Newsroom 123 results

Politics, Journalism, Opinion, and Sports from veteran journalists Rod Mickleburgh, Charley Gordon, Carla McClain, Shelley Page, Katherine Monk, and others.

20 Canadian athletes to watch at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang Veterans, comeback kids and the big question marks in mixed doubles curling: A snapshot look at some of Canada's top medal prospects at the Winter Games in South Korea By Bev Wake 1. TED-JAN BLOEMEN, Speed Skating Hometown: Leiderdorp, Netherlands Born: Aug. 16, 1986 Why you should watch: He holds the world record over 5,000 metres and is ranked No. 1 in the world at both 5,000 and 10,000 metres. While he had disappointing results at the 2017 world single distance championships — finishing fifth in the 5,000 and fourth in the 10,000 — he has not finished off the podium at either distance in World Cup competition this season. In PyeongChang, he'll also compete in team pursuit, giving him a legitimate shot at three medals. 2. IVANIE BLONDIN, Speed Skating Hometown: Ottawa Born: April 2, 1990 Why you should watch: Her results on the World Cup circuit this season show she’s capable of reaching the podium in any of her four ...

Dave Barrett Broke Down Walls of Government

* In light of Dave Barrett's recent passing, we took the opportunity to republish Rod Mickleburgh's thoughtful look at the quiet, yet revolutionary, BC Premier. Politics: Looking back at the first BC NDP victory in 1972 Rod Mickleburgh remembers the day the "socialist hordes" stormed the gates of Government House and Dave Barrett took the oath of office. There was no ceremony, no dancers, no tweets, but British Columbia would never be the same. By Rod Mickleburgh Watching the joyous, almost giddy swearing-in of the province’s new premier and his gender-balanced cabinet, I couldn’t help thinking of BC’s very first transition of power to the NDP, so long ago the Vancouver Sun had two full-time labour reporters. That historic ground-breaker took place way back in 1972, or five years before David Eby, the province’s new Attorney General, was born. July 18 was only the third such right-to-left tilt in BC history. Of course, that’s three more than the zero Stanley Cups won by ...

Aloha A-bomb! A Postcard from the Edge of Armageddon

News Comment: Nuclear Scare in Hawaii A seasoned reporter faces the End on holiday in Kauai as locals either shrug off alerts or hide behind palm trees By Rod Mickleburgh KAUAI, Hawaii -- It’s a while since I’ve been caught up in a world-wide news event, especially one where I MIGHT HAVE DIED. But there we were, after a five a.m. wake-up call by Kauai’s ubiquitous red roosters, on the first day of our holiday, groggily sipping our coffee in the Saturday morning sunshine. All of a sudden, the island quiet was pierced by an urgent loud buzz on our cellphone. It sounded like an Amber Alert on steroids. “What the heck was that?” I said out loud to other breakfasters gathered on the patio of our inn. No one looked up from their buttered toast. Thinking it was just some sort of glitch, we didn’t investigate further. Then, my companion reported back from the office. The woman behind the front desk had said something about a missile threat, as she busied herself with the ...

First Place Finnish

Travel: Celebrating Finland's 100th anniversary Rod Mickleburgh returns to the land of his ancestors to discover an almost genetic propensity to fight for social justice and a rather bizarre predilection for odd sports By Rod Mickleburgh You may have missed it, but the land of my ancestors recently celebrated it’s centennial. On Dec. 6, 1917, small but mighty Finland officially severed itself from Russia, becoming an independent country for the first time. Russia’s new Bolshevik rulers did not protest. I remember leafing through one of my great aunt’s photo albums and seeing a grainy picture of the raising of the Finnish flag in their small community for the first time. A bit more than two and a half years after independence, my mother was born in the fishing/farming village of Sideby. When I first visited “the relatives” in the winter of 1971, I was given the very room where her birth took place. Under the mountain of blankets my two great aunts supplied, I remember ...

NFB offers early gifts

Brief: Canadian Film The National Film Board of Canada wants you to unwrap your present of Canadian presence, offering 20 award-winning movies on-line for free, starting today By Katherine Monk (December 7, 2017) --  Naughty? Nice? No matter. The National Film Board is giving everyone a gift by posting 20 award-winning movies on-line — for free. Starting today, Canadian film fans can take in an assortment of documentaries and animated films, including Sarah Polley’s The Stories We Tell, a timeless portrait of her own family and its secrets, as well as Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, a documentary about racial tensions at Concordia and the scars that linger decades later. Perhaps best suited to the Christmas season is Payback, Jennifer Baichwal’s big screen take on Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture outlining the unspoken balance sheet that exists between humans. “We all have these scales of acknowledged or unacknowledged balances in our heads. Some are family things. ...

