This week’s Open Sources Guelph is all about the hard questions. Not that we’re known for the soft balls, of course, but take Syria for example, what are the options in dealing with this conflict that’s now been churning for more than seven years? Or pipelines, how do you balance the environmental concerns with the economic prospects, or can you? There’s also predatory payday loans, and the greatest enigma of all, the man called Douglas Ford Jr.?
This Thursday, April 12, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:
1) Again. It was about this time last year that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians, and it looks like he did it again last weekend. The reaction last year was worldwide condemnation, and a government airfield in Syria attacked by missile fire, but the message was clear to al-Assad: there are really no consequences for your war crimes. This time, the attack comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump wondered aloud about pulling support out of Syria, and after reps from Syria, Russia and Iran met to plan the future of the country. Can there ever be any consequences for al-Assad, and any relief for the people of Syria?
2) Kinder, Not Gentle. Despite a protest that rounded up nearly 200 people including two federal MPs, work on the Trans Mountain Pipeline carried on unabated last month, but for how much longer? The pipeline’s owner, Kinder Morgan, is putting the breaks on any further development until the complicated politics are sorted out, and they have even threatened to pull out of the project entirely if they don’t see a path forward. This puts the governments of Alberta, B.C. and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a bind since the pipeline means jobs and revenue, but there’s still a lot of opposition to the project. So how will this all shake out?
3) Cheque Comes Due? The City of Toronto is joining a chorus of Ontario cities that are considering measures to reign in payday lenders. Many consider these establishments predatory, lending money to the people most in need for interest payments that mean you’re never off the hook for getting an advance on your paycheque. Meanwhile, others consider them a necessary evil, doing short term loans too small for most banks, or lending to people those same banks would consider too big a risk. So is it about time that regulations fall on payday lenders, or is this another example of government over-regulation?
4) What About Doug? It looks like Ontario PC leader Doug Ford is going to do the absolute minimum he can to secure his victory as the next Premier of Ontario. Last week, he cited scheduling conflicts when asked to take part in a leaders debate, and then he announced that there would be no campaign bus for the press during the election. Meanwhile, Doug is distancing himself from Tanya Granic Allen, and the social conservative base she represents, and it looks like the #MeToo movement is not done with the PC Party yet. Still, in spite of all that, we wonder just how this show, and other media outlets, are supposed to cover Doug Ford?
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.