Foreshadowing the Fake News of the next Ontario election. Bill 89, the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act passed on June 1. Speaking about the bill, Liberal minister Michael Coteau was once quoted saying that denying a foster child's gender identity would be like “a child in care being told not to believe in Jesus Christ.” That was spun by the regional Christian media, then amplified elsewhere in stories that the Ontario PCs made no apparent effort to refute, even if leader Patrick Brown is denying a social conservative bias. Still, chances are, there’ll be more of this to come.

"Pressure to attend religious courses in a publicly funded school amounts to religious discrimination under the Human Rights Code." Paul Champ—the lawyer for Claudia Sorgini, a Catholic high school student in Midland who complained about being discriminated against after she was exempted from the Catholic parts—declared victory after a tribunal concluded that Sorgini shouldn’t have been excluded from non-academic activities. Meanwhile, construction of a new Catholic school serving CityPlace condos revives questions about why two systems remain.

This robot will never ask for a raise. Ontario’s minimum wage is set to increase to $15 by 2019, leading small businesses to gripe about diminished odds of survival. Enter some opportunisitc advertising for the Solo Series, a terminal from payments company RT7, which outlines all the things it does that a distraction-prone fast-food cashier can't—like be paid one-sixth of their salary.

A possible last stand for Sears Canada. The retailer doubts that it can continue operating, even though it just unveiled a new post-department store model with a Queen West pop-up. A restructuring or sale might loom. The story still isn't as bleak as the U.S. side—former Sears Canada CEO Mark Cohen likens it to a ship on fire. Hudson's Bay is also slashing staff in light of future malls with no stores.

“Stop Spadina Lane” will keep the Republic of Rathnelly weird. A series of street signs, including one commemorating the midtown area's triumph over semi-evisceration by the Spadina Expressway, will be unveiled at its 50th anniversary bash on Saturday. A sign for “Rebellion Lane” will commemorate the neighbourhood's secession from Canada, while another will be named for artist resident Michael Snow—who won the honour over David Cronenberg. Another lane will be named for Rathnelly's original queen, Eileen Robertson, who probably never pondered what the property values of the neighbourhood would be worth today.

The new American media dinosaur–destroying meteors are mostly from Canada. Ben Garrison, a Montana political cartoonist fond of portraying President Trump as a sinewy superhero, is good at playing to the social media vanities of the alt-right. While his latest effort acknowledges Alex Jones—on the eve of his controversial Megyn Kelly interview on NBC—other flaming rock faces in this "Extinction Event" are from north of the border: Stefan Molyneux, Jordan Peterson and Lauren Southern, plus a mug from Montreal-raised Steven Crowder. (Naturally, there's also a nugget from The Rebel.)

The only thing left for Nickelback to be is liked. Feed the Machine, the ninth studio album by the scourge of Hanna, Alberta, comes out Friday, foreshadowed by "Song on Fire." The country-radio-style sound suggests that Chad Kroeger is ready to be regarded as a rugged roots rocker, confident that the time has come for critics to defend him.

Word of the moment


Bill Cosby's lawyer Brian McMonagle's last question to the jury expected to deliver its verdict before long.

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