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Shoppers hunt for Boxing Day deals





Published Wednesday, December 26, 2018 4:52PM EST

Last Updated Wednesday, December 26, 2018 5:33PM EST

Shoppers packed malls across the city hunting for deals on Boxing Day.

From face creams and cleansers to vinyl records and hockey sticks, many found what they were looking for at the right price.

Matthew Constant, shopping with his friend, said he’s budgeted to spend between 100 and 200 dollars to pick up new clothes.

“Good deals, I got it for $60 and it was $90 before. Pretty good deals, for sure.” said Constant.

Others, like Abdovchky Renjbal from Gatineau, weren’t impressed with the prices at designer stores.

“There’s no good prices, here. I even tried to use my Student Price Card and nothing. It’s good to buy stuff for going to school but that’s it.”

 Bryson Beauchamp is one of many shoppers happy to get out of the house during the holidays.

“The lines are crazy but getting the deals, using the gift cards we got for Christmas and everything…yeah, worth it.” said Beauchamp.

His friend, Chloe Lachance shopped for clothes she didn’t get under the tree.

“There’s actually pretty good deals…I’m just getting clothes because I didn’t get much for Christmas.”

Shoppers looking for jewelry lined up out the door of Pandora in Rideau Shopping Centre, where store manager Carolyn Bedford controlled the line, allowing only a handful of customers in at a time.

“It has been like that since this 8 morning; it will be like this until 8 this evening…that’s what we’re in business for, this is the happy part of the year.” said Bedford.

At Best Buy, customers lined up in the dark and cold to get the first shot at door crasher deals.

“I think it’s one of the busiest years I’ve seen in a long time… People were looking to come to Best Buy for months just for this day.” said store manager Sid Uppal.

Shoppers young and old got their hands on tech gadgets and big screen televisions. New to Canada, Adel Al-Shefer from Kuwait was amazed by the products and prices offered; he saved more than one-thousand dollars on kitchen appliances

“I love it. Thank you Canada!” said Al-Shefer; promising to return next year.


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





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





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





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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