Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day.
COVID-19 vaccine passport for restaurants, gyms coming Sept. 22
In three weeks, people will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, and other high-risk public spaces. With the fourth wave of the pandemic underway, Ontario's vaccine passport goes into effect Sept. 22. On that day, people will need proof of being fully vaccinated — two doses, plus 14 days — to visit certain public settings. In October, a digital vaccine certificate will be introduced. Premier Doug Ford made the announcement this afternoon. While he has been hesitant to move forward with a vaccine certificate up until now, public health officers and other groups and organizations have been calling for the program. “As the world continues its fight against the Delta variant, our government will never waver in our commitment to do what’s necessary to keep people safe, protect our hospitals and minimize disruptions to businesses,” said Ford in a news release. “Based on the latest evidence and best advice, COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of this virus while helping us to avoid further lockdowns. If you haven’t received your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please do so today.”
Perennial Sudbury candidate found guilty of hate speech is running for office once again
Elections Canada has released its final list of candidates for the Sept. 20 election, revealing one previously unreported federal candidate: John David Popescu, who is running as an independent in Sudbury. The perennial fringe candidate, who normally goes by the name David Popescu, is known for his extreme interpretation of Christian doctrine. He has run afoul of the law several times in the past for actions related to his extreme views. In April, Popescu was sentenced to 30 days in jail for spreading “messages of shock and horror” after being convicted in September for wilfully promoting hate toward an identifiable group -- in this case, homosexuals. He distributed DVDs containing written and video footage of himself citing Bible scripture to spread his message. This was Popescu’s second conviction for the same crime.
Vale supports Northeastern Ontario's YMCA with $200K donation
Vale Canada Limited, a major metals mining and refining company in Sudbury, has provided a $200,000 gift to the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario for the "My Y is Resilient campaign" in Sudbury. “Vale is proud to support the My Y is Resilient campaign because of the essential community services this campaign has helped the YMCA to provide during the pandemic,'' said Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer of North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries for Vale.
“The funding will help to provide continued YMCA programs and services for the ongoing health and wellness of our community.” So far, the My Y is Resilient campaign has raised more than $1,500,000, with more than $773,000 in received and committed donations for Sudbury. The organization said these funds will directly and positively impact children, youth, adults, seniors and families in Sudbury by ensuring the YMCA can remain strong and resilient.
Laurentian insolvency, pandemic economy hot topics at Sudbury riding Chamber debate
In an unusual political move, federal Green party candidate David Robinson admitted he’s “not going to win this election.” The declaration came during Tuesday night’s “Virtual Fireside Chat with the Federal Candidates,” which was hosted virtually by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. Although Robinson is running what he believes to be a losing campaign in the Sudbury electoral district, he clarified the effort isn’t doomed to fail by every measure of the word. “Why vote for somebody who’s going to lose?” he asked during his closing remarks. “Because you think the big issue that’s being ignored by these candidates with their kind of namby pamby policies on climate, is the climate issue, and you want to say one thing to all of them, you want to say: ‘More, we want more, we have to have more action.’” Sudbury is a swing riding, which he said explains why NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau have both visited the city in recent days. “If we give two per cent more votes for the Greens, the backroom players in those parties are going to say climate matters more than we thought and we need to steal more green policy.” Although he said his opponents Nadia Verrelli (NDP) and Viviane Lapointe (Liberal) are both “terrific candidates” with roughly the same packages, he argued Conservative candidate Ian Symington is in the same boat as he is, in that he’s “not going to win it either.” The best thing Conservative voters in Sudbury can do to help prevent a Liberal majority is vote for Verrelli, Robinson said.
City looks to attract GTA professionals to town in Hit Refresh in Greater Sudbury initiative
In hopes of drawing in working professionals to Greater Sudbury, the city has launched the Hit Refresh in Greater Sudbury attraction initiative. Rather than a limited campaign, economic development director Brett Williamson clarified this is intended to be a multi-year initiative that will evolve. The program’s initial focus will be on the Greater Toronto Area, where Williamson expects imagery depicting Greater Sudbury’s slower pace of life and its connection to the great outdoors will resonate with people. “Our average commute time is 20 minutes, which I think is probably on the high side, and that’s quite a different story in a metropolitan area like Toronto,” he said. The initial round of imagery includes the juxtaposition of a person stuck in gridlock traffic with an image of someone behind the wheel of a boat. The city is currently in the process of getting advertisements installed on billboards targeting high-end condo units in Toronto, as well as ads placed in elevators to hit up captive audiences. This advertising, also being done online, will push people to visit hitrefreshsudbury.ca, where information about Greater Sudbury is available alongside personal testimonials from people who have found success in the city.
Read the full story on the Sudbury.com homepage.
Police clock driver travelling at 110 km/h on Regent Street
Provincial police have charged a 22-year-old Sudbury driver with stunt driving after they were caught travelling at 110 kilometres an hour on Regent Street. Regent Street is a 60-km/h zone, said police. The driver was pulled over on Aug. 27 at 3:27 p.m. The driver’s licence was suspended for seven days and the vehicle was impounded for 14 days. The accused was released on Provincial Summons and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice on Jan. 18, 2022, in Sudbury.
Canadian Medical Association concerned by 'patchwork' of COVID vax passport plans across Canada
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) endorses the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine passport, but is worried that the patchwork approach going province by province will lead to inconsistency and confusion. In a news release issued Tuesday, the CMA urged all governments to make the necessary commitments to ensure current and future vaccine certificate programs are interoperable across jurisdictions. This will optimize privacy and address potential barriers that may lead to inequitable access. "In the absence of a consistent federal approach to vaccine certification, a patchwork has emerged across the country leading to confusion and inequalities," said CMA President Dr. Katharine Smart. "We know that high vaccination rates and consistent public health measures are our best tools. Vaccine certificates and mandates can help us on both fronts as they increase vaccine uptake and help protect more Canadians from COVID-19." The current situation presents several concerns, said the release. On one end of the spectrum, people in Quebec, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia will have vaccine certification systems, while those in Alberta and Saskatchewan will not. A provincewide system was just announced in Ontario yesterday.
Read the full story on the Sudbury.com homepage.
High of 20 under sunny skies today
It’s going to be a sunny day in Greater Sudbury today. Winds from the north at 20 km/h will lighten over the morning. Expect a high of 20 this afternoon. The UV index will be six, or high. Tonight, the skies will stay clear and the temperature will drop to seven overnight.