The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

CBC TV & Radio shows plus HNIC

His work with Artists for Peace and Justice

UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The G-Files

When searching the internet to bring fresh news to the blog we come across some odd sometimes not so fresh little stories or links about George or The Hour. These are the G-Files.

Uncyclopedia has a page about George with a reference to his show "The Shower with George Stroumboulopoulos". The page also goes on to describe George as a geekdude. This page pokes fun at George and The Hour and the CBC. It's a little like reading Mad Magazine's look at Strombo... Maybe if they had a Canadian edition they would...

WikiWorld also has a page about George, This cartoon was made back in the nose ring days.


Ms. Stroumboulopoulos here has been a friend of George's from the days when The Hour was live on Newsworld and meteorologist Clare Martin and George would banter back and forth with each other during her weather announcements following The Hour's broadcast from the studios in Toronto.

Now when you see her doing the weather, it's from Vancouver and there is no banter. It looks like they gave her a really good hair and wardrobe budget at the BC studio, yet in the picture, she is sporting this simple black T-shirt. Is it retro or a new fashion trend?


How does Technology affect Television? is a post from the Yahoo Canada Answer Team. This is the last G-link I will post for now. The blog will post more G-Files as we come across the odd stories.

Website Update

Are you enjoying your summer? Enjoying revisiting all your favourite (and not so favourite) interviews from the past season on The Hour reruns? Ready for some new episodes of The Hour? They're coming... soon.

Season Five is slated to premiere just over six weeks from now on Monday, September 15th. That may still seem like a long time from now, but down in The Hour offices, they are already working hard to bring us a fresh and exciting season. One of the first new things we've noticed is that the "About The Hour" page on the The Hour's website was updated today. With an updated description of the show, and an updated rundown of George's career accomplishments, the page even gives us a little teaser about where the show may go in Season 5:
In fact, next season, we plan to broadcast several shows from Los Angeles.
A bit of a change from London and Vancouver, but maybe they'll visit other cities as well. If you could pick where The Hour visits this season, where would you send George and the crew? Let us know where and why.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

No Chicks Allowed! This Week on The Hour

The Week kicks off as always with The Strombo Show. Live from 5-8Pm EST on 102.1 The Edge (Toronto), 99.3 The Fox (Vancouver), Power 97 (Winnipeg), Y108 (Hamilton), and FM96 (London)

Requests? Hit George's Myspace, 'The Strombo Show' Facebook Group or call 1-866-967-3343

There will be music. Talky talk. Some sketchy advice. Ritual Sacrifice. Maybe Bob will be back?

In talking picture box news... as of this posting... an estrogen free zone has been declared on The Hour this week! Unless you count Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins... two of the "urgliest" but funniest 'women' in all of music video history. They'll be on Friday's show...

As always... check out The Hour's website for the latest.

Monday July 28th
James Appathurai

UN Spokesperson, Canadian James Appathurai reads more newspapers in a day than most of us do in a week. Or a month... or perhaps ever. The import of his role is astounding, yet he's surprisingly down to earth and funny.

Eric Peterson
Most noted for his current role as Oscar on Corner Gas, Peterson thrives just as much on his role as activist as actor. Corner Gas is entering their final season this Fall. I'd personally love a Street Legal reunion. We could call it 'Everyone Loves Leon'. Last I saw 'Chuck' and 'Olivia' together was on stage at the Stratford Festival!

Warren MacDonald
Ever feel like life's thrown you a lemon? Reflect on the amazing accomplishments of adventurer, author and motivational speaker Warren MacDonald. As a double amputee he's scaled heights - literally and figuratively- that are astounding. He'll leave you inspired or feeling quite a bit the underachieving slacker. Maybe both...

Jason Blake

Athletes know about dedication, playing through injury, pain and illness. Showing no fear. No one knows this like Toronto Maple Leaf Jason Blake. His battle with leukemia and how it's motivated him to make a difference for others is heartfelt. He's embraced his fear and is fighting back.
Maybe THIS will be the Leafs' year! Ok. Stop laughing. You don't know how hard that was to type with a straight face.

