TVO.org daily: Thursday, March 12

How a Thunder Bay library is fighting racism
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Mar 12, 2020
Photo by Jon Thompson

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following


Coronavirus preparations ramp up

While the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic yesterday, Ontario is now reporting 41 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. A man in Sudbury is believed to have contracted the virus at a mining conference in Toronto that included 23,000 attendees from around the world.

The province and the federal government unveiled new funding to deal with the outbreak. Ottawa will spend $1 billion on various measures, including vaccine development and “critical health-care system needs.” Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford announced Ontario will create a $100-million contingency fund in its March 25 budget.


Premier says welfare recipients can find work 

In an interview with the Toronto SunDoug Ford said it’s a great time for Ontarians on welfare to find work. “Where I’m going with this is if we have healthy people — body and mind — and they’re sitting at home and there’s 200,000 jobs available, I would highly recommend that they go to a Service Ontario [so] we could help them find a job,” he said.

In response, NDP leader Andrea Horwath said there are more barriers to employment than available jobs. “I think the premier needs to acknowledge that folks do want to work but they need to have not only pathways to employment in terms of job leads but they need to have their dental work done, they need to have appropriate clothing for the workplace, sometimes that means expensive work boots, all kinds of pieces of equipment, and in some cases training.”


Province vows crackdown on tow-truck violence

Premier Doug Ford says the province will act against turf wars between rival tow-truck drivers in Toronto. In the past year, violence in the industry has led to the burning of more than 30 trucks and the killing of at least two men. “We’re coming for you, and we’re going to catch you. The party’s over,” Ford said at a Tuesday news conference, according to The Globe and Mail. He did not provide details on the province’s plan. For more on this issue, watch The Agenda tonight to hear from Mark Graves, president of the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario.


Watch now

The Agenda: Investing in early childhood education 

Canada lags behind the OECD average in terms of enrolment in early childhood education, according to the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation. Philanthropist Margaret McCain, the foundation’s chair, explains why the first years of life are critically important in human development.


Grayson Perry: Who Are You?

Award-winning artist and cultural commentator Grayson Perry explores identity as he creates diverse portraits. In this episode, he meets the Jesus Army, a white gay couple with a mixed-race son, and a couple living with Alzheimer's.


Read now

‘You’ve got to start at home’: How Thunder Bay is fighting racism

In TVO’s continuing series about the province’s libraries, northwestern Ontario reporter Jon Thompson finds out why the Thunder Bay library board is making inclusiveness a priority. “When the 2019-23 strategic plan was finalized, it enshrined anti-racism as an institutional goal,” he writes. “In a city known across Canada for anti-Indigenous racism, the library, as Tanya Talaga put it in a 2019 Toronto Star column, has ‘stood out from the rest’ and ‘emerged as an unlikely hero.’”


Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Transit trouble

In Toronto, TTC fare evasion recently prompted an enforcement blitz that caught the public’s attention. But, as usual, nothing about transit is simple. Joining The Agenda are Metrolinx president and CEO Phil Verster; Shelagh Pizey-Allen, executive director of TTCriders; Jay Pitter, co-editor of Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity; and Shawn Micallef, Toronto Starcolumnist and co-founder of Spacing magazine.


9 p.m. — Toto and His Sisters

This documentary tells the story of Totonel, a nine-year-old Roma boy living in the poorest area of Romania's capital. His mother has been imprisoned for drug dealing and Totonel has never attended school. The film follows his blossoming self-confidence and creativity as he attends an alternative education club.


From the archive

Nov. 20, 2001 — Why we need vaccines 

In this 2001 segment of Your Health, host Maureen Taylor talks about vaccinations with Peter Doherty, an immunologist from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. “In general, you have a phenomenon of herd health. Protect 80 to 90 per cent of the population, then the other 10 per cent are likely to be infected, so the pool who pass the infection on are small,” he says. “All campaigns rely on that, and there are always some people who object to vaccination for religious or cultural reasons.”

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