The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
Get our free newsletter
Sign Up

Please Advise! Your Spookiest Costume Ideas!

This year has been an endless source of inspiration, but some things are too scary to consider — even for Doc Steve.

Steve Burgess 27 Oct 2021 |

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

Halloween is coming this weekend! Any costume suggestions?



Dear Treaty,

Of course, everybody will want to be a Flaming Toxic Container Ship, right? Yawn. Some other possibilities:

New Defence Minister Anita Anand

Pretty straightforward — just requires a name tag and a hazmat suit.


You’ll need a mask of someone who isn’t wearing one. Bonus points if it’s Jason Kenney or Scott Moe.

Supply Chain Problems

This one’s easy. Could be chilly trick-or-treating in your underwear, though. And of course, you run the risk of having your “Trick or treat” answered with a shrug: “Sorry, kid. Like you say...”

Space Billionaire

The danger with this costume is that everyone will give you Rockets. And no one wants that.

Rogers Communications Board of Governors

You will need one set of 14 friends, a second set of 14 friends and 14 chairs. Everybody will fight for the chairs. For extra veracity, don’t go out trick-or-treating at all.

Giant Worm

This could go two ways. It could be inspired by the new movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Or it could be the insides of a horse whose Ivermectin got swiped by some dude in a tinfoil hat.

2025 Liberal Party Leader

According to Justin Trudeau, that means a Justin Trudeau costume. Others would direct you to the womenswear section.


You walk up to the house in an adorable kitten costume, and after you’re gone the homeowners discover you have somehow managed to undermine the foundations.


It’s a box. You are inside the box. The box is closed. You can go to the bathroom when your trick-or-treating shift is over. Most of the candy goes elsewhere.


Wait for the candy, then ask for an extra 4.4 per cent.

Ryan Reynolds/Dolly Parton

Start with the halo and wings, then take it in whichever direction you prefer.

Atmospheric River

You’ll need a big water tank and a spray nozzle. Get the candy first though. Bomb cyclone is an acceptable variation, but if you go with that option in Vancouver, be prepared for a disappointing payoff.

Alphonso Davies

For this you will want a red Team Canada shirt, soccer shoes and the ability to cross half of a soccer pitch at the speed of Usain Bolt before delicately plucking a ball off the sideline and eventually sending it into the net. Some assembly required.

The Vague Lingering Anxiety and Ennui of a Pandemic That is Still Not Really Over

This one is really all in the facial expressions. Look closely at the people who come to the door and do like them.

The Future

Forget it. Even for Halloween, this one is too damn scary.  [Tyee]

Read more: Politics

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context


The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll