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Streetball battles, an NDP shuffle, and the future of Ontario beef
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Sep 03, 2019
scooter line-up
An e-scooter pilot project is coming to Toronto's Distillery District. (iStock.com/Garrett Aitken)

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Good morning, Ontario.


Here's what we're following

E-scooters may soon litter Toronto streets 

Toronto is set to join a global transportation phenomenon next month, with an e-scooter pilot project expected to launch in the city’s Distillery Historic District. Increasingly, North American commuters are getting around on electric-powered scooters, as “micromobility” companies such as Lime and Bird continue to expand. But there’s a problem: users of this service aren’t expected to return the vehicles to a specific place. In cities around the world, abandoned scooters have been left to clutter sidewalks and obstruct storefronts, and have even wound up in waterways. In response, municipal governments have passed regulations forcing companies to care for their products. Some e-scooter operations have hired crews to round up abandoned vehicles.


Ontario NDP shuffles shadow cabinet

To close a retreat in Thunder Bay on Friday, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath announced changes to her party’s critic portfolios. Taras Natyshak, MPP for Essex, is now the critic for the newly created file of ethics and accountability, a move the party says is in response to Premier Doug Ford’s “cronyism scandal” under former party chief of staff Dean French. The NDP also named Wayne Gates to the new auto and manufacturing file, with Horwath saying a “storm is brewing” in those industries in Ontario. Among other changes were Toronto Centre MPP Suze Morrison’s move to tenant rights critic, as well as the critic for urban Indigenous issues, and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.


Beefing up cattle research 

A new “state of the art” beef research centre opened this week on 200 acres of farmland in Elora. Run by the provincial government, in partnership with Beef Farmers of Ontario and the University of Guelph, the centre is meant to “give Ontario’s 6,800 beef farms access to the latest technologies and findings on health, welfare, and production.” Approximately 750 cattle will live in the centre’s two research barns. The project cost $15.5 million, with $12.5 million coming from the province.


See you Tuesday!  


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Watch now


Where the Universe Sings 

Expansive, awe-inspiring landscapes are the hallmark of Canadian painter Lawren Harris’s signature style. This TVO Original documentary looks at how Harris, a founding member of the legendary Group of Seven, came to be one of the most valued artists in Canadian history, with his canvases routinely selling at auction for millions of dollars.


Why Waubgeshig Rice wants you to watch this 1993 documentary 


Looking to buff up on your contemporary Canadian history? Author and journalist Waubgeshig Rice has a recommendation for you: Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, a National Film Board documentary about the 1990 Oka Crisis. Directed by veteran filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, it chronicles the events of a historic land dispute between a Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) community and the Quebec town of Oka over a proposed golf course. “I’ll always think back to that summer 29 years ago and what it meant for Indigenous people everywhere,” says Rice.



Read now

How a Chinatown street sport went global 

This weekend, Toronto will host one of the oldest and most important sporting events in Chinese-North American culture: a 9-Man volleyball tournament. More than 60 teams will compete at the Toronto Convention Centre in the 75th annual North American Chinese Invitational Volleyball Tournament. Journalist Alex Wong gives an overview of how the sport grew from the streets of North America’s Chinatowns to a worldwide sporting event.



This weekend on TVO


Saturday, 9 p.m. — Circus Without Borders 

Best friends from distant corners of the globe, acrobats Guillaume Saladin and Yamoussa Bangoura share a dream to bring hope and change to their remote, struggling communities. In the Canadian Arctic and in West Africa, they help Inuit and Guinean youth excel in their craft while confronting the challenges of systemic poverty. Seven years in the making, this tale of two circuses — Artcirq and Kalabante — is a culture-crossing performance piece and an inspiring story of resilience.


Sunday, 10 p.m. — 9-Man: A Streetball Battle in the Heart of Chinatown 

Nine-man volleyball is a gritty, unique streetball tournament played in the heart of Chinatowns across the U.S. and Canada. This documentary delves into the sport, its origins, and its connection to a dynamic community of men invested in keeping the historic tradition alive.



From the archive


1988 — Secrets of the Manitou

Manitoulin Island is a popular summer destination for Ontarians. In this archival episode of People Patterns, we learn a little about the region’s important treaty history, its beef-farming industry, and the role of tourism in the area’s economic development.

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