“Dear John” letter crashes into debate over vermin term. Sergeant Mark Hayward sent John Tory a letter critical of his attitude toward policing. Now, Hayward is the focus of a social media campaign among cops who wish he would run for mayor. At the same time, Tory is defending his mid-June description of gunmen who wounded two young girls “sewer rats.” The comment gained new controversial life after Desmond Cole took notice:

“Whether the restaurant was or wasn’t linked to criminal activities, we were not aware of anything.” Immigration minister Ahmed Hussen’s press secretary replied to a Globe and Mail story about the minister's recent appearance at the Suya Spot, a BBQ establishment identified in court documents as a hangout for the Nigeria-based Black Axe criminal syndicate. (The revelation follows Hussen criticizing the new Ontario government for using the word “illegal” to describe asylum seekers.)

The latest score on legal weed. CBC News looks at cannabis marketers enjoying their “summer of schmooze” before government regulations prohibit the likes of Tweed from advertising at beer-saturated concerts. Meanwhile, new data shows a drop in recent cannabis possession convictions, according to a report from The Logic. Meanwhile, a freedom of information request filed by Vice News reveals what happened when the provincial government paid an advertising agency $650,000 to decide on bland cannabis branding that was loudly laughed at:

Tim Hortons to enter the mouth of the Red Dragon. A deal to open 1,500 locations in China is the latest move to boost the brand—which has also started testing home delivery. At least Tims still has political capital on its side: defence minister Harjit Sajjan drank diplomatic double-doubles in Latvia, claiming that “few things are more Canadian.”

The “Banksy Exhibit” Exhibit may not have much to look at. The next stunt to try and subvert the $35 street art shakedown on Sterling Road will consist of a two-hour session of watching people wait their turn for The Art of Banksy across the street. It's yet another opportunity to ponder what constitutes art:

Nicki Minaj stans won’t stand for putting down her personal brand. “You know how dope it would be if Nicki put out mature content? No silly shit,” tweeted Toronto writer Wanna Thompson. “She’s touching 40 soon, a new direction is needed.” The sentiment drew the attention of Minaj, who sent a private reply before getting her fans (known as “Barbz”) to hound Thompson, who then lost her internship with hip-hop media personality Karen Civil—who counts Minaj as a client for branding advice. The end result was a news story fit to print:

The Handmaid’s Tale wine got whined down the drain. MGM partnered with winery Lot18 to use People as the launchpad for a pinot noir, a cabernet sauvignon and a white bordeaux named for Margaret Atwood’s characters. But outraged reaction to the bottle descriptions contributed to a rapid removal. Last summer, a meme for The Emoji Movie based on The Handmaid’s Tale was similarly short-lived.

Word of the moment


The arena where the Marlies play is getting a new name after 15 years of being branded by Japanese office supply company Ricoh.

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