Connect with us

News

Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario labs processed 30,780 tests Thursday, a new high, with just 111 people testing positive; NBA says 16 players test positive for COVID-19 – Toronto Star

Published

on


KEY FACTS

  • 11 a.m.: NBA says 16 players test positive for COVID-19

  • 10:25 a.m. Texas orders bars shut amid surge in confirmed virus cases

  • 6:30 a.m. Canada almost self-sufficient in PPE production

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

3:15 p.m. There are 102,735 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,507 deaths, and 65,658 that have been resolved, according to The Canadian Press.

NOTE: Quebec no longer reports its case count on a daily basis. Instead, those numbers are reported weekly. The Star does its own count for Ontario; see this file.

  • Quebec: *As of June 25, 2020, 55,079 confirmed (including 5,448 deaths, 23,786 resolved)
  • Ontario: 34,316 confirmed (including 2,644 deaths, 29,754 resolved)
  • Alberta: 7,851 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,191 resolved)
  • British Columbia: 2,869 confirmed (including 173 deaths, 2,517 resolved)
  • Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)
  • Saskatchewan: 759 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 648 resolved)

  • Manitoba: 307 confirmed (including seven deaths, 300 resolved), 11 presumptive
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including three deaths, 258 resolved)
  • New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including two deaths, 150 resolved)
  • Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed, all of which have been resolved
  • Repatriated Canadians account for 13 confirmed, all of which have been resolved
  • Yukon: 11 confirmed, all of which have been resolved
  • Northwest Territories: five confirmed, all of which have been resolved
  • Nunavut reports no confirmed cases.

2 p.m.: The Canadian Red Cross will send 900 people to work in Quebec’s long-term care homes until September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

The announcement came as the military prepares to pull out of the homes, despite repeated requests from Premier Francois Legault to keep at least 1,000 Forces members there until the fall. Trudeau said 150 Red Cross personnel would arrive before July 6, with the balance arriving by July 29.

1:15 p.m.: Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the province is lifting additional restrictions after going more than two weeks without a new case of COVID-19.

The premier told a news conference today that effective July 3, limits on public gatherings will be increased, and effective immediately, bars and restaurants will be allowed to operate at full capacity.

Public pools are allowed to reopen, and private campgrounds can now operate at full capacity, as long as they follow sector guidelines. McNeil stressed the importance of physical distancing and hand hygiene, and provincial health officials are now recommending that non-medical masks be worn when distancing is not possible, such as in stores, on public transit or at gatherings.

1 p.m.: Ontario Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to provide a COVID-19 update.

12:30 p.m.: Ontario labs processed 30,780 COVID-19 tests Thursday, a new high, with just 111 people testing positive, a recent low. Of the positives, 89 of the patients were aged 20 to 59.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 fell from 270 to 256.

The numbers of people in intensive care and on ventilators — 61 and 41, respectively — fell to their lowest levels since the province started publicly reporting those figures at the beginning of April.

Read more from the Star’s Rob Ferguson.

11:19 a.m.: Florida banned alcohol consumption at its bars Friday after its daily confirmed coronavirus cases neared 9,000, a new record that is almost double the previous mark set just two days ago.

The Florida agency that governs bars announced the ban on Twitter just minutes after the Department of Health reported 8,942 new confirmed cases, topping the previous record of 5,500 set Wednesday.

State officials have attributed much of the new outbreak to young adults flocking to bars after they reopened in most of the state about a month ago, with many of them ignoring social distancing restrictions aimed at lowering the virus’s spread.

11 a.m.: An NBA press release says 16 of the 302 players tested in the league have come back with positive results for COVID-19.

“Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician,” the statement read.

The names of the specific players who came back with positive tests results were not included in the press release.

10:25 a.m.: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott shut down bars in Texas again on Friday and scaled back restaurant dining, the most dramatic reversals yet as confirmed coronavirus cases surge.

Abbott also said rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers must close and that outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments.

