A Filipino fast-food chain known for its “crispylicious” fried chicken, sweet spaghetti and mango pies opened its first location in Saskatchewan on Sunday.
The opening of Jollibee’s new location, at 2830 Quance St. in Regina, had people lining up for hours.
“It’s so worth the wait,” said Jason Marx, who waited 19 hours to try the menu. “I would do it again in a heartbeat, for even longer.”
Jollibee may be a new brand to Canadians but it’s a heritage brand in the Philippines.
“It is a tradition in many Filipino families because it is actually where they celebrate a lot of family milestones, whether it be a graduation, a baptism… birthdays,” said Maribeth Dela Cruz, president of Jollibee Foods Corp. North America.
“It has a special place in their heart. It’s beyond a taste of home — it’s also reliving fond memories of really good milestones in their life.”
Expanding into Saskatchewan aligns with Jollibee’s mission of becoming one of the top five restaurant companies in the world.
A recent focus on Canada is attributed to the rising Filipino population in Canada. According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, the Philippines was the No. 1 country of birth of recent immigrants to Canada.
“Here in Saskatchewan, we have over 30,000 [Filipinos] in the province, but here in Regina we have 10,000, which is a huge representation in respect to the total population,” said Petronila Garcia, Philippine ambassador to Canada.
“It’s one of the fastest-growing immigration populations in the city, if not the fastest.”
Garcia, who attended the grand opening event in Regina, said she was happy to see Jollibee in the province.
“It’s now joined the Filipino community here in Saskatchewan,” Garcia said. “In the Philippines, we take our families to Jollibee and we love the mascot, the bee, and to find the bee here in Regina, it’s a source of pride and it’s a taste of home.”
Jollibee says it plans to expand further into Saskatchewan. The company is eyeing a location in Saskatoon and possibly a second in Regina, said Dela Cruz.
The first Jollibee store in Canada opened in Winnipeg in 2016. The city has since gotten a second restaurant.
The franchise also has stores in Calgary and Edmonton and four in Toronto.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Ontario reports 1,631 new COVID-19 cases, but official says data issues put count likely closer to 1,300 – CBC.ca
Ontario is reporting 1,631 new COVID-19 cases on the same day stay-at-home orders lift in three regions, including Toronto and Peel — which have consistently seen the province’s highest number of infections throughout the pandemic.
Monday’s cases mark the highest number of new infections in over a month, though Ontario’s Ministry of Health says today’s case count is higher than expected due to a “data catch-up process.”
Asked how much Monday’s figure was inflated by the data delay, Public Health Ontario said it couldn’t provide a specific number “due to the way the data are pulled for the reports.”
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, the province’s associate chief medical officer of health, said Monday’s case count is probably closer to 1,300.
Of the new cases, 568 were reported in Toronto, 322 were reported in Peel Region and 119 were reported in York Region.
Provincewide, the Ontario government is reporting that some 626 people are in hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 282 are in intensive care, and 184 require a ventilator to breathe.
But according to a report by Critical Care Services Ontario — which provides a more up-to-date look at critical care data — the actual number of patients with COVID-19 in intensive care now sits at 337.
Ontario is also reporting an additional 10 deaths, bringing the death toll to 7,077. None of the deaths reported on Monday were of long-term care home residents.
Toronto, Peel and North Bay were the last regions still under a stay-at-home order, and are transitioning back to the government’s colour-coded pandemic response framework.
North Bay is now in the “red” category, while Toronto and Peel are entering the “grey-lockdown,” something local public health officials asked for in both regions.
Despite the “lockdown” title, moving to the grey category will allow more retailers to open with restrictions. Gyms, personal care services and indoor restaurant dining, however, will stay closed.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says the government is taking a “safe and cautious approach” to ending the provincewide shutdown, which started in January.
This comes as Ontario’s lab network processed 38,063 test samples for the virus — the lowest number completed in a week. The test positivity rate was 3.4 per cent.
According to the ministry, health units across Ontario administered 21,882 doses of vaccines yesterday. A total of 273,676 people in Ontario have now been given both shots of a vaccine.
