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How the Georgia Senate runoffs could impact Canada

CARYN CEOLIN | posted Tuesday, Jan 5th, 2021

Political observers are casting Georgia’s Senate runoff elections as pivotal to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to make decisions that will affect the entire United States, and in some cases, the entire world.

“It’s about literally life or death for communities all across this country,” said Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright. “Because if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris do not have a collective Congress to help them pass necessary legislation that will move this country forward, what are we going to be able to do?”

On Tuesday, Georgians will cast their ballots for the state’s two outstanding Senate seats. The outcome will decide which party will have the upper hand in the upper chamber.

Seawright tells 680 NEWS the stakes include whether laws get passed, potentially boosting Biden’s policy priorities, both domestic and foreign.

“That’s why you see so much attention around Georgia and making certain people understand how high the stakes are,” he said.

Democrats have a president in the White House and run the House of Representatives. Republicans currently control the Senate. A Democratic sweep in the runoffs would lead to a 50-50 split, in which case, tie-breaking votes would go to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Sarah Goldfeder, a former U.S. diplomat under two American ambassadors, is in favour of a gridlocked Congress.

“I do think having a tight government, having very tight margins in the House and very tight margins in the Senate are better for government and better for America overall,” she said.

Whoever wins will hold only a slim Senate margin, says Goldfeder, now an Ottawa-based consultant. That will make it harder to implement significant legislative changes.

“In many ways you can think of it like a minority government here in Canada. They have to negotiate,” she said. “If the Republicans want something or the Democrats want something, they’re going to have to win over their more moderate members.”

Regardless of what happens Tuesday, Seawright says these races will shape the coming years in U.S. politics.

“This election in Georgia is about who will be able to govern effectively and get things done for the collective United States of America,” he said.

Here’s a list of politicians who travelled abroad despite pandemic era advice to stay home

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jan 4th, 2021

A number of politicians have admitted to leaving the country over the December holiday period, even as their constituents adhered to public health guidance meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 and hunkered down at home.

Here’s a look at some of the lawmakers who took trips abroad despite public health appeals to avoid non-essential travel.

Rod Phillps

When Rod Phillips jetted off for a sunny Caribbean vacation on Dec. 13, he touched off a political storm that engulfed him when he returned home to Ontario.

Phillips resigned as the province’s finance minister on Dec. 31, hours after returning from a two-week trip in St. Barts.

Phillips, who will remain a member of the provincial legislature, called the decision a “significant error in judgement.”

His apology did little to assuage criticism against Premier Doug Ford for not taking action when he first learned of the cabinet minister’s travels shortly after Phillips left for warmer climates.

Watch below: MPP Rod Phillips speaks to media following Caribbean vacation

Here’s a list of politicians who travelled abroad despite pandemic era advice to stay home

Niki Ashton

The federal New Democrats stripped the veteran member of Parliament of her cabinet critic positions after she travelled to Greece to visit her seriously ill grandmother.

The party released a statement on Jan. 1 saying Greek officials, who currently only permit visitors to enter the country if they can prove their trip is essential, approved Ashton’s visit.

The party said Ashton, who represents the riding of Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, reached out to Canadian officials for “best practices,” but did not notify leader Jagmeet Singh or the party whip of her travel plans.

The statement said party members sympathize with Ashton’s situation, but noted millions of Canadians adhered to public health guidelines under similarly pressing circumstances.

Kamal Khera

The federal Liberal MP announced Sunday she was stepping down from her role as parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development after travelling to Seattle over the holidays.

The MP representing the Ontario riding of Brampton West says she flew to Seattle on Dec. 23 to attend a small memorial service for her uncle and father, who died within weeks of each other earlier in the year.

Khera has been back in Canada since the end of December.

Sameer Zuberia

The Liberal member of Parliament announced Sunday that he would step down from his committee roles after travelling to Delaware to be with his wife’s ill grandfather.

Zuberi, who represents the Montreal riding of Pierrefonds-Dollard, said in a statement posted to Twitter that the trip was an “error in judgment.”

He said he returned to Canada on New Year’s Eve and is abiding by the mandatory two-week quarantine.

Pierre Arcand

The former interim head of Quebec’s Liberal party expressed regret last month over his decision to vacation in Barbados with his wife.

Dominique Anglade, who currently heads the party, said she asked Arcand to return to Canada after word of his Caribbean travels got out.

Anglade told a Quebec radio station that she had known Arcand planned to leave and had tried to discourage him from doing so.

Arcand apologized for making the trip in his Dec. 29 statement.

