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Busy Tri-City trails lead to social media backlash – The Tri-City News



Efforts to help people social distance with one-way trails and heavy signage warning people to stay two metres apart aren’t meeting with compliance, as people flock to the great outdoors to get some much needed relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Lafarge Lake to Buntzen Lake, people are complaining on social media that trails are crowded, people aren’t following signage and worry that close walking will lead to a boost in coronavirus case numbers.

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One woman posted on Facebook that the pier at Buntzen Lake was over-crowded, while another said people weren’t sticking to the one-way route along the lake trail.

“Social distancing – FAIL,” Brianne Cordick wrote on the Anmore Conversations page, after posting a photo of people packed on the Buntzen Lake pier.

Coquitlam’s Town Centre park is one of several parks in the Tri-Cities that have implemented one-way directions for walking paths to help people maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. – Mario Bartel

Others, meanwhile, say Lafarge Lake is too busy, despite efforts to ensure people social distance and travel in one direction.

The concerns come as mobility data shows people are spending less time at home and more time outdoors but as yet there has been no appreciable jump in COVID-19 cases.

Still, for people needing to get outdoors, local trails are the best way to get some fresh air, even if it means being extra careful and choosing to wear a courtesy mask.

BC Hydro, which operates Buntzen Lake and recently opened a dog park and swimming area there, is refining signage to ensure people social distance, according to spokesperson Susie Reider.

But for the most part, Reider said people are following the new restrictions.

“In order to ensure proper physical distancing in accordance with recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer, we have limited Buntzen Lake trails to one direction of travel for the time being,” Reider stated in an email to the Tri-City News. 

“We have put up signage informing visitors of this change along the trails, and the vast majority of people have respected our signs, which we greatly appreciate,” she added.

Still, those who start out on the Buntzen Lake Loop Trail might find they are in over the heads on the eight kilometre, round-trip loop, which takes four to five hours, according to BC Hydro.

But if they do turn back they’ll find themselves at odds with the one-way directional signage, which is meant to have people take the route in a counter-clockwise fashion.

Those wanting to take a walk are advised to check out their route before they go as they’ll find a number of shorter walks in the Tri-Cities, most now one-directional because of COVID-19. Check out these spots around the Tri-Cities: 

Port Moody

• Bert Flinn Park and Shoreline Park both have one-way loop trails and the pier at Rocky Point Park also has a one way circuit. As well, the Westhill Park pathway around the sports field is one-way and the North Shore Community Park (near Heritage Woods secondary) has a running track that is one-way.

• Port Coquitlam

There are no one-way circulation trails but the city has posted signs to remind people to social distance and is monitoring the situation.

• Coquitlam 

Coquitlam Crunch and Town Centre Park Lake Loop Trail as well as the Como Lake trail are all one-way. Watch for directional signage.

• Regional parks

Currently there are no trail restrictions at Colony Farm, Minnekhada or Belcarra regional parks but people are asked to social distance and to stay away if sick.

Some Metro Vancouver regional park trails are all one-way. You’ll find them located in Campbell Valley, Derby Reach, Grouse Mountain, Iona Beach and Kanaka Creek. For more information, visit here.

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Edmontonians take to social media to post colourful chalk creations – CTV News Edmonton



Artists converged on the downtown Edmonton farmer’s market on Saturday to give the area a colourful update.

The sidewalks are now covered in colourful chalk art.

Several local artists took part, including the designers behind the popular sidewalk Monopoly display that was done in Crestwood back in April.

The event is called Chalk the Block YEG, and organizers are hoping the public will get involved.

“The idea is you be inspired to go back to your community and celebrate all that it’s given you through this crisis by going to your neighbourhood in front of your home, grab some chalk, create a masterpiece of your own – and just celebrate all that community means to you ,” said organizer Elliot Rose.

Artists can get involved by sharing their creations with the hashtag #ChalkTheBlockYEG.

The event runs until July 18.  

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Virus Pushes Singapore Politicians Into Social Media Square Off – BNN



(Bloomberg) — Packed rallies are out, along with their cheers and jeers. In comes the Internet, with its memes and trolls.

The era of social distancing ushered in by the deadly coronavirus has forced Singapore’s political parties to face off online in the lead-up to a national election in less than a week.

“Compared to past elections, parties clearly are adopting a more experimental approach to sustain people’s interest and meet different needs,” said Carol Soon, senior research fellow and head of the society and culture department at the Institute of Policy Studies in Singapore.

