Sunday, April 18, 2021
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Hawrelak Likely To Be Cleansed During Planned Refresh Of Surrounding Park


Lake in Hawrelak is scheduled for a refresh once the surrounding park begins its rehabilitation process; city council members signed off on this meeting on Wednesday.

The project is estimated to cost $1.9m and will involve dredging the entire bottom of the lake and re-landscaping the lake’s shoreline with shrubs and taller plants; this is according to the project’s accompanying report that includes detailed information regarding the project’s feasibility study.

The lake is about 1.5 m at its deepest point and features a high phosphorous concentration, leading to uncontrolled growth of algae that name the lake unfit for swimming activities.

City councilor Ben Henderson stated that provided the city is undertaking a rehabilitation program of the area, it makes good sense to clean up the lake to a level where it will be suitable for kayaking and paddle-boating.

The city’s manager for design and planning, Pascale Ladouceur, said the dredging process will scrape off the bottom layer where sediment has caused the lake to shallow up.

The Triathlon union has used the lake for the past few years since its first event in 2001 and has had to dredge it to be suitable for a weeks’ worth of events.

World Triathlon series’ general manager, Stephen Bourdeau, expressed immense support for the clean-up process.

The park was built in the year 1967 and is now due for its next overhaul. The city is collecting feedback from public members on the likely changes they would like to see in the picnic segment. It is still in the planning stage but is projected to cost between $30 and $50 million in the next few years.

B.C Registers 1168 New Infections And Hospitalization Rate Hits New High


B.C has surpassed its previous infection rate for hospitalization with the Coronavirus, health officials say. About 397 persons have been hospitalized so far, 120 of these being under intensive care. This is up from the previous 381 infections that the province reported on the 6th of January.

At a joint press briefing, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer and minister Adrian Dix, announced 1168 infections, which places the province’s weekly average at 1126 each day.

Another six fatalities have been reported, placing the total deaths at 1521. On Wednesday, health minister Dix cited increasing hospitalization rate as one of the main reasons the province is planning to extend some of its present restrictions. It is not certain how long the restrictions will last.

Several restaurant owners met with the health ministers. They got off the meeting, saying that they expect the restrictions will be in place way past the Victoria weekend.

The health minister noted that he is expecting hospitalizations will climb. He referred to hospitalization rates as a considerable lag indicator as they show that they registered several days ago.

There’s good news regarding vaccination as Health Canada recently declared AstraZeneca safe for use despite there being a risk of treatable blood clotting. Provincial health officials are still waiting to be informed whether they can continue administering the vaccine to persons under 55.

So far, the province has immunized 1103012 persons, accounting for 21 percent of the province’s population and 87,820 second jabs.

Manitoba’s Pcs Note Law Has To Pass Before Issuing Tax Rebates, Opposition Thinks Otherwise


Members of Manitoba’s three key parties held a hot debate last Wednesday regarding the government’s decision to implement law before it starts issuing education property rebates to the respective landowners.

The budget for 2021 to 2022 proposes cutting by half all education property taxes in the next two years at 25 percent in 2021 and 2022 for all residential and farm owners. Owners of commercial properties will be awarded a 10 percent decrease.

However, Kelvin Goertzen, leader of the government house, said a new statute is in place that requires the law to be passed before the rebate cheques are sent out.

But, Mark Wasyliw, the NDP’s finance critic, does not think this is correct and notes that cheques were sent out to seniors last year as pandemic relief without prior legislation.

However, there is room for the changes to be effected without the need to enact a law.
The previous government raised the provincial sales tax to 8 percent 8 years ago. The changes took effect on the 1st of July, 2013, but its law wasn’t in place until December of the same year.

The provincial sales tax was decreased to 7 percent in 2019. However, in this case, legislation was passed first before any changes could be made, but Premier Pallister noted that the law would be passed even with all the blockages by the opposition.

The PCs are about to draft the law, although it is not sure that it will pass bore June comes, which is when this legislative sitting will expire.

Wasyliw informed local media will review the bill’s content before it decides whether it will support the motion.

In the meantime, the party is concerned about the bill’s impact on those who rent. It is clear that they and the small businesses will have a tough time.

