TVO.org daily: Tuesday, May 14

From the carbon tax to a Netflix tax, and why Peter Bethlenfalvy has his eye on everyone’s bottom line
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 14, 2019
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Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have taken their campaign against the federal carbon tax to TV. (Christopher Katsarov/CP)

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Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Ford government steps up anti-carbon-tax campaign

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have taken their campaign against the federal carbon tax to TV. Their new television commercial, launched Monday, says the federal levy means Ontarians will pay an extra $648 annually on gasoline, home heating, and food. The ad doesn’t mention that most Ontario families will reap more from the carbon tax than what they pay, thanks to federal tax rebates. The $648 figure is also the projected cost of the tax when it reaches $50 per tonne in 2022 — not this year. The 30-second ad drew a negative review from the auditor general's office, which noted "it doesn’t include all the relevant facts," the Toronto Star reported.

The provincial government is not saying how much it is spending on the ad blitz, which is also running on radio and social media . A poll by Nanos Research for The Globe and Mail found that 64 per cent of Canadians oppose provincial governments spending taxpayers’ dollars to fight the carbon tax.


Health officials investigate two cases of measles that passed through Toronto

Measles landed in Toronto last week. Two adults infected with the virus visited the city before boarding flights at Pearson International Airport. Toronto Public Health says the public may have been exposed to the virus on May 5 at Remely’s Restaurant on Sheppard Avenue East; Pearson Terminal 1; and Air Canada flight AC-848 (Toronto to London-Heathrow). Exposure may have also occurred on May 8 at the Toronto Zoo; Pearson Terminal 1; and Air Canada flight AC-849 (London-Heathrow to Toronto). The agency says anyone who may have been exposed to the virus should check their vaccination records and watch for symptoms. Pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and parents of infants less than a year old who may have been exposed should call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 to discuss follow-up.


Netflix says it’s happy to collect the GST — if anybody bothers to ask

Should digital streaming services be taxed? It’s a topic that’s been up for debate since Stephen Harper was in office and warned that opposition parties would bring in a “Netflix tax.” (The Liberals didn’t). But a growing number of people say it’s time for Netflix and others to do what all other companies operating in Canada are expected to do: charge the GST. Netflix told the Toronto Star it will gladly comply with any government requirement to collect the tax. It could be a windfall — one estimate says Ottawa forfeited $169 million in 2017 alone for not forcing streaming companies to collect taxes.



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Peter Bethlenfalvy: The Money Man


At the peak of his career on Wall Street and Bay Street, Peter Bethlenfalvy left the financial sector behind to become the PC MPP for Pickering–Uxbridge. In the latest episode of the #onpoli podcast, the President of the Treasury Board tells Steve Paikin about his Montreal roots, his parents' First World War escape, and why he believes Queen's Park should be run like a business.

For more #onpoli ... the TVO #onpoli newsletter takes you behind the scenes of the TVO #onpoli podcast to get the latest on the people and stories behind the politics in Ontario. Subscribe now to get the inside #onpoli scoop from our podcast team, including hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath and our producers!



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The Agenda: Ontario child-care funding update

What changes are coming to child-care funding? After announcing a child-care tax credit in the budget last month, the province announced it will cut daycare funding to municipalities. Carolyn Ferns, public policy and government relations coordinator with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, joins Steve Paikin to discuss what this means.


Queen of the World

How do the young British royals learn the important history of the Commonwealth and their roles and responsibilities within it? The second and final episode of this series documents the methods that Elizabeth II uses to pass on her knowledge.



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How to keep kids in school when Kashechewan floods

Each year as the Albany River thaws, nearby communities are subject to severe flooding that forces them out of their homes — and schools. Northeastern Ontario Hub reporter Claude Sharma reports on strategies to keep lessons for children from Kashechewan First Nation from being interrupted.


What Ontario’s geriatrician shortage means for its aging population

Ontario’s population is aging, and its elders need geriatricians. As Southwestern Ontario Hub reporter Mary Baxter learns, there’s a shortage of these health-care workers whose practice is aimed at a treating a complex mixture of medical conditions. While the government believes there are enough practitioners to meet today’s need, some health-care executives worry about the future of this specialized care.



Tonight on TVO


8 p.m. — The Agenda: Kevin Rudd and the view from Down Under

While prime minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010, Kevin Rudd led his country through the economic recession, attempted to mend relationships with the Indigenous population, and formed policy to address climate change. Rudd, Australia’s 26th prime minister, talks to Steve Paikin about his tenure and his country’s relationship with Canada. He’s actually the second prime minister from Down Under to visit TVO — in 2017, The Agenda welcomed Julia Gillard, who spoke about barriers she’s faced as a woman in politics, and her work improving education in the developing world.


9 p.m. — The Invisible Heart

What happens when capitalism and charity intersect? From Wall Street to life on the street, this documentary tracks the birth of social impact bonds – a burgeoning financial model that raises private capital to fund social services. But will this kind of philanthropy catch on?



From the archive


March 29, 1988 — Barn raising in Woodbridge

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In this TVO short, archival footage shows a typical barn-raising bee from the early 20th century, in which a community comes together to help create a new structure out of newly-hewn timbers and wood salvaged from other structures. At the end of a long day, a meal is served to “all and sundry” for their efforts raising a barn in the farmland of Woodbridge, Ont. 

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