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Alberta, Ottawa give green light to revised Green Line plans

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CALGARY — After being delayed due to procurement, cost and timeline concerns, the Province of Alberta and Ottawa have given Calgary’s Green Line project the green light.

“By investing in smart public transit projects, we’re reducing gridlock, helping more Calgarians get to and from work, creating good middle-class jobs, growing the economy, and fighting climate change,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a press release. “As we set the course for an inclusive recovery from COVID-19, we will keep focusing on laying the foundations for long-term, sustainable growth to create a Canada that is cleaner, more competitive and more resilient for generations to come.” Trudeau also reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to contribute $1.53 billion to the project. Alberta is contributing $1.53 billion and the city is contributing $1.59 billion. It will be the largest infrastructure project in Calgary’s history.

Once fully built, 250,000 residents will live within a 15-minute bus trip of the Green Line alignment.

The city was sent back to the drawing board after being told by Ric McIver, minister of transportation, that the city’s plans were at high-risk for going over budget.

The city submitted a revised business case to the provincial and federal governments after altering the alignment of the Green Line LRT in June 2020. At the same time, the provincial government launched a review of the project to ensure it was technically and financially sound.

“I’m grateful for the hard work done by the technical experts at the province and the city to make the Green Line a functional project that connects to the rest of the LRT network,” said McIver. “I am confident that the Green Line is in a stronger, more certain position today, and is in the capable hands of an experienced project team that can take this important project forward”

Phase one of the project consists of 18 kilometres of LRT from Shepard to Eau Claire, which includes bus rapid transit enhancements along Centre Street to 160 Avenue. Phase two will be two kilometres of LRT from Eau Claire to 16 Avenue North.

“Investments in transit are among the very best investments for a community,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The Green Line is more than a train, it is a way for people to get to work and school and better participate in our community. Calgarians have been waiting for this for so long and it’s great to take this important step.”

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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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