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We will be recording a live episode of the podcast (with stand-up comedy and live music) on Thursday, April 21st at Frank and Oak Ottawa. Check out the details here, and we'll see you there!
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Week 4 closes Dec 3rd!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

#85 - Sandy Powell (Help At Home Association)

On the show this week, we met with Sandy Powell, from the Help At Home Association. HAHA is a charitable organization that is growing quickly, and rightfully so, because their goal is to help support families with children with severe illnesses like cancer.

Learn how you can get involved, and a little about how the project got started, as well as some of the interesting things you can do in the far north-west end of Ottawa.

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This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Complete subway system discovered in forgotten Ottawa tunnels

As light-rail construction continues on the O-Train Confederation Line, construction workers have made a miraculous discovery.

Deep underground below the new LRT tunnels, is a complete, perfectly preserved subway system. A network of rails exist below the city, missing only functional locomotives to transport passengers. Technicians are unable to indicate at this time whether the locomotives and cars can be restored.

The subway was found by construction worker Gerry Picci, who was working near the future Lyon Station. “Me and the boys were getting some eating lunch when I thought I’d give the guys a good laugh. Laughing is good for you, y’know? I grabbed the jackhammer and did my best Wile E Coyote impression. I must have gone too far and the ground fell through.” Hours after the discovery, municipal workers were able to map out part of the system, which is believed to extend as far as Carp and Rockland.

Local public servant, Leigh-Anne Sprague, was astonished, “I just can’t believe it! I always heard there were secret underground tunnels, but why wouldn’t someone explore this before taking on this project?” Her grandmother, Glenda, blames former mayor Larry O’Brien, “He knew all along, he must have. I told my Harold that O’Brien was up to something when he cancelled the LRT plans!”

Mr. O’Brien could not be contacted for comment.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Santa visits PMO for the first time in a decade

As children awaken on Christmas morning, their spirits are buoyed by the thoughts of gifts, chocolate and joy to come. All across Canada, and around the world, good boys and girls are tearing open wrapped presents and celebrating the year that has been.

This year, for the first time in a decade, our nation’s highest office has received a visit from jolly old Saint Nick. Santa opted to pay a visit to the Prime Minister’s Office this year after a convincing victory by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party in the fall.

In light of the gender-balanced Cabinet, Canada’s strong participation in the recent climate change summit in Paris, and the un-muzzling of Canada’s scientists, the new PM certainly deserves something special from Santa’s Workshop.

When Stephen Harper first took the office back in 2006, Santa Claus dropped off a lump of coal, apparently after hearing about his plans for the years that were to come. However, Mr. Harper was reportedly overjoyed with what he perceived as a gift from Santa, being from Alberta and all. After that, the man in red decided he wouldn’t be stopping by 24 Sussex for a long while.

Now, Justin and the Trudeau family are currently staying down the street at Rideau Cottage until vital renovations are complete on 24 Sussex, but news that broke this morning will have him eager to return.

Ottawhat can now exclusively report that the living room at the Prime Minister’s permanent residence has been outfitted overnight with a new entertainment centre, complete with an HD projection screen, game consoles, and reclining seats. Mr. Trudeau is overjoyed with the upgrades, and he can’t wait to try it out once renovations on the rest of the house are complete.

In addition, though we cannot confirm at this time, reports coming out of the PMO also say that all traces of asbestos have somehow vanished from the building, which will considerably speed up remaining renovations.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

#84 - Duncan McEachern

Duncan and the gang chat about textbook prices, play the Christmas game "What's in the Box?", and discuss outlandish theories about possible future Star Wars films.

We're running a contest in partnership with Brew Donkey, and you can enter to win a free Brew Donkey brewery tour ticket. The question we're asking this week is:

Which local craft beer would you like to see on tap across Ottawa?

Entry details at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey!

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Nothing here!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ottawa to remove all street parking spots downtown

Following the success of the segregated bike lanes on Laurier Avenue West and the recent consultations for the planned bike lanes on O’Connor Street, the City of Ottawa has announced their new goal: eliminate all street parking spots downtown.

In a statement released on Monday, city spokesperson Brittany Jones cited unhappy drivers as the primary motivation behind the move, stating “We looked at the amount of money we spent trying to coddle drivers by creating bike lanes; taxpayers would be astonished.” The initiative is said to be a proactive approach for future projects, “It’s easier to get rid of all parking spots in anticipation for future bike lanes,” continued Gordon, “let’s face it, these bikers aren’t going anywhere and we’re not about to hold a public forum every time we have to act on yet another one of their complaints.”

The Street Parking Reduction Plan is expected to begin in the ByWard Market in June 2016, expanding shortly thereafter to Downtown, Centretown, and the Golden Triangle. City officials confirmed an expected increase in revenue from parking tickets, but clarified that this is “not at all related to the municipality’s $41,000,000 deficit for 2015, but the amount of money we’ll get out of reduced consultation expenses and additional parking tickets will certainly help.”

In attempt to further reduce consultation time and costs, future community forums will be held exclusively in areas where parking is not available within a two kilometre radius.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Artisan insurance agency opens in Hintonburg

Ottawa’s trendiest neighbourhood just got a little more hip. Last week a small insurance agency opened up that specializes in rather peculiar kinds of coverage.

“The world is constantly changing,” says Tzipi Rockwell, founder of Artisan Insurance Agency. “We aim to protect people who lead alternative lifestyles; the types of people who push boundaries and live life to the fullest. For years these trendsetters have operated without insurance, but today they can rest easy knowing that they are safe.”

