TORONTO — Montreal filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s drama Mommy has won a Dorian Award as Best Foreign Language Film.
Dolan was also nominated for Wilde Artist of the Year — which honours “a truly groundbreaking force” in entertainment — but lost to Transparent director Jill Soloway.
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Winners of the Dorian Awards, voted on by roughly 100 members of the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA), were announced Tuesday.
Mommy star Anne Dorval lost the Film Actress award to Julianne Moore (Still Alice).
Regina-born Tatiana Maslany lost the TV Actress award to Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback) and her Toronto-shot series Orphan Black was beaten by Getting On in the Unsung TV Show of the Year category.
READ MORE: Canadians Xavier Dolan, Tatiana Maslany among Dorian Awards nominees
Boyhood was chosen Film of the Year and Eddie Redmayne was honoured for his work in The Theory of Everything. Film Director of the Year is Ava DuVernay (Selma).
The British film Pride won both LGBTQ Film of the Year and Unsung Film of the Year.
Other Dorian Awards went to the films The Grand Budapest Hotel and Into the Woods and TV’s The Normal Heart and Transparent.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was named TV Current Affairs Show of the Year while John Oliver (Last Week Tonight) was named the Wilde Wit of the Year.
John R. Kennedy is a member of GALECA and cast a ballot for the Dorian Awards.
We’ll get things going at 6:45am with our Healthy Living segment. Many Canadians have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder through various media reports and water cooler conversations. But recently SAD’s status has changed. Dr. Martin Alda, Killam Chair in Mood Disorders at Dalhousie University, will join us with the latest on this debilitating winter condition.
Why aren’t Canadians more interested in politics? Join us at 7:15am for a lively discussion with Michael MacMillan – media executive, co-founder of Samara Canada and co-author of the best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons: Former Members of Parliament Speak Out About Canada’s Failing Democracy.
Want a great excuse to start thinking about summer? Join Halifax Jazz Festival Artistic Director Lulu Healy at 7:45am to chat about this summer’s event taking place July 8 – 12th. Also – find out more about an upcoming show featuring Ms. Lisa Fischer, Rolling Stones mainstay and star of the Oscar-winning film 20 FEET FROM STARDOM.
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Getting ready for baby is one thing but what about getting ready for babies? In this week’s Doctor’s Appointment, we learn about multiple births and pregnancy. Dr. Howard Conter shares the straight facts on twins, triplets and more. That’s Wednesday at 8:15am.
At 8:20am we get our annual visit from Heather Gibson to tee up this year’s In The Dead of Winter Music Festival. What started in 2006 as a one-venue event with 11 artists has morphed into a 4-day acoustic musical journey across four venues in Halifax. Highlights this year include Owen Pallett and The Skydiggers.
And at 8:45am the music theme continues on our show with a chat and live performance from Ben Caplan. The Halifax based musician is playing a show at the CAPACOA Conference Wednesday night before heading out on the road for an extensive world tour in 2015.
PARIS – Five ethnic Chechens from Russia have been arrested in southern France, including one with a cache of explosives, a local mayor said Tuesday as four other men appeared at a court in Paris, the first to face charges in the Paris terror attacks.
France has been on high alert since three days of terror left 20 people dead in Paris, including the three gunmen, earlier this month.
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The report of the arrests came France’s prime minister urged his nation to do some soul-searching about the country’s deep ethnic divisions and declared that fighting hatred, anti-Semitism and racism was a top priority, especially in France’s impoverished housing projects, home to many immigrant communities.
READ MORE: To counter terror, Europe’s police reconsider their weapons
Beziers Mayor Robert Menard confirmed the five arrests Tuesday in Beziers and on the outskirts of Montpellier. He said the man arrested in Beziers had been a resident “for some time.”
Midi Libre, the local paper, said an explosives cache was found in Beziers near a stadium but prosecutor Yvon Calvet told Midi Libre it wasn’t immediately clear whether a terror attack was planned. Prosecutors planned to hold a news conference later Tuesday in Beziers.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said the four men in court Tuesday were suspected of providing logistical support to Amedy Coulibaly, one of the terrorists killed by police, and requested the men be detained longer on weapons and terrorism charges.
Coulibaly shot a policewoman to death on the outskirts of Paris and then killed four hostages inside a kosher supermarket before being shot dead by police. It is not clear whether the four suspects in court Tuesday, all in their 20s, were involved in plotting the attacks or even aware of Coulibaly’s plans.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said five others arrested in the investigation were released without charge.
