daily: Wednesday, September 11

The election campaign kicks off, five questions about 9/11, and travelling Ontario by bus
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Sep 12, 2019
Tories announce pilot project to curb youth suicides. (Lars Hagberg)



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Tories announce pilot project to curb youth suicides

To coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, Health Minister Christine Elliott announced the Ontario government will invest $3 million in a $6 million pilot that aims to eliminate youth suicides in Mississauga within a decade. The program, known as Project Now, will train teachers, police, families, and health-care professionals how to identify and support youth at risk of suicide. The government also wants to increase the use of “tele-psychiatry” and other mobile technology to speed up access to mental health services in the province. If the three-year pilot is successful, it could be replicated across Ontario.

House prices hit a high in London. Moving to Middlesex, anyone? 

So many people looking to escape the GTA’s housing prices have flooded into London that the city’s housing costs have risen beyond what many local buyers are willing to pay. The London Free Press reports that the average resale price of a London home now tops $400,000. While that’s still much lower than the overall average GTA selling price of more than $800,000, it’s high enough for house hunters to start eyeing communities farther afield, such as in Middlesex, St. Thomas, and Strathroy.

For more on the high cost of real estate across much of Ontario, read’s recent series on how the affordable-housing crisis is playing out beyond the GTA.

Experts call for more action to keep smog days at bay 

How did Ontario go from 53 smog days in 2005 to just two last year? Closing Ontario’s coal-fired electricity plants and implementing industrial emission reductions in Canada and the U.S. account for much of the change, experts tell the Toronto Star. They stress, however, that more needs to be done — especially when it comes to vehicle exhaust. “Air pollution, even though much improved, is still a significant health concern in Ontario,” says Kim Perrotta of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. Health Canada says that 14,400 deaths are attributable to air pollution annually.

Perpetual political candidate goes for election loss No. 99

John Turmel, in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most prolific political candidate, will make his 99th bid for office when he runs to become MP for Brantford–Brant this fall. Turmel first ran in 1979, and has stood in almost every federal, provincial, and municipal election he’s been able to since. Places he has sought elected office include Ottawa, Whitby–Oshawa, and Nova Scotia. He has never won. “Quitters never win. Winners never quit,” he told the CBC. Turmel started his political career in an effort to legalize gambling. His main cause now is to outlaw interest charges and convert the Bank of Canada into a source of free money for citizens.

Federal election campaign begins today — for real

While it seems as though Canadians have been in the midst of a political campaign for some time, it’s only this morning that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to visit Governor General Julie Payette and ask her to dissolve Parliament and call an election. According to Canada’s fixed-date elections law, the vote is scheduled for Oct. 21.

Watch now

The Agenda: Local scourge, global network 

Dan Werb’s 2014 Walrus magazine article, “Oxy Town,” revealed the grim realities of an opioid crisis unfolding in small cities across Ontario, including his home region of Chatham-Kent. Five years later, the epidemiologist and University of Toronto professor provides an update on how these communities have fared.

Royal Recipes: Country Pursuits

Learn to eat like a royal on a British countryside holiday. Chef Anna Haugh prepares sausages made from pheasant, said to be the Queen’s favourite game bird, and prepares a dainty marzipan dessert from the cookbook of Mildred Nicholls, a kitchen maid at Buckingham Palace in the early 1900s.

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Getting to and around northern Ontario without a car

Looking to get to Thunder Bay? The easiest way may be by plane or car — and contrary to popular belief, may also be the cheapest. When writer Sean Marshall tried the same trip via bus and train, he experienced all the pain points of intercity travel in northern Ontario, with bus route cancellations and massive delays. “I ended up arriving in Thunder Bay more than 58 hours after I’d left downtown Toronto,” he writes. All told, the bus and train route cost him $331.79. “Many passengers would probably prefer to fly from Toronto to Thunder Bay — my Porter Airlines flight back to Toronto was less than half the cost of the bus and rail tickets — but not everyone wants or is able to fly.”

Listen now

#onpoli: What do the meme wars mean for the federal election?

The most widely shared political memes on social media are often edgy and partisan — and sometimes offensive and even misleading. To kick off the #onpoli podcast’s third season, Steve Paikin interviews Jeff Ballingall, the founder of Ontario Proud and Canada Proud, a third-party advocacy group that deals in this new type of election advertising. Paikin also hears from CBC disinformation reporter Kaleigh Rogers, as well as OPPO podcast host Justin Ling, about the role such groups are playing in the federal election.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: How high can Toronto grow?

With nearly 100,000 people moving into the GTA every year, can the city’s services keep up? The Agenda discusses growth versus affordability with Building Industry and Land Development Association CEO David Wilkes; Toronto city councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam and Joe Cressy; and Eileen Costello, a partner at Aird & Berlis LLP.

10 p.m. — The Beginning and End of the Universe: The End

Theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili carries us into the distant future to hypothesize whether the universe will end with a bang or a whimper. He suggests a future universe far stranger than you might imagine and, at the frontier of our understanding, encounters a mysterious and enigmatic force that promises to change physics forever.

From the archive

September 2011 — Five questions about 9/11

Ten years after the world-altering horror of Sept. 11, 2001, Agenda panelists discussed the meaning and legacy of the terror attack on the World Trade Center. Was it the most defining event of our time? What price has the United States paid and how did it define America’s place in the world? They evaluate the actions of former president George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden in the wake of the devastation.

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