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From dumpster to dinner table: Students harvest discarded food to raise awareness about waste





A late-night dumpster dive in Victoria can bring in quite a haul for students Elora Adamson and Riley Yakabuski.

Piles of potatoes, lettuce and tomatoes, all of it looking fairly fresh — and all of it destined for their dinner table.

It’s not out of necessity that the University of Victoria environnmental studies students are digging into dumpsters for food.

Their goal is two-fold: to raise awareness and money for the food crisis in northern Canada, and to bring attention to the amount of food waste happening across the country.

58% of food produced is wasted: report

A whopping 35.5 million tonnes of food produced in Canada is lost or wasted, according to a new report.

The study by Toronto-based agency Second Harvest, titled The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste, says about a third of that discarded food could be “rescued” and sent to communities in need across the country.

Adamson and Yakabuski say a large amount of waste is due to consumers’ extremely high cosmetic standards and a hypersensitivity to best-before dates.

That’s reflected in the quality of the food they’ve found in dumpsters, much of it still good to eat and quite often expensive.

The environmental studies students say they have found luxury items like bottles of $5 gourmet yogurt in the trash. (CBC/Mike McArthur)

“We’ve found gourmet yogurt in the trash — the ones that come in glass bottles that are $5 each. Gourmet cheeses, gourmet everything,” said Yakabuski on Wednesday during a late-night dive.

Adamson says it’s unfathomable how Canadians are wasting so much food.

“We’re trying to get to everyday people that the way we’re consuming things isn’t sustainable,” she said.

Eating ‘garbage’ for a good cause

Yakabuski and Adamson have committed to only eating items out of dumpsters for 10 days.

The pair is raising money via GoFundMe for the organization Feeding Canada, an Indigenous-led initiative based in Toronto.

They will also be donating money that they would have spent on groceries to the organization.

Riley Yakabuski and Elora Adamson often find food that is still edible and fairly fresh while dumpster diving. (CBC/Mike McArthur)

That money will go toward care packages that get sent to northern Canada, where prices can be up to 10 times higher than the national average. 

The pair’s fundraiser ends Friday, Jan. 18.


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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa





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





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





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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