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Rape crisis centres suggest Ontario victim program changes are cuts in disguise
The Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres is calling on Attorney General Doug Downey to reverse changes made earlier this fall to the province’s victim-compensation program. After closing the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, Ontario rolled out the Victim Quick Response Program +, a system the Ministry of the Attorney General says delivers services faster. But coalition members say the new program, introduced on October 1, shuts out many victims — including those who have suffered childhood abuse. Applicants must visit a service agency within six months of experiencing or reporting the crime. Moreover, changes to its compensation structure only cover costs for immediate needs, including a $1,000 limit for counselling. “It's totally a cost-cutting measure,” Brea Hutchinson, executive director of Sexual Assault Centre Kingston, told the CBC. “They didn't solve any problems with this program.”
Inside the UP Express line’s troubled choice
A Toronto Star report reveals that, for some time last year, Metrolinx was considering dramatically hiking fares for its UP Express line to Toronto Pearson International Airport. Documents obtained by the Star’s transportation reporter, Ben Spurr, show that officials at the regional-transit agency conducted the 2018 review to weigh options for the $456 million line, which has struggled to meet revenue and ridership goals since launching in 2015 as a premium business-class route. Experts recommend that the UP Express be integrated into the GO Transit network. “There are communities along the line that really could benefit from better transit,” Matti Siemiatycki, a University of Toronto professor of geography and planning, told the Star.
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Windsor joins wave of Ontario cities declaring a climate emergency
Windsor’s city council voted unanimously on Monday to declare a climate emergency. The city joins nearly 470 jurisdictions across the country that have passed similar motions. The Windsor item directs administrators to report regularly on priority measures and implementation plans to combat climate change. According to the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee, climate change has already deeply affected the area: heavy rainstorms have caused $400 million in damages over the past decade, the number of high-heat days is increasing, and invasive plant and animal species are disrupting local ecosystems.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis convened a historic conference to address what he called the “scourge” of sexual abuse in the Catholic clergy. His pointed response comes after decades of denial from the Catholic Church, as well as cover-up attempts. With a troubled legacy, how can the Church and its faithful find a new path forward? The Agenda discusses this ongoing issue.
Fifty years ago, as a boy, Rod MacLeod was sexually abused by Basilian priest William Hodgson Marshall. Most civil-clergy sex abuse cases are settled quietly out of court and far from public view, but MacLeod was determined to be the one plaintiff who did not settle. Prey, a TVO Original documentary by filmmaker Matt Gallagher, follows MacLeod and lawyer Rob Talach, dubbed the “priest hunter,” as they pursue a civil case against the Basilian order of the Catholic Church through a public trial. This powerful film snapped up two top awards at the 2019 Hot Docs Festival.
The 2016 Ontario election left the provincial Liberal party lacking representation, money, leadership, and official-party status. TVO.org’s John Michael McGrath attended the first leaders’ debate, where four of the five candidates took the floor. McGrath writes that the debate, which was between Steven Del Duca, Michael Coteau, Mitzie Hunter, and Kate Graham, was “notable because it allowed the candidates themselves to explain how they think the party ended up where it is and how it should get ready for the next election — and, potentially, the one after that.”
Tonight on TVO
8 p.m. — The Agenda: Sizing up the minority government
Canada hasn’t had a minority federal government since 2008. The Agenda discusses what a new Liberal-led minority means for Canada and how it will affect the way the government handles legislation. Guests include Peter MacKay, Peter Loewen, Martha Hall-Findley, and Anne McGrath, all of whom have had experience working in a minority Parliament.
9 p.m. — Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum
This documentary captures the intimate relationship that the photojournalists of the storied Magnum Photos agency have had with the world of cinema. For 70 years, these photographers — who have shot hard-hitting subjects including wars and famines — also turned their lenses toward movie stars, including James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Orson Welles, Kate Winslet, and Sean Penn.
This Science Café episode from nearly three decades ago shows how Richmond Hill’s David Dunlap Observatory contributes to research and educates both new astronomers and the general public. State-of-the-art telescopes are demonstrated, and we learn how stars are discovered and tracked.