daily: Tuesday, September 17

The long wait for long-term care, farmers take on climate change, and the dictator’s playbook
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Sep 18, 2019



Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Province urged to scrap religious exemptions for student vaccinations

Toronto’s medical officer of health says that Ontario should seriously consider making philosophical and religious exemptions for student immunizations a thing of the past. In a report released Monday, Eileen de Villa writes that, as lower vaccination rates are becoming a growing public-health concern, the Ministry of Health should think about making it more difficult for parents to opt out, except in cases that involve medical exemptions. A spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott says that the government currently has no plans to update its vaccination policy.

Number of seniors waiting for long-term-care beds hits all-time high

According to the Ministry of Health, 36,245 Ontarians were waiting to move into long-term care in July — 2,460 more than a year earlier. Ontario Hospitals Association president Anthony Dale told the Toronto Star that the numbers haven’t come as a surprise. “Unfortunately, progress towards increasing long-term-care capacity has been slow for over a decade,” he said.

Hospitals set aside land for affordable housing

Toronto’s University Health Network has committed a plot of land worth nearly $10 million for a proposed affordable-housing project in Parkdale. Supporters of the plan say that it reflects recognition of the fact that poverty and poor housing contribute to hospital overcrowding. “If you can’t take care of your diabetes because food choices are difficult and stresses are there, what do you do about that? You go to a doctor or you go to a hospital,” Manjit Jheeta, of the Toronto Office of Partnerships, explained to the Globe and Mail.

Ottawa’s LRT is finally up and running

After 16 months of construction delays, Ottawa’s $2.1 billion light-rail system started serving commuters on the weekend. It remains to be seen how the system will handle the much heavier rush-hour traffic during the work week.

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The Agenda: The highs and lows of the Great Lakes

According to the federal government, levels on each of the Great Lakes approached or reached record highs every month this summer, and that has nearby property owners concerned. Just a few years ago, though, the central worry was low lake levels. Andrew Gronewold, an associate professor of environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan, joins The Agenda to discuss the highs and lows — and how climate change is playing a role.

The Dictator’s Playbook: Kim Il-sung

How did North Korea become the most controlled society on Earth? Learn how Kim Il-sung, who ruled from 1948 until his death in 1994, shaped every aspect of citizens’ lives — and created a dictatorship that has lasted for three generations.

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#onpoli: The long, strange journey of carbon pricing in Canada

The federal-election campaign is underway — and climate change is a central issue for many voters. Podcast hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath review the history of climate pricing in Canada and discuss whether the Trudeau government’s carbon tax will survive this fall’s vote. Why is Ontario trying to fight it in court? And what are the alternatives? #onpoli takes a hard look at what it means to pay for climate change.

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Why Ontario farmers are pledging to take climate action

At Sleepy G Farm, a 69-hectare property outside Thunder Bay, owners Marcelle Paulin and Brendan Grant avoid synthetic pesticides, try to reduce tillage, and use cover crops — all environmentally friendly agricultural approaches. Sleepy G is just one of the more than 150 farms across the province that have signed on to the National Farmers Union’s Climate Action Project, an initiative that aims to educate farmers and help them take action on climate change.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Politics, partisanship, and polarization

All too often during election campaigns, the emphasis is on the horserace, the polls that show who’s ahead and who’s behind, and the speculation that ensues. The party system invites such a response because it supposedly aggregates the views of the electorate — or, at least, that was certainly the theory in the past. But in this time of polarizing politics, do the parties still reflect meaningful ideological distinctions? The Agenda welcomes pollster Erin Kelly and columnists Andrew Coyne and Tony Keller to discuss whether the federal parties actually represent the views and priorities of voters. 

9 p.m. — Human Plus: Touch

Are humans confined by the idea that we experience the world only through sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch? This new five-part series examines the untapped potential of perception through stories of people who have learned to enhance each sense. In the first episode, explore the possibilities of touch, which helps us perceive tiny elements invisible to the eye and has an important influence on our physical capacity, cerebral functioning, and well-being.

From the archive

2004 — Gabor Maté and Gordon Neufeld: Hold on to your kids

In the 2004 book Hold On to Your Kids, psychologist Gordon Neufeld and physician Gabor Maté consider the phenomenon of peer orientation, which involves children looking to friends and peers rather than parents for direction and guidance. As Maté explains in this episode of Big Ideas, “Children in our society today, contrary to what happened in all other societies prior to now, are no longer looking to the naturally appointed guardians for a sense of direction for who to be — for how they feel about themselves, for values, for cultural transmission. They're now looking to a group that's in no position to provide those directions; they're looking to their peer groups. In other words, in short, children are no longer being brought up by adults. They're being brought up by each other.”

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