‘It’s a genuine concern’: Why New Tecumseth is creating new rules to regulate pet shops

New regulations are in the works that will prevent stores from selling pets in New Tecumseth. At their March 1 committee meeting, councillors unanimously agreed to have staff draft a new regulatory bylaw after members were inundated with concerns from residents about a new pet store that appeared recently in downtown Alliston. Martin Field, who heads up an animal adoption advocacy group called , told council a “legal vacuum” exists in the province as it relates to the sale of “unethically sourced animals.” “It’s a genuine concern,” he said. He said people who buy puppies and kittens from these sellers face thousands in vet bills due to the animals being unhealthy, and there is little recourse for them. He said the new store on Victoria Street, , used to operate in Richmond Hill, and later in Newmarket, but the locations closed down after those municipalities passed similar bylaws. The Herald reached out to the store owner for comment, but a response was not provided before the newspaper’s press deadline. Jane Clarke, the vice-president of the Alliston and District Humane Society, said genuine breeders who are members of the . She said the shelter has taken in countless dogs from puppy mills, and it has also rescued female dogs abandoned at the side of the road once they are too old to breed. Clarke and Field said stores like Pet Valu and PetSmart are seen as “part of the of the solution,” since they act as satellite […]

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Daydreaming . . . ? Oh, huh? How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our ability to do that too

In her pre-COVID commute to work, Amanda Jeysing would often stare out of the bus window, her thoughts wandering to a number of places. Sometimes, the 25-year-old Ottawa freelance writer and communications assistant would dream up ideas for projects she wanted to start. Other times, she’d reflect on current issues and draft solutions for problems plaguing her and others. Almost always, Jeysing would envision expansive ideas of a future full of possibilities. “It was a moment of rest for me,” Jeysing reflected. “Like, ‘there’s something else I want that’s not this, and I can see beyond this.’” These daydreams have largely changed for Jeysing over the course of the pandemic, and some have ceased entirely. But as vaccination efforts ramp up, so does the promise of a life after lockdown that is free of limitations — and with it, the ability to daydream freely again. Daydreaming is a natural state of the human brain. It is a byproduct of our “default mode network,” which allows us to produce imagery and simulation that is separate from the reality in front of us. For many, it’s a state that allows us to freely imagine our future and channel our creativity without restrictions. But the monotony of life under has halted many of our daydreams, and in some ways, changed and restricted what we fantasize about entirely as we struggle to envision our lives during and after the virus. Researchers have begun to l […]

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Group of maskless protesters causes disturbance at Midland store

A dozen people caused quite the stir when they showed up at the Real Canadian Superstore without masks on March 6. “I had just finished shopping and saw (the group) as I left,” said Nat Smith-Mixemong. “My husband, who was waiting for me in the parking lot, saw them outside for a good 45 minutes while I was inside shopping. He couldn’t believe what he saw — 12 to 15 people standing close together with no masks on.” Every member of the group claimed to be medically exempt from wearing a mask and were allowed into the store.  Due to privacy laws, store management couldn’t legally ask for details or proof of medical exemption.  Once in the store, the pack split into smaller groups and spread out. Some of them were spotted recording the reaction of shoppers on their phones. “I didn’t realize it was a protest until I heard Superstore employees saying they were going to have to call police,” said Smith-Mixemong. If a store owner or manager has legitimate reason to believe a person or group is lying about their medical exemption, they can report those individuals to the police. That’s exactly what happened, according to Southern Georgian Bay OPP Const. David Hobson. At approximately 12:30 p.m. the OPP received a call from the Superstore reporting the group of a dozen residents all claiming exemptions. “Upon the arrival of our team, they were gone,” said Hobson, who noted that no charges were laid […]

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Remote work makes communication with co-workers harder. Can it be fixed?