Though previous elections have increasingly seen political parties vie for attention online, social media is quickly shaping up to be a key pillar in campaign strategies this time around. The shift comes as politicians face public health restrictions on election activities with the island still grappling with virus infections. That includes the scrapping of physical rallies, typically held outdoors at stadiums which sometimes attract tens of thousands of voters.

Social media has presented an opportunity for these parties to obtain greater access to voters, many of whom are digitally-savvy and increasingly politically engaged.

Equal Access

Ahead of the July 10 polls, most opposition parties have sought to reach more voters by bolstering their content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They are also making use of the ability to conduct live video broadcasts on platforms such as YouTube and Zoom.

To facilitate online campaigning, venues have been provided for candidates to do live streaming at certain time slots throughout the day during the campaign period, equipped with Internet connectivity at subsidized rates.

Minutes after Parliament was dissolved in June, the Workers’ Party – the main opposition force – posted a video introducing the 12 candidates it intends to field in the coming polls. The video of its line-up of candidates smiling for the camera and set to soaring music has garnered 210,000 views to date.

Tan Cheng Bock, the 80-year-old leader of the Progress Singapore Party, became a sensation after he attempted to use millennial slang while addressing the press during a walkabout. Tan has avidly posted content on Instagram, including a video showing how he types with a single finger, in an effort to relate to younger voters.

“Cyberspace has helped open up Singapore’s political culture,” said Cherian George, a professor of media studies at Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Communication. Whether that would have an impact on “electoral outcomes is a very different question. So far, the answer is no,” he said.

The Singapore Democratic Party said it’s “constantly looking for ways to creatively” get its message out on social media, but there still are limitations to the online reach. “We have always depended on rallies and large walkabouts which are banned for this election,” Chairman Paul Ananth Tambyah said in an emailed response to questions.

Many of the country’s present ministers, who hail from the ruling People’s Action Party or PAP, already are established on the same online platforms. The party has governed the Southeast Asian nation since independence in 1965. While Singapore doesn’t allow opinion polls, most analysts expect the PAP to easily win again in a race that will see all 93 seats contested by at least two parties for just the second time.

The PAP has revved up its social media activity by posting video segments explaining the party’s stance on key policy issues. It’s focused on the government’s handling of the coronavirus and the economic fallout. Ministers are also posting more updates about their activities on the ground during the campaign season. Collectively, the posts have garnered thousands of likes.

Trial by Internet

But with greater access, also comes greater scrutiny. Social media has proven to be a double-edged sword that can inflict damage on the image of candidates and parties as well.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s blunder during a speech was widely shared, leading to memes poking fun at him and his comments. Heng is widely seen as the PAP’s successor to current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The Progress Singapore Party’s Tan — a former PAP lawmaker — also had a near slip in rallying support for the ruling party instead of his own.

Just days before, PAP candidate Ivan Lim faced a wave of allegations online over his behavior when he was in the military and as an executive at a unit of conglomerate Keppel Corp Ltd. Lim withdrew from contest shortly after, saying he didn’t want the allegations to distract from the PAP’s efforts. The incident prompted Prime Minister Lee to caution against a “culture of trial by the Internet.”

“It sets a very damaging precedent that you can condemn somebody and write him off on the basis of an Internet campaign,” Lee said at a virtual press conference on June 29. “We don’t have time to settle it now, but we can’t simply write off and destroy people like this.”

In October, Singapore enacted a fake news law that empowers the government to issue correction orders and even force social media platforms to restrict access to web-based content it deems untrue. Officials have said the law is needed to quell errant online information — drawing criticism from the opposition and even Facebook Inc., amid concerns it would set a precedent for stifling free speech.

Since general elections were announced by the prime minister last month, officials continued to invoke the law. In addition to targeting individual Facebook users, a correction order was also issued on Saturday against the Singapore Democratic Party over statements about the city-state’s population target.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Media Advisory – Government Of Canada to Make Announcement Related to Housing in St. Catharines – Canada NewsWire



ST. CATHARINES, ON, July 3, 2020 /CNW/ – The federal government will be making an announcement related to housing in St. Catharines.

Media are invited to join Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.


July 6, 2020


10:00 a.m


176 Oakdale Avenue

St. Catharines, ON


Media are asked to wear sturdy shoes and a medical or cloth mask.

In the interest of ensuring adherence to the 10-person limit on gatherings, media are requested to RSVP to Wilbur McLean at [email protected].

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: Wilbur McLean, CMHC, 416-218-3331, [email protected]

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