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Ontario partially backs down on online high-school course requirements
Education Minister Stephen Lecce says that the province will be cutting the number of mandatory online high-school courses it plans to introduce from four to two, the Toronto Star reports. Students have expressed concerns about the plan since it was announced last year, arguing that online courses are no substitute for in-class learning and that some could face issues with internet access. Teachers’ unions, currently in negotiations with the government over a new contract, also oppose the requirement.
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Hamilton officials kept massive sewage spill secret for months
The Hamilton Spectatorhas obtained a confidential city report showing Hamilton councillors have known since January that 24 billion litres of sewage leaked into a local creek — but never told the public. The spill, big enough to fill 10,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, occurred over a four-year period. It was caused by a sewer gate that had been partially left open. The report shows that city staff recommended that details of the spill be kept from the public as long as possible because of potential legal action.
Ontario teen suffered unusual lung injuries after vaping
Doctors who treated a 17-year-old London youth for a severe respiratory condition that he contracted after using e-cigarettes say that his injuries resembled “popcorn lung” — a condition some factory workers develop after breathing in chemicals used to flavour such products as microwave popcorn (while they’re safe to ingest, they’re toxic if inhaled). In an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the doctors note that the teen’s injuries differed from the pneumonia-like symptoms more commonly associated with vaping-related illness. The teen, who had been vaping heavily for five months, slowly recovered after being treated with high-dose steroids.
In its first year regulating the sale of cannabis and selling the now-legal substance itself, the Ontario government sustained huge financial losses in a market that is otherwise booming. Industry experts join The Agenda to explore what went wrong, how other provinces turned a profit, and what changes Ontario should make to come out ahead.
Ian McCallum, a band member of the Munsee Delaware First Nation, is one of about 20 speakers of the Lunaapeew language. “When I was growing up in the mid-1970s, [it] was spoken in my house. There were people who would share stories and teachings,” he writes. But after he moved three hours away for university — and as elders passed away — he lost his familiarity with it. Now an educator and PhD student at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, McCallum writes about why he relearned the language of his youth and why it’s vital to preserve endangered Indigenous languages. He has translated his essay into Lunaapeew.
Tonight on TVO
7 p.m. — Full Steam Ahead
In this episode of the documentary series on Victorian railways, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn take a ride on the Flying Scotsman, once the most famous locomotive in the world. Join them as they travel along its original route, which connected London and Edinburgh — the most important financial capitals of the British Empire.
8 p.m. — The Agenda: Elementary teachers at the bargaining table
The collective agreements for teachers in Ontario expired at the start of the school year — and teachers’ unions and ministry representatives have been unable to reach consensus at the bargaining table. With the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario set to begin a work-to-rule action on Tuesday, federation president Sam Hammond talks to Steve Paikin about what’s at stake.
Using silicone straws and bringing reusable bags to the grocery store may seem like relatively new trends, but environmentalists have known for decades just how much single-use plastics contribute to the massive amounts of garbage we produce every day. In this 1990 segment of The Science Café, experts discuss the role of packaging in the waste crisis and the power consumers have to pressure manufacturers into packaging products more responsibly.