While Ms. Rockwell was vague about what her agency covers, their website lists the following types of coverage:
  • Unforeseen damages to facial hair 
  • Fixed gear bike repair
  • Craft beer hops protection
  • Longboard collision coverage
  • Earlobe reconstruction
  • Ironic tattoo copyright

Thursday, December 17, 2015

#83 - Joe Stouffclair

Joe Stouffclair sat down with us this week, to discuss some of the antics going on when he supply teaches, he discusses his experience growing up with 8 siblings, and he even sings us his hit song about OC Transpo, Articulated Dreams (starts at 20:39).

We're running a contest in partnership with Brew Donkey, and you can enter to win a free Brew Donkey brewery tour ticket. The question we're asking this week is:

Which local craft beer would you like to see on tap across Ottawa?

Entry details at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey!

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Refugees agree with Saskatchewan's Premier

Recently-landed Syrian refugees are thankful for comments made by the Saskatchewan Premier.

In late November, Premier Brad Wall urged the federal government to suspend its plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year-end, citing safety and security concerns. Syrian refugees claim to have no issues with Premier Wall’s stance, stating that Saskatchewan is not a suitable destination for refugees...or anyone, for that matter.

“I just fled a desolate wasteland, I’m not looking to relocate to another one,” explained Adnan Ali, who is moving his family of four to Ottawa’s east end. “I’m tired of unlicensed guns, terrible football teams, and being unable to grow anything for my family.”

Many seem to agree with Mr. Ali, hoping to make the best of this new chapter. Ottawans have risen to the occasion, supporting local shelters and family centres to help facilitate refugee settlement in Canada’s capital city.

“I feel blessed to see so much support from the community,” continued Ali, “I’m particularly excited to experience Canadian culture in Ottawa. I already have my RedBlacks jersey. Can you imagine if I had to cheer for the Roughriders? That would have been terrible.”

Friday, December 11, 2015

Redblacks Unwind in Offseason in Unusual Ways

The Ottawa Redblacks have begun to enjoy a well-deserved break after staging a dramatic comeback which culminated in them competing for the Grey Cup. While the pro-athletes obviously engage in strength and conditioning training during the off season, there are only so many push-ups one can do in a day. Ottawhat News sat down with a few of the Redblacks and asked them what they like to do between seasons.

Some players recharge their batteries by staying in. “I use this time to catch up on TV” says tight end Troy Banner “Right now I am burning through Little Mosque on the Prairie.”

“I am a huge audiophile. I could listen to vinyl for days. Specifically, I like Joni Mitchell and Dolly Parton,” raves running back Frank Giuseppe.

Other players can’t sit still, deciding instead to keep working. “I started selling Cutco knives last year. It’s hard work, but going door to door is pretty fun when people recognize you. It certainly doesn’t hurt my sales,” says offensive lineman Patrice Dosslre.

“Football’s my job, but improv is my passion,” says linebacker Nathan Holmes, “When the season is done, I hook up with my troupe and we do long form 5 nights a week.”

Finally, a few of the Redblacks enjoy fairly successful athletic careers in the off-season. Wide receiver Marcus Bailey plays on a semi-professional polo team in Latvia, and kicker Max Ocupace is ranked 148th in the world of darts. Whatever they do, let’s hope they come back refreshed for next season.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

#82 - Monica Haberl

We talked to Monica Haberl this week. This friend of the show talked with us about gender equality, about her experiences growing up in Ottawa, and a little about hockey.

We're running a contest in partnership with Brew Donkey, and you can enter to win a free Brew Donkey brewery tour ticket. The question we're asking this week is:

Which local craft beer would you like to see on tap across Ottawa?

Entry details at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey!

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Not this time!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hero Cat Dials 311

When Maya Boyanska took an impromptu trip to the Ottawa Humane Society a few months ago, she had no idea that she would be making a decision that would change her life forever. That day, she decided to adopt Smudge, a Manx cat with seemingly endless amounts of energy.

“Smudge loves to explore. When I first brought her home, she spent days looking around the house and peering out all the windows. After a week, I noticed that her favourite spot to look at was the garbage bins in my backyard. She would sit at the back window and meow in that direction for hours.”

Two weeks ago, Maya received a Green Bin voucher in the mail, addressed to “Mrs. Meow”. The young woman was surprised, as she had not contacted the city for one. “I checked my landline, and a call to 311 was made while I was at work! I never really thought about using a Green Bin before, but when I got the voucher, I decided I may as well try it out” she explains.

Maya has had her new Green Bin for a week, and is enjoying it. “I can’t believe how little garbage I produce now, it’s awesome. I love how they come every week! I am so thankful to have a cat that cares so much about me and the environment. Smudge is a special animal...how many cats do you know that have the intelligence to dial a phone and the patience to sit on hold with 311?”

Friday, December 4, 2015

Ottawa to Host 2020 Bureaucrat Olympics

Last week, the International Bureaucrat Olympic Committee (IBOC) announced the successful bids for the 2016, 2020, and 2024 Bureaucrat Olympic games. While Berlin will host the event in 2016, and Nairobi in 2024, Ottawa has secured the honour of putting on the games in 2020.

“It’s a big day for us, obviously. We are elated. Ottawa has always had a strong bureaucratic scene, and now we have a chance to show the world,” said Danielle Doherty, President of the Ottawa Bureaucrat Olympic Committee,  “We’ve been working on bringing the Games to Ottawa for six years, and now that we have done it, the real work begins. There is so much to do to prepare for 2020”.

The Bureaucrat Olympics is a 15 day event that highlights elite pencil pushers from around the world. Competitors enter events such as File-Sorting, the Rolling Chair Relay, and Buzzwording. The games will bring upwards of 200 athletes to the city, and likely many more spectators.

