daily: Tuesday, June 25

The world according to Trump, the end of the French connection, and your #onpoli questions answered
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on June 27, 2019
File photo of Dean French (Chris Young/CP)



Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Ford’s controversial chief of staff gone — or is he?

Premier Doug Ford’s chief of staff Dean French resigned on Friday after a tumultuous year, culminating in French trying to get his wife’s cousin and son’s friend appointed to plum government postings. But then, French appeared at Queen’s Park on Monday, allegedly reading “the Riot Act to all [premier’s office] staff and then in a separate meeting with chiefs,” a government insider told the Toronto Star. “The implied threat was: ‘make no mistake, I still control things,’” the source added. Senior officials in the premier’s office disputed the account, saying French attended two meetings only briefly to bid farewell to his former colleagues. 

Outgoing chief justice calls for technology update in Ontario courts

Courtrooms in the province could use an upgrade. “There really is no difference walking into a courtroom at 361 University Ave. than there was 40 years ago,” Superior Court Chief Justice Heather Smith told the Toronto Star as she prepares to retire at the end of this month. She added that the court system remains overly reliant on paper and antiquated communications systems such as fax machines, causing unnecessary delays in the administration of justice. “This is madness,” she added.

Kitchener-Waterloo LRT finally gets going

The first new transit system built in Ontario since the 1980s went into operation Friday. The Kitchener-Waterloo ION LRT was supposed to launch in 2017. But longer-than-expected construction and Bombardier’s failure to complete the trains on time delayed the expected start date several times, until finally, it was ready for this spring’s latest deadline. Even then, they cut it close: The first train left the station Friday at 11:40 a.m., 20 minutes before the official start of summer.

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Listen now

Ask Us Anything: The #onpoli mailbag

You asked: we answered. Podcast hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath dig into our mailbag and answer all your questions — about beer sales, student loans, question period, and why there aren't political parties in city politics — for our final #onpoli podcast episode of the season.

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How the Ford government is trying to reboot its mandate

Dean French
File photo of Dean French (Chris Young/CP)

Dean French may have been the loyal foot soldier Doug Ford needed to win the premiership and keep his enemies at bay. But, Steve Paikin writes, there has never, in his more than three and a half decades of watching Queen’s Park, been as polarizing a chief of staff.  Here's how French's departure, and the most dramatic cabinet shuffle in Ontario history, suggest that the Tories are looking for a new way to do business.

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The Agenda: Is there a Trump Doctrine?

President Trump and President Jinping
File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump (Andy Wong/AP/CP)

Every American president puts his stamp on foreign policy — but some redefine the whole global system. Academic and Wall Street Journal columnist Walter Russell Mead joins Steve Paikin to discuss Donald Trump’s approach to international affairs.

Putin: The New Tsar

Vladimir Putin
File photo of Vladimir Putin (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/CP)

How did a poor boy from a tiny flat in St. Petersburg become one of the world's most powerful leaders? Learn how Russian president Vladimir Putin rose from KGB colonel to become Boris Yeltsin's right-hand man and, ultimately, his successor.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Burnout in a work-obsessed culture

Is your job making you exhausted? You’re not alone — so many people suffer from work-related burnout that the World Health Organization now includes it as an “occupational phenomenon” in the International Classification of Diseases. Rahaf Harfoush, the author of Hustle & Float: Reclaim Your Creativity and Thrive in a World Obsessed With Work, and Katy Kamkar, a clinical psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, sit down with Steve Paikin to discuss why so many people are experiencing burnout.

9 p.m. — Arctic Secrets: Rhythm of the Bay

At the mighty Hudson Bay, the Arctic extends its icy reach south into North America. Cold temperatures and low salinity mean that the body of water is frozen over from December to June. Explore the unique area — and find out how animals have adapted to survive the extreme cold.

From the archive

1977 — Timothy Leary and life in space


This past weekend, billionaire Elon Musk bore the brunt of some Twitter ridicule after he tweeted “Occupy Mars” — with a picture of the moon. (He remains committed, though, to sending humans deeper into space.) Forty-two years ago, controversial psychologist and author Timothy Leary joined TVO’s Mike McManus to discuss, among other things, his own optimistic views about space colonization.

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