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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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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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Ottawa Board of Trade wants governments to create environment to keep economy open during COVID-19 pandemic




As Ottawa businesses reopen under Step 3 of Ontario’s COVID-19 economic reopening plan, the head of the Ottawa Board of Trade suggests rising COVID-19 vaccine rates, continued use of rapid tests in businesses, and the possibility of a vaccine passport could prevent further lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

President and CEO Sueling Ching is calling on governments to create policies and programs to help us to live with COVID and keep the economy open moving forward.

Ottawa and Ontario entered Step 3 of the reopening plan on Friday, allowing indoor dining rooms, movie theatres, museums and fitness centres to reopen, along with relaxing some restrictions on other businesses.

“I think that we have a lot of opportunities in front of us,” said Ching in an interview on Newstalk 580 CFRA Saturday morning when asked about Ottawa’s economic recovery.

“I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons over the course of the last 16, 17 months that we may not have otherwise learned and now the opportunity is for us to leverage that and to move forward so that we can grow back, rebuild our economy and perhaps even take advantage of new opportunities that weren’t there before.”

Earlier this week, Ching told Newstalk 580 CFRA the Ottawa Board of Trade supports the idea of a vaccine passport in Ontario for non-essential businesses to show customers and staff have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Ching told 580 CFRA on Saturday that now is the time to be “pragmatic.”

“For some time now, we have been calling for policies and programs that would allow us to live with COVID. So whether there will be an uptick (in cases), it’s just common sense isn’t it – when the summer is over and everyone’s back to school and we’re fully reopened, but we’ve learned a lot of things compared to where we were at this time last year,” said Ching.

“We’ve got a lot of businesses who have put protocols in place to keep people safe, we have more information about what that means, the general public understands how their behaviour affects that and we have tools like rapid testing, like vaccine passports possibly – those kinds of things we can put in place.

“What we’re asking for is the opportunity to create an environment where businesses don’t have to be locked down, and that the harms from continual lockdowns we don’t want them to start to outweigh the actual harms from COVID-19 itself.”

Premier Doug Ford said he is not in favour of a vaccine passport for non-essential businesses. Ching says officials in Ottawa have been talking with private sector companies about the possibility of setting up digital tracking for visitors and international travellers, along with in workplaces.

The Ottawa Board of Trade has distributed rapid testing kits to small and medium sized businesses for staff testing this spring.

“It’s part of being able to bolster consumer and business confidence by saying we have a plan to resume normal activities, and that is a part of our plan.”

Ching says entrepreneurs and businesses have been the “hardest hit” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and governments need to make sure lockdowns never happen again.

“Just the stress and harms that have happened overall to our society and our economy as we’ve tried to implement, I understand, countermeasures to prevent the spread of COVID. So now that we have the vaccines, we have more knowledge, we have better behaviours, we want to create an environment in which we can keep our economy open,” said Ching.

The President and the CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade says one of the lessons learned is that the economy can no longer be separated from public health policy.

“Businesses that have been resilient for these last 16 or 17 months, they’re fatigued. What we really want is for us as residents and for the government to provide some reasons for businesses to have confidence to keep going, that we will support them and that we won’t lock them down any longer,” said Ching.

The Ottawa Board of Trade is encouraging businesses to integrate rapid testing into plans now in case COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the fall.

“What we want everyone to be thinking about is when the fall comes, if the numbers start to go up it’s already too late. So making sure that we continue to follow the protocols, use the measures that are available to us, everyone get double vaccinated so that when the fall comes that we’re in a better position,” said Ching.

“Let’s get ahead of the game when everyone returns to school and hopefully that we’re fully reopened.”

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