daily: Friday, August 9

A monarch renaissance, the new Ontario classroom, and a meditation on monogamy
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Aug 12, 2019
A new CMHC report found that home ownership among seniors is increasing. ( Mitchell)



Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Older homeowners may squeeze out younger generations

Many young people dream of owning a home to call their own. But in Ontario, that could be a challenge. A new report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has found that home ownership among seniors increased from 2006 to 2016. “The trend of rising home ownership rate(s) among seniors may continue, which will translate into less supply being freed up for younger generations,” Inna Breidburg, a senior economic analyst with CMHC, said in a statement. Because of employment and wealth trends, as well as changes to support services, seniors may also stay in their own homes longer.

Standardizing the classroom

Will all new Ontario schools look exactly the same? They might, if the province’s school boards agree to Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s overtures to consider using standard designs and prefabricated construction for new buildings. According to the Toronto Star, Lecce believes the money saved on construction costs could be put toward front-line services. The province has already promised $13 billion for new construction — $3 billion less than what was promised by the Liberal government before last year’s election. Cathy Abraham, president of the Ontario Public School Boards Association, raised the issue of whether standardizing designs would work in communities with vastly different needs.

More fireflies and monarchs in the sky

Noticed a few more fireflies around the campfire this summer? You’re not wrong. Aaron Fairweather, an entomologist and PhD candidate at the University of Guelph, told the CBC that a wet spring helped the insects rebound this year. Firefly numbers are down worldwide, so Fairweather hopes this bump will lead to more conversations about how to preserve ecosystems that support the bioluminescent beetles. You’re also likely to spot more monarch butterflies in Ontario this year, thanks to weather conditions in the far south of the continent.

Feds inject more funds into efforts to protect Great Lakes

At a press conference in Burlington this week, Catherine McKenna, the federal minister of environment and climate change, announced that an additional $1 million over three years will supplement the $44.84 million already invested in the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. According to the CBC, the new money will help promote citizen science; fund wetlands conservation to mitigate the effect of climate change; and combat algal blooms, which have closed beaches in Hamilton and prompted warnings in Lake Erie communities.

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Political Blind Date: Taxes

Liberals tax and spend; Conservatives cut taxes and services. That’s how the political cliché goes, but is it true? Prince Edward Island Liberal MP Wayne Easter believes that the tax policies of the Trudeau government are helping Canadians to prosper, but Ontario Conservative MP and deputy leader Lisa Raitt believes that money should be left to people to spend as they see fit. This episode of Political Blind Date has both MPs discuss their difference of opinion.

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Who gets to call themselves police — and why should you care?

What’s the difference between an Ontario Provincial Police officer and the special constables who work on transit or university campuses? Special officers can investigate and arrest, but they generally don’t carry guns. Now the Ontario government has proposed legislation that would strip these agencies of the use of the term “police.” Journalist Matt Gurney looks at Bill 168, and why Ontarians should be aware of the changes. 

Tonight on TVO

7 p.m. — Striking Balance: Redberry Lake

Students from the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability conduct scientific experiments at Redberry, a salt lake surrounded by a freshwater watershed in the heart of a shrinking Saskatchewan community. The combination of salt and fresh water makes it an ideal place to study the effects of climate change on ecosystems.

8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: Reform school in the time of Jim Crow

American author Colson Whitehead discusses his new book The Nickel Boys, a novel set in Jim Crow-era Florida. It follows the true story of a boy named Elwood, who was sent to a segregated juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, a place where youth were physically and sexually abused by staff. Whitehead talks about writing a novel that blends fact with fiction.

From the archive

2004 — On monogamy

Why is monogamy such a revered characteristic of romantic love? British psychotherapist and writer Adam Phillips explores the history and nature of the one-true-love concept in his 1996 book Monogamy. “I think the culture wants to sustain the hope that something can last,” he says. “And I think that in times of economic insecurity, for example, and if people don't believe in God, and if they find it difficult to be patriotic, the question is, what do you believe in, where do you get your reliability from? Well, one place you might try and get it is from relationships.”

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