Upfront takes a look at the year ahead. Yes, all those New Year's babies are cute, but the calendar change just means the whole damn thing starts over again. Here are some of our early calls for what we'll see in 2005. Take it from us, it ain't gonna be pretty.
Taser time in T.O.
To show their support for the police chief's call for taser use, Toronto's raggedy right-wing city council caucus employs them in a desperate attempt at discipline. Council experiences regular meeting interruptions as Case Ootes zaps conservative crazy Giorgio Mammoliti during his reliably loony outbursts. After each zap, Mammoliti drops to the chamber floor spinning and groaning, eventually rising to his feet and giving a goofy thumbs-up sign to demonstrate the taser's safety.
McGuinty's star power
Trying to soften his image to voters, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty plays the Tony Perkins role in Mississauga's Stage West production of Psycho: The Musical. C'mon, you've noticed the resemblance, and so did Stage West's producers.
New bridge to airport
Hoping to demonstrate its flexibility and willingness to listen to the people, Toronto's Port Authority floats a plan to build a bridge from the lakeshore to Pearson Airport. While half of Etobicoke's neighbourhoods would be gutted to created this overland link to the airport, Port Authority spokespeople insist the plan is "good for business" and threaten lawsuits by Jetsgo, Westjet and the Buttonville Flying Club if it doesn't go ahead.
Things go better with Martin
Rumours of Prime Millionaire Paul Martin's cocaine use just won't go away. Although the somnambulant pol seems too snoozy to be snortin', his constant grinding of teeth and nervous looks keep tongues wagging. In fact, it emerges that Martin's edgy because he was elected under false pretences. A fiscal conservative who loves a good budget slash, he knows his progressive ruse will eventually be revealed.
Moving pictures, not pucks
When the National Hockey League finally resumes play in the fall, the rinks remain empty. Canada has become an idyllic land where families spend Saturday nights talking, playing board games or outside playing winter sports together. Ron MacLean continues his film gig, joined by Roger Ebert to create Movie Night In Canada With MacLean And Ebert, which is broadcast on both sides of the border. MacLean's film knowledge becomes a bigger cultural export to the U.S. than hockey ever was.