TVO.org daily: Friday, December 13

What will it take to solve Ontario’s mental-health crisis?
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Dec 13, 2019
Views of the Port Lands area from Cherry St., the future home of Sidewalk Labs in Toronto on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (Andrew Lahodynskyj/CP

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Here's what we're following


Teachers’ unions take wage cap law to court

Ontario’s four main teachers’ unions announced they will be launching a Charter challenge against the law capping public sector wage increases to 1 per cent per year for the next three years, the Canadian Press reports. The unions, which represent English and French teachers in the public and Catholic systems, argue that the law infringes on their collective bargaining rights. Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy says the wage cap is necessary to deal with Ontario’s debt. He also did not rule out the province using the notwithstanding clause if the court case doesn’t go its way.


Study highlights staggering death toll from opioids since 2016

A new report from a national advisory committee on the opioid epidemic finds almost 14,000 Canadians have been killed by opioids in just the past four years, the Canadian Press reports. The study also says 17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning.


Ethics law keeps Philpott from taking job with First Nation

Ethics rules have forced former Indigenous services minister Jane Philpott to back out of her recently accepted position as special health adviser to Nishnawbe Aski Nation in northern Ontario, the Canadian Press reports. Under the Conflict of Interest Act, former ministers observe a two-year “cooling-off period” before dealing with any entity with which they had “direct and significant dealings” during their last year as minister.


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The Agenda: The new baroque direction

The saying goes that if you want to be successful, don’t be the person who replaces the legend; be the person who fills in after that. Clearly, Elisa Citterio didn’t get that memo. In 2017 she was Tafelmusik’s music director, taking over after Jeanne Lamon’s 33-year run. The Agenda welcomes the Brescia-born maestra to find out what she has in store for the popular ensemble.


Brilliant Ideas: Ellen Gallagher

Ellen Gallagher burst onto New York’s art scene in the mid-’90s with a new way of depicting African-American history through humour and satire. Since then, her politically charged paintings, collages, and films have made her a global art star. This episode of Brilliant Ideas profiles her Rhode Island childhood, biracial upbringing, and rise through the ranks of the contemporary art world.



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Want a smart city without a corporate master? There isn’t an app for that – yet

While the debate rages on about Google’s Sidewalk Labs project for the Toronto waterfront — particularly regarding issues around privacy — there’s a new game in town: Open City Network. Politics columnist John Michael McGrath looks at how the Kitchener-based non-profit matches up Canadian IT and communications companies with municipal leaders to encourage the development of publicly owned smart-city infrastructure based on open standards and not just the province of data collection companies.


Solving Ontario’s mental-health care crisis will mean more beds — and political will

Providing proper support for Ontarians who need in-patient care will mean creating housing and home-care options. Is this government willing to act? In the last instalment of a series examining the state of mental-health care in the province, journalist Matt Gurney highlights the plight of patients who don’t require full-time institutional care, but also shouldn’t be discharged after a mental-health crisis has passed.



Tonight on TVO


7 p.m. — Mozart in London

Historian Lucy Worsley traces the fascinating story of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s adventures in Georgian London. It was on British soil that Mozart composed his first symphony, at the age of eight. But why did this incredible achievement end in suspicion and accusations of fraud?


8 p.m. — The Agenda: The Metcalf award winners

The Agenda welcomes the five inaugural winners of the Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize, a new initiative named in honour of the philanthropist who was at the heart of the Metcalf Foundation’s work in the performing arts for over 40 years.



From the archive


March 2000 — Fourth Reading: Teacher trouble

In 2000, then-education minister Janet Ecker was poised to announce new funding levels for Ontario school boards to make more money available to students in the classroom. But teachers’ unions believed the government was targeting them. At issue was lesson prep time — the same concern that caused a province-wide teachers’ strike three years earlier. Ecker joined this Fourth Reading panel to hash out the contentious points.

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