Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Great Canadian Gaming Corp. says 11 of its Ontario casinos will reopen Friday following the provincial government’s decision to move to Stage 3 of its reopening plan.
The facilities to reopen are Casino Woodbine. Great Blue Heron Casino, Casino Ajax, Elements Casino Mohawk, Elements Casino Flamboro, Elements Casino Brantford, Elements Casino Grand River, Shorelines Casino Belleville, Shorelines Casino Peterborough, Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands and Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs.
The company says its casino at the Pickering Casino Resort will reopen in the near future, with the remainder of the resort opening at a later date in 2022.
Under the province’s current health and safety framework, the facilities will reopen with reduced gaming capacity to reflect physical distancing requirements.
The Toronto-based company previously reopened several casinos in British Columbia on July 1 and two casinos in Halifax and Sydney, N.S., on June 16.
Founded in 1982, Great Canadian Gaming Corp. operates 26 gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Members of a second First Nation in northern Ontario were being evacuated to Thunder Bay on Monday due to the threat posed by wildfires in the region.
The City of Thunder Bay said it would host 101 evacuees from Deer Lake First Nation. Over the weekend, the city began taking in 300 residents from Poplar Hill First Nation due to the threat to that community from another wildfire.
“Local emergency services confirmed the necessary resources were available to support the additional evacuees,” the city said in a statement Monday.
A wildfire dubbed Red Lake 51 is burning 15 kilometres away from Deer Lake and growing in size due to weather conditions, the city said.
The 101 people from the First Nation who were heading to Thunder Bay are considered members of the community’s vulnerable population, it said. A remaining group of about 350 people from Deer Lake will be evacuated to other communities in the province, the city said.
Evacuees from Poplar Hill First Nation began arriving in the city on Sunday, Thunder Bay said, noting that a forest fire burning about 10 kilometres west of that community posed an immediate threat to residents’ safety.
Ontario’s Ministry of the Solicitor General said the province is working to support the full evacuation of Poplar Hill and the precautionary evacuation of Deer Lake.
“Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of individuals currently being impacted by wildfires in the northern part of our province,” ministry spokesman Brent Ross said in a statement.
Ross said no other First Nation communities have requested evacuations at this time.
He added that the province continued to fight multiple wildfires with ground crews and water bombers, while keeping local officials updated on the situation.
The federal government said Sunday that Poplar Hill had requested assistance and the Canadian Armed Forces would evacuate residents by air.
The National Gallery of Canada announced Monday that admission will be free for Indigenous Peoples when it reopens this week for the first time since April.
The gallery reopens Friday with four new exhibitions and installations, including one featuring Rembrandt’s “The Blinding of Samson,” a large-scale oil on canvas from the St?del Museum in Frankfurt, and another featuring work from Jamaican-Canadian artist Tau Lewis.
The gallery also announced that admission for a companion of a person with a disability is free. General admission for adults is $20.
The National Gallery of Canada says in a release it is home to “the largest contemporary Indigenous art collection in the world.” It also hosts a collection of historical and contemporary Canadian and European art from the 14th to 21st centuries.
But it’s not the first to offer free admission to Indigenous Peoples.
Several other large institutions have already established the practice, including the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, and the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton.
COVID-19 guidelines remain in place for the National Gallery of Canada, including limiting the number of visitors in the venue at one time.
Parents and experts say they want clearer guidance about how kids under 12 who aren’t eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations fit into Ontario’s reopening plan.
The province will allow more indoor activities to resume later this week but Stephen Ouderkirk says his family is sticking to outdoor social gatherings with their newborn son who can’t get vaccinated.
Pediatric infectious disease physician Dr. Nisha Thampi says families with mixed vaccination status should keep following guidelines like staying home when sick and gathering outdoors where possible.
She says she’d like to see details on whether unvaccinated children will be subject to different guidelines when restrictions are eased further, and more assessment of where risks are greatest for them.
University of Toronto epidemiologist Ashleigh Tuite says young children are at risk of being left behind as restrictions roll back and says some rules like masking in public places should stay for now.
The Public Health Agency of Canada outlined activity guidelines based on people’s vaccination status last month but Ontario hasn’t released guidance specific to its reopening plan.
Ontario’s top doctor has said higher vaccination rates in the broader community will help protect young children by keeping infections low.