John Gerrard, Manitoba liberal MLA, plans to vote down this bill because he is concerned for renters. In its recent budget reading, the government said that property owners would be the ones to benefit more from the bill.

To cater to the renters, the government proposed a 2-year rent freeze beginning next year.

Wasyliw also accused the premier of profiteering from this policy. The premier received close to $7000 in tax savings on his properties. He added that the only kitchen table the premier is worried about is the one he owns.

In response, the premier said he I not in politics for monetary gain.

Legault Clarifies the Controversies Surrounding the Outdoor Wearing of Masks


Last week, Quebec Premier Office told Quebecers that they must wear a mask in any outdoor activity. The opposition parties accused Legault of confusing the public about when they are required to wear a mask.

On Wednesday, Legault posted on his Facebook page clarifying the new measures. The post explained that the measures only apply to the situation where it is impossible to maintain the two meters distance or when the involved parties do not live together.

Activities such as tennis, golf, or sitting in a park do not require a face mask as long a distance of two meters is maintained. Couples or people from the same household do not need a face mask outdoor. The same goes for people who live alone or people who can maintain physical distance during walks.

Legault has been criticized by the opposition for giving directives without explaining them. Legault co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois on Wednesday gave a statement agreeing that the directive was hard to understand.

“You have the right to kiss your partner at night at home, but during the day, if you want to take a walk, you must wear a mask outside.”

Nadeau-Dubious asked the province to explain why it is important while no data justifies it. However, on Tuesday, the Quebec director of public health acknowledged that the directive could be confusing.

He also acknowledged that no study supports the wearing of mask outside but added the risks of getting contaminated from droplets is still high outside. Dominique Anglade noted that when the pandemic first hit Quebec, people were told the risks of infections outside were much lower.

Legault insisted that during Tuesday’s press conference, he was unaware of the measures. The opposition party wants the public to have confidence in public health. At the same time, they want Quebecers to respect the wearing of masks requirements.

Quebec Recall Thousands of Toxic Masks Saying there was a Misstep in their Importation


It is troubling news to parents of thousands of Quebec teens and preteens school children. School children were required to wear a type of COVID-19 mask that has suddenly be declared toxic by Health Canada.

The masks are easy to identify for their grey-blue color combination were recalled in late March. The masks are coated with graphene oxide, a substance linked to lung diseases, are now temporarily banned in Canada.

However, the masks were distributed in millions across Canada, not just for adults but to minors. Many parents, teachers, daycare, transit workers want an answer to how the masks were approved in the first place before being imported.

What has been revealed is that the masks were never approved and it was a misstep on the supply chain. As an order to facilitated COVID-19 related supplies, the masks were subjected to minimal oversight.

Health Canada, the principal authorizer of the use of graphene masks, says it didn’t realize the masks had been imported into Canada until a citizen and a mother of a son in Montreal school emailed them.

Alayne Moody, says she has been looking s troubling studies on graphene. She had never heard of graphene, but that prompted her to research.

Graphene masks have been identified as not pediatric; the Quebec government, during the recall, agreed that they are not child-sized. But the provincial government spent $30 million buying 30 million masks.

The province then ordered that all students beginning in grade seven must wear masks full time at school and must not bring masks from home. For three months, teachers, students were required to wear grapheme masks.

Studies reveal that graphene oxide is a single layer of carbon nanoparticles closely packed together, supposedly acting as a filter. Nanoparticles can pose serious lung risks, especially when the particles are small enough to be inhaled. This also happens in nature when people breathe nanoparticles from wildlife.

For now, it is not clear how the pandemic emergency created a loophole that allowed graphene masks. It was a big misstep that was skipped in a critical period. The masks were initially imported from a company in Shandong Shengquan and made from Biomass material.

In pre-pandemic times, masks are considered as class 1 medical devices. They are not subjected to critical market review. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that the product is safe and effective.

Canadian ETFs Assets under their Management Rise to $1.3 Billion Two Months after their Launch


In less than two months, Canadian Bitcoin ETFs have seen their assets under management grow by $1.1 billion. The Purpose Investments ETF, the first ETF Bitcoin (BTC) has seen its assets soar to $1.1 billion in less than two months after its launching.

Two ETFs that launched after the Purpose Bitcoin ETFs have also reported an increase of assets under their management (AUM) by $200 in the same time frame. The total AUM swell in Canada in the period is valued at around $1.3 billion.

