daily: Tuesday, May 28

Cities, cities, cities: Which one is best, a budget reprieve, and why it’s cooler by the lake
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 28, 2019
The Beer Store sign
The Ford government has announced it will legislate an end to a 10-year deal with The Beer Store. (



Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Tories plan to cancel contract with big brewers

The Ford government has announced it will legislate an end to a 10-year deal with The Beer Store in order to expand the sale of suds to corner stores. Some analysts argue that ending the deal would cost taxpayers around $1 billion, but the government appears unconcerned. Still, some are saying a big legal battle lies ahead.

Ford backs down on retroactive cuts to cities and towns

Facing fierce opposition from Toronto and other communities across Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that he’s halting cuts to municipal budgets for this year. Municipalities had complained that because they had already finalized their budgets for 2019, the retroactive cuts would have forced them to slash services suddenly or issue a second tax bill to property owners. Ford said he has listened to people’s concerns and is cancelling this year’s cuts to give municipalities more time to find savings for future years — when cuts will go ahead as planned.

Province joins class-action lawsuit against opioid makers

Ontario will join a national class-action lawsuit launched by British Columbia against more than 40 opioid manufacturers and wholesalers. The suit alleges that companies falsely marketed opioids as less addictive than other painkillers and helped create an overdose crisis that has killed thousands of Canadians over the past two decades. The provinces are seeking damages in a bid to recoup health-care costs related to opioid addiction.

No break from the rain for Ontario

Get ready for a soggy summer. The rainy weather that Ontario experienced in May will continue during the next three months and could lead to a heightened risk of flash flooding in some areas, according to the Weather Network’s chief meteorologist, Chris Scott. He told The Canadian Press that he expects seasonally cooler conditions in northern Ontario, and “near normal” temperatures in the province’s south.

What we're tracking

What’s next for the TTC? 

Toronto streetcar

Later this week, Matt Gurney will take an in-depth, three-part look at transit planning in Toronto. “Leafs fans say there’s always next season. Toronto transit riders say there’s always next election,” says Graeme Bayliss,’s editor-in-chief. “Just when it looks as if there’s a plan in place to improve the TTC, a new mayor or premier is elected who has different ideas. I think it’s important for readers to understand why transit is such a tricky issue in Toronto and how it can be sorted out. And that’s what this series of articles will explore.”

Read now

What this policy change could mean for victims of violent crime

police tape
(File photo by Graeme Roy/CP)

The Tory government is planning to change the way victims of violent crimes are assessed and financially compensated — and critics are worried that vulnerable people will suffer. Christie Jefferson, who sat on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board from 2010 to 2017, told Eastern Ontario Hub reporter David Rockne Corrigan: “There’s been a historic recognition that victims are really almost like collateral damage in the process and that the public should help those victims.”

Watch now

The Agenda:  Magic in the modern metropolis

What is the world’s most perfect city? It’s a question that has no definitive answer — but it does make for a great debate. Urban planner Joe Berridge, author of the new book Perfect City: An Urban Fixer’s Global Search for Magic in the Modern Metropolis, explains what makes a city work, and what makes it great.

Listen now

#onpoli: How a bill becomes law

You probably learned how a bill becomes a law in school. But what you might not have learned is how citizens, activists, and politicians from any party can help to shape legislation. In the latest episode of the #onpoli podcast, John Michael McGrath uses the example of 2015’s Ryan's Law to show how the work of a mom-turned-activist and her local MPP led to changes in Ontario’s school system, allowing students with asthma to carry their inhalers at all times.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: The coolness of Great Lakes cities

When people are forced to move because of climate change, where will they go? Jesse Keenan, architecture professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, thinks the ideal place to be is in a city by the Great Lakes — and high on that list is Toronto. He talks to Steve Paikin about why the Great Lakes may become a climate-change refuge. 

9 p.m. — Exit: Leaving Extremism Behind

What prompts extremists to recant their views? Through intimate conversations with people who have belonged to violent extremist groups, filmmaker Karen Winther brings their stories to life and reflects on her past as a member of a far-right movement when she was a teenager.

From the archive

June 15, 1998 — Loretta LaRoche on humour and health

In this Studio 2 segment, author and lecturer Loretta LaRoche talks about how laughter is the best medicine to manage stress and lighten the darker moments life throws our way. “If you take your work and life seriously, and yourself lightly,” she says, “Then you’ve now created a wonderful combination.” LaRoche now serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Mind/Body Medical Institute of Boston and is still active on the lecture circuit, spreading her message about how humour and optimism can save your life.