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Homan wins Canadian Open to capture record-breaking 10th Grand Slam

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NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Rachel Homan is on a roll.

The Ottawa skip picked up a record-breaking 10th Grand Slam women’s title and her third in a row this season with a 4-3 win over Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni in the final of the Canadian Open on Sunday.

“It feels amazing,” said Homan.

“It was really important for us to do well here and we were able to accomplish our goals. The team played so strong the whole way through and found a way to win.”

Homan’s squad will take home $30,000 of the $125,000 women’s purse.

In the men’s final, Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher won his first career Grand Slam of Curling title with a 6-3 victory over Toronto’s John Epping.

“It’s awesome. We played great all week, and this is what we needed to set us up for the rest of the year,” said Bottcher.

“We’re curling consistently well, and I think that’s the big difference this year. I’ve always known our peak game could compete, but it feels like this year we’re just competing on the average day, and that’s a good feeling.”

Bottcher, third Darren Moulding, second Brad Thiessen and lead Karrick Martin collected $30,000 from the $250,000 combined purse plus a berth in the season-ending Champions Cup.

Bottcher qualified through the A-side of the triple knockout tournament with a 3-0 record and scored playoff wins Saturday over Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., to reach their second Grand Slam of Curling final this season. Bottcher finished runner-up to Jacobs at the Tour Challenge in November.

The Canadian Open is the only one of the seven Grand Slam of Curling tournaments to use a 16-team triple knockout preliminary format — instead of round-robin pool play — where teams had to win three games before they lost three in order to qualify for the playoffs.

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Ottawa unveils funding for poultry and egg farmers hurt by free-trade deals

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Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share due to two recent free-trade agreements will soon have access to $691 million in federal cash, Canada’s agriculture minister announced Saturday.

Marie-Claude Bibeau shared details of the long-awaited funds in a virtual news conference.

“Today we position our young farmers for growth and success tomorrow,” she said.

The money follows a previously announced $1.75 billion for the dairy sector linked to free-trade deals with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim, one that came into effect in 2017 and the other in 2018.

The dairy sector funds were to flow over eight years, and the first $345 million payment was sent out last year.

But on Saturday, Bibeau announced a schedule for the remaining payments that will see the money flow over three years — beginning with $468 million in 2020-21, $469 million in 2021-22 and $468 million in 2022-23.

Bibeau said the most recently announced funds for dairy farmers amount to an average farm of 80 cows receiving a direct payment of $38,000 in the first year.

Payments based on formulas

David Wiens, vice-president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, said the money will help farms make investments for the future.

“I think particularly for the younger farmers who have really struggled since these agreements have been ratified, they can actually now see opportunities, how they can continue to make those investments on the farm so that they can continue on,” he said.

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Employee of Ottawa Metro store tests positive for COVID-19

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Metro says an employee of its grocery store on Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa has tested positive for COVID-19.

The company says the employee’s positive test result was reported on Nov. 25. The employee had last been at work at the Metro at 50 Beechwood Ave. on Nov. 19.

Earlier this month, Metro reported several cases of COVID-19 at its warehouse on Old Innes Road.

Positive test results were reported on Nov. 2, Nov. 6, Nov. 11, and Nov. 19. The first two employees worked at the produce warehouse at 1184 Old Innes Rd. The other two worked at the distribution centre at the same address.

Metro lists cases of COVID-19 in employees of its stores and warehouses on its website

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Tinseltown: Where 50-year-old ‘tough guys’ become youngsters again

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Audy Czigler wears glitter like a Pennsylvania miner wears coal dust. It’s on his face and hands, in his hair and on his clothing. It’s an occupational hazard that he says he just can’t get rid of.

And when he’s sifting through job applications from people wanting to work at his Tinseltown Christmas Emporium on Somerset Street W. in Hintonburg, the glitter is a consideration. For he’s not looking for people who can simply endure it; no, he’s screening for people who revel and carouse in glitter, for those for whom the 10,000th playing of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is as refreshing as the first, for those who believe that the 12 days of Christmas last 365 days a year. The believers.

Sure, he has heard the voices of skeptical passersby on the sidewalk outside his shop, especially in the summer months when visions of sugarplums have receded from many people’s minds.

“I hear them out there a few times a day,” he says, “wondering how a Christmas store can possibly survive year-round.

“I want to go out and tell them,” he adds, but his voice trails off as a customer approaches and asks about an ornament she saw there recently, of a red cardinal in a white heart. Where is it?

There’s scant room for sidewalk skeptics now, crowded out by the dozens of shoppers who, since October, have regularly lined up outside the store, patiently biding their time (and flocks) as pandemic-induced regulations limit the shop to 18 customers at a time.

Once inside, visitors will be forgiven for not first noticing the glitter, or even the rendition of Baby, It’s Cold Outside playing on the speakers. For there’s no specific “first thing” you notice. The first thing you notice is EVERYTHING — a floor-to-ceiling cornucopia of festivity, reminiscent perhaps of how the blind man in the Gospel of John may have felt when Jesus rubbed spit and mud in his eyes and gave him sight for the first time.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/tinseltown-where-50-year-old-tough-guys-become-youngsters-again

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