Youri Chassin

The member of the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec is currently in Peru visiting his husband, who he said he has not seen in about a year.

Chassin said in an interview that his trip is not a vacation and that he does not believe it contradicts the Quebec government’s message of the need to follow public health guidelines.

He said he got permission from the government whip and Premier Francois Legault’s office before leaving.

Joe Hargrave

Saskatchewan’s highways minister apologized on Jan. 1 for travelling to California over the holidays, but gets to keep his seat in cabinet.

Hargrave said he went to Palm Springs for “necessary” personal business: finalizing a home sale and moving his belongings back to Saskatchewan.

He said he plans to return to Canada when he’s out of a 14-day quarantine recommended for travellers to California on Jan. 5, and will self-isolate for two weeks upon his return to Canada.

While Opposition politicians have questioned whether Hargrave’s trip was essential, Premier Scott Moe said he will stay on as minister despite his self-admitted “error in judgement.”

Moe was informed of Hargrave’s trip before he left on Dec. 22, a spokesman for the Saskatchewan Party government said.

Tracy Allard

A Hawaiian vacation from Alberta’s municipal affairs minister touched off not only a new directive from the province’s premier, but a spate of other revelations about holiday excursions by several of her cohorts in the United Conservative government.

Shortly after Allard’s trip came to light, Premier Jason Kenney issued a directive summoning caucus members and senior staff back to the province.

Kenney said he ought to have issued such orders sooner, but said Allard and other party members who went abroad will not face sanctions as they did not violate any firm rules.

Allard held a New Year’s Day news conference in which she apologized for taking the trip, describing the Hawaiian vacation as a long-standing family tradition.

Watch below: Alberta government staff caught vacationing

Here’s a list of politicians who travelled abroad despite pandemic era advice to stay home

Jeremy Nixon

The MLA for the Alberta riding of Calgary-Klein also opted to jet off to Hawaii over the Christmas break.

A spokesman for Kenney said he had been asked to return home on the earliest possible flight

Nixon said in a Facebook post that he would “work hard” to regain constituents’ trust, adding he followed and followed public health guidelines while abroad.

Pat Rehn

Nixon’s legislative colleague, representing Lesser Slave Lake, spent part of the weekend returning from a “previously planned family trip” to Mexico.

He, too, apologized for his travels via Facebook.

Tanya Fir

Another social media apology came from yet another Calgary-area MLA after it was revealed she travelled to the United States to visit her sister.

The representative for the riding of Calgary-Peigan commended Alberta residents for their adherence to public health protocols in the face of the pandemic.

She said in a Facebook post that she apologized
“wholeheartedly” for not doing the same and pledged to abide by
Kenney’s new directive.

Jason Stephan

The MLA for Red Deer-South in Alberta struck a different tone in his Facebook post in which he disclosed a recent trip to Phoenix, Ariz.

Stephan said he felt he was in compliance with public health guidelines and noted he had never asked other provincial residents to forego travel.

But Stephan said he would return home in accordance with Kenney’s directive.

“There is already too much contention in our society and I regret if my actions have contributed to that,” he wrote.

Watch below: Travelling politicians receive backlash

Here’s a list of politicians who travelled abroad despite pandemic era advice to stay home

Brampton-West MP to ‘step aside’ from parliamentary secretary post following trip to U.S. for memorial

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jan 4th, 2021

A Brampton member of Parliament says she will “step aside” as parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development after she said she travelled to Seattle, Washington to attend a memorial following the death of her uncle.

Kamal Khera made the announcement in a Twitter post on Sunday afternoon.

“Although the purpose of my travel is deemed essential given the circumstances, I have decided to step aside from my duties as parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development in an effort to ensure my choices do not distract from the important work of our government to continue battling this pandemic,” she said.

She said she travelled to Seattle on Dec. 23rd, 2020 and returned to Canada on Dec. 31st, 2020.

Khera added the memorial was also meant to honour the loss of her father, who died in September.

She said the memorial had “less than 10 people” and said she “have and will always continue to follow all public health guidelines.”

Khera herself has faced COVID-19 — she was infected with the virus in March 2020 but later recovered.

She also spent time as a volunteer nurse at a Brampton long-term care facility.

The Liberal MP was first elected to the Brampton-West riding in 2015.

‘Resign now’ banner taped on Rod Phillips’ constituency office sign

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jan 4th, 2021

The backlash against former Ontario finance minister Rod Phillips continues after his tropical vacation during the holidays while officials urged Ontarians to avoid non-essential travel to stem the spread of COVID-19.

