daily: Saturday, December 21

Lessons the Ford government learned in 2019
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Dec 21, 2019
Ford government ends 2019 with a lesson in the limits of changing the tone. (Stephen C. Host/CP)



Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Province names head of new health super agency

Matthew Anderson, currently head of a hospital network in Durham Region, will be the first president and CEO of Ontario Health, the Canadian Press reports. Anderson has been in charge of Lakeridge Health since 2016 and has worked in the province’s health-care sector since 1992. Ontario Health is the government’s effort to reform the health-care system by merging the province’s 14 local health integration networks and six other health-care agencies into one organization. Anderson will start his new role on Feb. 1.  

Concerns grow over delays at Ontario housing tribunal

Tenants and landlords are expressing frustration over growing delays at the provincial body that judges rental disputes, the CBC reports. Waits for a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board are now two months or more, which critics blame on the province’s failure to fill 20 vacant adjudicator posts. Landlords say having to wait so long to collect unpaid rent is hurting their business, while tenant advocates worry that the government will use the delays as an excuse to introduce reforms that favour landlords over renters.

Ombudsman slow to find new French Language Services Commissioner

Provincial Ombudsman Paul Dubé has missed his self-imposed deadline to hire a new French Language Services Commissioner, reports. Dubé’s office had said someone would be named by “late fall” but now says the appointment won’t be announced until January. The delay is unlikely to sit well with the province’s francophone community, which is already upset over the government’s decision to close the commissioner’s stand-alone office and incorporate it into the ombudsman’s responsibilities.

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The Agenda: Brewed in the north

Labatt’s is one of the most recognizable beer brands in the world, but it began as a small Canadian company. Matthew Bellamy traces that history in his new book, Brewed in the North. He speaks to Steve Paikin about the brand’s colonial beginnings, its eventual sale to Belgium-based Interbrew, and Canada’s complicated relationship with beer.

Ontario Hubs: The faces of pediatric palliative care

Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. Emily’s House, a children’s hospice, provides comfort for families living with that reality. Ontario Hubs field producer Jeyan Jeganathan visited the Toronto-based care centre — one of only two in the province — to learn about the work of providing end-of-life care to children, supporting their loved ones, and raising money for a cause that’s difficult to talk about.

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Ford government ends 2019 with a lesson in the limits of changing the tone

Between patronage scandals, public fights with teachers and autism advocates, and a federal election that saw Premier Doug Ford put in “witness protection,” it’s been a long year for Ontario’s government, writes Queen’s Park columnist John Michael McGrath. Amidst all this was a concerted effort from the premier to strike a more conciliatory tone. Now, after the latest spat — with the mayor of Hamilton over a cancelled LRT project — the Tories are learning what the limits of that effort are. “The government has to do real things and make real choices,” McGrath writes. “And despite what political spin doctors tell themselves to justify their invoices, tone can’t hide the real impacts of government decisions.”

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m — Antiques Uncovered

Historian Lucy Worsley explains how a seemingly innocuous home item, the sofa, has changed our behaviour over the centuries. Meanwhile, antiques expert Mark Hill discovers the secret ingredient of English porcelain and visits a passionate collector.

11 p.m. —  Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees​​​​​​​ 

Forests are one of the world’s most significant sources of food, medicine, and oxygen. Scientist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger explores humanity’s profound biological and spiritual connection with trees, and meets the people leading a movement to replant, restore, and protect the last of the planet’s great ancient forests.

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