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The scent of high times, 231 calls for justice, and a look at the Ontario Liberal Party’s future
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on June 10, 2019
marijuana plant
Residents in Gatineau, Que., have been complaining about the smell caused by a cannabis growing facility. (iStock.com/OpenRangeStock)

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Here's what we're following

Pot odour a sign of Canada’s high times

Canada’s decision to legalize marijuana and encourage cannabis industry growth has had an unintended effect in Gatineau, Que. Residents there have been complaining about the smell caused by a cannabis growing facility. "Last Sunday we opened a bit of my son's room [window] and we closed the door,” Virginie Roussin told CBC News. “Afterward when we came back at night, it was like we smoked a joint in the room."
 
The federal government says cannabis companies are required to prevent odours emanating from their facilities — but the CBC has found other communities complaining about their own marijuana-related smells.


Change to passports draws both praise and caution from non-binary community

This week marks the first time that Canadians who don’t identify as either male or female can request their gender be listed as “X” on their passports. Sharalyn Jordan of the Rainbow Refugee Society told CTV News that the federal government’s move was “significant in terms of respecting people’s right to self-determine and self-identify their gender.” But she added that she worries about anyone who would try to present a passport marked “X” in the many countries that continue to persecute LGBTQ people. “A direction I’d love to see us go over time is to actually take gender markers off passports entirely,” she said.


Latin America looks past the U.S. to Canada for help

Mexico is hoping Canada can contribute to a proposed $30-billion U.S. “Marshall Plan” aimed at addressing violence and poverty in many Central American countries. U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening the Mexican government with tariffs over the hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants travelling through the country to get into the U.S. Meanwhile, two American foreign policy experts outside of the Trump administration are suggesting Canada could also be key in helping to quell a power struggle in Venezuela through its friendship with Cuba, a key Venezuelan ally.


Amazon refuses to pay for Ottawa bus service, stranding job seekers

If you don’t have a car, you might want to think twice about applying for one of the 600 jobs Amazon is offering at the million-square-foot warehouse it’s building in Ottawa. At least one person says he’s had to turn down a job offer from the e-commerce giant because he couldn’t afford to commute to its east-end location. "I really want to take the job, but I can't because I'd be worse off than my current situation," Joe Carignan said. Local city councillor Stephen Blais says Amazon was offered transit service but didn’t want to pay for it.
 
For more context, read this TVO.org article from last fall on whether the Amazon warehouse in Ottawa really would lead to “good, middle-class jobs,” as promised.



Phrase of the week

RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS (RNG)

Also known as sustainable natural gas (SNG), this potential energy source is interchangeable with traditional fossil fuel gases when treated to have a methane concentration of 90 per cent or higher. It’s often the byproduct of decomposing organic waste, not unlike the kind found in farms and landfills. As the CBC reports, a number of Ontario municipalities — including Toronto, Hamilton and Stratford — have decided to put their green bin programs to use in generating RNG.



Read now


Maybe the Liberals aren’t a penny-stock party after all


Michael Coteau
twitter.com/coteau

Steve Paikin maps out the agenda for the Ontario Liberal Party’s annual general meeting this weekend. The first order of business: candidates for party leadership. So far Don Valley East MPP Michael Coteau, former transportation minister Steven Del Duca, and former Oakville North–Burlington candidate Alvin Tedjo have stepped up to the plate. With Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie slated to give a keynote speech, there’s speculation that she might jump into the race, too.
 
“She’s a one-time Liberal MP,” writes Paikin. “And if you’re looking for a Liberal in the province of Ontario who’s on a winning streak and is untouched by any of the unpopular decisions of the Dalton McGuinty or Wynne years, then Crombie clearly ought to be on that list.”



Watch now


Ontario Hubs: The final MMIWG report

After three years and hearings across the country, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has delivered its final report. Ontario Indigenous Hub reporter Haley Lewis discusses the report's key findings and its 231 calls for justice. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report came out with 94 calls to action, and to date, they’ve only actually successfully accomplished 10,” she says. “So I think that’s the hope the inquiry had is that calling these ‘calls for justice’ will put a little bit of a fire under everyone in hopes that five years down the road we don’t have the same scenario.”


Wild Brazil

Three charismatic animal families — capuchin monkeys, giant otters, and coatis — strive to raise their young against a backdrop of extraordinary landscapes, harsh weather, and predators. In this first episode, watch the newborns take their first steps during a brief pause between seasonal extremes. 



Tonight on TVO


8 p.m. — Coast New Zealand: North Otago

Oamaru is the largest city in the North Otago district of New Zealand's South Island. In this picture-perfect city of white stone, host Neil Oliver visits an extraordinary feat of Victorian engineering and sets out in search of the local penguins.


9 p.m. — Limited Partnership

In 1975, Filipino-American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan got married, making them one of the first same-sex couples in the world to do so under law. After applying for a green card for Tony based on their marriage, the couple received an insulting denial letter from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. This documentary outlines the couple’s journey in filing the first federal lawsuit seeking equal treatment for same-sex marriage in U.S. history.



From the archive


August 1, 2005 — Irshad Manji

Author and educator Irshad Manji recently joined Nam Kiwanuka on The Agenda to talk about her new book, Don’t Label Me: An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times. Her 2004 book, The Trouble with Islam, became an international bestseller for Manji, and turned her into a figure of controversy over her ideas for a moderate Islam. In this episode of Big Ideas, she speaks about it. “For all of the anger, venom, and yes, death threats I receive, what I'm actually astounded by, is the support, affection and even love I'm hearing from self-identified Muslims around the world,” she says, “Especially young Muslims, and particularly young Muslim women.”

Author
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