TVO.org: Ontario’s deficit is growing — and the Fair Hydro Plan is largely to blame

TVO.org: Ontario’s deficit is growing — and the Fair Hydro Plan is largely to blame

Ontario will have a $4 billion deficit in 2017-18 and its fiscal position will continue to deteriorate over the next four years, largely due to the government’s Fair Hydro Plan, according to a new report published Monday by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario.

“It’s pretty clear that we think that they are overly optimistic in their revenue projections,” said David West, the FAO’s chief economist, at a press conference at Queen’s Park.

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TVO.org: Ontario businesses are flourishing in China

TVO.org: Ontario businesses are flourishing in China

ntario has more of a presence in China than most people think, and in some ways, a greater footprint there even than British Columbia, researchers at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs have found.

“We need to get beyond the traditional way of looking at exporters and trade to see that in the digital economy, there’s a lot happening that may not be counted,” says Deanna Horton, a fellow at the Munk School and the project’s lead.

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TVO.org: How the feds’ new sexual harassment bill will change the workplace

TVO.org: How the feds’ new sexual harassment bill will change the workplace

The federal government introduced legislation last month aimed at eliminating workplace sexual harassment. Following in the footsteps of recent changes to Ontario law, Bill C-65 expands both the definition of workplace violence in the Canada Labour Code and the responsibilities of employers in the event of an incident.

The federal government’s recent public consultation on harassment and sexual violence in the workplace found that 60 per cent of respondents had experienced harassment where they work. Thirty per cent said they had experienced sexual harassment.

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TVO.org: Small pot producers’ plans go up in smoke

TVO.org: Small pot producers’ plans go up in smoke

hen the task force on marijuana legalization issued its recommendations to the federal government late last year, Brianna Humphrey, the owner of Radical Gardens, a farm-to-table restaurant in Timmins, was hopeful about what it could mean for her business.

“[It] suggested a two-tier system, much like beer … So they suggested that you have your large [licensed producers], and then you have your small craft growers and producers, which is what we were after,” Humphrey says. “We’re already an organic farm, we have a greenhouse, we have a restaurant — we’re pretty well set up to just roll that out really quickly.”

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TVO.org: Your hydro bill will go up, whatever the government says

TVO.org: Your hydro bill will go up, whatever the government says

Electricity prices in Ontario will steadily rise until 2035, even though the government lowered residential bills by 25 per cent earlier this year. That’s according to the government’s long-term energy plan, which was released today.

The Ministry of Energy outlook report, published every four years, is a forecast document that lays out expected energy demand, capacity, technology changes, and pricing for the next 20 years.

“Our long-term energy plan… outlines additional work we will be undertaking to make our electricity system more cost-effective and efficient, continuing to prioritize affordability,” Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said at a press conference in Toronto.  

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TVO: Why can't female entrepreneurs catch a break?

TVO: Why can't female entrepreneurs catch a break?

When Caitlin MacGregor started looking for seed funding for her startup in 2014, she didn’t think it would take two and a half years to raise $2 million.

“Without any doubt, that’s at least twice as long as any male CEO that I’ve ever come across,” she says. “That’s a really, really long time.”

MacGregor was raising money for Plum, a company that offers psychometric assessments and a matching service for job candidates and employers. “Candidates complete an assessment that tests for problem-solving ability, social intelligence, and personality priorities,” she explains. “And then we have the employers complete a job analysis … And then we match the applicants against the requirements for the job.”

While there are many psychometric tests on offer in the marketplace, MacGregor says her software’s ability to match candidates to jobs makes it unique. But even so, raising capital was a slog. “Fundraising is a full-time job, so that was energy away from my business,” she says. “That was time that I could have been closing sales, that was time that I could have been attracting talent, that was time that I could have been doing things other than raising money … It really holds the company back.”

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TVO.org: New report warns that Ontario must change its fiscal ways

TVO.org: New report warns that Ontario must change its fiscal ways

An aging population will make it difficult for Ontario to handle its debt and budget challenges over the next 35 years, according to a new report from the province’s Financial Accountability Office.

“Over the next three decades, Ontario will experience major shifts in its population and the economy as the large baby-boom cohort transitions from work into retirement and eventually into old age,” said David Wake, the temporary financial accountability officer, at press conference at Queen’s Park on Thursday. “Without significant changes to Ontario’s fiscal policy, the FAO’s projections suggest that the province will face substantial long-term budgetary challenges.”

The report is the FAO’s first long-term budget outlook, and it contains strong warnings for this and future Ontario governments about the province’s fiscal position.

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TVO: Multi-sport athlete soldiers on at the Invictus Games

TVO: Multi-sport athlete soldiers on at the Invictus Games

here was a time when Sergeant Brenda McPeak preferred not to talk about her health issues — but competing in this year’s Invictus Games has made her feel comfortable discussing them.

cPeak joined the Canadian Forces as a reservist when she was still in high school. Six years later, she joined the regular forces as a mobile support equipment operator, driving large vehicles, such as trucks and buses. “We deliver all the goods to the front-line guys,” she says. “We deliver all their food, their ammo, their beans and bullets, as we call it, and their mail. And transport even the troops sometimes.” In 2003, McPeak was sent on the very first rotation to Afghanistan — for eight months, she helped build the Canadian camp in Kabul. “Every day I was out on the roads from camp to camp, going to the Brit camp, the Germans, the Italians.”

Even being in a support role in the military can take a physical toll. “Being a trucker’s hard on your body, lifting supplies and fuel cans and water cans,” McPeak says. In 2012, she suffered a back injury. “I think that it was festering over time.” She’d just been posted to Gander, Newfoundland, and was unpacking at her new home. “I was picking clothes out of a box, and snap, crackle, pop, my back went.”

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TVO: Meet a veteran who’s in it to win it at the Invictus Games

TVO: Meet a veteran who’s in it to win it at the Invictus Games

After Mike Trauner lost his legs in December 2008, doctors told him he’d never walk again and would be in a wheelchair the rest of his life. But eight months later, he walked the five-kilometre Canada Army Run in Ottawa on prosthetics. And this week in Toronto, he’ll be competing in rowing and cycling at the Invictus Games.

That day in 2008, Trauner came close to losing more than his legs.

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TVO: ‘Everybody’s there to give’r’: Veteran serves Canada in a new way

TVO: ‘Everybody’s there to give’r’: Veteran serves Canada in a new way

At the 2017 Invictus Games, being held in Toronto from Sept. 23 to 30, retired sergeant Tyron Lincoln will be competing in three different sports — wheelchair rugby, cycling, and track and field — even though he battles chronic pain.

An accident that occurred while he was loading a bomb onto a fighter jet left him with a linear skull fracture. “So I suffer from severe headaches,” he explains. “I suffer from severe pain all the time. So I’m at a pain management clinic, and they can’t do nothing. The doctor just tells me, ‘You know what, you’ve got to live with it.’”

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