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Why is it so hard to get mental-health care in Ontario?
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Dec 11, 2019
Members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation will stage one-day strikes today in select school boards across the province. (Cole Burston/CP)

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High school teachers on strike in nine school boards

Members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation will stage one-day strikes today in select school boards across the province. The affected boards are: Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board; Grand Erie District School Board; Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board; Near North District School Board; Rainy River District School Board; Simcoe County District School Board; Simcoe Muskoka District School Board; Toronto District School Board; and Trillium Lakelands District School Board. Today’s job action is a scaled-back repeat of the one-day strike the federation staged across Ontario last week in response to deadlocked labour negotiations with the province.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Tuesday that the government had reached an agreement with the Educational Workers' Alliance of Ontario, a union representing approximately 6,000 educational workers.


Ontario could take advantage of New Brunswick in nuclear pact, expert warns

David Campbell, chair of the provincially-owned New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corp., tells the CBC that Ontario has a history of hoarding the benefits of research and development dollars and may try to do the same with a deal signed this month with New Brunswick and Saskatchewan to develop a new generation of small nuclear reactors. “Do you see any aerospace plants in New Brunswick? Do you see any auto plants in New Brunswick? Do you see any of that stuff? No. Ontario will protect its own,” he says.


Largest-ever fish DNA survey launched

A group of researchers from 13 Canadian universities are working to build a genetic encyclopedia of the more than 200 fish species native to Canada, the Windsor Star reports. Since fish shed their DNA in water, scientists hope that they will be able to identify what’s swimming in a lake or river just by testing water samples. With freshwater fish under threat from invasive species and fragile ecosystems, researchers expect the project will make it easier to see where fish are at risk and where they are making a comeback.



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The Agenda: Hugh Segal’s quest to end poverty

Hugh Segal has frequently talked to The Agenda about why he believes a basic income program is the best option for relieving poverty. But what the former conservative political strategist hasn’t discussed, however, is how he came to that position. His new book, Boot Straps Need Boots, tells the story of his hardscrabble upbringing in Montreal as the son of a cab driver who died when Segal was just 14. He talks to Steve Paikin about his experiences.


Extraordinary Women: Hedy Lamarr

With her smouldering femme fatale looks, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr is remembered as one of the most beautiful women in film — and one of the most controversial. This documentary chronicles her early life, her rise to Hollywood stardom, her multiple marriages, and her legacy as an inventor.


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Queen’s Park hangs its first official portrait of a female premier


Kathleen Wynne and her portrait
Photo by Steve Paikin

Kathleen Wynne’s official portrait was unveiled at Queen’s Park earlier this week, and, as Steve Paikin observes, the event attracted people from all parties, all of whom demonstrated a generosity of spirit. He profiles the historic unveiling of the portrait of Ontario’s first female premier, who was also Canada’s first openly LGBTQ premier. “[Wynne] wanted young girls on school field trips to wander the second floor of the Ontario legislature, and, among all those 25 portraits of former premiers, see a woman,” Paikin writes. “Even if it was just one woman.”


Why is it so hard to access mental-health care in Ontario?

Every day, approximately 2,300 Ontarians occupy a hospital bed for mental health crises that would better addressed in a different facility — and approximately half of them are awaiting transfer to a long-term-care home. “They are living, for short or long periods, in medical facilities simply because they are not capable of living independently, and there is nowhere appropriate to send them,” writes journalist Matt Gurney. In the first of a three-part series on mental health access and treatment in Ontario, Gurney gives an overview of the problem. In the next instalment, he will focus on in-patient care for severe mental-health issues.



Tonight on TVO


7 p.m. — Impossible Railways: Waterworld

Whether crossing the cyclone-prone Indian Ocean, travelling through an earthquake zone under the Bosphorus Strait, or careening through the cliffs of the Italian Riviera, seaside railway systems offer some of the most dramatic train journeys in the world.


8 p.m. — The Agenda: Medics in the line of fire

Military historian Ted Barris has chronicled some of Canada’s most important military moments, including the Battle of Vimy Ridge, D-Day, and the Korean War. He talks to Steve Paikin about his latest book, Rush to Danger, a profile of his father’s wartime experiences as a medic leading up to the Second World War’s Battle of the Bulge in 1944.



From the archive


July 1999 — Rescuing “The Scream”

Edvard Munch's painting, “The Scream,” was once valued at $72 million — but was kept in a Norwegian gallery with no guards and no alarm. The 1994 opening ceremonies for the Olympic Winter Games in Oslo provided enough diversion for two thieves to break in and steal the artwork. This episode of Blast from the Past tells the story of the worldwide sting operation to retrieve the masterpiece.

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