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Grey Cup going to Regina in 2020, Hamilton in 2021

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The Grey Cup game is returning to Regina and Hamilton.

The CFL announced Thursday night it’s awarding the 2020 Grey Cup to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the 2021 contest to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“Congratulations to Saskatchewan on winning the bid for the 2020 Grey Cup,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “It’s exciting the Roughriders and their legion of fans, among the most passionate in all of sport, will cap the club’s 110th anniversary by welcoming the biggest event in Canadian sport.

“We’re thrilled that Hamilton, which boasts a football tradition second to none, will welcome the Grey Cup in 2021, its first opportunity to host in 25 years. I know the Tiger-Cats look forward to showcasing the renaissance underway in the city of Hamilton, which will celebrate its 175th anniversary that year.”

The Riders, Ticats and Montreal Alouettes had all bid for the 2020 title game.

“Our governors want to thank the Montreal Alouettes for a first-class bid,” Ambrosie said. “Unfortunately, 2021 was not an option for them because of expected renovations at Olympic Stadium.

“We certainly anticipate returning the Grey Cup in the future to the dynamic city that is Montreal and the welcoming province that is Quebec.”

This year’s Grey Cup will be held at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium on Nov. 24.

The 2020 Grey Cup will be played at the new Mosaic Stadium. It returns to Regina for the first time since 2013 when the hometown Roughriders defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 for their most recent CFL championship.

The 2021 contest will be held at Tim Hortons Field. The game will help celebrate Hamilton’s 175th anniversary and comes 25 years after the city last hosted one of the most memorable Grey Cup games in CFL history.

The Toronto Argonauts captured the ’96 Grey Cup — affectionately dubbed the Snow Bowl — with a thrilling 43-37 win over the Edmonton Eskimos in blizzard-like conditions at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

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‘Too soon to celebrate’ Ottawa’s low case count, says Etches

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Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged just 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest daily total since Sept. 1.

Because of the lag between testing and reporting, the low number could simply reflect low turnout at the city’s testing sites on weekends — all month, new case counts have been lower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

During a virtual news conference Tuesday, the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said she doesn’t read too much into a single day’s report.

“I don’t think we can make too much of 11. Actually, it could be a lot higher tomorrow — I would expect that, on average,” she said. “It’s too soon to celebrate.”

Provincewide, public health officials reported 1, 249 new cases Tuesday.

OPH also declared 62 cases resolved Tuesday, lowering the number of known active cases in the city to 462. Two more people have died, both in care homes currently experiencing outbreaks, raising the city’s COVID-19 death toll to 361. 

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Santa Claus isn’t coming to Ottawa’s major malls this year

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Santa Claus may still be coming to town this Christmas, but he won’t be dropping by any of Ottawa’s major malls, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Cadillac Fairview said Santa won’t be making an appearance at any of its 19 malls across Canada, including Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. On Tuesday, Bayshore and St. Laurent shopping centres confirmed they, too, are scrapping the annual tradition.

“Due to the evolution of the situation in regards to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Santa Program and Gift Wrap Program this year,” Bayshore spokesperson Sara Macdonald wrote in an email to CBC.

Macdonald said parent company Ivanhoé Cambridge cancelled all holiday activities “due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Macdonald said families that had already booked an appointment to visit Santa will receive an email with more information.  

Virtual visits with Santa

Rideau Centre said based on customer research and discussions with public health officials, its North Pole is going online this year.

“Children will be able to have a private chat with Santa,” said Craig Flannagan, vice-president of marketing for Cadillac Fairview. “You’ll also be able to join a 15-minute storytime with Santa over Facebook Live.” 

At Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre, visitors are invited to take a “selfie with Santa” — actually, a life-size cutout of Santa Pierre, the man who’s been playing Santa at the east end mall for years.

“We understand that this is not ideal, but in lieu of this tradition we will be doing what we can to maintain and encourage holiday cheer,” according to a statement on the mall’s Facebook page.

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Ottawa Bylaw breaks up two large parties in Ottawa over the weekend

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OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw is investigating social gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes across Ottawa last weekend.

Mayor Jim Watson tells Newstalk 580 CFRA that Ottawa Bylaw broke-up two house parties over the weekend, with 20 to 25 people at each party.

“That’s the kind of stupidity that angers me, that’s where the bulk of the transmissions are taking place, if we exclude the tragedy of the long-term care homes; it’s these house parties with unrelated people,” said Watson on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.

“The message doesn’t seem to be getting through, particularly to some young people who think they’re invincible.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman says, “There are still ongoing investigations from this past weekend that could result in charges.”

Chapman says recent investigations led to two charges being issued for social gatherings of more than 10 people in a private residence in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act.

“In one case, up to 30 individuals were observed attending a house party in Ward 18 on Oct. 24,” said Chapman.

“The second charge was issued following a house party in Ward 16 on Oct. 31, where up to 16 individuals were observed to be in attendance.”

The fine is $880 for hosting an illegal gathering.

Alta Vista is Ward 18, while Ward 16 is River Ward.

Ottawa Bylaw has issued 24 charges for illegal gatherings since the start of the pandemic.

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