daily: Thursday, May 30

Possible teacher layoffs, making reconciliation a reality, and some tickets to the Raptors game
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 30, 2019
TDSB building
The Toronto District School Board has sent letters to its high school teachers, warning that some of them may be laid off. (Frank Gunn/CP)



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

School board warns of possible layoffs due to cutbacks

The Toronto District School Board has sent letters to its high school teachers, warning that some of them may be laid off. Leslie Wolfe, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation’s Toronto branch, told the Toronto Star such a move is unheard of when enrolment is growing. The Ford government promised its plan to eventually eliminate thousands of teaching positions would be done through attrition and would not result in layoffs. But cuts to education grants, as well as the way some teacher leaves are staffed, have left a number of positions unfunded.

Hamilton couple pledges $100 million for health research

A husband and wife born during the Great Depression and who went on to become millionaires have announced that $100 million from their estate will go towards the creation of a new research centre in Hamilton that will focus on cancer, mental health, lung and respiratory care, and diseases of the aging. "We have learned that sharing our resources is in itself like a drug — one with a euphoric and healing effect,” Charles and Margaret Juravinski wrote in an open letter announcing the charitable gift, which is among the biggest in Canadian history.

Ottawa mayor calls for flood investigation

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has sent letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford, calling for a formal investigation into the intense flooding along the Ottawa River in 2017 and 2019. “As I’m sure you can appreciate, many residents in the affected areas of Ottawa will be waiting for reliable information on the factors contributing to these flooding events, and the likelihood of reoccurrence, before making a decision on rebuilding their homes,” he wrote.

Raptors mania reaches fever pitch

As the Toronto Raptors prepare to face off against the Golden State Warriors tonight in the first game of the NBA finals, demand for tickets is intense. The cheapest seats still available as of this writing were $1,000, while one person reportedly paid $76,000 for courtside seats. The astronomical prices forced’s very own David Rockne Corrigan to make his own tickets. His creativity earned him a mention on TSN — and a few copycats.

What we're tracking

A history in Canadian basketball

Jay Triano
File photo of Jay Triano (Darren Calabrese/CP)

TVO’s Jeyan Jeganathan is a huge Toronto Raptors fan, so of course he’s the producer bringing former Raps coach Jay Triano to The Agenda this Friday to talk about the team’s historic rise to the NBA finals. Triano’s new book, Open Look: Canadian Basketball and Me, documents his love of the game and his career in it. “When you think of Canadian basketball, Triano’s name is up there,” says Jeganathan. “His memoir is revealing for basketball and non-basketball fans alike. He has played and coached at every level. Who other than Coach Triano to walk us down Raptors memory lane?” Watch for the segment Friday night.

Watch now

The Agenda: Making reconciliation a reality

It’s been four years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its list of recommendations to help Canadian institutions and the public at large understand the importance of redressing the country’s mistreatment of Indigenous peoples. But many Canadians still don’t know enough about Indigenous history and culture to really understand why reconciliation is necessary. Bob Joseph, author of Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality, talks to Steve Paikin about how Canadians can become engaged in the process.

Raw to Ready: Mack Truck

This series explores the science and innovation that transforms the most basic components into powerhouse machines. This week, learn how the Mack Truck has been built to be durable and fuel-efficient enough to haul heavy loads on highways in any weather condition. It’s an engineering achievement made possible by platinum, petroleum, copper, manganese, and polyurethane.

Read now

Off the rails Part 1: How Toronto transit became such a mess

In the first instalment of this three-part series on what ails Toronto transit, journalist Matt Gurney takes us through a brief history of how the TTC went from the efficient system it was in the 1970s to its current underfunded state, unable to reliably move commuters across town. According to former TTC chair Adam Giambrone, part of the problem is that, “we stopped building — dramatically stopped — in the 1970s, except for a few little starts and stops.” Meanwhile, he says, “the city continued to grow. It's really hard to catch up, realistically, and there was a huge demand for better transit in the city.”

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: The Indian Act: What to do with it

Enacted more than 150 years ago, the Indian Act has structured relations between the federal government and First Nations peoples for generations. In the eyes of many, its purpose was — and still is — to assimilate, control, and even erase the people and communities under its jurisdiction. In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to scrap it. That hasn’t happened. The Agenda discusses why, and what this future of this archaic piece of legislation should be.

10 p.m. — Redesign My Brain: Make Me Brave

In the final episode of this series on brain training, host Todd Sampson learns how to manage fear. He conjures all his courage and uses the skills developed from previous brain training sessions throughout the series to tackle the riskiest of challenges yet: tightrope walking on a wire strung between two skyscrapers.

From the archive

March 31, 1977 — Margaret Laurence


One of Canada’s most beloved and celebrated writers, Margaret Laurence speaks to Mike McManus in this archival Education interview about how her Governor General’s Award-winning book, The Diviners, was a homecoming for her. “Although this novel is certainly, by no means, autobiographical, it could be described in a sense as a spiritual autobiography,” she says. Laurence, the author of 17 books of short-fiction, novels, children’s books, and non-fiction, was born in Neepawa, Manitoba, where she began writing in her teens. She died at her home in Lakefield, Ont., in 1997 at the age of 60.