Allan Nyguen, who works as a Human Resources Officer for Health Canada, has already been named the captain of Team Canada. “It’s an honour,” says Nyguen, “Everyone on the team is a superstar, so it’s pretty wild that I was chosen. My event is Conflict Resolution, and I can’t wait to get to it. Go Canada!”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

#81 - Natalie Poirier

Natalie Poirier was on the show this week! She talked with us about the 6-week solo hike across Ontario, dubbed The Brain Venture, that she completed this summer, to raise money for Angioma Alliance Canada. We also discussed what it's like growing up in Carp, and going to rugby nationals while studying at Queens.

We're running a contest in partnership with Brew Donkey, and you can enter to win a free Brew Donkey brewery tour ticket. The question we're asking this week is:

Which local craft beer would you like to see on tap across Ottawa?

Entry details at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey!

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

City Council Votes to Sell Vanier to Hull

Ottawa City Council met last week to formulate a budget for 2016. The city is facing a record-setting deficit, and has been investigating creative ways to bolster municipal earnings. Some Councillors argued that cutting arts programming could save money, but since no one dared propose a tax increase, the Council ultimately decided on a dramatic move: selling Vanier to Hull for 22 million dollars.

“The City of Ottawa is growing. When a population rises, so do costs.” said Gregory Scott, Councillor for Nepean, “The decision to sell Vanier solves a lot of problems for us. The money from the sale will pay off Ottawa’s debts, giving us a fresh start for the new fiscal year. Additionally, a slightly smaller Ottawa means less roads to plough and less potholes to fix. Finally, our significant police forces that have been allocated for Vanier will be distributed elsewhere, making the city safer for everyone.”

The sale came as a surprise to residents, as something of this nature has never been done before. One has to wonder what those who live in Vanier think of the decision, but we were unable to obtain a statement from anyone, as none of our staff wanted to go there.

Friday, November 27, 2015

RedBlack Friday Causes Confusion For Bargain Seekers

Black Friday has its roots in American Thanksgiving sales, but many Ottawa businesses will be offering major discounts this weekend as well. The Ottawa RedBlacks got their name from Ottawa’s previous CFL team’s colours, Red and Black.

With the RedBlacks capturing a spot in this year’s Grey Cup on Sunday, there has been a lot of confusion as to what customers and fans can expect to find while they’re out today. The city has declared today to be “RedBlack Friday”, with restaurants and bars in the Glebe and Old Ottawa South offering specials through this weekend as Grey Cup hype builds.

Businesses in the area are understandably having some difficulty explaining deals to staff and customers. Jared McDonough, a manager at Crust and Crate at Lansdowne, arrived to work early this morning to find over 150 people lined up expecting door crasher sales. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “I think they might not realize this isn’t Crate and Barrel. We advertised drink specials as a part of RedBlack Friday, but I never would have expected this.”

By later today this confusion should all be sorted out, but it may happen all over again if the RedBlacks are able to win on Sunday. Kettleman’s has already said it plans to offer discounts and special deals on Monday if Henry “Cyber” Burris wins Grey Cup MVP.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#80 - Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey re-joined us this week, making him our first official repeat guest (and well deserving of that title). We dicussed the upcoming release of his new book, The Productivity Project, coming out in January. We also got deep into discussion about working effectively and being productive.

We also have a galley proof (limited edition pre-release) of his book to give away to one of our lucky listeners. All you have to do to enter is tell us your favourite word, on any social network, as long as we can see it (you'll have to tag us), and you'll be entered in the draw. If you're using Twitter, be sure to tag us (@ottawhatpodcast) and Chris (@wigglechicken) in the Tweet! Good luck!

We're running a contest this week in partnership with Brew Donkey, where each week you can enter to win a free Brew Donkey brewery tour ticket. Find out right now how you can enter at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey! It's so easy to enter, why wouldn't you?

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

A Life of Productivity
Pre-order Chris' book!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rideau Canal to Try for New World Record: Deadliest Skating Rink

For decades, Ottawa’s Rideau Canal enjoyed the title of “World’s Longest Outdoor Skating Rink”. In 2008, however, this glory was lost to a river in Winnipeg, and the Canal has struggled to remain relevant as a tourist attraction ever since. Yesterday, the National Capital Commission announced plans to revitalize the once great stretch of ice.

“This winter, the Rideau Canal will make an attempt at the Guinness World Record for ‘Deadliest Outdoor Skating Rink’. The National Capital Commission as well as the City of Ottawa look forward to working together to accomplish this goal” announced Alison Camonbur, a spokesperson for the NCC.

Although the project is still in the early planning phase, some details have already been set. The National Capital Commission have stated that maintenance schedules will remain unchanged from last season, but instead of fixing potholes and clearing snow, they will be in charge of creating hazards on the ice. “The ice will be thinned in strategic spots, lighting will be severely reduced at night, and we will do our best to ensure that the surface of the Canal remains as uneven as possible.” Camonbur explains, “In addition, our volunteer medics will no longer patrol the skateway, and access will be reduced to a single point at each end. Injured skaters will have to drag themselves up to 4 km to escape. I think we really have a shot at this record.”

Monday, November 23, 2015

Woman Lives in Sandy Hill for Month, for Charity

Rowdy students roaming the streets, shady characters lurking in alleys, and street parking only: behold Sandy Hill. The neighbourhood has a rough reputation, yet one local woman is spending a month living there voluntarily.

Rachel Ayan left her 3 bedroom house in Old Barrhaven, her husband, and son to live in Sandy Hill for November.

“It’s prostate cancer awareness month,” Ayan explains, “I wanted to raise money for the cause, but I knew that in order to get people to donate, I had to do something unpleasant. I considered running a marathon, but that’s too easy. I was driving through Sandy Hill one day, and it hit me: What’s worse than living here?”

