daily: Thursday, April 4

Student protests, cannabis curation, and what non-Indigenous Canadians need to know
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on April 4, 2019
A network of Ontario students plan to walk out of class to protest education cuts proposed by the Ford government. (



Good Morning, Ontario

Students ‘Say No’ to proposed Tory education cuts

Hundreds of schools across the province may seem a littler emptier today as a network of Ontario students plan to walk out of class to protest education cuts proposed by the Ford government. The organizing group Students Say No says students are angry over the government’s intentions to increase class sizes, cut the Ontario Student Assistance Program, make e-learning courses mandatory, and ban cell phones in the classroom. “It seems as though everything that sets Ontario apart and is valuable in our education is being taken away,” Natalie Moore, a high school student in Listowel who came up with the idea for the walkout, told the Ottawa Citizen. When the Canadian Federation of Students organized a similar walkout last month, post-secondary students from 17 universities and colleges took part.

For more context, watch The Agenda’s recent panel about the government’s education reforms, and Steve Paikin’s talk with three teachers about how they’ve learned to manage cell phones in their classrooms. 

Nova Scotia to make every citizen an organ donor

In a North American first, Nova Scotia has introduced a bill to make every resident of the province an automatic organ and tissue donor unless they opt out. Dr. Stephen Beed of Legacy of Life told reporters that similar donation programs in other parts of the world have increased the number of transplants by 20 to 35 per cent.

In Ontario, which requires an opt-in, the number of people registered as donors has been growing significantly: in 2018 nearly 4.2 million people registered consent to organ and tissue donation, a 126 per cent increase over the number a decade ago. Nevertheless, both the province and Canada as a whole lag behind many other countries when it comes to organ donor registration rates, including the U.S., the U.K., and Spain. 

TVO nominated for national journalism awards

We’re proud to announce our in-depth reporting and documentary work is represented twice among the finalists for this year’s Canadian Association of Journalists awards. Nominated for the JHR/CAJ Human Rights Reporting Award is filmmaker Sarah Fodey’s The Fruit Machine, a searing TVO Original documentary about Canada’s decades-long campaign to drum LGBTQ people out of the public service. And for the second year in a row, Jon Thompson of’s Ontario Hubs project is nominated for the APTN/CAJ Reconciliation Award for his in-depth coverage of Indigenous issues in the province’s northwest. Congratulations, both! 

What we're tracking

Coming soon: #onpoli, a TVO podcast

Looking for deep dives into the way politics and policy decisions affect the everyday lives of Ontarians? Get ready to listen to #onpoli, a TVO podcast, which will premiere later this month. Steve Paikin recently interviewed Finance Minister Vic Fedeli in his office at Queen’s Park for an upcoming episode and says: “There’s no more important cabinet minister in the Ontario government over the next few weeks than Fedeli. He’ll bring down the Progressive Conservatives’ first budget on April 11 — and if he gets it right, it’ll set Doug Ford’s government on the path towards successfully governing over the remainder of the term.  If he gets it wrong, it could start an inexorable decline for the Tories.” 

Watch now

The Agenda: Curating cannabis

Since the legalization of cannabis last June and the roll-out of retail stores in Ontario this week, it was only a matter of time before marketers and experts started treating the substance as a product to be curated — worthy of sleek packaging, elaborate education programs, even tasting notes. On The Agenda last night, cannabis sommelier Tamara Lilien spoke with Steve Paikin about the unique role that cannabis consultants and educators play in the new, post-legalization world. 

First Things First: What non-Indigenous Canadians need to know

In the first episode of this four-part TVO video series, Anishinaabe educator and public speaker Eddy Robinson talks about the importance of taking time to listen to Indigenous stories. He recounts leaving home as a teenager, getting in trouble with the law, being disappointed with his parents, and how he ultimately came to an understanding of their traumatic past in residential schools. 

Read now

How influencer marketing has moved the ethical goalposts — again

taking a photo of a plate of food

When is an ad not really an ad? When it’s disguised as just another Instagram photo posted by any one of countless foodies on the social media platform. Food writer Corey Mintz looks at apps that facilitate the exchange of favourable posts by so-called influencers in exchange for free food and drink. Mintz considers what the practice means for media literacy, fairness in advertising, as well as the tradition of carefully-considered food reviews by experts in the field. 

Why Hamilton’s tiny restaurant is causing a big fight over gentrification

a chef preparing food

Hamilton’s Barton Village is a notoriously difficult neighbourhood for new businesses, in part because it’s become ground zero for a city debate about gentrification. Chef Matt Cowan and his wife Meg found that out the hard way: since opening their upscale restaurant there in 2016, the couple has dealt with constant threats and vandalism. Still, Cowan hasn’t given up. He tells “I've seen enough neighborhoods revitalize and come alive again all across Canada. There was an energy here that made me feel confident about opening here.” 

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Filtering water from coffee

Although the federal government has pledged to end all on-reserve water advisories by 2021, it sometimes takes a community initiative to find a solution. Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, a member of Whitefish First Nation on Georgian Bay, has found one in coffee. His company, Birchbark Coffee, takes a portion of sales revenue to purchase water purifiers for Indigenous people across Ontario. Marsolais-Nahwegahbow talks to Steve Paikin tonight about how he hopes the initiative will inspire Indigenous youth to get involved in social enterprise. 

From the archive

May 9, 1990: Michael Enright and Bill Casselman on word processors

“I don’t understand what the machine is. I don’t know what a program is. When it says it processes words? I thought that’s what I was supposed to do.” That’s the CBC’s Michael Enright talking in a 1990 Imprint interview with Paul Roberts on word processors, whether they’re changing the way people write, and whether they’re even necessary at all. It may all sound like a debate from another century — and in fact it is — but like any technological development, word-processing programs were once new — even disruptive. 

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