Canada
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Roundup archives: May 2007

May 31, 2007

Brown-nosing meets YouTube as the Young Liberals unveil a new series of internet ads in the style of those increasingly annoying “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” commercials. It’s great to see the youngsters learning from their mentors that the best way to take the high ground after attack ads is to launch your own attack ads on a fraction of the budget (thrift engenders pity, after all).

American blogger Citizen Chris calls John Edwards the most gay-friendly Democrat candidate for the presidency. No surprise to conservatives. After all, he is a total faggot, isn’t he?

Ottawa offers $125 million to the Six Nations in exchange for relinquishing their claims in Caledonia, but the natives say they want the land, not cash. You may remember that the Ontario government paid only $16 million for the land in question last year. I can’t wrap my head around why the government thinks their offer of eight times what the land is worth is a better deal for anyone. And just in case you thought Tories might actually be sympathetic to the Natives, the Ipperwash inquiry concludes today. with a damning report blaming both federal and provincial governments in the shooting death of protester Dudley George. The report also concludes that then-premier Mike Harris’ racism contributed to the province’s crackdown.

May 30, 2007

Just in time for lazy Father’s Day gifting, Ontario bans expiry dates on retail gift cards. Now you can feel a little less silly when you get your favourite daddy that certificate for Northbound Leather.

Remember that picture of US VP Dick Cheney’s new grandson by his lesbian daughter? Well, the official White House caption states unequivocally that little Samuel David Cheney’s “parents are the Cheneys’ daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe.” This may be the first time the White House recognises gay parents or partners in any context, and it’s still significant even if Dick appears to be sneering at his grandson.

Tories unveil new attack ads blaming Stephane Dion for not forcing Liberal senators to adopt legislation imposing Senate term limits. Maybe next he’ll blame Dion for Sam The Record Man closing.

Rosie O’Donnell quits The View after a spectacularly underwhelming on-air dust-up with flaky co-host Elizabeth Hassleback. All this video is entertaining now, but what will I watch at work without daily YouTube clips of Rosie’s wacked-out rantings and celebrity feuds?

May 29, 2007

The US and Iran end their 27-year-long diplomatic freeze. I don’t know whether I’m glad the war rhetoric is cooling, or terrified that the US has a new friend in Iran.

The Conservatives promise to back Europe’s call for renewed commitment to the Kyoto targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction while environment minister John Baird gets the slapdown from his provincial counterparts for failing to address those same targets.

A Melbourne, Australia gay club wins the right to ban straights from entering after the state’s civil tribunal rules that it may be necessary to protect gay patrons’ freedom of sexual expression. Wait, isn’t that exactly the rationale behind don’t ask don’t tell?

May 28, 2007

It’s Memorial Day today in the US, so why not remember fallen US soldiers in descending order of hotness?

Ontario PC leader John Tory made an appearance at Toronto’s Inside Out Gay And Lesbian Film Festival over the weekend. Is this part of a campaign to rebrand himself as different from Stephen Harper?

Quebec’s ongoing political crisis continues to unfold as premier Jean Charest urges opposition parties to support his tax-cutting budget, lest they send the province back to the polls only three months after the last election. The last Quebec election made for great entertainment, but I doubt it’ll be as fabulous without Andre Boisclair.

May 25, 2007

US VP Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter Mary Cheney gave birth to her first child, Samuel David Cheney. Even holding a baby, he still looks evil.

Swedish researchers find that lesbian brains react to hormones the way straight men’s brains do. The first tip off was earlier research showing that both enjoyed the idea of lesbians having sex.

And The Star reports that Ontario’s education minister Kathleen Wynne faces a tough reelection campaign this October against PC Party leader John Tory, who has parachuted into her Don Valley West riding. I guess that’s more evidence that straight men and gay women think alike.

May 24, 2007

Toronto Mayor David Miller is pelted with beef jerky. No one really knows if the jerky-tossers were trying to make a point, but did they need really to?

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s Anti-Poverty Committee appears to be losing public sympathy after trashing one of premier Gordon Campbell’s offices and threatening “escalation.” There’s got to be a happy medium in here somewhere.

Native groups are threatening to blockade Canada’s trains unless the railways close down voluntarily for the planned Day of Action Jun 29. Maybe the compromise is to give advance warning?

May 23, 2007

Hitting the gym makes your muscles younger, according to a study from McMaster University. The study does not, however, conclude that hitting the gym makes your tricks younger.

Harper presents Afghan President Hamid Karzai with a set of Ottawa Senators pyjamas for his four-month-old son. Karzai thanked Harper, noting the strong tradition of winter sports in his mostly-desert country.

The outgoing president of Toronto’s Humber College has called for an end to the province’s “academic snobbery.” I’ll agree, once York raises its admissions standards past “if you can use a fork?”

May 22, 2007

Fred Phelps, the man behind Godhatesfags.com, who stages protests at the funerals of gays, lesbians, and US soldiers, has found a new target. Today he’s planning to protest the funeral of evangelist Jerry Falwell, who will be buried in his hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia. Phelps says Falwell’s going to hell because he just didn’t hate gays, Jews and Catholics enough. For the first time, I find myself in partial agreement with Phelps.

