daily: Monday, May 27

The return of Parliament, 15 reasons to live, and the two VIPs heading to Ottawa
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 28, 2019
U.S. vice president Mike Pence
United States Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Ottawa this Thursday. (Susan Walsh/AP/CP)



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Guess who’s coming to Ottawa?

United States Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Canada’s capital this Thursday. His mission: to call for swift passage of the new North American trade deal, something the Toronto Star says may get some resistance from the NDP and Senate. On Friday, someone Pence knows well from his days as a U.S. congressman — Barack Obama — will appear before thousands at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre for an event hosted by Canada 2020. Which VIP will receive the bigger welcome?

Tories set to speed housing bill through, despite mayoral pleas

One of the first orders of business when the Ontario legislature resumes today after a week-long break is a motion to speed passage of the More Homes, More Choice Act, also known as Bill 108. This could see the bill passed as early as June 4, and would come as a disappointment to the 28 Ontario mayors who asked the province last week to extend consultations on Bill 108 until September. The Tories believe the law would create more affordable housing, but concerned mayors fear the act would weaken local development decision-making and deprive cities of revenue needed for approved parks and community centres.

Parliament’s back 

Canada’s Parliament also returns from a one-week break, and the next four weeks could very well be the last sitting of the House of Commons until this fall’s federal election. With the vote so close, and the governing Liberals fighting off multiple scandals, things in question period could get ugly.

What we're tracking

Main Street Ontario 

Season two of this short documentary series that profiles big cities and small towns across Ontario kicks off on TV and online at on this Friday. Producer Charles Ketchabaw of Fixt Point Productions visits St. Catharines, Cobalt, St. Jacobs, Port Dover, Huntsville, Thunder Bay, and Mimico. Learn about what makes the city or town unique — starting, this week, with Unionville. “There's nothing like a shared memory to remind you of where you're from,” says Jane Jankovic, TVO’s executive producer of documentaries. “These Main Street shorts are about the power of a place or event that bonds a community, and how that memory can stay with us for the rest of our lives.”

Watch now

15 Reasons to Live

Alan Zweig’s compelling documentary is inspired by Toronto author Ray Robertson's book, Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, in which the author poses the question: What makes us happy? Zweig takes those fifteen reasons — among them being love, solitude, art, friendship, and death — as a call to adventure for a handful of people assessing their lives. It's a thoughtful look of the nature of human happiness and the seemingly small events that can change the course of a life. 

Employable Me, Episode 3

Jessica has Down syndrome, a passion for art, and hopes of translating that passion into well-paying job one day. Meanwhile: with the help of his mom and sister, Patrick has overcome many challenges caused by his hydrocephalus, including becoming legally blind. But one career setback in particular has him questioning his path in life.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: When houses float instead of flood

As Ontario deals with the fallout of yet another year of heavy spring flooding, many are wondering how the province can avoid a future of the dreaded cycle of flood, rebuild, repeat. For Elizabeth English, associate professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo, it’s all about learning to live with water. She is founder and director of the Buoyant Foundation Project which designs and builds houses that float rather than flood. She joins Nam Kiwanuka to discuss her work.

9 p.m. — Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal, Episode 2

Today’s young royals enjoy far more freedom than the generations before them, which makes Princess Margaret’s mid-century steps outside royal and aristocratic conventions so interesting and unusual. This series dives into Margaret’s life as the first modern princes through archival footage and in-depth interviews with those who knew her well.

From the archive

Oct 10, 1990 — Vernon Linklater, heavyweight champ

This episode of Distant Voices profiles Vernon Linklater, an Anishinaabe youth counsellor who overcame a history of substance abuse, peer pressure, and lack of resources to become a three-time Canadian heavyweight boxing champion representing Northwestern Ontario. Born in Couchiching First Nation near Fort Frances, Linklater moved to Thunder Bay as a young man to pursue his interest in boxing, which began as a way to let off steam with his younger brother. He talks to host Eva Solomon about his pride in becoming a champion and how he came to choose his culture and its teachings over his addictions. Linklater is still active in his community as a boxing coach, counsellor, and a school trustee.