TVO.org daily: Friday, July 26

How heat hurts the homeless, the future of heart disease, and a map of hunger in Ontario
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Jul 26, 2019
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Hot weather amplifies health risks for homeless and underhoused people. (iStock.com/Xurzon)

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Good morning, Ontario.


Here's what we're following


Former Ontario cabinet minister David Caplan dies

Premier Doug Ford and former colleagues expressed condolences Thursday over the death of David Caplan, 54, who was a Liberal MPP from 1997 to 2011. Caplan served as minister of infrastructure and then health under premier Dalton McGuinty before resigning in 2009 over the eHealth expenses scandal. Many felt Caplan’s dismissal from cabinet at the time was unfair, since most of the questionable expenses took place before his time as minister. Caplan’s mother, Elinor, also served in provincial politics and was health minister under premier David Peterson.


Doctor induced women to give birth on weekends so he could make more money

The August issue of Toronto Life features an investigation into the shocking case of Paul Shuen, a formerly respected ob-gyn and gynecological oncologist who, without their consent or knowledge, would induce labour in pregnant patients so they would give birth on weekends. Why? Because doctors bill OHIP $498.70 for a vaginal delivery on a weekday, but $748.05 for the same delivery on weekends, when hospitals are often short-staffed. Shuen’s story is an example of how the province’s fee-for-service model can encourage unscrupulous doctors to game the system — and sometimes put lives at risk.


Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River water levels remain high

Kingston’s regional conservation authority says water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are still high, and flooding and erosion damage remain a concern. The lake’s water level is 75.80 metres, about 12 centimetres below a 2019 peak recorded on June 15. Meanwhile, the province has named a special adviser on flooding. Doug McNeil is an engineer and civil servant who has worked on water management issues for more than 30 years. He’s a former Manitoba deputy minister of infrastructure and transportation who has received awards for his work on parts of the Red River floodway expansion project in and around Winnipeg.


A map of hunger in Ontario

The organization Feed Ontario has produced a map showing the percentage of people who turn to food banks in each provincial riding. The three ridings with the highest per-capita rates of food bank use are: Ottawa–Vanier, Hamilton Centre, and Thunder Bay–Atikokan. “In Ontario, someone visits a food bank every 10 seconds,” says Amanda King, interim executive director at Feed Ontario, which was formerly known as the Ontario Association of Food Banks.



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Her Story: The Female Revolution – Leadership

For generations, the lives of women around the world have often been confined to domestic responsibilities. During the 20th century, though, particularly in the post-war era, attitudes shifted as women began to enter the workforce and public service in larger numbers. This episode looks at how women in leadership handle power.


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How soaring temperatures are affecting Ontario’s homeless

Environment and Climate Change Canada estimates that by the end of the century, southern Ontario could see up to 50 more days a year that hit at least 30C. While this might not sound like terrible news to someone with access to air-conditioning, hot weather amplifies health risks for homeless and underhoused people, exacerbating pre-existing conditions, affecting psychiatric medication, and increasing the likelihood of heat stroke. Journalist Brianna Sharpe speaks to advocates, government officials, and health-care leaders about why hot weather should be taken seriously as a public health issue



Tonight on TVO


8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: Heart of the matter

Cardiologist Haider Warraich talks to Nam Kiwanuka about his book, State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease. They discuss advances and setbacks in the medical treatment of heart disease, which is the second leading cause of death among Canadians, behind only cancer. 


8:30 p.m. — Striking Balance: Bras d’O

Nova Scotia’s Bras d’Or Lake is a unique biosphere reserve. Its North Atlantic location means it contains both fresh and salt water. In the region, oyster farming is a sustainable alternative to working in coal and steel. But when a parasite ravages the oyster population, the industry looks to traditional Mi'kmaq knowledge and Western science to find a sustainable solution



From the archive


1981 — Two weeks in wilderness camp

Each year, members of the Outdoors Club at Composite High School in Geraldton go on a 14-day wilderness trip in northern Ontario. This People Patterns episode from 1981 follows the group mid-way through a spring trip as they camp, canoe, deal with the ravages of black flies and other pests, and bond over navigating the elements.

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