daily: Wednesday, February 5

How one Toronto church is beating the odds
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Feb 06, 2020



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Coronavirus shows need for paid sick days, workers argue

More than 175 health-care workers have signed an open letter urging the Ontario government to restore paid sick-day policies it eliminated last year, the Toronto Star reports. “Public-health officials recommend that if you have mild cold-like symptoms, you should stay home while sick,” the letter says. “In the context of recent concerns with the novel coronavirus in Ontario, we consider the current provincial labour laws to be a serious threat to the health and safety of Ontarians.”

The end of the BlackBerry phone?

Waterloo-based BlackBerry Ltd. is ending its relationship with the Chinese company that manufactures its smartphones, the Financial Post reports. TCL Communications Technology will not be able to sell or design new BlackBerry phones after Aug. 31. The announcement is fuelling speculation that BlackBerry, which now focuses on cybersecurity and software, is abandoning the phone market for good.

Government to restrict sale of flavoured vaping products

The provincial government will ban most flavoured vaping products from convenience stores and gas stations to discourage youth from taking up e-cigarettes, according to the Globe and Mail. Vaping products with more than 20 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre will also be banned.

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The Agenda: What’s the deal with creepiness?

Heidi Matthews is an assistant professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, where she co-directs the Nathanson Centre on transnational human rights, crime, and security. She’s been thinking about what she calls the language of creepiness. She joins The Agenda to discuss the increased use of the term “creepy” to describe some men.

City Wildlife Rescue 

Toronto Wildlife Centre's rescue crew teams up with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to catch a coyote with mange. Also, cedar waxwing babies fill the centre’s aviaries, and the rehabilitation team tries to keep up with their feeding demands.

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How one Toronto church is beating the odds 

In 2013, Roncesvalles United Church in Toronto faced a difficult decision: close the church, amalgamate, or radically transform. It chose the third option. Today, it rents its space, offering the community activities such as yoga, shiatsu, and flea markets. Journalist Karen Black writes: “Churches across Canada have been struggling with shrinking memberships and increasing costs for building maintenance … Roncesvalles United is beating the odds, says its minister, the Reverend Anne Hines, by radically redefining ‘how we do God.’”

Tonight on TVO

7 p.m. — Impossible Engineering: World’s Fastest Train 

Shanghai’s Transrapid maglev train, the world's fastest commercially operating passenger train,  reaches a speed of 431 kilometres per hour in its seven-minute trip to and from Pudong International Airport. 

8 p.m. — The Agenda:  Are DIY pensions a good idea? 

For more than 60 years, Canadians have used RRSPs to save for retirement. Other savings vehicles, such as the tax-free savings account, leave much of the strategizing up to the individual. To discuss retirement options, The Agenda welcomes Alex Mazer, founding partner at Common Wealth; Jackie Porter of Carte Wealth Management; financial planner Caroline Cakebread; Hugh O'Reilly, from the Global Risk Institute; and  Michael Nicin, co-author of the forthcoming report, “Improving Canada’s Retirement Income System.”  

From the archive

Nov. 19, 2006 — Janna Levin on Alan Turing and Kurt Godel 

In A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, author and physicist Janna Levin reimagined the lives of the influential mathematicians Alan Turing and Kurt Gödel. She tells a 2006 Big Ideas audience, “We laboured for a long time after the book was written as to whether or not to call this fiction or non-fiction. It very much sits on the boundary between the two, that kind of strange place between the two. And, as we talk more about some of the ideas that inspired this book, it might not seem so odd that it sits on that boundary because a lot of these ideas are about truth and about mathematical truth.” 

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