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Talking trash in Ontario, the future of French-language education, and the misogyny of climate change deniers
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Jul 30, 2020
Health Minister Christine Elliott is requiring hospitals across the province to report vaping-related illnesses. (iStock.com/danchooalex)

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Ontario hospitals to report vaping-related illnesses

Health Minister Christine Elliott is requiring hospitals across the province to provide the Chief Medical Officer of Health “statistical, non-identifying information related to incidents of vaping-related severe pulmonary disease.” Fears over the use of e-cigarettes have increased significantly in the past few weeks after hundreds of previously healthy people in the U.S. have developed pneumonia-like symptoms after vaping. “In light of the growing evidence, I have become increasingly concerned about the prevalence and possible health consequences of vaping, particularly as they affect our youth,” Elliott said in a statement.

Hours later, London health authorities said a local youth had been put on life support and diagnosed with a severe respiratory illness” that’s been linked to using e-cigarette products. Officials say it is Canada’s first patient with a serious lung disease connected to vaping..


Northern Ontario autism service provider stops helping new families

Sudbury-based Child and Community Resources won’t be able to help the 1,200 children on its waitlist for services. The organization announced in a statement Tuesday that funding changes to the autism program by the Ford government last year has left it “a shell of our previous capacity.” Executive director Sherry Fournier told the Globe and Mail about 30 layoffs over the past year are because of the government’s cuts. “It was a reluctant step. This was not one that was taken lightly,” she said. CCR provides services for children across the north, including those in Sudbury, Algoma, Thunder Bay, and Kenora.


GM strike in U.S. forces shutdown at Oshawa plant

CBC reports that 650 GM workers in Oshawa were told to stay home Wednesday after the strike by 49,000 United Auto Workers in the U.S. led to a shortage of parts. Another 1,200 workers were sent home Tuesday afternoon for the same reason. A spokesperson for GM said approximately half of the production at the Oshawa plant is being affected by the UAW strike.


Virtue and Moir hang up their skates

London’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have announced they are retiring after a sterling career that included two Olympic gold medals in ice dancing. “After 22 years, it feels like the right time to step away from the sport,” Virtue said in a video posted to Twitter. Fans have a chance to see the pair one more time as they embark on a cross-country tour starting Oct. 5.



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The Agenda: Securing French-language education in Ontario

As the demand for French education in Ontario continues to grow, more anglophone parents are putting their children in French-language schools. Those school boards, which are protected by Charter rights, are now facing a possible constitutional challenge. Joining Steve Paikin to discuss what this could mean are former education minister Janet Ecker, Queen’s University’s Stéphanie Chouinard, Mỹ Dang of Canadian Parents for French, retired supply teacher Josée Guindon and Basile Dorion, who is launching the lawsuit.


Food Unwrapped 

Ever wonder how some vegetables can be grown year-round? Food journalist Kate Quilton investigates how asparagus is grown in Peru’s Ica Valley, one of the driest places on Earth. Afterward, chef Matt Tebbutt travels to a secret location to track down U.K.-grown wasabi plants.



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Why climate change denial and misogyny go hand in hand

What do climate change denial and misogyny have in common? TVO.org columnist Lauren McKeon investigates why high-profile figures such as Catherine McKenna, Greta Thunberg, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all face sexist abuse for being vocal and involved in climate change activism. “When it comes down to it, this troubling behaviour — misogynistic threats, refusing to engage in ‘girly’ environmental choices, supporting an industrial, nationalistic economy — is all about the same thing,” she writes. “A deep desire to protect perceived world orders and a fear of change, of shifting power structures, of equality.”


It’s time to talk trash in Ontario


trash cans
 (Dominic Chan/CP)

In 2016, Ontario generated 9,475,472 tonnes of non-hazardous waste. As journalist Matt Gurney puts it, that’s the volume of nearly 1.5 Hoover Dams each year. His three-part series on how Ontario deals with this monumental amount of trash, and why it’s important to the health of the planet, begins with a brief history of garbage collection in the province.


Tonight on TVO


8 p.m. — The Agenda: The end of shareholder primacy

Last month, some of America’s top business people released a statement saying, among other things: “CEOs work to generate profits and return value to shareholders, but the best-run companies do more.” It was part of a wider call for change in how companies do business, and whom they serve. Joining Steve Paikin in a discussion about corporate success beyond profits are Phillip Haid, of the social impact marketing agency Public Inc.; Toby Heaps, of Corporate Knights Inc.; Tanya van Biesen, of the digital marketing agency Catalyst; and Sarah Kaplan, author of The 360 Degree Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation. 


9 p.m. — Michael Mosley vs. The Superbugs

As more types of bacterial infections become resistant to antibiotics, Michael Mosley learns how scientists are on the front lines of developing new treatments and putting them to the test. Can these pioneers save humanity from a future where the antibiotics on which we rely no longer work?



From the archive


April 2012 — Graeme Gibson on our human condition

The CanLit community is mourning the loss of one of its beloved writers. Graeme Gibson, an award-winning author, Order of Canada recipient, and partner to Margaret Atwood, died Wednesday at the age of 85. In this 2012 episode of TVO’s Big Ideas, the lifelong environmentalist discusses humanity’s relationship with nature, a theme that defined much of his writing. He says, “I briefly considered calling this talk ‘Whatever Happened to Nature?’ It’d seemed appropriate, given our litany of assaults on the material world, many of which sneak up on us.”

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