Good morning, Ontario.
Here's what we're following
Flooding prompts grim discussions on climate change
The flooding that has inundated parts of Ontario is forcing policymakers to think about how to deal with the effects of climate change. In addition to declaring a state of emergency over local flooding on Thursday, Ottawa’s city council passed a motion this week declaring a climate emergency: a move meant to ensure the city prioritizes climate change in policy decisions and invests in studies on renewable energy options. As TVO.org has reported, Ottawa isn’t alone in this: Vancouver, Halifax, Kingston, and a slew of Quebec cities have also taken similar measures. Late yesterday afternoon, Montreal also declared a state of emergency to deal with flooding.
There’s also growing concern that Canada’s out-of-date flood-risk maps are leaving neighbourhoods and families unprepared when waters rise. Journalist Tim Alamenciak has written about Ontario’s floodplain maps for TVO.org, noting that nearly three-quarters of these emergency plans are out of date.
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Mississauga students fear they'll have to reselect courses
These students want to go to class — but the classes might not be offered anymore. Grade 11 students at Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga have been told that because of the province’s decision to reduce the number of teaching positions and increase class sizes, they will have to reselect their courses for the coming school year. Students were also encouraged to consider summer school, night school, or online courses if they want to take certain electives. The government has said it will help school boards smooth the transition to larger classes with $1.6 billion in funding, which was announced yesterday. A spokesperson for Minister of Education Lisa Thompson said any decision to drop courses before school boards receive the transitional funds is “irresponsible and unjustified.”
Public Safety Canada turns its attention to the incel movement
One year after the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and seriously injured 16, The Globe and Mail reports that Public Safety Canada is investing almost $2 million in organizations studying the incel movement that’s been cited as inspiration for the killings. Short for “involuntary celibates,” incels are an online community mostly made up of men who feel rejected by women and whose most extreme members endorse suicide or public violence. In a 2018 report, the federal department said the attack on Yonge Street “alerted Canada to the dangers of the online incel movement.” Alek Minassian, 26, of Richmond Hill, is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. His trial is scheduled for February 2020.
Phrase of the week
A change in a tax law or policy that doesn’t increase or decrease a government’s overall tax revenue, usually because other measures are involved to make up the difference. Canada’s newly implemented carbon tax was designated revenue-neutral by the Parliamentary Budget Office in a report released this week. Most of the money raised by the new tax will be returned to households through rebates that start this year. The average return for an Ontario household of four is expected to be $307.
In a Canadian first, Prince Edward Island’s Green Party will be the province’s Official Opposition following its significant gains in the April 23 election. The party's leader (and former Ontario Green candidate) Peter Bevan-Baker joins Steve Paikin to discuss the historic election.
Canada Pension Plan contributions. Deductible expenses. Back taxes. Few Canadians relish doing their taxes, but for low-income workers classified as independent contractors, the process can be particularly frustrating and costly. As journalist Laura Kenins reports, critics say this growing group of Ontarians isn’t getting the support it needs.
Tonight on TVO
Saturday, 7 p.m. — National Geographic: Jaguar vs. Croc
Step right up to see a wildlife smackdown: Scarface the jaguar versus a 1.8-metre-long caiman crocodile. Wildlife photographer Steve Winter and cameraman Bertie Gregory capture the rarely seen, remarkable lives of these big cats in the Pantanal of Brazil.
Sunday, 9 p.m. — Michael Mosley vs. the Superbugs
Can a group of pioneering scientists save humanity from a future where the antibiotics we depend on no longer work? Journalist Michael Mosley goes in search of the resistance hunters on the front line of developing new treatments and putting them to the test.
From the archive
Most people know the late Oscar Peterson as one of the great jazz pianists of the past century. But few know how he got his start in music: with the trumpet. In this Teaching Music interview with John Miller from 1993, the Grammy Award-winning artist talks about his Montreal childhood, the value of mentorship, and how a tuberculosis outbreak in the 1930s changed the course of his musical career.