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”

Texas has reported more than 17,000 confirmed new cases in the last three days with a record high positive tests of 5,996 on Thursday. The day’s tally of 4,739 hospitalizations was also a record. The state’s rolling infection rate hit nearly 12%, a level not seen since the state was in a broad lockdown in mid-April.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the COVID-19 virus without feeling sick.

8:50 a.m.: As jurisdictions around the world lift restrictions, there is concern that COVID-19 will experience a resurgence. Already some countries such as Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia are experiencing second waves.

And there are fears that regions in South Korea, Germany and the U.K. are on the cusp of a second wave — or already in one.

This at a time when global cases of COVID-19 are rising exponentially, prompting Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, to warn earlier this week that while it took three months for the world to see the first one million infections, the last one million cases took just eight days to appear.

Experts in Canada warn that a second wave here is possible, indeed likely, but predicting exactly when and where is difficult.

Read more from the Star’s Patty Winsa and Kenyon Wallace.

8:25 a.m.: In any other year, the streets in the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood this weekend would be abuzz with annual Pride Toronto celebrations. Patios would be packed, music would be pouring out of storefronts, and crews would be erecting stages and cordoning off the gardens around The 519, ready for large crowds.

But 2020 has proven to be anything but a normal year. In lieu of the regular festivities, storefronts and bars remain boarded up, with many businesses operating at reduced capacity or offering improvised services due to measures in place to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.

And the streets, for the most part, are empty.

Read more from JP Larocque.

7:55 a.m.: A witness says three people were killed in a small town in Kenya’s Rift Valley during a confrontation between police and residents over the wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Police confirmed the deaths but gave a different account.

Human rights activists for weeks have protested alleged killings by Kenyan police officers while enforcing virus-related restrictions. They also accuse officers of using the measures to extort bribes.

Kenneth Kaunda told The Associated Press that violent protests erupted in Lessos on Thursday after residents tried to prevent police officers from taking a motorcycle taxi rider to the station for not wearing a mask. Kenya has made it compulsory to wear face masks in public and failure to comply brings a $200 fine, a hefty fee for many.

7:22 a.m.: Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across war-torn Yemen amid a “huge” drop in humanitarian aid funding, the U.N. children’s agency warned Friday.

The stark prediction comes in a new UNICEF report, “Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19.” It said the number of malnourished Yemeni children could reach 2.4 million by the end of the year, a 20 per cent increase in the current figure.

“As Yemen’s devastated health system and infrastructure struggle to cope with coronavirus, the already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably,” warned UNICEF.

Yemen’s poor health care infrastructure is unprepared to battle the coronavirus pandemic after five years of war between a Saudi-led military coalition and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The war, which has mostly stalemated, has also triggered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

7:13 a.m.: South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions.

South Korea was considered an anti-virus success story after containing an outbreak during February and March surrounding the southeastern city of Daegu. However, the country has been seeing an uptick in new infections since authorities moved to ease social distancing guidelines and reopen schools starting in May.

6:35 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadian companies are now producing so much personal protective equipment needed in the fight against COVID-19 that Canada is almost at the point of being self-sufficient.

He’ll underscore that contention today with a visit to a Kanata, Ont., brewery that has retooled to make hand sanitizer during the pandemic.

The visit to Big Rig Brewery, which has used the federal wage subsidy to rehire workers, is also intended to emphasize Trudeau’s repeated plea to businesses to take advantage of the program to get back on their feet. It’s his third visit in as many weeks to a company that’s used the subsidy to hire back laid off employees.

Today’s visit underlines comments Trudeau made during a pre-taped interview that aired Thursday evening at the online Collision tech conference.

6:30 a.m.: The United States, which counts the most infections in the world, is seeing daily jumps in COVID-19 cases nearing the peak reached in late April.

Get the latest in your inbox

Never miss the latest news from the Star, including up-to-date coronavirus coverage, with our email newsletters

Sign Up Now

Arizona’s 3,056 additional infections reported Thursday was the fourth day in a week with an increase over 3,000. Transmissions have spiked following Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision to lift stay-home restrictions in May.

