Good morning, Ontario.
Here's what we're following:
Trick-or-treating plan criticized
Premier Doug Ford discouraged families in Ottawa, Toronto, York Region, and Peel Region from trick-or-treating this Halloween, because of high COVID-19 spread. "We just can't have hundreds of kids showing up at your door if you live in a hotspot,” he said. But several infectious disease experts disagreed. “Halloween shouldn't be too tough to do safely: Outside, wearing masks, restricted to family units, distant from others ... is about as low-risk as it gets,” tweeted Isaac Bogoch of Toronto General Hospital.
New study: Most gun-related deaths in Ontario are suicides
Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal finds that the majority of gun-related deaths in the province are suicides by men over the age of 45 who live in rural areas. The authors of the study say isolation, lack of access to mental health services, and historically higher rates of gun ownership in rural areas contribute to the problem.
Province prepares Blue Box overhaul
The province released details of its plan to reform Ontario’s Blue Box recycling program, which shifts responsibility for operating costs from municipalities to companies that produce recyclable waste. According to the province, the new program should save municipalities about $135 million annually. But environmental groups have concerns. "The thinking at this point is really focusing exclusively on residential waste — it's potentially going to see some Ontarians not receiving recycling service, and we have some concerns about the way the recycling targets have been established," said Ashley Wallis of Environmental Defence.
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How can Hamilton balance economic growth, climate change, and social justice issues? The Agenda welcomes Maureen Wilson, Hamilton city councillor; and Beatrice Ekeko, project manager with Environment Hamilton, to discuss.
In Ontario's Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve, scientists, climbers, and even quarry companies come up with innovative ways to restore the natural world.
The city is known around the world for its diversity, but its Black population remains largely underrepresented in its pool of skilled tech workers. Writer Melissa Alice argues that, if we’re going to innovate, that needs to change.
The former Toronto mayor explains why cities are on the front lines of the fight against climate change.
#onpoli: How the NDP wants to revamp long-term care
NDP leader Andrea Horwath joins the podcast to discuss why her party has already come out with a long-term care election strategy. Then, hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss the province’s new trick-or-treating advice — and why some experts think it’s all wrong.
Tonight on TVO
8 p.m. — The Agenda: Whipped
How does instant communication affect the machinations of our democracy? The Agenda welcomes political science professor Alex Marland to discuss how power is exercised in Ottawa. His new book is Whipped: Party Discipline in Canada.
8 p.m. — The Agenda: Can cities help fix the climate crisis?
Former Toronto mayor David Miller explains why cities are on the front lines of the fight against climate change.