Mrs. Ayan claims that she has trouble sleeping at night due to the sirens and the shouts of drunken pedestrians. In addition, her bike has been stolen twice since she moved into her temporary apartment.

“It’s for a good cause,” she smiles, “I hope I inspire others to raise money in a similar fashion. Someone tweeted at me yesterday that they are going to live in Hull for a week to benefit the homeless.”

Friday, November 20, 2015

Trudeau Pledges to Update Peace Tower Clock to Digital

“Because it’s 2015.” Prime Minister Trudeau’s response to a question about why he had so many female cabinet ministers resonated with Canadians. These three words encapsulate the tone that the Liberal Government is working hard to set, one of “real change”. Among these changes are aggressively progressive promises such as electoral reform and legalizing marijuana, and this morning Mr. Trudeau added another to his list.

“Canadians are tired of business as usual. We are coming into a golden age of enlightened thinking, of openness, and diversity. Our lives are becoming busier and moving faster. It is time that our parliament reflect these changes. That is why my government has committed to spending six million dollars to update the Peace Tower clock from analog to digital. No longer will Canadians be forced to figure out what time it is on the Hill. Gone will be the days of trying to figure out which is the long hand, and wondering if there is a second hand on the clock. The digitization of the Peace Tower clock will ensure that Canadians across the country will be able to quickly and effectively tell the time.”

While public opinion about the announcement was positive, experts have questions about how the plan will be implemented. The Liberals have not released details on the renovations, but have stated that they will involve hard work, dozens of new jobs, and a “significant amount of horse urine”.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

#79 - Mayor Jim Watson

It's a huge week for Ottawhat; we sat down with our Mayor, Jim Watson! We discussed his history in the public service, some of what life is like in his world, and a few of the things Ottawa is facing over the next couple of years. His Worship also trolled us hard about waiting so long to have him on the show.

We're running a contest this week in partnership with Brew Donkey, where each week you can enter to win a free Brew Donkey brewery tour ticket. Find out right now how you can enter at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey! It's so easy to enter, why wouldn't you?

Sponsor -
This episode is brought to you in part by Lunch Box Ottawa. If you're looking for an exciting lunch option delivered straight to your workplace, send an order through their website or download the App for iOS or Android. Order a lunch today and they'll take the time, so you don't have to!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Popeye's is 'World's Best Chicken', uOttawa Study Finds

Fried chicken is beloved by nearly everyone, but it’s not all created equal. While some prefer the 11 herbs and spices of KFC, others prefer the simpler flavour palate of the humble McNugget. Since the opening of the new Popeye’s restaurant in Gloucester, the debate over which chicken is the best has reached a fever pitch in Ottawa.

In a groundbreaking study from the University of Ottawa undertaken this fall, it has been demonstrably proven that given all the options around the city, and in the world, Popeye’s was ultimately ranked as the best fried chicken. Using metrics such as taste, aroma, umami, addictiveness, and many others to come to its conclusions, this study will hopefully put the fierce debate to bed.

The study was conducted by emeritus professor Davis Sweepes of the University of Ottawa, and consisted of visits to every fried chicken establishment in the city. Dr. Sweepes sampled each restaurant’s offering in his office in total isolation, including the new Popeye’s, before coming to the study’s conclusions.

“I couldn’t be happier with the results of this study,” Davis said upon submitting his research to Science, adding, “I’m just glad the University had money to fund this vital research. I see myself as a pioneer in the food science world.” Representatives from Union Local 613 will reportedly be filing a follow-up paper refuting Dr. Sweepes claims.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Four Hospitalized at Bytown Museum After Contracting “Severe Boredom”

A family of four was rushed to hospital this past weekend, suffering from severe boredom. Daren and Nour Karonic, of Toronto, brought their two children to Ottawa for vacation, and had been sight seeing since Thursday of last week. After visiting landmarks such as Parliament Hill, the National Gallery, and the Byward Market, the family decided to take a trip off the beaten path to the quaint Bytown Museum, where tragedy struck.

“I think they were expecting more” says Nancy Ming, a local resident who was at the museum during the incident, “When they arrived they seemed confused, as if they couldn’t believe that the tiny building was a museum. They kept asking the staff to direct them to the rest of the exhibits”. Ms. Ming expressed her sympathy for the family, especially the children. “After being shown the 14th piece of wooden cutlery, their little boy snapped. He just couldn’t take it. His sister went soon after, and I think the parents went down about half an hour after that”.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that safety concerns have been raised at the museum. This past summer, over a dozen people contracted severe boredom while visiting the museum. Last fall, a class of 32 children was hospitalized after their trip to the Bytown Museum. The Karonic family is said to be in serious but stable condition, but could not be reached for a statement.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Kanata Votes to Secede From Ottawa

Residents of Kanata are celebrating this week after voting to separate from Ottawa. The vote took place on Tuesday, and saw 73% of participants vote in favour of seceding from our nation's capital. John Bailey, the management consultant who led the movement, explains why Kanata felt the need for independence.

“We have a population of nearly 100 000 people, major shopping centres, and a strong sense of local culture. You won’t find a more united, homogeneous community anywhere else in Canada. It was only natural that we become our own city. I look forward to representing Kanata as well as working closely with Mayor Watson to ensure harmony between our two great cities".

While the vote is certainly an exciting step for Kanata, a number of logistical questions remain. Bailey has proposed that a City Hall be erected within Kanata Centrum, the popular shopping centre. It is unclear if municipal services, such as public transit and garbage collection, will continue to be supplied by Ottawa, or simply be discontinued immediately. Finally, sports fans wonder what will happen to the Ottawa Senators, who will almost certainly will be forced to move from their Kanata arena, the Canadian Tire Centre.