Tuesday, July 29th
Angelo Dundee
Literally a man you'd want in your corner. A boxing legend who trained 'The Greatest of All Time' Muhammad Ali. Dundee worked with Ali when he was an upstart kid named Clay. Cassius Clay.

He has praise for the future of the sport and for the quality of Canadian boxers. He also weighs in on 'Rope-a-Dope'. He's energetic, engaging and maybe just a little nuts - a good nuts!

Wednesday, July 30th
Jamie Oliver

Delicious. Totally tasty and satisfying. And we're not talking about the food. Jamie is yummy.
Whether challenging - and winning - a battle with the British Government to support increased funding to ban unhealthy food from school dinners; training young unemployed youth to be chefs or by creating yet another cookbook or TV series - Jamie is at the forefront of the celebrity chef phenomenon. And he's not irritating like Rachael Ray. Yes, I said it.

Thursday, July 31st
Carlo Rota

This is tricky. He's a prominent and BUSY actor but I don't watch 24 or Little Mosque on the Prairie. I'm sure they're highly entertaining and he does a great job. I fondly recall Carlo from The Great Canadian Food Show and from his appearances on The Hour. He's told of the epic adventure of losing and ultimately finding his dog; and in one of the more disturbing "Best Story Ever" segments, a near miss with an enamoured Freddie Mercury. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Friday, August 1st
Foo Fighters

The Foos are among the rare groups in music today. Commercially successful, critically lauded - they've stood the test of time. This interview though is a lot about being dads. Stepping up. Being responsible. Very cool.

Everlong - one of the most enduring songs in their catalogue was the song huge Foo Fan David Letterman asked the boys to play on his first Late Show back after his heart surgery. Their 2007 release Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace provides proof that the Foos will Fight on...

Enjoy the week revisiting with the 'Boys' of Summer and if you're gearing up for a Civic Holiday weekend - have fun pretending to work on Friday!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Just For Laughs: The All-Star Ethnic Show


As you've read recently her on the blog, George hosted a Just for Laughs special that will be broadcast on the CBC later this year. Held at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto, the gala event showcased some of the best ethnic comedians from Canada, the States and the UK. A few of the Stroumboulopouli members, and other friends of the blog, The Hour and The Strombo Show were in the audience that night. Here's what the blog members thought of the evening.

I count my blessings to be in the front row due to a friends quick booking prowess and not due to any imagined connections. So my impression of the Winter Gardens Theatre is one of beautiful old elegance with a nice haunting atmosphere. I think the gentleman that seated us was the ghost they report that haunts the place. After I took a couple of pictures of the scene that ghost asked me politely not to take any more photographs...
Being in the front row I saw the cameras taping the audience reaction pointed at us more than a few times... I am sure I was laughing at the time because there was very few moments from start to finish that I was not laughing or smiling. From the warm up Comic to our Host George Stroumboulopoulos participating in his own personal skits interspersed with the professional 'ethnic' comedians of whom Jo Koy is my favourite. The Doo-Wops come a close second... But they were all good and took on the subject of ethnicity from their own unique perspectives with sometimes shocking observations or insults. I learned a few things... It made me think about peoples perceptions... and it made me laugh 'til it hurt.


This was my first Just for Laughs event that I'd attended, so I was fairly excited to attend and experience what I'd grown up watching on the CBC from Montreal. Before the lineup was announced, I hadn't heard much of the comedians work, and I liked that, because it was all fresh to me. Overall the evening was hilarious, from warmup act Tim Nutt through the opener talking about George's heritage and through all the comedians. I laughed so hard at Gina Yashere's tales of confusing the general public as a black woman with an English accent and the Doo-Wops musical antics. Capping the evening off with Jo Koy's impersonations of his mom, her pointing lips and her constant search for "talent" was amazing. There were a couple moments during the evening that I thought a couple comedians went too far in search of a laugh, but overall it was a fantastic evening of comedy. It will be interesting to see how they edit the final show together.