On Sunday, what appeared to be a homemade banner on bright yellow paper was seen pasted over his constituency office sign in Ajax. It read “resign now” — seemingly referring to Phillips’ decision to stay on as MPP for the region, while resigning as finance minister.

It is unclear how long the banner has been there or who posted it.

It was revealed last week that Phillips went on vacation to St. Barts for over two weeks, starting Dec. 13. He seemingly tried to hide the fact by sending social media posts during that time showing him in a sweater before a fireplace, supposedly in Ontario.

Hours after his return on Dec. 31, Phillips submitted his resignation as finance minister, but said he looks forward to continuing to serve the people of Ajax as their member of provincial parliament.

Speaking to media at Pearson International Airport soon after he landed, he called the decision “a significant error in judgement. A dumb, dumb mistake.”

Phillips is now in 14-days mandatory quarantine.

Ontario began a province-wide lockdown on Dec. 26 and premier Doug Ford has been blaming travellers for bringing the new coronavirus to the province.

Canada’s national government and the Ontario government have both repeatedly asked Canadians not to travel abroad during the pandemic and urged citizens to avoid gathering with family outside their household over the holidays.

CityNews has reached out to Phillips’ office for comment and is awaiting a response.

Feds weigh cutting COVID-19 sickness benefit for Canadians who have travelled

LEE BERTHIAUME, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jan 4th, 2021

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is weighing whether to bar people who have travelled overseas from a new sick-leave benefit that pays up to $1,000 to Canadians who have to quarantine due to COVID-19.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit was launched in the fall to help Canadians who are unable to work because they must quarantine during the pandemic. It pays $500 per week to a maximum of two weeks.

But Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the government is “actively looking at all options” in the face of questions over whether Canadians who have travelled abroad should be allowed to collect the money.

The benefit is designed “to provide workers with a paid sick-leave option where one might not be available through their employer, so that workers did not have to choose between going to work and putting food on the table,” she said in a statement.

“The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit was never intended to incentivize or encourage Canadians to not follow public health or international travel guidelines. ? We are actively looking at all available options to address this issue.”

Questions about the sick-leave benefit were first raised over the weekend by Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, who said it was “absurd in most cases” that anyone able to leave the country would need government support to quarantine.

“If someone is travelling because it is essential for their work, you might think they won’t lose income,” he added in a statement in French. “And if someone is traveling for pleasure, they are already being advised not to travel.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party pushed the Liberals to create the benefit, welcomed the government’s review, saying Canadians were “rightly upset those who can afford to go on a vacation could get $1,000 to stay home when they come back.”

Yet he also warned Canadians would continue to leave the country as long as non-essential travel was allowed.

“We need to make sure they have all the tools to stay home when they come back,” he said. “We look forward to (the government) coming back to parliamentarians with a solution that doesn’t create a bigger health risk.”

The emerging debate over what to do with the sick-leave benefits comes as Canadians have been buffeted over the past week with revelations that some politicians have ignored their own government’s advice and engaged in non-essential travel abroad.

Those include Rod Phillips, who resigned as Ontario’s finance minister after a holiday trip to the Caribbean exploded in controversy, as well as a number of Alberta MLAs who Premier Jason Kenney has declined to punish.

The federal NDP also stripped Manitoba MP Niki Ashton of her duties as the party’s transport critic and deputy critic for women and gender equality after she travelled to Greece this month. Ashton says she left to be with her ailing grandmother.

Those trips have come even as millions of Canadians face government-imposed lockdowns across the country aimed at curbing the second wave of COVID-19 infections, which included thousands of newly reported cases on Sunday.

That includes nearly 3,000 new positive tests in Ontario over the past 24 hours and more than 7,600 new cases in Quebec since Thursday, with hundreds of people hospitalized in both provinces.

In a rare bit of good news, however, Nunavut reported that the territory has no known cases as all 265 residents who have previously tested positive are now recovered. The territory has logged one virus-related death over the course of the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 3, 2021.

Thank you to our Holiday Partners

Kyle Mack | posted Tuesday, Dec 29th, 2020

With the help of our product partners, we were able to have another year of Holiday giveaways!

