Newsroom 115 results

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

How do you spell Canada? C.O.U.R.A.G.E.

Sports: 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang The Great White North is currently enjoying one of its best Winter Games ever, but the winning ingredient may not be money, fame, celebrity or even patriotic support. It's guts. By Rod Mickleburgh This year, I thought, my lifelong love of the Olympics, was, if not at an end, under serious challenge. PyeongChang? The site of the Games conjured up no vision at all. Nor, with newspapers and other media so reduced, was there any real build-up to these Winter Olympics to whet the appetite. Once Gary Kingston, the Vancouver Sun’s consummate chronicler of BC’s winter athletes, departed, coverage dropped to virtually zero. As for the Globe and Mail, my former paper has regularly sent a healthy contingent to the Olympics, including, on occasion, me. This year, the Globe opted for a small force of three. The late, dispiriting, get-out-of-jail-free card delivered to Russia’s organized dopers didn’t help. Given that, the lack of buzz ...

Everything you need to know about the 2018 Olympic Games

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang When do they start? What will the time difference mean to viewers? What about Russia?: A snapshot look at the Winter Games in South Korea By Bev Wake 1. THE IMPORTANT STUFF These are the second Olympics in South Korea, following the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. They officially begin on Friday, Feb. 9 and end 17 days later on Sunday, Feb. 25. By the time they are done, 2,925 athletes representing 92 countries will have competed in 15 sports. Some athletes will begin their quest for gold prior to the opening ceremonies: mixed doubles curling starts Thursday — Wednesday night back in Canada — as does ski jumping. On Friday — again, Thursday evening back in Canada — moguls skiers will compete in qualifying heats, while the team figure skating competition opens with the men’s and pairs short programs. 2. ABOUT THAT TIME DIFFERENCE ... There is a 14-hour time difference between South Korea and Toronto and a 17-hour time difference ...

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

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang From South Korean skaters to 'Olympic Athletes from Russia': A snapshot look at some of the top medal prospects from outside of Canada at the Winter Games in South Korea By Bev Wake 1. MARIT BJOERGEN, Cross-Country Country: Norway Born: March 21, 1980 Why you should watch: Already the most successful female athlete in Winter Olympic history — with 10 medals, including five gold — she’ll try to add to her collection in PyeongChang. She won three medals in Sochi, all gold, and despite missing time after those games to have a baby, there’s little indication she’s slowed down. She left the 2017 world championships with four medals, all gold, in the 10-km classic, 7.5km + 7.5km double pursuit, 4x5km relay and 30km freestyle. She is within three medals of Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjorndalen’s 13 for most Winter Olympic medals all-time by an athlete, male or female. 2. CHOI MIN JEONG, Short Track Country: South ...

A Tribute to Dave Barrett, the Socialist Who Stormed the Gates

* 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 ...

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 never 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 ...

Baseball’s Off-Season Cues Symphony of Majors and Minors

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?

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 novelist Brian Doyle, author of books such as Martin Marten, The Plover and Angel Square. He is also a 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 ...

There Is Power in a Union Movie

Movies: Top Ten Movies About Labour Issues In a world where the salaried worker is becoming an endangered species and the income gap is now the Grand Canyon, the only place to find solace may be on the silver screen -- where workers of the world can still win By Rod Mickleburgh (September 4, 2017) I had fun doing this a few years ago, compiling a list of my top ten films for Labour Day viewing. This was in 2014, when BC teachers, instead of heading back to school, were still on strike from the previous June. They would have several more weeks to go, before the longest province-wide teachers strike in BC history was over. And, just like in some of these movies, there was a happy ending. Last November, the teachers won a resounding victory in the Supreme Court of Canada, restoring classroom limits and other staffing measures the BC Liberals (remember them?) had illegally stripped from their contracts way back in 2002 (Jean Chretien was still Prime Minister!) The result has been the ...

Birks Diamond Tribute: Women in Film’s Best Friend

News: Birks Diamond Tribute to Women in Film It's not about square cut or pear-shaped, the Birks Diamond Tribute honours the unsung contributions of women in Canadian film, where the female sex is still grossly under-represented By Katherine Monk It started with a tribute to two actors in 2012: Emily Hampshire and Sarah Gadon. This year, the Birks Diamond Tribute will honour a full dozen women in Canadian film, including actors, directors and screenwriters. Slated for celebration at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival are directors Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Ashley McKenzie, Catherine Bainbridge, Chloé Leriche, and Mina Shum; actors Amanda Brugel, Ellen Wong, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, Mylène Mackay, and Shailyn Pierre-Dixon; and screenwriters Joanne Arseneau and Sherry White. With a few exceptions, such as Vancouver’s Mina Shum (Double Happiness) and newcomer Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf), they are not household names — yet. The whole point of the Birks  ...

Right to Left: Watching the Political Pendulum Swing

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 ...