Oktoberfest Brings Festival to Your Home
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is not cancelled, but it will be different. That is the message coming loud and clear from the 52-year-old Bavarian festival. The festival will run over three-weekends from September 25 to October 12, two weeks earlier than usual, and will include a free two-day live-stream event delivering the music, dancing, food and culture that make the festival so unique, directly into viewers’ homes all across Ontario. Official Opening Ceremonies will be live streamed from the Region of Waterloo International Airport on Friday, September 25 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Mayors from all three Cities and the Regional Chair will take part in a historic single ceremony to declare the festival open. Festival-goers can also visit one of many “Micro-FESThallen” running in local restaurants during the festival dates. They will be featuring live Oktoberfest entertainment and Bavarian-themed food specials and beer pairings. The program is designed to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have been working to better understand and characterize the varied symptoms of the disease. One of the most concerning symptoms is the development of large blood clots that can cause blockages in the arteries that lead to the brain causing stroke. Researchers at Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute led by Dr. Luciano Sposato have been investigating the relationship between COVID-19 and stroke to better understand the risk in patients and aid in treatment planning. In a new study published in the September 15, 2020 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the research team reports that approximately two in every 100 patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 will suffer a stroke, and 35 per cent will die as a result of both conditions. “One of the most eye-opening findings of this study is that for patients under 50 years old, many were totally asymptomatic when they had a stroke related to COVID-19. This means that for these patients, the stroke was their first symptom of the disease,” said Dr. Sposato (photo), Associate Professor and the Kathleen and Dr. Henry Barnett Chair in Stroke Research at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Scientist at Lawson.
Pivot Airlines announced that they have entered a formal arrangement with the Region of Waterloo International Airport to provide scheduled domestic air service to Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor and Montreal. "We are excited to form a true partnership with the Region of Waterloo International Airport by having their support in helping develop regional markets aimed at serving Waterloo Region" said the release. Eric Edmondson (photo), Chief Executive Officer of Pivot Airlines, said, “Pivot Airlines partnership with the Region of Waterloo International Airport allows us to focus on providing safe and convenient travel options for guests who prioritize the convenience and benefits of using a modern regional airport that is focused on providing the safest return to travel protocols for travellers.”
Kindred Credit Union (Kindred) is making it easier to experience Banking with Purpose thanks to the launch of digital account opening. Now, it’s simple and quick to open a Kindred chequing or savings account on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Kindred’s values-centred approach is woven into everything they do, making the credit union a one-of-a-kind choice for people across Ontario who want to connect their values and faith with their finances. “We’re committed to making tools available to enrich our members’ banking experience,” says Ian Thomas (photo), chief executive officer. “As the pandemic continues, we recognize that providing a variety of ways to bank is now a necessity rather than simply a convenience.” Ian adds, “The launch of digital account opening is the first of many new solutions we are bringing to our members. We’re offering choice and expanding accessibility, so that we can give those who choose Kindred the option to experience Banking with Purpose wherever they’re at.”
United Way Waterloo Region Communities (UWWRC) is inviting community members to join them virtually on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 as they mark the launch of this year’s campaign with a limited and socially distanced version of their annual March of 1,000 Umbrellas. Over the last two years UWWRC kicked-off their yearly campaign with a loud and boisterous event comprised of hundreds of individuals, local corporations and organizations. This year members of the United Way team will be coming together in a smaller group for a socially distanced launch event that you’ll be able to follow on social media. ___________________
Mark Terry, a contract faculty member in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of English and Film Studies, has been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). Recognition by the RSC is the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, sciences and social sciences. Terry’s appointment to the RSC’s Division of Arts recognizes his achievements as a documentary filmmaker. Over his 25-year career, Terry has made more than 60 feature films and television programs. He also pioneered the use of an innovative form of documentary film called the Geo-Doc, currently being used within the United Nations (UN) as a communications tool that bridges the gap between science and policy. Terry’s work documenting polar research was previously honoured with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for international humanitarian service.
When forecasting future oil consumption around the world, many people have opinions and agendas. Forecasts rooted in facts and technological capabilities are more rare. An example of an informed opinion comes from Vaclav Smil, professor emeritus of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Environment. Smil is an expert in energy transitions. He would prefer a move away from fossil fuels and he accepts that carbon emissions contribute to global warming. However, Smil’s data-based, empirical work, and his resulting view on a possible transition from such fuels to others, was summed up in his recent paper for the University of Saskatchewan’s Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy: “Designing hypothetical roadmaps outlining complete elimination of fossil carbon from the global energy supply by 2050 is nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking that ignores fundamental physical realities.”
The Ontario government recently announced a new elementary school math curriculum. It’s likely a positive step but more fundamental funding changes are necessary to truly improve the province’s education system. The province will return to a “back to basics” approach to math aimed at improving standardized test scores. It will also introduce lessons on financial literacy and coding. Whether these changes will improve math education remains to be seen. What’s certain is that the new approach can’t be much worse than the path Ontario’s public schools have been going down for almost two decades.