Cedar’s Non-Alcoholic Gin

New to the rapidly growing non-alcohol spirit market in Canada, CEDER’S is a distilled non-alcoholic alt-gin made with classic gin and exotic South African botanicals, found only in the Cederberg Mountains of the Western Cape. CEDER’S is bottled in Sweden, after blending with pristine Swedish water. It has been created for those being mindful about consumption, looking for a sophisticated non-alcoholic serve, or simply for designated drivers that don’t want to sacrifice on quality. CEDER’S is available widely at fine retailers across Canada and on Well.ca in 3 varietals:
Ceder’s Classic – Floral & Balanced – a blend of classic gin botanicals such as juniper and coriander combined with hints of geranium, and Cape floral fynbos.
Ceder’s Crisp – Refreshing & Tranquil – a refreshing blend of classic gin botanicals such as juniper and citrus combined with cucumber and calming camomile.
Ceder’s Wild – Spicy & Intriguing – an intriguing blend of classic gin botanicals such as juniper and ginger, combined with clove and rooibos.
The prize giveaway will include all 3 varieties of Ceder’s along with an amazing $700 in prepaid credit cards to help you with all your holiday spending.

Rebelstork and Owlet

Sleep More, Worry Less Being a new parent, it’s normal to be concerned about your baby’s well-being–especially at night. But that anxiety and constantly waking to check on baby can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Even as you stare at the monitor, you can’t know for sure if baby’s really safe. The Owlet Smart Sock is a baby wearable that sits inside a washable sock that quietly watches over baby to track baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels. If baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels fall outside safe zones, the sock will notify parents that baby may need your attention. For visual monitoring, Owlet created the Owlet Cam, an HD 1080p video monitor that has a 130° wide-angle lens, the video can be streamed anywhere with the Owlet App. As a pair, they create the Owlet Duo and now anyone looking after baby can get a full window into baby’s health and rest assured that baby is happy. Now you can sleep more and worry less, because Owlet is here to help you keep your baby safe. REBEL STORK: Rebelstork is Canada’s first managed, online marketplace that enables the buying and selling of overstock, open boxed and quality used baby gear at a reduced price, with no hassle or haggle. They take the hassle and haggle out of used baby gear buying and selling – our custom algorithm sets fair pricing for items, then we pick the item up and bring it back to HQ for sanitization, photography and listing. Rebelstork has an active community of buyers and the average Rebelstork item sells within only 48 hours of the listing going live. For more information visit rebelstork.com.

Lindt

LINDT invites you to savour every moment this holiday season with a chance to win a $500 LINDT chocolate gift basket and a $500 gift card that can be redeemed at any LINDT Chocolate Shop across Canada One lucky winner has the chance to win a $500 LINDT chocolate gift basket and a $500 gift card that can be redeemed at any LINDT Chocolate Shop across Canada

Ninja Kitchen

Prep for holiday cooking with Ninja! With the Foodi, NeverStick Premium cookware, you will have all that you need to entertain this holiday season, PLUS it’s dishwasher safe! Air Fryers have been all the rage lately, and with the Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer, you can fry with up to 75% less fat than traditional methods. PLUS you’ll get a Ninja Smart Air Grill for your quick grilling needs AND a Ninja professional Plus KitchenSystem allowing you to create smoothies, frozen drinks, and chopped mixtures all at the touch of a button. With this prize pack, you’ll be gearing up to be the host with the most!

Miraj Hammam

Get ready to relax and recharge with a $1,000 gift card from the Miraj Hammam Spa! Located inside the Shangri-la Toronto, the Miraj Hammam Spa will transport you into another world without having to leave the city!  While the spa is currently closed due to the Toronto lockdown, your prize will be ready for indulgence once the regular business has resumed.

KITS

KITS is Canada’s fastest-growing eyewear company offering a complete eyewear solution including glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses at a revolutionary price. KITS is headquartered in Vancouver, BC and manufactures its lenses locally. KITS is changing the way people shop for eyewear by transforming what has traditionally been a clinical, confusing, expensive, multi-visit transaction into an enjoyable and easy experience. Everything your eyes need, in one place. This includes ● A full (and growing!) selection of eyeglasses, ranging from name brands like Tom Ford, Oakley, Gucci, Ray-Ban and many many more launching every week ● Thousands of hand-made KITS frames that were designed in Vancouver ● The largest selection of branded contact lenses in Canada, and the biggest inventory of contact lenses, so they’re more likely to have your prescription in stock for immediate shipment ● KITS branded, daily silicone hydrogel contact lenses, the highest product quality available in contact lenses at an incredible price point ● A complete eyecare solution on-site, including virtual try-on, an online vision test which is coming soon in Canada, and partnerships with all insurance companies to apply for reimbursement ● Your first pair of glasses with KITS is completely free ● A powerhouse team with decades of optical and consumer experience

Audi

For four decades, Audi has been setting the pace with permanent Quattro all-wheel drive. The world’s leading purveyor of luxury and design-forward automobiles, Audi is now leading the way in the electric vehicle category. In summer 2021 the new e-tron GT will be released adding to the all-electric e-tron line. We are happy to provide a lucky viewer with an Audi gift package including beautiful Audi genuine accessories to bring you some Holiday cheer. The prize pack includes Audi Roadster Bicycle and an Audi snowboard for your sporting adventures.

