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Iqaluit shooter in custody after standoff, police say

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A 25-year-old man is in custody and facing numerous firearm charges after police were called on December 22, RCMP said in a press release. The RCMP received a call about a man who was brandishing knives in a residence in the 500 block in Iqaluit. 

A family fled from the home, and then a 25-year-old opened fire on police vehicles and passing vehicles, according to the release. The RCMP does not have an exact number of shots fired, but said there were “numerous” shots, according to RCMP media relations officer Danielle Pollock. 

The RCMP Critical Incident team was called and the neighbouring homes were evacuated. 

Police say the shooter damaged public and police property during the three hour stand-off.

An RCMP vehicle seen in the 500 block area. (Michael Salomonie/CBC)

No members of the public or RCMP officers were injured, said Pollock. She said the shooter was injured, but would not say whether he was shot. He has been taken to the hospital, where he remains with non-life threatening injuries. Because the man was injured, the investigation is expected to be taken over by the Ottawa Police Service. 

Pollock said the area will remain cordoned off for some time as the investigation continues. 

“Alcohol was a contributing factor in this event,” RCMP said in the release. “The RCMP would like to remind the public that alcohol and firearms don’t mix!”

The RCMP said, “This event was preventable.” Residents can pick up a free trigger lock at any Nunavut RCMP detachment. 

There are two RCMP vehicles in the 500 block area of Iqaluit.

Like a ‘small firecracker’

Bert Rose, a 40-year resident of Iqaluit, said around 10 p.m. that night he received an email from his daughter in Ottawa asking if they were okay. His daughter told him that she had heard there was a lockdown going on in the community. 

Rose looked out the window and saw a few police cars. He said at 10:15 p.m. he heard three or four gunshots, and a few more about half an hour later.

Then at about 1 a.m. he heard additional shots. “It was like somebody had set off a small firecracker outside the house.”

“We didn’t have any direct impact, but the police have blocked off the street close to our home,” said Rose. “It just seemed like a normal, ugly stormy night, but really had no impact on us.”

This marks the second standoff with police in Iqaluit in a week. On Wednesday, police had asked the public to avoid the area between 135 and 141 Nipisa St., as they dealt with a person barricaded inside a home in the area

An RCMP vehicle seen in the 500 block area of Iqaluit. (Michael Salomonie/CBC)

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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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