During his time starting up VICE in Montreal, contributing to its content, McInnes honed his brand — a voice the New York Times described as "inflected with a crass, contrarian bigotry."
A Montreal newspaper also played a role in McInnes' rise to media fame and fortune.
The story goes that one of McInnes' partners at VICE tricked a Montreal journalist — some sources say from La Presse, others say The Gazette — into reporting that Richard Szalwinski, a millionaire who'd recently acquired another media company, wanted to invest in VICE.
This led to Szalwinski, who hadn't heard of VICE, becoming a partner and buying 25% for a reported $750,000, according to The Walrus.
By the end of 2008, VICE had cut ties with McInnes. But he had already made a name for himself.
He found new platforms among right-wing media outlets, going on to host The Gavin McInnes Show on Compound Media, appear on Fox News and contribute to The Rebel Media, building up a loyal following.
McInnes quit the Proud Boys days after it was reported that the FBI had labelled the Proud Boys an extremist organization.
But, as CBC News reported, he admitted on YouTube he did so "reluctantly."
"I'm told by my legal team and law enforcement that this gesture could help alleviate their sentencing. Fine. At the very least this will show jurors they're not dealing with a gang and there is no head of operations," said McInnes.
"I see it as the greatest fraternal organization in the world. But rumours and lies and terrible journalism has made its way to the court system."
According to Global, the Proud Boys' Montreal chapter went offline on January 11 amid "mounting pressure in the wake of ... violence in the U.S. capital."
With the U.S. presidential election in progress, Canadians from Quebec to B.C. are anxiously anticipating the results of what some are calling the most important American election in our lifetime.
Though many of us are worried about the potential impacts of the U.S. election, experts say that while things are bound to change, relations between our two countries should remain stable no matter who wins — whether it be Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
MTL Blog spoke with two experts about how the outcome of the election will affect Canada-U.S. relations.
Dr. Daniel Béland is a political science professor at McGill University and director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.
Dr. Kathryn Friedman is a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and research professor at the University of Buffalo
Would Canada-U.S. relations improve or worsen under a Biden presidency?
"Relations would certainly be different," said Dr. Friedman.
"[Biden] has publicly stated many times his commitment to allies, his commitment to multi-national order and institutions."
Overall, Dr. Friedman believes that Canada-U.S. relations will greatly improve under a Biden presidency. His strong personal relationship with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would also be a huge boon to the relations between the two countries, she said.
Dr. Béland agrees. He said "[relations] would probably improve in part because they would eliminate the uncertainty stemming from Trump’s unpredictable and sometimes confrontational behaviour."
Biden also has more ideological similarities to Trudeau, suggests Dr. Béland. While some disagreements would remain, the professor expects a return to "diplomatic normality" if Biden wins.
What do the next four years look like if Trump wins?
Relations "would remain unpredictable and dependant in part [...] [on] Trump’s arbitrary outbursts," said Dr. Béland.
Dr. Béland also said he worries that because Trump can't seek re-election for a third term, the current president "would care even less about looking presidential and painting broader support beyond his base."
Dr. Friedman, meanwhile, has a more optimistic view of another four years of Trump.
"I think that [the relationship between Canada and the U.S] is resilient," she explained.
"It'll rebound even after eight years of a Trump presidency. We need each other even though Trump may not appreciate [...] what Canada brings to the table. We will survive."
The Worst-Case Doomsday Scenario
Dr. Béland envisions that "acute political instability leading to potential violence would constitute a nightmare scenario" in terms of how the two countries relate to each other.
For Dr. Friedman, the pandemic and its consequences on the cross-border economy are a much more problematic situation right now.
"Regardless of who's elected, the worst-case scenario would be that the pandemic intensifies," she said.
"I don't think your government is interested in lifting the border restrictions until it's confident that we have the pandemic under control in the U.S. — whatever that means."
If Eman El-Husseini and Jess Salomon look familiar, you might have caught their comedy special on Crave: The El-Solomons: Marriage of Convenience. Or perhaps you recognize them from @theelsalomons, an Instagram account featuring illustrated vignettes from their lives as Jewish-Palestinian wives, comedians and moms to puppy Esther Honey.
Maybe you saw them perform at the Royalmount this summer or heard about their new BBC podcast Comedians Vs The News, in which they "take on the headlines and find the funny in the stories the world is talking about."
Regardless of what these two are doing — and, clearly, it's a lot — they're experts at taking whatever life throws at them and finding the funny in it.
And since the pair met in Montreal where Salomon grew up, we can still consider them 'our own' even though they're currently based in New York, right?
The El-Salomons recently spent two months in a chalet near Chertsey, Quebec riding out the pandemic, and they gave us their top three tips for keeping your spirits up in confinement.
"I barely ate and I'm driving in snow and I have a wife that's stressing me for eight hours. So we got to the place that we rented and I passed out, sleeping like a baby," El-Husseini told MTL Blog, recounting the early days of quarantine.
"But then I wake up to my wife crying at two o'clock in the morning writing this huge status update about how sad she is."
Salomon explained that she doesn't typically write long, emotional statuses in the middle of the night, but it was "not the time to telephone anybody." Plus, El-Husseini was asleep.
"It does feel like a place where you can kind of unload," Salomon said. "People were so supportive."
The couple said the pandemic is also a good time to use social media to catch up with friends.
And though El-Husseini poked fun at Salomon, turns out the joke's on her.
"Jess left all of her worries on her Facebook," El-Husseini said. "Then she passes out, and now I can't fall asleep."
Step up your food game
El-Husseini and Salomon both agreed food is a point of contention in their relationship. Salomon's the type to pack boiled eggs for the road and El-Husseini's the type to scout out roadside dives à la Guy Fieri.
But the two have been having fun in the kitchen lately.
"When COVID came around I really had to step up my game with cooking almost defensively so she wouldn't go to a restaurant," said Salomon.
"That's how we managed to keep our relationship together. Me turning into a five-star, James Beard award-winning chef."
Since they couldn't leave the chalet during their two-week quarantine when arriving in Quebec, they indulged in regional specialties — each ordering May Wests, and Ah Caramels, which they didn't realize came by the box-full.
"We weren't sad about [it]," said Salomon.
"And Eman bought a home poutine making [kit] — the gravy from St. Hubert and the fries and the cheese curds."
Change-up the content you consume
"The first twenty headlines [in U.S. publications] are Trump, Trump, Trump," said El-Husseini.
"Just taking a breather away from that [can help]. 'What's happening in Ethiopia? What's happening in Argentina? Oh, a politician kissed his wife's breasts during a zoom meeting?' You're just like, 'This is great!'"
If you're not listening to their BBC podcast, they recommend escaping with light, "junky" shows like Selling Sunset, The Circle and Family Feud.
And if you do watch the news? Adopt a comedian's mentality.
"Our brain is sort of trained to find the funny," Salomon explained.
"You just hope for moments like the fly landing on Mike Pence's head. That was the happiest people have been in a long time as a group."