Ian Hanomans­ing on the new news

CBC is re­launch­ing its iconic news­cast The Na­tional on Nov. 6. We talk to one of four new hosts, Ian Hanomans­ing, who is back in Toronto to kick-start the show.

Thornhill Post - - News - by Ron John­son

What makes you most ex­cited about re­launch­ing TheNa­tional at the CBC? I think the op­por­tu­nity. We are ex­actly one month away from launch, and there is a lot about this show still be­ing de­ter­mined.… This is ac­tu­ally a dif­fer­ent model, and with that comes a huge risk but, on the other side, a huge op­por­tu­nity.… Right now, we are about to em­bark on some­thing that, if we do it right, maybe it’ll be a model for other peo­ple. It’s not go­ing to be the ac­tion news team sit­ting next to each other and ban­ter­ing. Re­cently, there was a poll on whether or not Cana­di­ans would vote for some­one who wears a tur­ban (Jag­meet Singh). What do you think of such ar­ti­cles? I saw that poll to­day and found it very in­ter­est­ing and cer­tainly wasn’t both­ered by the cov­er­age of it. You don’t want to fo­ment in­tol­er­ance and stir it up, but I think it’s im­por­tant to con­front it and dis­cuss it. I like the fact that we have that con­ver­sa­tion and we talk about how we’ve pro­gressed. Things have changed so much in this so­ci­ety in 30 or 40 years. I re­mem­ber filling in on The Na­tional years ago, and I would come up­stairs and re­mem­ber see­ing the look on some of the editorial as­sis­tants’ faces an­swer­ing the phones, and I heard later that some of those calls were peo­ple say­ing very unkind things about me, and it didn’t have to do with how I read the news­cast. That doesn’t re­ally hap­pen any­more. The re­ac­tion to Jag­meet Singh also says some­thing about where we are. Have you been in Toronto long enough yet to re­al­ize our vast su­pe­ri­or­ity to Van­cou­ver? I ar­rived on Sun­day. And so it still feels like one of the many dozens of stints I’ve had here. But here is the thing: I grew up in New Brunswick and spent a lot of time in Toronto as a Mar­itimer, and I lived here for just un­der a year, and I re­ally like Toronto. In Van­cou­ver, I used to say this to peo­ple all the time. So many peo­ple there have never been in Toronto but know they re­ally don’t like it. In Van­cou­ver, when I had no idea I was com­ing back, I’d say I re­ally like Toronto to some­one, and there was al­ways a pause in the con­ver­sa­tion be­cause I think peo­ple thought it was a set-up for a joke. So you’ve en­joyed your re­turn so far then? You know what, when I’m com­ing into the city and tak­ing that last turn pass­ing the CNE and Lake On­tario and the tow­ers on the left hand side of the cab, al­ways, I don’t care how many times I see it, it’s al­ways ex­cit­ing. All right, but I re­ally want to hear about this hockey board game of yours, the NHL Gen­eral Man­ager Game. It’s kind of sit­ting here. I’ve been work­ing on it since the mid-2000s and was re­ally busy be­tween 2005 and 2011, but boy, the board game

busi­ness is hard to break into. You must be a big hockey fan then. Must be nice to come to a city with a team ac­tu­ally on the rise. Ab­so­lutely. You know what, I grew up in New Brunswick as a Habs fan, so I was al­ways an out­lier in Van­cou­ver, even dur­ing the rise of the Canucks, with two game seven ap­pear­ances in the Stan­ley Cup fi­nal in ’94 and es­pe­cially in 2011, when ev­ery­one thought they would re­ally win. But be­ing a Habs fan in Van­cou­ver is not a rare thing. There are a lot of Leafs and Habs fans, but I could never fully em­brace what was hap­pen­ing there, and now, I’m a Habs fan in Toronto. What is your great­est fear? I don’t know that I have a great­est fear, but rodents are right up there. What is your most trea­sured pos­ses­sion? Fam­ily photo al­bums from the ’90s. Oh, and my Cap­tain Fan­tas­tic and the Brown Dirt Cow­boy pic­ture disk. When and where were you hap­pi­est? I would say, I don’t want to sound too corny, but last year, our two uni­ver­sity-aged boys were back home, and the four of us, my wife, my two sons and I, were hav­ing sup­per. And I re­mem­ber look­ing around the table and think­ing I didn’t ex­pect the four of us to be sit­ting around hav­ing sup­per for the first time in years, maybe since my old­est kid was in Grade 9, and I said, “You know what, let’s savour this.” Then, one of my sons just rolled his eyes and said, “great.” What do you con­sider the most over­rated virtue? Clever an­swers to ques­tions like these.

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