TVO.org daily: Tuesday, July 23

Lake Erie’s disappearing shorelines, a looming water-shortage crisis, and NASA's Sudbury connection
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Jul 25, 2019
a Canadian border agent
A new report says there are too few frontline personnel working at the border who are bilingual.(Darren Callabrese/CP)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following


Why is ‘Bienvenue au Canada’ so difficult?

The federal Commissioner of Official Languages says the Canada Border Services Agency has been slow to respond to recommendations his office made in 2015. In a new report looking at the CBSA’s progress since then, commissioner Raymond Théberge says there are “significant systemic barriers” to getting service in French at the border, including too few frontline personnel who are bilingual.


Tories try to move on from ‘French connection’ scandal

The Progressive Conservatives continue to attempt to put distance between them and the cronyism scandal surrounding Premier Doug Ford’s former chief of staff, Dean French. The Toronto Star reports that the party has replaced its election readiness committee with a council made up of Tory veterans, including former federal cabinet ministers John Baird and Peter Van Loan.

For his part, French has dropped his libel suit against independent MPP Randy Hillier. French alleged Hillier began a defamatory Twitter campaign against him after being kicked out of Tory caucus in March. “Given that Mr. French is no longer involved with government and there were never any monetary damages sought by Mr. French personally … there was little point in carrying on with expensive and time-consuming litigation,” French’s lawyer, Gavin Tighe, said in a statement.


Alcohol-related visits to ERs spike

A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal finds that emergency room visits due to alcohol use jumped in Ontario between 2003 and 2016. During that period, the number of alcohol-related ER visits increased by 77.6 per cent for males and 110 per cent for females, numbers that cannot be explained by population growth alone. Some experts say the increase is linked to the broader retail availability of alcohol, marketing to young drinkers, and the perception among many that alcohol is relatively safe.



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The Agenda in the Summer: The moon in science fiction

Science fiction authors Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert J. Sawyer, and Eric Choi join host Nam Kiwanuka to discuss the plan to have American astronauts back on the moon by 2024, the Chinese rover mission to the far side of the moon, and the recent resurgence of the moon as a science fiction setting.


Earth: A New Wild – Water

Predictions show that the world is heading toward a water-shortage crisis, and scientists are working to find new sources and better understand the connection between fresh water and the health of the planet. In this National Geographic documentary, conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan explores humankind’s relationship with water and what happens when the life-giving resource is in short supply.



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That’s no moon: Apollo’s Sudbury connection

Two years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the surface of the moon, NASA started conducting tests and training astronauts in a seemingly unlikely place: Sudbury. Astronauts were dispatched to northeastern Ontario before new Apollo missions to familiarize themselves with a landscape that features rock formation patterns not unlike those found on the moon. This process helped redefine public understanding of Sudbury’s geological history and spurred a dedication to scientific discovery in the region. TVO.org’s northeastern hub reporter Claude Sharma talks to geologists and scientists involved in the venture all those years ago.


How to save Lake Erie’s disappearing shorelines

Last spring, a series of storm-driven floods along Lake Erie’s coast caused millions of dollars in damage to hundreds of homes between Point Pelee and Wheatley, and accelerated erosion in the area. A large portion of the shoreline has since been lost, putting buildings, people, and wildlife in harm’s way. TVO.org’s southwestern hub reporter Mary Baxter talks to experts who say action is needed now.



Tonight on TVO


8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: My life with Parkinson’s

In 2013, Tim Hague and his son, Tim Jr., won the first season of The Amazing Race Canada. What made the victory particularly notable was the fact that Hague has Parkinson’s disease. He talks with Nam Kiwanuka about his life with Parkinson’s, the challenge of the race, and his advocacy work — all subjects of his new memoir, Perseverance.


10 p.m. — The Doctor Can See You Now 

For nearly a decade, the small town of Chapleau, near Sudbury, went without a regular family doctor. In 2005, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine changed that — for Chapleau and other towns that lacked easy access to general practitioner care. This documentary follows former nurse Doris Mitchell, from nearby Brunswick House First Nation, who entered the school in mid-life. She and two other graduates are now family doctors in their communities, becoming models for innovative rural health care.



From the archive


March 31, 1977 — Timothy Leary on how the ’60s changed reality

“Tune in, turn on, drop out.” This counterculture expression was popularized by writer and psychologist Timothy Leary. In this episode of The Education of Mike McManus, the famed proponent of psychedelic drugs describes why the ’60s were one of the most turbulent — and important — decades in North American cultural history. “When I began talking and lecturing about consciousness in the early 1960s, people would look at me and their jaws would drop,” says Leary. “They would say, ‘What do you mean? You’re either awake or you’re asleep.’ Now we know that individual consciousness can be changed, altered, raised. We create our own reality with our brain. This was a tremendously liberating event.”

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