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City of Cambridge Extends Room/facility rental suspension until September 7, 2020
In line with Public Health and provincial guidelines, the suspension of all room bookings and facility rentals will continue until September 7, 2020. “Though we are making forward progress through this pandemic, we still need to be cautious,” says Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “Many of our services are back up and running but in modified capacity. Our main goal continues to be finding that balance that will provide services to the community in a way that’s safe and responsible.” Extending the suspension of room bookings until September will allow staff to better distribute space within City facilities for modified programming ensuring that facilities are meeting health guidelines set by Waterloo Region Public Health, and the Province of Ontario. “As we continue to re-open services and programming throughout the city, it’s important for us to ensure that they do not overlap with each other in a way that would compromise physical distancing and other protocols,” says Deputy City Manager Hardy Bromberg. “Many of our recreation facilities are multi-purpose; we need to put limits on what’s running at any one time to make sure that the programs that are running, like our camps, are doing so safely.”
Statistics Canada has confirmed what most of us knew already: Canada is becoming a hungrier place. According to a survey conducted by the federal agency in May, almost one in seven (14.6 per cent) Canadians indicated they lived in a household where there was food insecurity in the past month. In 2017-18, a similar survey showed 10.5 per cent of households in Canada felt food insecure. There are about 12.5 million households in Canada. This means more than 512,000 more households in Canada are experiencing food insecurity compared to just two years ago. That’s more than the number of households in the city of Ottawa.
Wilfrid Laurier University Chancellor Eileen Mercier appointed to second term
Wilfrid Laurier University’s Board of Governors has appointed Chancellor Eileen Mercier to a second four-year term. Mercier’s reappointment was unanimously approved by the Board of Governors with full support of the university Senate. Her second term as chancellor begins Oct. 28, 2020 and will be celebrated when the university is able to host convocation ceremonies. Mercier has served as Laurier’s chancellor since October 2016. “I am delighted that Eileen has accepted the offer to continue in this role,” said Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy. “The university has benefited greatly from her leadership and generous volunteer engagement as our chancellor. Our community is grateful to have one of its distinguished alumni continue to serve in this capacity.”
This week Minister Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development of Ontario, announced that the Government of Ontario is investing an additional $3.5 million in Skills Ontario for the 2020-2021 school year to help the organization help continue to promote the skilled trades. This is in addition to $1.5 million in new funding the government provided earlier this year to support outreach and promotion to youth, educators, and parents. “As Ontario carefully reopens, the skilled trades are an essential part of the recovery and future of our economy,” said Minister McNaughton at the Skills Ontario Virtual Skills Summit, held today. “We need to continue to promote the skilled trades to young people to give them access to jobs that are fulfilling, meaningful, and well-paid, and to keep the many industries that depend on skilled trades thriving. Skills Ontario does this very well.”
Ontario Ombudsman reports on 2019-2020 – “A year like no other”
Releasing his latest Annual Report, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé reflected on the stunning and ongoing challenges faced by the province’s public sector due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The profound shock to our public infrastructure and systems will provide countless lessons, as well as opportunities to strengthen them in future,” writes Mr. Dubé, whose office handled 26,423 complaints and inquiries about broader public sector services in fiscal 2019-2020. “We stand ready, as always, to help.” Mr. Dubé notes that 2019-2020 was also “a year like no other” for the Ombudsman’s office, in that it began with the expansion of his mandate to two brand-new areas – children and youth in care, and French language services – and ended with the coronavirus crisis.
Opening up markets to competition and encouraging entrepreneurship—insights from economist Joseph Schumpeter nearly 100 years ago—are key to recovering from the current recession. A new book, the Essential Joseph Schumpeter (and its accompanying website and animated videos), published by the Fraser Institute, provides an accessible overview of Schumpeter’s key ideas including the importance of entrepreneurship to economic growth. “Even though he was writing nearly 100 years ago, Schumpeter recognized that the creativity, innovation and ingenuity of entrepreneurs fuels prosperity and growth,” said Russell S. Sobel, professor of economics and entrepreneurship at The Citadel in South Carolina and co-author of the new book. Schumpeter is best known for popularizing the term “creative destruction”—the process where new innovations arise and cause the old way of doing things to disappear.
Bill Gates talks best (and worst) case scenarios for the coronavirus pandemic in the months ahead, explaining the challenges of reducing virus transmission, providing an update on promising vaccine candidates, offering his thoughts on reopening and even taking a moment to address conspiracy theories circulating about himself. Stay tuned for his critical call to fellow philanthropists to ramp up their action, ambition and awareness to create a better world for all.
Following the advice of health officials and industry experts in regards to large indoor gatherings, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is reimagining their 75th Anniversary 2020/21 Season. This new and exciting programming takes into account the health and safety of audiences, musicians, crew, and staff. To accommodate this, the original program for the 2020/21 Season will shift by 12 months and instead be presented in the 2021/22 Season. Plans are underway to bring Waterloo Region a variety of specially created live streamed video concerts from Centre In The Square starting in September. Programs will range from Signature to Pops, and Family to Kinderconcerts. And, if restrictions are further lifted during the 2020/2021 Season, the organization is looking at possible ways to present a modified in-person concert experience. “Countless hours went into planning and preparing the originally planned program for the 2020/21 Season and, like all seasons, it was specifically crafted for presentation as a whole”, commented Executive Director Andrew Bennett. “Shifting all of the programming by a year allows audiences to enjoy the original 2020/21 concerts presented as they were intended. It also allows us to fulfill our commitment to our subscribers and maintains the integrity of the artistic product, which is beneficial to both audiences and artists.”
Starting July 10, select Grand River Parks including Brant, Byng Island, Elora Gorge, Guelph Lake, Pinehurst Lake and Rockwood conservation areas will offer limited overnight camping. To support this, the GRCA camping reservation system will reopen on July 6 at 9:00 a.m. for online bookings only. Conestogo Lake and Laurel Creek conservation areas will not offer overnight camping in 2020. Campers who have previously made reservations at these two parks will be contacted directly regarding their refund. While more washrooms will open in campgrounds, there will be no shower facilities or group camping available this year.