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Ontario Hockey Federation responds to Condors controversy




CTV Ottawa

Published Sunday, February 10, 2019 6:33PM EST

Last Updated Sunday, February 10, 2019 6:38PM EST

Tysen Lefebvre and Lukas Hooper have suited up for the Capital City Condors for years, only now has their participation in special needs hockey become a problem.

Lefebvre, who lives with Pfeiffer Syndrome Type 2, has used the Kaye Trainer to stand and play hockey with help from mentors and coaches. Lefebvre expressed disappointment in the recent decision to ban players, like him, from tournaments.

“Everybody should be able to play no matter what they look like or their physical disability.” said Lefebvre, who was told the cancellation of the team’s annual trip to a tournament in Kitchener was due to scheduling issues.

Lefebvre and his teammate, who is non-verbal, have expressed a desire to play in tournaments including upcoming competition south of the border.


The head of hockey in Ontario said the controversy has been brewing for nearly two years;  and centres around how different groups believe special needs hockey should be run.

“We’ve been trying to work for a year and a half to try to bring these groups back to a table and get them connected. There’s some games that have been cancelled because some groups have decided to go contrary to our programming…and the insurance isn’t the same across the board.” said McKee, Ontario Hockey Federation’s executive director 

The Condors aren’t the only club being turned away for their firm stance on inclusivity.

“We’re in a situation where teams we’ve played for 12 years now are now cancelling games against us.” said Cam Linwood with the Cambridge Ice Hounds special needs hockey team.

Linwood, whose team does not have players who used assistive devices, believed speaking out against excluding players from competition was the right thing to do. 

“It’s about taking away those barriers and adapting the game to fit the player and not the player to fit the game.” according to Linwood.

The Ontario Hockey Federation confirmed it sent a letter to the organizer of next week’s Kitchener Friendship tournament informing teams, like Capital City Condors, who were unsanctioned by Hockey Canada could not play.

The Capital City Condors said their decision to not play under Canadian National Special Hockey (CNSH) and Hockey Canada was in direct response to a recent ruling from CNSH officials. The disagreement, according to the Condors, is over whether players with intellectual disabilities should play alongside those with physical disabilities; including those using assistive devices like Lefebvre and Hooper. Citing safety concerns and speed-of-play, representative with CNSH told the Condors certain players could not participate in certain competitions.

The OHF said both sides need to discover a solution for the good of the game and all involved.

“It’s not about the assisted devices…the 2 organizations had a rift…because nobody really wants to say what the issue is. They have to come together and put the past behind them and determine what does special hockey international look like.” said McKee.


The Innisfil Snowdogs special needs hockey team out of southern Ontario said they’ve played many games against teams with adaptive equipment, including the Condors.

“It’s not everyone’s opinion but they’re worried about the upright players colliding or getting hurt with things like wheelchairs and Kaye Trainers.” said Snowdogs president Ed Hunter.

“Something is clearly broken when you’ve got teams who have played each other for as long as we have with all of these teams, suddenly cancelling games because of policies and politics. That doesn’t sit right.” said Linwood.

Wanting to get back on the ice, Lefebvre and Hooper are inviting OHF and Hockey Canada Officials to see them in action.

“I think they’d be very impressed.” said Lefebvre.


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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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