Editor’s note: This article has been edited to reflect that Derek Fildebrandt has in fact never been convicted of a crime and we apologize for the oversight.
Let’s just put this out there: 2019 has been a wild ride.
Whether it’s been the continuous scandals rocking the federal government, the ongoing international disputes, or the groundbreaking performance of the Toronto Raptors. Simply put, a lot has been going on.
While for some people, 2019 will be remembered fondly, these ten Canadians have chosen to leave the 2010s with a poor and tarnished reputation.
10. Rachel Notley
Who could forget Alberta’s one-term NDP premier? Many Albertans see Notley’s government as the source of all the province’s problems and rightly so. Under he premiership Alberta adopted a carbon tax, saw falling oil prices and record unemployment.
Notley’s campaign style was full of vicious personal attacks against UCP candidates. Her scorched-earth tactics earned her a reputation for playing dirty politics and this reflected in the popular vote results.
While Kenney was able to secure over a million counts in the popular vote, Notley barely scraped by with a little over 619,000.
While Notley spectacularly lost the election to UCP leader Jason Kenney, she has remained on as the leader of the opposition ensuring that her haters will have a villain to sneer at well into the 2020s.
9. Doug Ford
After being handed a major electoral victory in the province of Ontario, Ford’s popularity has plummeted.
The PC government’s cuts have cast a shadow of doubt over its reputation in the province.
Both internal issues within his party and a lack of communication with the general public has harmed the premier’s reputation. Ford’s failure to communicate and defend the purpose behind the cuts has allowed political opponents to control the narrative.
Most recently, Ford was booed by a jeering crowd when entering the Toronto Raptors parade as a guest of honour.
According to the latest poll by Mainstreet Research, the OPC have fallen to third place, behind the Liberals and the NDP, with only 22.4 percent of the vote.
Thankfully for Ford, an election is not for another three years, giving him ample time to turn his fortunes around.
8. Chair Girl
What is it about chair girl that grinds people’s gears?
I think recklessly endangering people’s lives by throwing a chair off of a high rise balcony has something to do with it.
But besides that Marcella Zoia’s “peer pressure” defence and continued care-free lifestyle has made her especially unpopular among Canadians far and wide.
7. Derek Fildebrandt
Derek Fildebrandt’s character has made him a pariah in Alberta politics.
Despite his attempt to be re-elected, the newly formed Freedom Conservative Party flopped and Fildebrandt lost his own seat in the legislature.
Fildebrandt is no stranger to scandal. Originally he was suspended from the Wildrose party after comments made regarding to someone addressing the former Premier of Ontario as “Mr. Wynne.”
Later, Fildebrandt was charged with illegally killing a deer on somebody’s private property and had to plead guilty to charges for the offense. In another instance, while still MLA Fildebrandt was found guilty of a hit and run after backing into his neighbour’s van in an Edmonton parking lot. Fildebrandt was fined $402 for damages in the incident.
After the United Conservative Party chose to nominate deputy leader Leela Aheer for the election, Filderandt accused them of kowtowing to diversity and picking her solely for her gender.
Eventually, Fildebrandt was ejected from the UCP caucus for these and other blunders.
In the election the FCP was only able to secure 8,982 votes, which in comparison was less than the single UCP candidate for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, Nathan Cooper who won the seat with 10,692 votes. The humiliating defeat led Fildebrandt to quit politics. However, he still manages to somehow continue offending people on his Twitter account.
6. Sheila Copps
The SNC-Lavalin scandal brought the worst out of many politicians, but none so much as former MP and Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps.
Despite relative silence and being off the radar for years, Copps decided that defending Trudeau and the Liberal party from allegations of political interference was the perfect opportunity for her to re-enter into politics.
Copps’ criticism of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott was met with scorn from most Canadians.
5. Catherine McKenna
The Minister of the Environment Catherine McKenna might just be the least liked member of the Liberal cabinet.
Ever since the federal carbon tax was announced, McKenna has sparked the ire of her fellow citizens like none other.
Most recently, her barroom comments about how if you repeat something loud enough people will eventually believe it, has only amplified her unpopularity.
Her nauseating, sanctimonious tweets include fawning over climate change hypocrites like Leonardo Dicaprio and Justin Trudeau.
It’s hard not to point out McKenna’s hypocrisy as she jets around the world taking photos of her travels while telling working Canadians they need to pay more to heat their homes and drive to work.
In the latest scandal, it was discovered that McKenna used a chauffeur to get to an event in which she promoted the virtues of taking public transit. This “do as I say, not as I do” attitude only continues to take a toll on her credibility as a spokesperson for environmental issues.
4. Kevin J. Johnston
It’s an understatement to say that far-right pundit and failed Mississauga mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston is having a bad year.