It's unclear at this time if Nepean, Orleans, Gloucester, Vanier, and Cumberland will follow in Kanata's footsteps, but at least one thing is clear. Despite the uncertainty, residents are excited about finally having their independence. “This is a great step towards developing a strong Kanata identity. We love the suburbs, hate mosquitos, and are proud to be Kanatians.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015

#78 - Ours is the Fury Podcast (Jon Eden & Ryan Shannon)

We had podcasters and big-time Ottawa Fury supporters Jon Eden and Ryan Shannon on this week. We discussed the Ottawa Fury's big championship game coming up in New York this weekend, soccer culture in Canada, and what real soccer fans do around Ottawa when they're not supporting their team.

We're running a contest this week in partnership with Brew Donkey, where each week you can enter to win a free Brew Donkey brewery tour ticket. Find out right now how you can enter at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey! It's so easy to enter, why wouldn't you?

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Ours Is The Fury Podcast
@OITFury on Twitter
Red Nation Online

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cab Driver Goes Undercover into Uber, Stays

As the Taxi/ Uber war rages on in Ottawa and other cities across Canada, soldiers from both sides find themselves entangled in the conflict. After seeing videos of other cabbies harassing Uber drivers, local cab driver Ahmed Mousai decided to take it to the next level.

"I thought to myself, anyone can take a video of an Uber driver, but what if someone became an Uber driver and worked to destroy it from the inside? That is what caused me to act." Mousai applied to become a driver, passed his police check, installed the app, and started driving. "I was first surprised by how easy it was. I didn’t have to buy or rent a cab licence. I didn’t have to pay to go pick up at the airport or hotels. It was all so simple: people needed to be picked up, so I went to get them."

After a month driving for Uber, Mousai made the decision to stay with the company. "I started thinking, why take Uber down? Passengers are friendly. I make more money. I go where I want, when I want. I have no quotas, no restrictions, I just drive."

Friday, November 6, 2015

Bier Markt Bartender Fired for Wearing "Uniform"

The popular Bier Markt franchise came under fire this week, after it attempted to force employees to wear short, skimpy dresses as part of a company uniform. Activists claimed that the company was infringing on the human rights of its employees by instituting the mandatory outfits. Additionally, many Bier Markt staffers complained about the changes, arguing that the bar was attempting to sexualize them. However, not all employees were upset with the dress code.

“I thought the dresses were comfortable and sleek” says Peter Hayes, who has been a bartender at Bier Markt for over a year, “It gets hot being stuck behind that bar, so when I heard that they were assigning these tiny uniforms, I was stoked.”

Mr. Hayes claims that he was denied a dress when he asked to be issued one by his manager. He eventually received an outfit from a coworker, but was asked to remove it minutes after putting it on. Mr. Hayes refused to change his outfit for two shifts before he was let go. “I was an employee, and the memo said that employees had to wear the dress. Bier Markt is sending mixed messages.”. Mr. Hayes is suing the company for wrongful dismissal.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

#77 - Poppa Bean Coffee

Paul Foster from Poppa Bean Coffee came on the show this week. We talked about the making of coffee, beer, and maple syrup, and some of the greatest activities in Ottawa, like farmer's markets, shawarma and watching football.

We're also starting a contest this week in partnership with Brew Donkey, where each week you can enter to win a free Brew Donkey brewery tour ticket. Find out right now how you can enter at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey! It won't always be as easy to enter as it is this week!

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Kent Street Bridge Replacement Displaces Family of Trolls

Ottawans rejoiced this week as the Kent Street section of the 417 Queensway was replaced at the end of October, as promised. While the news comes as relief to many, others have been devastated by the concise construction.

"We’ve lived under that bridge for the past 9 years" sobbed Grak, a local troll who woke up that morning to the sound of jackhammers. "My girlfriend and I don’t have cable, we had no idea this was happening." The family narrowly escaped the construction, and has lodged a complaint with the City. They have not received word back yet.

Grak, Mong, and their two daughters are now homeless, and have no family in Ottawa to rely on. They now must find a new place to live. "With housing prices being what they are, we can’t afford to live anywhere else. That bridge was all that we could afford. I’m a floor manager at a call centre, and Mong is on disability because of her hystrollectomy. With our financial situation, we may have to move to Renfrew."

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cougar Sightings on the Rise Around Ottawa

Ottawa Police are warning residents to remain vigilant as they investigate reports of several cougar sightings from this past weekend. The city received multiple calls on Friday and Saturday night, reporting that cougars were seen outside establishments such as Crazyhorse in Kanata, and Maxwell’s on Elgin Street.

"People should absolutely be careful" says Nick Reynolds, a biology professor from the Carleton University, "Cougars are wild, unpredictable creatures. They are nocturnal predators who look for loud, densely populated places to hunt. For your own safety, you should stay away from these types of places, and avoid products like Axe body spray, trucker hats, or anything that says "YOLO" on it."

While no victims have been confirmed, Ottawa Police are looking for assistance in their investigation. Anyone who has seen or been approached by a cougar is asked to contact cougarwatch@ottawa.ca.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bayshore Parking Structure to be Converted into Ottawa's Largest Escape Room

Big changes are coming to Bayshore Mall...yet again. The west-end mall went through an expensive makeover last year, expanding to accommodate more stores. With an increase in retailers, however, comes an increase in customers, all of whom need somewhere to park. Bayshore invested nearly $20 million dollars in the new parking structure, which many have described as "confusing," "ill-conceived," and even "dangerous." The concrete hedge maze is notoriously difficult to navigate, lacks basic pedestrian crosswalks, and has a gloomy, dank atmosphere.

