Good morning, Ontario.
Here's what we're following
Library cuts leave rural and Indigenous communities reeling
Two organizations responsible for connecting public libraries across northern and southern Ontario say the provincial government’s decision to cut their budgets by 50 per cent will hit rural and Indigenous communities especially hard. The Southern Ontario Library Service and Ontario Library Service - North are ending their interlibrary loan programs — programs that areoften crucial in meeting local demand at the smaller branches that operate outside more densely-populated areas. The end of the SOLS interlibrary program also means 24 delivery drivers are losing their jobs. In a statement, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Tibollo described SOLS and OLS-North as “arm’s-length agencies,” and said base funding for individual libraries would continue.
Patrick Brown in hot water again
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown continues to be dogged by allegations surrounding his time as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party. The Globe and Mail is reporting that Brown asked a party donor to give $5,000 to his then-girlfriend on the same day he agreed to let the donor’s preferred candidate run in a nomination race. The revelation came to light in court documents unsealed after a six-month challenge by The Globe and CTV. In an e-mail, a spokesperson for Brown said, “It is unfortunate that false, exaggerated and out of context snippets from an old closed investigation are being presented in this manner.”
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Students use app to express anger at education cuts
Young people are often accused of being politically disengaged, but some Ontario students are turning to a hot new app to express their frustration overthe Ford government’s cuts to education. BuzzFeed News reporter Lauren Strapagiel has noticed Ontario students posting “a ton” of anti-cuts videos using TikTok, a short-form video app that has caught fire with people 24 years and under. One of the videos Strapagiel cites has already been viewed more than 120,000 times.
What we're tracking
In 2008, the federal government spent nearly $300 million in buyouts to help tobacco farmers leave the industry. Despite such past efforts to suppress it, tobacco production in southwestern Ontario is surging once again. Ontario Hubs reporter Mary Baxter has been speaking to farmers and policy experts about the reasons for this comeback, and the uneasiness that continues to surround the crop’s resurgence. Watch for her story later this week.
Hockey is serious business in this country. But its long history — especially the weirder bits — is also fodder for Sean McIndoe’s popular blog, Down Goes Brown. With his new book, The Down Goes Brown History of the NHL, McIndoe examines the sometimes-strange path that hockey has taken to get to where it is today. He joins Steve Paikin to talk about what he calls “the world's most beautiful sport,” and “the world's most ridiculous league.”
Facebook, Amazon, and Google provide us with round-the-clock access to the digital world. Surveillance cameras on the streets take care of our security. But what happens to the data they collect — our online shopping preferences, iris scans, and social-media posts? Filmmaker Werner Boote explores the brave new world of total digital surveillance and what it means for our privacy.
As TVO.org’s John Michael McGrath watched the federal and provincial governments present their arguments about Ottawa’s carbon tax at Osgoode Hall last week, he found himself thinking of Harry Truman’s 1941 Senate special committee on U.S. spending habits during the Second World War. Truman’s conclusion? Considered, detailed scrutiny is necessary for any government response to an emergency, whether it’s war or climate change. “I support aggressive climate policy to reduce Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions,” McGrath writes, “but I also want to ensure it’s done right — and that means answering serious questions about Ottawa’s powers.”
Tonight on TVO
8 p.m. — The Agenda with Steve Paikin
It takes a special level of celebrity to be first-name famous like Oprah, Cher, or Sting. For a generation of Canadian children, that list includes Sharon and Bram: along with the late Lois Lilienstein, the trio sold more than 3 million copies of their albums and were inducted into the Order of Canada. Now, Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison are celebrating all of it with a farewell tour, and it brings them to The Agenda’s studio.
9 p.m. — Colour: The Spectrum of Science
The colours visible to the human eye are only a fraction of what's out there. In this third and final episode, physicist Helen Czerski digs into the workings of invisible colour, and in doing so tells a story of scientific discovery: she takes to the skies in a NASA jumbo jet equipped with a 17-tonne infrared telescope and visits a cutting-edge lab in London that's imaging the human body as never before.
From the archive
Did you know that Col. Harland David Sanders — yes, that colonel — lived in Ontario? The Kentucky Fried Chicken founder moved to Mississauga after selling his company in 1964 and retaining its Canadian operations. In this archival episode of The Education of Mike McManus, Sanders talks about his life and the circumstances that led to his secret “finger-lickin’” recipe being used in franchises around the world.