There’s a lot of chatter about . This means some workers will have some choice over where they work — at the office or remotely. Many upsides (e.g., ) enhance the appeal, but lurk. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve surveyed thousands of Canadians with the help of the Angus Reid Forum, and we recently did followup interviews with those working from home. One theme stood out: Allowing control over where employees work blends into control over when employees work. This impacts others’ work, especially in interdependent teams. One’s autonomy is another’s . Ultimately, this wrinkle might be why some hybrid models won’t endure. “That’s where you get stuck in that perpetual work mode,” said a 28-year-old policy analyst. “Everyone’s working slightly different schedules because of flexible work arrangements, so you’ll have more 7 p.m. emails, and it becomes easy to set aside time throughout the day to adjust to everyone else’s schedules. My manager is online around 5:30 a.m. — then he’s in total dad mode from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. So, I sometimes have meetings with him at 5:30 a.m. Then, he goes off to his kids and I jump into work. And then I have another manager … whose favourite meeting time is 5:30 p.m. OK, I started the day with a 5:30 a.m. meeting and now I’m at a 5:30 p.m. meeting.” An extended workday is not the only complication. “We’re all trying to be respec […]

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Big City Mayors want proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to fight fourth wave

Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) are urging the province to establish a COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination system. Around the world, certified vaccination records are helping businesses and event spaces safely open while encouraging more people to get vaccinated, the organization stated in an Aug. 13 media release. Proof of vaccination will help fight the emerging fourth wave in Ontario, the mayors argue. “The faster we can enact a proof-of-vaccination system, the faster we can protect more Ontarians from the effects of the Delta variant,” said Jeff Lehman, chair of OBCM and mayor of Barrie. “This will support the safe reopening of our economy and protect our residents.” Organizations as diverse as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Ontario Science table, and colleges and universities are all calling for such a system, according to the media release.

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‘Twofold or more’: Simcoe Muskoka health unit expects significant bump in COVID-19 vaccine supply

It’s coming. Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Charles Gardner confirmed March 9 the agency expects its supply of vaccine to increase substantially within about two weeks. That could bump up the inoculation schedule for the general public “quite a bit,” though details are light right now. The vaccine supply will also be broadened to include doses of Moderna this week and AstraZeneca soon. Both are easier to handle than the Pfizer-BioNTech version. “It’s very much coming together,” Gardner said during a teleconference with reporters Tuesday. “We’re going to be getting about the same quantity of Pfizer over the next two weeks, then it will increase greatly to twofold or more. We’ll be in a really good position to administer it well.” The province is giving additional vaccine to designated ‘hot spots’ and Simcoe-Muskoka’s considered one of those, possibly due to our experience with variants. “The province is extending out the intervals between doses … as far out into the future as four months. It would be very helpful to everybody if we were able to get the first dose to more people sooner … we’re all much better off and (it) potentially leads to the kind of herd immunity where even people who aren’t vaccinated are protected.” The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could arrive here in April. Today, the health unit reported an additi […]

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What is femicide and how prevalent is it in Ontario?

In June 2021, Hanadi Mohammed, a 50-year-old Ottawa resident, was allegedly stabbed to death by her husband after attempting to get a restraining order. that support women and girls in the area have been calling on Ottawa Police Service to implement changes to better address violence against women, saying Mohammed “knew she was in grave danger, and she tried to get protection and support, and our systems failed her.” This is one of a number of recent incidents in Ontario being investigated as intimate-partner violence. On average, a woman or girl gets killed every two-and-a-half days in Canada, according to the latest data out of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability (CFOJA)’s femicide report. In Ontario specifically, there have been 33 cases of femicide reported from January to July 2021, compared to 17 cases over the same period of time last year, as per data collected by the Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH). Lauren Hancock, policy and research co-ordinator for OAITH, said while they have seen a “substantial increase” in the last year, it is important to note that the data is partial, as it is based solely on media reports. Here is what you need to know about femicide. WHAT IS FEMICIDE?  Hancock said while femicide is typically defined as the intentional murder of women because they are women, OAITH’s definition is broader and includes women and at times their children, a […]

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