Look for the special sometime in the autumn. We will post the airdate when it becomes available!

Have a laugh-filled weekend! If you're in the Toronto area, there are a lot of Just for Laughs events going on. Check out the Just for Laughs website for details.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Whole Lotta Laughter...

This Wednesday, July 23rd, at the Winter Garden Theatre, the All-Star Ethnic Show will kick off this year's Just for Laughs Festival in Toronto, hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos.

This will be a fantastic show, celebrating Toronto's rich diversity, with some of the best Ethnic comedians currently performing.

The Doo-Wops made their first Just for Laughs appearance in 2001 in Montreal, winning the Homegrown Comedy Competition. Since then, they've released two self-produced albums and have appeared on most of the big Canadian comedy shows, including this excerpt from their appearance on Comedy Now!:

Joe Derosa got his start in comedy in Philidelphia, PA and was soon a regular on the local stages. After taking a leap and moving to New York, Derosa has appeared in most of the major comedy venues across North America, including the Nasty Show at Just for Laughs Montreal.

Coming all the way from the UK, Gina Yashere was the first comedian from the UK to appear on Russell Simon's Def Jam.

Last year, Daily Variety named Jo Koy one of the "ten comedians to watch".

KT Tatara began his stand up comedy career after he graduated college at the age of 20 he was recently featured as one of the best "New Faces of Comedy" at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival.

Named the Best Stand-Up Comedian at the 2004 HBO Aspen Comedy Festival, Al Madrigal is considered one of the up and coming comedians to watch out for.

When Sugar Sammy played South Africa recently, his one man show sold a record 10 000 tickets.

It's going to be a great night of comedy, so make sure that you come down to the Winter Garden theatre for a great night of laughter. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for the really great price of $20.00 (plus services charges and tax, unless you buy it right from the Winter Garden). If you're not in Toronto, the CBC will be taping the gala and will air it later this year.


Summer Strombo Shows....(say 3 times fast!)

Shows for July 20th - 25th

The Strombo Show was broadcast from CBS Studios in Hollywood for the second week, with the help of his Toronto crew at The Edge.
A topic discussed: If your employer were to ban Facebook would you quit your job? Prompting an on-air phone call from two members of TV's Rent-A-Goalie and hilariously inspiring a facebook group.
Along with the eclectic range of music, George talked with Rob Halford, lead singer from Judas Priest, about their new album Nostradamus.

*Although The Hour's interviews are re-runs from the previous season, I've added links for a few recent tid-bits about some of the guests, for your enjoyment.

Mon, July 21
Sue Johanson
Host of Talk Sex, who incidentally, had George on as a guest for her TV special: "What Men Really Want"

Ryan Reynolds

Vancouver-born actor who is currently filming: The Proposal.
Ironically enough, a movie in which Sandra Bullock faces deportation to Canada & makes a deal with her assistant (Ryan), to stay in the States.

Tues, July 22
Jean Chretien
Recently having won a victory in the ruling of the sponsorship scandal.

Raine Maida
Raine & wife Chantal Kreviazuk just welcomed their 3rd son into the world, on June 28/08. Congrats!

Wed, July 23
Diana Krall
Requested by Tony Bennett (Also a previous guest of The Hour) to sing with him.

Wes Anderson & Jason Schwartzman
All I could find was an AmEx commercial, you may or may not have seen.

Thur, July 24
Dave Foley
Wrapping up production in an 80's set Christmas comedy: Cooper's Camera

Augusten Burroughs
His take on Fame.

Fri, July 25

K.T. Tunstall
Performing in New Brunswick on Aug.2/08 at the Magnetic Hill Music Festival

Dr. Henry Morgentaler
Controversially named to the prestigious Order of Canada on July 1st.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A step closer or more fuel on the fire?


