Ski hills are set to close under Ontario’s new lockdown measures, and one resort in eastern Ontario is calling the decision “devastating” for the industry.
Jim Hemlin, chief operating officer for the Calabogie Peaks Resort in Calabogie, Ont., said the phones have been ringing off the hook since the province’s announcement was made Monday afternoon.
“It’s devastating to not only ourselves as operators, but to the communities,” he said.
Ontario announced on Monday that as of Boxing Day, the southern part of the province would be entering a 28-day lockdown.
The new rules include restrictions on businesses and gatherings, as well as shutting down some outdoor activities such as downhill skiing. Parks, skating rinks and cross-country ski and snowshoe trails across Ontario will remain open.
“We’ve had all kinds of policies put into place to ensure that we’re following the standards of what’s been expected of us,” Hemlin said. “So it’s really hard for us to understand why we’ve been isolated when parks are still available, rinks are still available.”
Hills open across the border in Quebec
Hemlin said what’s hardest for Calabogie Peaks — which is currently in the green zone of Ontario’s colour-coded COVID-19 response framework — is the fact that ski hills are allowed to operate just across the border in Quebec.
“The guests and our clients are going to be crossing the border to go skiing. And that’s devastating to a small business,” he said.
The resort redesigned its ticketing system so people wouldn’t have to wait in long lines for tickets for the lift. Hemlin said there’s signage all around the resort, and they’ve restricted their dining area so people can only eat food in their vehicles.
“The early opening that we’ve experienced already, people respected it. Everybody was here with masks on inside. They were wearing masks on the lifts,” he said.
No outbreaks, says provincial association
The decision is particularly perplexing as there have been no outbreaks associated with ski hills in the province, said Kevin Nichol, president of the Ontario Snow Resorts Association.
Even in the province’s grey lockdown zones, hills have been able to stay open, Nichol said.
As late as last week, the province was telling him his sector would be receiving good news, he said.
“Something changed over the weekend,” Nichol said. “We’ve asked about the rationale for that decision … [we’re] hoping that we can at least hear from the government why they decided to single out ski hills in Ontario.”
Hot enough for you? 2020, 2016 tie for warmest years on record – NewmarketToday.ca
It’s official: 2020 was tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) is reporting.
Last year, 2020, matches the 2016 record despite the cooling effects of a La Niña event whereas 2016 began with a strong warming El Niño.
The six years beginning in 2015 are the hottest six years and 2011 to 2020 was the warmest decade recorded. 2020 was 0.6°C warmer than the baseline 1981-2010 reference period and 1.25°C above pre-industrial temperatures.
Some of the largest annual temperature rises occurred in the Arctic and northern Siberia regions, with temperatures reaching over 6°C higher than the baseline in some areas.
There was an unusually active wildfire season in Northern Ontario, with that released a record 244 megatonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020, more than a third higher than the 2019 record. Arctic sea ice was significantly lower than average during the second half of the year with the lowest extent of sea ice on record for the months of July and October.
“2020 stands out for its exceptional warmth in the Arctic and a number of tropical storms in the North Atlantic,” commented Carlo Buontemp, director of C3S. “It is no surprise that the last decade was the warmest on record, and is yet another reminder of the urgency of ambitious emissions reductions to prevent adverse climate impacts in the future.”
Concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide continued to rise despite the approximately seven percent reduction of fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns around the world.
An initial pandemic-related 17 per cent reduction in emissions was followed by record high carbon dioxide levels in May. While the overall rise was slightly less than in 2019, scientists warn this should not be cause for complacency. Until net global emissions are reduced to zero, carbon dioxide will continue to accumulate and drive further climate change, said Vincent-Henri Peach, director of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.
Countries that signed onto the 2015 Paris climate agreement committed to limiting warming by no more than 1.5°C with a goal of less than 2°C. Scientists say this will require countries to commit to a more rapid transition away from fossil fuel dependency by investing in renewable energy.
“The extraordinary climate events of 2020 and the data from the C3S show us that we have no time to lose,” said Matthias Petschke of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space. “We must come together as a global community, to ensure a just transition to a net zero future. It will be difficult, but the cost of inaction is too great.”
– Lori Thompson, Local Journalism Initiative, Manitoulin Expositor
Starlink satellite internet grants instant sign-up for eligible Canadians – Canada.com
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In a CBC article, some Starlink subscribers have reported service speeds of up to 150Mbps.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) granted Starlink’s operator, SpaceX, a Basic International Telecommunications Service (BITS) license in October 2020. The license allows SpaceX to provide telecommunication services in Canada but does not allow it to operate as an internet service provider within the issuing nation.
SpaceX granted basic telecom license in Canada
Starlink says it aims to establish a global network by using a massive constellation of satellites. The satellites float at low earth orbit, which both cuts down on signal latency and can more easily return to earth once they’re decommissioned. But stargazers are worried that the massive amount of satellites could obscure the view of the night sky.
The company has expressed a keen interest in providing internet service to rural and underserved areas in Canada and the United States. It’s currently extending beta testing offers in Canada, U.S. and U.K.
Starlink says it has launched 955 satellites so far.
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Watch SpaceX launch its first dedicated rideshare mission live, carrying a record-breaking number of satellites – Yahoo Canada Shine On
Eat This, Not That!
Despite the fact that COVID-19 cases seem to be on the decline in most parts of the country, health experts are concerned that this trend will quickly reverse with the introduction of the new, more contagious variants of the virus. Therefore, preventing the spread of the virus is still just as important than ever. Over the course of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, has warned that some places are riskier than others when it comes to potential transmission. Read on to find out four you should avoid—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Avoid Any Indoor Function Since the start of the pandemic, it has been concluded that several superspreader events—situations in which many people were infected at once—have one thing in common: where they take place. “The overwhelming majority of super spreader events are those that occur indoor as opposed to outdoor,” Dr. Fauci stated during an interview with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. He pointed out that the only “responsible” way to host any type of event, ranging from a theater performance to a wedding or other type of celebration, is outdoors “Outdoors are much, much safer than indoors,” he said. “I mean, if you’re out there with the natural breezes that blow respiratory particles away, it’s so much safer.” 2 Avoid Indoor Restaurants Since the start of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci has repeatedly warned about indoor congregate settings—especially those involving food and alcohol. Bars, nightclubs, and indoor dinding situations are some of the riskiest, according to Fauci. “When you have restaurants indoors in a situation where you have a high degree of infection in the community [and] you’re not wearing masks, that’s a problem,” Dr. Fauci told MSNBC All In host Chris Hayes in September. 3 Avoid Bars and Nightclubs “Bars are a really important place of spreading of infection, there’s no doubt about that,” said Dr. Fauci. “Avoid.” “If you were to create a petri dish and say, How can we spread this the most? It would be cruise ships, jails and prisons, factories, and it would be bars,” Dr. Ogechika Alozie, an infectious disease specialist in El Paso, Texas, told Kaiser Health News. RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 4 Avoid Gyms Dr. Fauci is a huge proponent of exercise, being an avid jogger himself. However, he warns against shared, indoor workout spaces during the pandemic, due to their ability to spread the virus. According to a September CDC report, 7.8% of people who tested positive had been to the gym in the past two weeks, compared to 6.3% of those who tested negative. So how can working out indoors lead to an infection. Fauci explains that exercise involves breathing more heavily and releasing respiratory droplets into the air. This, paired with the fact that gym equipment can be easily contaminated, makes using a shared space all the riskier. 5 How to Get Through This Pandemic Healthy So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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