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OPP suicides prompt workplace review, trying to ban hate on Facebook, and why it seems like politicians just can't win
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 1, 2019
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Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Province to review OPP culture in wake of recent suicides

The Ford government is spending up to $500,000 to review workplace culture within the Ontario Provincial Police, prompted by the death of 13 officers by suicide since 2012. Solicitor General Sylvia Jones on Monday announced a three-member independent review panel consisting of former associate chief justice Douglas Cunningham; former deputy attorney general Murray Segal; and former NDP cabinet minister David Cooke. They are expected to write an interim report by mid-summer and submit a final report by early fall.


Legal Aid Ontario to shed jobs and impose hiring freeze

The agency charged with providing legal counsel to Ontario’s most vulnerable says it will reduce its staff and impose a hiring freeze in response to funding cuts in the recent provincial budget. Legal Aid Ontario CEO David Field told staff in an email that attrition, eliminating vacant positions, and encouraging voluntary exits will be the main methods they’ll use to reduce the number of full-time employees. The agency expects the measures to save about $16.6 million. “The prior government spent more money on legal aid without achieving the results that legal aid’s clients or taxpayers should expect,” Attorney General Caroline Mulroney told the Toronto Star. For more on the impact of the funding cuts to legal aid, watch this recent panel discussion on The Agenda with Steve Paikin.


Forest advocates vow to keep planting trees despite funding cuts

One way or another, Ontario is getting a lot more trees. The Ford government’s decision last week to cancel $4.7 million in funding for an ambitious tree-planting program will not end the goal of having 50 million new trees planted in Ontario by 2025, Forests Ontario said in a statement Monday. Its CEO, Rob Keen, says Canada’s largest tree-planting charity “expects to find a way, with existing and new partners” to keep the effort going. A study commissioned by Forests Ontario found that trees planted under the 50 Million Trees program provide $83 million in “annual ecosystem services.” Since 2007, 27 million trees have been planted under the program. Another 23 million must be planted in the next six years to meet the goal of 50 million.

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The Agenda: The cost of children

Why does the income gap between genders persist? Author Michael Kaufman, lawyer Sarah Molyneaux, and professor Margaret Yap join Steve Paikin on The Agenda to discuss an RBC report that found women’s income can drop for five years after giving birth. Will a new federal policy allowing non-birthing parents to take up to five weeks of parental leave make a difference?

The Agenda: Banning hate on Facebook

Following a terror attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, that was livestreamed on Facebook, the social media giant announced steps to deal with hate speech. It banned white nationalist content and removed groups and individuals accused of promoting extremist and alt-right views. Kevin Chan, head of public policy for Facebook Canada, discusses with Steve Paikin the struggles of regulating content while balancing freedom of expression.

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What closing the book on the province's library delivery service means for Ontario

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What is Ontario losing with cuts to the organizations that run provincial interlibrary loans? Journalist Will Pearson finds out that for some, the loans are a lifeline in small communities where libraries aren’t able to carry extensive collections.

Steve Paikin: Sometimes it seems like politicians just can't win

When disaster strikes, what are our expectations for our political leaders? Steve Paikin reflects on a video that’s recently gone viral on social media showing Justin Trudeau getting blasted by a local resident for allegedly holding up a line to fill sandbags in a flood-hit area outside Ottawa.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. - The Agenda: Facebook and protecting the federal election

Canada’s minister of foreign affairs has said the government is “very concerned” that foreign actors will  interfere with the upcoming federal election — a concern shared by the Communications Security Establishment, a government body that also predicts foreign cyber-meddling.  Kevin Chan of Facebook Canada returns to discuss with Steve Paikin what his company is doing to tackle this issue and what responsibility it has for the spread of misinformation.

9 p.m. - The Destruction of Memory

Cultural destruction — the purposeful obliteration of buildings, books and art in order to erase collective memory and identity — has wrought catastrophic results on every continent over the past century. In a politically unstable Egypt, are the pyramids any safer than the Buddhas of Bamiyan blown sky-high in 2001? This documentary looks at how and why such cultural warfare has happened, and the push to protect, salvage and rebuild.

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