TVO.org daily: Wednesday, May 13

Who will bail out public transit?
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 13, 2020
The province will share details of reopening plan this Thursday. (iStock.com/Olivier Le Moal)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following


Province to share details of reopening plan

Premier Doug Ford has stated that the province will share more information on Thursday about the first phase of its three-phase plan to restart the economy. This could involve details about the reopening of some seasonal businesses and low-risk workplaces. Ford hinted that the province may also begin to allow gatherings of as many as 10 people, up from five.

At Queen’s Park, the legislature agreed to extend the province’s state of emergency until June 2.

Ottawa sending cash to seniors

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will spend $2.5 billion on one-time cash payments to seniors. Any senior eligible for Old Age Security will receive a $300 payment; an additional $200 will be sent to seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement. The payment is tax-free, and there’s no application required.

Registered nurses call for health-care overhaul

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario released a report outlining changes that it believes should be made to the health-care system in light of the province’s “fractured response to COVID-19.” Recommendations include making long-term-care facilities a part of Ontario Health Teams; ensuring that everyone in the province is linked to a primary health team; and including primary-care representation in discussions about health-care restructuring.

Province, feds argue over transit funding

Toronto Star transportation reporter Ben Spurr says it’s unclear which level of government will help struggling public-transit agencies. The office of federal infrastructure minister Catherine McKenna issued a statement that says transit “is a municipal and provincial responsibility and we encourage provincial governments to step up and support this essential service.” In response, Ontario’s transportation ministry issued its own statement, saying the situation is “national in scope and demands federal action. We expect the federal government to do their part in providing financial support for municipal transit agencies in Ontario."

TVO.org publishing regional updates

Every day, we will publish a collection of COVID-19 news items from across the province. Please visit TVO.org for the latest. Here is Thursday’s edition.


Watch now

The Agenda: Restarting education in Ontario

What will Ontario’s education system look like after COVID-19? The Agenda welcomes Annie Kidder from People for Education; Prachi Srivastava from Western University; and Caroline Alphonso from the Globe and Mail to discuss.

The Blue Realm: Reefs of Steel

Thousands of decommissioned naval vessels rot in dockyards around the world — acting as both toxic time bombs and critical shelters for marine life. What can be done about them?


Listen now

#onpoli: Is Ontario reopening too quickly?

On Thursday, the province is expected to announce details of the first phase of its plan to restart the economy — which will likely involve opening more businesses and outdoor spaces to the public. Hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss.


Read now

Ontarians getting income support aren’t gaming the system

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said last week that federal income supports are disincentivizing work and should be rolled back. That didn’t sit well with TVO’s Nam Kiwanuka. “The suggestion that Canadians are choosing not to work — and not simply out of a job because of, you know, a global pandemic — seems to imply that folks would rather take money from the government than put in an honest day’s work,” she writes. “We believe that people living in poverty choose to do so. We believe that those who are rich deserve to be rich and have earned their money. We assume that poor people choose to be poor because they don’t work hard, are lazy, and would rather receive money from the government. Why don’t we have that same suspicion of rich people? Why don’t we accuse them of gaming the system? Why do we assume that rich people work hard? Why can’t they ever be lazy and unworthy of their money?”

Last week today with epidemiologist David Fisman

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David Fisman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, speaks with TVO.org assistant editor Nathaniel Basen about the future of epidemiology and the importance of local public-health units. “To me, when I look at this situation, I’m thinking, wow, thank God we haven’t amalgamated these public-health units yet,” Fisman says. “Thank god we have these public-health units that can shine. Public health is a fundamentally local discipline. Thank goodness not everyone is under the direct supervision of the province, because the province has lagged on a lot of the creativity and professionalism that we’ve seen from local public-health units.”


Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Will COVID-19 end neoliberalism?

Economists, political theorists, and even the editorial board of the Financial Times are debating whether the neoliberal status quo will survive COVID-19. The Agenda welcomes Bhaskar Sunkara, author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality; and Sean Speer, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

10 p.m. — Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum

The photographers from the storied agency Magnum Photos have shot wars and famines — but also movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Orson Welles, Kate Winslet, and Sean Penn. This documentary captures the intimate relationship between these photojournalists and the world of cinema.

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