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A top Canadian doctor says Health Canada is ‘asleep at the switch’ when it comes to the teen vaping epidemic





The Canadian Press

Published Wednesday, January 9, 2019 5:27PM EST

Last Updated Wednesday, January 9, 2019 5:32PM EST

An Ottawa doctor who is a Canadian expert on smoking cessation says Health Canada is doing little to stop the teen vaping epidemic.

“This is an issue that’s screaming for attention,” says Dr. Andrew Pipe, “we’re seeing a public health disaster unfold in front of our eyes. And quite frankly Health Canada has been asleep at the switch.”

Dr. Pipe has spent decades in the smoking cessation field, through his work at the Ottawa Heart Institute, has helped Canadians kick their cigarette smoking habit. He calls the new teen vaping trend in Canada “disturbing”.

“I talk to my colleagues across the country they’re telling me about entire teenage hockey teams vaping between periods in the dressing rooms.” Dr. Pipe adds, “These devices are the most sophisticated and concentrated form of nicotine on the market so within 48 to 72-hours teenagers become addicted. And thereafter, their brain is hard-wired to crave nicotine in a variety of forms throughout the course of their days. So we’re spawning a whole new generation of smokers which is sadly ironic.”

In November 2018, Health Canada added new restrictions to Canada’s Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) in hopes of cracking down on e-cigarette advertising appealing to youth. The bans include:

  • the sale and promotion of vaping products that make the product appealing to youth, such as interesting shapes or sounds;
  • the promotion of certain flavours—like candy, desserts, or soft drinks—that may be appealing to youth; and
  • product promotion by testimonials or endorsements.

Dr. Pipe calls those restrictions “naïve” going on to say, “Health Canada is standing by and as far as I’m concerned doing nothing about an issue that mandates immediate action on the part of the minister and Health Canada.”

“I want to see them regulate the product; I want to see them regulate the marketing, the advertising, and the displays, all of the same kind of principals that we use to regulate the marketing of tobacco products.”

In a statement to CTV Ottawa, a Health Canada spokesperson says:

“The Minister of Health and Health Canada are deeply concerned about youth vaping in Canada as increasing rates have been observed in the United States. The vaping market is rapidly evolving, with the regular introduction of new products into Canada. We are aware of both anecdotal information and unpublished research showing increases in the rate at which Canadian youth are trying and using vaping products.

Health Canada has the authority to implement further measures to address the potential harms of vaping. The Department will not hesitate to propose further restrictions, should they prove necessary in light of the emerging data on youth vaping. 

Canada has already established a strong regulatory framework for vaping products, with a focus on preventing uptake by youth and non-smokers. The Act includes significant restrictions to prevent uptake of vaping products by youth, including prohibiting the sale of non-prescription vaping products to persons under 18, whether or not these products contain nicotine. Online sales to youth are also prohibited. The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) has comprehensive restrictions in place on the promotion of vaping products, especially advertising appealing to youth. Some information and brand-preference advertising is permitted, as long as it is not contravention of the TVPA.

Health Canada is developing proposals for further protection measures, which would be set out in regulations. The Department also continues to work with its provincial and territorial counterparts in areas of shared jurisdiction, such as sales to youth and controls on the retail environment. 

Additionally, the Government of Canada is in the early stages of launching a youth-oriented public education campaign to increase awareness about the harms and risks associated with vaping product use for youth aged 13-18. The campaign will also equip parents and other trusted adults with tools and resources to support conversations and discussions about the health risks of vaping products for this age group.

If you are a smoker, vaping is a much less harmful source of nicotine than smoking, but the Government of Canada’s position is clear: if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”

Dr. Pipe’s greatest concern, these teens who are now vaping will be so addicted to nicotine their bodies will crave more, and eventually evolve into smoking cigarettes. An addiction he says, Health Canada must stop before it starts, “47,000 Canadians die every year as a consequence of tobacco addiction and if 47,000 Canadians died in air crashes every year we’d be doing something about it.”


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Future of Ottawa: Chefs with Kathryn Ferries





This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Kat Ferries on the future of chefs, or read posts from Quinn Taylor on bars or Justin Champagne on fine dining.

Kat Ferries is Sous-Chef at Stofa Restaurant and a 2020 San Pellegrino North American Young Chef Social Responsibility Award Winner.

Apt613: What is the current landscape for chefs in Ottawa?

Kat Ferries: There is such great talent in Ottawa with so many chefs either being from here originally or have returned after traveling and have since opened some incredible restaurants. Many chefs have focused menus that really highlight their strengths, their heritage, and their passion for food. Dominique Dufour of Gray Jay, Marc Doiron of Town/Citizen, Steve Wall of Supply & Demand, Daniela Manrique Lucca of The Soca Kitchen, and so many more are all cooking up beautiful and delicious food in this city.

If you care to make a prediction… Where is the food industry in Ottawa going for chefs in 2021?

The industry right now is, unfortunately, in a really tough spot. The pandemic has been so devastating on mental, physical and emotional levels for so many and I know that many of my friends in this industry are burning out. There are many discussions happening on work/life balance and what is healthy for everyone. Some may never return to the long, hard hours we are expected to put in day after day and instead opt for a more flexible schedule or hire more staff to lighten the load on everyone, with some even leaving the industry indefinitely. Some may throw themselves back into this industry 10x as hard and create some of the best restaurants and concepts we’ve yet to see. I think all that will happen after the pandemic though.