Today at The Hague, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, lead prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, presented evidence to indict Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir on ten counts, including crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur. This indictment comes three years after the United Nations Security Council requested that Moreno-Ocampo investigate the situation in Darfur. According to a press release from the ICC:
The Prosecution evidence shows that Al Bashir masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity. Members of the three groups, historically influential in Darfur, were challenging the marginalization of the province; they engaged in a rebellion. AL BASHIR failed to defeat the armed movements, so he went after the people. “His motives were largely political. His alibi was a ‘counterinsurgency.’ His intent was genocide. ” The Prosecutor said.
The evidence is now being reviewed by the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber. A ruling on the arrest warrent is expected in the early fall. A ten page summary of the Prosecution's case is available on the ICC website.

So what does this mean? Well, there are two schools of thought on this.

The first, claims that this arrest warrant will destroy the already fragile peace effort and send Darfur into a spiral of violence. Already, the United Nations has plans in place to pull out all but the most essential of their civilian workers out of the region. Just last week, seven UN peacekeepers were killed in an ambush with militiamen believed to be from the Janjaweed. Other international groups, such as Médecins Sans Frontières, have either already removed or are planning on moving their non-essential workers out of the Darfur region, citing concerns of retribution and violence. In the week since Moreno-Ocampo notified UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon his plan to table this indictment, members of the security council have met privately. Both China and Russia warn that any direct move against Bashir will jeopardize future peace talks and aid to the victims.

And they may very well be right. In response to the indictment, the Sudanese government has rejected and denied the charges... calling them lies and fabrications of a "stooge court". On Sunday, the ruling party of Sudan, the National Congress Party, warned that the indictment would bring further bloodshed and violence to the area. Peter Martell, a freelance reporter in Khartoum told CBC:
"The country is furious and they are very angry, and they are directing this anger toward the UN, who operate a large mission here. So the fear is that may have some implication on the mission of the UN in Sudan."
On the other hand, there is a second school of thought that says that this indictment may just be the leverage that the peace process needs, and could be the spark needed to bring this atrocities to an end. The New York Times quotes John Pendergrast, co-founder of Enough, a group seeking the end of genocide and a former Clinton advisor as saying:
“Suddenly, a new variable has entered the equation in the form of the request for an arrest warrant. While the I.C.C. judges consider this request over the next two months, there is a new point of major leverage over Bashir.”
In the same article, the International Crisis Group's deputy president Nick Grono states that this indictment sitting over Bashir's head may make him realise his options are dwindling.

There's one problem with this school of thought. President Bashir and his government do not recognise the International Criminal Court, claiming it does not have any jurisdiction in Sudan. Speaking at a ceremony marking the signing of a new election law for Sudan, which would see free elections in the country for the first time in 23 years, Bashir is quoted in an Africa-Reuters article:
"Whoever has visited Darfur, met officials and discovered their ethnicities and tribes... will know that all of these things (including ethnic cleansing) are lies."
In an interview with the Associated Press, Sudanese Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamed stated that the government is looking at all of their options, including military force. Mohamed claims that Bashir is planning on visiting the United Nations General Council in the autumn and that any attempt to arrest him at that time would be considered worthy of a military response.

Before he made this move in the International Criminal Court, Moreno-Ocampo knew that many wanted him to delay presenting evidence, but as he told the New York Times:

“Some people have said that for me to intervene at this point is shocking. I say what is going on now is shocking. Genocide is going on now, and it is endangering the lives of many more people.”

* * *
Early in Season four of The Hour, George interviewed ICC Lead Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. This interview offers a good backgrounder into the situation in Darfur as well as what lead up to today's indictment. Also, as many of you know George travelled to Darfur with musician Raine Maida in 2004. After Maida's December 2007 appearance on The Hour, George posted a crazy story from Darfur on After the Hour. George also interviewed Sgt. Debbie Bodkin, a Waterloo police officer who went to Darfur as a UN Investigator.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What's on July 13th to 19th...