Victorinox

Victorinox, makers of the Original Swiss Army Knife, have the perfect gift for you this holiday season: The recently launched Fieldforce Titanium LE – Timeless meets Titanium. This is the lightest Fieldforce ever, made for any occasion. It offers featherweight strength, a stylish red bezel, and a Super-LumiNova® enhanced display. Super exclusive, available in North America only and limited to 1,400 individually numbered pieces, with an incredible Limited Edition red packaging. This intrepid and pioneering international brand now spans five product categories: Swiss Army Knives, Cutlery, Watches, Travel Gear and Fragrances, Victorinox is also gifting one lucky winner with one Airox Global Hardside Carry-On, a Travel Edge Toiletries Deluxe, an Altmont Pro Compact Laptop Backpack, a Victoria 2.0 Carry-On Tote, 2 x Foldable Paring Knives, and a Swiss Classic Kitchen Set. Find this and more at www.victorinox.com.

Shark

Taking your holiday cleaning to impressive new heights with Shark! Shark aims to make revolutionary technology attainable with its diverse and innovative range of home cleaning solutions. Our friends at Shark are giving you a prize pack including The Shark® IQ Robot with Self Empty Mini Robotic Vacuum, a Shark® Genius Steam Pocket Mop System, and a Shark® Rocket DuoClean Stick Vacuum.

IKEA

Our friends at IKEA are giving you the gift of a good night’s sleep! With a focus on sustainability, The HIDRASUND sustainable mattress is made from natural materials including coconut fibre, natural latex, cotton and more. In this prize pack, you’ll be getting 4 ergonomic pillows, a duvet and a full sheet set! This prize pack is valued at $1800! Want to complete the design? IKEA has announced The TUFJORD (PRONOUNCED TOUGH-YORD)  headframe, designed with soft velvet and beautiful lustre.

Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens, the iconic global footwear brand, is here to help you look and feel your best for the winter season. Their new autumn-winter releases are not only perfect for the cold weather but are classic fashion must-haves in your closet. Their newest Urban Protection collection is perfect to get you through our Canadian winters. With a high-performance WinterGrip sole – a PVC/Rubber/hybrid sole built with grooved cleats with superior traction, grip and durability on slippery surfaces – it’s the perfect stylish boot for the winter.

Sobeys Voila

Shopping for groceries online has never been easier thanks to Voilà by Sobeys. Place your order at voila.ca, select your preferred delivery window, and your groceries will be delivered directly to your home from their automated warehouse, safely and with less handling. Voilà delivers 7 days a week from 6AM to 10PM in the GTA, Hamilton/Guelph, north to Barrie and east to Pickering. Our friends at Voila by Sobeys are giving you a $500 Voilà by Sobey’s grocery credit!

La Presserie

La Presserie, is a Toronto-based cold-pressed juice brand that makes it easier to achieve your daily fruits and vegetable intake! To sweeten the deal, No water, sugar or preservatives are ever added. La Presserie’s juices and smoothies unpasteurized and flash-frozen to retain freshness and nutrient value for juice that is as fresh as the day it was pressed Our friends at La Presserie are giving you a one-year subscription to La Presserie with a weekly delivery of a 6pack of juices for the year! This is valued at over $1,500!

Best Buy Canada

Shop Best Buy Boxing Day sales early and confidently with their Boxing Day price guarantee For the latest and greatest tech gift ideas, visit the Holiday Hub on BestBuy.ca Customers in the GTA have the option for Quick and Easy pickup at Best Buy stores. This includes purchasing and reserving an item on BestBuy.ca and picking it up at their local store through curbside pickup via text message

Wholly Veggie

Toronto-based company Wholly Veggie places a focus on food sustainability aims to solve this problem by creating plant-based, better for you foods without the reliance on animal agriculture This full product line is non-GMO and completely soy and gluten-free and provides up to 20 grams of protein and over 50% daily fibre requirements! Enter to win a Wholly Veggie Prize Pack!

