TVO.org daily: Friday, June 7

More Ontario booze news, a 144-day recess, and everything you need to know about the public-sector salary cap
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on June 7, 2019
empty desk in the Ontario legislature
Today is the first day of a 144-day recess for the provincial legislature. (Fred Lum/CP)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Legislature rises for a loooooong break

Today is the first day of a 144-day recess for the provincial legislature. It's the longest recess since 1994, when a beleaguered NDP government prorogued the house that December, and the legislature wasn't called back until 292 days later in September 1995, when the Harris Tories had already assumed power. MPPs are not expected back at Queen’s Park until after the federal election.


Province fails to follow through on law to protect temp workers

The Toronto Star reports that the Ford government has not implemented regulations for a law outlining temporary workers’ rights passed by the Liberals last year, leaving the legislation essentially toothless. Under the law, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board would hold all companies that employ temporary workers liable for their injuries on the job, which advocates believe would have motivated employers to ensure the safety of their workplaces. “The government’s decision to not do the regulations is jeopardizing people’s lives,” Deena Ladd of the Workers’ Action Centre told the Star. “I think it’s appalling.” 


Fallout from education cuts continues

The York Region District School Board says it will cancel 123 high school courses in the coming academic year due to the Progressive Conservative government’s efforts to cut costs by increasing class sizes and reducing teacher numbers. Courses cancelled will vary from school to school, but include financial accounting principles, introductory kinesiology, and art. Meanwhile, hundreds of schools in Toronto were the site of protests against the province’s education cuts Thursday morning, affecting some local libraries and daycare centres.


More Ontario booze news

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli announced Thursday that the province is extending the sale of alcoholic beverages to nearly 300 new retail locations. The government will allow 87 more grocery stores to sell beer, wine, and cider, and will expand its agency store program to 200 “underserved” communities. These stores will be branded LCBO Convenience Outlets, with the first 60 expected to open in August.



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The Agenda: A lifetime in labour

Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan has been on the frontlines of the Canadian labour movement for decades. He talks to Steve Paikin about his memoir, A Grander Vision: My Life in the Labour Movement, and his rise in the ranks of labour movements in Ireland and Canada.


The Superfood Chain

Every year, a new ingredient is named the next superfood: something touted to have extraordinary nutritional benefits and marketed to a public eager to lead a healthy lifestyle, driving a business of more than $130 billion a year. But what does the superfood effect have on farmers and fishermen around the world? Filmmaker Ann Shin meets families in Bolivia, Ethiopia, Philippines, and Haida Gwaii to find out what happens when ingredients such as quinoa catch on globally, spur demand for local producers, and cut into the business of independent foreign farmers.



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Everything you need to know about the public-sector salary cap

Earlier this week, Ontario Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy announced a one per cent cap on public-sector salary increases, a measure meant to reduce the province’s expenses. But, as Queen’s Park reporter John Michael McGrath suggests at TVO.org, it’s also about posturing. “The single biggest target of the legislation is the province’s large teachers’ unions. All their current contracts expire in August, and, after health care, education is the biggest expense for the government,” he writes. “[T]he government is sending a signal to unions about what it’s willing to accept in negotiations as these contracts expire.”



Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Irshad Manji


Irshad Manji
File photo of Irshad Manji (Kevin Van Paassen/CP)

Bestselling author and Moral Courage Project founder Irshad Manji calls herself a poster child for multiculturalism, and has lived with labels such as “gay,” “Muslim,” “feminist,” “Islam reformist.” In her new book, Don’t Label Me, she argues that defining people by labels is a kind of “dishonest diversity” that reduces individuals to one-dimensional representatives for a community. She talks to Nam Kiwanuka about the multifaceted nature of identity, and how understanding this can heal the divide defining politics and culture today.



From the archive

December 22, 2002 — The Annual Queen’s Park Quiz

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Ontario political trivia is right up Steve Paikin’s alley — and in this Fourth Reading quiz episode, it shows. Contestants such as then-NDP cabinet minister Ruth Grier and former Liberal MPP Michael Bryant are drilled on everything Queen’s Park, from the location of the first legislature of Upper Canada to how many ghosts are said to haunt the Pink Palace. How many questions can you answer?

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