Conservative Santa has got the blues. The federal Liberals nabbed a seat from the Tories in a Surrey, B.C. by-election. Meanwhile, in Scarborough-Agincourt, Liberal Jean Yip won her bid to replace her late husband, Arnold Chan. Despite some campaign Trudeaumania at the mall, her Conservative rival, Dasong Zou, scored 40 per cent of the vote, which Doug Ford helped to get out. The lack of NDP support doesn't bode well for Jagmeet Singh—even as the Tories continue to raise hackles:

The value of Kathleen Wynne’s reputation is $100K. The premier made good on her threat to sue Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown for defamation, because he never apologized for saying that she was on trial for bribery in Sudbury. Not that she necessarily needs help damaging her reputation: the impending minimum wage hike is feeding an entire journalistic industry of stories about businesses shutting down because they can’t afford it.

Permission protocol adds to media unemployment line. Stephen LeDrew has now been fired from CP24, after he was suspended for appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Bell Media's line remains that LeDrew is in trouble because he didn’t get approval to appear on Fox News, rather than for anything he said on camera. CBC Vancouver also recently fired a reporter: Richard Zussman, who was doing some sideline work on a book about B.C. politics, which the Ceeb says violated a number of unspecified policies.

The long, long, longread about Lindsay Shepherd. Maclean’s delivers the most detailed account of a month of drama at Wilfrid Laurier University. Shepherd also just taped in an episode of the forthcoming Wrongspeak podcast, co-hosted by Jonathan Kay and Debra Soh.

Fingerlings are the new Hatchimals. The favoured subject of stories about holiday gift chaos has shifted from one Canadian product to another. Some animatronic finger puppets are getting the same kinds of headlines that belonged last year to Hatchimals. The beneficiary of this attention is Montreal-based WowWee, which wooed Walmart, then stirred up enough scarcity to fuel a Christmas cash-in worthy of Cabbage Patch Kids.

There's some Fake News for every possible mood. National Geographic’s video of an emaciated Baffin Island polar bear, shared as an alarming symbol of climate change by the likes of environment minister Catherine McKenna, probably isn't what it appears to be. Meanwhile, a typical Beaverton headline, “Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico,” got taken seriously enough to bring on a real debunking: a Snopes article to explain its untruth. Weirder still is how a Reddit post that ruminated on the closing of two east-end 7-Elevens was churned into thousands of shares by Narcity, which drummed up outrage by falsely suggesting the chain was going locally extinct:

Data disclosure isn't always so cute. Netflix trolled for clickbait for disclosing a year of user habits, like how a Canadian watched Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 361 times. Less innocuous types of app data are always at risk of being breached—which happened recently to Uber Canada, conveniently right on the eve of competiton from Lyft. (The other Lyft upside is that the company has yet to accidentally charge $18K for a ride.)

Word of the moment


The original Queen's Park doors of the Royal Ontario Museum are open once again, meaning the Crystal is a little closer to becoming a really expensive paperweight.

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