So what are you up to on your summer vacation? Do you even get a summer vacation? Hopefully you all get a chance to kick your feet up, relax and enjoy a cool beverage with family and friends.

This week, The Strombo Show goes on the road and is coming to you live from L.A., where George is working on stuff for the new season of The Hour and enjoying some R&R. Who's on the show this week? Grey's Anatomy's "McSteamy", Eric Dane.
Make sure you tune in 5-8 ET (2-5 PT, 4-7 CT) to 99.3 The Fox in Vancouver, Power 97 in Winnepeg, FM96 in London, Y108 in Hamilton and 102.1 The Edge or log onto any of the listed stations to stream the show from your computer.

Coming up on
The Hour this week, we've got a good melange of interviews. What else is going with these guests since they appeared on The Hour?

Monday, July 14th

Tony Robbins

For those interested in attending one of Robbins'
"Unleash the Power Within!" weekends, he will be in Toronto July 25-28 and in Vancouver October 17-20.

Nigella Lawson

Looking for a new recipe? Make sure you check out the
recipe index on Lawson's page... it's huge and if you're looking for a specific type of recipe, there is a handy search function. According to the Top Five list on her site, four of the five most popular recipes contain chocolate... number one is her Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe.

Kenneth Cole

Check out
AWEARNESS: The Kenneth Cole Blog.
As Cole says in the introduction, the blog
a place to "sit back, pour yourself a glass
intelligent debate and throw another
on the fire."

Tuesday, July 15

Jeff Goldblum
Goldblum has signed on as a detective on
the long running series

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent",
replacing Chris Noth who was with the
series for three seasons.

Naomi Klein
If you're interested in reading more of
Klein's work, check out the

articles section on her website.

Paul Anka
Looking for a new ringtone?
Consider one from Paul Anka...
available in his online store.

Wednesday, July 16

It's a mystery night...
stay tuned for more information!

Thursday, July 17

Take an Hour flashback tonight, back to their trip to London tonight with:

Kylie Minogue
On July 3rd, Minogue was named an Officer of the
Order of the British Empire at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Minogue also received France's highest cultural honour, the Order of Arts and Letters, in May of this year.

Ricky Gervais

According to,
Gervais recently took over
Madison Square Garden
in New York City to tape
a comedy special for HBO.

That's it from the land of Strombo this week.

If you're in the Toronto area, make sure you pick up your tickets for the Just for Laughs: Ethnic All-Stars Show on Wednesday, July 23 at the Winter Garden Theatre. The evening includes comedians Jo Koy, The Doo-Wops, Gina Yashere, Al Madrigal, Joe Derosa, KT Tatara and the crazy musical duo, the Doo-Wops.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

George and Jury

The envelope peeks from your mailbox. It’s officious looking. With trembling fingers you open the envelope. Oh, no – it can’t be. Oh, yes – it be. Congratulations young grasshopper – you’ve been selected for Jury Duty!

So, if you are like me, you recall you uttered some most unladylike language and then tried to create some legitimate sounding excuse why you could not serve. No dice. The judge is scary. You recall your father had endured the process not more than 2 months earlier. Although his number was pulled from the drum, the defence attorney didn’t take kindly to his conservative demeanour and he was bounced. Well done dad.

His sage advice? Honey – wear your most conservative suit. If your number is pulled and you have to make eye contact with the defendant? Stare at him like you want him to fry. So… it happens just as it should. Black suit, white blouse. Number pulled from the drum. Stare coldly at arson boy (or ALLEGED arson boy) like I KNEW in my bones the little bastard was guilty. Jury duty? Not that day, thank you very much. Sweet.