Purpose Bitcoin ETF was launched late in February, the first day of trading, the fund generated nearly $100 million. In the first week of their operation, the fund accumulated more than $500 million in assets. Investors rushed to gain access to Bitcoin trading without risking owning the Bitcoin asset.

Purpose ETF acceptance by regulators led to the opening of Canadian Bitcoin businesses. Other ETFs were launched days or weeks after Purpose ETF. Purpose ETF was a good example of advantages accrued by the first mover, the ETF continues to hold a lion share in the Canadian ETF industry.

Evolve Fund Group Bitcoin ETF has accrued $106 million in AUM, CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF has over $90 million in AUM. In other terms, all ETFs in Canada have seen their value rise as the Bitcoin metric rises, as each unit is valued higher than it was during the launching time.

In the U.S., no ETF has been approved despite several applications by American firms. Firms that have applied in the U.S. include Galaxy Digital, Fidelity, and SkyBridge among others. However, there is general anticipation that one or all the applicants will finally be approved, only time will tell.

U.S. analysts believe that Bitcoin ETF will be launched within a year or two. Others believe that the ascension of Bitcoin plus acceptance by other North American regulators will hasten the acceptance of ETFs in the U.S.

Jim Lester 2nd Candidate to go to Court Following N.L Election Loss


Following the loss of his seat by 109 votes in March’s provincial election, PC candidate Jim Lester has going to court in the hope of having the results voided and a new election planned in his former district. Lester also wants a decision on whether the vote adhered to Newfoundland and Labrador laws.

“It’s very important to have faith in the outcome of elections,” Lester said on Wednesday.

Liberal Lucy Stoyles won the district of Mount Pearl North with 2, 428 votes, while Lester got 2,319.

The latter is representing himself in his controverted election application, which cost over $600 to file in the Supreme Court of N.L.

Lester wants the courts to examine whether the campaign process was in line with what’s constitutionally and legally accepted under N. L’s Elections Act.

Concerns with phone sign-up

“One of the biggest concerns that I have … is the sign-up of voters by phone,” Lester said.
However, he said he heard of other challenges that affected the campaign.

Lester said a senior told him they repeatedly called Elections NL when their ballot did not arrive, despite registering many weeks ahead of time.

“What really affected our voters was the outbreak of the COVID virus,” he added.

He said many of his supporters are working with families, many of who had a lot of “stress factors” that impacted their ability to sign up for mail-in ballots.

Not one of Lester’s accusations has been proven in court.

NDP Leader Alison Coffin filed court papers on April 1 for a recount in the district of St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi, where she lost her seat to Liberal John Abbott by 53 votes.

In under 14 days after that, Coffin and another applicant filed a different legal action demanding last month’s election results are voided and a new vote called.

Alison Coffin and another applicant, a St. John’s resident who claims he was denied the right to vote, jointly filed a claim containing critical accusations against N.L elections agency, alleging widespread and illegal mishandling of the electoral process and demanding the region’s Supreme Court null the election’s outcome.

The 45-page application argues that the election process employed by Elections NL discriminated against individuals on the basis of ethnicity, age, or disability, disproportionately excluding persons without access to the internet and people in Indigenous communities.

NDP provincial president Kyle Rees said Monday afternoon that the application will target the St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi district.

“We are specifically bringing evidence related to that district, but there’s no reason why the lessons that we learn from this district … can’t be applied broadly across the province,”

said Rees, further adding that a judge might overturn results in all 40 districts based on this application.

‘We will challenge’ election in legislature: PC Party

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PC Party said its executive met Monday for the first time since the election results were released on March 27.

Whereas the party continued to direct criticism towards Premier Andrew Furey for calling an election when he did, accusing him of “gambling on a mid-winter election,” the statement showed the party won’t pursue a legal challenge.

“We do not believe that the people of the province want to see another election at this time.… We will challenge the 2021 election in the legislature,” the statement read.

“Individuals may challenge the results of the election in court, and the court proceedings have begun in some cases. We will be keenly watching the ongoing legal challenges. However, we will not, as a party, be taking legal action at this time.”

The PCs and Furey have at least one thing in common – a wish to amend the Elections Act.