HUSH

“There’s no question that this year has been a stressful one. 1 in 4 Canadians are now suffering from anxiety or a lack of sleep and that number continues to grow. Luckily, many Canadian businesses are aiming to solve this problem, and Toronto-based brand Hush is doing that with its collection of premium weighted blankets. A few seconds under one of these heavy blankets and your entire mood and energy changes. Complete calm really washes over you and the mind seems to quiet. Hush Blankets can be found online at hushblankets.ca ”

The Body Shop

These holiday essentials from The Body Shop are a mix of their best sellers and limited edition season releases, including their highly lusted after Ultimate Advent Calendar which features 25 full-sized products. From their Himilayan Charcoal line to Almond Milk & Honey, these must-have face hair and body products will keep you feeling your best from head to toe.

Kiehl’s

This is Kiehl’s greenest holiday campaign to date. Focusing on less waste and sustainability, Kiehl’s holiday collection is made with fully recyclable gift boxes and is now made with zero plastics and 100% previously recycled paper. The whimsical packaging was created in collaboration with Lyon-based illustrator, Maïté Franchi. Kiehl’s offers some great last-minute gift sets that cater to everyone on your shopping list, or treat yourself this holiday season! The sets can be purchased online at Kiehls.ca and are also available in-store. Make holiday shopping easy at your local Kiehl’s boutique. Here’s how it works: Call your preferred Kiehl’s boutique to place your order and pay over the phone. Curbside Service: Park in a designated area and a Kiehl’s Associate will make a contactless delivery to your car.

OSMO

Osmo’s new Coding Starter Kit is designed to help kids build coding skills block by block. Transform your tablet into a hands-on coding adventure. Designed for ages 5–10, Coding Starter Kit builds coding skills in progression with 3 hands-on learning games. Watch your child learn to code as they connect colourful blocks of code in the physical world to chart the adventure on their screen. Wherever your kids are in their STEAM education, these games will keep them engaged and entertained. Here’s how this latest addition to the Osmo interactive learning system teaches coding skills in progression. Coding Awbie–String together commands to guide Awbie on an epic strawbie-munching adventure. Coding Jam–Arrange coding blocks in patterns and loops to compose your own music. Coding Duo–Solve advanced side-by-side puzzles solo or with a friend for double the fun and challenge.

Cadillac Fairview

Details: $1,000 CF SHOP! Card giveaway as part of Holiday giveaway series This holiday season, Cadillac Fairview (CF) is providing a safe and comfortable space for shoppers. With one week to go until Christmas, CF is helping shoppers finalize their lists ahead of the big day. From extended hours at select shopping centres to convenient curbside pick-up, shoppers can efficiently plan their trips to support their holiday needs. New this year, customers can skip the line by pre-booking an appointment at participating retailers or to purchase a CF SHOP! Card. Offers are available by storefront and curbside pick-up appointment only by visiting CFguestlist.com. CF also recently launched a new mobile shopping app called LiVE by CF where shoppers can: Have a mall directory in their pocket complete with enhanced wayfinding, property-specific maps and icon-based navigation cues to help plan the most productive shopping routes. Access helpful information related to COVID-19 safety protocols, location of hand sanitizer stations and mall and retailer hours of operation Search and tag favourite products right in the app for quick recall when shopping. Receive special offers directly from CF retailer partners for in-property savings. Visit www.cfshops.com for information regarding operating hours, safety protocols or to learn more about the helpful shopping services offered at your local shopping centre. Cadillac Fairview is helping brighten the spirits of one lucky BT viewer with a $1,000 CF SHOP! Card. The gift card can be redeemed at one of the nine (9) CF shopping centres across Ontario. Happy Holidays from Cadillac Fairview!

M∙A∙C

M∙A∙C Cosmetics, the Canadian-born brand, is your destination for last-minute gifting this season. Whether you’re looking for the hottest kits of the season or the best bang for your buck, they’ve got the products, tools, and expertise to OoOoh and AaAah everyone on your list. You can now click and reserve your items online and call your local store to process your order for the fastest and safest pick-up! Shop at maccosmetics.ca

Mattel

To help get into the holiday spirit and evoke wonder and Joy among families, BT and Mattel Canada have rounded-up a selection of toys and games for kids of all ages and we’re giving away Three Top Toys Prize Packs to a few lucky viewers! Valued at over $500, the Mattel Top Toys Prize Packs feature the hottest new toys and fun for the whole family For Elsa and Anna fans we’ve got Disney’s Frozen Elsa’s Ice Palace by Little People If you’re into classic games there’s the newly revamped UNO Showdown And for the HotWheels fan we’ve to the HotWheels Monster Trucks Scorpion Playset! PLUS SO MUCH MORE

Toys R’ Us

Toys“R”Us is the ultimate destination for all of your Holiday gift needs! Toys”R”Us is available for in-store shopping (at select stores), in-store pick-up, curbside pick-up, and same-day, next-day, delivery! Toys”R”Us will be giving you TWO $500 gift cards, one for your holiday gifting and ONE for you to give to someone in need this Holiday season.