Canada’s Sundance 2018 Delegation: Sexy and Animated

News Brief: Canadian Film Three NFB shorts and four Canadian world premieres selected for the prestigious independent film festival founded by Robert Redford By The Ex-Press VANCOUVER — A sexy wolf washing repairman, epic girl crushes and a Croatian co-production about a hedgehog’s quest for home will be heading to Park City as part of the National Film Board’s Sundance Film Festival delegation. Accepted into this year’s short film competition are Diane Obomsawin’s LGBTQ-themed I Like Girls, Chintis Lundgren’s Manivald — a howling take on the Maytag man, and Eva Cvijanovic’s Hedgehog’s Home, a stop-motion story of hedgehog domesticity. According to the news release issued Monday, the three films have already pulled in more than 40 international awards before heading to Utah in the New Year. In addition to the three NFB shorts, the following Canadian projects will also be taking part in the recently announced feature program with several world premieres, ...

The Orillia Packet & Times: A Love Story

Newspaper Obituary: The Orillia Packet & Times They're closing the newspaper where I made my start, and where I learned about journalism. I guess I'm still learning. By Jay Stone (Ottawa, ON -- Nov. 27, 2017) I’ve been in love with several newspapers in my life — journalism tends to be a promiscuous passion — but none more deeply than I was in my first affair with the Orillia Packet & Times. It was the place where I started in the business, and now they’re going to close it down, another victim of Google or smart phones or whatever it is that has driven the wayward press to the fringes of our attention. I went there in 1968 from Toronto, where I was a 22-year-old university dropout driving a cab for a living while I plotted how to become a writer. My father, who brooked no such nonsense, sent me a note — I was living in a hippie house on St. Joseph Street, near Bloor and Yonge, with my longhaired hoodlum friends — saying that he had heard there was an ...

After the Boys of Summer Have Gone, the Iceman Cometh

Sports: Baseball Looking back at the year of ball that was, Rod Mickleburgh finds the big league diamonds were rough, but the minor games at the likes of Nat Bailey Stadium were small gem experiences in a priceless setting. By Rod Mickleburgh And so baseball winter has begun, made even harsher by the tragic death of Roy Halladay. The hopeful breezes of spring, the lazy hazy crazy days of summer and the beautifully slanted light of fall have all departed from the diamond, leaving us to bundle up and shiver through the bleak wintry months of no baseball. In that sweet, far-off time when I was a kid, the Series was always over by the second week of October, in time for the players to do their fall hunting. Now, with so many wildcard and playoff games piled on, the Series stretches into November, as ridiculous a month as ever was for the summer game. In November, you don’t think baseball, you think winter. There was hardly a “wow” ending. The highly-anticipated seventh game ...

What The Knuckler? Pitching for Dummies… and Brian Doyle

Sports: Baseball When everything about baseball is new, having a knowledgeable buddy to help you get a grip on balls, strikes and four-seam fastballs can be more fun than shagging a can of corn (The following is part of a continuing correspondence between Charley Gordon, journalist and veteran baseball fan, and Brian Doyle, author of Young Adult fiction and newly minted follower of the boys of summer.)   May 3, 2016 Dear Dr. Gordon: I have a friend who has been a baseball fan for 70 years. I am, as you know, a neophyte baseball watcher. My friend (let's call him "Mike") has a superior attitude and is sneeringly patronizing when it comes to baseball comments. I fear, when I come out of the closet, he is going to dismiss and even scoff  at any observation I might make about the game. I want to say something about knuckle ball pitchers in general and R.A. Dickey in particular. I want my comment to sound sensible and mature and reasonable and I want it to ...

Swearing in a new BC Premier Brings Back Barrett Memories

Politics: Looking back at the first BC NDP victory in 1972 Rod Mickleburgh remembers the day the "socialist hordes" stormed the gates of Government House and Dave Barrett took the oath of office. There was no ceremony, no dancers, no tweets, but British Columbia would never be the same. By Rod Mickleburgh Watching the joyous, almost giddy swearing-in of the province’s new premier and his gender-balanced cabinet, I couldn’t help thinking of BC’s very first transition of power to the NDP, so long ago the Vancouver Sun had two full-time labour reporters. That historic ground-breaker took place way back in 1972, or five years before David Eby, the province’s new Attorney General, was born. July 18 was only the third such right-to-left tilt in BC history. Of course, that’s three more than the zero Stanley Cups won by the hapless Canucks, and just enough to keep politics interesting and a semblance of two-party democracy alive in BC’s polarized environment. No wonder John ...