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Earth-friendly funerals, shorter life expectancy, and checking in with the minister of climate change
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on June 18, 2019
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath
File photo of Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath (Matthew Usherwood/CP)

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Horwath commits to 2022 vote as NDP holds annual convention

Official Opposition leader Andrea Horwath says she’s “here for the long haul” and has every intention of helming her party in the next provincial election. New Democrats are in Hamilton this weekend for their annual convention, where the party’s future will be discussed. One item that will figure prominently at the convention is the Ontario Green New Democratic Deal — a climate plan that aims to cut the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The Progressive Conservative government has set a target of 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.


Six Nations moves to control who can claim membership 

Canada’s largest First Nation, the Six Nations of the Grand River in southwestern Ontario, has introduced a new citizenship code in response to changes in federal law that will allow more people to claim status under the Indian Act. The changes, meant to remove sexism from the act, will allow 28,000 to 35,000 more people to claim Indian status through a female ancestor. While there was general support for removing sex-based inequities from the law, some First Nations are concerned that an influx of new members could deplete scarce resources such as funds for postsecondary education that are shared among those who have status. The new citizenship code is an effort by the Six Nations to maintain some control over who is granted membership to their community.


Proposed changes to Château Laurier still being fought

An Ottawa councillor is trying to get the city to block a controversial addition to the Fairmont Château Laurier, a castle-like hotel that has stood just east of Parliament Hill since 1912. The city’s planning committee has approved the addition, even though many residents and prominent federal politicians decried the new structure’s modern, box-like design. Councillor Mathieu Fleury wants council to revoke the development’s heritage permit, which would effectively block construction. But bureaucrats warn that would prompt a costly legal fight with the developer.


Opioid overdoses take mounting toll

A report released by the Public Health Agency of Canada finds that 4,460 people died of an opioid-related overdose in 2018. That translates to one death every two hours. In Ontario, the death toll was 1,471. Life expectancy in Canada has stopped increasing for the first time in four decades, as opioid-related deaths negate medical advances in the treatment of diseases such as cancer and stroke.



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How this Ontario cemetery is going green


man crouching down
Photo by David Rockne Corrigan)

In the green-burial section of Picton’s Glenwood Cemetery, there’s no steel, no concrete, and no formaldehyde — just bodies, sometimes blankets, and earth. TVO.org’s David Rockne Corrigan reports on a new and growing trend to make the funeral services industry environmentally friendly by re-introducing burial practices that were common before the commercialization of cemeteries in the 19th century.



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The Agenda: Checking in on the environment

Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna speaks to Steve Paikin about the Liberal government’s priorities on climate change policy, and why shifting approaches province by province shouldn’t curtail plans. “Climate change doesn't stop because you've had changes in political parties at the provincial level,” she says. “Canada is warming at twice the global average, three times or more in the North. In Alberta, they have forest fires that have started burning even earlier, and we know that they're related to climate change, to extreme heat. We have floods in Ottawa and in the National Capital Region, in Quebec and Ontario …[T]here’s a real cost and an impact.”


Abused: The Untold Story

In 2012, Great Britain was shaken by revelations of decades-long sexual abuse by television personality Jimmy Savile, host of BBC’s Top of the Pops from the 1960s to 1980s. Thousands of people came forward to talk about their experiences. This documentary features interviews with survivors, police, and professionals who led the reform of the major institutions that allowed Savile’s actions to go unchecked for years.



Tonight on TVO

Saturday, 8 p.m. — Coast New Zealand: Kaipara Harbour

Once New Zealand’s busiest port, Kaipara Harbour on the country’s northwest side is also known as “shipwreck highway.” Since the 1840s, the harbour has claimed up to 150 vessels. Host Neil Oliver learns about the history of the region’s early settlers, while Jacky Geurts joins the 130-year-old annual Pahi Regatta.


Sunday, 9 p.m. — Employable Me

Following multiple surgeries to manage her epilepsy, Miranda must re-evaluate her skills to find a job. Meanwhile, Donald looks for a stable job where he can apply his two university degrees, and not be judged by his osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare genetic disorder that causes brittle bones and stunted growth.



From the archive


April 13, 1989 — Horror in the cinema

Do you remember the first time a horror film really got under your skin and left you uneasy for days? For Elwy Yost, it was the 1939 production of Frankenstein, when the Talking Film host was just six years old. While makeup artistry and CGI technology have come a long way since the early days of filming scary stories, some techniques of the genre — sound effects, strong shadows, close camera work, and a gripping script — have proven effective since 1896. That’s when Le Manoir du diable, the first horror movie of them all, was released. In this episode, British director Thorold Dickinson (above) and Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg talk about creating that nightmare feeling.

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