READ MORE: EU calls for anti-terror alliance with Arab countries after Paris attacks
No one has been charged with direct involvement in the Jan. 7-9 Paris terror attacks. Coulibaly claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group while the two brothers who attacked the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly said they were backed by al-Qaida in Yemen.
In Bulgaria, a court agreed to extradite a Frenchman who knew one of the two Kouachi brothers who massacred 12 people at Charlie Hebdo. Fritz-Joly Joachin told the Bulgarian court he was innocent and wanted to return to Paris to clear his name.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls told journalists Tuesday that the attacks should force France to look at the “apartheid” within. The conservative Socialist whose hard line on Islamic extremism has won many fans said he wasn’t making excuses for crime or terrorism, “but we also have to look at the reality of our country.”
Valls said memories have dimmed of the three weeks of riots by disaffected youths in 2005 that shook France.
“And yet, the stigmas remain … a territorial, social and ethnic apartheid that has imposed itself on our country,” he said. “The social misery is compounded by the daily discriminations, because someone does not have the right name, the right colour of skin, or because she is a woman.”
READ MORE: French police release 3 suspects, extend questioning of 9 arrested after attacks
In response to the 2005 riots, the French government spent hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) to improve conditions in its rundown suburbs, with little success. Unemployment among young people in the housing projects is well above the national average and state buildings are often targeted for vandalism and arson.
“The fight against hatred, anti-Semitism in all its forms, racism – these fights are absolutely urgent,” Valls said. Young people who refused to take part in a national minute of silence for the terror attack victims “are symptoms of something that is not going well.”
In Athens, an Algerian man suspected of jihadi terrorist links in Belgium appeared before a Greek prosecutor for an extradition hearing on being sent to Belgium. The suspect, whose name was not released, was detained Saturday in Athens, where he lives.
Belgium launched a large anti-terrorism sweep last week, during which two suspects were killed and one wounded, that netted several returnees from Islamic holy war in Syria.
Veselin Toshkov in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Nicholas Paphitis from Athens contributed.
VIDEO GALLERY ABOVE
WASHINGTON – Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child care help for the middle class and a torrent of veto threats for the GOP’s own plans.
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In a shift from tradition, Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress was less a laundry list of new proposals and more an attempt to sell a story of a national economy emerging from the “shadow of crisis.” He appealed for “better politics” in Washington and pledged to work with Republicans, but he showed few signs of curtailing or tweaking his own plans to meet GOP priorities.
Instead, the president vowed to use his veto pen to strike down the Republican leadership’s efforts to dismantle his signature accomplishments, including his health care and financial reform laws.
WATCH: President Barack Obama enters the House of Representatives to give his State of the Union address
LIVE: State of the Union address 2015
“We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix,” Obama said in his hour-long address. “And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it.”
The president sought out more common ground on foreign policy, pledging to work with Congress on a new authorization for military action against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, as well as legislation to guard against cyberattacks. In a rare move away from his own party, Obama also renewed his call for fast-tracking free trade agreements with Asia and Europe, generating more applause from pro-trade Republicans than skeptical Democrats.
Obama’s address marked the first time in his presidency that he stood before a Republican-controlled Congress. Yet the shift in the political landscape has also been accompanied by a burst of economic growth and hiring, as well as a slight increase in Obama’s once-sagging approval ratings — leaving the White House to see little incentive in acquiescing to Republicans.
After ticking through signs of the rising economy, the president turned toward Republicans sitting in the chamber and said with a wink, “This is good news, people.”
WATCH: President Obama wants equal pay for men and women
The centerpiece of Obama’s economic proposals marked a shift away from the focus on austerity and deficit reduction that has dominated his fiscal fights with Republicans. In a direct challenge to GOP economic ideology, Obama called for increasing the capital gains rate on couples making more than $500,000 annually, to 28 percent.
The president’s tax plan would also require estates to pay capital gains taxes on securities at the time they’re inherited and slap a fee on the roughly 100 U.S. financial firms with assets of more than $50 billion.
Much of the $320 billion in new taxes and fees would be used for measures aimed at helping the middle class, including a $500 tax credit for some families with two spouses working, expansion of the child care tax credit and a $60 billion program to make community college free. He also has called for expanding paid leave for workers and moved on his own to lower a mortgage insurance premium rate that could attract new homebuyers.
“Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?” Obama asked. “Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”
The president’s proposals seemed more about giving his party a platform in the 2016 election than outlining a realistic legislative agenda. Even before the president’s address, Republicans were balking at his proposals and painting a far less rosy picture of the economy.