Jury duty of a distinctly different stripe can be both fun and rewarding – for jurors, artists and music lovers alike! It’s Polaris Music Prize time again – and for a musically schizophrenic type like myself it’s among the highlights of the year.

Founded in 2006 by former record Exec Steve Jordan, the Polaris Music Prize awards $20,000 to the top album of the calendar year. 185 jurors with no financial ties to any musicians; from all geographic regions of the country and representative of music experts, journalists from all media - television, radio, online radio, print and even music bloggers are selected. Hell – there’s even representation from MuchMusic and they barely play any music at all. But I digress.

Champions of quality music such as George Stroumboulopoulos, Grant Lawrence, Alan Cross are among the authorities selected by the Polaris Board of Directors to participate in the process.

Jurors submit their favourite 5 Canadian Albums released between June 1st, 2007 and May 31st 2008. There are no limits or restrictions on genre, labels or sales numbers. Selections are based on artistic merits only. From these results the Top 40 or 'Long List' is determined. Lather, rinse, repeat. The jury votes again, selecting their top 5 from the Long List to determine the top 10 from which the jury of 11 participants will determine the overall winner.

The Announcement of the short list will be aired live from Toronto's Drake Hotel on Monday, July 7th @ 11am EST on CBC Radio 3, hosted by Grant Lawrence.

Now, if you peruse the long list, you may see some omissions. Luke Doucet's - Blood's Too Rich is mine. Glaring.

2006 and 2007 nominees included heavy hitters like Broken Social Scene, Feist, The New Pornographers, Metric and the pride of Montreal - Patrick Watson - 2007's Winners!

The best byproduct of Polaris time is it serves to stimulate passionate debate and abundant
pride in the tremendous variety and depth of talent we enjoy in Canadian music. The long list allows you to root for your favourites and explore the few or perhaps numerous artists on the list you may not be familiar with.

I marvel at the list for the many that I have been fortunate to see perform live and those who's discs I have in my vast collection. Many fall into both categories. Again, musically schizophrenic - what of it? If you can see Buck65 perform at a small club one night, Kathleen Edwards perform in a traditional auditorium setting on another, Justin Rutledge in a 'listening room' and cap it off with Cancer Bats at a large, loud and decidedly sketchy venue... all good.

I have started to plow through the long list for a couple of bands I was not familiar with. Really liking The Acorn and Plants and Animals. In this era of Myspace - exploration is dead simple.

Might I also point out the obvious? It's summer! Prime touring time, festival season and a plethora of FREE music events across this beautiful country of ours. Take in as many shows as you can - many nominated artists of similar genres will perform together for a two fer or better. Buy a CD. Meet the artists. Congratulate them on pursuing their art, their dreams, their muse and creating the music that YOU love. Musical Christmas in July? You bet your ass.

Personally, I'm rooting for Buck65, Constantines, Basia Bulat, Kathleen Edwards, Cancer Bats, Justin Rutledge, Crystal Castles, The New Pornographers, Protest the Hero, The Weakerthans, Holy Fuck, Stars and Tegan and Sara. Ok... so that's 13 - I didn't profess to be strong in math.

For kicks, I've already started to compile my own list for 2009.

Based on the long list - who's missing? Who's YOUR favourite?

**Update** The SHORT list is out and includes 5 of my top 13...who would YOU vote for?

Check out the links to myspace pages on the Polaris Page HERE

Short List:

Black Mountain - In The Future
Basia Bulat - Oh, My Darling
Caribou - Andorra
Kathleen Edwards - Asking For Flowers
Holy Fuck - LP
Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue
Shad - The Old Prince
Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
Two Hours Traffic - Little Jabs
The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

Who've YOU seen LIVE that's not to be missed?

I wish you all an incredible summer filled with the sweet and perhaps the more angry, raw and not so sweet sounds found in the very best of Canadian Music...ENJOY!

The week ahead...

The week kicks off today with another installment of The Strombo Show.