LG

Add some tech to your holiday season with our friends at LG! LG will keep you connected with the LG Velvet Phone and the LG Gram laptop!  Weighing less than three pounds, the LG gram laptop when paired with the LG Velvet phone, will make for the ultimate way to increase your productivity in the new year!

Nikon

The Z 5 has a full-frame sensor (in contrast to the Z 50’s crop sensor) for clean low-light shots. The kit comes with a 24-50mm lens. As with other Z series cameras, it works with hundreds of Nikon lenses with an adapter, as well as the expanding lineup of NIKKOR Z lenses. The Nikon Z 5 is a full-frame mirrorless camera, which means it works great in low-light and is incredibly fast – This kit comes with a camera and 24-50mm lens that retails for $2,299.00 – You can use it as a webcam to make your video calls look sharp – The Nikon Z 5 will immediately improve your videos and photos, and you can hone your skills for years with hundreds of compatible lenses – Everything you capture transfers to your phone or tablet in the background – you just set it up once

40 Crew Whiskey

This holiday season, Grimsby made – Forty Creek, is the perfect gift for whisky enthusiasts and those looking to support the local Ontario Made community. Forty Creek Whisky is ready to lift up your holidays with a $1,000 visa gift card! Enter now!

Tru Niagen

Making 2021 your year of wellness with the Health Canada approved Tru Niagen! Tru Niagen is a unique form of vitamin B3 clinically proven to increase levels of NAD which supports your cellular health.

Oral-B

The new Oral-B iO is the perfect self-care gift that gives you a professional-clean feeling at home! The Oral-B iO comes with game-changing features to elevate your brushing experience and is available in black, white, rose quartz, and violet and starts at $279.99!

Jenny Bird

Add some glamour to your accessories with Canadian brand, Jenny Bird! One lucky winner will receive the Toni Collection, a return to elegance with a reinvented shape and modernized classic pieces.

Tim Hortons and Keurig

Stepping up your coffee experience with Keurig and Tim Hortons! Keurig and Tim Hortons are giving one lucky viewer a K-Supreme Plus, a Milk frother, a rolling storage drawer, a reusable coffee filter and a collection of Tim Horton’s coffee!

Aritzia

Super warm. Super cool. Super super. It’s The Super Puff™ and it lives up to its super name. Back for Winter 2020 in 8 styles, 12 innovative fabrics and over 65 colours, Aritzia’s iconic puffer is fully loaded with top-of-the-line technical details and available at all Aritzia stores and aritzia.com. Worn by the likes of Ariana Grande, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Margot Robbie and Hunter Schafer, The Super Puff™ has officially transcended cult-status.

Endy

Canada’s leading online mattress brand helps Canadians wind down, relax and get a good night’s rest – something that is arguably more important in 2020 than in previous years. Meet Endy, Canada’s best-selling online mattress. As one of Canada’s fastest-growing e-Commerce companies, Endy was recently named Best New Product Canada 2020 and is the go-to mattress that hundreds of thousands of Canadians turn to for a good night’s sleep. Proudly Canadian-made with over 16,000 5-star reviews, The Endy Mattress is made with proprietary Endy Comfort Foam. Endy’s foam has a unique open-air cell structure that provides the perfect balance of comfort and support, plus temperature control, pressure relief, and reduced motion transfer.

Bartesian

Bartesian is a fun and convenient way to enjoy and serve premium cocktails or Mocktails in the comfort of your home. Made with 100% recyclable material, a cocktail capsule contains real juices, bitters, and extracts to mix with your favourite spirits. Enter to win your very own Bartesian cocktail machine!

Laderache

Laderach is giving you a box of premium Swiss chocolates! Each Läderach chocolate box is valued at $150 and includes a variety of fresh, artisanal chocolate from Switzerland, such as its iconic FrischShoggi (fresh chocolate in Swiss German), the Master’s Collection Tablet & Bonbon created by Elias Läderach, the World Chocolate Master, and much more.  If you’re outside of Toronto, to learn more and order online visit, ca.laderach.com.

Ontario to initially receive 53,000 doses of recently approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Dec 24th, 2020

Ontario says it expects to receive approximately 53,000 doses of the newly approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by the end this month.