Environics Analytics (EA) announced the launch of WealthTransfer, a new financial database that estimates the likelihood of Canadian households receiving an inheritance within a given year and quantifies the total potential inheritance amount. These data can assist financial institutions, real estate companies, retailers, auto dealerships and not-for-profits in identifying Canadians that are more likely to make big-ticket purchases, donate to charitable causes or plan for their financial future.
The City of Cambridge is pleased to announce Brian Arnold as the City’s new Fire Chief, starting this November. “We’re pleased to welcome Brian back to Cambridge,” says Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “Brian brings extensive operations experience, proven leadership in the areas of fire safety prevention, education and emergency management, and he also understands and values our community. As a growing city, our fire protection and emergency services are critical to community safety.” Arnold (photo) returns to Cambridge after serving most recently as the Fire Chief with Sarnia Fire Rescue Services. Previously, he worked as the Deputy Fire Chief with the City of Cambridge from 2015-2019.
This 2020/2021 school year, Nutrition for Learning is searching for volunteers to help prepare snack bags for students. We have two locations for preparation of the snack bags and will offer a morning and afternoon volunteering shift. We are ensuring that we are working within current public health directive by offering masks and/or face shields to each volunteer, practicing physical distancing (each volunteer will work at there own station).
In a new World Economic Forum-Ipsos survey of more than 21,000 adults from 28 countries nearly nine in ten say they are ready for their life and the world to change. 72% would like their own lives to change significantly and 86% want the world to become more sustainable and equitable, rather than going back to how it was before the COVID-19 crisis started. In all countries, those who share this view outnumber those who don’t by a very significant margin (more than 50 percentage points in every country except South Korea). Preference for the world to change in a more sustainable and equitable manner is most prevalent across the Latin America and Middle East-Africa regions as well as in Russia and Malaysia.
Investments in a post-COVID-19 economic recovery will either kick start jobs and growth for a cleaner, more resilient economy or lock Canada into a high-pollution future. Yesterday, the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery released its final report, recommending specific measures and investments to help the government of Canada achieve the former. The Task Force urges Canada’s leaders to learn from the missed opportunities of 2010, when countries made investments coming out of the 2008-09 financial crisis that resulted in a historic global increase in carbon emissions. The Task Force’s final report recommends $55.4 billion in green recovery investments that will support long-term jobs and economic growth and keep Canada on pace with its international peers.
As Canadians, we need to ask ourselves this question – how do we build upon and deploy large-scale tree planting efforts such as the Two Billion Tree Program envisioned by Prime Minster Trudeau? We are not alone with this idea. According to ETH Zurich University, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations, planting one trillion trees around the world may be one of the most effective ways to combat climate change impacts. To respond to our moral and global responsibilities, and since Canada is able to contribute to the world’s growing need for trees and new forests, I say it is time we build on the Prime Minister’s visionary Two Billon Tree promise announced near Belleville last September with a climate focused national tree planting strategy.
U.S.-based News Media Alliance recently released a White Paper How Google Abuses Its Position as a Market Dominant Platform to Strong-Arm News Publishers and Hurt Journalism, which it has submitted to the Department of Justice as that body investigates Google’s anticompetitive behaviour. Based on more than a year of interviews and consultations, the paper outlines several ways in which Google uses news content to its advantage across its products and services. Recommendations from the report include the following: ___________________
Data acquired by Finbold.com indicates that video-sharing social networking service Tik Tok recorded 44.6 million downloads in August. The downloads were on both Android and Apple platforms. TikTok’s downloads were more compared to Instagram’s 38.5 million and Facebook’s 22.1 million. The Finbold.com research also overviewed the selected apps downloaded in May this year. TikTok remained dominant with 72.8 million downloads. The downloads were more than compared to Instagram and Facebook which had 38.5 million and 31.4 million downloads respectively. The research highlighted the push behind TikTok’s 2020 massive growth in downloads. According to the report:
International tourist arrivals plunged 93% in June when compared to 2019, with the latest data from the World Tourism Organization showing the severe impact COVID-19 has had on the sector. According to the new issue of the World Tourism Barometer from the United Nations specialized agency, international tourist arrivals dropped by 65% during the first half of the year. This represents an unprecedented decrease, as countries around the world closed their borders and introduced travel restrictions in response to the pandemic. Over recent weeks, a growing number of destinations have started to open up again to international tourists. UNWTO reports that, as of early September, 53% of destinations had eased travel restrictions. Nevertheless, many governments remain cautious, and this latest report shows that the lockdowns introduced during the first half of the year have had a massive impact on international tourism. The sharp and sudden fall in arrivals has placed millions of jobs and businesses at risk.