“We see our neighbors agonize over stagnant wages and lost jobs. We see the hurt caused by canceled health care plans and higher monthly insurance bills,” said Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who delivered the Republican response. “But when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like Obamacare. It’s a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions.”
WATCH: Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address
With an eye on a swirl of foreign policy challenges, Obama defended his decision to return to military action in Iraq and also authorize airstrikes in Syria. He said Congress could “show the world that we are united in this mission” by passing a new resolution formally authorizing the use of force against the Islamic State group.
As the U.S. eyes a March deadline for a framework agreement with Iran on its disputed nuclear program, the president vowed to veto any effort by Congress to pass new sanctions legislation. Such a step, he said, “will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.”
The president also heralded his unilateral move last month to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba after a half-century of animosity, and he urged lawmakers to follow his lead by lifting the economic embargo on the communist island. Yet the guest boxes in the House chamber underscored the sensitive politics that hang over efforts to overhaul the long-standing U.S. policy toward Cuba.
WATCH: President Obama has been putting on the finishing touches to his sixth State of the Union address.
Among the guests sitting with first lady Michelle Obama was Alan Gross, the American man who spent five years in a Cuban prison and was released as part of the deal to end the freeze between Washington and Havana. In a nod to the concerns of Cuban dissidents and pro-democracy advocates, House Speaker John Boehner’s guest was Jorge Luis García Pérez, who spent 17 years in a Cuban prison. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio brought Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo, whose father was a well-known Cuban dissident who was killed in a car accident that his family believes was suspicious.
Obama appeared at ease throughout the address, adlibbing at times and responding to the audience reaction. As he neared the end of his speech, he declared, “I have no more campaigns to run.” As Republicans erupted in laughter, Obama retorted, “I know, because I won both of them.”
WATCH: Devastating and very graphic video evidence is the focus of day two of Martin Tremblay’s dangerous offender hearing. Rumina Daya reports.
VANCOUVER – Tuesday is day two in a dangerous offender hearing for a man convicted in the deaths of two teenage girls.
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Martin Tremblay has a history of plying teenage girls with alcohol and drugs, sexually assaulting them and even videotaping his crimes. Some girls would refer to him as ‘dad’ or ‘god’.
Two years ago he was convicted of criminal negligence in the deaths of 16-year-old Kayla LaLonde and 17-year-old Martha Jackson Hernandez.
He has not been sentenced in that case yet, but prosecutors want to see him designated a dangerous offender. That would mean he could be behind bars indefinitely. Crown has to prove that Tremblay poses a risk to the public, to re-offend, and to cause injury and death to someone else.
Some of his victims’ families were in court for day one of the proceedings. “For me, I’ve lived a life behind bars and I’m grateful I’m not today, but in the long run, this is a dangerous man and in regards I think he’s a menace to society,” said Kayla’s dad, Herman Bee. “I don’t want to see this happen to another family. At times I’m lost for words. There’s days I go thinking of my daughter and there’s days I just want to give up.”
“I don’t want to see anyone feel the way we feel right now.”
In 2011, Vancouver Police included Tremblay on a list of men believed to be preying on women in the poverty-stricken neighbourhood where serial killer Robert Pickton once found his victims.
WATCH: Day one of the dangerous offender hearing:
TORONTO – Nintendo is closing down its popular loyalty-rewards program — Club Nintendo — as of June 30, the company announced Tuesday.
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Since 2009, members of Club Nintendo have been able to earn “coins” by registering specific Nintendo products and completing surveys. Members could then exchange those coins for a variety of gifts, such as downloadable games, and items like posters, calendars and figurines.
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Club Nintendo members in the U.S. and Canada can earn additional coins through the end of March and redeem them through the end of June, the company said.
Starting in February, Nintendo will be adding new physical rewards and downloadable games to the program to help members use up their balances.
“We thank all Club Nintendo members for their dedication to Nintendo games and their ongoing love for our systems and characters,” Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing, said in a press release. “We want to make this time of transition as easy as possible for our loyal Club Nintendo members, so we are going to add dozens of new rewards and downloadable games to help members clear out their coin balances.”
Nintendo will also be giving away Flipnote Studio 3D for free to Club Nintendo members as of February. Nintendo 3DS users will be able to use the program to create and share unique 3D animations.
The ability to make a new Club Nintendo account will end on March 31.
RELATED: Nintendo apologizes for lack of equality in ‘Tomodachi Life’ game
Nintendo of America will be launching a new loyalty program at a later date, but there is no word if it will be available in Canada.
Nintendo’s video gaming products include the Wii U, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS. The new Nintendo 3DS XL launches in Canada on Feb. 13.
