daily: Wednesday, August 28

The hidden cost of gold, a math test for teachers, and Labour Day beer
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Aug 30, 2019
The provincial government is fleshing out the details on its promise to make all new teachers write a math test before they get their teaching licence. (



Good morning, Ontario

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Want to teach in Ontario? You’ll need to pass this math test

The provincial government is fleshing out the details on its promise to make all new teachers write a math test before they get their teaching licence. At least 70 per cent of the test will assess teachers on fractions, percentages, and other basic arithmetic. The rest will evaluate their ability to teach mathematics in a classroom. The move is a response to concerns over standardized test scores and parent complaints about how the subject is being taught in schools. If the test goes ahead, Ontario would be the first province to require teachers to pass a math test before receiving their certificate.

Windsor considers road closures to protect endangered snakes

Windsor city council has delayed a vote on whether to close two roads from September to October to protect a number of at-risk snake species. Matchette and Malden Roads are near the Ojibway Prairie Complex, a network of five closely situated natural areas. Supporters say the closures will save hundreds of snakes from getting run over by cars as they cross the roads on their journey to hibernation grounds. Nancy Pancheshan of advocacy group Save Ojibway expressed frustration at city council’s hesitance to act in the face of complaints that the closures will inconvenience motorists. “The reality is it’s a two- to three-minute delay,” she said. “People wait longer in the Tim Hortons drive-thru.”

Teachers’ union runs anti-Ford ads

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation has a new TV ad blaming the Progressive Conservatives for forcing school boards to cut teachers and courses. The ad debuts as teacher contracts are about to expire Saturday, and with most school-aged kids set to start class again next week. “This is a time when we think the public will be paying attention,” OSSTF president Harvey Bischof told the Toronto Star. The ad began airing Monday on several English-language television stations, with Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi versions running on ethnic stations.

Some Beer Store locations open on Labour Day

For the first time, the Beer Store will be open for business in select locations on Labour Day. The retailer will have 63 of its stores open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 2.

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The Agenda in the Summer: News from the nation’s capital

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson talks about reaction to and support for his recent public disclosure that he’s gay. Having wrapped up this year’s Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual conference, held in Ottawa last week, he also discusses some of the regional governance issues affecting Ontario cities today.

Blue Wild: Socorro Island

Join some of the world’s leading marine ecologists as they venture to remote corners of the planet, uncover ocean secrets, and fight to defend the endangered animals struggling to survive in threatened seas. In this episode the team visits Socorro, an island off the west coast of Mexico where the surrounding waters are home to some of the largest marine wildlife in the Pacific.

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On marriage equality, neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have much to brag about

Andrew Scheer and Ralph Goodale
 FIle photos of Andrew Scheer and Ralph Goodale (Justin Tang/CP, Adrian Wyld/CP)

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s callout to Conservative leader Andrew Sheer’s past comments on same-sex marriage gave’s John Michael McGrath pause — and the inspiration to revisit the Liberal Party’s own history of voting on LGBTQ rights. “For starters, there’s the awkward fact that Goodale himself voted against marriage equality in 1995 and 1999,” he writes. “For context, by May 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada was already ruling that same-sex couples were entitled to spousal-support benefits under family law, even if it hadn’t yet formally legalized same-sex marriage. It was that decision that prompted Goodale and 215 other MPs to vote for an opposition motion reasserting that marriage was still exclusively for heterosexual couples.”

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: A new conservative economics

For 50 years the mainstream mantra of North American conservative thought has that been maximum consumption leads to maximum economic growth. But in his newest book, The Once and Future Worker, American academic Oren Cass says this belief has ravaged working class communities, leading to lower wages, lower life expectancies, and a further reliance on welfare. Cass tells Steve Paikin about a major recalibration that needs to take place to right the continent’s economic ship before it hits the rocks.

10 p.m. — The Shadow of Gold

From the underpaid communities who work in perilous mining conditions and polluted streams to the small-scale miners exploited by warlords and betrayed by the collusion of refineries and the retail industry, the human and ecological costs to gold mining run high. But, as this second instalment in a series on the industry shows, a fair and sustainable mining industry is possible, if we want it.

From the archive

December 1992 — A night at the pow wow

Cornwall student Rick Benedict, a teen at the time of this Arts and Youth episode, discovered his love of dance at pow wows. Encouraged by his uncle, he took lessons at school, and eventually started to pass that knowledge on to other students as a teacher. He talks about his dream of building a career in performance. “Through dancing I try to express that not just I can dance, but that guys can dance, too,” he says. “I just want people to know that dance is an art. And anybody can do it if they really try.”

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