Weekend Posted: Some great stories you may have missed

The return of Heather Reisman, the Freedom Convoy trial slowly rolls along, and more

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Welcome to your Weekend Posted, everyone. Given that it’s Christmas shopping season, we’ve got a fascinating read on the life of Heather Reisman, the founder of Indigo. For us, bookstores have always been the place to go for gifts. Who needs an N64 — OK, we’re dating ourselves a bit — when there are books to be read?

THE BOOKSELLER’S RETURN

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Heather Reisman’s retirement lasted three weeks. The founder and CEO of Indigo returned because the company had taken “a journey off brand” and needed a course correction. Reisman founded the company in 1996, helped out by a cash infusion from her billionaire husband, Gerry Schwartz. In 2001, Indigo initiated a hostile takeover of rival chain Chapters, making Reisman the top bookseller in the country. Reisman retired initially during a devastating year for the company. It had moved away from books and more towards lifestyle products; a devastating cyberattack hit the company; stock prices dropped and so did revenues. A series of top executives left, and Reisman returned three weeks after her August 2023 retirement. Her mission was to get the company back on track. “There was a little moment when, somehow, vibrators turned up in our stores,” Reisman noted to BNN Bloomberg in October. Books, it seems, are now back on the menu. Still, Reisman has remained the object of controversy. With her husband, Reisman founded the HESEG Foundation, which provides scholarships for those going to fight with the Israel Defense Forces. An Indigo store in Toronto was vandalized in November.

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THE CONVOY TRIAL ROLLS ON

A combination photo of Chris Barber and Tamara Lich walking to court
Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press Photo by Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press/File

In early September, the Crown began its criminal prosecutions of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, two people accused of leading the trucker protest that took over downtown Ottawa for weeks in early 2022. After three months, the trial has yet to wrap up and has been adjourned until 2024. The National Post’s Joseph Brean writes that Lich and Barber are likely having the same experience as so many other defendants: “Everything moves so slowly, and sometimes it seems to be that way on purpose, or at least unfairly.” Already, Barber’s lawyer has threatened to try and have the case thrown out because of the delays. A provincial court trial in Canada must be done, from charge to conclusion, within 18 months. That time is already well past. But blaming enough of that delay on the Crown would take further argument in a special motion. “It is generally agreed that trial delay is a widespread problem of national significance,” said Colton Fehr, an expert in criminal procedure and constitutional law, and assistant professor at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia. It’s not just the convoy trial, either: This is a problem in every province, in courthouses around the country.

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DEAR DIARY

In the weekly satirical feature Dear Diary, the National Post re-imagines a week in the life of a newsmaker. This week, Tristin Hopper takes an imagined journey into the thoughts of the CBC: This country is a diverse tapestry of increasingly bizarre personal grievances by upper middle class professionals aged 25-43, and we will not rest until every single one has been featured and applauded.

ET CETERA

  • Last month, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the largest federal public service union, announced two $25,000 donations to Palestinian charities: the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. This has infuriated some members of the union, who are concerned their union dues are going towards activism that serves no benefit to membership.
  • We’ve never received a holiday card from a parliamentarian (although, possibly it just went straight into the recycling with the other junk mail.) But for those who keenly watch their mailbox for the annual dispatch, National Post Parliament Hill reporters Ryan Tumilty and Christopher Nardi have a fun story on how MPs signed these cards late Thursday night in between a mad dash of voting to wrap up parliamentary business before the holidays.
  • A break-up that happened sometime between arriving at the airport and takeoff led to an emergency landing after a man accused his by-then ex-girlfriend of having a bomb aboard the plane. The flight, from Orlando, Florida to Providence, Rhode Island, was diverted to Jacksonville, Florida. “Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for messing up your travel plans,” the man said after being arrested.

SNAPSHOT

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We’d never before thought about how anchovies are fished. Perhaps we maybe even thought they were a veggie. Though that might be chives. Anyhow, this aerial photo is of an anchovy fishing boat near Lima, Peru. The El Niño winter has harmed the anchovy population, and this is causing problems in Peru, which is the world’s leading producer of fish oil and fishmeal from anchovies. Ernesto Benavides/AFP Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES /AFP via Getty Images

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