Ontario’s website for booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments began a “soft launch” in six public health units last week.
Ahead of the province’s centralized website for all public health units, Toronto hospitals have launched their own site where you can pre-register to get a vaccine if you’re 80-plus or a high-priority health-care worker. To learn more about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the Greater Toronto Area — and whether or not you qualify — click here.
The Ministry of Education also reported another 95 school-related cases: 84 students and 11 staff members. Thirty schools are currently closed due to the respiratory illness.
The seven-day average of daily cases now stands at 1,155 — the highest it’s been in three weeks.
The new daily case count brings the total number of cases since the pandemic began in Ontario to 309,927.
Labs also confirmed 51 more cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom, B117, bringing the cumulative total of that variant to 879 (though the actual number is likely higher).
Yaffe, for her part, reported at a news conference later on Monday that the province now has 935 cases involving variants of concern.
In addition to the 879 cases of the B117 variant, there are 39 cases of the B135 variant, first identified in South Africa, and 17 of P1, first identified in Brazil.
Yaffe said the province is also now reporting the number of COVID-19 samples that have screened positive for the N501Y mutation, a mutation all shared by the variants of concern.
As of Friday, more than 26,000 samples have been screened for the N501Y mutation, with a test positivity rate of 16.8 per cent.
“We’re seeing quite a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases that are screening positive for a variant of concern,” she said.
Asked about new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., which suggests that fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors, Yaffe said it is too early to say whether that advice could apply to Ontario. She said the U.S. has a higher rate of vaccinations.
Provincial officials, however, will look at the guidance, she said.
“Certainly, we’re always interested in looking at the data that they’ve used and seeing how we can apply it here, once we get more vaccine into people,” she said.
Other public health units that saw double-digit increases in cases were:
- Thunder Bay: 91
- Durham Region: 68
- Ottawa: 57
- Halton Region: 51
- Waterloo Region: 51
- Simcoe Muskoka: 48
- Windsor-Essex: 46
- Niagara: 31
- Sudbury: 27
- Hamilton: 22
- Brant County: 20
- Lambton: 19
- Middlesex London: 18
- Eastern Ontario: 15
- Northwestern: 11
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 10
What you need to know about retail reopening in ‘grey lockdown’
Under the grey lockdown tier of the framework, non-essential stores can open at 25 per cent capacity while indoor dining, gyms and hair salons remain closed.
Grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies can operate at 50 per cent capacity.
Outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and must comply with physical distancing rules.
Though non-essential stores in Toronto and Peel Region are allowed to open for the first time in more than 100 days, it won’t be business as usual.
To prepare for visitors, major malls in these two hot spots have implemented new safety protocols, including:
- 25 per cent capacity limit.
- Live online meters to check mall capacity in real time.
- Mandatory screening (in-person or online) for all retailers, employees, and shoppers entering the malls.
WATCH | What you need to know about restrictions easing in Toronto and Peel
Masks remain mandatory in the shopping centres and must be properly worn at all times. Shoppers are also strongly encouraged to shop individually or with members of the same household.
At this time, food and beverage consumption is not allowed in malls. In-dining areas are not open to the public but all food court retails are open for takeout.
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, March 8 – CBC.ca
What’s the latest?
People who were born in or before 1941, or are an adult getting home care for a chronic health condition, can now make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccineif they live in 14 more communities such as Lowertown or Vanier.
The number of clinics in the city is also expanding and shots will begin on Friday.
Starting Wednesday, anybody in any community who was born in or before 1931 can make an appointment for a vaccine at the Nepean Sportsplex.
Ottawa Public Health is reporting 57 more COVID-19 cases and one more death.
How many cases are there?
As of Monday, 15,167 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 513 known active cases, 14,211 resolved cases, and 443 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 26,900 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 25,200 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 131 people have died of COVID-19, and 163 people have died in western Quebec.
Akwesasne has had more than 240 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. It’s had more than 500 cases combined with its southern section.
What can I do?
Restaurants, gyms, personal care services, theatres and non-essential businesses are open across eastern Ontario. Most sports can also resume.
Social gatherings can have up to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. Organized events can be larger.
