Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

Star reporter sues Rob Ford

Toronto Star city hall reporter Daniel Dale is suing Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford. Dale served Ford with a libel notice Thursday, the opening steps to a full-blown defamation lawsuit. “As my libel notice says, I’m asking Ford to immediately retract the false insinuation that I am a pedophile and all of his false statements about my conduct on May 2, 2012. I’m also asking Ford and Vision owner ZoomerMedia to apologize immediately ‘publicly, abjectly, unreservedly and completely.’”

The May incident involved Dale snapping photos on public property Ford was interested in purchasing. The parcel happened to be near Ford’s backyard, and Ford, with clenched fist, confronted Dale to get off his property. Ford claimed Dale was looking over his fence into his backyard, where his children play. Ford’s allegations back in May were false, and they remain so now. Only now, Ford has been busy implicating Dale as a pedophile to Canadian and U.S. news sources.

“He’s taking photos of little kids,” Ford told Conrad Black in an interview earlier this week.  “I don’t want to say that word, but you start thinking ‘What’s this guy all about.’”

The Star has Dale’s back, as much as it has Ford’s mayorship in its crosshairs.

Ford has yet to comment. [Dale’s statement; Globe article]

Travel Manitoba unveils new slogan for province 

Manitoba: Canada’s Heart Beats will be the provinces new slogan starting 2014. Travel Manitoba unveiled it as part of what will be a campaign to shift tourist attention from interminably cold winters and mosquitoes to the “iconic” outdoor activities the province has to offer. The campaign will feature a TV commercial, said to air during the Olympics, Junos, and on Air Canada flights. The rebrand initiative cost $2.4M, and hopes to boost tourism revenue from $1.5B in 2011 to $2B by 2020. [Source: CBC]

Kim Jong-un executes uncle in “reign of terror”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un executed his uncle, Chang Song-thaek, for “acts of treachery,” according to the country’s state-run media. Chang’s execution is being interpreted by South Korean defence chief Kim Kawn-jin as the Kim Jong-un’s ongoing “reign of terror.” Other South Korean leaders fear more nuclear testing and war noise will come from Pyongyang following this move. Read the BBC article for the full story and an informative infograph. [Source: BBC]

CPP buys Saskatchewan farmland

The tens of millions of Canadians who pay into CPP and are expecting to be dependent on its good investment choices, this brief is for you: CPP, that’s right, Canadian Pension Plan, has purchased115,000 acres of Saskatchewan farmland for $128M, according to CBC. The land is being purchased as part of the ag investment program CPP launched in 2012. The deal between CPP and Assiniboia Farmland LP is expected to close in January 2014. “Farmland is an attractive asset class that has historically delivered stable, risk-adjusted returns and the global outlook for agriculture in general is positive due to increasing demand for agricultural products,” André Bourbonnais, CPP’s senior vice-president of private investments, said in a news release. The land purchased is mostly fertile, good for growing grain, canola, etc. [Source: CBC]

 Home Alone star waxes pizza

“Oh, it’s such a pizza day. I’m glad I spent it with you. Oh, such a pizza day; you just keep me hanging on.”

There are many news happenings around the world and in the Prairies more important than this, but it’s Christmas, and Home Alone is on the tube I’m sure right now through to 2014. Macaulay Culkin, the cherub who defended his home against holiday nefarians, took over the Internet this week with news of his pizza-themed Velvet Underground band, The Pizza Underground. Old news? Yes. But what is new is this 15-minute documentary about Pizza Underground and their first show at Brooklyn’s Union Pool. If you’re reading this and in New York, The Pizza Underground will be playing a free show at NYC’s Baby’s All Right, where free pizza will be provided. [Source: Death and Taxes]

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Bonus brief: Fox News wants you to rest assured Jesus and Santa are white 

(Warning: This brief is rife with sarcasm)

Fox News host Megyn Kelly shared her genius with the world this holiday season, putting to rest the suggestions spread by freedom-hating Slate columnist Aisha Harris that Santa should not be a person at all, but a penguin. Harris grew up with black Santa, but experienced a white version when visiting shopping malls. “That this genial, jolly man can only be seen as white—and consequently, that a Santa of any other hue is merely a  “joke” or a chance to trudge out racist stereotypes—helps perpetuate the whole “white-as-default” notion endemic to American culture (and, of course, not just American culture),” she wrote in the Slate piece.

Kelly doesn’t buy it. Nay, she sees right through Harris. And, not only does she allow white Santa to live on, she brings white Jesus into play. You know, the white Jesus who was of Mediterranean descent living in the Middle East. And, Santa, St. Nicholas, the white man born in what is now Turkey.

“For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is. Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change, you know? I mean, Jesus was a white man too. He was a historical figure, that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa — I just want the kids watching to know that.”

It’s good to know Fox News doesn’t play fast and loose with the word ‘fact’. [Source: Death and Taxes; Slate]



Toban Dyck did not watch Home Alone on TV while writing this. But he wants you to know he could have.

For more follow @tobandyck and @spectatortrib