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Honey, we shrunk the middle class
A new study suggests the middle class is shrinking in countries around the world, including Canada. The report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development notes that the percentage of middle-income households fell from the 1980s to the 2010s, and that it’s taking millennials longer to break into the middle class — if at all — compared to their baby boomer counterparts. Arguing that a strong middle class is essential to economic prosperity and political stability, the OECD recommends reducing taxes, expanding benefits, and providing affordable-housing initiatives to help stem the middle-class squeeze.
Founder of Ottawa Heart Institute mourned
A notable figure in Canadian medicine died this week. Dr. Wilbert Keon founded the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1976, and it has since become Canada’s largest heart health centre, caring for more than 100,000 patients every year. In 1986, Keon become the first Canadian to use an artificial heart in a patient as a bridge to transplanting a live heart. Keon, who also served in the Senate for 20 years, died Sunday at 83. Hundreds came to pay their respects at his Ottawa funeral on Thursday.
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From ‘Yours to Discover’ to ‘A Place to Grow’
The same week that the province revealed its new “A Place to Grow” licence plate design, one of the most popular articles on TVO.org was a look at how the former “Yours to Discover” slogan ended up on Ontario licence plates in the first place. What do you think of the new plate design? Tell us at TVOnewsletters@tvo.org.
Phrase of the week
The debt-to-GDP ratio is the ratio between a federal or provincial government’s debt (the money it owes) and its gross domestic product (the monetary value of goods and services its economy produces) each year. It’s a good indicator of a government’s ability to pay back its debts, is usually expressed as a percentage, and is a big part of government budgets — including Ontario’s. As of 2019, the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 40.7 per cent. A study by the World Bank has found that economic growth will slow if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 77 per cent for too long.
The Agenda’s weekly review begins with Steve Paikin calling on opposition finance critics and economists to evaluate the Progressive Conservative government’s priorities in the 2019 Ontario budget. Then, Toronto councillors give us a check-in six months after the size of their city council was cut in half. We look at the Alberta election race, which wraps up next week, and former Ontario lieutenant-governor David Onley discusses the results of his report on the province’s accessibility standards readiness.
When her aunt was diagnosed with lymphoma, Athena Asklipiadis quickly learned that people of mixed ethnicity, such as her family, can have a harder time finding matches for bone marrow and cord blood donors. Shortly after her aunt’s death from the disease in 2007, Asklipiadis founded Mixed Marrow, a non-profit that helps multiracial patients with blood cancers find donors. This documentary explores how even a public registry solves only part of the problem: what’s needed is a worldwide collective to address this health issue.
At St. David Elementary School in Sudbury, third-graders practise throwing, running, jumping, balancing — all part of a program to teach physical literacy to children and youth. Northeastern Hub reporter Claude Sharma talks to Terry Moss, a retired teacher who has been working with nine Sudbury schools to prepare children for a lifelong interest in sports and physical activity. The program is part of a larger, government-supported initiative responding to worrying statistics that children and youth are not reaching optimum activity levels. "If you focus on learning the basic skills of fundamental moving — like throwing, running, jumping, skipping, balancing — then [children] are more apt to be physically involved, physically literate for life," says Moss.
Tonight on TVO
10:30 p.m. — Beyond the Spectrum
When their youngest son, Oskar, is diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two, parents Carly Harnadek and Stef Pronk decide to devote a year exclusively to his therapy. This intimate and emotional portrait follows their journey as they wrestle with an impossible question: should they try to change Oskar, or accept him as he is? Earlier this year, they updated TVO.org on how they’re doing now.
From the archive
Volunteer firefighters show off their skills in a competition in Timmins to celebrate its 75th anniversary. A group of high school pals gather at their Parry Sound alma mater as the city turns 100. A jubilant fall fair marks Picton’s sesquicentennial. This slice-of-life episode from People Patterns features proud Ontarians celebrating their hometowns.