Archive for December, 2008

Tusks For Sale

Dancing to a different beat thanks to White Whale Records sale. It’s been on since December 19th or something but it was a welcome find this weekend. Pay what you can digital downloads! Pick up Toronto’s Tusks!

I’ve long loved Zunior as an alternative to iTunes but recording label direct buying often leads to finding other listening gems. Culture Reject and The Mohawk Lodge are a pair on White Whale Records that deserve a preview. Would have loved have seen Culture Reject live in Toronto earlier this month but have to be glad to hear them in my playlist now. I’ll save the mindless big ticket buying to the masses. Relaxing at home and cuddling up with some great music is comfort enough.

Blue Chip Finance Board Meets In Toronto

It’s been an interesting week if not due to a record number of Senators appointed (including Fabian Manning – a Conservative MP defeated in the recent election and Michel Rivard – a former Quebec MNA and Parti Quebecois who also ran as Canadian Alliance who wont be thinking too hard about Quebec separation now that he has a salary to age 75), $4 billion worth of public loans for the auto industry, and the Finance Minister naming an advisory council to advise him on an economic plan.

Not that Toronto is much of a stranger to a Board of Directors meeting but federal politics hits close to home again today with Mr. Flaherty’s council members meeting here in the city. The Board members read like a big business all-star team. The problem is this measure gain expert opinion is too little and too late. If these high profile respected business minds were already on speed dial, they were likely already considered respected council and resources.

Sad that Mr. Flaherty refused to listen to prominent economists from the Centre of Policy Alternatives or to the Independent Budget Officer in the first place. Public image was key so PR came before the public’s interest. Considering the passing of the Accountability Act was meant to put “truth in budgeting” and make ruling government’s more accountable for their actions is more than a bit ironic. There have been no federal deficits in over a decade and truth in budgeting has not come more into question than in recent days! Underestimating how well the economy is doing and posting surpluses is far less suspect. Underestimating a crisis, cutting government resources, selling assets off and still failing to break even is way too reminiscent of a Mr. Flaherty at Queen’s Park. The advisory council (scapegoat?) perhaps will abate anger over inaction and the momentum of the proposed coalition.

Anxious to see what the $1 Board accomplishes. The $2 billion plus worth of assets Flaherty has tabled to sell in the future have not been named or segregated out of his forecasts. Very creative accounting. These proceeds will hardly put a dent in a $30 billion deficit so why further cripple a government with limited resources? It hardly makes business sense to sell assets in a severaly depressed market so I would hope the council would push for scratching that plan. As for The Independent Budget Officer? He is getting his budget cut by a third. So Kevin Page has been rewarded for his Parliamentary Budget reports, especially the one that blew the whistle on the Conservative’s policy that would cause a deficit (despite advertising paid for to dispel any of these “rumours”). Happy Holidays, hoping for the best in the New Year.

Snow Tires NOT Mandatory In Ontario

Snow tires do work better in cold and snowy conditions. They are composed of a different rubber that freezes at a lower temperature. This means that braking performance is far better than all season tires in cold weather (snow or no snow). Quebec’s mandatory snow tire legislation kicked in this year and close to 90% of Quebecers already used them. The law is expected to cut accidents as much as 20%. Toronto doesn’t often get the amount of snow that much of Quebec receives BUT snow tires wouldn’t hurt in the winter. Premier McGuinty has listened to public opinion and won’t be mandating snow tire use and said that people should use good judgement.

No matter which tires you choose driver discretion and caution is often your best defense. With over 250 reported accidents being reported yesterday as a result of just 5 to 10 centimeters of snow some care and snowtires wouldn’t be a bad idea. As would riding the TTC or GO Transit instead (if at all possible). While delays are sometimes unavoidable on a heavy snow day, transit can be a time and life saver. Whatever fare you pay for transit it would be way cheaper than your insurance premium and car repair post-accident.

Torontoist Is Getting It’s Plug Pulled After The Ball Drops…

DAMN! Very sad to hear that Torontoist will come to an end after December 31st. It seems that Gothamist decided to cut Toronto out of it mix of US and International city blogs. Hoping that their authors continue to lend their voices to the city and keep writing…somewhere in the future. Torontoist and Spacing have consistently been great additions to the blogosphere and Toronto.

Check Out Somewhere There

Jack Vorvis playing with intensity at Somewhere There Dec. 9th.

Jack Vorvis playing with intensity at Somewhere There Dec. 9th.

Jeremy Strachan peppered the precussion with both soprano & bari saxes at Somewhere There Dec. 9th.

Jeremy Strachan peppered the precussion with both soprano & bari saxes at Somewhere There Dec. 9th.

Somewhere There is a venue tucked away in Parkdale highlighting members of the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto (AIM Toronto) as well as creative-musicians from everyplace else. The cozy atmosphere is host to live music 6 nights a week (from Tuesday to Sunday) and will be home to Leftover Daylight this Friday.

Glad I was able to catch Jeremy Strachan and Jack Vorbis blaze through a quick set last night. Be sure to check the Somewhere There Blog and website for details of upcoming shows.