Earlier this year Johnston was ordered to pay $2.5 million in damages for defaming the owner of Paramount Fine Foods Mohamad Fakih.
According to court proceedings, Johnston falsely claimed that Fakih was involved in “economic terrorism” and only hired “jihadists” on his staff.
Despite the ruling, Johnston’s crude and offensive commentary still continue to this day earning him many enemies within Canada.
3. Ben Isitt
This Victoria City Councillor has made it into the news several times for his actions within the council.
Isitt has been responsible for suggesting things like providing methadone to opiate addicts who are not ready to quit yet, removing Christian Christmas symbols from the public space and banning horse-drawn carriages in Victoria.
Recently Isitt’s suggestion that the city should bill the military and Veterans Affairs for Remembrance Day and military-related events earned him the wrath of Canadians throughout the country.
2. Nora Loreto
Nora Loreto is seen by many as the quintessential social justice queen of Canada. Her first foray into Canadian infamy was when she questioned the “whiteness” of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims.
I’m trying to not get cynical about what is a totally devastating tragedy but the maleness, the youthfulness and the whiteness of the victims are, of course, playing a significant role.— Nora Loreto (@NoLore) April 9, 2018
Since then, Loreto has found a special niche on the internet for having terrible opinions.
The Quebec-based columnist has attacked a $100 million donation to Toronto Sick Kids hospital because of her political gripes against the donor.
In another instance Loreto also called out a Canadian hero who is the foremost expert on genocide, Romeo Dallaire. Dallaire refused to agree with the label of “genocide” in the report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
1. Justin Trudeau
Entering into an election year, Justin Trudeau needed a big 2019. Tied in the polls, Trudeau should have had a good news budget, lots of photo ops and some scandal-free months to put him in a good position for re-election.
And then the SNC-Lavalin scandal broke and everything changed.
His feminist credentials are long gone.
His indigenous rights narrative has now sunk.
And every week, is another gaffe – to the point where there are almost too many to list. Most recently, there was the box water misstep that overshadowed his big plastic ban announcement and provided the internet endless fodder for ridicule.
Let’s also not forget the China gaffe, the “thank you for you donation” eruption and the growing list of Liberal MPs choosing to quit politics rather than run for Justin Trudeau again.
Trudeau has somewhat made an art of being a buffoon, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he does something ridiculous again any day now.
With just a few months until the election, Justin Trudeau needs to turn around his 2019 and fast.
The Canadian National Railway will be laying off almost 2000 staff members.
According to a report by the Globe and Mail, the Canadian National Railway Co. is laying off roughly 1,600 people, as freight volumes decline largely due to trade tensions and the overall weakening North American economy.
To provide some perspective, the company says it has about 24,000 staff.
This is nearly 7% cut across the board.
According to Global News, a spokesperson for CN said some employees would be placed on furlough and management and union job numbers would be cut “due to a weakening of many sectors of the economy.”
“These adjustments have already started to take place across the network,” senior media relations adviser Alexandre Boulé said in an emailed statement.
South Park is a notoriously offensive animated television show, which is why it’s not surprising that they recently spoofed one of the most absurd things to come down the pike of late—trans women in women’s sports.
Invoking the spirit of Randy “Macho Man” Savage, the latest South Park episode straight-up savages the issue of biological males in women’s sports. Here’s a clip from the episode:
Of course, the trans lobby is furious. Outrage and indignance is what they do best these days. Quillette editor Jon Kay quite rightly points out the fact that, with responses like these, they are quickly becoming the zealots of our time: “You can always tell who the real zealots are in any society: They’re the ones who despise humour and satire—because they know that spontaneous laughter marks one of those few moments when people are immune to the strictures of mob-enforced dogma.”
If anyone thought that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone would shy away from skewering the absurdity of biological men dominating women’s sports just because they feel like women, they obviously haven’t been paying attention. This is the team that brought the world Tony Award-winning Book of Mormon, which takes aim at Mormon missionary work. Just like South Park, the show was initially reviled by the offence police but is still running nine years later.
The funniest part of all of this is how trans advocates keep thinking we shouldn’t laugh at how ridiculous these claims are. Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais have also made fun of biological men invading women’s spaces too. It’s because biological men forcing women into scenarios where they get their asses kicked (as is the case in many sports from MMA to rugby to cycling) or are forced to touch genitals against their will (as is the case in the Jessica Yaniv saga) are either criminal or funny, and since this madness keeps happening with complete endorsement of the elite political class and media, it must be funny.
