By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
The unofficial public audit of Senator Pamela Wallin’s expense account continues apace.
“Let us put the spending of these tax dollars into perspective,” NDP MP Wayne Marston graciously offered shortly before Question Period, referring to some $300,000 in “other” travel expenses apparently claimed by the Senator over the last few years. “This could have paid for one year of old age security for 57 seniors. It took the combined taxes of 28 hard-working Canadian families to pay for this person’s ‘other’ travel. Think about it. Every single dime in taxes for 28 Canadian families just to cover this senator’s ‘other’ travel.”
There is probably a worthwhile proposal here somewhere to make the Senate entirely dependent on voluntary public pledges.
A minute later, Thomas Mulcair stood and pegged the Senator’s travel expenses at $350,000 over a 27-month period. The NDP leader was displeased, but the Prime Minister was apparently unconcerned.
“Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the amount spent by the Senator for travel is similar to that of other parliamentarians,” he said.
In fact, Mr. Harper had an example.
“Just to give an example of that, for instance, over the past three years the average amount spent on travel to and from provinces by western members of the New Democratic Party has been $350,000,” the Prime Minister reported, having apparently stayed up late last night to do the math. “These are the costs that parliamentarians incur when they travel back and forth from Ottawa to their provinces. That is what the senator has done. Of course, all senators and members are committed to ensuring these expenses are appropriate.”
Mr. Mulcair was not quite persuaded to drop the subject. Continue…
By Jason McBride - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM - 0 Comments
The indie film company prefers Collingwood, to Hollywood, for churning out cheap flicks
It’s the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, and venerable character actor Julian Richings appears to be having sex with an alien. Or is he being eaten? The two are locked in a strange, uneasy embrace, rolling around in the wet grass on a film set near Owen Sound, Ont. The alien looks a bit like the ectomorphic spawn of the Silver Surfer and something out of Hellraiser. A tiny crew sets up a bread-loaf-sized Red Epic digital video camera, the same model used to shoot The Hobbit. Director Matt Wiele makes sure the alien’s arms are properly positioned around Richings’ body, and the actor’s angular face contorts. Just before the camera rolls, he yells out, in his distinct Oxfordshire accent, “Who wrote this s–t?”
The writer in question lies face down about 20 feet away, in a puddle of mashed bananas and fake blood—movie brains. Tony Burgess is a Canadian novelist and screenwriter, best known for Pontypool Changes Everything, a novel about a killer virus he adapted for director Bruce McDonald’s 2008 film Pontypool. His most recent work, Idaho Winter, a metafictional head-scratcher in the guise of a young adult novel parody, has been shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award. Burgess wrote the screenplay for this particular film, Ejecta—about a gonzo documentary filmmaker who stumbles across a mysterious crash landing site—in just three days. It’s the first of a trio of no-budget films he’s written for Foresight Features, all of which will be shot this summer and early fall. Burgess typically writes a small part for himself—hence the brains.
Foresight is the independent film production company behind the acclaimed horror movies Exit Humanity, a Civil War-era zombie flick, and Monster Brawl, about a wrestling match to the death featuring a host of classic movie monsters. The outﬁt’s affable 30-year-old principals—Jesse T. Cook, John Geddes and Matt Wiele—all wear many hats. In fact, they pretty much wear all of the hats, doing everything from producing to props, with each taking a turn at directing. At 2 a.m. on the Ejecta set, as Wiele called out another take on a troublesome scene, Geddes wandered among the drowsy crew, handing out restorative chicken kebabs.