Twenty-three per cent of tests conducted in the state over the past seven days have been positive, nearly triple the national average, and a record 415 patients were on ventilators.

Mississippi announced a record 1,092 new cases of coronavirus, the second time this week its daily count reached new highs.

After making one of the most aggressive pushes in the nation to reopen, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has put off lifting any more restrictions and reimposed a ban on elective surgeries in some places to preserve hospital space.

The United States reported 34,500 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, slightly fewer than the day before but still near the high of 36,400 reached April 24, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Deaths tolls have dropped even as the number of infections have increased, possibly reflecting better medical treatments and better efforts to prevent infections among the most vulnerable, like nursing home residents. A rising proportion of cases in the U.S. is among younger people, who are more likely than their elders to survive a bout with COVID-19.

“This is still serious,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but “we’re in a different situation today than we were in March or April.”

6:25 a.m.: Australia reported 37 new cases, including 30 in Victoria state, where health authorities are scrambling to contain an outbreak.

Authorities said they tested 20,000 people after going door-to-door in Melbourne suburbs Thursday in their attempts to stamp out the virus. In Sydney, a 12-year-old student tested positive, forcing the closure of his school for cleaning.

New Zealand, meanwhile, reported one new virus case from a returning traveller. New Zealand has 14 active cases, all of them returning travellers who remain quarantined.

6:20 a.m.: India neared half a million confirmed coronavirus cases Friday with its biggest 24-hour spike of 17,296 new infections, prompting a delay in resumption of regular train services of more than a month.

The new cases took India’s total to 490,401. The Health Ministry also reported 407 more deaths in the previous 24 hours, taking its total fatalities to 15,301.

The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 57.43 per cent. Also, deaths per 100,000 stood at 1.86 against the world average of 6.24 per 100,000, it said.

The actual numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing.

Indian Railways was due to resume regular train service on June 30 but said Thursday that it wouldn’t fully resume until Aug. 12. Trains were halted when the government declared a nationwide lockdown in late March. Special trains linking main cities have been running since mid-May as part of an easing of the lockdown.

6:17 a.m.: In many ways, it’s been a perfect storm for illegal gatherings in England as the hot weather, which is set to persist into Friday, and Liverpool Football Club’s first league title in 30 years prompted people to abandon their cooped-up coronavirus existence.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that the government has the power to close beaches and other public spaces in England amid growing concerns over the public’s adherence to social distancing rules.

Following widespread rule-breaking that has seen beaches crammed, illegal street parties in London that have turned violent and a mass celebration in Liverpool, concerns are mounting that people have ditched their risk-averse attitude as the government eases its lockdown restrictions.

With the hot weather set to continue Friday, there was clearly a potential for more mass gatherings, although early indications were that people had not converged on the beaches around the southern English coastal town of Bournemouth in anything like the numbers they had over the past couple of days.

6:15 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 6:15 a.m. ET on June 26, 2020:

There are 102,622 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.

-Quebec: 55,079 confirmed (including 5,448 deaths, 23,786 resolved)

-Ontario: 34,205 confirmed (including 2,641 deaths, 29,528 resolved)

-Alberta: 7,851 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,191 resolved)

-British Columbia: 2,869 confirmed (including 173 deaths, 2,517 resolved)

-Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

-Saskatchewan: 759 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 648 resolved)

-Manitoba: 305 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 294 resolved), 11 presumptive

-Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

-New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 143 resolved)

-Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

-Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

-Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

-Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

-Nunavut: No confirmed cases

Total: 102,622 (11 presumptive, 102,611 confirmed including 8,504 deaths, 65,419 resolved)

Thursday 6 p.m. Ontario’s public health units are reporting a slight drop the daily tally of new COVID-19 infections, according to the Star’s latest count.

The health units have reported a total of 36,191 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,689 deaths, up a total of 178 new cases since Wednesday evening.

For the last two weeks, the province has seen a string of daily reports around the 200-mark as a steep decline in infections seen since early June appears to be slowing.