People are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only travel for essential reasons, especially between differently coloured zones.
Eastern Ontario ranges from orange to green under the province’s colour-coded pandemic scale.
Ottawa Public Health and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit are orange, with more restrictions than the rest of the region.
WATCH | Detecting coronavirus variants in wastewater:
Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are now are now allowed and places of worship can bring in more people.
That area’s new curfew hours are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.
The exception is Grenville-sur-la-Rouge and some of that area, which remains in red.
Like in Ontario, people are asked not to have close contact with anyone they don’t live with and travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.
Quebec will allow extra-curricular activities and sports in schools across the province starting next week.
WATCH | Quebec families, athletes call for return of team sports outside schools:
Distancing and isolating
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with, even with a mask on.
WATCH | Why buffets may not have much of a future:
OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Quebec and Ontario; the latter recently updated its rules, including in schools.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get help with errands.
WATCH | What could the next 12 months look like?
Symptoms and vaccines
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children can develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In early March the national task force said evidence shows first doses have offered such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second dose, opening the door for jurisdictions to spread first doses widely.
More than 113,000 doses have been given out in the wider region since mid-December, including about 63,600 doses in Ottawa and 13,300 in western Quebec.
Ontario’s first doses generally went to care home residents and health-care workers.
The province’s campaign expands to priority groups such as people over age 80 starting in mid-March, moving to people as young as age 60 in June, people with underlying health conditions in April people who can’t work from home in June.
Ontarians who are eligible can book appointments online or over the phone starting March 15.
WATCH | Why masks, distancing will stay for ‘some time’:
Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check with them for specifics.
For example, Ottawa has begun offering shots to certain groups in certain high-risk neighbourhoods and, as of Friday, anyone born in or before 1931.
Many eastern Ontario vaccine clinic locations are in the same communities as test sites and none are open yet for the general public. Health units are asking people to keep their phone lines clear.
Vaccine appointments are NOW being scheduled BY INVITATION ONLY for recipients of chronic home care who are 80 years of age and older. Individuals in this group will receive automated robocalls informing them of how to make an appointment. <br>Learn more: <a href=”https://t.co/Si6VFhSJ4w”>https://t.co/Si6VFhSJ4w</a> <a href=”https://t.co/8GrUIzAQVX”>pic.twitter.com/8GrUIzAQVX</a>
Quebec also started with people in care homes and health-care workers.
People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone.
Front Burner21:55Are all COVID-19 vaccines created equal?
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
People without symptoms but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester.
People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
UPDATE: Rise in <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> Cases Moves Renfrew County and District to Yellow.<br><br>To find out what Yellow means for you, visit <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/RCDHU?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#RCDHU</a>’s fact sheet: <a href=”https://t.co/KG6bsGWQYY”>https://t.co/KG6bsGWQYY</a> or <a href=”https://twitter.com/ONgov?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@ONgov</a> website: <a href=”https://t.co/G9XyTUWnD1″>https://t.co/G9XyTUWnD1</a>. <br><br>For full details visit: <a href=”https://t.co/irB8HT4OiK”>https://t.co/irB8HT4OiK</a>. <a href=”https://t.co/tcB4rBzjWU”>pic.twitter.com/tcB4rBzjWU</a>
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki and Petite-Nation.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and now vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
For more information
How this business is helping Canadians cure their COVID rage, one swing at a time – CBC.ca
On a quiet crescent in suburban Ottawa, Grace Roswell is seeing red.
Crowbar in hand, Grace is celebrating her 12th birthday inside the crimson-lined Vengeance Van, a rage room on wheels that shatters neighbourhood calm with explosions of glass and booming bass beats.
“It doesn’t want to break,” Grace says, staring down a porcelain angel that stubbornly refuses to perish.
“You might need a sledgehammer,” offers Bren Walker, Vengeance Van’s owner.
One triumphant swing and the winged seraph falls, decapitated. Grace allows herself a sheepish smile, her home-school stresses already flitting away.
The ‘Vengeance Van’
In a year of periodic lockdowns and pent-up frustrations, the Vengeance Van has taken off as a novelty recreation service amid the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a high-energy outlet for letting off a little destructive steam.