Madonna has released new song to coincide with the Live Earth concerts. It’s a shame to knock a good cause and I know it’s gay sacrilege to malign Madge, but the song blows. Called “Hey You,” it’s free to download at MSN.com. Oh well, you get what you pay for.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) chided Vancouver Police Department officers for allegedly luring an anti-poverty activist to his arrest by posing as journalists seeking an interview. The CAJ didn’t seem bothered by the man’s alleged threats against the homes of members of the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC). Hey, I’m all for anti-poverty activism, but those VANOC people are working for a good cause, too: bringing athletic men and women to Canada for us all to look at.

Stephen Harper visits Afghanistan. Can we leave him there?

May 18, 2007

Italian queers bend over for Bush. Organizers of Rome Pride push their parade back a week so the event doesn’t conflict with a scheduled visit to the Italian capital by the US president. (OK, it’s sort of old news, but stories about Rome aren’t built in a day…)

BMO Field is falling apart faster than Toronto FC’s defensive line. Let’s hope this stadium survives long enough to generate our own homegrown flamboyant soccer studs.

Harper says Tory MPs were never involved in the Doangate scandal (I know no one else is calling it that. Let’s see if I start a trend). Next he’ll say Tory MPs have never criticized gay rights.

Opposition parties form their own Official Languages Committee after the Conservatives effectively shut the real one down. It’s kinda like the time I staged my own Wizard Of Oz in fifth grade when Miss O’Mally refused to cast me as the scarecrow, except infinitely more pathetic.

May 17, 2007

Immigration minister Diane Finley has introduced legislation that would give immigration officials powers to prevent foreign strippers from coming to Canada. Finley wants to pick and choose who gets in and who doesn’t based on what she calls “public policy considerations.” She’s singled out anyone who she judges might be “humiliated, degraded or sexually exploited.” My, that rule seems vague. Wouldn’t it be better to target the people who do the exploiting rather than the victims? (The short answer is no, because the exploiters are generally Canadians and the victims are other people…)

A man wanted for murdering two gay men in Nova Scotia was arrested in Texas yesterday trying to sneak into Mexico. Obviously, he hasn’t seen
Thelma & Louise
, or he would have known that when you’re wanted for murder, you don’t flee to Mexico through Texas.

The Ontario government has introduced legislation to protect endangered species. I’ll hold off judgement on this until they reveal their recovery plan for the Decent Available Canadian Man.

And Prince Harry won’t be serving in Iraq. I knew this whole army thing was just a continuation of his dress-up phase

May 16, 2007

The Ontario government passes legislation to create civilian oversight bodies for the province’s police forces. Civilian oversight? It’s almost as if we live in a democracy.

And while we’re on the Ontario government, the Progressive Conservative caucus set up a stand in the legislature yesterday offering free “McGuinty Slushies” to passersby (er, reporters). I think they were making some point about the slush fund scandal, but it might have been a bit flashier if they’d given the slushies away to the people strolling through Queen’s Park. Still, as a journalist who happened to be on the third floor of the legislature yesterday, I have to admit that McGuinty’s $4-billion slushy certainly hit the spot.

A bunny infestation in small-town Alberta was the cutest story of the week until one resident invoked Malcolm X in his fight against them.

And homophobe/racist/televangelist Jerry Falwell died yesterday. Don’t get too excited by the video titled “Falwell dies” that’s linked to this story; it’s not the actual event. GLAAD also has some video of his most memorable quotes.

Tue, May 15, 2007

Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe apologizes for pursuing the PQ leadership and bowing out less than 48 hours later. Now apologize for backing Harper’s last two budgets.

Pope offends Brazilian natives by insinuating that they actually really wanted to be conquered and converted to Catholicism. Also, still Catholic.

And the Film Reference Library wants you to submit your home movies for consideration in an upcoming exhibit celebrating International Home Movie Day. Now you have another reason to bring your camera into the bedroom.

Mon, May 14, 2007

A group of members of the Conservative Party met in Kingston this weekend to discuss reviving the Reform Party, because they feel that Stephen Harper just isn’t right-wing enough. I just hope whoever leads the new party looks good in a wet suit.

More than 80 gay men and their friends were arrested in Iran on May 10, after attending a birthday party. And you thought Fashion Cares was bad

Beloved octogenarian Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, who has reigned over the ‘saug for close to 30 years, is being challenged more frequently by her councillors, including a couple of new ones with ambitions for the mayor’s chair. Don’t they know that the purpose of a legislature is to nod politely at an old queen?

Fri, May 11, 2007

PlanetOut, the gay media company that publishes The Advocate, Out, Gay.com and Planetout.com, saw its shares tumble amid reports of worse than expected first-quarter losses. Before you ask, Anderson Cooper hasn’t said anything about it.

Polish sculptor Powel Althamer, unveiled his latest masterpiece this week, a 20-metre tall inflatable nude self-portrait, floating in a park outside Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in Milan, Italy. Well, it’s not fully inflated, anyway.

A frat is considering suing the University Of Vermont for defamation after a judge dismissed charges that it violated the state’s antihazing law by forcing pledges to dress up like gay cowboys. This just proves two things: the insufferable Brokeback Mountain jokes still aren’t over 18 months later, and Canadians are far more creative when it comes to homoerotic hazing rituals.