On Thursday, the province saw the case growth concentrated in a handful of cities; just Toronto (65 cases), Peel Region (53 cases) and Simcoe Muskoka (12 cases) reported new infections in the double digits.

The total of 12 fatal cases reported Thursday was up slightly from recent trends, but still well down for the province’s peak in early May, when the health units reported as many as 90 deaths in a single day.

Earlier Thursday, the province reported that 270 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 69 in intensive care, of whom 47 are on a ventilator. All three totals are near the lowest the province has reported in data that goes back to early April.

The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of total deaths, 2,641, may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that, in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”

The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases. This means they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.

Click here to read more of Thursday’s coverage.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

News

Over 70% of Canada’s coronavirus cases have recovered as country adds 244 new diagnoses – Globalnews.ca

Published

on


The number of novel coronavirus cases in Canada stands at 107,570 as of Sunday, and more than 70 per cent of those diagnosed have recovered, data shows.

As of Sunday afternoon, the country diagnosed 244 new cases while 71,467 of those diagnosed with the virus have recovered. Over 3.6 million people in Canada have been tested so far and 8,780 have died.

Those numbers are incomplete, however, as Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and all three territories did not provide updates.

Story continues below advertisement

Quebec, the province hit hardest by the novel coronavirus, recorded 114 new cases on Saturday for a provincial total of 56,521 cases. To date, 5,627 in Quebec have died from the virus while 25,862 have recovered.

In Ontario, the province hit second-hardest by the virus, officials reported 129 new COVID-19 cases for a provincial total of 36, 723 cases. More than 1.6 million residents have been tested so far while 88.6 per cent of all confirmed cases in Ontario have been resolved.

Several provinces have seen no new COVID-19 cases in days.

Manitoba recorded no new cases for the 12th day in a row on Sunday, surpassing its previous streak of five days in June. Of the confirmed and presumptive cases, 314 have recovered. Seven residents have died while just over 69,000 have been tested.

Read more:
Beachgoers crowd Sylvan Lake despite pandemic rules: ‘COVID-19 is still here’

Officials in Nova Scotia said Sunday the province hasn’t reported a new case in five days and remains at 1,066. Sixty-three people there have died while 1,000 infected have recovered. Over 58,000 residents have been tested so far.

New Brunswick recorded no new cases since Thursday. On Sunday, officials said all but three of its 166 cases have recovered. Two people in the province have died from the virus while 46,502 have been tested so far.

Story continues below advertisement

Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador said Sunday the province hasn’t seen a new case in three days, while 258 out of the province’s 262 cases have recovered. Over 20,000 residents have been tested. Three people residing in N.L. have died.

Prince Edward Island reported its first newly confirmed case in three days on Sunday, bringing its total up to 34. Of those 34 cases, 27 have recovered.

Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief health officer, said the woman who tested positive for COVID-19 may have been in contact with a man who tested positive for the virus after returning from Nova Scotia. As of Sunday, officials said 13,730 had tested.

Nunavut reported Friday the province was still free of COVID-19 after a test for its first presumptive case came back negative. The Yukon saw 11 confirmed cases while the Northwest Territories’ total remained at five. All known cases in the territories have recovered.

Story continues below advertisement

As of Friday, Alberta had seen 8,596 cases and 160 deaths while in Saskatchewan, officials reported a provincial total of 815 cases, adding 15 people had died from the virus.

British Columbia recorded 187 new deaths for a total of 3,028 confirmed cases on Friday. Nine cases are epidemiologically linked, which happens when a patient may have been in contact with one or more people who tested positive with the virus but has yet to be confirmed.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Canada's largest Indigenous police force has never shot anyone dead – CTV News

Published

on


TORONTO —
In its 26 years of existence, officers with Canada’s largest Indigenous police force have never shot and killed anyone and no officer has died in the line of duty, despite a grinding lack of resources and an absence of normal accountability mechanisms.

