my local independent I came across Local Food Plus. Local Food Plus is a non-profit organization matching environmentally and socially responsible farmed goods to consumers. Local Food Plus have goods inspected by third parties and then label and certify goods. These goods arrive at your grocery store and can carry the LFP logo.

So far it seems that food price inflation has been lessened by Canadian grocery stores keeping prices down to fend off the likes of WalMart. Canadian stores may have some short term advantages especially when dealing with their neighbours (local farmers). Loblaws advertising campaign regarding Canadian produce appears to voice that. The Loblaws ads have the potential to pay off, if only in transport and fuel prices. In the end if local farmers benefit and so do the people that eat fresher locally grown food. After all farmers feed this city.

A Swan Song for The Ex…

The close of the Labour Day weekend is always a sad time. It means the end of The Ex, marks the beginning of school for so many, and acts as a reminder that Fall is on the way. Glad I made it back to The Ex this year though. It’s been quite awhile.

Rain or shine, nostalgia and good entertainment won me over again. While my dentist is probably cautiously cheering my love for cotton candy there were other treats abound. A wide variety of music from Silverstein to Blood Sweat & Tears front man David Clayton-Thomas had fans of all ages (and tastes) in good spirits. The carnival games are fun to play and watch too. My personal MVP was the dude rocking freestyle rhymes over drum and bass pictured here. You were definitely repping the EX large!

This dude was reppin\' the game stand and freestyling for the crowd.

Fun fur fedoras and freestyle rhymes. A serious crowd pleaser at work at The EX.

Well if your life is seriously lacking in oversized stuffed animals you must be in the depths of depression. The Ex doesn’t return until August 2009. No, no…it’s OK to start counting down the days.

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