Justin Trudeau in the spotlight

The Sparky Covid-19 Briefing Bingo

Welcome back, Possums, to the Zoolander and Friends hour. As you can see we’re continuing our unspecified, guess-if-you-can arbitrary narrative framing device series. First we were Happy, then we were Heavy Metal. Now, Sparky. Possibly even electric! Like that one annoying light switch that hums angrily and occasionally snaps at you when you turn it on.

And you, Dear Readers, turn me on.


This is Sparky D’s world, and you’re living in it

Oh, oops. Sorry, wrong video. This is the one with our ensemble cast, even if they’re not here yet, fifteen minutes into the scheduled briefing. Lyrics SOMEWHAT different from the above, and, honestly, could really use a good backbeat to give it a bit more energy. Although it turns out that today’s briefing DOES have a lot of zip.

Neoliberalism: PoweredByOptimism™

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined by federal ministers Patty Hajdu (health), Anita Anand (public services and procurement), and Dominic LeBlanc (intergovernmental affairs), as well as Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer. They discuss Health Canada’s authorization of the use of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. This is the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Canada, and the fifth COVID-19 vaccine that Health Canada has approved.

And our briefing cards are here and NO I didn’t get you a new one because I didn’t expect another briefing this week, silly me.

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Speaking Moistly with Infrared

The Heavy Metal Covid-19 Briefing

Welcome to the second in our new series of Mystery Wrapped In A Riddle Though Otherwise Completely Arbitrary Narrative Framing Devices. Guess the over-arching theme and win a completely imaginary prize. Why?

It’s been A Year, Possums. It’s been a year.

The series will be ongoing till it’s over, which, who knows? There is some chaos in scheduling briefings lately, what with them getting shunted aside for Any Old Meeting, and there is some chaos in communicating the schedules, what with the Prime Minister’s website, where he usually broadcasts his schedule a day in advance, looking like it’s hidden behind a lead shield inside a faraday cage recently:

Yeah, decidedly non-optimal

Still looks like that on Chrome, too. What’s he got against Google, I wonder? Whoever designed this website is clearly involved in this product launch. We are unsure if the underwear is, like the car, made of an assortment of metals, heavy and otherwise, and composites. And that reminds me, or I mean us, wht ARE composites composed of?

Anyhoodle, here we are and here we go, with the video:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined by federal ministers Chrystia Freeland (finance) and François-Philippe Champagne (innovation). The prime minister announces a $518-million investment through the Canada Foundation for Innovation aimed at supporting hundreds of research projects in Canada. He also announces the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and lockdown support at their current levels until June. Trudeau faces questions on Canada’s timeline for COVID-19 vaccination following U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. was accelerating its rollout.

And our cards, and NO I didn’t get you a new one yet. Sorry! I should bang my head against a wall or something.

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The Happy Covid Briefing Bingo

I’m happy because I’ve got a fresh bag of espresso and enough money to get myself a moka pot!

We’re back, possums! And, after skipping Tuesday’s briefing entirely in favour of a virtual meeting with Biden (Trudeau) and dialing in to liveblog the Corey Hurren sentencing hearing (your humble blogger), very happy to be back. Well, I am anyway. No idea how Trudeau feels except that his palpable glee every time he mentions working with Biden instead of “He Who Must Not Be Named” makes me think he’d actively pay to spend eight hours a day in meetings with Biden. Yes, Doug Ford, you have been well and truly Thrown Over For Another Man. #RIPBromance

Back at our panel-style Covid briefings, back at Room 200 of the John A. MacDonald Building, which I at least find amusing because the use of the middle initial indicates that the federal government is worried you might mistake this building for another, named after some other John MacDonald. Perhaps a florist, or a goat farmer, or orthodontist. All honourable professions, to be sure. Better safe than sorry, that’s our federal government.

Which is now, by my count, seven minutes late to its Covid briefing in the building named after the first prime minister. He used to get through a bottle of sherry a day, plus assorted spirits and other potions. Like, a bottle of 14% abv sherry was his baseline. How did he keep his girlish figure, that’s what I want to know. A diet where you can put away a bottle of sherry a day and stay slim: that would make MANY people happy.

