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More at stake than hats in the Brampton Centre ring

Daniella Johnson coming home for the expected Federal election call By Stephen Weir.   Any day now, long-time Guelph community activist and volunteer Daniella Johnson is expected to announce that she is seeking the Federal Liberal nomination in the contentious riding of Brampton Centre. In a lengthy Zoom interview with reporter Stephen Weir, Johnson says that she is resigning her post with the LIFT Philanthropy Partners ( a national, non-profit organization that helps vulnerable and at-risk Canadians) and moving to Brampton to pursue the nomination  in the next federal election.  Although there has been no formal announcement on when the next election will be held, political pundits say that the only question is whether the final federal vote will be sometime in late spring or in early fall this year. Brampton Centre has long been a Liberal riding and normally one would expect the sitting member to run for re-election but that will not be the case this time around.     The incumbent  R

Two Stories. Same Theme. Caribbean Cdn authors dominate literary scene. Kellough and Lubrin in the news

  Kei Kellough makes the shortlist for the Gleed Award Caribbean Canadian writers continue succeed even during these stay-at-home times By Stephen Weir Last May  Kaie Kellough  won the richest poetry prize in the land.  The Guyanese Canadian poet Kaie Kellough was awarded the annual $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for his poetry book,  Magnetic Equator.  Almost a year to the day Kellough has made the shortlist for  twenty-fourth annual Danuta Gleed Literary Award for his short story collection  Dominoes at the Crossroads .   The Writers' Union of Canada administers the Gleed Award and announced the shortlist of contenders earlier this month. The Award recognizes the best first collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2020 in the English language. The prize consists of cash prizes for the three best first collections, with a first prize of $10,000 and two additional prizes of $1,000. Five authors have made the shortlist.  In addition to Kellough; Frances Boyle (See

It Sounded Like A Great Idea At The Time

New Jerk Chicken Ice Cream Dropped on April 1st. By Stephen Weir : It sounded like a good idea at the time.   Jerk Chicken Ice Cream . I did a newspaper feature article about  Neale’s Sweet N’ Nice   ice cream a couple years ago and never thought the Trinidadian Canadian owner  Andrew McBarnett , would tell his biggest fan a whopper. Since that story was published, I have been stalking their Facebook site for product news for Caribbean Canadian ice cream  gossip. So, on Friday when I read on social media that they had created  Jerk Chicken Ice Cream  I decided I would actually leave our home and stand in-line and get a tub of ice cream at our nearby Metro store. I have been vaccinated but I still wear a mask. Glad I did because when I went to the food market, I got annoyed that I couldn't find the Jerk Chicken Ice Cream in the frozen food section and sternly told the store manager they were missing the boat by not stocking the  Neale’s Sweet N’ Nice   new flavour.  The store assure

Breaking Major Poetry News

It happened today Canisia Lubrin one of three Canadian poets in the running for one of the world’s largest poetry purses, the Griffin Prize By Stephen Weir:   With each passing major literary prize, St Lucian Canadian poet  Canisia Lubrin  shows that her place is on the world’s literary stage.  Fresh on the heels of winning the $200,000 American Windham-Campbell Prize, the Whitby author has learned today that she is now in the running for Canada’s largest poetry prize. This morning,  Scott Griffin, the founder of  The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry , announced the International and Canadian shortlists for this year’s prize. Three Canadians including Lubrin are in the running for the annual $65,000 Canadian poetry prize. The Griffin was founded in 2000 to encourage and celebrate excellence in poetry. The prize is for first edition books of poetry written in, or translated into, English and submitted from anywhere in the world. Every year the Griffin family gives out two prizes ;

Two Caribbean Canadian authors got the Zoom calls of their lives.

$410,000 later Brand and Lubrin are still gobsmacked (and then some)  What do you say when you find out you have just on $205,000? For two Caribbean Canadian authors, Canisia Lubrin and Dionne Brand, when they learned via Zoom that each of them had just won one of eight Windham-Campbell Prizes, it was short and sweet.  “Wow” said Brand, and “this is thoroughly shocking,” echoed Lubrin. By Stephen Weir: On Monday, Yale University on March 22 announced the eight recipients of the 2021 Windham-Campbell Prizes. The writers, whose work explores matters both personal and political, were honoured for their literary achievement or promise. Each will receive $165,000 US ($205,000 Cdn) to support their work. Canadian Trinidad & Tobago Dionne Brand won for her fiction writing. Canadian St Lucia’s Canisia Lubrin was honoured for her poetry. Dionne Brand left “Through original and intensely moving work that challenges what we think we know about genre and style, these extraordi

Front Page Testimony About Systemic Racism - York Regional Police Force

  Detective Constable Neil Dixon  Four officers gave Zoom testimony about systemic racism within the York Regional Police Force   By Stephen Weir : It was Canada Day; 2018,  Detective Constable Neil Dixon  was at work at the York Regional Police Headquarters in Aurora.  He was in civilian clothes (and wearing a police issued weapon)  when he and a fellow armed Black officer took an almost fatal lunch break. The pair visited the Popeye cop favourite restaurant two blocks from Police Headquarters.  When he left, he believes that he was  almost shot by members of his York Force who didn’t believe the Jamaican Canadian man was a fellow officer even after showing badges, and the police issued car they were about to get in. “ I thought to myself, I’m going to die today,” Dixon recalled, after testifying this morning (Wednesday) at a York Regional Police Board ( YRPSB ) meeting.   He is  a 19-year veteran  is currently on leave as a result of suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The