daily: Friday, November 29

Should Ontarians be worried about radon?
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Nov 29, 2019
Andrew Scheer and Leona Alleslev (Adrian Wyld/CP)



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Ontario MP’s elevation to Conservative deputy leader sparks controversy

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer announced his appointment of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leona Alleslev as his deputy Thursday. The move has sparked controversy, because up until last year Alleslev sat in Parliament as a Liberal. “Great choice, particularly given her long history of involvement in the [Conservative Party],” Conservative strategist Rachel Curran wrote, apparently in sarcasm, on Twitter. “I especially appreciated her strong support for PM [Stephen] Harper.” Scheer is already hearing calls for his resignation after many party members were disappointed in his performance during the fall election campaign.

Province unveils new climate panel, flood report

Environment Minister Jeff Yurek introduced the province’s new advisory panel on climate change Thursday. While the panel includes scientists, “it appears to emphasize people with expertise in dealing with the effects of climate change, and [lacks] people with expertise in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” reports the CBC’s Mike Crawley. The province also released a report by its special adviser on flooding the same day, which concluded that this year’s record-setting floods were caused by a combination of weather conditions, including heavy rains. Human error in the management of water control structures was ruled out as a factor.

Database on doctor billings goes online

The Toronto Star has released a searchable database listing the OHIP billings for more than 30,000 physicians across the province. In 2017-2018, the fiscal year from which the database draws its information, Ontario doctors received $7.3 billion in fee-for-service payments. Billings do not represent take-home pay, because doctors pay for overhead expenses such as office rent, equipment, and supplies. Some physicians, such as those who work on-call in hospitals, aren’t included in the database because they are paid on a salary rather than fee-for-service basis.

7 dead, including 3 children, in Kingston plane crash

The coroner’s office and the Transportation Safety Board are investigating after a small plane crashed in a wooded area in Kingston’s west end  Wednesday afternoon. A police source told Global News Thursday that the plane was carrying seven people, none of whom survived.

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The Agenda: Chronicling Ontario’s residential institutions

Ten years ago, the doors of Ontario’s last residential institution for people with developmental disabilities shut its doors. It was the final chapter in decades of public policy that saw residents isolated from their community and families, exposing some to abuse and neglect. Catherine McKercher’s brother, Bill, was a resident of one of those institutions. She joins The Agenda to discuss her book, Shut Away: When Down Syndrome was a Life Sentence.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

Ever since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997, author J.K. Rowling's beloved young adult novels have enchanted readers of every age around the world. Imelda Staunton, who played Professor Umbridge in the film series, narrates this thought-provoking look at the social and cultural underpinnings of the Harry Potter saga.

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Should Ontarians be worried about radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas created by the decay of uranium in minerals. It can get into homes and buildings through foundation cracks, and it’s only detectable through special testing. Though it’s safe in small doses, according to Lung Cancer Canada, it’s also the second-most common cause of lung cancer, after smoking. Should Ontarians be concerned? Eastern Ontario Hub reporter David Rockne Corrigan speaks to an expert in radon detection in Kingston and finds out how pervasive the problem is across the province.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Vic Fedeli: from money man to job creator

Vic Fedeli delivered his first budget as provincial finance minister last April, only to receive a storm of criticism over its proposed cuts. In the subsequent cabinet shuffle, Fedeli found himself with a new portfolio as minister of economic development, job creation, and trade. In this one-on-one interview with Steve Paikin, he discusses his recent trips to East and South Asia to drum up infrastructure jobs for Ontarians. “[Doug] Ford said to me, in his vernacular, ‘Buddy, we need jobs created in Ontario,’” he says. “‘You're my best sales guy. I need a sales guy in that job.’ And I said, ‘Yes sir.’”

From the archive

November 2003 — Alan Young on decriminalizing drug use


Should recreational drugs be legal? It seems like a question that’s been batted around for decades in Canada, leading to the legalization of cannabis in 2018. In this Studio 2 interview from 2003, law professor and author Alan Young argues that too much money and court time are spent on prosecuting drug users. He believes that legalizing recreational drugs — including heroin and cocaine — would lead people to use them more responsibly. “Once we understand the mythology surrounding marijuana, you can then start to see the mythology surrounding other drugs,” he tells host Allan Gregg. “The bottom line is, most people use drugs responsibly. A certain percentage, whether it’s marijuana or heroin, start to develop problems. The state should create safety nets for the people that have problems and let the others who use drugs responsibly enjoy themselves, in the same way people enjoy a beer at a bar, or golf game, or going to the football game.”

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