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Another country that wants nothing to do with Canada’s garbage
Malaysia announced this week that it’s sending back nearly 3,000 metric tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries such as Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., saying it does not want to become a dumping ground for rich nations. Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said his country and other nearby developing nations have become garbage targets after China banned the import of plastic waste last year. Malaysia’s move comes as the Philippines is demanding the Canadian government take back dozens of containers of garbage that it alleges were shipped illegally to its shores in 2013 and 2014.
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After releasing Human Flow, his 2017 documentary on the global refugee crisis, artist and activist Ai Weiwei was left with more than 900 hours of footage — what he calls “the rest.” This leftover film wasn’t just cutting-floor material: it showed, up close, the human face of what happens when violence and conflict forces people to flee their homes, uprooting their families, lives, and futures.
In this season’s second episode of On Docs, podcast host Colin Ellis sits down with Ai to talk about The Rest, the documentary that footage eventually became. It’s Ai’s second examination of a growing crisis that he says implicates everyone across the globe: from refugees themselves, to the policymakers making it difficult for them to cross borders, to viewers just like us.
The London Health Sciences Centre’s First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program is an early intervention service that provides mental health resources for people aged 16 to 25, and it’s the only one of its kind in Canada. Journalist Priya Iyer reports on why organizations such as this are needed more than ever. The program encourages young people with mental health issues to seek help earlier, when the chances of recovery are higher, says its founder, Elizabeth Osuch: “Because of a lack of community resources, and the stigma of mental illness, young people often postpone seeking help until they can no longer function on their own. This is too late for efficient, cost-effective care.”
In climate-change science, the term “feedback” refers to what can speed up or slow down the pace of change. Four elements are key to understanding feedback: clouds, rain, trees, and ice. Kate Marvel, associate research scientist at Columbia University and at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, speaks with Steve Paikin about how these elements work.
The effects of climate change might prompt some people to uproot and move somewhere less vulnerable to rising water levels, wildfires, and drought. But Harvard University professor Jesse Keenan thinks the ideal place to be is in a city near the Great Lakes — and Toronto is high on that list. He joins The Agenda to explain why the Great Lakes may become a climate-change refuge.
With cannabis now legal in Canada, one molecule in the plant is receiving a substantial amount of attention. Not THC — the part that makes you high — but CBD, a non-psychoactive compound from the flower of the cannabis plant that some proponents claim can cure anything from anxiety to cancer. But is CBD really a wonder drug? Hance Clarke, medical director of the Pain Research Unit at Toronto General Hospital and the University Health Network, gives Steve Paikin the facts.
Swiss-American photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank is examined in this documentary by his long-time editor, Laura Israel. Now in his 90s, Frank is best known for The Americans, his 1958 look at his adoptive home — a photography book that’s considered one of the most influential of the 20th century.
“Who else does retail stores, restaurants, and theatres?” At the time of this Dialogue interview, that distinction in Ontario was held by Ed Mirvish. The American-born entrepreneur and philanthropist moved to Toronto as a boy in the 1920s and went on to found the bargain department store Honest Ed’s, Mirvish Village, a theatre production company, a string of downtown restaurants, and many of the city’s best-known theatres. In this interview with Richard Ouzounian, Mirvish discusses his early days in showbusiness, and the iconic status of his Honest Ed’s store, which boasted 23,000 blinking lightbulbs on its façade before being shuttered in 2016 for redevelopment. “It makes Las Vegas look like a cemetery,” he told Ouzounian. Mirvish died in 2007 at 92.