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What the north needs? Transportation infrastructure
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Oct 15, 2019
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A study finds the Ford government is not on track to achieve its own emission reduction targets. (iStock.com)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following


‘Next to no progress’ reported on cutting carbon emissions

A study finds the Ford government is not on track to achieve its own emission reduction targets, the CBC reports. The report by the advocacy group Environmental Defence says decisions made by the Tories have slowed the pace of electric vehicle sales and delayed more renewable content in fuel. “So far, we haven’t seen any meaningful steps to reduce carbon pollution and fight climate change in Ontario,” says Sarah Buchanan, clean economy program manager for Environmental Defence.


Education cuts protested at schools across Ontario 

Parents, students, education workers, and teachers held protests at 700 public schools across the province on Thursday. Global News reports that organizers had several goals for the demonstrations, including reinstating the previous Liberal government’s health curriculum, lowering class-size caps, and removing e-learning requirements. “The province’s already underfunded school system is under attack,” a spokesperson with the advocacy group Ontario Families for Public Education wrote in a statement about the protests.

 

Whistleblower says province left First Nation in Chemical Valley unprotected

A 30-year Ministry of Environment employee says Ontario has failed to properly protect Aamjiwnaang First Nation, whose ancestral land near Sarnia is surrounded by petroleum refineries and chemical plants. Speaking to the Toronto Star, Scott Grant alleges that top-level ministry managers withheld data about sulphur dioxide impacts and failed to adequately consult with the First Nation about new regulations for acid-gas flaring, a technique commonly used by the plants in the area. He also states he was subject to workplace retribution for raising these concerns. The government, meanwhile, says the regulation Grant criticized is effective. It also rejects his charge of harassment, pointing out that he remains employed by the ministry and that “his performance reviews have always been positive.”


Special adviser to tackle public health merger plans

Health Minister Christine Elliott has appointed Jim Pine to consult municipalities and local health officials before the government moves ahead with controversial plans to merge public health units across the province, according to the Globe and Mail. “We heard from a lot of municipalities that they were concerned about retroactivity of some of the changes, and that the changes were coming too quickly,” Elliott said in an interview. Pine is the chief administrative officer of the County of Hastings in eastern Ontario.



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#onpoli: The dark art of dividing Canadians

How does employing wedge issues in election campaigns further divide Canadians in an already polarized world? The #onpoli podcast team headed to the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto earlier this week to record a live discussion about this very question. Co-hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath spoke with three political insiders about wedge issues such as abortion, immigration, and health care. You can find this episode on Apple podcasts, your favourite podcast subscription service, or TVO.org.


Word Bomb:  How we talk about addiction

With an opioid epidemic sweeping North America, there has never been a more urgent time to question the words we use when talking about addiction and the people affected by it. In this episode, Word Bomb hosts Pippa Johnstone and Karina Palmitesta dive into diagnostic manuals to track the history of how doctors have written about addiction in the past and talk to a methadone user and a self-professed addict about how labels can both help and hurt.



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 A place to move: Why northern cities are struggling to attract immigrants

Northern communities need new workers. Newcomers need jobs. But most immigrants to Ontario settle in the GTA — can the federal government help change that?



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The Agenda: The north needs transportation infrastructure

Ontario is a huge province, with most of its land mass lying north of the French River. For transportation infrastructure, that means long distances and complex needs. But is northern transportation an issue on the minds of federal parties and voters? Joining The Agenda to discuss is Charles Cirtwill, president and CEO of the Northern Policy Institute.



Tonight on TVO


7 p.m. — Kew on a Plate: Carrots

The world’s most important centre of botanical expertise becomes the home of a new kitchen garden as chef Raymond Blanc and journalist Kate Humble take over south London’s Kew Gardens. In this episode, summer has arrived and the garden is thriving — particularly the early season carrots. 


8 p.m. — The Agenda: Jeffrey Simpson on the federal election

Every election has its own rhythm: what issues matter, who gets traction, and what does and doesn’t end up defining the race. For more than 40 years, Jeffrey Simpson has watched politicians campaign across the country. The Governor General’s Award-winning author and former Globe and Mail national affairs columnist talks to Steve Paikin about his impressions of this year’s race.




From the archive


November 2009 — Beatlemania, forever!

This week marked what would have been musician John Lennon’s 79th birthday as well as the 48th anniversary of his song “Imagine,” an anthem that has since become a global rallying call for peace. Along with a 50th anniversary re-release of Abbey Road topping the U.K. charts, it looks like Beatlemania is back in the spotlight. In this 2009 Agenda segment, music journalists, filmmakers, and musicians discuss why the Fab Four will never leave our collective consciousness.

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