daily: Friday, June 14

How Canada helped save the ozone layer, public service buyouts, and the long wait for pharmacare
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on June 14, 2019
File photo of Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Stéphane Perrault. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following 

Elections Canada to first ministers: we’ll be watching you 

Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Stéphane Perrault tells iPolitics that he will “actively” look at how provincial governments try to influence voters during the federal election campaign. Provinces weighing in on federal politics is nothing new, but Premier Doug Ford’s plan to slap anti-carbon tax stickers on gas pumps before the campaign and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s plan to stump with federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in the 905 are seen by some as pushing limits.

Perrault cautioned the issue is “complex,” and that it’s too soon to say what he would recommend if he felt a premier took things too far. Some legal experts say any attempt to regulate provincial interventions in the campaign could be unconstitutional.

Catholic teachers fume at proposed parking levy

Toronto Catholic District School Board teachers are furious that the board plans to charge them $10 a day to park in school lots, saying the move will amount to a “salary clawback.” The board is facing a $32 million deficit due to provincial funding cuts. “It was a choice between: On the backs of kids or on the backs of staff,” board chair Maria Rizzo told the Toronto Star. “And no one, no one felt good about it. No one wanted to make that decision.”

Reports say Canada can meet its Paris climate targets — maybe

Two recent reports suggest that Canada can meet its Paris Agreement commitment  to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 — but its current policies won’t meet that target. If you think the federal carbon tax of $20 per tonne is outrageous, the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s latest report has news for you. It says the carbon tax needs to get to $100 a tonne by 2030 to meet the country’s climate goals. In a separate report, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives slams Alberta and Ontario for backsliding on climate action, and says that in addition to a carbon tax, other policies such as ending fossil fuel subsidies and a moratorium on all new resource projects will be needed.

Government accepts buyouts from 2,400 Ontario public servants

About four per cent of the Ontario Public Service has received approval for a voluntary exit package that the provincial government offered late last year. Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy says the buyouts will have a one-time cost of $190 million but will save taxpayers $215 million a year from 2021 onward. According to the government, from June 2018 to April 2019 the number of civil servants went from about 67,900 to 65,400, a reduction of 3.7 per cent.

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What are community benefit agreements — and why are activists fighting for them?

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT construction
 (Fred Lum/Globe and Mail/CP)

If you live in Toronto, you've probably noticed construction for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT along the city’s east-west corridor. But did you know that this project is also enriching local communities? Ontario Hubs assistant editor H.G. Watson explains how community benefit agreements are changing the labour force of skilled trades, boosting the local economy, and giving people a say in major infrastructure projects.

Why we may not get public pharmacare any time soon

Eric Hoskins
(File photo of Eric Hoskins. Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

The final report on national pharmacare, released Wednesday, calls for a system financed by the federal government and implemented by 2022. But, as John Michael McGrath explains, health care is delivered through the provinces — and with many of them now run by Conservative parties skeptical of policies that expand government spending, a national system won’t come about easily.

Watch now

The Agenda: How Canada helped save the ozone layer

While global cooperation on the environment sometimes seems impossible these days, in 1987 the world proved it could be done. Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, had ripped open a hole in the ozone layer that was quickly growing. Representatives from across the globe gathered in Canada to create the Montreal Protocol, an agreement to phase out CFCs. Members from the Canadian delegation, including former environment minister Tom McMillan and Green Party leader Elizabeth May, join The Agenda to discuss lessons learned and why achieving a global environmental consensus hasn’t happened since.

Main Street Ontario: St. Jacobs

In 1975, eight farmers came together to create a locally-grown, fresh-food market just outside the little town of St. Jacobs in southwestern Ontario. It did so well that in 1987 a building went up to house the market. It has since grown to become Canada's largest year-round market, drawing more than a million visitors annually from all over the world.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Tending to the health of northern Ontario 

For years, communities in northern Ontario dealt with a chronic shortage of doctors and had no medical school to fill the gap. That changed with the creation of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine 15 years ago. Its founding dean, Dr. Roger Strasser, now leaving the position, talks to Steve Paikin about what it took to establish a school that has gained world renown in the field of rural and remote medicine. And for a look at the school’s future, check out Northeastern Hub reporter Claude Sharma’s interview with Sarita Verma, NOSM’s newly-appointed dean.

From the archive

December 27, 1994 — Canadian peacekeepers recall tour of duty


In this Studio 2 segment, troops at CFB Petawawa reflect on the role of UN peacekeeping and their tour of duty in Croatia. Canada began its peacekeeping mission there in 1993 during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. Sgt. Steve Gates recalls incidents when he and his fellow soldiers were almost seriously injured, and when a grenade detonated just metres away.

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