-with files from The Associated Press
TORONTO – A self-described “health and educational” charity aiming to promote discussion around doctor-assisted dying will lose its registered charity status in February because the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has decided to annul the group. Its reasoning? Dying with Dignity Canada was registered in error in 1982–and then again when it was re-registered in 2011.
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“I find it puzzling that we could have been a charity for 30 years in error,” said Dying with Dignity (DWD) Canada’s CEO Wanda Morris.
The annulment is the result of a newly formed CRA political-audit group that launched in 2012-2013, which has already been accused of unfairly targeting charities who oppose the Conservative government’s policies.
READ MORE: CRA’s auditing of charities under scrutiny
But non-profit and charity lawyer Mark Blumberg, who represents DWD Canada, said while it’s uncommon–such an “error” isn’t unheard of.
“CRA does make mistakes,” said Blumberg. “It’s not completely unusual, in that many years ago it was the anti-abortion groups that were getting a lot of scrutiny from the CRA.
“Right now–the last two years with the Harper government’s increased expenditures given to CRA to review the issue of political activities by charities–there’s no question that there’s greater scrutiny on Canadian charities and political activities. But Canadian charities have always had these rules that need to be complied with, and fundamentally the rules actually haven’t changed.”
READ MORE: Most Canadians support doctor-assisted suicide, but specifics reveal divisions
A screengrab from the Dying with Dignity Canada’s website shows some of the resources the group offers. Dying with Dignity Canada screengrab
A screengrab from the Dying with Dignity Canada’s website shows some of the resources the group offers.
Dying with Dignity Canada screengrab
This increased scrutiny comes with a federal government that “doesn’t like to hear a lot of dissenting voices,” according to David Duff, professor of law at the University of British Columbia and director of the school’s graduate program in tax.
“There’s a legal base for it, they’re not making this up but…the current attitude in the CRA is that anything where there’s a challenge to an existing law, or questioning an existing law is political,” said Duff. “Therefore if this organization wants to change the law around assisted suicide, then that’s–in their view–inherently political.”
Duff said the message sent by the government seems to have been to “silence” those with opposing views and not support such organizations through any kind of tax assistance; he cited environmental groups as another example.
WATCH: Is the Harper government targeting environmental groups?
The DWD board has decided not to fight the annulment; Morris cited costly legal expenses and a low chance of success as reasons. Blumberg said the CRA has been in the Federal Court of Appeal in charity de-registration cases more than 60 times–and won every single case. The CRA said since April 1, 2010, there have been six Federal Court of Appeal decisions on charities challenging annulments or revocations of their charity status.
“In each case, the Court ruled in favour of the CRA,” said the CRA statement. Four cases are currently waiting to be heard; one has filed an application for leave to appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada.
But instead of fighting, DWD Canada is trying to focus on the silver lining: The CRA chose annulment for DWD, which means it gets to keep all of its accumulated assets. It also will be able to continue giving tax receipts for donations for the next month or so. Had DWD’s charity status been revoked, a tax would’ve been imposed that would essentially take away all assets, destroying the organization.
“The negative impact is that in approximately a month’s time, we’ll no longer be able to issue tax receipts,” said Morris. “So for individuals–major donors–that may affect the amount that they’re able to donate. Of course, that’s offset by the fact that we will be able to do unfettered political advocacy.”
Registered charities are restricted to “incidental” political advocacy, which is defined as 10 per cent of a charity’s budget, said Morris. It also means DWD couldn’t talk about individual politicians, officials or parties.
“Once we are no longer charitable, we won’t be able to give tax receipts, but we will be able to make the public aware of the various political platforms and who’s supporting physician-assisted dying.”
READ MORE: How doctor-assisted dying works in Oregon
DWD advocates for the legalization of physician-assisted dying, and suggested its workshops and presentations, newsletter, website and advance care planning resource kits as falling under “advancing education.” The CRA audit disagreed, saying DWD doesn’t conduct “any activities advancing education in the charitable sense.”
“The accumulation or dissemination of information that is selective, or unreasonably biased, or promotes a predetermined point of view does not qualify as advancing education in the charitable sense,” reads the CRA letter of annulment, provided to Global News by Morris. The letter said after reviewing DWD’s materials, the group’s focus is on promoting its view on “medically-assisted suicide.”
“The organization substantially focused on disseminating information promoting expanding choice in dying, including by securing the right to die, and by opposing the provisions of the Criminal Code prohibiting physician-assisted suicide,” said the letter.
Morris and Blumberg declined to comment on whether they believed the annulment was politically motivated.