It’s a record of which the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service is proud, especially in light of the recent uproar in North America over police killings and brutality involving Indigenous, Black, and mentally distressed people. It’s a record achieved in communities frequently in social distress, places where hunting rifles and shotguns are ubiquitous.

The key difference from urban, non-Indigenous policing, insiders and observers say, is the relationship building between officers and the people they serve.

“In the past, you might have been the only officer in there,” Roland Morrison, chief of NAPS says from Thunder Bay, Ont. “You would have no radio, you’ve got no backup, so you really effectively have to use your communication and talk to people. You have to develop relationships with the communities in order to have positive policing.”

Inaugurated in 1994, NAPS is responsible for policing more than 38,000 people in 34 communities, many beyond remote, across a vast, largely untamed swath of northern Ontario. Currently the service has 203 officers, about 60 per cent of them Indigenous, Morrison says. Its mandate is culturally responsive policing.

Erick Laming, a criminology PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, says people from First Nation communities — many with an ingrained suspicion of police given the brutal realities of generations of enforced residential school attendance — have a higher level of trust when officers are Indigenous.

In contrast, he said, new RCMP recruits with no such background might find themselves in Nunavut or Yukon confronted with significant language and cultural barriers.

“If you’re from the community, you have those lived experiences. You can relate to people. You just know how to deal with the issues,” says Laming, who is from the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation north of Kingston, Ont.

“If you don’t have that history, you can have all the cultural-sensitivity training in the world, you’ll never fully be able to fully integrate into that situation.”

Another example, he said, is the service in Kahnawake, Que., which calls itself the Kahnawake Peacekeepers rather than a police force.

While all officers in Ontario undergo the same basic training, the province’s nine Indigenous police services are fundamentally different from their non-Indigenous counterparts.

For one thing, they are not deemed an essential service, although federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said last month that policing First Nations communities should be. Nor are those in Ontario subject to the provincial Police Services Act, which mandates standards, including for an extensive oversight framework.

Now, the process for filing complaints against members of an Indigenous police force is ad hoc, although NAPS does have a professional standards branch and will on occasion call in Ontario Provincial Police. Officers have been disciplined, charged or even fired for excessive use of force.

Another difference is that Indigenous forces are completely reliant on the vagaries of government program funding — with Ottawa footing 52 per cent of the bill and provinces 48 per cent. The current operations budget for NAPS, for example, is around $37.7 million — more than its peers — with expenses approaching $40 million.

The upshot, particularly in years gone by, has been a dire shortage of officers and even of basic facilities and equipment that urbanites can scarcely imagine. In more than a dozen cases, Indigenous self-administered police services in Canada have simply folded.

Now retired, Terry Armstrong, who spent 22 years with Ontario Provincial Police as well as five years as chief of NAPS, says people would be shocked to find out just how poorly funded First Nations policing has been.

Armstrong recounts how a few years ago, in the Hudson Bay community of Fort Severn, Ont., a NAPS officer found himself dealing with a homicide. Besides having to secure three crime scenes and the body, the lone officer had to arrest the suspect and deal with a separate gun call. Bad weather prevented any forensic or other help flying in until the following day.

One thing he always stressed to newcomers as chief, Armstrong says, is the importance of treating people respectfully.

“Some day, they’re going to be your backup. When stuff goes south, you’re going to need people to support you,” he says. “If you’re going to be a dick … when you need help, they aren’t going to be there for you.”

One frigid afternoon in February 2013, the only on-duty NAPS officer in Kasabonika Lake First Nation in Ontario’s far north detained Lena Anderson, an intoxicated young mother upset over the apprehension of her daughter. The new detachment portable was unheated. The old holding cell was unusable because prisoners could escape through holes in the floor.

The arresting officer left Anderson, 23, in the caged back seat of his Ford 150 police truck for warmth while he went to get help from his off-duty colleague. Alone for 16 minutes, Anderson strangled herself.

The tragedy, combined with a threatened strike over working conditions by NAPS officers, caused an uproar. The situation, says Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, prompted his Nishnawbe Aski Nation to take a stand. Governments, he said, had to do better or face the far more daunting prospect of doing the policing themselves.