"It’s perfect," says Hannah Elarsee, CEO of the Ottawa Escape Manor. "If I didn’t know any better, I would say that this was built to be a giant puzzle." Escape rooms are life-sized games that challenge participants to look for clues within a room, which will eventually lead them to find a key in order to escape. Mrs. Elarsee has big plans for the former Bayshore parking structure. "In this new space, we will be able to build escape rooms that will lead to other escape rooms. These will be our most challenging rooms yet. It will take people days to get out."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

#76 - Immersive Films (Stephen McReynolds & Jared Galley)

The guys sit down with Stephen and Jared from Immersive Films to discuss some of their latest projects. Find out why they're headed to LA soon, how they met Henry Burris, and their tiny connection to Jennifer Lawrence.

Editor's Note: Leave a comment if you think we should stop doing Reddit Rabble. Or if you want it to stay.

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Immersive Films on Instagram
YouTube Channel

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Saunders Farm Hires 32 Ex-Cons to Ensure Scares this Halloween

At the end of October, a variety of Ottawa businesses will compete to see who can scare their visitors the most. Saunders Farm has traditionally ranked very high on the list of frightening festivities, with attractions such as costumed monsters and a haunted hayride. Scare stats dipped last year, however, thanks to the growing popularity of escape rooms and other spooky destinations. This year, Saunders Farm is looking to bounce back in a big way.

“We are proud to announce that we will be taking advantage of the government’s Work-Release program this Halloween, employing over 30 seasonal employees from the penitentiary system” announced Jack O’Leary, Saunders Farm’s Community Outreach Officer, “These men and women will take tickets, operate rides, and act as guides through the farm. We hope that these additions add a new level of danger and excitement for our guests”.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Free Dental Clinic Still Not Enough to Entice People to Go to Dentist

While people often lament the physical pain associated with going to the dentist, the financial pain can also be a severe barrier to many. Pro Bono Dental is a group of dentists who have come together to ensure that everyone in Ottawa can have clean teeth. Despite this noble effort, they are facing one serious problem: no one is showing up.

"It’s mind-boggling" says Dr. Harrold Mince, who founded the clinic last year. "We are offering free dental care, and we can’t seem to attract clients. We run ad campaigns, we tweet, we even tried going through the phonebook and calling individuals, but nothing seems to work. It would appear that people have an extreme aversion to going to the dentist."

Dr. Mince and his colleagues are certainly discouraged, but remain hopeful that public opinion will change, either on its own or with a little help from Pro Bono Dental. "We are currently tossing around a few promotional ideas. So far the front-runner is Sugar Mountain gift cards. I know, I know, but we need to find a way to get people in here. Hopefully, incentives like this will be enough to sweeten the deal."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Capital Pride Inspires Parades for Other Deadly Sins

Ottawa is well known for having at least one festival every week in the summer, but so far parades tend to be limited to Christmas themes and the financially-strapped Capital Pride parade. Given the massively popular LGBTQ celebrations taking place in Ottawa and around the world, city officials are actively taking bids for new downtown attractions.

Of particular focus this year are the other so-called deadly sins. While some might argue that events like PoutineFest and RibFest have ‘Gluttony’ and ‘Sloth’ covered, parades are currently being planned around other vices that humans fall victim to. For instance, the Greed parade, which will take place early next year, will focus on the incoming and incumbent politicians assuming their seats on Parliament Hill.

The Envy parade, planned for when the weather improves again, will be held on Bank Street, and will involve the homeless of Ottawa lining the street and watching people go about their normal days. The Lust Parade will happen concurrently with Escapade next summer, where scantily-clad EDM fans will be encouraged to dance their way through the streets of downtown Ottawa.

Currently the city is accepting pitches for a Wrath parade; though strangely no offers have been presented thus far.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

#75 - Keegan, Amaan and Rob

We decided to do something a little different on the show this week after hitting another arbitrary milestone. After a short discussion on the Canadian election, we discuss some of our favourite guests in the last 6 months or so, and try out a few new segments. We also tease something BIG coming in a few weeks, so feel free to speculate on what that might be.

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This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Ottawhat? News

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Light Rail to be Completed "Spring 2017...or Late 2017...January 2018 at the Latest"

Yesterday, OC Transpo unveiled its new timeline for the completion of the Light Rail Transit. Ottawans have been clamouring for its construction for years, and the organization has finally announced a firm plan to see the project through.

“Construction on Phase One has already begun,” stated OC Transpo’s Communication Liason Saul Green, “It will probably be done in a few months. Maybe not. Pending on the completion of Phase One, Phase Two will begin 2 to 32 weeks after. Our projected completion date of the entire operation is Spring 2017...or Late 2017...January 2018 at the Latest”. When pressed for further details on the timeline, Mr. Green was unable to elaborate with much certainty.

“The construction process will be as streamlined as possible. There will be digging, of course. Possibly some drilling. Perhaps even a controlled explosion or two. One thing is for sure, and you can quote me on this: Light Rail Transit is coming to Ottawa...probably”.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Shady figures seen tampering with O-Train, sending buses to retirement homes

Many politically-aware groups are going out of their way to encourage everyone to vote today, but at least one shady organization is making persistent attempts to dissuade potential voters from filling out their ballots.

While companies like the highly controversial Uber has promised to pick up new riders and take them to polling stations today in Canada, not everybody is being so democratic. A group of secretive figures were seen early this morning at O-Train stations, identified only by their long, blue cloaks. Shortly after the party left the station in a van, service was suspended, around 6 AM. While service has since been restored to the line, technicians say they were lucky to get the system restored so quickly.