Biological men with 12 months of estrogen treatment trounce women in every sport they enter, from cycling to track & field to weightlifting. Not only that, but in the case of cycling world champion Rachel McKinnon, they brag and call the women losers. It turns out that taking 12 months to lower a lifetime of testosterone levels doesn’t actually do much to handicap trans male athletes. It’s pretty funny that international athletic associations in so many sports, including rugby, one of the most violent contact sports around, allow men, taking performance decreasing drugs, to compete with women. Even when women take testosterone—which would be against the doping rules—they can’t match the decreased male testosterone levels.
South Park points out the extreme absurdity that we have allowed to happen because of the fear of censure for saying something politically incorrect. While no reasonable person denies the right of trans people to exist in the world and have their identities respected, there must be common-sense limits. When it comes to biological men dominating women’s sports, it must be said loud and clear that in this case, men are not women. And since the people in charge are too cowardly to say so, we must rely on comedians to mock the absurdities of the situation.
Besides: dudes beating the hell out of women in competitive sports is just an objectively funny spectacle worthy of mockery. And when it comes to the women who have trained hard their whole lives to achieve athletic excellence only to be beaten by these men, it’s funny enough to make you cry.
Toronto’s viral Chair Girl has pleaded guilty to mischief causing danger to life on Friday, after throwing a chair off a 45th-floor condo balcony near the Gardiner Expressway earlier this year.
Marcella Zoia, the 19-year-old who threw a chair off a sky-high condo building in February while being videoed has officially pleaded guilty on Friday in a Toronto courtroom.
While she has pleaded guilty to mischief causing danger to life, that does not cover all of her original charges.
When arrested, she was charged with mischief endangering life, mischief endangering property under $5,000 and common nuisance. According to the Toronto Sun, those remaining charges are expected to be dropped by the Crown Prosecutors.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 14, although the crown has called for six months in jail.
While sentencing awaits, according to CTV, Zoia’s lawyer has confirmed that his client has been expelled from the dental hygiene program she was previously in and is currently modelling.
Zoia’s account has significantly grown since the chair girl incident, according to the Toronto Star, her Instagram account grew from 6,000 to more than 32,000 today.
“There was a job opportunity that she had and a decision was made not to proceed with that,” he said outside of the courthouse. “Right now she does modelling when the opportunity presents itself.”
“She was doing modelling before this and she has had contracts since this. If you are asking me if those contracts were a result of this case, I honestly have no idea.”
Two-and-half months after Alberta petroleum executive William Lacey was asked by security at the Senate of Canada to remove his “I love Canadian oil & gas” t-shirt, allegedly deemed too political by authorities, the supposed policy surrounding the brouhaha appears non-existent.
While Lacey received an apology Sept. 5 from Parliamentary Protective Services the same day Senator Denise Batters raised the matter at Senate committee, none has been forthcoming for an Alberta couple involved in a similar run-in with security for the same t-shirt transgression.
Batters told The Post Millennial that she has yet to receive a response from either speakers’ offices–Senate or House of Commons–who are responsible for security at all parliament buildings in Ottawa.
“Where is the policy about this particular issue? I’ve asked for a copy of the particular policy, when it came into effect and who instructed it be put it into place,” said Batters.
“And I still have not received any of those answers.”
According to the Parliament of Canada’s website, “participating in any form of demonstration inside the buildings is prohibited, including wearing items or clothing with visible political messages.”
How security is to apply this prohibition, however, appears to remain ad hoc in nature.
Queries by TPM to the Office of the Speaker of the House, about how “I love Canadian oil & gas” t-shirts became a political lightening-rod to be banned on Parliament Hill, were forwarded to the Senate speaker and parliament security.
As of publication, TPM has only received a response from Parliamentary Protective Services that offers no information on any guidelines, except that there was a misunderstanding and these are under review.
“Following those two incidents, we have initiated a review of procedures and provided guidelines to our operational staff (and) are working to ensure that these guidelines are communicated and understood by all front-line personnel,” writes PPS chief of staff Guillaume Vandal.
“Our goal is to avoid such incidents from reoccurring.”
For Batters, a Conservative senator representing Saskatchewan, the t-shirts are not political.
“It’s a pro-jobs message, she said. “That’s why I have such a problem with westerners being turned away from these buildings in the heart of our democracy for simply and positively supporting the energy industry. It’s the lifeblood of not only our region, but the entire country.”
More than 120,000 energy sector jobs have bled out of the Albertan and Saskatchewan economies over the past five years while at the end of October, iconic Canadian petroleum giant EnCana announced it was rebranding itself and moving its HQ from Calgary to Denver.
The consensus among energy sector players, watchers and supportive politicos is that the Liberal government’s overhaul of environmental legislation (Bill C-69, and the northwest coast oil tanker ban in British Columbia (Bill C-48) has created significant investor uncertainty in Canada.