daily: Friday, July 31

Ontario’s back-to-school plan unveiled
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Jul 31, 2020
Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Ontario’s back-to-school plan yesterday. (



Good morning, Ontario.

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School-reopening strategy released

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Ontario’s back-to-school plan yesterday. Elementary students will return to school full-time, five days a week, up to Grade 8. In secondary schools in most of the province, students will be in class part-time; cohorts of about 15 students will attend in-person classes half the time. Some boards — many of them in rural or northern parts of the province that have largely been spared serious COVID-19 outbreaks — will be allowed to open their high schools full-time. Click here to read the full report on

Great Lakes reach unprecedented temperatures

New data shows that the Great Lakes are reaching temperatures not seen in three decades, according to the Toronto Star. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data says that, across the five lakes, surface temperatures have risen between three and five degrees Celsius. Experts say warm lakes are a threat to fish and trees, and they provide ideal conditions for harmful algae blooms.

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Deforestation ‘blind spot’ outlined in new report

A new report from the Wildlands League says that 650,000 hectares of boreal forest in northwestern Ontario have been laid to waste  but are not accounted for in the province’s forest-management and climate-change strategy. The group says that “logging scars” — barren sites left behind by the forestry industry — are being ignored by the province. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry denies the claim.

Former MPP dies at 72

David Ramsay, a former northern Ontario politician, has died. Ramsay was elected to represent Temiskaming in 1985 as a New Democrat but joined David Peterson’s Liberals the next year following a disagreement over back-to-work legislation. He served 25 more years as an MPP, many of them as a Liberal cabinet minister.

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#onpoli: Ontario’s school-reopening strategy

Podcast hosts John Michael McGrath and Steve Paikin go through the province’s school-reopening strategy and break down the good, the bad, and the lingering questions.

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The Agenda in the Summer: Public spaces after COVID-19

How will COVID-19 affect our use of public space? Host Nam Kiwanuka is joined by Andrew Frontini, design director at Perkins and Will; and Cheryll Case, founder and principal urban planner at CP Planning, to discuss the post-pandemic future of cities.

Bugs: Italy and Denmark

In Sardinia, pecorino cheese made with the casu marzu method is deliberately infested with the larvae of the cheese fly. And in Denmark, home of the Nordic Food Lab, chefs experiment with bee larvae in various recipes.

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Ontario’s back-to-school plan is straight out of the MLB’s disastrous playbook 

Major League Baseball came up with a plan (of sorts) to play during the pandemic. It didn’t go well. Columnist Matt Gurney says Ontario’s school-reopening plan is headed in the same direction.

Why advocates are sounding the alarm on COVID-19 in Ontario prisons


The province didn’t release detailed information about correctional facilities and the coronavirus until mid-July. Reporter Monika Warzecha speaks to legal and public-health experts who say the data doesn’t provide a complete picture.

Tonight on TVO

7 p.m. — Monty Don’s French Gardens

In this episode, horticulturalist Monty Don travels to some of the most celebrated artists' gardens, including the one created by the impressionist Claude Monet. He also matches paintings to the garden of Paul Cézanne.

8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: Preserving the Credit River

The Credit River flows from the headwaters above the Niagara Escarpment near Orangeville to Lake Ontario at Port Credit. How has climate change affected one of Canada's most precious biospheres? The Agenda welcomes Deborah Martin-Downs and Jeff Payne from the Credit Valley Conservation Authority to discuss.

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