daily: Monday, August 19

When political ads go plop, a love letter to Canada, and the philosopher behind Boolean logic
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Aug 19, 2019
Ottawa is playing host to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual conference, which began Sunday and will run until Wednesday. (



Good morning, Ontario.

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Municipal leaders gather in Ottawa

Hundreds of civic leaders from across the province have descended on Ottawa: that’s because the city is playing host to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual conference, which began Sunday and will run until Wednesday. Attendees will get the chance to discuss pressing issues affecting their communities and to hear from senior Queen’s Park officials. Premier Doug Ford and opposition leader Andrea Horwath will address the gathering today, and interim Liberal leader John Fraser and Green party leader Mike Schreiner are slated to speak tomorrow morning.’s John Michael McGrath will also be in attendance, so watch for his highlights and analysis this week.

Political ads failing to make an impact, poll suggests

With the federal election rapidly approaching, parties are thinking seriously about their political-advertisement strategies. But, according to a survey conducted by Forum Research between July 26 and 28, 65 per cent of people who remembered seeing a political ad in the month before they were contacted by the polling firm said it had had “no impact at all” on their opinion of parties, leaders, or local candidates.

Outgoing federal CIO champions ‘small wins’ to transform government

Alex Benay, who was Canada’s chief information officer until he stepped down earlier this month, gave an exit interview to The Hill Times — and offered some advice for his successor. His number-one tip: “If it’s someone from the outside of government, they will have never dealt with scale of this size. And it’s not an excuse — it is the largest operation in the country. And that means that you have to find a way to get quick wins, small wins, talk about them, and then actually sort of grow them.” While the definition of a civil servant has been fairly stable for hundreds of years, Benay said, the digital revolution is changing everything: “So,” he asked, “why wouldn’t it change the civil service role as well?”

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The Life-Sized City: Tokyo

Modern Tokyo is home to 38 million people — more than the population of Canada. On the surface, the city may seem like an oversized, human-built environment full of endless rows of towers, glittering neon, and people on the go. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find that the megacity is far more than the sum of its many parts.

The Great Canadian Tax Dodge

Canada has a tax problem. Experts estimate that up to 80 billion untaxed dollars leave the country every year: much of that money goes to Canadian-made offshore tax havens. This film documents the birth of the Canadian Tax Fairness movement and examines the issue of tax avoidance, exposing the sophisticated strategies and legal loopholes corporations commonly use to avoid paying up.

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Excerpt: Bruce and Vicki Heyman’s ‘love letter’ to Canada

From 2014 to 2017, Bruce Heyman served as the U.S. ambassador to Canada. In their new memoir, The Art of Diplomacy: Strengthening the Canada-U.S. Relationship in Times of Uncertainty, he and his partner, Vicki Heyman, explore what their time in Ottawa taught them about the country — and about the state of cross-border relations in the age of Donald Trump.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: Aiding Indigenous education

Indspire is a national charitable organization with a mandate to invest in the education of Indigenous students by providing bursaries, scholarships, and awards. The Agenda welcomes president and CEO Roberta Jamieson and Ryerson University student Victoria Anderson-Gardner, recipient of a 2019 Indspire bursary, to talk about how support for Indigenous education benefits individuals and communities across the country.

9 p.m. — The Genius of George Boole

You may never have heard of George Boole, but it’s in part thanks to this 19th-century English mathematician that you’re able to enjoy the digital age. His work helped lay the groundwork for the development of 21st-century devices: in this documentary, narrated by actor Jeremy Irons, learn about Boole’s life and legacy — and why he’s now starting to get the recognition he deserves.

From the archive

March 30, 2000 — Women’s Work: Firefighting

In this episode of Women’s Work, a TVO series that highlighted women working in traditionally male industries, Jen Miller, then a recruit with Toronto Fire Services, describes why she’s interested in pursuing a job in the field. “I certainly feel like the same things are expected of me as they are of any of the men that are here,” she says. “And I certainly feel that I am pulling my own weight. We have little friendly competitions when we're on the fire grounds — and it's a personal goal of mine to make sure that I beat at least a few of the guys in my group.”

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