1 FORT McMURRAY FIRE The epicenter of Canada’s climate change controversy is in flames thanks to dry, scorching conditions and suicidal trees, and the city of roughly 83,000 people has been emptied in the largest fire evacuation in Alberta history. As I’m typing this, 1,600 buildings have been destroyed, including the Wildrose party leader’s home. The Edmonton Journal has a page rounding up their coverage here, and this timeline seems like a good place to start. The Globe And Mail, CBC, Toronto Star and The Guardian also have good reporting, and our old friend Emma Graney, who now works for the Edmonton Journal, is live-tweeting breaking news here. You can help displaced Albertans with a donation to the Red Cross here. Our sympathy to everyone affected by this.
2 LAST NARCISSIST STANDING Looks like Donald Trump is going to be the Republican presidential nominee. Here’s a list of pundits who called this wrong. Special condolences for Nate Silver, who takes a rare tarnishing. And hey, here’s a story about how Trump’s going to lose in November.
3. WHAT’S THE SASK PARTY HIDING? The government demands a ridiculous fee for a CBC Freedom Of Information request. One hundred and eighty-thousand dollars? Yeah, I’m sure that’s reasonable, and not just an attempt to cover up something that looks really, really bad. Says the legal expert quoted in the linked story: “This is the highest cost request that I’ve ever seen. I find the cost request totally over the top and nonsensical. It’s unthinkable to be asking this kind amount.”
4. EARLS SURRENDERS The company reverses its position on Alberta beef, which you can look at as victory over what my friend Kat called a “stupid hipster sticker” or a defeat for anyone who suspects the Alberta beef industry might be a tad entitled. That said, the chairman of Alberta Beef Producers says, “We’ve probably slipped on the social licence. We assumed too much,” so that’s interesting and, to me, pleasing. We’re still gonna do something on this in our next issue. Oh, and if you’re wondering, here’s the actual humane beef standards that started the fuss. Anyway, Sask. farmers are happy.
5. HAPPY 100TH, JANE JACOBS Stories about and tributes to the great champion of livable, loveable modern cities at CBC, Vox, The Guardian and, in an interesting critical essay, Slate. An of course, we gotta have some from “creative class” booster Richard Florida, don’t we?
MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU I enjoyed The Force Awakens but it had problems, too. Here’s a fun, and long, CinemaSins accounting of a bunch of ’em.