Premier Doug Ford says the new vaccine, which was approved by Health Canada on Wednesday, is a “‘game-changer.”

A spokeswoman for Ontario’s health minister says the province expects to receive the doses next week and they will first be taken to long-term care homes.

She says the province is working with public health units on a plan to start administering the shots in long-term care facilities during the first week of January.

Ford says the Moderna vaccine can be more easily transported than the Pfizer-BioNtech dose – the only other immunization approved by Health Canada – which is why it will be taken to long-term care homes first.

The premier says other priority groups, including Indigenous communities and residents of retirement homes, will also receive the Moderna vaccine soon.

“We are taking another step towards ending this terrible pandemic,” Ford said of the vaccine’s approval in Canada while noting the need for residents to keep heeding public health advice.

“As we await the arrival of more vaccines, I continue to ask all Ontarians to remain vigilant and keep following the public health measures.”

Ontario began administering the Pfizer-BioNtec vaccine to health-care workers on Dec. 14. The government has noted, however, that COVID-19 immunizations aren’t expected to be more broadly available to the general public until April.

The Moderna doses are set to arrive shortly after Ontario enters a provincewide lockdown on Boxing Day in an effort to bring soaring COVID-19 cases under control.

The province’s lockdown that begins Dec. 26 is set to last 28 days for southern Ontario but will lift for northern Ontario on Jan. 9.

It will shutter all non-essential businesses, ban indoor gatherings, close restaurant dining rooms, and see all schools move classes online for the first week of the new year. It also means Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the news of the Moderna approval during a news conference in which he also announced that Canada will receive more doses next month of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine than previously expected, after it was approved by Health Canada on Dec. 9.

Between the early doses already in the country, and the shipments now scheduled, Canada should have at least 1.2 million doses from Pfizer and Moderna delivered by Jan. 31, Trudeau said outside his Ottawa home.

“After assessing all the data, we concluded that there was strong evidence that showed the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the potential risks,” Health Canada’s chief medical officer Dr. Supriya Sharma told a news conference in Ottawa.

“Today’s authorization is one more tool in our toolbox to bring COVID-19 under control.”

While the Pfizer vaccine has already started to be distributed in different cities across Canada, Sharma indicated the Moderna inoculation will likely be distributed to more remote communities.

That is because it does not require the same level of extreme-cold storage as the Pfizer version.

“Since many Canadians live outside major urban areas, this vaccine can be used in communities that haven’t had access to COVID-19 vaccines to date,” Sharma said.

The first doses are prioritized for front-line health staff, residents and workers in long-term care, adults in remote Indigenous communities, and seniors over the age of 80 living in the community.

Canada is to get 40 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine in 2021, enough to vaccinate 20 million people, or about two-thirds of the Canadian adult population.

The vaccine is not yet recommended for use on children as tests on adolescents only began in December and tests on children younger than 12 won’t begin until next year.

Moderna will have to continue to provide information to the regulator on the safety of the vaccine, Sharma said.

People with severe allergies have been advised against getting the Pfizer vaccine after several people in the United Kingdom had reactions to the inoculation. Sharma said the same advice is being given for the Moderna inoculation.

Canada’s doses of the Moderna vaccine are being made in Europe.

Two more vaccines are being reviewed by Health Canada, one from AstraZeneca and the other from Johnson and Johnson, Sharma said, but more information is needed before they can be approved.

Ontario to initially receive 53,000 doses of recently approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Heavy rainfall ahead of possible white Christmas in the GTA

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Dec 24th, 2020

A white Christmas is expected for Toronto and the GTA after a special weather statement was issued for the region by Environment Canada.

The weather agency says there is the potential for heavy rain followed by significant snow early Friday.

Overnight rain is expected to continue into Thursday, becoming heavy at times, with some areas receiving upwards of 25 mm.

By Thursday evening, the rain is expected to transition over to snow as a strong cold front moves through the region.

“Several centimetres of snowfall accumulation will be possible Thursday night through Friday morning, which is Christmas morning,” said Environment Canada.

The weather service is forecasting 5 and 10 cm of snow is possible but just how much snowfall areas will see is uncertain and will depend on the timing of the changeover from rain to snow.

Wind gusts of up to 70 km/h will also be felt in some areas, further hampering the conditions.

“Motorists should be prepared for deteriorating winter driving conditions in areas that receive snow from Thursday evening through Friday morning.”

A number of rainfall warnings have been issued for eastern Ontario, including the Ottawa region, with between 30 to 50 mm expected.

“The frozen ground will have a reduced ability to absorb this rainfall,” says Environment Canada. “Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.”

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