Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to get you started on this Friday morning.
NDP candidates say party’s plan would end cuts to northern health care
Local federal NDP candidates say if elected, leader Jagmeet Singh would “end the legacy of cuts to our public health care system started by the Conservatives and continued by Justin Trudeau.” Only the NDP will invest in front-line health care in Northern Ontario, said NDP candidates Nadia Verrelli (Sudbury) and Andréane Chénier (Nickel Belt), in a news release. “Years of consecutive Conservative and Liberal cuts have left northern health care stretched thin,” said Verrelli. “Jagmeet Singh's plan to stop these devastating cuts and invest in hiring more nurses and front-line health care workers is what northern families need now.” Singh was in Alberta on Aug. 19 where, joined by nurses and health-care workers, he announced that an NDP government would create a $250-million Critical Shortages Fund to address the shortage of nurses and health care workers across Canada and ensure that provinces also commit funding specifically for health care workers. The NDP said the federal fund would help train and hire 2,000 nurses.
Sudbury and Nickel Belt’s slate of federal candidates so far
Although the full slate of candidates for the Sept. 20 federal election has yet to be established through Elections Canada, several local candidates have already been lined up. Various political parties have been busy in the Sudbury and Nickel Belt ridings by nominating candidates in advance of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election call, which took place on Sunday. The nomination process for candidates closes on Aug. 30, and a complete list of candidates for the Sept. 20 election is expected to be available through Elections Canada on Sept. 1. As it stands, the following is a rundown of which candidates we know are running in Sudbury and Nickel Belt as of now. In Sudbury, Viviane Lapointe is running for the Liberals, Nadia Verrelli for the NDP, Ian Symington for the Conservatives and Colette Methé for the People’s Party of Canada. In Nickel Belt, Marc Serré is running again to hold onto his seat, contested by Charles Humphrey for the PCs, Andréane Chénier for the NDP and Craig Gravelle for the Green Party.
Video: Alex Trebek makes a permanent mark on Sudbury Secondary
One mural that is part of this year’s crop of new pieces of public art made possible by the Up Here festival is particularly special. Kevin Ledo, a Montreal-based mural artist, has created an enormous tribute to the late game show host and Sudbury native, Alex Trebek. Trebek’s passing from cancer last year was felt by Jeopardy! fans the world over, but for many people in Sudbury his death was particularly meaningful. He was, after all, a Sudburian. To commemorate Trebek and his origins, Ledo collaborated with Up Here organizers and the Rainbow District School Board to bring a giant mural of Trebek to the Nickel City. Ledo is putting the finishing touches on the mural, which you can see on an exterior wall of Sudbury Secondary School, facing the Greater Sudbury Public Library.
Teachers' union calls for mandatory vaccination of school staff
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) delegates to its annual meeting voted in favour of a policy calling on the government to ensure appropriate measures are in place for a safe return to school, including the mandatory vaccination of school staff, with provisions for exceptions. “The province’s voluntary disclosure policy does not go far enough to protect students and school staff," says ETFO President Sam Hammond. "Given the severity and longevity of the global pandemic, it is not unreasonable for the Ford government to implement a mandatory vaccination policy in schools. In a survey of ETFO members in June 2021, over 90 per cent indicated that they had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June and 75 per cent indicated that they were already scheduled for a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine before September 2021.
Porter Airlines first Canadian air carrier to mandate COVID-19 testing or vaccination for its workforce
Porter Airlines is introducing a COVID-19 vaccination policy for its employees in order to safely return to the skies. The Toronto-based air carrier restarts service on Sept. 8, and has mandated that all of its staff must be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the start of their shift. It is the first Canadian airline to take this measure. The federal government recently announced its intention to mandate vaccination for federally regulated employers and workers. In a news release, Porter said once specific requirements from the government are known, the policy may evolve.
Public Health Sudbury reports five new COVID-19 cases for Aug. 19, Ontario reports 531
Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) has reported five new cases of COVID-19 in the local jurisdiction for Aug. 19. The health unit is also reporting there are now 31 active cases being monitored. Also, since the PHSD began tracking COVID-19 cases just over 17 months ago, there have been 2,236 total COVID-19 cases confirmed locally. PHSD also said 2,205 of those cases are now resolved. There are also now 1,038 cases that are "confirmed or presumed to be" positive for variants of concern. This is an increase of seven cases in the past 24 hours. Public Health Ontario reported 531 new COVID cases in today's update (Aug. 19). Today's update noted 338 recoveries and 17 deaths, but 15 of the deaths occurred more than two months ago. There have been 20 new hospitalizations since yesterday's report. Five people have been admitted to intensive care units with COVID-19.
If you thought yesterday was hot, just wait
If you thought Thursday was hot, Friday has a message for you: you ain’t seen nothing yet. Expect a high today of 31, but the humidex is going to make it feel more like 40. The UV index today is eight, or very high. Fog patches will dissipate in the morning. Tonight, the mercury won’t dip much, hovering at around 19 for the overnight. There will be a few clouds.