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Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Monday July 24, 2006
The Creation of Chris (Goodwin) – Pot cafe owner’s trial adjourned
Chris Goodwin will have to wait another month to fight a charge of possession of cannabis resin after his trial was adjourned yesterday.Goodwin, a fierce advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana and owner of downtown’s Up in Smoke pot cafe, had been charged in connection with a June 24 incident in which police entered his cafe and found filters in an ashtray with traces of cannabis resin.
While Goodwin, 26, says the ashtray was his, he maintains the contents were left behind by medicinal marijuana users who frequented his cafe.
Yesterday, Goodwin’s lawyer, Peter Boushy, asked the Crown to adjourn the case until Aug. 29 after he learned the trial judge slated to hear the case had presided over pretrial proceedings.
“Normally when you appear before a judge for a pretrial, you can’t appear before him for the actual trial,” Boushy explained.
Goodwin also faces a number of other marijuana-related charges. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
A visit to the Church of the Universe
To put some context to the latest local cartoon I feel compelled to explain who I placed in the position of God in my parody of Michelangelo’s famous painting “The Creation of Adam”. It’s Michael Baldasaro, and most Hamiltonians know who he is. For the record, here’s a photo essay I created after I was invited for a visit in February 2004.
An update on onetime federal PC leadership candidate, and mayoral candidate, the Rev. Michael Baldesaro, and his campaign manager, Brother Walter Tucker.
When you put the words “politics” and “Hamilton” together, the first name that springs to mind is Sheila Copps. But did you know that along with left leaning Coppsian politics, steeltown is also known for the political movement to legalize cannabis? The crusade has been led for years by the two founders from the Hamilton based Church of the Universe. On February 9, I was invited to their temple. Here is my photo essay:
The first thing one notices upon entering the temple is the high security system. Before being allowed in, I was observed from a closed circuit surveillance monitor. Following admittance, the door was secured behind me. Brother Michael tells me the building has been prey to trouble makers desiring free access to the church’s leafy sacrament.
That’s a George Foreman grill to the left of the door.
Once comfortably seated in the temple kitchen, Brother Walter spoke about previous busts, jail sentences, and court challenges, as Brother Michael rolled a joint.
And they worshipped the sacrament…
We talked about some of the cartoons I had drawn of them, and they presented me with a framed drawing I had done in May, 1999.
The brothers, also known for advocating naturism, lobbied the city to consider creating a nude beach at the edge of Hamilton Harbour. Brother Walter, pictured in the cartoon on the right, confided that the cartoon motivated him to lose weight.
I had them pose together with the cartoon:
After an hour and a half visit it was time to get back to the office. Brother Michael offered me a brownie cooked by members of the church’s ladies auxillary. Unfortunately, I had to decline consuming the brownie owing to the fact that I’ve been limiting my carbohydrate intake recently. He suggested I offer it to a colleague, and I obliged by handing it over to my office neighbour, The Spectator’s City columnist upon my return to the office. Then I got busted by my boss, the Editorial Pages Editor, a former RCMP officer, who interrogated me and my colleague before confiscating the baked good for disposal.
For more information, visit the Church of the Universe website at:
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday June 15, 2006
Council Votes to Demolish the Lister Block
Judgment day has arrived for Hamilton’s Lister Block.
Councillors voted Wednesday night to demolish the building to make way for a $30-million office building with a replicated facade.
The wild card, however, remains in the province’s hands.
Councillor Brian McHattie has asked the government to intervene and designate the Lister as a provincial heritage building. The Minister of Culture plans to weigh in now that council has voted. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday May 26, 2006
Klein threatens to abandon equalization
Alberta would pull out of the federal equalization program rather than see the other provinces benefit from its oil and natural gas resources, Premier Ralph Klein said.
Klein said on Wednesday he’s ready to fight with the eastern provinces to keep Alberta’s resource revenues out of the equalization program, which sends federal money to poorer provinces so they can provide services such as health care.
At a meeting next month, other premiers are expected to suggest that Alberta’s oil revenues can be included in the calculations that determine how much cash each province gets from Ottawa.
“This is political showdown,” Klein said. “This is also a constitutional issue. Alberta has control and authorization and authority over its resources.”
And he said he’s willing to walk away from the program altogether.
But University of Alberta political scientist Steve Patten suggests Klein can’t really do that, and his bluster won’t go far among the premiers, even if it works to whip up long-standing anti-eastern sentiment among Albertans.
Equalization payments come from federal government revenues, such as federal income tax, not from Alberta’s bank accounts, Patten said. Pulling out, he said, would have no effect on the program. (Source: CBC News)