Stuff happens, week 10: Jim gives in; Taber gets trashed.

As soon as the legislature resumed on Tuesday, the Prentice government did a complete about-face in its opposition to gay-straight alliances in schools, introducing amendments to Bill 10 to allow the alliances when requested. The Bill 10 kerfuffle was a self-inflicted wound that Prentice has now stitched up, hoping there is no scar left behind. What it has proven, however, is that the ‘conservative’ side of the PC party still holds a lot of sway over the ‘progressive’ side. While Prentice hopes he can put this whole sorry mess behind him, the passage of Bill 10 gives the opposition Alberta Liberals something to crow about. It was MLA Laurie Blakeman who introduced her private member’s bill on GSAs that led to the PCs reactionary Bill 10. See, Albertans? It’s good to have some variety in the legislature.

The southern Alberta town of Taber has come in for some mockery for some of its new bylaws on public behaviour. The bylaw imposes fines for fighting, spitting in public, yelling, screaming or swearing in public. Some of the laws (“an assembly of three or more people in any public place where a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the assembly will disturb the peace of the neighbourhood” is banned) are a little over the top, but realistically, most of the rest are basic laws in place almost everywhere. And if I may ask, if someone is yelling obscenities in public, shouldn’t that be illegal?

On International Women’s Day, Defence Minister Jason Kenny posted a picture on his Twitter account that he suggested was a picture of a Muslim woman who had been put in chains by Islamic extremists. Turns out, the picture was actually from a symbolic Shia Muslim ceremony. The Harper government’s hate agenda goes off the rails … again.

Big news in Canadian TV this week (yes, I know the words ‘big news’ and ‘Canadian television’ are as rare a combination as ‘Stephen Harper’ and ‘reasoned arguments’.) The CRTC announced a change to the Canadian content rules. Under the old rules, TV stations were forced to show 55 per cent Canadian content on daytime TV. Now, that rule has been eliminated, the idea being that Canadian TV can stop spending money on mediocre daytime TV and spend it on better quality prime time TV. First, I find it hard to believe Canadian TV has 55 per cent Can-con during the day. Even more unbelievable, the CRTC is leaving intact the rules that half of the TV shown between 6-11 p.m. is Canadian. Take a look at the CTV or Global prime time schedules; there is no way on earth there have 50 per cent Canadian content. Methinks CTV and Global will take the money they save on not producing Canadian daytime TV and spend it on buying more American primetime TV.

A working meth lab was found in an Indiana Wal-Mart washroom. Local meth dealers immediately complained that Wal-Mart was undercutting their prices.

Folowing the taping of a ‘roast’ of Justin Bieber, the pesky pop star apologized for his bad behaviour, proving that by saying ‘sorry’, he hasn’t lost touch with his Canadian roots. You know what he should have apologized for? His music. 

RIP: Sam Simon, 59, co-creator of The Simpsons, of colon cancer. Simon, who also wrote for sitcoms like Cheers, Taxi and The Drew Carey Show, was instrumental in developing The Simpsons in its first four years, but left after that point after clashing with creator Matt Groening. But when he left, he retained the executive producer title you still see today, and was given royalties from future home video sales. It provided him with tens of millions of dollars a year in royalties, much of which he gave to various charities. More importantly, he gave the world the gift of The Simpsons … Al McCann, 85, the longtime sports guy on CFRN TV back in the day when local TV had familiar local faces.

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