As a result, Fiddler says, a new funding agreement was reached in 2018 that allowed the hiring of 79 new officers over five years and critical infrastructure upgrades to detachments and poor or non-existent communication systems. Most importantly, he said, the deal set in motion pending Ontario legislation that would finally allow First Nations police services to opt in to the Police Services Act, putting in place solid standards and accountability mechanisms.

“That’s something our communities and citizens deserve.” Fiddler says. “If they have an issue with NAPS, there should be a forum for them to pursue their grievance.”

However, giving investigative authority to the province’s Special Investigations Unit or Office of the Independent Police Review Director must come with cultural safety built in, he says.

Stephen Leach, current review director, says his office is not yet involved in the opt-in process.

“My expectation is that once the Community Safety and Policing Act is proclaimed and the opt-in process is further along, then I would be involved in explaining how the public complaints process works, and listening to how it might have to be adapted to meet the needs of First Nations communities,” Leach says.

Stephen Warner, a spokesman for Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, confirmed the government was working on regulations to the new act. Part of the work, he said, was to set clear and consistent standards for policing delivery “informed by, and responsive to, the views of the communities that police are both a part of and serve.”

Toronto-based lawyer Julian Falconer calls the new legislation a game changer. Despite having devoted much of his career to holding police accountable, he says he has no qualms in representing NAPS.

Despite, or perhaps because of, their chronic lack of resources, Falconer says Indigenous police behave much differently from their urban counterparts. He cites the dearth of police killings and racist behaviours that have sown deep mistrust of policing among Indigenous, Black and marginalized groups.

“Mainstream policing has a lot to learn from Indigenous policing,” Falconer said. “The relationship between community and policing is so dramatically different.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 12.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Times are tough for Canada's self-proclaimed french fry capital – CBC.ca

Published

on


For the past few years, Ottawa’s Carole Richard has made an annual pilgrimage with her friends to the small town of Alfred, Ont., to sample the local spuds.

The village of about 1,200 people on County Road 17 — about 70 kilometres east of Ottawa — is, after all, the self-proclaimed french fry capital of Canada.

“I like small fries like these, well-cooked, a little dry,” said Richard, pausing between bites at the Landriault Snack Bar. “They’re super good.”

These days, however, fried potato enthusiasts like Richard only have one local option for satiating their cravings. Of the multiple chip stands and canteens that once dotted the village, only one — the Landriault Snack Bar — still remains.

“When we [were] here 10, 11 years ago, there were four,” owner Bruce Forget recently told Radio-Canada in a French-language interview.

“They all disappeared quietly,” he said.

Bruce Forget, owner of the Landriault Snack Bar in Alfred, Ont., is the lone remaining french fry shack operator in the small eastern Ontario village. (Radio-Canada)

Some in Alfred trace the decline of the fry shacks to the arrival of a Tim Hortons franchise at the village’s entrance.

Others cite the 2012 completion of Highway 50 on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, which allowed motorists travelling between the National Capital Region and Montreal to bypass County Road 17 altogether.

There’s also the simple fact that the french fry business is hard work — one of the main reasons that Suzanne Villeneuve, owner of Miss Alfred, decided not to open her doors this winter.

Had she done so, her canteen would have celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

Empty tables sit outside the now-closed Miss Alfred french fry canteen in Alfred, Ont. The village, which once proclaimed itself as Canada’s french fry capital, has only one canteen left in operation. (Denis Babin/Radio-Canada)

“People can’t imagine [how busy it is],” Villeneuve told Radio-Canada in French, noting that all the food at Miss Alfred was homemade.

“It was 12 hours a day [six days a week]. On the seventh, you changed the oil and then finally took care of your own business.”

As for Forget, he agrees that running a fry shack is hard work — and is well aware that, when it comes to the village’s crispy claim to fame, he’s the only one left keeping it alive.

“I’m the last of the Mohicans,” he laughed.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending