The least-liked tweet in Canadian history. “I'm trying to not get cynical about what is a totally devastating tragedy,” Quebec City-based writer and activist Nora Loreto noted on Twitter, “but the maleness, the youthfulness and the whiteness of the victims are, of course, playing a significant role.” Her comment on the many millions raised for the Humboldt Broncos and their families was followed by a sympathetic qualifier—but without this nuanced context, it gained national notoriety. Demands that Loreto herself somehow suffer for the initial remark came with a rebuttal from the Toronto Sun:

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression tossed into Middle Eastern chaos. A statement condemning violence in Gaza appeared, then disappeared, from the CJFE website. The organization's communications coordinator, Kevin Metcalf, claimed on Facebook that he’d been muzzled, and that the group was disbanding. “Congratulations Canada, you’ve killed free speech,” he wrote. The reality: some journalist members didn't wish to be associated with a political stance, leaving CJFE uncertain of how to proceed. (Metcalf subsequently shared a note allegedly left for him at home with “a tasty can of freeze-peach.”)

“That in and of itself is an incredibly worthy and fascinating story, but it's not the one we are telling, nor would I ever agree to be a part of a film that would attribute the accomplishments of a remarkable woman to a fictional man.” A sloppily-sourced Hollywood Reporter item, which highlighted Damian Lewis playing Rob Ford in Run This Town, led to Robyn Doolittle snarking about how the movie's producers seemed to have cast Ben Platt in the main role of a reporter investigating the mayor of Toronto. This forced filmmaker Ricky Tollman to clarify that Ford is a minor plot device in an otherwise fictional script about millennials struggling to make it. Nonetheless, the young star ventured his own damage control:

Doug Ford refuses to give up on Tanya Granic Allen. While distancing himself from her legacy of online comments, the Ontario PC leader is resisting pressure to stop her from seeking a nomination in Mississauga Centre, even after issuing a statement saying the party doesn't agree with her views. And while DoFo is accused of having a “white saviour complex,” he's expected to be popular with minority voters, a phenomenon now worthy of Foreign Policy.

CTV News can’t stop being its own untold story. After recent attention for some officially unexplained departures, and a $7.5-million lawsuit from ex-reporter Paul Bliss, the network simultaneously ditched both of its main anchors in Vancouver—a firing executed by a CTV news director with the actual name Les Staff. The move sparks speculation about whether “a major refresh” will soon extend across the country. Current viewing trends can’t help but lead to reconsideration of the high cost of operating a “1,000-pound electronic pencil.”

Margaret Atwood thinks George Lucas did 9/11. In an interview with Variety, the author noted that the Danish opera version of The Handmaid’s Tale (which premiered in March 2000) featured a reel of the World Trade Center blowing up. Atwood asked interviewer Ramin Setoodeh whether it gave him a creepy feeling, to which he said yes. And then, Atwood took the opportunity to express her belief that the 9/11 hijackers got the idea to fly planes into skyscrapers from Star Wars—contributing to the wealth of absurdist conspiracy theories now attached to the Twin Towers tragedy:

“Cannabis-induced psychosis” ruled as the reason Nathan Phillips’ great-grandson attacked a family with a baseball bat. Mark Phillips was given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to one count of assault after a December incident in St. Thomas, where the Toronto lawyer lunged at some Spanish-speaking immigrants from Colombia while shouting about terrorists and ISIS. The court agreed that smoking three or four joints prior to heading out for a drive to London affected his mental state.

Word of the moment


Hollywood lawyer Tom Mesereau used these words to describe Andrea Constand in opening statements at the Bill Cosby retrial, based on the fact that the Toronto woman was paid a $3.28 million settlement in 2006.

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