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Delta plane that slid off runway grounded again at Saskatoon airport

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Passengers who were rebooked on another flight after their Delta Air Lines plane slid off the runway at Saskatoon’s John G. Diefenbaker International Airport this morning have found themselves grounded once again after the same plane experienced a mechanical problem.

A passenger tweeted that the plane — set to depart Saskatoon for Minneapolis this afternoon — was delayed upon takeoff.

CJ Dushinski, with Skyxe Saskatoon Airport Authority, confirmed that there was a mechanical issue with the aircraft, calling it “bad luck.” 

“It’s an airline issue,” she said.

Layne Watson, a spokesperson with SkyWest Airlines, which operated the Delta flight, said that the plane was moving when the pilot braked due to a “mechanical indication.” The mechanical problem was unrelated to this morning’s incident, he clarified. 

“First and foremost, we apologize to [passengers] for the inconvenience,” he said.

Watson said the airline was rebooking the passengers on a flight set to depart at 9 a.m. CST on Saturday, with the potential for an earlier flight leaving at 6:15 a.m. The airline would be providing overnight lodging to those that needed it.

When asked about potential compensation, Watson said that Delta would reach out to passengers on that front.  

The passengers had already been rebooked after their Delta plane slid off the runway while departing at 6:30 a.m. Friday. None of the crew or the 74 passengers aboard were injured.

Passengers said the plane gently slid off the concourse and got stuck in the grass.

“I didn’t even notice because it was really smooth,” said passenger Nicole Pylypchuk. “I thought we were just stuck for a bit, but then an hour went by.”

A bus eventually took the travellers back to the main terminal. 

By late morning, the main concern for passengers was delayed connections to other flights. Many were travelling through Minneapolis to other locations. 

Nicole Pylypchuk said her main concern was making her connecting flights on her way to Mexico. (Omayra Issa/CBC)

“I wasn’t scared on the plane,” said Pylypchuk. “I’m scared now because I want to make it onto my trip on time.”

Freezing rain had created slippery conditions at the Saskatoon airport. Travel was not recommended on many Saskatoon highways at the time.

Saskatoon passengers wait in line to rebook connecting flights after their plane skidded off the taxiway. (Omayra Issa/CBC)

“We are in a normal operating scenario for the pavement surfaces here,” said airport authority CEO Stephen Maybury earlier in the day. “That said, it’s rapidly changing icing conditions and windy out there, particularly toward the shoulder and the outside of the runway surface.”

Maybury later told reporters that the airport is constantly monitoring tarmac conditions, and working to keep it clear of snow and ice. In this case, the plane lost directional control and had a wheel go off-course.

“This is not a high speed incident, this is not a landing incident,” he said. “This is a taxiing incident — and even a slow taxiing incident to manoeuvre the aircraft for departure.”

Despite the mishap, the airport was able to keep up its normal operations throughout the morning by using its secondary runway, he said.

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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