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B.C. nightclubs, banquet halls must shut down again

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More than 400 new cases of COVID-19 – about 100 per day – have been confirmed since Friday, and provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said that, now that the Labour Day long weekend is over, it is time for British Columbians to shrink their social bubbles again.

Because so many of the community spreading events have been the result of gatherings where alcohol is served, Henry announced restrictions are being put back in place for bars and nightclubs.

All nightclubs and banquet halls are ordered to shut down, “until further notice.”

“These venues are still the source of significant risk to everybody in British Columbia,” Henry said.

There will also be restrictions on the serving of alcohol in those pubs, bars and restaurants that can remain open. They must stop serving alcohol as of 10 p.m. and must close at 11 p.m., unless they are providing full-meal service without alcohol being served.

Asked if pubs, bars and restaurants could be next to have to close down entirely, if community infections continue to spread and increase, Henry suggested they won’t. The concerns over nightclubs are not the same as pubs, bars and restaurants.

“Pubs and restaurants have been doing a great job,” Henry said. “The plans that we’ve seen in restaurants, I feel restaurants, for the most part, are really safe.”

But Henry said that British Columbians need to begin reducing their social interactions again, and shrinking gathering sizes again, as the virus and hospitalizations begin to tick back up.

“As we go back to work, for many people, back to school, for many people, it is time for all of us to cut back on our social interactions,” Henry said.

Since Friday, there have been 429 new test positive cases of COVID-19 – slightly more than 100 per day – and two deaths. There have been new outbreaks in three health care facilities: Burnaby General Hospital, Rideau Retirement in Burnaby, and Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver.

There are currently 11 long-term care facilities with at least one case, and three acute care facilities.

Asked if she might rethink the resumption of in-class instruction, now that school is resuming, Henry said the critical issue there is community transmission, which generally remains low in B.C. She said she believes school can resume safely.

“We are very lucky in B.C.,” she said. “Our community transmission rates remain low, and we know that that is the most important thing for getting schools going again.”

She added there could be “long-term generational downsides” for students if classroom instruction had to remain suspended for long periods of time.

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Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre reopens for Mooseheads’ season opener

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The home of the Halifax Mooseheads will reopen next month to host the team’s season home opener, although the experience will be different as a result of COVID-19.

The Scotiabank Centre will reopen on Oct. 3, after its reopening framework was reviewed by Nova Scotia’s public health and occupational health and safety departments, the company operating the centre and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) team announced on Tuesday.

“We’re thrilled to be reopening and welcoming our fans back to Scotiabank Centre,” said Carrie Cussons, the president and CEO of Scotiabank Centre.

The centre will be following all standard health and safety guidelines related to the wearing of non-medical masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing and contact tracing, the company said.

But there will be additional protections put in place as well in order to limit any possible spread of the novel coronavirus.

Scotiabank Centre will be divided into separate zones of up to 200 people with set washrooms, concessions and entrance/exit points for each zone.

The organization also announced that tickets will be sold in groups of up to 10 within the same bubble, respecting the province’s guidelines on gatherings.

Fans and attendees will be required to wear a non-medical mask at all times, except when they are consuming food or beverages, the Scotiabank Centre said.

Tickets will also be mobile-only in order to minimize close contact between individuals.

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Candidate slate set for Halifax election as mayoral race grows to three candidates

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The slate of candidates for the Halifax Regional Municipality’s upcoming election has been finalized and it’s now officially a three-horse race for the municipality’s mayoral seat.

Incumbent mayor Mike Savage will face off against Coun. Matt Whitman, the current representative for the Hammonds Plains–St. Margarets, and political newcomer Max Taylor.

Whitman and Savage have previously announced their plans to run but Taylor’s inclusion in the race was a last minute surprise.

On his campaign’s Facebook page, the 22-year-old says his platform is “simple”

“Get out and vote. I don’t care who you vote for, I care that you vote,” he writes.

One of the more notable aspects of Taylor’s presence in the race is his status on social media platform Tik Tok.

He’s built a following of more than 600,000 people on the platform and his videos have generated more than 20.6 million likes.

What that will do for his candidacy is up in the air, but he’s sure to bring a youthful energy to the process.

 

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Here’s what Toronto’s new 57-storey skyscraper will look like

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The corner of Bay and Harbour may be getting a new 57-storey office tower perched atop the heritage Toronto Harbour Commission Building.

Updated plans for The Hub — a skyscraper from multinational corporation Oxford Properties — have been submitted, and if approved, will see a building designed by London-based firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to 30 Bay Street.

The project near Toronto’s waterfront which was initially proposed in 2018 will add around 1.4 million square feet of office space to the neighbourhood. The building’s west side will also be directly connected to The PATH network.

The Hub will also sit overtop (but only lightly touching) its next door neighbour: the six-storey Toronto Harbour Commission Building, which was built in 1917.

Nicknamed “The T”, the historic building was sold to Oxford in 2017 for $96 million. Fun fact: The T is also reportedly haunted by the ghost of a janitor.

It’s not entirely clear how the interior of the old Commission Building will play into The Hub’s commercial workspace, but the design of the 57-storey building shows the strategic use of four columns to allow for distance between the main building and The T.

The two buildings will be connected by a “finely detailed glazed atrium.”

Windows will stretch from floor to ceiling in the four-storey lobby, which will be home to restaurants, retail spaces, meeting and event spaces, and maybe a fitness facility.

Floors five to eight of the podium will see larger office floors.

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