TVO.org daily: Friday, March 6

How policy affects the rental-housing market
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Mar 06, 2020
Mary Baxter pictured with her sister Sue, who lives with complex health issues, circa 1997. (Mary Baxter)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what you need to know


Teachers’ strikes continue after province backtracks on class sizes and e-learning

Despite the government’s public about-face this week on increasing high-school class sizes and making online courses mandatory, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Federation and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-Ontariens went ahead with one-day, province-wide strikes Thursday. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation also held one-day strikes in nine boards. Union leaders have criticized Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s Tuesday announcement on classes and e-learning, saying the province needs to make its contract proposals at the bargaining table rather than through the media.


Paramedics warn of ambulance shortage

The union representing about 5,500 paramedics in the province has released a report saying growing call volumes and long waits when offloading patients at hospitals are leading to ambulance delays, the Canadian Press reports. The Canadian Union of Public Employees says data show emergency-call volumes increased by more than 6 per cent in 2016-17 and by 4 per cent in 2017-2018. “If we don’t take steps to address this situation soon, then I’m afraid someone is going to pay the price with their life,” says Chandra Pasma, a researcher who worked on the report. Health Minister Christine Elliott says the government is spending $16 million to train nurses to offload patients at hospitals more quickly and will increase paramedic funding again this year.


Funding for sexual-assault centres in question

On Wednesday it was reported that the province would not be renewing a $1-million funding boost to sexual-assault centres. The following morning, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues Jill Dunlop told the legislature that $2 million in additional annual funding for the centres was coming. But that very afternoon, advocates for Ontario’s sexual assault centres told The Globe and Mail’s Laura Stone that the government had yet to contact them about the extra $2 million. “We want to hear from them first,” said Nicole Pietsch of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres.


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The Agenda: How policy affects the rental-housing market

Many parts of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area face substantial housing-affordability issues. Adding new rental housing would help, but how to get there remains a matter of debate. One study offers insights into how different policies affected two cities with similar problems  — Hamilton and Quebec City. The Agenda examines the conclusions with the researchers behind the report: Sara Mayo, senior social planner with the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton; and Laura Cattari, campaign co-ordinator for the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

Seed: The Untold Story

Passionate seed keepers are protecting our 12,000-year-old food legacy as many irreplaceable seeds move closer to extinction. Joe Simcox, the wild botanical explorer of the Amazon; Will Bonsall, the Noah of the seed world; Dr. Jane Goodall; and Suman, a villager in northern India, tell stories behind a battle for the future of seeds and an impending global food crisis.


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My sister has schizoaffective disorder. Her fight for after-care became my fight, too

Last summer, Mary Baxter found herself in the difficult position of acting as an advocate for her hospitalized sister Sue, who has severe mental-health issues as well as Parkinson’s disease. “Like many Ontarians in similar situations, we found ourselves faced with conflicting information and incredible pressure to make decisions we feared would be detrimental to her health. As our hospitals grow busier and busier, people need to have access to reliable, arm’s-length advice about after-care,” writes Baxter, TVO’s southwestern Ontario Hub journalist.


Tonight on TVO

7 p.m. — Secrets of the British Garden: 17th Century

Starting his journey at Levens Hall in Cumbria, site of the sole surviving British garden from the 1600s, horticulturist and historian Monty Don sets out to investigate what 17th-century gardens would have looked like, and what influenced and inspired their creation.

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Kathleen Wynne reflects on a life in politics

On the day before Ontario Liberals crown their next leader, they’ll say thank you to Kathleen Wynne for her time in public life. Steve Paikin interviews Ontario’s 25th premier and reviews the highs and lows of her time in government.


From the archive

March 12, 2002 — The burden of being a caregiver

In this 2002 episode of Your Health, host Maureen Taylor helms a discussion about patient advocacy and the toll that seeing a loved one through illness can take on a caregiver. In many cases, families feel overburdened, says Karen Parent of the department of rehabilitation medicine at Queen’s University. “It is having an adverse effect on their families,” she says of the strain from caregiving. “It is having an adverse effect mentally, psychologically, and financially.”

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