daily: Saturday, June 22

A giraffe whisperer, a $500-million family feud, and a case for procrastination
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on June 26, 2019
File photo of Doug Ford and Dean French (Chris Young/CP)



Good Morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Doug Ford revokes two appointments amid accusations of nepotism

Premier Doug Ford has cancelled two of the four international-adviser appointments he made this week, after it was revealed that the appointees had ties to the premier’s chief of staff, Dean French. Tyler Albrecht, who was to be paid $165,000 a year to serve as a trade representative in New York State, is a 26-year-old recent university graduate who is reportedly friends with French’s sons and played lacrosse on a team that French coached. Taylor Shields, who was to be posted to the United Kingdom on a salary of $185,000, is a second cousin of French’s wife, according to sources who spoke to the Globe and Mail.

Inside a $500 million family feud

This month’s issue of Toronto Life features an in-depth look at the lawsuit that threatens to tear apart the Stronach family, which is best known for its ownership of the Magna auto-parts empire. The piece offers fascinating insights into the big personalities that make up the family — particularly, its “autocratic and irascible” patriarch, Frank. It also reveals what might have been the final straw that led to Frank’s $500 million lawsuit against his daughter, Belinda, and her business partner: her decision to sell the family’s private jet.

Turning the page on racism in Thunder Bay

As Thunder Bay reckons with its reputation for perpetuating systemic racism against Indigenous people, the Globe and Mail reports that it’s not city council, the health-care system, or even schools that are having the most success at fostering reconciliation — it’s the local library system.

Canada’s own ‘Jane Goodall of giraffes’

You’ve heard of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey — two of the most famous people ever to study animals in their natural habitat. But did you know that the practice was pioneered by a zoologist from Toronto? The Toronto Star profiles Anne Innis Dagg, who did groundbreaking research on giraffes in the 1950s but toiled in obscurity most of her life due to industry sexism. At 86, she is finally receiving some much-deserved recognition thanks to The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, a new documentary about her life and work.

Watch now

The Agenda’s Week in Review

Our review of the week that was begins with a group of Queen’s Park reporters assessing Premier Doug Ford’s first year at the helm — and this week’s big cabinet shuffle. Then, a panel of city councillors and planning experts review Ontario’s new housing legislation, Bill 108. Finally, food experts — including dietician Rosie Schwartz and Maple Leaf Foods executive Adam Grogan — discuss the rising popularity of plant-based meat alternatives.

Bikes vs. Cars

Big cities around the world are grappling with how to mitigate the effects of climate change. Are bicycles the answer? This documentary looks at the state of urban cycling and examines why car culture — and the billions of dollars we invest in it — makes transforming our city streets so difficult.

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What can Canada learn from Ontario’s pharmacare experiment?

Doug Ford and Christine Elliott
File photo of Doug Ford and Christine Elliott (Frank Gunn/CP)

The day after Doug Ford was sworn in as premier, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Christine Elliott announced big changes to the former Liberal government’s OHIP+ program, which provided free prescription drugs to Ontarians under 25. In this final instalment of’s series on national pharmacare, Matt Gurney looks at the pros and cons of the program — and asks what the federal government can learn from Ontario’s experience. 

Why I celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

Growing up in New Brunswick,’s Haley Lewis faced harassment from classmates about her Mohawk heritage. But the fact that she didn’t look the way that many Canadians expect Indigenous people to look meant that she was able to blend in with white society. “That’s why I celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day: loudly, visibly, proudly,” she writes. “The day is a reminder that, by being unabashedly Indigenous — unabashedly myself — I’m repaying a younger Haley for all those years of hiding.”

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — Coast New Zealand: South Westland

South Westland consists of a narrow strip of land that extends from glacier to ocean and is characterized by farmland and temperate rainforest. In this episode, host Dave Murray lands his own plane on Big Bay, one of the region’s remote islands.

10:30 p.m. — Beauty

Filmmaker Christina Willings explores the lives of five gender-nonconforming kids, each of whom is trying to build a sense of their own identity and determine how they fit into the world. Playful, goofy, loving, and brave, these remarkable children have found their own way to break free of societal expectations.

From the archive

2003 — Mark Kingwell: A little procrastination isn’t all that bad


What is procrastination? Is it laziness? Fear? It’s a question that many creative people ask themselves. In this Big Ideas segment from 2003, University of Toronto philosophy professor Mark Kingwell looks at procrastination almost as an art form. “Practitioners know that procrastination is far more creative than mere laziness,” he says. “Laziness is for wimps. Procrastination is only distantly related to the passive affliction of laziness. Procrastination is very active.”

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