daily: Wednesday, June 26

Mystery texts, mystery noises, and Ontario’s most complained-about government agency
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on June 28, 2019
File photo of Doug Ford (Tijana Martin/CP)



Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Who will be the next Dean French?

Speculation is rife about who will be Premier Doug Ford’s chief of staff after Dean French abruptly resigned from the job on Friday. The names being bandied about include Earl Provost, Ford’s senior policy adviser on intergovernmental affairs; Jan O’Driscoll, chief of staff to cabinet minister Jeff Yurek; and veteran political staffer Chris Froggatt. Jamie Wallace, Ford’s deputy chief of staff, will take on French’s role until a permanent replacement is found.

Ontario Cannabis Store generates the most complaints to ombudsman

The CBC reports that more than 2,400 Ontario residents have complained to the provincial ombudsman about the new Ontario Cannabis Store. No other government body came close to logging that many calls to Paul Dubé’s office this past fiscal year. Dubé says he even had to establish a separate team to handle the number of complaints from residents experiencing delays and delivery problems with their government-sold weed.

Did you hear that, Hamilton? 

There seems to be no explanation for a loud boom that startled residents and set dogs barking in the Hamilton area around 2 a.m. on Saturday. Steelmakers Stelco and ArcelorMittal Dofasco deny the sound came from their facilities, and police and fire departments say they weren’t called to any type of incident that might have been heard across the city. Residents, of course, are posting their own theories on social media. Among them? Asteroids, solar radiation storms, and something called “God’s taco night.”

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On Docs: Why are women the fastest-growing prison population?

Women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population, both in Canada and around the world. When filmmakers Nance Ackerman, Teresa MacInnes, and Ariella Pahlke decided to make a documentary about why, they also decided to put the camera in the hands of the incarcerated women whose stories they were telling. On Docs podcast host Collin Ellis speaks to Ackerman about the making of the doc, and what it’s like to work collaboratively with inmates to tell stories about their lives in and out of prison.

Watch now

The Agenda: Is there a Trump doctrine?

As a global columnist for the Wall Street Journal and professor of foreign affairs at Bard College in New York, Walter Russell Read is well-positioned to evaluate U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign affairs strategies. “Trump doesn’t so much operate from a set of principles and worked-out intellectual formulas. He has a set of instincts, so that if you watch what he does over time, you see patterns emerge,” he tells Steve Paikin in this Agenda interview. “One essence of Trump’s method is to keep the other people guessing.”

Main Street Ontario: Mimico

Many residents have fond memories of the heyday community hubs in this west Toronto suburb, such as its original bowling alley and the popular Mimicombo roller skating rink. Although most of these places are gone now, the Mimico Centennial Library is still thriving. Built in 1967, it is a much-loved resource centre and a vital connection to programs for children, seniors, and newcomers.

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Here’s what stands in the way of Sidewalk Labs’ plans for the Port Lands

Earlier this week, Sidewalk Labs released plans for its smart development of Toronto’s Port Lands, a project that has proven controversial since its inception in 2016. John Michael McGrath — an admitted fan of the proposal in principle — looks at the pros and cons of the Google-owned project, from its potential boons, to housing and climate-change efforts, to concerns about privacy.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Our embassy in Havana

Before the Cuban Revolution, and in the nearly 60 years since, Canada maintained solid cultural, academic, and economic exchanges with the Republic of Cuba. While Canadians may still travel there without difficulty, doing much beyond local tourism has become challenging for citizens of both countries. The Agenda discusses why with Queen’s University history and global development professor Karen Dubinsky and musician Elizabeth Rodriguez.

9 p.m. — Grayson Perry: Who Are You?

British artist and culture critic Grayson Perry continues his exploration of identity with a look at 21st-century tribes, and why our desire to be part of a group seems at odds with the modern ideal of seeking individuality.

From the archive

June 30, 2011 — The history of same-sex marriage in Canada

Think you know when Canada’s  first same-sex wedding took place? It was well before 2005, when same-sex marriage was legalized across the country. As Pride Month winds to a close, take a look at this Think Again feature. It condenses years of footage from TVO’s various current affairs programs to map out the road to legalization, from a Toronto wedding ceremony in 2001, to the recognition of same-sex marriage in Ontario in 2003, to passage of the federal Civil Marriage Act in 2005.

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