Link: A Columnists on Columns

The Guardian's Hadley Freeman is ending her time as a columnist and takes time in her final column to discuss her career and being a columnist. A couple things stand out for me: "Here’s a funny thing: I can’t recall a single day – and there were thousands – that I spent sitting at my desk writing a column", which is very true. News does not happen in a news room or at a desk. She cites columns by others that are controversial and that she disagrees with, noting the importance of ideological differences. Freeman laments the polarization which exists today. [One of my favourite nights out working in national journalism was in 2009 involving people who are today key...

Toronto With Some People Again

Walking down the escalator to the subway platform I noticed something different this morning, there were people waiting for the next train. I had to stand find a six foot separated spot to stand, the first time I needed to during this pandemic. What a change from mid-May 2020 when I went into Toronto to retrieve my belonging. (I left 10 days into the COVID crisis once my work supporting students on-campus was complete, leaving most of my items behind as I stayed with a friend) That May 2020 trip was surreal. Taking the GO Train into Toronto, I counted the number of people waiting at Oakville, there was seven people waiting for the entire length of the platform. Pre-COVID,...

Insightful NP Column Talking with PPC members on Why They Joined

Election polling is showing the People's Party of Canada growing in support. Why is this and what does it mean for the future of Canada's political landscape? These questions will be explored in the coming weeks, I am hearing of work being done by national journalists and academics to answer some of these questions. Here in Hamilton, I am seeing many blue-collar acquaintances joining the PPC for a variety of reasons. The PPC is appealing to people I know who have a working class conservatism, a "live and let live" approach to social issues, and who are disenchanted at mainstream discourse. Can the PPC morph into a new political movement much as the Reform Party did in the late 1980s...

9/11 - Twenty Years Later, My Reflections of the Day

Twenty years later, what memories have stuck with me of the day war came to North America? Unexpectedly, the initial shock is not a primary memory. Of course I remember being momentarily frozen, then hectically scrambling to get to the Hamilton armoury. The eyes of an older woman looking at me on the bus going downtown, her and others not knowing what to say. Was she thinking of relatives who served in previous wars? The memory of the day I keep coming back to is waiting for the special edition of The Hamilton Spectator printed that afternoon. I was posted to wait for it to arrive at Maves Variety across from the armoury and buy a bundle. There was television,...

Transitioning Out of the Pandemic I: Attending Mass

My first Mass as a double-vaccinated person was unexpected, I was struck by the silence of the nave as physical distancing and the muffling of masks created an unexpected acoustic experience....

I Welcome The Reopening, Even If I Must Wait Until Mid-August

The COVID reopening is good news. Starting this coming Friday July 16, nearly all indoor activities resume. For me, it will create challenges as my vaccination cycle will not complete until the middle of August. I live in Hamilton's L8R postal code and am in 30s age bracket. I received my first dose appointment, on July 1st. [The pharmacist was amazing]. July 29 is when I qualify for my second dose, and I plan to find a walk-in appointment that day. It being a Thursday, I expect I'll have my pick of pharmacies to get my second dose. [I plan to return to the same pharmacy if possible] My August long-weekend will be the recovery period. August 13 is when...

The Almost-Normal Days of The Second July of COVID

Who knew it is the second Friday? I thought to myself, looking at the pop-up sellers on James Street North during my Friday walk. Life is quickly returning to some semblance of pre-COVID patterns. There are only a handful of pop-ups this Friday night, a few selling knick-knacks, with some original art in the mix. The flea market vendors are sure to return in August. Expect James Street to be packed on Friday, August 13. There is a poetic element to the first Art Crawl on Friday the 13th, as the COVID emergency became apparent to all in Ontario on March 13, 2020 A man is walking between the restaurant patios, selling single roses. The front porch band is playing...