Later this morning, blue buses were seen parked in front of retirement residences, where drivers were seen encouraging residents to board to be taken to polling stations once they opened. When asked if anyone would be able to use these voting shuttles, more men in dark blue coats emerged to say that anybody under 40 or planning on voting Liberal or NDP would not be allowed aboard.

Between these and the other illicit tactics used by political groups throughout this campaign period, it is as vital as ever that voters, especially younger people, carry out their democratic duties, and vote! If you don't already know how to do that, head to elections.ca and find out more.

Friday, October 16, 2015

NDP Volunteers Take to Beachcombing to Fund Campaign Promises

Dozens of NDP volunteers have been spotted beachcombing near Blanchet Beach in Gatineau, according to an anonymous lifeguard.

The source claims that last week around 7am, a faded yellow school bus parked in front of Blanchet beach, and a dozen seemingly reluctant volunteers in orange and green swim trunks left the vehicle. The possible leaders, two men wearing business jackets tucked into their jeans, exited the bus—one of them holding a bag labelled "Mulcombs," and the other holding a box labelled "Mulberries."

The lifeguard (who ate his I.D. the moment I identified myself as press) was not aware of any group coming to visit the beach that morning; and was surprised as they proceeded to investigate surreptiously around the entire area.

"It didn’t look like beachcombing at all -- none of them had that long, metal gun that farts sound into the sand.  All they had were big magnets, and a rake. I guess they didn’t bring enough magnets because two people had to share the rake," shouted the lifeguard.

The atmosphere became more hostile when volunteers began to complain of dehydration and "rake fatigue". One of the leaders became irate and began throwing berries aggressively in the air, disturbing the volunteers, and immediately went back to work.

"He was dead silent when he threw them – I’ve never been so scared that early in the morning."

Shortly after 11 that morning, with only three dollars in change and a broken rake, the entire crew trudged back on the bus and left the beach.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#74 - Leslie Cserepy

On the show this week, we spoke with Leslie Cserepy, an actor and improvisor who spent the better part of the the past year performing in Game of Bones with Eddie May Murder Mysteries. You can see Leslie performing with Experimental Farm Theatre and in Eddie May's new show, Sherlock, starting this weekend at the Velvet Room in the Market.

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Eddie May Murder Mysteries
Experimental Farm Theatre Improv

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Redblacks Invite Critics to Play in Exhibition Game

Criticism: It’s something that every professional sports player is used to. Despite having a much better season than last year, the Ottawa RedBlacks are no exception. Analysts, journalists, and even fans have accused them of having a weak offensive line, sloppy defence, a lacklustre offence,  and an unreliable quarterback.  Teams sometimes respond to these kind of allegations via Twitter, but usually do their best to ignore them completely. Next Saturday, the Ottawa RedBlacks will be addressing criticism in a unique way: The Bruise Bowl

“The first annual Bruise Bowl will be an exhibition game between the Ottawa RedBlacks and a collection of reporters, fans, and other individuals who consider themselves football experts” announced Coach Robert Malarky, “Everyone seems to think they know best, so let’s put that to the test. It will be interesting to see how our team stacks up against these armchair athletes.”

It is still unclear as to exactly who will be playing against the RedBlacks in the scrimmage, but members of the team appear excited at the opportunity to prove the critics wrong.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ottawa Tool Library Debuts New Mascot: Gary the Library Tool

The Ottawa Tool Library, a nonprofit that allows residents to borrow a variety of equipment, unveiled their new mascot yesterday. What was once simply two crossed hammers is now an actual person: Terry the Tool.

“We are very excited to be working with Terry the Tool,” says Lauren Henley, Executive Director of the Ottawa Tool Library, “He’s energetic, enthusiastic, and will do a great job promoting our organization in the community”. Although Ms. Henley was very open to talking about the Tool Library, she seemed reluctant to elaborate on the origins of Terry the Tool, his qualifications, or how he came to get the position. Terry, however, was much more forthcoming.

“Lauren’s my big sis. Mom made her give me this job.” says Terry the Tool, “I never had a job before, so this is cool. Well, I delivered newspapers for a week, but they got mad when I delivered the paper to the same house a hundred times. Now I get to hold a hammer. No power tools, Mom says, so just a hammer for now. You should come to the Oshawa Tooth Library, I’ll get you a hammer”.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

#73 - Fred Stonehouse (OAMA)

This week on Ottawhat, we sat down with Rockland Academy of Martial Arts manager and MMA fighter Fred Stonehouse. We learned what it's like starting out in martial arts, the fast-paced and incredibly tiring nature of MMA competitions, and we considered whether Ronald McDonald would beat Wendy (from Wendy's) in a fight.

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@fredstonehouse on Twitter

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Calypso Waterpark Ravaged by Fire

Tragedy stuck Limoges last night as one of the town’s most historic landmarks was set ablaze: Calypso’s Summit Tower.

Police didn’t have to search too long for a suspect after reviewing the security tape, which clearly showed 29 year old Benjamin Stokes speeding off in an empty Shell tanker. After being apprehended, Stokes cited his motivation for setting the inferno as the line for AquaLoops being “too damn long”. Stokes reportedly stood in the line for the ride for 5 hours, only to have the park close as his turn finally arrived. He was denied the chance to drop from the infamous AquaLoops automated hatch.

When asked if he had any regrets about dousing the metal, plastic, and concrete structure with gasoline and then stoking the fire, Benjamin replied “I’d do it again”. Fire fighters managed to put out the blaze at the Summit Tower by turning on all of the rides.

