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Afroman was gonna come to Newfoundland, but then he got high





Afroman has a simple, albeit expected, reason for cancelling a sold-out New Year’s Eve performance in Corner Brook, N.L., three days before the show was to take place.

“I was gonna check Canadian plane tickets, but then I got high,” he sang in a video posted to Facebook on Saturday.

The Los Angeles-based artist, who earned a Grammy nomination for his hit single Because I Got High, waited until this week to price plane tickets to Newfoundland, and realized it cost about the same amount he was set to be paid for the show.

As a result, he bailed on the show on Dec. 28, leaving bar owner Dave Young scrambling to refund money to eager ticket holders.

“Everything will be refunded. There’s not one person who won’t get their money back,” Young told CBC News.

Young said it could take a few days, as Afroman — real name Joseph Foreman — has to transfer the money he was paid before the show back to Young, and U.S. to Canadian transfers take time.

Owner disappointed, but makeup show in the works

The concert was set to be the first big event for Young at The Studio, a bar he purchased in the fall.

“Bringing him here to this bar, it would have been really good because it would have put us really on the map hard,” Young said. “Having a celebrity walk through your door to do shows, that’s kind of a big thing. And of course, not having him show up now is kind of a kick in the teeth.”

In his video, Afroman said they are working to put together a make-up show at The Studio for mid-January, while he’s already in Canada for a brief tour. Young said he’s hopeful they can pull it together.

The Studio was formerly known as Starlings, but changed hands in the fall. (The Studio/Facebook)

Young said some people are mad about their New Year’s plans being axed, but he believes the rapper is genuine in his remorse for making a mistake.

“He’s very apologetic about it. He’s very sorry.”

Young said he expects a make-up date will be announced in the coming days.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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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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