daily: Tuesday, August 20

Turmoil in Hong Kong, worries about downloading, and the plastics problem that just won’t go away
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Aug 20, 2019
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual conference is being held in Ottawa. (



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Ford forges ahead with cuts

Premier Doug Ford announced at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual conference on Monday that the province is moving forward with cuts to municipal public health and child-care programs, which had been put on hold. Starting in 2020, the premier's office says, municipalities will cover 30 per cent of the cost of public health programs and 20 per cent of new daycare spaces. Toronto councillor Joe Cressy, who has vocally opposed the cuts, says Ontario is the only province that does not cover 100 per cent of public health costs.

Laurentian waives tuition for students from child welfare system

Laurentian University in Sudbury has announced a program to cover the tuition of low-income students who have spent at least one year in the care of a children’s aid society. The plan, which works in tandem with the Ontario Student Assistance Program, is open to eligible candidates of any age. According to Michelle Brunette, Laurentian’s director of student engagement, the university had a similar program in 2012, but it was cut as the then-Liberal government expanded student aid. The Progressive Conservative government has since rolled back OSAP funding.

Toronto condo development to target families

A new complex in North York will feature condominiums built to house entire families, including three-bedroom units with two master bedrooms and three bathrooms. The units are popular among multi-generational buyers, meaning they’d accommodate three or more generations of a family at once. Vlad Carelli of Wallman Architects tells the Toronto Star that “the whole building was designed for family-oriented spaces.”

Ottawa mayor comes out as gay, is ‘relieved’ by public response 

Mayor Jim Watson says he feels “great” about the reaction to his Saturday op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen, in which he came out as gay. In the article, the 58-year-old Watson explains why it took him four decades to publicly declare his sexuality, saying he wasn’t sure how his friends, family, and constituents would react. Readers, including Watson’s sister, Toronto mayor John Tory, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sent messages of support on Twitter after the story was published.

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Why municipalities are worried about the return of “the D word”: Downloading 

After Premier Doug Ford announced his plan to move forward with municipal cuts, TVO’s Queen’s Park reporter John Michael McGrath spoke to some Ontario mayors about their concerns. “We worked very hard to create an upload agreement that was based on principles,” said Ottawa’s Jim Watson. “Things like social services and public health and ambulance costs shouldn’t be borne by the property taxpayer. They should be funded by the province … it’s going to set us back.”

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Bugs: The Netherlands

They fly, crawl, scurry, and burrow, and they could help curb global food shortages. According to the chefs and researchers at Denmark’s Nordic Food Lab, bugs such as ants, cockroaches, and beetles might soon wind up on more of our dinner plates. In this episode, the experts prepare meals with farmed bugs and visit Insects to Feed the World, an international conference on entomophagy — also known as insect eating.

The Agenda in the Summer: Aiding Indigenous education  

Roberta Jamieson, president and CEO of Indspire, talks with host Nam Kiwanuka about the importance of investing in the education of Indigenous students. She’s joined by Ryerson University student Victoria Anderson-Gardner, recipient of a 2019 Indspire bursary, who says the money is helping her become a filmmaker.  

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: Turmoil in Hong Kong 

Protests in Hong Kong have raged since March, when the government proposed a bill that would leave the people of the international financial hub vulnerable to extradition to mainland China. Pro-democracy demonstrators are worried about greater Chinese control over the region. As the conflict mounts and groups worldwide — including in Ontario — march in solidarity, The Agenda welcomes Cheuk Kwan, past chair of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China, and lawyer Andrea Chun to discuss what comes next.

10 p.m. — Gloria and Me

Gloria Taylor was diagnosed with ALS in 2009, and, over the next three years, advocated both in the courts and the media for the right to a medically assisted death. In 2012, she won a landmark constitutional challenge in the B.C. Supreme Court and was granted a personal exemption, making her the only person in Canada who could legally seek physician-assisted death. Filmmaker David McIlvride chronicles her perseverance and eventual courtroom victory, as well as the personal indignities she faced. 

From the archive

September 1, 1990 — Life in the waste stream 


Over the next few years, Ontario plans to transition the costs of the Blue Box Program away from municipal taxpayers and make the producers of products and packaging fully responsible — a concept that has been discussed for decades. In this 1990 episode of The Science Café, participants at an environmental conference at the Ontario Science Centre help explain the cycle of waste and describe the power that consumers have to pressure manufacturers into packaging products more responsibly.

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