Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario to require COVID vaccination or regular tests in health-care, education; Province reporting 526 COVID-19 cases, 0 deaths

The latest from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available. 12:12 p.m. The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario plans to introduce a set of policies requiring employers in education and several health-care settings to develop strict COVID-19 vaccination policies for their staff. A senior government source with knowledge of the decision said cabinet approved the plans on Monday night, with an announcement from the province’s top doctor expected on Tuesday. The source said Dr. Kieran Moore’s directive covering hospitals, ambulance services and community and home-care service providers won’t make vaccination mandatory, but those who decline the shots will be regularly tested for the virus. 11:00 p.m. U.S. experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot, to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country. That’s according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. An announcement was expected as soon as this week, with doses beginning to be administered widely once the Food and Drug Administration formally approves vaccines. That action is expected for the Pfizer shot in the coming weeks. U.S. health officials recommended […]

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A section of Barrie’s Ardagh Road closed for dump truck rollover

A section of Ardagh Road in Barrie is closed for single-vehicle collision, Barrie Police Service said in a Tweet. The police’s traffic unit is on scene and drivers are asked to avoid the area. On Twitter, Sonny Subra, a heavy tow operator, said there is a dump truck on its side. Emergency crews were called to the scene at 2:30 p.m.  Ardagh Road is closed between the intersection of 

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Cause of fatal Ramara fire remains under investigation

One person is dead following a fatal fire that erupted in the early morning hours of March 7 in Ramara Township. to a home on Harry’s Lane in Val Harbour Estates at approximately 4 a.m. to find both the garage and a vehicle in front of the house burning. “At this time, it’s still under investigation,” Ramara fire Chief Tony Stong told Simcoe.com the following day. “We’re just deciding the origin, if (the fire) migrated from the vehicle to the house or vice versa.” Stong said one person died and another managed to escape safely, adding the home was equipped with smoke alarms. He was unable to comment on the identity of the victim at this time, saying only that an autopsy would be performed. “I don’t have … confirmation on that yet,” he added. Stong said the fire was largely contained to the garage area and vehicle. “It was a fairly quick knock-down by the crews,” he said. “There is damage to the house for sure, water damage – smoke really didn’t migrate into the occupied portion of the home.” The fire is under investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal and the OPP.

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Could Clearview retailers be allowed to open on holidays? One councillor says the time is right

A Clearview Township councillor wants to level the playing field for local business. Ward 1 Coun. Phyllis Dineen’s motion would declare the municipality a tourism area, allowing retailers to open on what are otherwise determined to be statutory holidays under the Retail Business Holidays Act. Under the act, businesses are not permitted to be open Christmas, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, New Year’s Day, Family Day, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day and Thanksgiving. There are exceptions for gas stations, gardening centres and convenience stores — among others, including antique stores. However, said Dineen, Clearview’s neighbours — such as Collingwood and Wasaga Beach — have declared themselves as tourism areas, which allows retail businesses to open on certain holidays. In Collingwood, for example, a retail business could be open on Christmas Day. Dineen said she was approached by a business asking that council address the issue. Clearview does not currently have any municipal legislation related to when businesses can and cannot open. Dineen said a bylaw would be a “natural progression,” and, quoting Mayor Doug Measures, a housekeeping issue. “This bylaw would enable us to be designated as a tourist area. It gives retailers the opportunity and approval to go ahead … without repercussion,” she said. “It gives the retailers the option, if they choose to be open. In our economic climate, it just makes sen […]

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‘Such a great space’: Collingwood Youth Centre more than just an outlet for young people

As a kid, John Cardillo had a knack for creating videos. By the time he’d finished Grade 11 at Collingwood Collegiate Institute, Cardillo had created a 90-minute feature film with students from four local schools. “I came to the (Collingwood) Youth Centre (CYC) with a proposal for a second film,” the 20-year-old said. “Upon learning about youth homelessness and its severity in the area, we shifted our focus from a feature film to a documentary.” With the support of Lea Pankhurst, the manager of the youth centre, Kerri MacDonald, the director of the Environment Network, and Jeremy Rhodes of Elephant Thoughts, Cardillo and a dozen youths, including Jonah Munnings and Kaiden Collver, created “No Home in Sight.” The film premiered over three nights in 2019 and, by the end of its run, it had raised $22,000 to combat youth homelessness. “We used cameras, microphones, studio space and editing software that was all housed at the Collingwood Youth Centre,” Cardillo said. But the CYC is more than just an outlet for kids to find their creative voices, he said. “Whether it’s job opportunities or volunteer opportunities, they’re a really great hub for youth. Youths who are looking for access to accommodations, such as homeless youth, were given direction at the youth centre to go to Home Horizons (emergency shelter) or the Collingwood Public Library, which are really great support systems.” It was Pankhurst who […]

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Justin Trudeau expected to call a federal election on Sunday, as a fourth wave of COVID-19 grips Canada

OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is betting it’s not too risky to go to the polls amid a fourth pandemic wave as he prepares to set off a campaign on Sunday. A federal source with knowledge of the campaign plan told the Star the prime minister is expected to ask Gov. Gen. Mary Simon to dissolve Parliament Sunday, and while another confirmed that is the plan “for now,” the source indicated Trudeau could also decide to make the call Monday or later. The election date is expected to be Sept. 20. Casting a shadow over that plan are new warnings by Canada’s top public health official, Dr. Theresa Tam who said Thursday the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, first identified in India, is driving a fourth wave of the pandemic in Canada which is now on a “strong resurgence trajectory” as provinces scramble to boost vaccination rates. There are more than 13,000 active cases across the country, due mostly to infections hitting the unvaccinated. Asked if it is safe to hold a federal campaign now, Tam said all organizations will have to follow local public health guidelines but she stopped short of advising against a campaign at this time. Canada’s chief public health officer said her job was simply to provide guidance on how to hold one “safely.” Tam urged campaigners, workers and participants alike to get fully vaccinated, mask up, wash hands and gather preferably outdoors. “I think anyone who’s campaigning […]

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