For this year, it’s mostly about survival and finding happiness in creating what we can in the spaces we have while following all the laws and guidelines from public health officials. I think we will see more chefs creating experiences for guests that we otherwise wouldn’t have: think pop-ups, virtual dinner clubs, cocktail seminars, collabs, etc.

Where in your wildest dreams could the Ottawa culinary community grow in your lifetime?

I would love to see the Ottawa community support more small, local restaurants so our streets are bustling late into the nights like they are in Montreal, New York, or Europe. Having a local restaurant to frequent should be so much more commonplace, where you can enjoy a night out more often than just Friday or Saturday night. I would also love to see many more of our local chefs highlighted for the amazing food they create!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

Turning all our restaurants into mini-markets for customers to enjoy the food and wine of their favourite places at home. We have bottle shops for all your wine, beer and cocktail needs as well as menus that reflect what each restaurant does best. Some have even pivoted to a point where they are 100% a store and have paused any type of “service-style” dining.

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Future of Ottawa: Fine Dining with Justin Champagne





This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Justin Champagne on the future of fine dining, or read posts from Kathryn Ferries on chefs or Quinn Taylor on bars.

Justin Champagne went to culinary school at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. He got his start in fine dining restaurants at C Restaurant under Chef Robert Clark, then at Hawksworth Restaurant under Chef Eligh. He staged at three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn under Chef Dominque Crenn before moving to Ottawa and spending five years at Atelier, working his way up to Sous-Chef. He’s now the Head Chef of Bar Lupulus.

Apt613: What is the current landscape of fine dining restaurants in Ottawa?

Justin Champagne: Ottawa punches well above its weight class when it comes to quality restaurants in general. Fine dining is no exception to that—we have some amazing chefs here that are doing really great things. We also have some phenomenal sommeliers in town that are a huge factor when it comes to a guest’s experience in a fine dining restaurant. While there are some fantastic fine dining restaurants in town I do believe there’s room for more, and definitely room for more creativity and unique styles of cooking! I think we’ll see more small fine dining restaurants opening up, “micro-restaurants” where there’s maybe 20 seats. This will be over the next few weeks as the industry did take a big hit financially with COVID-19, but we still have a lot of great young chefs who have the fire inside of them to open their own location!

If you care to make a prediction… Where is fine dining going in Ottawa in 2021?

I’m not sure it’ll be 2021 or 2022 with the way the vaccine rollout and stay-at-home order is going, but I do expect there to be a wave of people looking to go out to fine dining restaurants. We’ve been cooped up cooking for ourselves or ordering takeout for over a year now. People are getting antsy and ready to go out and have fantastic meals again with exceptional wine and not have to worry about doing all the dishes afterwards!

Where in your wildest dreams could fine dining go in Ottawa in your lifetime?

That’s the fun part about “fine dining,” it can go anywhere and it can mean many things. Fine dining is about amazing service and well thought out, unique food that the kitchen spent hours fussing over, being meticulous in execution. Outside of that, you can have a lot of fun and be creative in different ways. My wildest dream I guess is that fine dinning restaurants begin to thrive and are able to charge without backlash the kind of prices that they need to charge in order to keep the lights on and pay their staff a proper living wage!!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

I’m not sure if I would really say there’s been a best “innovation” in my industry during the pandemic, but I will say that seeing the “adaptability” by all the restaurants in Ottawa has been incredibly inspiring. Ottawa’s food scene has always been a tight-knit community, “everyone helping everyone” kind of mentality. And this pandemic has really helped show that—restaurants helping restaurants through all of this!

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Ottawa’s Giant Tiger chain celebrating 60 years in business





OTTAWA — An Ottawa staple, along with what might be the most famous cat in Canada, are celebrating a milestone Monday.

Giant Tiger is 60 years old.

“It all started with a very simple idea,” says Alison Scarlett, associate VP of communications at Giant Tiger. “Help Canadians save money every single day. Bring them products that they want and need. When you focus on those core principals, it really is quite simple to succeed.”

In 1961, Gordon Reid opened the first Giant Tiger in Ottawa’s ByWard Market. The company now has more than 260 locations across Canada and employs roughly 10,000 people.

“If you were at our store on opening day 60 years ago, the in store experience would be a little bit different from your local Giant Tiger store today. So that’s changed. A lot of our products and offerings have changed or expanded as Canadian consumers wants and needs have changed or expanded,” says Scarlett.

The homegrown department store continues to be a favourite for many shoppers looking to for the best deals on everyday products.

Helen Binda has been shopping here for decades.

“Many years. I can’t remember when. I’ve always loved Giant Tiger. It’s always been a good store for me.”

“I think its amazing and I think that we need more department stores,” says shopper Fay Ball. “And if it’s Canadian, all the better.”

The Canadian-owned family discount store carries everything from clothing to groceries, as well as everyday household needs. They’ve also expanded their online store and like most retailers provide curbside pickup during the pandemic.

“Doing what is right for our customers, associates, and communities. That has enabled us to be so successful for all of these years,” says Scarlett.

To celebrate, Giant Tiger is hosting a virtual birthday party at 7 p.m. Monday with live musical performances from some iconic Canadian artists.

You can visit their Facebook page to tune in. 

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