READ MORE: Questions raised about bias in Canada Revenue Agency tax audits
When reached by telephone Tuesday morning, CRA auditor Julianne Myska (whose name appears on the letter to DWD Canada) declined to speak with Global News.
Ontario’s regional issues manager for the CRA, Neil Shalapata, referred Global News to a written statement from Public Affairs spokesperson Jennifer McCabe.
“The confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act prevent the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) from commenting on the details of a specific organization without that organization’s consent,” said the statement, in response to questions about how a charity could exist for 30 years in error, particularly when it was deemed to have been registered in error twice.
The CRA said the term charitable isn’t defined in the Income Tax Act, so the CRA uses “common law (court decisions) to determine what is charitable.”
“There is an interpretive nature to the registration process in considering common law, and to what degree of accuracy and completeness the charity has represented itself. In rare circumstances, the CRA’s Charities Directorate has identified certain organizations that were indeed registered in error.”
From April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013, there were nine annulments due to registration error; from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 there were six, according to the CRA. You can read the CRA’s Charities Listings page to see a list of the thousands of revocations and annulments dating back to 1967.
READ MORE: Tories block attempt to review Canada Revenue Agency’s charity audits
With a file from
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article said there were five annulments from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. The CRA later contacted Global News to say “the statistics provided to you initially were incomplete” and updated the number to nine for that time period.
ABOVE: Chairs fly, punches are thrown, and police are called after the Nepalese parliament descends into a massive brawl
Opposition politicians in Kathmandu, Nepal, threw chairs and attacked the parliamentary speaker in parliament on Tuesday, the day of a violent general strike.
The opposition was trying to block the government from pushing through a draft of a new constitution.
In the tussle several security guards were injured but the Assembly members suffered only bruises.
The ruling coalition planned to push through the draft on Thursday.
Nepal has been attempting to draft a constitution since electing its first Constituent Assembly in 2008.
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©2015The Associated Press
MONTREAL — After three days of consultations, Quebec’s Family Minister said she has decided not to fine parents whose children are registered for a full-time daycare spot but who don’t use it five days a week.
Francine Charbonneau tabled Bill 27 in November; legislation she said at the time would optimize subsidized childcare services.
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READ MORE: Quebec to fine parents who pay for but don’t use daycare spots
Controversially, it included a provision that would fine up to $60 per day those parents who register their children for daily full-time care, but keep their children at home during the week.
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Quebec Ombudsman Raymonde Saint-Germain was critical of the sanctions against parents, arguing that the plan was unfair, did not address the problem and did not save the government money.
“The ministerial proposal penalizes parents, especially those with atypical childcare needs,” Saint-Germain said in a statement on Jan. 15.
READ MORE: Should universally subsidized daycare end in Quebec? The Liberals think so
“Furthermore, there is the risk that the solutions put forward might not have a positive impact on public finances, and instead push many parents into having their child in childcare full-time rather than what they would have wanted.
“We conclude that this will not generate available spaces or savings.”
READ MORE: ‘Don’t sanction parents,’ groups tell Quebec’s Family Minister
The Ombudsman recommended that the sanctions be removed from Bill 27 and childcare centres try to address real childcare needs by, for example, offering occasional and part-time places.
Charbonneau said she would work on a new solution to try and make the system more flexible.
Daycares who charge the full subsidy when a child does not attend full-time could still face fines up to $1,000.
TORONTO — Justin Bieber will celebrate turning 21 in March by getting roasted on television.
The Canadian pop star will be roasted by celebrities and comedians at a Comedy Central taping on March 7.
“Justin has been asking us for years to roast him, so we kept telling him to create some more material and we’re thrilled he listened,” the U.S. cable network said in a statement.
Bieber has made more headlines recently for his behaviour than for his music. He hasn’t released an album of new music since 2012’s Believe.
READ MORE: 2014 was a year of Bieber behaving badly
The London, Ont.-born singer tweeted his excitement:
For years I have wanted Comedy Central to roast me. They said only if I provided them w/ more material so for a year now I have worked hard
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 20, 2015
Finally after all that hard work for my 21st bday it’s happening. Thanks @RyanSeacrest & @ComedyCentral for the announcement. Let’s do it 🙂
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 20, 2015
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 20, 2015
Bieber can evidently take a joke. Following a Saturday Night Live parody of his Calvin Klein campaign last weekend, Bieber tweeted his approval:
@nbcsnl well played. Lol.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 18, 2015
Bieber is not the first Canadian celebrity to be roasted in a Comedy Central special. Pamela Anderson was roasted in 2005 and William Shatner in 2006.
An air date for the roast has not been announced.