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How to get CBC News on your smart speaker

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Want to get the latest local and national news on your smart speaker? Here’s a guide to getting newscasts from CBC newsrooms across the country at your command.

First, we’ll look at Google Home smart speakers. Scroll down for Amazon Alexa devices.

Google Home

To get the latest national news from CBC News, just say, “Hey, Google, play CBC News.”

If you want to hear CBC when you ask Google Home to play the news or catch you up, add CBC News to your list of news sources and customize the order in which they play.

Follow these steps in your Google Home app:

  • Open the app.
  • Choose “Settings.”
  • Choose “More settings.”
  • Select “News.”

From here, you can add news sources by checking the blue boxes. Can’t find CBC News? At the bottom of the menu, you can find more news sources. You can also choose to change the order of your news sources.

Amazon Alexa

CBC News is the default newscast for Amazon Alexa devices in Canada. Simply plug in and ask for news, and the CBC News newscast will play. If you have a device with a video screen, you’ll receive a video from CBC News Network. If you have an audio device, you’ll get the latest edition of our hourly radio update, The World This Hour.

You can also ask for us by name. To get the latest update from CBC News any time, just say, “Alexa, ask CBC to play the news,” and the latest newscast will play.

You can also get your local news from CBC by adding us to your flash briefings.

CBC News offers local news updates on Alexa from the following newsrooms:

  • Toronto
  • Halifax
  • Saskatchewan
  • Montreal
  • Calgary
  • Ottawa
  • Vancouver
  • Edmonton
  • Winnipeg
  • Sudbury
  • St. John’s
  • Windsor
  • Thunder Bay

It’s easy to add one of our local newscasts to your flash briefings. For example, if you wanted local news from Edmonton, say, “Alexa enable CBC News Edmonton.” The device will take care of the rest.

You can also find and add CBC newscasts to your Amazon Alexa app:

Search under “Skills & Games,” then type “CBC News” into the search bar. You can add any of our local newscasts by searching “CBC News” plus the city you’re looking for. Select the skill, and tap “Enable” to add the skill to your flash briefing.

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‘Too soon to celebrate’ Ottawa’s low case count, says Etches

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Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged just 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest daily total since Sept. 1.

Because of the lag between testing and reporting, the low number could simply reflect low turnout at the city’s testing sites on weekends — all month, new case counts have been lower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

During a virtual news conference Tuesday, the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said she doesn’t read too much into a single day’s report.

“I don’t think we can make too much of 11. Actually, it could be a lot higher tomorrow — I would expect that, on average,” she said. “It’s too soon to celebrate.”

Provincewide, public health officials reported 1, 249 new cases Tuesday.

OPH also declared 62 cases resolved Tuesday, lowering the number of known active cases in the city to 462. Two more people have died, both in care homes currently experiencing outbreaks, raising the city’s COVID-19 death toll to 361. 

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Santa Claus isn’t coming to Ottawa’s major malls this year

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Santa Claus may still be coming to town this Christmas, but he won’t be dropping by any of Ottawa’s major malls, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Cadillac Fairview said Santa won’t be making an appearance at any of its 19 malls across Canada, including Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. On Tuesday, Bayshore and St. Laurent shopping centres confirmed they, too, are scrapping the annual tradition.

“Due to the evolution of the situation in regards to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Santa Program and Gift Wrap Program this year,” Bayshore spokesperson Sara Macdonald wrote in an email to CBC.

Macdonald said parent company Ivanhoé Cambridge cancelled all holiday activities “due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Macdonald said families that had already booked an appointment to visit Santa will receive an email with more information.  

Virtual visits with Santa

Rideau Centre said based on customer research and discussions with public health officials, its North Pole is going online this year.

“Children will be able to have a private chat with Santa,” said Craig Flannagan, vice-president of marketing for Cadillac Fairview. “You’ll also be able to join a 15-minute storytime with Santa over Facebook Live.” 

At Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre, visitors are invited to take a “selfie with Santa” — actually, a life-size cutout of Santa Pierre, the man who’s been playing Santa at the east end mall for years.

“We understand that this is not ideal, but in lieu of this tradition we will be doing what we can to maintain and encourage holiday cheer,” according to a statement on the mall’s Facebook page.

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Ottawa Bylaw breaks up two large parties in Ottawa over the weekend

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OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw is investigating social gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes across Ottawa last weekend.

Mayor Jim Watson tells Newstalk 580 CFRA that Ottawa Bylaw broke-up two house parties over the weekend, with 20 to 25 people at each party.

“That’s the kind of stupidity that angers me, that’s where the bulk of the transmissions are taking place, if we exclude the tragedy of the long-term care homes; it’s these house parties with unrelated people,” said Watson on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.

“The message doesn’t seem to be getting through, particularly to some young people who think they’re invincible.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman says, “There are still ongoing investigations from this past weekend that could result in charges.”

Chapman says recent investigations led to two charges being issued for social gatherings of more than 10 people in a private residence in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act.

“In one case, up to 30 individuals were observed attending a house party in Ward 18 on Oct. 24,” said Chapman.

“The second charge was issued following a house party in Ward 16 on Oct. 31, where up to 16 individuals were observed to be in attendance.”

The fine is $880 for hosting an illegal gathering.

Alta Vista is Ward 18, while Ward 16 is River Ward.

Ottawa Bylaw has issued 24 charges for illegal gatherings since the start of the pandemic.

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