All Manitoba students to head back to classrooms in September

All Manitoba students will return to school in September.

Dr. Joss Reimer, head of the province’s Vaccine Task Force, held a briefing for media Thursday before Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Education Minister Cliff Cullen made the announcement official 90 minutes later.

Last year, students were initially sent back to classrooms with students in Grade 9 and higher working heading to school every other day.

There were strict mask, distancing and sanitation protocols, and student activities like music and band were curtailed.

Some concerned parents decided not to send their child to school at all, either taking a full-time remote option or homeschooling.

When the third wave hit in October, however, students were forced back into remote learning, where most of them stayed until June.

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Alberta service dog agency ramps up training to catch up with COVID-19 backlog

Service dogs are a lifeline for people with a wide range of physical and mental challenges, and now, with training and travel easier than in months pasts, more people could soon be getting their critically important companion.
Over the last year and a half, the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS), like countless other non-profits, has been navigating the perils of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PADS helps train and place service dogs with people living with hearing or mobility challenges, as well as people coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Miranda Turenne, an advanced trainer with PADS, says the society was able to keep operating by getting creative with how it delivered its programs.

“We’ve been working through a web-based program to go through our theoretical training,” said Turenne. “Now I’m not asking clients, especially those with emotional or physical disabilities… to come into a training facility… in order to spend all day in a classroom learning theoretical stuff.”

Read more:
Federal government sniffs out trainers who can teach dogs to screen for coronavirus

Now that training can resume in-person, Turenne said PADS is looking to ramp up its placement program.

“We’re looking forward to working through our client list that we weren’t necessarily able to (help) or reopen (the program) to clients who we had to decline from our list because of geographical issues due to COVID,” said Turenne.

PADS is also encouraging people with physical or mental conditions to apply for a service dog.

“They don’t just open doors physically, it’s the social ice-breaking that they do and their ability to really be able to change a person’s life,” said Turenne. “Whether that’s providing physical tasks or emotional support, it’s absolutely worth the effort and the wait.”

Service dogs in public

Now that more people are going out in public, PADS is also reminding people of how to interact with a service dog.

Cynthia Hlynski, a PADS volunteer, said it’s been a tricky year when it comes to acclimatizing puppies to crowds.

“We’ve been struggling with getting (the dogs) comfortable with other people,” said Hlynski. “I start training my dogs very young to sit and learn how to chill at Starbucks, and I have not been inside a Starbucks for a year and a half.”

Hlynski said this challenge means it’s important for people to remember how to approach a service dog, especially while in training.

“They are working when they’re in training,” said Hlynski. “There are times where we’ll say, ‘Yes, you can pet the dog, because we know what’s going to happen so we need somebody to work with us on that, but always ask.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Drinking water advisory lifted for Lynden residents

A decade-old, drinking water advisory for residents of Lynden has been lifted by Hamilton’s medical officer of health.

The lifting of the advisory, which had been in place since September 2011, follows the construction of a new municipal well and treatment system.

Public health services say the new facility was actually completed in July 2020, but the drinking water advisory remained in place for an additional year to ensure robust testing and flushing of any residual sediment within watermains in the Flamborough community.

The issuing of the precautionary advisory in 2011 followed a lab test result that indicated higher than allowable lead concentrations in Lynden’s water.

Read more:
One in four Ontario schools and daycares found lead in tap water last year

“Following the commissioning of the new water treatment facility in Lynden, flushing of the water system, and over a year of sampling, Public Health Services has verified that the water in this community is safe to drink,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, within a media release issued Thursday morning.

“I want to recognize the community’s patience and understanding as they awaited an outcome to this longstanding drinking water advisory,” added Dr. Richardson.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be on site at Edmonton Elks home opener

With the name launch out of the way, the Edmonton Elks president and CEO Chris Presson said the focus now is on preparing for the new football season. He joined Gord Steinke to talk about it.

The Edmonton Elks home opener is this Saturday, and the organization will be hosting a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic before kick-off against the Ottawa Redblacks.

From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, fans will be able to visit the mobile vaccination clinic (MVC) get their first or second vaccine dose outside Gate 9.

“We’re all excited for the return of football and the opportunity to welcome fans back to The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium this weekend,” Elks president and CEO Chris Presson said in a Thursday news release.