“We will ensure that nothing like this ever happens again,” said the PCs in a statement, concurring with a comment Furey made on Monday.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford Asks People to Avoid Flying In or Out of the Province


Almost a week after declaring a state of emergency and enforcing a stay-at-home order, Ontario Premier Doug Ford is asking people to avoid flying into and out the province amid the third wave.

At a press conference with other Canadian premiers, Ford described Ontario’s pandemic situation as “critical” and said now is not the time for travel between provinces.

“We’re encouraging all residents of each province to stay at home, not to be flying into Ontario or flying out of Ontario,” Ford said.

Ford’s comment came after health officials in Quebec recommended tighter border controls or restrictions were necessary to confront the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, largely contributed by the variants of concern.

The Canada – U.S border has been under closure since March 2020 for vacations and non-essential travels to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Despite that, thousands of people are scheduled to arrive and depart Toronto Pearson International Airport Wednesday alone.

Premier Ford additionally gave himself a personal travel exemption, to collect doses of the vaccine from the U.S should the Joe Biden administration release more doses to Canada.

“I’ll hop in my pickup truck and drive down there, and I’m sure other premiers will hop in the back with me and drive down there together to pick them up,” Ford said.

The last batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine made in the United States was delivered to Canada by truck.

Nova Scotia Man Arrested on Human Trafficking Charges in Alberta


A man in Nova Scotia is facing human trafficking charges in Edmonton, after a large-scale investigation by law enforcement in two provinces.

William Meuse, 31, is facing multiple charges related to human trafficking that purportedly happened in the Edmonton area in November and December 2019, as per a press release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).

ALERT is made up of 300+ officers from municipal forces and the RCMP that work together to look into organized and serious crime.

The probe into the woman’s case started in June 2020 after she contacted the Nova Scotia RCMP and the provincial human trafficking unit. She said Meuse had forced her to work in the sex trade, as per police.

Meuse was arrested this past week at a home in Bear River, Digby County. Nova Scotia ALERT said the man was released on bail and will appear again in court in Edmonton on May 5.

Apart from the human trafficking charge, Meuse is additionally facing charges of procuring, material benefit from trafficking, distribution of intimate images, and advertising sexual services.

Any individual who suspects they may have been trafficked or knows someone else who has been should call the N.S provincial human trafficking division at 902-449-2425 or alternatively, contact their local police force.

Evolutionary Gaming Group to Expand its Gaming Horizon by Acquiring Big Times Gaming in a Recent Deal


Evolution Gaming Group recently entered into a deal with Big Time Gaming in its endeavor to expand its gaming horizons. The deal will see Evolution Gaming Group fully acquire the prominent slot machines developer. The acquisition will be completed once €450 is paid in cash.

Big Times Gaming offers a wide range of innovative and fresh slot titles. Some of their favorite world title they have developed include Bonanza and Extra Chili. The gaming developer is one of the revolutionary game mechanics that has produced more than 200 games.

Jen Von Bahr, the chairman of Evolution Gaming, the acquisition of Big Time Gaming will improve their position as providers of online gambling solutions. Bahr added that both companies have a similar mindset desire to see the gaming experience keep improving.

In 2020, Big Time Gaming reported that it made a revenue worth €33 million. The report further adds that Evolution Gaming is willing to pay €220 for the arrangement of 2021 EPS. Also in the future, the company will pay to earn-out payment based on the designer’s EBITDA.

Another part of the acquisition agreement is the upfront payment of €80 million in cash while the remaining will be paid in the newly issued shares that are valued according to NASDAQ Stockholm rating for the time frame between March 23 rd and April 7th, 2021. The earn-out payment, which is part of the agreement, will be paid partially in cash and part in the newly issued shares.

Previously, Evolution Gaming agreed to provide Alberta with an online gaming portfolio. The company reached an agreement with Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Corporation to provide the province with online games as the land-based casinos remain closed. The games offering that Evolution Gaming will provide Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

In 2019, the company entered into a deal with Loto-Quebec to provide Online gaming to the province. The partnership allowed the lottery corporation to provide a set of premium services and launching of the live casino platform. British Columbia and Manitoba have also partnered with the company to provide first-class gaming content to gaming enthusiasts