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New toonies to commemorate 75th anniversary of D-Day

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OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Mint is creating two commemorative coins to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The Liberal cabinet approved the design of the new toonies, one of which will have multiple colours instead of the usual two-toned coin, to commemorate a key turning point in the Second World War.

On June 6, 1944 a combined force of about 150,000 Allied troops, made up of largely of Canadian, American and British soldiers, stormed the beaches on France’s Normandy coast, coming up against Nazi troops in concrete fortified gun positions.

About 14,000 Canadians were involved in the assault, known as Operation Overlord. Canada also contributed some 110 ships and 15 fighter and bomber squadrons.

On D-Day, 359 Canadians died as they ran from boats onto Juno Beach and more than 1,000 were injured.

The invasion marked the start of months of fighting to free France from Nazi occupation and would eventually lead to victory in Europe.

The Mint regularly creates commemorative coins to mark these kinds of anniversaries, having done so earlier this year with three million limited-edition toonies to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War in 1918.

And in 2014, for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Mint created a commemorative silver coin depicting soldiers in full battle gear disembarking a landing craft towards Juno Beach. But the Mint only created 8,400 of the coins, for collectors. The new toonies are to be “circulation” coins, used as regular money.

Alex Reeves, a spokesman for the Mint, said the Crown corporation couldn’t discuss the new coins because it doesn’t disclose information beyond what is published in official notices prior to the launch of a new commemorative coin.

The government order says the D-Day toonies will have an image of four soldiers and one sailor, all wearing helmets and one holding a rifle, in a landing craft at Juno Beach.

The helmet of the middle soldier will be olive green on the coloured toonie.

There will also be renderings of a Canadian destroyer, barrage balloon and Spitfire fighter planes.

The terms “D-Day” and “Remember,” along with the French “Le Jour J” and “Souvenir” will be inscribed around the coins.

Separately, the Liberals have also approved a commemorative loonie to mark the 50th anniversary of Parliament’s decriminalizing homosexual acts.

Up until 1969, sexual acts between consenting same-sex adults were deemed crimes in Canada and punishable by jail time.

The loonie to be created by the Mint will have two faces overlapping to create one face, with a small hoop earring on the left ear, surrounded by wavy and curved lines, the official posting says.

The words “Equality” and the French “Egalite” will be inscribed on the coin along with the year.

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LIFESTYLES

Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

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LIFESTYLES

Top environment official urges Canadians to back Ottawa’s ambitious plans to tackle plastic trash

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The second in command at the federal Environment Ministry challenged Canadians to continue to speak up about the problem of plastic pollution and push elected officials, scientists and businesses to do more.

Quebec MP Peter Schiefke, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, made the comments online at Vancouver’s annual zero waste conference on Friday.

He said most Canadians want solutions to curb the tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic garbage that ends up as litter each year on the country’s beaches, parks, lakes and in the stomachs of animals. 

“Making sure that message is heard with industry stakeholders, elected officials and make sure that they are constantly putting pressure on it … so we notice that this is something that Canadians want, the backing of Canadians to go and undertake these huge challenges,” he said.

Schiefke filled in for  Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson at the last minute after Wilkinson was called away to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass one of the most expensive fares in Canada

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OTTAWA — OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass is one of the most expensive passes in Canada, and transit riders are facing another 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Transit Commission meeting on the 2021 budget, CTV News Ottawa looked at the cost of a monthly adult bus pass at transit services across Canada. Ottawa ranks behind the TTC in Toronto, Mississauga’s “MiWay”, Brampton Transit and Vancouver “TransLink” Zone 2 access to the suburbs for most expensive transit fares in Canada.

The cost of an OC Transpo adult monthly bus pass is currently $119.50 a month.

The 2021 City of Ottawa budget includes a proposed 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares. If approved, an adult monthly transit pass will increase $3 to $122.50, while a youth pass will increase $2.25 to $94.50 a month.  The cost of an adult single-ride cash fare would rise a nickel to $3.65.

The TTC is the most expensive transit service in Canada, charging $156 a month for an adult fare. MiWay charges $135 a month, and the cost of an adult monthly pass with Brampton Transit is $128.

Metro Vancouver’s transportation network “TransLink” has three fare zones. The monthly bus pass cost for “Zone 1”, which covers Vancouver, is $97 for adults. The “Zone 2” fare, which covers Vancouver and the suburbs of Richmond and Burnaby, is $131 a month.

Edmonton Transit Service, which includes a Light Rail System with 18 stations on two different lines, charges $97 a month for an adult monthly bus pass.

An adult monthly bus pass in Calgary costs $109 a month.

The survey by CTV News Ottawa of transit fares across Canada shows Gatineau has higher transit fares than Montreal and Quebec City. The STO charges $99 a month.

A monthly adult bus pass costs $88.50 in Montreal and $89.50 in Quebec City.

The cheapest adult monthly bus fare is in Charlottetown, at $58.50 a month. A monthly bus pass in Whitehorse costs $62 a month.

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