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Ousted top cop wants $15 million — and a public inquiry
Former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair announced Friday he is suing the province for $15 million. He’s also urging a public inquiry into what he calls “corrupt” appointments and dismissals under the Progressive Conservative government. Last year, Blair publicly criticized the hiring of Ron Taverner as the new commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. Taverner ultimately backed out amid concerns he was underqualified and had longstanding ties to Premier Doug Ford. Blair also blew the whistle on a plan to spend $50,000 customizing a police van for Ford’s use. Blair was fired in March. The government says Blair was terminated because he allegedly released confidential information.
Ontario’s deficit comes in at $7.4 billion
Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy says the province’s deficit for 2018-19 is less than half of the $15 billion projected a year ago. The new projection of $7.4 billion is thanks to increased government revenues from strong business profits, a growing job market, and higher consumer spending, he says.
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Charter challenge launched over cut to child benefit
A legal aid clinic has launched a court challenge over the Ford government’s decision to eliminate a benefit that helps families on welfare care for their kids. The Income Security Advocacy Centre says the Transition Child Benefit provides a payment of $230 to an average of 32,000 children monthly. “The cut to social assistance for children will mean no money for their necessities such as food, clothing or diapers and will have a devastating impact on the health and well-being of children,” lawyer Jackie Esmonde said in the notice of claim. The government told the Toronto Star that the cut is part of a broader overhaul of social assistance, and that $1.2 billion is being spent this year to help families through the Ontario Child Benefit. The Transition Child Benefit is to be cut on Nov. 1.
This week, The Agenda discussed how to reduce opioid fatalities in Ontario; how countries can work together to fight climate change; Toronto’s rapid growth; and housing for seniors, featuring a group of “Golden Girls” who purchased a home together to share resources and alleviate loneliness.
Four professional bakers knead and sift their way through the era that gave us modern baking as we know it: the reign of Queen Victoria. In this episode, the bakers experiment with an electric dough mixer that takes the muscle work out of bread-making.
Student Vote is a national program that helps prepare students for ballot-box success. It teaches the ins and outs of the political process as well as how to navigate social media, distorted images, and misinformation. TVO.org’s Eastern Ontario reporter David Rockne Corrigan talks to program staff about what they accomplish and why they want to abolish the phrase “fake news.”
This weekend on TVO
Saturday, 9 p.m. — No Stone Unturned
Filmmaker Alex Gibney revisits the unsolved case of a 1994 massacre in the village of Loughinisland in Northern Ireland. Six Catholic men were killed when loyalist paramilitary gunmen sprayed a small, packed pub with bullets during a World Cup soccer match. The police investigation that followed reeked of corruption and collusion as vital evidence was destroyed and leads were ignored or discarded.
Sunday, 10 p.m. — The Apology
More than 200,000 women and girls across Asia were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War. Now in their 80s and 90s, these former “comfort women” are demanding an official apology from a reluctant Japanese government. This documentary follows the heart-wrenching and transformative journeys of Grandma Gil in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Grandma Adela in the Philippines as they recall their painful past.
With the federal election campaign in full swing, we look back at a 2011 conversation between Rick Mercer, host of the CBC’s Rick Mercer Report, and Steve Paikin about how comedy and satire play into election coverage. Why does Mercer tend to focus on the prime minister? “Satire and comedy are all about kicking up,” he says. “The further up the food chain, the funnier it gets — that’s just the way it is. So, when you’re kicking at the opposition, it’s just not as funny.”