“By partnering to bring the MVC to our home opener, we’re happy to provide fans an opportunity to be vaccinated, as we collectively look to move past COVID-19.”

Read more:
Edmonton Elks ready to charge into 2021 CFL season after competitive training camp

The Elks organization is working with the Industry for Vaccination (IVF) Alberta Coalition to make the clinic happen.

“We are honoured to be bringing the mobile vaccination clinic to so many Albertans across the province while working with the government and industry partners,”  said Matthew Cox, president and CEO of TRAXX Holdings Inc., an IFV partner and the provider of the MVC motor coach.

“It is our mandate to help vaccinate as many Albertans as possible, and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Elks to do so.”

Before the game, the mobile clinic will be offering COVID-19 vaccination from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Abottsfield-Penny McKee branch of the Edmonton Public Library. The library’s address is 3210 118 Avenue.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ādisōke: New Ottawa central library given Anishinābemowin name meaning 'storytelling'

The new central library in Ottawa will be named Ādisōke, an Anishinābemowin word referring to the telling of stories, as officials seek to use the forthcoming building to help revitalize the language of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation.

Representatives from Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Pikwakanagan First Nation joined political and library officials Thursday morning at the 555 Albert St. construction site to announce the name of the joint facility, which will house the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) when it opens in late 2024.

“Words and names are powerful,” said Anita Tenasco, director of education for Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg.

Tenasco spoke to those in attendance about the concerns within the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation about the erasure of its language, as many communities are losing or are already without fluent speakers.

She called on the joint library team to continue partnering with the nation to work towards preserving and revitalizing the Anishinābemowin language.

“Please help us to revitalize and record our dialects. Please support us in showing Ottawa and the world that we still exist. Please assist us in sharing our stories as we see fit,” she said.

The building itself will have Indigenous culture baked into its design, with space for regular Indigenous art displays and circular rooms inspired by wigwams available for meetings.

A view of the southern exterior of the new Ottawa central library, set for opening in late 2024.

A view of the southern exterior of the new Ottawa central library, set for opening in late 2024.

City of Ottawa
A rendering of a wigwam-inspired round room set to be included in the new Ottawa central library.

A rendering of a wigwam-inspired round room set to be included in the new Ottawa central library.

City of Ottawa

Leslie Weir, the librarian and archivist of Canada, said Anishinābemowin will be present in more than just the name of the building. Elements such as welcoming, wayfinding and room names within the library will also make use of the language, she said.

Weir said LAC will work with the host nations to preserve and make their stories accessible to those in the building as part of the federal institution’s Indigenous Heritage Action Plan to address needs for reconciliation and decolonization.

Mayor Jim Watson also called the naming of the library in the Anishinābemowin language an act of reconciliation. He similarly cited the renaming of the Prince of Wales Bridge to the Chief William Commanda Bridge a few weeks ago as a step in that direction.

The new library will replace the current central OPL library on Metcalfe Street, which Watson said “has served us well, but it’s a bit of a bunker.”

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Developers partner with Ottawa community groups in bids to build at LeBreton Flats

The project is still out to tender for contractors’ bids, a process that city staff expect to close in late summer or early fall.

The joint facility has been pegged at a cost of $192 million, but Simon Dupuis from the library project team told reporters Thursday that they won’t know the cost impact from the pandemic and other market conditions in the city until the bids are in front of them.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Police investigate slaying of man, 32, gunned down in Longueuil home

Police are investigating another fatal shooting with possible links to organized crime in the Montreal area.

Longueuil, Que., police say a man was shot at least one time inside his residence in that city on Montreal’s south shore.

Read more:
Montreal mayor says gun violence must stop after triple homicide in city’s east end

Local police say the shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m. Thursday and the 32-year-old victim was declared dead at the scene.

Provincial police spokeswoman Sgt. Aurelie Guindon says her force has taken over the investigation because of its possible links to organized crime, adding there have been no arrests.

The shooting comes less than a day after the Quebec government announced a new unit composed of Montreal and provincial police officers to fight weapons trafficking.

That unit was created partly in response to a brazen daylight shooting in Montreal on Monday that left three people dead and two others injured. Guindon says it’s too early to link Thursday’s shooting with the triple slaying.