Anyhoodle, here is our video and our bingo cards, with 423 watching:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined by federal ministers Patty Hajdu (health), Anita Anand (public services and procurement), and Dominic LeBlanc (intergovernmental affairs), as well as Major-General Dany Fortin (vice president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada), Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer. They discuss Health Canada’s authorization of the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

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Corey Hurren

Corey Hurren Sentencing Hearing 1.0

Corey Hurren, the Manitoba QAnon fancier who drove for 28 hours to get to Ottawa, then rammed his truck through the gate at Rideau Hall, picked up three loaded long guns, and set off in pursuit of the Prime Minister, but then surrendered to the RCMP, had his sentencing hearing today in Ottawa. Reporters were permitted to connect to the Zoom call, while Hurren, defence counsel Michael Davies, and Assistant Crown Attorney Meaghan Cunningham were physically present in Courtroom 7, traditionally the home of sentencing for guilty pleas.

Less than an hour before Hurren drove his truck through the gates of Rideau Hall, a social media account for his business posted a meme that blames the global elite for COVID-19.

Al Jazeera

That post was an invitation to a post-pandemic party and suggestion they look up “Event 201,” Event 201 was a pandemic preparedness exercise, and QAnon supporters have claimed that it’s proof that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is behind a bio-terrorist plan using Covid-19.

A comment from Douglas Thew on that post now reads: “Methinks your “lockdown” is going to last a little longer than the rest of ours…” Which, arguable at this point. Unproven thesis.

He originally faced 21 weapons charges and one of threatening the prime minister, who was not home at the time.

Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to seven weapons charges related to possession of prohibited or restricted firearms “for a purpose contrary to the public peace.”

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of mischief by wilfully causing $100,000 worth of damage to the Rideau Hall gate.

CTV via CanadianPress

Hurren’s original charges, all 22 of them, had been filed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, or INSET, which is a counterterrorism unit. Over the course of almost a year of discussions, fourteen of the charges including the threat to Trudeau disappeared, leaving just seven weapons charges and the “mischief” for ramming his truck through the (quite substantial) iron gate.

From July 3, the day after the attack:

The original headline on that article referred to a “Friendly sausage-maker” ie the suspect in custody
Originally I agreed that Hurren’s armed-to-the-teeth and highly forcible incursion onto the grounds of Rideau Hall was an assassination attempt, I no longer believe it. I think clinically depressed Corey Hurren, out of work, with a failed business and a failing marriage, and with the guns in which he placed his own value as a man being newly-restricted by government, wanted to die. He wanted suicide by cop. And, when face to face with the officers on whom he was placing that burden, he simply couldn’t do it. He could not turn them into killers. Speculation, yes, possums, but That Note read enough like a suicide note that his own friends called the RCMP about it. This, by the way, is bog-standard QAnon procedure: you get them all fired up and apocalyptic, and then you just tell them to bring their guns and you let them wing it. That’s why Corey Hurren failed. That’s why the January 6 Insurrection failed. Not because anarchy fails, but because anarchy and fascism are opposites. If you’re a dutiful order-taker you’re the opposite of a lone wolf, regardless of what your favourite subreddit tells you.

After a slight, apparently Zoom-tech-related delay, the hearing got underway. Yes, we’ve been in a pandemic for a year now and everywhere should be pretty fluent in Zooming, but we’re talking about a government institution that still accepts faxes. We’re lucky they don’t still mandate wigs. Before we start, I find it interesting to note that the prosecutor, ie the Crown Attorney in Canadian Parlance, has given public presentations on trauma-informed prosecutions.

Here are my livetweets. Editorial comments will be added in later in italics.

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The Cursive Covid Briefing Bingo

Space may be flat, but there’s no reason our politics should be, possums. Welcome to today’s slightly off-centre, possibly infinite, arguably curved Covid-19 Briefing Bingo aka The Zoolander Show, coming to you live from yet another anonymous briefing room somewhere in downtown Ottawa.

I am told by the Prime Minister’s website that we are at:

Room 200
Sir John A. Macdonald Building
144 Wellington Street

Although he, apparently, is not.

Whyyyyyyyy does the Canadian government love QR codes so much? Are they stuck in 2011 forever? They’ve got them prominently displayed on the backs of chairs at the briefing, but they’re out of focus so none of the viewers can click on them.

Meanwhile, on Twitter things are getting interesting. wHaT cOuLd PoSsiBly gO WrOnG?

Is Doug Ford’s final form a toxin? Yeah, why should it be any different, eh?

513 watching the CPAC video, because by now everyone knows he’s always late.

And your bingo cards are here and yes, I forgot to get you a new one. The old ones are still plenty relevant, as I was reminded at 3am last night when I got into an argument about Uighurs on Twitter (they’ve been A Thing at these briefings for months, possums, it’s not like Trudeau has shied away from discussing the issue). But oh yes, we were talking about the cards:

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