daily: Friday, November 1

What western Canada wants
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Nov 05, 2019
Waterfront Toronto has agreed to let Google sister company Sidewalk Labs build an experimental high-tech community on the Lake Ontario shoreline. (



Good morning, Ontario.

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Waterfront Toronto moves ahead with Sidewalk Labs plan

After months of negotiation, Waterfront Toronto has agreed to let Google sister company Sidewalk Labs build an experimental high-tech community on the Lake Ontario shoreline. As the Globe and Mail reports, the accepted partnership restricts the project to the original 12-acre proposal instead of the 190-acre vision Sidewalk Labs put forward. Waterfront Toronto, an agency representing all three levels of government, will lead all digital governance and privacy issues related to Sidewalk Labs’ controversial plan to collect large amounts of data from technology embedded in the neighbourhood’s public infrastructure.

Anti-discrimination head files rights complaint against Peel school board

The head of Peel District School Board’s anti-discrimination efforts is accusing the board and its education director of racism, harassment, and of “silencing and diminishing” her work to deal with anti-Black racism in schools. The Toronto Star reports that Poleen Grewal’s complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario lists several allegations, including that she went on a seven-month medical leave after the board failed to defend her following public criticism of her stance on teaching To Kill a Mockingbird in schools and because of “targeted behaviour” toward her by director of education Peter Joshua. “It is not our board’s practice to make comments or share information about personal or private matters about any of our employees,” Joshua said by email on Tuesday.

How Doug Ford caused headaches with his legal aid ‘guarantee’

Internal government documents obtained by the CBC show that senior government staff were sent scrambling after Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a radio interview last April that anyone needing legal aid should “feel free to call my office,” and that “I will guarantee you that you will have legal aid.” An official in the attorney general’s office sent a message to top Ford staffers to make it clear that Legal Aid Ontario’s decisions must be free from political interference. Meanwhile, Cody Welton, Ford’s director of issues management, told communications staff: “What the premier meant to say was ‘If anyone needs support on legal aid, feel free to call my office. I will guarantee you that you will have access to the folks at legal aid Ontario [emphasis his].’

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The Agenda: What the west wants

Western Canada’s reaction to last week’s election outcome was swift and, at times, fierce. #Wexit trended on Twitter for days, as some outraged voices in Alberta and Saskatchewan saw the Liberal minority win as cause to pursue a separatist exit from Canada. For voters in Ontario, who took some of the wrath, the ire can be a bit puzzling. The Agenda welcomes a panel of experts on western Canada’s relationship with Ottawa to discuss.

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Close encounters of the Ontario kind

Did you know there was a time when the Canadian government documented UFO sightings? As Northwestern Ontario Hub journalist Jon Thompson has learned, it amassed more than 15,000 pages of information between 1950 and 1995 on nearly 4,500 UFO sightings. However, he writes, “after two 1950s investigations — Project Magnet and Project Second Storey — proved inconclusive, the file bounced from the departments of national defence and transport, to the RCMP, to the National Research Council. There it remained until budget cuts ultimately led to its discontinuation.” These days, the task is left to freelancers. Thompson talks to them about their experiences.

TVO’s longest-serving chief executive signs off

Lisa de Wilde is stepping down as chief executive officer at TVO after 14 years at the helm — the longest run in the organization’s history. “There’s been a revolution in how viewers engage with their favourite shows, and TVO, under Lisa, eagerly joined that revolution,” Steve Paikin writes. In this send-off to de Wilde, Paikin surveys her accomplishments — a major one of which was to step up to the realities and opportunities of digital technology. We’ll miss you, Lisa

Tonight on TVO

7 p.m. — Full Steam Ahead

The introduction of steam railways in the early 19th century changed every aspect of British life: trade, transportation, recreation, even health. Historians Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands, and Peter Ginn explore how the railways created a domestic revolution, from the food people ate to the places they travelled.

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Jim Acosta on covering Trump

The Agenda welcomes CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta to discuss his book, Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America. It’s Acosta’s first-hand account of reporting on the front lines of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration — a time that has proven especially challenging for journalists.

From the archive

November 1977 — The motive for metaphor

Who else would describe something as seemingly mundane as city life as the scurrying of “ants in the body of a dying dragon” but literary theorist and critic Northrop Frye? In this 1977 interview, host Mike McManus sits down with the academic juggernaut to discuss his 1957 book, The Anatomy of Criticism, which is credited with influencing the discipline’s style in the 20th century. They also address the economy’s influence on the violence seen in television at the time, and the Bible’s influence on secular literature. Author of more than 35 books on literature and literary criticism, Frye was a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, was awarded the Governor General’s Award in literary arts, and became a companion of the Order of Canada in 1972. He died 1991 at the age of 78.

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