Some Blue Jays fans cry foul over lax COVID-19 rules at Rogers Centre

Baseball fans say they’re glad to be attending live games again, but some of them are questioning the effectiveness of provincial COVID-19 measures governing stadiums like the Rogers Centre. Some Blue Jays fans say social distancing and masking protocols aren’t being well followed at the Rogers Centre during games, creating an opportunity for the more contagious COVID-19 Delta variant to spread. “I probably haven’t been in a crowd that big since COVID — I felt very uncomfortable,” said Tyler Partridge who attended a Blue Jays game two weeks ago with his wife. Partridge said they were not actively screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the gate and that a significant number of people weren’t wearing masks. He was also concerned about the lack of social distancing in his seats, though a Dedicated Blue Jays game day staff are trained to ensure fans are following health and safety protocols. “The Toronto Blue Jays worked closely with all levels of public health to ensure the Rogers Centre reopening plan provides a safe ballpark experience for Blue Jays fans, staff and players,” according to a spokesperson. Other measures include digital game tickets that include details for contact tracing purposes and a Know Before You Go email sent to every attendee 24 hours before the game. Partridge added that in many areas indoors at Rogers Centre, people weren’t maintaining proper social distance. He was also concerned that fans were be […]

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Simcoe North Liberal candidate Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux

Name: Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux Riding: Simcoe North Party: Age: 64 Occupation: Chair, truth and reconciliation, Lakehead University (three years as vice provost, five as chair). Residence: Orillia. Past political experience: “I have run in two other elections and learned a great deal about the system. I have worked at several levels of government over the years, provincially and federally. I was a Vice Chief for the Anishnabek Nations for eight years and have lots of board and organizational experience, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.” Have you been vaccinated? Why or why not?: “Yes, I was vaccinated in January 2021 and February 2021. I trust science, and I do not trust the virus and its mutations. I vaccinated my children when they were babies for whooping cough and all the other required shots and did not hesitate to do so. My granddaughter is also receiving her baby vaccines. I also receive the annual flu shot and trust this long-standing method of stimulating my immune system to protect my life and those around me. I have a choice, and my choice is to get vaccinated.” “If elected, I pledge to listen respectfully and thoughtfully to the concerns of Simcoe North riding residents. To stand firmly and strongly in Parliament on their behalf. To be honourable and truthful about what I can and cannot do, to not make false promises, and to give my very best.”

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‘I can’t begin to rebuild’: Barrie woman struggling through lengthy fight with insurer over tornado claim

Robin Trumble lost almost all her possessions to last month’s tornado. The Barrie resident and her two teenaged sons had lived in a rented Beatrice Lane townhouse for seven years. On the afternoon of July 15, Trumble, at home alone, decided to lie down for a nap. She was listening to the rain and wind when they suddenly seemed to stop. “My dad has always said that when a storm goes dead silent, you should be concerned,” she said. “There was no noise; it was like the sound got sucked out of the room. I sat up and then it was like the house took an outward gasp. Boom, it lifted the front door and was blowing in debris. The dog and I bolted for the basement; I could hear glass breaking. It was so loud my ears hurt.” The tornado tore off about 75 per cent of the roof and all three floors were flooded. Her clothing was destroyed, along with the furniture, mattresses and appliances. Awards, kids photos and report cards and her college diploma — all gone, too. Two days after the tornado struck, Trumble’s home was deemed unsafe by the City of Barrie. Her landlord has also declared the lease a “frustrated contract,” meaning she has to vacate the property and meet a set timeline to extract contents so reconstruction can begin. But as she tries to rebuild her life, Trumble’s struggling to get a speedy resolution from her insurance company. Trumble and her kids each have $10,000 in tenant insurance through CAA, as well as $15,00 […]

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Summit Social House is Collingwood’s haven for cyclists and coffee lovers