Somewhere There
340 Dufferin Street (NOTE: Enter from Melbourne Avenue)
LIVE MUSIC – Nightly except Mondays
Most shows at 8pm
$6 unless otherwise noted (in 2009 the base price goes up to $8) – check listings for full details.

Spacing Anniversary Party – Tonight!!!

Spacing launched December 3rd, 2003. Tonight they will be celebrating the release of their latest issue (and their output of 13 issues over five years!)

Pick up a copy of the latest issue at the event, around Toronto at Pages or direct from their webstore.

Here’s to another 5 years for one of Toronto’s and Canada’s great magazines.

Spacing’s fifth anniversary party and new issue!
The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West at Dovercourt
December 10th, 7pm-1am
$5 for subscribers or $10 (includes mag)
(RSVP: please note that, in accordance with Spacing’s liquor license, you need to RSVP to this event by email to

Rae Out Of The Race

Bob Rae has pulled out of the race for interim Liberal leader and will not be seeking the leadership at the Vancouver convention. This means that Michael Ignatieff, MP Etobicoke-Lakeshore, will now assume the role as interim leader as Stéphane Dion steps down.

It will be interesting to see how the prorogued session will play into January. I doubt this will lessen the resolve of the coalition but we shall see.

Rolling Perspective Hits Adrift this

A Rolling Perspective artshow kicks off this Friday.

A Rolling Perspective artshow kicks off this Friday.

After touring through Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Montreal among others A Rolling Perspective makes its final stop, Toronto this Friday. This is a photography show with a twist. Color Magazine and Etnies asked skaters to shoot a self portrait of themselves from their own perspective, skateboarding. There are hundreds portraits in the collection from skaters across Canada, the United States and as far off as Japan (Mark Appleyard, Ryan Allan, Andrew Norton, Kevin Wong, Harry Gils among them). The show will open Friday night as a kind of art crawl. It kicks off at Stussy, then at Adrift and closes out with an afterparty at the Baitshop.

A Rolling Perspective
opening reception FRIDAY DEC. 5, 2008

8pm STUSSY (431 Richmond St. W)
10pm ADRIFT (G2-116 Spadina Ave.)
12am THE BAITSHOP (358 Dufferin St.)
After Party @ THE BAITSHOP djs TBA

A Rolling Perspective is showing through the month of December at Stussy and Adrift.

Rally, Rally or Write???

Stephen Taylor Tory Blogger and fellow of the Manning Centre is organizing rallies in 11 cities (maybe more) to insure that “democracy is heard”. Stephen’s Rally For Canada (and against the proposed coalition) hits Toronto at Queen’s Park this Saturday from 12-2pm.

Ken Georgetti of the Canadian Labour Congress has “re-tuned” his rallies. Originally the CLC was to rally to press Mr. Flaherty and the Harper government for action on the economy, the safeguarding of jobs and pensions. The CLC will also throw their support for the Accord on a Cooperative Government to Address the Present Economic Crisis. The CLC rally, “Coalition YES” hits Toronto this Saturday from 12-1pm.

Personally, I’m going to try and talk to contact my MP or MP’s office. (I encourage everyone to do the same) Your viewpoint and vote count just as much between elections as during them. Let’s hope that the longest a Yes or No hopeful has to wait is this Monday. There can be no justification to prorogue Parliament. The Governor General will have a lot to think about upon her return. Having the House do nothing in the face of an economic crisis by delaying a vote in the House of Commons amounts to criminal negligence. If our elected MP’s are to govern they should vote and work together toward solutions, not cut and run.

Rally For Canada (against a Liberal-NDP Coalition)
Saturday December 6th
Queen’s Park
from 12pm to 2pm

Coalition YES!
Saturday December 6th
Nathan Phillips Square
from 12pm to 1pm

United In The Fight

It’s official. The opposition has united to defeat the government and the policies presented by the Minister of Finance. Uncharted territory here. Amazing to see how fast differing viewpoints could draft an agreement and proposal to stimulate the economy over the weekend. Mr. Flaherty has called it “a deal with the devil”?

Canada is stronger together, perhaps a coalition government might actually work together toward rebuilding Canada during these trying times. I think that we are in for more concrete action than the Conservatives are willing to admit since ALL opposition parties have committed to unite until June 30, 2011! (The Bloc are supportive of this coalition for 18 months and can extend support after that time since they are not formally part of the coalition). The economy and the environment are front and centre. The coalition will pursue prudent policies to stimulate the economy through investments in infrastructure, boosts to struggling economic sectors as well as home construction and retrofit (low income housing? green tax breaks?). Most important, long term deficits are not in the interest of the coalition.

“Today we respectfully inform the Governor General that, as soon as the appropriate opportunity arises, she should call on the Leader of the Official Opposition to form a new government, supported as set out in the accompanying accords by all three of our parties.


Hon. Stéphane Dion
Leader, the Liberal Party of Canada

Hon. Jack Layton
Leader, the New Democratic Party of Canada

Gilles Duceppe
Leader, the Bloc Québécois”

– from the agreement signed by Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe, NDP Leader Jack Layton and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, on Monday Dec. 1, 2008

It will be interesting to see how the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada reacts.

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