Read more:
Quebec government to create police unit to fight Montreal’s rising gun violence

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Slow down! New 40 km default speed limit coming to Edmonton Friday

WATCH: It's been months since Edmonton City Council gave the green light to lower most residential speed limits from 50 km/h to 40. On Friday, the city announced when the change takes effect.

Starting Friday, Aug. 6, the default speed limit will change on most residential and downtown streets in Edmonton to 40 km/h.

That means, if drivers don’t see a speed limit sign, the speed limit will be 40 km/h instead of 50 km/h.

Read more:
New 40 km/h default speed coming to Edmonton streets Aug. 6

“This small adjustment will have large benefits in making our streets safer and our communities more livable,” said Jessica Lamarre, the director of safe mobility for the city.

A grace period will be in effect until Sept. 1 for automated enforcement locations, the city said.

“Drivers who are not following the speed limit in these locations will receive warning notices during this time in lieu of violations,” Lamarre said.

EPS will continue to give tickets where drivers are travelling at excessive or dangerous speeds during the grace period.

Read more:
Edmonton councillors vote for default 40 km/h residential speed limit

There’s an “extensive public education” campaign to ensure drivers are aware of the change.

“While speeding and careless driving are traditionally the top neighbourhood complaints we hear about, the nice weather and easing of pandemic restrictions will likely result in more foot traffic to the downtown core,” Insp. Keith Jonson of the Edmonton Police Service traffic services branch said.

“The 40 km/h speed limit change to these residential and heavy pedestrian areas of the city will make our streets safer for everyone.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

2 Quinte region residents win $5M, $100,000 in OLG lotteries respectively

Two big lottery winners from the Quinte region were announced this week.

The first winner is Marshall Dominey of Trenton, Ont., who has brought home the $5-million top prize in the June 2 Lotto 649 draw.

The retired mechanic has been playing the lottery for 40 years. He says he plans to share his winnings with family and save some for future travel.

The winning ticket was purchased at West End Convenience in Trenton.

Marshall Dominey of Trenton won $5 million playing OLG's Lotto 649.

Marshall Dominey of Trenton won $5 million playing OLG's Lotto 649.

OLG

Read more:
Kingston, Ont., lottery winner claims $73K a day before his winning ticket expired: OLG

Also, Terrence Cassidy of Belleville, Ont., won $100,000 with the “instant crossword tripler” scratch game.

The 61-year-old plans to pay some bills and celebrate the win with his brother.

The winning ticket was bought at Friends Variety in Belleville.

Terrance Cassidy of Belleville won a $100,000 top prize playing an "Instant Crossword Trippler" scratch ticket.

Terrance Cassidy of Belleville won a $100,000 top prize playing an "Instant Crossword Trippler" scratch ticket.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

This wasp and yellowjacket season is possibly the worst ever in Edmonton, city says

Health Matters July 20: With wasp populations thriving, more people are feeling the pain. As Su-Ling Goh reports, some species' stings may cause more severe reactions.

While the hot, dry weather means fewer pests like mosquitoes in Edmonton this year, it has also created ideal conditions for the worst year for wasps and yellowjackets the city has ever seen.

While the City of Edmonton doesn’t have exact data on how many of the pests the region sees each year, pest management coordinator Mike Jenkins says no one can remember a season with more calls to deal with nests on city property.

“Typically around this time of year, we would do maybe about a dozen or so a week. Now we’re doing 20 to 50 per day.”

Jenkins said the nests are getting large, and the wasps and yellowjackets are sending out queens to build new nests.

Read more:
Hot, dry weather means fewer mosquitoes in Edmonton but more yellowjackets and ants

The good news? While the numbers of wasps and yellowjackets have increased, the insects themselves are not any more aggressive than they normally would be.

But they will be more defensive and more likely to sting later in the season.

“(When) they’re demoted to guard duty and they’re kind of falling apart and they’re on their last legs, they are much more likely to sting,” Jenkins said. “It’s one last thing they can do for the species and for the hive to just make sure that everything is afraid of yellowjackets and doesn’t go after them.”

While the peak for these pests is usually mid- to late August, Jenkins said we can expect the populations to continue to grow until at least the first frost.

If you’re on City of Edmonton property and spot a nest, you can call 311 to have it dealt with.

Wasps and yellowjackets are typically attracted to things like sugary drinks and protein. To keep them from ruining your picnic, Jenkins recommends making sure lids are on things like pop bottles and there isn’t too much food left out for too long.

