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Autonomous auto sharing, cruising the Great Lakes, and how wrestling can help First Nations communities
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Aug 19, 2019
Caroline Mulroney and two colleagues at a podium
Metrolinx announced expanded service. (twitter.com/C_Mulroney)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Province announces major GO expansion

Metrolinx has announced that it will be adding 84 new weekly train trips on the Kitchener, Lakeshore East, and Lakeshore West lines starting August 31. It will also be introducing year-round weekend GO train service between Niagara Falls and Toronto’s Union Station. Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney says that the added trains will mean that core segments of the GO network will have two-way, all-day rapid-transit service every 15 minutes. Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster says that a new express train for Kitchener will save commuters 20 minutes of travel time a day.


Ontario moving ahead with revamped blue-box program

Environment Minister Jeff Yurek and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark announced Thursday that, starting in 2023, communities across the province will begin moving toward a “producer responsibility” system in which companies take on the collection of the plastics and packaging they produce. By the end of 2025, producers will be responsible for providing blue-box services provincewide. “This shift is a big step towards diverting waste, addressing plastic pollution and creating a new recycling economy that everyone can be proud of in Ontario,” Yurek said.


Autonomous car service coming to a London neighbourhood

West 5, a neighbourhood in northwest London, is being developed as Ontario’s first net-zero community — one that produces as much energy as it consumes. Part of the plan calls for residents to have shared access to electric cars. In support of that, the federal government has announced that it will be dedicating $2.4 million toward the installation of an automated valet system: the automated valet will dispatch a driverless, fully charged vehicle to the doorstep of any resident who requests a car via a cellphone app.


Tories seek compromise on beer standoff

Finance Minister Rod Phillips said Thursday that he plans to meet with major breweries in the next few days to find a way to make beer available in corner stores without incurring massive penalties for breaking a contract with the Beer Store. “We promised that we will make beer and wine more available and we will do that, but we’re going to do that in a purposeful way,” said Phillips. Under an agreement made by the previous Liberal government, the Beer Store, which is owned by multinational brewers Molson Coors, AB InBev, and Sapporo, would get up to $1 billion in taxpayer money if the province were to further expand beer sales.


How Torontonians are driving home prices up in Prince Edward County

The Globe and Mail reports that wealthy Torontonians looking for vacation homes near Prince Edward County’s beautiful beaches and celebrated wineries are sending prices up. Sales of homes over $400,000 are surging, while sales below that price are plummeting. One suggested reason for the drop in sales of less expensive housing: people looking in that price range are finding very little to buy. And that’s creating concerns that the people who live full-time in the area will be forced to relocate to nearby cities, such as Belleville and Trenton.

For more on the county’s housing woes, read TVO.org’s David Rockne Corrigan on how AirBNB rentals are affecting the local real-estate market.



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Why Great Lakes cruising is on the rise

The Great Lakes cruising industry is making a comeback. Passengers can visit all five lakes while making stops in major cities such as Toronto and Chicago, as well as in smaller communities such as Little Current and Mackinac Island. Ontario Hubs field producer Jeyan Jeganathan explains how First Nations communities on Manitoulin Island are teaching passengers about their culture.


Northern Gold: A Fortune Found

Founded by immigrants and prospectors in the early 20th century, Timmins was a community born of the gold rush: its early history gave rise to stories of bootlegging and gangsters, greed and fortunes made. In the first episode of this two-part documentary, learn about the hazardous conditions — and discrimination — miners faced as they worked to fuel the economic boom in the south.



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How wrestling can help First Nations communities

“You people are not real Canadians. I am better than you.” That’s what wrestler Matthew Mountie says before he gets in the ring at the community centre on Brunswick House First Nation to face his opponent, Big Bear. Mountie’s real name is Dylan Koros — he’s just playing a role as part of a match staged by the Canadian Wrestling Federation. The CWF is about more than just showdowns in the ring: as TVO.org’s Claude Sharma reports, when it visits Indigenous communities across the country, it also offers wrestling bootcamps and educational workshops on issues such as drug and alcohol abuse and suicide prevention.


Why charities need millennials to start giving more


Inside a Habitat for Humanity ReStore
(facebook.com/HabitatforHumanityGTA

Millennials may have the will to make charitable donations, but they don’t always have the means to do so. That’s worrisome for charities, as they’re relying on a dwindling pool of higher-income donors. So how can we revamp philanthropic infrastructure that was set up for baby boomers and the generations that came before? Kevin Spurgaitis talks to experts about the future of the sector — and what organizations can do to get young people engaged.



Tonight on TVO


7 p.m. — Striking Balance: Fundy

The Fundy biosphere reserve —  440,000 hectares on the New Brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy — is one of Canada's most dramatic and ecologically diverse landscapes. But climate change threatens its population of Atlantic salmon. Meet the people who are determined to work together to bring it back from the edge of extinction.


8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: A life in progressive politics

Ian Waddell, who served both as a member of the legislative assembly in British Columbia and as a New Democrat MP, talks to Nam Kiwanuka about his memoir, Take the Torch, and his proudest political moment: the drafting of Section 35 of the Constitution, which ensured the rights of Indigenous people.



From the archive


June 1, 1999 — Moments with Steve Smith

​​​​​​​

Comedian Steve Smith, known for his Red Green handyman character, talks about the importance of teaching — and the respect we should show those in the profession. “It's a really tough job,” he says. “These are people who've decided to try and help the next generation. The basic essential truth is that it draws people to want to do good for society.”

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