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Hitting the gas, why giant beavers went extinct, and the fight against money laundering
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 13, 2019
Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek announced Friday that Ontario is raising the speed limit. (



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Pilot project will increase highway speed limits

Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek announced Friday that Ontario is raising the speed limit from 100 kilometres an hour to 110 km/h on three sections of the province’s 400-series highways. Will this mean that everyone starts driving at 130 km/h instead of 120, as they do now? We’ll find out in September, when the pilot begins on sections of Hwy. 402, Hwy. 417, and the QEW. The government will also launch consultations on how to “safely increase” speeds on highways across the province. 

Ontario adds 47,000 jobs amid record employment growth across Canada

Employment rose by 106,500 jobs across Canada in April, the biggest one-month increase since 1976, when such data was first available. The jump trounced the 12,000 new jobs that economists had predicted. While growth was broadly based across the country, Ontario grabbed the lion’s share — 47,000 job.

Canadians: world-champion gas guzzlers

A recent report by the International Energy Agency found that Canadian vehicles have the highest average fuel consumption in the world. The University of Calgary’s Blake Shaffer writes that we can’t blame the country’s size and climate: many Canadian motorists simply buy bigger vehicles than they need. Cheap gas — yes, it’s much less expensive than in most parts of the world — also gives us little incentive to prioritize fuel efficiency. He argues carbon taxes would help fix that.

The giant beaver probably died out for the last reason you’d expect

A new study from Western University in London suggests that the giant beaver, an ice-age animal roughly three times larger than today’s North American beaver, died out because — get this — it didn’t eat trees. Researchers found the giant beaver relied on aquatic plants for food. When the last ice age ended, conditions became drier and the creature’s food supply dwindled. North American beavers, which lived alongside the giant kind for thousands of years, used their wood-gnawing abilities to “ecosystem-engineer” the habitats they needed to survive with dams and lodges.

Phrase of the week


A legal standard that anyone under arrest has the right to be brought before a judge or court to challenge the grounds for their detention, should they wish it. This legal recourse was in the news this week when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a refugee from Pakistan who had been detained and then deported in 2017 was denied his right to challenge his detention before a judge.

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Why Ontario needs to step up in the fight against money laundering

$100 bills on a clothes line

A new C.D. Howe Institute report has revealed that Canada is lagging other countries when it comes to cracking down on money laundering, and recent revelations in British Columbia about money laundering through casinos and luxury car sales don’t help that image. Columnist John Michael McGrath suggests that a national securities regulator might be needed to curb “dark money,” but as the largest provincial economy, Ontario also needs to do its part. Finance Minister Vic Fedeli told that the issue is “something we’re continuing to monitor,” saying his office will continue discussions with various provincial finance ministers.

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The Agenda’s week in review

The Agenda’s weekly review begins with Progressive Conservative MPP Robin Martin, parliamentary assistant to Ontario’s health minister, discussing cuts to public health funding. Sports experts then discuss the physical literacy of Ontarians and whether they’re prepared at an early age for life-long health and fitness. Next: are benzos overprescribed? Benzodiazepine is a common medication for anxiety, but it also plays a role in Canada’s opioid crisis. Finally, two electroconvulsive therapy researchers and practitioners discuss the misunderstood treatment’s effectiveness for severe depression and mood disorders.

Introducing Myself in My Language is Political

TVO Indigenous affairs journalist Chris Beaver talks about his Anishinaabe identity, the dwindling of his ancestral language of Anishnaabemowin, and its importance as a cultural building block.

Tonight on TVO

Saturday, 8 p.m. — Coast New Zealand: Taranaki

Mount Taranaki casts a beautiful but ominous shadow on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Learn how the region has been affected by this still-active volcano. Geologist Hamish Campbell also investigates the energy-rich region's oil industry, while historian and archeologist Neil Oliver encounters mysterious objects on the Taranaki coastline.

Sunday, 9 p.m. — Employable Me, Season 2

The award-winning documentary series about people overcoming barriers to find fulfilling work returns for its second season. In the premiere: Rick has autism spectrum disorder and has struggled to find paid employment since graduating from high school more than 10 years ago. He must overcome his fear of change to fulfil his ambition of becoming an actor or a chef.

From the archive

June 4, 2003 — Big Ideas: Anne Crittenden

New York Times journalist and author Anne Crittenden discusses the challenges she faced in returning to work after having her baby in 1982, when workplaces were not as accommodating to new parents as they are today. She talks about the role of mothers in society, as depicted in her book, The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued.

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