daily: Wednesday, July 24

Parkinson’s, perseverance, remembering Hodan Nalayeh, and the case for gentle density
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Jul 24, 2019
Premier Doug Ford faced the media yesterday for the first time in more than a month. (680 News)



Good morning, Ontario.

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Ford brushes off cronyism concerns

Facing the media for the first time in more than a month, Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday that he hasn’t talked to Dean French in “some time.” Ford’s former chief of staff resigned last month amid allegations of several of his friends and family getting plum government posts. Meanwhile, in response to a new report alleging two senior Ford campaign advisers-turned-lobbyists have too much sway over provincial decision-making, the premier said, “no one influences my government, my cabinet, or Doug Ford.” Ford was in Lucan yesterday, confirming $315 million over five years for broadband and cellular expansion in rural communities.

Medical experts fight ‘low-value procedures’

In an ongoing series about transparency in Ontario’s medical system, the Toronto Star looks at the problem of doctors ordering procedures that studies show are rarely of value to patient health. While they are sometimes lifesaving, there is also evidence that tests such as electrocardiograms and chest x-rays are overused, consuming precious staff time and causing unnecessary anxiety for patients. The Ontario Medical Association and the provincial government have formed a working group to try to eliminate $460 million in inappropriate or overused physician services.

Booze should be easier to buy, chamber of commerce says

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is calling for expanded online alcohol sales, lower taxes on local wines, and more in a new report. Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario comes after the province under both Kathleen Wynne and Doug Ford has already expanded booze sales into more stores. Its release came on the same day as a Canadian study found alcohol-related visits to Ontario emergency rooms have spiked since 2003. To address the concern of alcohol misuse, the chamber of commerce recommends bolstering public education campaigns. 

Ontario casinos: not open for criminal business

Looking to launder some bucks for your criminal organization? Ontario casinos, it seems, aren’t the place to go. Nine people thought to be affiliated with the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta were arrested in a sweep last week after allegedly laundering $70 million through the province’s heavily regulated casinos. While gambling establishments are often seen as “laundromats for the proceeds of organized crime,” Ontario casinos record a lot of transaction information and feature an around-the-clock police presence. “The casino was just a weak link in their whole plan,” anti-money laundering expert Matt McGuire told the Globe and Mail.

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The Agenda in the Summer: Perseverance

Tim Hague Sr., who won The Amazing Race Canada in its first season, talks to Nam Kiwanuka about his experience living with Parkinson’s disease, his advocacy through his U-Turn Parkinson’s foundation, and why it’s important for him to communicate a message of perseverance and hope.

City Wildlife Rescue

The Toronto Wildlife Rescue Centre swoops in to save a young coyote suffering from mange, a snake shows up with what looks like a dislocated jaw, and an abandoned baby mink requires special care.

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A life of purpose: Remembering Hodan Nalayeh

The Agenda in the Summer’s Nam Kiwanuka remembers her friend Hodan Nalayeh, a Toronto journalist who was killed in a terrorist attack in Somalia this month. Nalayeh dedicated much of her recent career to sharing stories that dispel the negative stereotypes often associated with her country of birth. “Hodan wanted people to see the life that was happening in Somalia despite the political unrest,” writes Kiwanuka.

Nalayeh was a guest on the Agenda with Kiwanuka in 2017. 

Why two new proposals could mean big changes in your neighbourhood

Townhouses in Toronto (Deborah Baic/CP)

Are Toronto neighbourhoods finally ready for gentle density?’s John Michael McGrath looks at how Toronto and Queen’s Park could work together to make room for more townhouses, low-rise apartments, duplexes, and other “missing middle”-type housing options to address the city’s lack of affordable housing.

Tonight on TVO

9 p.m. — Brilliant Ideas: Francesco Clemente’s multicultural landscape

Italian artist Francesco Clemente is widely renowned for his oil paintings, frescos, and watercolours that express the influence of his travels. In 1980s New York, he fell in with the likes of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and writers William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, with whom he collaborated on illustrated books. This episode of Brilliant Ideas dives into Clemente’s world view of art and life, and documents preparation for his latest installation — a fleet of painted tents that portray his nomadic spirit.

9:30 p.m. — The Water Brothers: On Thin Ice

Canada is home to more than a million freshwater lakes and 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater supply. But scientists are discovering that these vast resources — and the ecosystems they support — are at risk. From changing rainfall patterns to melting glaciers and warming lakes, Canada is vulnerable to the effects of climate change

From the archive

2004 — Toronto–Danforth: Profile of a riding


As Canada’s political parties spend the summer gearing up for this fall’s federal election, take a trip back to 2004 with this look at the hotly contested riding of Toronto–Danforth. At the time, NDP leader Jack Layton was vying to take the seat away from Liberal incumbent Dennis Mills. While Layton presciently saw the riding as “the epicentre of a wave of orange that’s going to sweep across the country,” Mills declared that Liberals were “the passion, not the fashion.” Two elections later, in May 2011, Layton led the NDP to win the largest number of seats in its history and become the Official Opposition for the first time in Canada. That August, Layton died of cancer at age 61.

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