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Jane Philpott tapped to fill Treasury Board cabinet vacancy

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Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott has been chosen to fill the cabinet vacancy as president of the Treasury Board, CBC News has learned.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will shake up his cabinet Monday morning, likely the last change before Canadians head to polls later this year. 

The shift was prompted by a resignation from the senior ranks of Trudeau’s front bench.

Long-time MP and Treasury Board of Canada President Scott Brison announced Thursday that he won’t run for re-election this year and is stepping down from his position now, leaving an empty chair at the cabinet table.

​Trudeau wouldn’t say whether he’s looking at simply replacing Brison or planning a larger shuffle with multiple ministers switching chairs.

“Obviously this will require some changes to our cabinet,” ​he told reporters earlier this week in Kamloops, B.C.

Indications are that the shuffle will be relatively minor — though now it should include a new face at Indigenous Services.

The role of Indigenous Services minister was introduced in 2017 as the Trudeau government attempted to increase momentum in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Philpott has been generally well-liked and respected by First Nations groups in that role, and is widely seen as a strong performer in cabinet. 

As Treasury Board president, Philpott will be accountable for the government’s fiscal operations and overseeing the federal public service. She currently sits as the vice chair of the Treasury Board cabinet committee.

Her movement will likely trigger a domino effect, as her old role needs to be filled, along with beefing up representation from Atlantic Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulates Scott Brison as he is sworn in as President of the Treasury Board during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Nov. 4, 2015. Brison is resigning from cabinet, prompting a cabinet shuffle. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

No ministers from Nova Scotia

Brison’s departure also means cabinet is devoid of representation from Nova Scotia. There are several options for backbench MPs from the province to fill that hole, including Sean Fraser who is the current Parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. 

Several ministers were juggled just six months ago, as Trudeau expanded and shifted his cabinet ahead of the election year. 

July’s shuffle brought five new ministers to the table and added new files for seniors, intergovernmental affairs and border security.

Several portfolios, including the environment, immigration and natural resources have proved challenging in the last year, as carbon tax, border crossings and pipelines have polarized voters across the country. 

CBC News will carry the swearing-in live beginning at 8 a.m. ET online, and the swearing-in ceremony will begin at 8:45 at the governor general’s residence at Rideau Hall. 

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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