Read more:
How to avoid wasp stings as insect becomes more aggressive

Alternatively, you can create the insects their own little picnic.

“Put some sugary drinks and maybe protein source off on the other end of the yard and then the yellow jackets will go there where there’s no other people milling around and causing them distress,” Jenkins said.

“They’ll use that resource, tell their friends about it, and stay over on their own picnic rather than coming to the main picnic itself.”

If you find a nest on your property, Jenkins recommends getting rid of it because of the potential for stinging. If you’re comfortable with it, he recommends getting some remedies from home stores. It may also be a good idea to hire a professional to come in and remove the nest, especially if its under pavement steps or the front step.

If you or a family member are stung, wash the area with soap and water and apply a cold pack. Keep the area as clean as possible and apply a bandage if desired.

Read more:
‘It’s extremely busy’: Calgary sees spike in wasp calls in August

For a pet, the Veterinary Centres of America recommends making a thick paste of baking soda and water and applying it to the area. If there are multiple sting sites, try a soothing oatmeal bath.

After that, apply an ice pack for 10 minutes to help with swelling.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Trudeau suggests mandatory COVID-19 vaccines under review for some workers

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has asked the top bureaucrat to look into mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for federal workers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has asked the country’s top bureaucrat to look into mandating COVID-19 vaccination for workers in the federal public service and potentially federally regulated workplaces, too.

In a press conference Thursday, Trudeau said the roughly 80 per cent of Canadians who “are doing their duty” and getting vaccinated should “be able to get back more and more to normal.”

“We need to get vaccinated to get through this pandemic, particularly with all the real concerns around the Delta area variant we are facing that is striving hardest, obviously, in under-vaccinated and non-vaccinated people,” Trudeau said in response to questions from journalists.

“That’s why I’ve asked the Clerk of the Privy Council, who is responsible for the federal public service, to look at mandatory vaccinations for federal employees. And we’re also looking at federally regulated industries to encourage or perhaps even to mandate vaccinations for those industries.”

Federally regulated workplaces include banks, airlines, Crown corporations, broadcasters, and telecommunications companies. They employ nearly one million Canadians across the country.

Approximately 300,000 Canadians also work for the federal public service.

The sentiment appears to track with what is increasingly being offered by officials like Legault as well as leaders in countries like the U.S., France and Italy.

Vaccination requirements being put into place there appear poised to put the burden of any future restrictions needed to curb outbreaks on those who have chosen to remain unvaccinated, rather than those who have gotten their shots and have a much lower risk of severe outcomes from infection.

READ MORE: Quebec moves towards vaccine passport after another spike in COVID cases

Trudeau’s comments also come as Quebec Premier Francois Legault said on Thursday that province will move forward with vaccine passports in order for residents to access non-essential services, and as calls grow from medical professionals across the country for mandatory vaccines for health workers.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said getting people vaccinated is important in considering whether to bring people back into workplaces as the Delta variant continues to spread.

“I think the federal government, being a significant workforce, is looking at how we best protect our workforce as well as those around us. So I think everything is being reviewed and examined right now,” she said, noting those conversations are underway.

“It’s really important … if we’re going to have people come back to to work, that everyone should get the vaccine.”

READ MORE: Calls are growing for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines in health workers. Here’s what we know

The Delta variant of the virus is highly contagious — significantly more so than previous versions of the illness — and its rapid spread has prompted officials to describe COVID-19 as a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

That comes as groups like the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association and the Ontario Hospital Association have issued calls for vaccines to be required for healthcare workers — a move one employment lawyer said could likely stand up in court if challenged.

“There actually is quite a bit of legal basis to say that employers, if need be, can require vaccinations,” said Malini Vijaykumar, a labour and employment lawyer with Nelligan Law in Ottawa.

She said the law makes it clear that employers must offer reasonable accommodations to those with a religious or medical reason not to get vaccinated, but that exemption will likely not apply to those who simply choose not to do so.

Vijaykumar noted the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows for some rights to be restricted, so long as the restrictions are balanced and proportional to the goal they are trying to achieve.

“What you want to show, first of all, is that you have a rational objective, so you can’t be passing a law that limits Charter rights just because you want to,” she said.

“I think in this case, the objective would be pretty clear.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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