After looking at the show's Facebook Group, it would appear that today's edition is a "Best Of" show, while George continues to enjoy his well-deserved vacation. Even a "Best Of" show still has great music, chat and interviews!!!
Check it out starting at 5 pm (est) on these Corus Radio stations:
The Edge 102.1 (Toronto)
The Fox 99.3 (Vancouver)

Power 97 (Winnipeg)
Y108 (Hamilton)

FM96 (London)

On The Hour this week:

Monday, July 7th

The full-hour special with Coldplay.

Tuesday, July 8th

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters.

Wednesday, July 9th

Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh.

Thursday, July 10th

Actor John Cusack.

Friday, July 11th

Canadian music icon (and apparent dental hygienist wannabe) Bryan Adams.

Ha Ha Ha

This week it was announced that George Stroumboulopoulos would be hosting

the Ethnic All-Stars Show during Just for Laughs Toronto Festival.

Tickets for the show can be purchased by clicking here.

(Hint, hint, hint...the special promo code is STROMBO!)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Chatting with George...

Movie Entertainment Magazine released a exclusive interview with George on their website earlier this week. Recorded at the CBC's Fall Season Launch in May, Judith Klassen chatted with George as season four of The Hour was winding down about his nickname, what the transition was like when he moved to the CBC, the motivation behind the Cold Openers, how working on The Hour is like being in a band and much more.

At over 17 minutes long, it's an interesting look into the world of Strombo. Go the Movie Entertainment website to download the exclusive interview.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Regarding Henry

"Women no longer die as a result of abortion, women no longer get cut up or damaged as a result of abortion, women no longer lose their fertility as a result of abortion. The situation has improved greatly over most of Canada, and I'm proud of that."

~ Dr. Henry Morgentaler

On July 1st, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced the latest appointees to the Order of Canada, our nation's highest civilian honour. Among them, one of Canada's most controversial citizens, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, "for his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations."

Born in Poland in the 20's, Morgentaler survived Auschwitz. After WWII, he immigrated to Canada, settled in Montreal, completed his studies in medicine and opened his practice. In 1967 Morgentaler addressed a House of Commons "Health and Welfare Commitee", advocating that Canada repeal its abortion laws so as "to give women the right to choose". In challenging the Criminal Code, he performed abortions in his clinic in contravention of the law and was charged and then acquitted in several jury trials. When a higher court overturned a lower court decision, he served ten months in jail. In 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the abortion laws, deeming them unconstitutional.

If you missed Dr. Morgentaler's visit to The Hour last October, you can watch the interview here.

Since the announcement of Dr. Morgentaler's appointment, the decision of the Order's Advisory Council , has been debated in the court of public opinion. Here are some opposing views...

"Dr. Morgentaler upholds the Canadian values of democracy, human rights,
equality for women."
~ Joyce Arthur, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

“Canada’s highest honour has been debased. We are all diminished.”
~ Most Rev. Thomas Collins, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto

"Dr. Morgentaler’s efforts put both his reputation and his personal safety at risk in the name of advancing a woman’s right to choose. I believe the Order of Canada is an appropriate way to recognize the sacrifices he made in the name of women’s rights. Today, abortion is safer and more accessible in Canada and that is something we can never take for granted."

~ Jack Layton, NDP leader

"Henry Morgentaler’s Canada is not my Canada."
~ Douglas Farrow, associate professor of Christian Thought, McGill University

I have always had conflicting views on the issue of abortion. I often associate those who perform the procedure in the context of "one man's (or in this case, woman's) terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". In cases of rape/incest or where pre-natal testing determines severe birth defects exist and there would be little (if any) quality of life, I think yes. In the case of sexual irresponsibilty, where abortion becomes a form of birth control after the fact, I consider all the people unable to have children who are on an adoption waiting list and I think no.

Should Dr. Henry Morgentaler be a recipient of the Order of Canada? I guess it depends on WHO you consider him to be...a terrorist or a freedom fighter?