Walker, 33, founded the mobile “rage cage” after his seven-year-old business hosting black-lit Nerf battles for kids and corporate teams shut down amid lockdown restrictions and physical distancing requirements. It’s closed for the foreseeable future.
“I was about to lose my shirt,” he said.
Walker mowed lawns and built decks while saving toward a 24-foot box truck. He transformed the interior with red particle-board panelling, armed it with “weapons” like golf clubs and lead pipes, then added speakers and protective gear.
Launched last summer, the Vengeance Van appears to be filling a pandemic-shaped void in the rage room market — Walker is fielding 20 to 30 calls a week.
“It’s just been relentless,” he said, noting bookings shot up after Ontario shut down in late November.
“We started off kind of as an experiment, and it just developed and developed … People are very angry, they’re frustrated.”
Some just want a bit of physical fun. Others covet a renewed sense of control — even dominance — amid the feeling of cloistered helplessness imposed by the pandemic.
“We get a lot of requests for construction material. `My ex works in construction … so I want to break drills and drywall,”‘ Walker said.
Demand is booming
Demand is so high that he’s planning a sister ship: a mobile archery and axe-throwing truck — “Bow ‘n Throw On the Go.”
The smashables, plucked from estate sales or suppliers who would otherwise haul the items to the dump, run the gamut from ceramics to tables, televisions and the odd cuckoo clock.
“I liked smashing the mirror, because I liked how it exploded,” says Grace.
“My favourite was the bottle against the wall,” her mom, Danielle, chimes in.
A VCR and padded chair prove the most resilient foes, with Grace and her sister Emma, 13, recoiling slightly as their father, Darren, kneecaps the furniture legs with a hammer.
Ice Cube lyrics issues from the speakers: “You can do it, put your back into it.”
For the Roswell family, it was about the release as much as the novelty.
Ottawa Morning5:24Vengeance Van
“It’s been a year now and there’s been extra stresses and stuff. So to be able to get out and get some of that stress out and smashing stuff, it was great,” Danielle says.
Spirits seem high and safety precautions protect the sisters as they launch a dinner plate and tea saucer against the pockmarked wall Frisbee-style, their eyes shielded by visored headgear.
“We’ve had little cuts and bruises here and there, but no one’s ever been maimed,” Walker says.
The weapons rack — from hatchet to Easton baseball bat — is sanitized after every session. Hairnets are provided, along with disposable gloves for those who don’t bring their own.
Bookings cost $100 for 30 minutes and $175 for an hour, with the number of items at customers’ disposal ranging from 35 to 55. Insurance is the main expense, as well as gas; an extra fee attends visits outside the Ottawa area.
Whether the catharsis helps with mental health is far from certain.
A healthy outlet
Patrick Keelan, a Calgary-based psychologist in private practice, doubts that violence against inanimate objects provides a healthy emotional outlet.
“The notion of catharsis with aggressive behaviour” is not supported by research, he said, warning of the potential for “harmful effects.”
He said studies suggest that aggressive activity begets more of it, instilling habits of hostility rather than releasing it like a valve.
Keelan cited the concept of an “anger iceberg,” where surface acrimony belies deeper causes that should be confronted head-on, such as frustrations at work or at home. He suggested more productive ways to vent include physical activity like martial arts, football and other sports.
“If it’s a one-time thing that’s in good fun ‘I don’t have a problem with it,” he qualified.
Kevin Bennett, a psychology professor at Penn State University and a fellow at the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health in London also discourages the idea of rage rooms — stationary or mobile — as a therapeutic prescription.
“I don’t know of any counsellor who would say to their patient, `You’re feeling anxiety and frustration, I want you to go out and smash wine bottles and glass tables and you will feel better in the long run,”‘ Bennett said.
“The good news is, for most people, it is a reasonable way to spend an evening. It’s probably fun,” he added.
“I would love to try it, to be honest.”
Back in Ottawa, Grace feels her birthday wish was worth it.
“I’ve been less active because of the COVID restrictions,” she says. “But this really helped.”
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