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Province chooses Bell to rebuild Public Safety Radio Network
The Ontario government announced Thursday it has signed a $765 million agreement with Bell Mobility to reconstruct core components of the aging Public Safety Radio Network. The network helps first responders such as police, paramedics, and forest fire services react to emergencies. “The modernization of the radio network is especially important in the North, where communications and first responders must cut through some of North America’s most rugged terrain to reach some of our most isolated communities,” Energy Minister Greg Rickford said in a statement. He and Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at the Emergency Management Services base in Kenora.
Ontario auto industry breathes sigh of relief over tentative GM deal
A U.S. strike that idled many of southern Ontario’s auto plants appears to be coming to an end. General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative deal on Wednesday, one month to the day after 49,000 GM employees south of the border walked off the job. The strike disrupted the international supply chain, leading to temporary layoffs in places such as Windsor and Oshawa. If UAW members vote to approve the deal, laid-off workers in Ontario could be back on the job by next week, Flavio Volpe of the Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association told the Windsor Star.
New opioid prescriptions decrease slightly in Ontario
A new report by the Canadian Institute of Health finds about eight per cent fewer people in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia were prescribed opioids in 2018 than in 2013. Data from other provinces was insufficient to be included in the study. “With the opioid crisis and the concern around the quantity of opioids prescribed in Canada, it’s encouraging to really see fewer people starting on opioids,” report author Michael Gaucher told the CBC.
Earlier this year, The Agenda interviewed journalist Renée Pellerin about Conspiracy of Hope, her book that argues too many women are having unnecessary mammograms. The controversial book and discussion prompted a dissenting email to the show from Dr. Paula Gordon, a clinical professor in the radiology department at the University of British Columbia and senior radiologist at the Sadie Diamond Breast Program at B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Care. In the interest of equal time, The Agenda welcomes Gordon to discuss the issue further.
China produces 90 per cent of the world’s consumer electronics, and the toxic chemicals used in its supply chain take a heavy toll on the young workforce. Filmed over three years in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, this documentary visits the floors of electronics factories to examine the health and safety risks that young workers take as they strive for a better life.
Podcast hosts Pippa Johnstone and Karina Palmitesta discuss one of the most-used adjectives in their vocabulary: crazy. What do they mean when they use the word “crazy” and in what subtle ways can ableist language creep into casual conversation? This mini-episode of Word Bomb digs in to the origin of the word and its evolution.
According to the AI polling from Advanced Symbolics, negative views about immigration have jumped to 42 per cent in Canada from 25 per cent after the 2015 federal election. How should we understand anti-immigration attitudes in Canada? When is it racist to want lower immigration levels? #onpoli hears two contrasting views from Ratna Omidvar, an independent senator; and Eric Kaufmann, author of Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities.
Steve Paikin surveys the long, arduous journey of getting approval for a relief line on Toronto’s transit system. “The $30 billion deal leaves the TTC’s ownership in the hands of the city, which [Mayor John] Tory and his council wanted,” Paikin writes. “But it gives [Premier Doug] Ford’s government ultimate say on the path and construction of the new relief line (the “Ontario Line”), the Scarborough subway, the Eglinton West LRT, and the Yonge Street subway extension north into York Region.”
Ever since a record flooding season devastated communities in eastern Ontario two years ago, all levels of government have stepped in to address homeowner losses. Eastern Ontario Hub reporter David Rockne Corrigan talks to election candidates and environmental experts to look at why this part of the province needs the extra help. Some don’t think climate change is the only culprit; they also blame Plan 2014, a water-regulation policy that manages levels and flows in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and consensus on solutions is hard to find.
Tonight on TVO
7 p.m. — Kew on a Plate: Autumn
It’s autumn at Kew Gardens, and the vegetable patch is set to produce a bumper harvest. Journalist Kate Humble finds out why the tomato was once considered poisonous, and chef Raymond Blanc makes the definitive tomato-and-onion salad. Back in the garden, Blanc enlists the help of local children to harvest Halloween pumpkins, and it’s time for the beetroot to be lifted.
8 p.m. — The Agenda: A life in backroom politics
Pat Sorbara spent more than 40 years trying to get Liberals elected, with much success. But despite helping Kathleen Wynne win a majority government in 2014, she found herself on the outs four years later. She tells Steve Paikin that story and more from her memoir, Let ’Em Howl: Lessons from a Life in Backroom Politics
Host Richard Ouzounian interviews one of Canada’s acting treasures, whose career has spanned more than 60 years. At the time of their 1998 conversation, Shirley Douglas had transitioned from film and theatre to the popular TV series Wind At My Back. Douglas, now 85, is the daughter of legendary NDP leader Tommy Douglas, former wife of actor Donald Sutherland, and mother of actor Kiefer Sutherland.