For some Canadians, Boxing Day is the time to go shopping and take advantage of post-Christmas discounts from retailers.
As reported in November, it has more recently been pushed aside by Black Friday, a day of deals that is the traditional start of shopping season for Americans. It spread to Canada around 2005, according to reports in the CBC archives.
Back in 1984, though, the day to look for deep discounts was Dec. 26. And stores in some Canadian provinces risked a penalty by opening on the statutory holiday.
“In provinces like Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Ontario, Boxing Day sales are against the law,” said Knowlton Nash, host of CBC’s The National, that day in 1984.
Not much of a deterrent
The potential rewards for retailers on Boxing Day were just too great to keep them from obeying the law.
“What this store is doing is illegal,” said reporter Vicki Russell, as the camera captured images of a long queue of people outside a leather-goods store on Toronto’s Yonge Street. “And under Ontario law, it could be fined up to $10,000.”
Manager Al Vancardo was unfazed by the threat.
“We feel if people want to come down, they can come down,” he said. “We don’t care about the laws.”
The store was among “a few dozen” that defied the law, allowing customers in to try, and with any luck, buy their stock of men’s leather jackets at up to 70 per cent off.
Too much business to be timid
Bay Bloor Radio, a stereo store, was open on Boxing Day for the first time in 39 years of business.
“I believe that my staff was being discriminated against,” said owner Sol Mandlsohn, whose store was buzzing with audiophiles.
He had remained closed on Boxing Day the year before and paid the price by being closed when others were open.
By opening, he told the Toronto Star, he was hoping to “test the law and see if it is valid.”
“I think it’s all right. He should be open,” said shopper Ennio Sartori. “I have to work tomorrow so I can’t make it here. Today I took advantage and I came over.”
Was the law ‘useless’?
Russell reported that police had said they would investigate any store that was open on Boxing Day. They had done the same for Boxing Day 1983 and issued warnings, but laid no charges.
According to the Toronto Star, the prohibition against Boxing Day shopping had come into force in 1975. But the day after this report aired, it reported that Ontario’s solicitor general was considering a repeal.
“You never like to see a law so violated that the law is useless,” said George Taylor.
The following year, the Toronto Star reported that 154 stores had been charged with Boxing Day violations.
But according to TVO, it wasn’t until 1996 that the province amended the Retail Business Holidays Act to drop Boxing Day.
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FDA says kid-sized Pfizer vaccine doses appear highly effective, safe – CBC.ca
U.S. health regulators said late Friday that kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children and caused no unexpected safety issues, as the country weighs beginning vaccinations in youngsters.
The Food and Drug Administration posted its analysis of Pfizer’s data ahead of a public meeting next week to debate whether the shots are ready for the nation’s roughly 28 million children ages 5 to 11. The agency will ask a panel of outside vaccine experts to vote on that question.
In their analysis, FDA scientists concluded that in almost every scenario the vaccine’s benefit for preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 would outweigh any serious potential side effects in children. But agency reviewers stopped short of calling for Pfizer’s shot to be authorized.
The agency will put that question to its panel of independent advisers next Tuesday and weigh their advice before making its own decision.
U.S. children could begin vaccinations next month
If the FDA authorizes the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make additional recommendations on who should receive them the first week of November. Children could begin vaccinations early next month — with the first youngsters in line fully protected by Christmas.
Full-strength Pfizer shots already are recommended for anyone 12 or older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously awaiting protection for younger children to stem infections from the extra-contagious delta variant and help keep kids in school.
WATCH | Pfizer releases clinical trial data for COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11:
The FDA review affirmed results from Pfizer posted earlier in the day showing the two-dose shot was nearly 91 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infection in young children. Researchers calculated the figure based on 16 COVID-19 cases in youngsters given dummy shots versus three cases among vaccinated children. There were no severe illnesses reported among any of the youngsters, but the vaccinated ones had much milder symptoms than their unvaccinated counterparts.
Most of the study data was collected in the U.S. during August and September, when the delta variant had become the dominant COVID-19 strain.
No new side effects
The FDA review found no new or unexpected side effects, which mostly consisted of sore arms, fever or achiness that teens experience.
However, FDA scientists noted that the study wasn’t large enough to detect extremely rare side effects, including myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that occasionally occurs after the second dose.
The agency used statistical modelling to try to predict how many hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 the vaccine would prevent versus the number of potential heart side effects it might cause. In four scenarios of the pandemic, the vaccine clearly prevented more hospitalizations than would be expected from the heart side effect. Only when virus cases were extremely low would the vaccine cause more hospitalizations than it would prevent. But overall, regulators concluded that the vaccine’s protective benefits “would clearly outweigh” its risks.
While children run a lower risk of severe illness or death than older people, COVID-19 has killed more than 630 Americans 18 and under, according to the CDC. Nearly 6.2 million children have been infected with the coronavirus, more than 1.1 million in the last six weeks as the delta variant surged, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
The Biden administration has purchased enough kid-size doses — in special orange-capped vials to distinguish them from adult vaccine — for the nation’s 5- to 11-year-olds. If the vaccine is cleared, millions of doses will be promptly shipped around the country, along with kid-size needles.
More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers already have signed up to get the shots into little arms.
Edward Rogers’ role as Blue Jays chair unchanged amid changes atop RCI – Sportsnet.ca
TORONTO — Edward Rogers’ roles as chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and control person with Major League Baseball are unaffected by this week’s manoeuvrings that led to his removal as board chair of parent company Rogers Communications Inc., according to two industry sources.
Whether fallout from the power struggle atop the telecom giant, which also owns Sportsnet, might eventually reach the club is unclear. Last week, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said the team was “about a month away” from presenting its off-season plan during a final payroll meeting with ownership, and expressed confidence that its long-term strategic objectives would remain on track.
“Every indication I’ve received and every indication that we’ve been shown … leads me to believe that we will stay on plan and the payroll will continue to rise despite the fact that we’re still lagging behind a little bit in revenues due to (the pandemic),” Shapiro said.
Those comments came before news broke that John MacDonald, a member of the Rogers Board of Directors since 2012, had assumed the chairman role in place of Edward Rogers, who according to media reports had sought to oust company CEO Joe Natale.
Edward Rogers is now seeking to replace five board members.
At this point, the sources said the developments aren’t expected to impact a winter of opportunity for the Blue Jays, who are seeking to augment a club that missed the post-season by one game and are about to see top performers Marcus Semien, Robbie Ray and Steven Matz hit free agency.
Shapiro is close with Edward Rogers, who as chair is the top officer of the club. He is also the control person, a role each of the 30 MLB teams assigns to represent the interests of that ownership.
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