daily: Wednesday, July 17

Bombardier on the brink, a more livable Toronto, and the greatest Canadian athlete you’ve never heard of
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Jul 17, 2019
File photo of Andrea Horwath (Chris Young/CP)



Good morning, Ontario.

Welcome to the weekly!

We will return to our regular output of six newsletters a week starting Monday, July 22. 

Here's what we're following

Horwath questions commitment to end cronyism

With seven people now out of a job due to allegations of cronyism plaguing the Progressive Conservative government, Opposition leader Andrea Horwath is wondering why Premier Doug Ford’s promised internal review of the appointments process has yet to produce any apparent results. “Obviously whatever they’re doing is not weeding out the people who are getting inappropriate appointments,” Horwath told the Toronto Star. Ford’s office said in a statement Monday that it is concentrating its hiring on “individuals who we believe are qualified and support our open for business agenda.”

Offer of abortion-pill training for family doctors rejected

The National Abortion Federation says its offer to organize a one-day training course for doctors designed to help get more prescriptions for the abortion pill was rejected by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The college, which sets standards for education of family doctors, says it declined the offer because it doesn’t endorse training from outside groups. But federation director Jill Doctoroff and other abortion-rights advocates say this is just the latest example of how the college creates obstacles to better abortion access in Canada. News of the dispute comes days after Alberta’s medical regulator called on the college to help boost the rate at which the abortion pill is prescribed, saying poor access is putting patients at risk.

Could an 80¢ dollar soon be a reality?

An official with the multinational investment bank Société Générale says that a divergence in interest rates in Canada and the U.S. could see the Canadian dollar rise to the US$0.80 mark during the summer. Olivier Korber, foreign exchange derivatives strategist with the bank, says the plan for the Bank of Canada to stand pat on interest rates while the U.S. Federal Reserve is signalling a cut in its rate will help the loonie increase in value. While a higher dollar is bad for Canada’s export industries, it’s good for Canadian tourists trying to make their money go further south of the border.

What we're tracking

July 16 marked 50 years since the launch of Apollo 11 — the space mission that successfully brought humanity to the moon. The Agenda in the Summer celebrates the anniversary with two space-themed episodes in the coming days: On Friday, Maurice Bitran, chief science officer of the Ontario Science Centre, and Shelley Ayres, producer of the documentary Lander: From Avro to Apollo, join Nam Kiwanuka to look back on the moon landing in 1969. And on Monday, science fiction authors Robert J. Sawyer, Eric Choi, and Kim Stanley Robinson discuss the influence of space exploration on their work.

Watch now

The Agenda in the Summer: Barry Callaghan

Renowned Canadian author Barry Callaghan joins Nam Kiwanuka to discuss his latest collection of short fiction, All the Lonely People, a book that looks at the world through the eyes of a diverse array of people.

Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children

When you've been to hell and back, how do you shake the memories? That question has haunted retired Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire since 1994, when he led the UN peacekeeping mission during the Rwandan genocide. Dallaire has now found a new mission: eradicating the use of child soldiers around the world.

Read now

The greatest Canadian athlete you’ve never heard of

a sports coach
 Photo courtesy of the University of Windsor Archives, Tony Techko Collection

Windsor-born Fred Thomas was a three-sport prodigy. He played baseball for the Cleveland Indians farm team; football for the Toronto Argonauts; and was a gifted basketball player. But many Canadians don’t know who he is. Writer Sam Riches chronicles how racism and injury took their toll on the multi-talented Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Why Bombardier is on the brink in Thunder Bay

Bombardier production plant in Thunder Bay
Photo courtesy of Bombardier

The company has announced layoffs, and there’s no work scheduled at the plant beyond 2019. Jon Thompson reports on what workers, economists, and the provincial and federal governments have to say about Bombardier, and the future of jobs in Thunder Bay.

TVO this week

Tonight, 8:30 p.m. — The Water Brothers: Ocean Spies

How do we monitor the health of the world’s oceans? In this episode, the brothers visit Palau in the western Pacific Ocean to learn about technology — drones, robots, and satellites — that helps protect our largest bodies of water and the wildlife that depend on them.

Thursday,  8:30 p.m. — Political Blind Date: Housing

Many people would love to own their own home — but they can’t afford it. In this episode of TVO’s acclaimed political affairs series, former Toronto city councillor Maria Augimeri and Liberal MP Adam Vaughan look at creative solutions to find housing for people in lower-income brackets.

Sunday, 8 p.m. — The Life-Sized City: Toronto

Mikael Colville-Andersen meets the urban heroes working to make Canada's largest city more livable.  With 239 neighbourhoods and new residents arriving from all over the world, Toronto is a multi-faceted and profoundly diverse metropolis — and one that doesn’t feel impersonal.

From the archive

Apollo 11: For All Mankind


“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Those were the historic words spoken by Neil Armstrong as he set foot on the moon’s surface. That stunning moment on July 20, 1969, represented the dream and goal of the U.S. government, its space department, the three-man crew, and a world of inspired onlookers. In this 1999 episode of The Apollo Years, former Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau describes the galvanizing event that millions of people worldwide watched on television. Then we’re treated to footage of the mission’s lift-off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the lunar landing, the first walk on the moon, and the triumphant return to Earth of Armstrong and his colleagues — Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin and Michael Collins.

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