TVO.org daily: Thursday, Aug. 2

Branding your daily commute, a do-over on the autism file, and life beyond gender roles
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Aug 02, 2019
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The new minister for children, community and social services, Todd Smith, has apologized to families for the government’s handling of the autism file. (Chris Young/CP)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following.

GO Train.

Metrolinx to sell naming rights to GO stations, washrooms, and more

The Toronto Sun’s Brian Lilley reports that the Progressive Conservative government wants to sell naming rights to GO Transit stations, in-train quiet zones, washrooms, and more. Premier Doug Ford advocated the same strategy for Toronto subway stations back in 2011, when he was a city councillor. “As long as it’s called the right name — Spadina-McDonald’s, whatever — if it brings in revenue, I honestly don’t believe anyone cares,” he said at the time. The TTC proposal never went ahead.

Trudeau tries to calm Canadian concerns over Trump’s drug plan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised Canadians Thursday there will be a “steady and solid supply” of prescription medications even though U.S. President Donald Trump plans to allow Americans to buy drugs from Canada. The White House is hoping the move will help Americans cope with skyrocketing prescription costs. Groups such as the Canadian Pharmacists Association, however, have warned that Canada’s supply is too small to support consumers on both sides of the border. John Adams of the Best Medicines Coalition, a patient advocacy group, called Trump’s plan a “clear and present danger” to Canadians’ health.

Province signed $1.2 million in contracts for cannabis shop that never opened

Taxpayers may be paying for an empty building in Guelph that was supposed to be a cannabis store. According to documents obtained by the Guelph Mercury Tribune, Ontario’s cannabis retail corporation and the LCBO agreed to approximately $1.2 million in contracts, taxes included, for projects related to a government-run weed shop near the city’s Stone Road Mall. Plans changed when the government nixed the idea of LCBO-like outposts and moved to a private retail model. It’s unclear how much money was actually paid out. 

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Opinion: It’s time for Doug Ford to ditch Ontario News Now

If ethical concerns won’t persuade the Progressive Conservative government to shut down its propaganda wing, what will? Maybe the fact that it’s not particularly effective in getting the government's message out, writes TVO.org’s John Michael McGrath. In a look at the social media operation’s one-year history, McGrath suggests that its latest scandal, involving Pelee Island Winery, could do further damage to a government that’s already battling accusations of being too cozy with lobbyists.

Analysis: The Tories botched the autism file. What are they going to do about it?

After a series of publicly maligned changes to its autism services, the government is promising to overhaul its autism program for 2020. Journalist Matt Gurney looks at what that will mean for Ontario families in the future — and the present.

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My First 150 Days

Nearly a decade ago, Melona Banico left her rural hometown in the Philippines to come to Canada for work — and in doing so, had to leave her family behind. Now, she is sponsoring her three children and a grandson to join her. This documentary follows the Banico family’s reunion, capturing their first five months in Toronto and the emotional ups and downs of restarting their family life in a new country. 

Her Story: A Female Revolution

For generations, the lives of women worldwide were largely confined to expectations that they would become wives and mothers. The 20th century saw big shifts in those assumptions, and ever since women have been shaping their worth by different metrics: in the workforce, politics, and the arts. In this episode, we meet women from Beijing to the deserts of West Africa who are challenging society’s expectations. 

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: Life beyond gender roles 

What would the world look like if society welcomed the concept of more than two genders? Joshua M. Ferguson is advocating for just that outcome. Ferguson was the first Ontarian to receive a non-binary designation on their birth certificate — both a personal victory and one for the LGBTQ community at large. Nam Kiwanuka talks to Ferguson about their recent memoir, Me, Myself, They: Life Beyond the Binary. 

From the archive

2013 — Searching for alien planets

For centuries, we've looked to the skies and wondered: are we alone in the universe? Could there be alien planets that harbour or sustain life? Cornell University astrophysicist Ray Jayawardhana, at the time a professor at the University of Toronto, spends his time searching for such planets. He joins Steve Paikin in this Agenda segment on extraterrestrial life.

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