Ron Hynes, French Ambassador, Blue Jays, Candice Bergen and Goldie Hawn – Your Week in Review

November 19, 2015

Newfoundland and Labrador Loses its Troubadour

Ron HynesRon Hynes, Newfoundland’s “man of a thousand songs” passed away today at the Health Sciences Complex in St. John’s, the result of having had cancer. Moments after his death was announced, the power went out in downtown St. John’s, the result of a hydro pole catching file. The coincidence was not lost on Hynes’ many friends, fans, and fellow musicians.

Ron Hynes, along with the brilliant players of CODCO and the musicians of the Wonderful Grand Band, led the cultural renaissance of Newfoundland in the 1970s and 1980s. There is hardly a Newfoundland musician, actor, writer, poet—or average citizen for that matter—who would not credit these incredibly talented people, and Ron was a huge part of that group, for giving them the little push they needed to go out into the world with pride and ambition. And there’s no accounting for how that impact can be measured.

The CBC ran a documentary about him a few years ago. I watched it yesterday. Click here to take a look.

Here is the Obituary.


November 19, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays Bring Back Jesse Chavez From Oakland

BlueJays2The Toronto Blue Jays traded pitcher, Liam Hendricks, to the Oakland Athletics today in order to bring back Jesse Chavez who they traded in 2012.  The 32-year old Chavez has played for five teams in eight years has, apparently, improved his game in Oakland. He had a 0-2 record and 8.76 ERA in his career at the Rogers Centre.

In the past week, the Jays have also signed the one-year options on Bautista and Encarnacion and Dickie. They picked up Estrada for two years, who along with Stroman and Hutchinson will make up the starting rotation. They’ve let Cliff Pennington go to the Angels. Dioner Navarro is out there hanging, along with David Price.  What does it all mean?

On our behalf, Shi Davidi and a few other baseball writers are reading the entrails each Jays’ offseason move as portents of 2016 being a run for contention or a “building” year. With Beeston and Anthopoulos replaced by someone who might as well be an executive VP of human resources in an insurance company, I’m not seeing any reason for optimism.

But on the bright side—bravo for Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays 3rd baseman, who was awarded American League MVP on Thursday, the first Blue Jay since George Bell to do so in 30 years.


November 17, 2015

France’s ambassador to Canada calls refugee backlash “an intellectual aberration.”

France's Ambassador to Canada Nicolas Chapuis speaks to reporters following a vigil at Nepean Point, in Ottawa, on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, where people gathered to honour the victims of Friday's attacks in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

France’s Ambassador to Canada Nicolas Chapuis speaks to reporters following a vigil at Nepean Point, in Ottawa, on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, where people gathered to honour the victims of Friday’s attacks in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

In an effort to inject some factual matter into the maelstrom, France’s Ambassador to Canada, Nicolas Chapuis,  took to the media today to respond to the Canadian refugee backlash being fueled by the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris.

“Refugees – that’s part of the Syrian war,” Mr. Chapuis said. “These people are fleeing the same enemy. So let’s be coherent.”

“It is a mistake. It is an intellectual aberration. Seventy-five per cent of the refugees are women and children. Have any of the [IS] attacks involved a woman or a child? No,” he said.

Brad Wall, Conservative premier of Saskatchewan, is among the most prominent Canadian Conservatives who say refugees present a security risk. Wall has written Prime Minister Trudeau asking him to suspend the plan to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada. France’s ambassador to Canada vehemently disagrees with that position. The French government of Francois Hollande has, in fact, increased its commitment to refugees since the attacks.

During his media availabilities, Ambassador Chapuis also took the opportunity to explain that France has no objections to Canada pulling its F-16s out of Syria.

“It’s not at all that way that we look at what Canada intends. [Prime Minister Trudeau’s] cabinet was elected on that platform. Remember when other governments were elected on withdrawal from Afghanistan? And they did it. That’s part of democracy,” he said. “So we understand that.”


November 17, 2015

Conservative Opposition says she’s “Embarrassed and Sickened” by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

candice_bergen.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoCandace Bergen, federal Conservatiive Party of Canada (CPC) member for Portage-Lisgar since 2008 and former advocate of a “softer” approach to politics, continued her giddying ride around the mulberry bush today when she tweeted to say she was “embarrassed and sickened” by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s position regarding Syria.

The declaration was a whip around from her statements during the CPC’s election for interim leader when she campaigned on the premise that, “we need to be direct, we need to be forceful but we can’t be harsh. We can’t be shrill and we have to be respectful.”

As luck should have it, Rona Ambrose won the interim leadership and pop went the Mr. Nice Guy approach from Candace Bergen. In terms of the mulberry bush, inquiring minds want to know who’s the monkey and who’s the weasel.

Click here for an enlightening look at what else Ms. Bergen has to say on her official MP Twitter.

November 21, 2015

Goldie Hawn turns 70

Goldie HawnIn a jaw-dropping display of how time flies, star of sketch comedy show, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Oscar-winning actor, producer, writer, grandmother of five, and “It” Girl of the 70s, Goldie Hawn, turned 70 on November 21. Her shtick of playing the giggly dumb blonde philosopher made her one of the most popular performers on Laugh-In. The substantive and wide-ranging career as a producer and actor that has spanned almost 50 years has been called groundbreaking for women in Hollywood. This a vintage clip of her with Dean Martin in 1969 epitomizes her style and impact.


Author Photo 01 Sandy Tam Photography

Gail Picco is a strategist who has worked in the nonprofit sector for 25 years. She is the author of What the Enemy Thinks, a recent novel set in the nonprofit sector, and is Chair of the Board of the Regent Park Film Festival. She also writes about baseball and F1 racing.

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  1. Well chosen words about Ron Hynes, Gail. It is hard to measure the impact that Ron and the group around him had on our people, but one thing is sure – we don’t hear too many “Newfie” jokes any more.


  1. […] The Jays current starting pitchers line-up includes Marcus Stroman, R.J. Dickie, Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ. A few weeks ago they traded Liam Hendricks, to the Oakland Athletics to bring back Jesse Chavez, a former Blue Jay with an 0-2 record and 8.76 ERA in his career at the Rogers Centre. Click here for a refresher. […]

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