daily: Thursday, June 5

Taller buildings for Toronto, and cleaning up question period
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on June 6, 2019
File photo of an Ontario Beer Store (Lars Hagberg/CP)



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

America has something to say about Ontario beer policy

In a letter to Premier Doug Ford on Wednesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that scrapping the province’s contract with The Beer Store “risks sending a negative signal to U.S. and other international investors about the business and investment climate in Ontario." The Ontario Chamber of Commerce issued a similar warning the day before. Meanwhile, the Canadian American Bar Association sent a letter to Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, stating that such a move would undermine the rule of law in a number of ways.” The government wants to unilaterally cancel the contract to allow corner stores to sell beer and wine.

Ford government to cap public sector wage increases

The Progressive Conservative government introduced a bill Wednesday to cap public sector wage increases to no more than one per cent annually for the next three years. It will affect more than one million workers, including employees of hospitals, school boards, children’s aid societies, and more, including TVO. Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy said the measure is “designed to protect public services” for future generations. He stressed the policy was not a wage freeze, and would not involve layoffs. OPSEU president Warren “Smokey” Thomas was characteristically colourful in his reaction. “Who’s [Doug Ford] coming after next to pay for his stupid buck-a-beer and beer in corner stores?” he said. “Everything he's doing is on the backs of workers."  

Taller buildings in Toronto? Tories want to allow it

Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark has told the Globe and Mail he is forcing Toronto to rewrite its official plan to allow taller residential towers in the city’s midtown and downtown. Clark said the measure will make the most of the billions of dollars in new public transit being built in the city and provide more affordable housing options, too. But Toronto Mayor John Tory, who says he was only notified of the plan via text message the night before, reacted negatively, saying enacting the measure without community consultation will “again sour the relations between the two governments.”

What we're tracking

Steve Paikin at the Ontario Liberal Party convention

Liberal party members at a convention
File photo of a Ontario Liberal gathering after the 2018 election. (Christopher Katsarov/CP)

Ontario Liberals will gather this weekend for their annual general meeting and are looking to rebuild after what has been a devastating year for the party. They’ve fallen short of official party status, having won just seven seats on election night in 2018. They need to pay down an estimated $10 million in debt. Two high-profile MPPS — Nathalie Des Rosiers and Marie-France Lalonde — are stepping down. The party is also getting ready to mount a leadership campaign to replace Kathleen Wynne and interim leader John Fraser. Steve Paikin will be covering the conference with a series of articles, beginning Friday, on the party’s uphill battle and what it needs to accomplish. Watch for his analysis of the event early next week.

Watch now

The Agenda: A better question period

Depending on how you look at it, question period at the Ontario legislature is either entertaining theatre or absolute chaos. But as a chance for the opposition to hold the government to account, it’s also a vital part of democracy. The Agenda looks at whether anything can be done to make these traditional proceedings more respectful and civil.

The Maestro and the Master

Russian maestro Valery Gergiev and Canadian architect Jack Diamond were the two figureheads responsible for building the Mariinsky II Opera House in the heart of St. Petersburg, which opened its doors in 2013. At stake were their professional reputations and Russia's cultural prestige. This documentary follows the drama, passions, and personalities involved in the creation of the first opera house to be built in Russia since the time of the czars.

Read now

Kathleen Wynne is adjusting to life as a workaday MPP

Kathleen Wynne in the Ontario legislature
File photo of Kathleen Wynne (Chris Young/CP)

Despite a crushing defeat in the 2018 election, former Ontario premier and current MPP Kathleen Wynne is determined to stay focused on representing her Don Valley West constituents. “Wynne has plenty of reasons not to come to Queen’s Park — at least 72 of them. That’s how many Progressive Conservatives there are sitting in the government benches,” writes’s John Michael McGrath. “And many of them seem to delight in shouting her down.” She spoke to McGrath about why she’s staying the course in the Ontario legislature.

Five ways you can put the ‘calls for justice’ from the MMIWG report into action

two women performing a ceremony
Commissioners Marion Buller (left) and Commissioner Michele Audette prepare the official copy of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report for presentation to the  federal government. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Earlier this week, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ report was delivered to the federal government, along with 231 calls for justice. Indigenous Hub reporter Haley Lewis breaks down five of the report’s recommendations that Ontarians can take on today to help effect change.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: The future of unions

The Agenda welcomes Sid Ryan, a veteran union organizer and leader, to discuss what he feels is right and wrong with today’s labour movement. Then, a panel discussion on the state of organized labour in Canada, and how unions are adapting to 21st-century challenges.

10 p.m. — House of Saud

Mohammed bin Slaman
File photo of Mohammed bin Salman (Amr Nabil/AP/CP)

Mohammed bin Salman has pledged to transform Saudi Arabia, but the controversial crown prince faces many challenges. This first episode in a three-part series examines the new leader's dramatic commitment to end extremism and to return the kingdom to moderate Islam.

From the archive

June 28, 1988 — Central Technical School

This Network Shorts segment from 1988 profiles a Toronto school that is now in its second century. Founded in 1915, Central Technical School became known as a hub for instruction in modern technology of the day, including airline mechanics and newspaper printing and assembly. And at a time when home economics was considered their top elective, girls at Central Tech were also encouraged to enroll in STEM courses.

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