Bruce Zigman wasn’t fazed when he learned his business would open in the middle of a provincewide stay-at-home order. Instead, he adapted and welcomed his community’s support for local businesses. Zigman is the owner of Summit Social House, a specialty coffee shop that offers bike repairs and services. Customers can bring their bikes inside the café while enjoying a range of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages alongside food items, such as a muffin or bagel. “A lot of cyclists like ending their ride with a coffee or a beer. And not just cyclists, but other outdoor enthusiasts … are looking for somewhere to meet their friends after their outdoor activity,” said Zigman. The café opened April 9 for takeout. Customers were able to bring their bikes for repair, but would have to wait outside. “When we opened, everything was just one person at a time in and out,” said Zigman. “I guess our adaptation was just figuring out how to keep the guests happy with them waiting outside in spring weather.” But even with the initial struggles, Zigman said the community was very supportive. When it comes to coffee, Zigman said his business makes sure to have good, consistent coffee. The café also offers Montreal-style bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, a popular item on the menu for customers, according to Zigman. “We bring in bagels every week from St. Viateur Bagel. We do the classic Montreal bagel (with) […]

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Simcoe Muskoka health unit reports first confirmed case of South African COVID-19 variant

Three COVID-19 variants have now been found in the Simcoe-Muskoka region. On March 10, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported 39 additional cases of the virus. The health unit also announced Wednesday its first confirmed incident of the B.1.351 (South African) strain. To date, the health unit has confirmed 232 cases of the B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) mutation. Four residents have also tested positive for the P.1 (Brazilian) variant. An additional 473 cases have passed the first step in a two-phase test and are now subject to genome sequencing to determine the exact strain. There are 358 known active incidents of COVID-19 in the region, including 20 hospitalizations. Of those active cases, 142 have at least passed the aforementioned first stage of mutation testing. Simcoe-Muskoka is currently dealing with 18 active outbreaks, eight of which have variant cases. Those outbreaks are in workplaces (six), institutional settings like correctional facilities and long-term-care and retirement homes (six), educational settings (four) and community sites (two). Among the active workplace outbreaks, four are in manufacturing facilities. Over the last year, these buildings have been connected to 15 outbreaks totalling 101 cases. Only long-term-care homes and hospitals have seen more outbreak-related incidents. Health unit medical officer of health Dr. Charles Gardner was asked by Simcoe.com earlier this week whether stricter measures should be taken to enforce safety protocols at m […]

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Stayner Legion gets financial help from federal government

Stayner’s branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is getting some financial help from the federal government. The branch, struggling financially from the pandemic, received more than $10,845, part of the $14-million package that is being distributed by Legion Command, which itself is part of a $20-million commitment to veteran organizations under Bill C-4, approved in the fall. There will be a second round of funding announced in the near future for branches that were not included in this rollout. “We’re going to use it to help the legion get back on its feet from the two shutdowns we’ve endured over the last year,” said Branch 457 past-president Jim Seili. “There are some desperate repairs we’ve been trying to save up money for, (and) we’ve had to use the money to get us through the shutdown. “This will help us greatly.” The cheque was delivered by Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall. The legion will be reopened to the public as of March 11, and the plan is to be open Thursdays through Saturdays, from 4 to 8 p.m. The legion will have a capacity limit of 10 people at this time.

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Want to vote in the 2021 federal election?

Voters across the country will cast their ballots for the next federal government on Sept. 20. The 44th Canadian Parliament will be elected in late September when voters go to the polls for the second time in less than two years following the October 2019 general election. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party leader, asked new Gov. Gen. Mary Simon on Sunday, Aug. 15 to dissolve Parliament and begin the countdown to the next election. As of Aug. 15, the Liberals held 155 seats, the Conservatives held 119, the Bloc Québécois held 32, the New Democrats held 24 and the Greens held two. There were five Independent MPs and one seat was vacant. The criteria for voting in the 2021 federal election is pretty simple: to register and vote in a federal election, you must be a Canadian citizen aged 18 or older on election day and provide accepted proof of identity and address. Approved identification includes a driver’s licence or any other card issued by a Canadian government with your name, photo and current address. Voters can also show two pieces of ID; both must have your name and at least one must have your current address. Voters who don’t have identification can still cast a ballot, but they must declare their identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you. produces the preliminary lists of electors from information in the National Register of Electors. Shortly after an […]

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