Update: Revelations continue to emerge from the preliminary structural investigation of the toasted tower. Officials now say that the heat from the fire managed to strengthen the fiberglass for each of the Tower’s slides, improving the Tower’s overall safety rating from a sub-par 6/10 to an acceptable 8/10. Calypso plans on re-opening the scorched structure next summer under the pseudonym “Inferno Tower”. On an unrelated note, Calypso plans on increasing admission prices by 10 dollars.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Drinking Local Organic Beer Still Makes You Fat: Study

The "localvore" movement is alive and well in Ottawa, as demonstrated by the popularity of stores like Whole Foods and the rise of farmers markets. Many restaurants boast locally sourced meats on their menus. Organic, local foods are supposed to be fresher, more nutritious, and generally better than average food. A new study out of the University of Ottawa, however, argues that this may not always be the case.

Dr. Moustaffa Aled, a Nutrition Sciences professor at uOttawa, conducted an experiment over 6 months, where he asked 34 people to drink local, organic beer. At the same time, he had another group drinking a variety of generic beer. The results were shocking. After half a year, members of the local group gained an average of 16.3 pounds, while the generic group gained nearly the same amount.

"It's astounding" says Dr. Aled, "Ottawans have been told that eating local, organic food is the way to better health, and we have found that in the case of beer, it simply isn't true."

Beyond the Pale could not be reached for a statement.

Friday, October 2, 2015

FestiFest Coming to Lansdowne This Fall

This November will mark Ottawa’s first annual FestiFest, the long awaited event that showcases, promotes, and celebrates the dozens of festivals that call Ottawa home. Lansdowne will host the three day event, and expects a turnout of nearly 3000 attendees. Residents can look forward to getting information about their favourite festivals, and learning about new upcoming ones.

“We are very excited to be a part of FestiFest” says David Northrup, founder of Ottawa Beard Fest, “We are a fairly new organization, and are excited at the opportunity to share our vision with so many people”.

FestiFest will showcase popular Ottawa Festivals, such as Bluesfest and Ribfest, but will also feature lesser known events, such as the Orleans Festival, Pugfest, and ObamaFest. Tickets for the event can be purchased through Capital Tickets, or from any other Ottawa Festival.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

#72 - Megan Miller

In this episode, we spoke to Megan Miller, a musician living in Ottawa and performing this weekend at Pressed in Ottawa and The Table in Montreal with her band, Valois. Megan talks with us about her issues trying to rejoin her bandmates in the US after being deported, and about something she calls buttvertising

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This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Oct 2nd at Pressed - "Megan Miller Night"
Oct 4th in Montreal at The Plant
Nov 19th CD release show at Live On Elgin!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ottawa Geek Market Spends $200,000 on Anti-Bullying Security Measures

This Saturday and Sunday, the fourth semiannual Ottawa Geek Market will descend upon the Nepean Sportsplex. The popular event features comic books, videogames, cosplayers, and other “geeky” endeavours. This year, organizers have added something else to the agenda: a heavy boost to security.

“The safety of our fans is paramount to us” says Jane Westcliffe, Geek Market’s organizer. “This event is a safe haven for geeks, dorks, and people who play Yu-gi-oh!. We decided to allocate a significant portion of our budget this year to ensure that everyone has a great time.”

Included in the Geek Market’s security budget this year is a variety of state-of-the-art anti-bullying technology. Patrons with gym bags, iPhone armbands, or protein shakers will. be thoroughly screened. Recording devices will identify individuals who utilize suspicious buzzwords, such as “bro” or “lift”. Participants will be asked to answer questions at certain checkpoints, such as “Who played the 8th Doctor Who?” (Paul McGann) or “What is the heaviest Pokemon?” (Groudon).

Hopefully, these precautions will be enough to ward off any persons who harbour ill-will towards the geeks of Ottawa.

Note: Ottawhat will be sending a team to cover the Ottawa Geek Market, so if you see us there, be sure to come over and say hi!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sun Kil Moon Releases New Album "Ottawa and Other Cities That Hurt My Feelings and are Stupidheads"

Indie rocker Sun Kil Moon made headlines last week after he cancelled his performance at CityFolk and then put out a single titled Ottawa Bluesfest is Run by Inbreds. Yesterday, he released the rest of the album, Ottawa and Other Cities that Hurt my Feelings and are Stupidheads.

The record features 14 songs that chronicle his journey through various Canadian cities from his latest tour. Judging by the song titles, such as Toronto Smells Like Garbage, it would appear that Sun Kil Moon had problems in many of the places he travelled. Other notable tracks on the album include Halifax is a Wasteland, Why Can't I Read the Stop Signs in Quebec City, and the ballad I'll Never Go Back to Vancouver, even for a Bajillion Dollars.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Westboro To Rebrand as "Hintonburg West"

A decade ago, Westboro Village enjoyed the title of “Ottawa’s Trendiest Neighborhood”. The brief stretch of Richmond Road boasted hip restaurants, quirky stores, and independent coffee shops. More recently, hipsters have set their sights further east. Hintonburg is the new hot spot for Ottawa trendsetters, where citizens enjoy a variety of expensive, niche stores. 

"Desperate times call for desperate measures" says Rachel Howkus, president of the Westboro Business Association, "We have seen a significant drop in foot traffic in our neighborhood in the last two years, and businesses are starting to suffer. There are rumours that Mountain Equipment Coop and Bridgehead are going to relocate in Hintonburg, which is unacceptable".

Last week, the Westboro Business Association held a vote to determine a new name for their area. "New Hintonburg", "Hintonberg", and even "Los Angeles" were contenders, but "Hintonburg West" won out in the end. The move is a bold one, and only time will tell if Hintonburg West will reclaim its hip vibe, or decay into a bland, suburban wasteland.