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WATCH: 'Virtual' Rotaryfest 2020 at 7 pm – SooToday



Despite an unprecedented year of obstacles, one of Sault Ste. Marie’s longest-running traditions returns in a brand new format. The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie is present Virtual Rotaryfest, streaming on SooToday.

“Our Rotary Club has been celebrating Rotaryfest for almost 100 years – so when it became clear it couldn’t happen in the way it always has, we knew we had to find a creative way to still bring some of the fun of the festival to Sault Ste. Marie,” shared Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie President, Megan Wigmore. “With the virtual format this year, not only do we get to see some of our favourite local bands and performers that have become festival fixtures; we get to bring in some former Saultites to join the party as well!”

One of those former Saultites is Crystal Shawanda. The JUNO Award winning Canadian songstress will headline the virtual event with a Rotaryfest-exclusive performance. The online celebration of music will also include performances from crowd favourites Jay Case and Frank Deresti, Jackson Reed, Mustang Heart, Kelly MacGillivray, Kt Antler & Kyle McKey, Bone Yard, and Tyson Hanes.

This year’s Virtual Rotaryfest has been made possible through the generous support of OLG, SooToday, and Canadian Heritage.

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Ontario extends COVID-19 orders for another 30 days amid second wave – CTV Toronto



Ontario has extended a number of COVID-19 orders until mid-November as the province grapples with the second wave of the disease.

In a news release issued late Tuesday morning, the Progressive Conservative government said that the extension will apply to all orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) except those that deal with hydro prices and access to electronic personal health information.

Orders under the ROA include the province’s ability to implement rules on public gatherings, business closures and managing outbreaks in hospitals or long-term care homes.

The extension of these orders does not change the length Toronto, Peel Region, Ottawa and York Region will be forced to remain in a modified Stage 2.

“With the cold and flu season upon us and the continuing high number of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the province, it’s critical we continue to take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a statement.

“We have renewed the majority of orders to ensure we have the tools in place to address any urgent public health situations and support the continued delivery of critical services.”

The orders will remain in effect until Nov. 21.

There are two orders that will not be extended or amended. The first has to do with the regulation of hydro prices, which is set to change back to time-of-use pricing in November.

The average residential customer using 700 kWh per month is expected to see their bills increase by about $2.24. Customers will also have the choice to change to a “tiered” system for more stagnant rates.

An order that allows health officials to collect electronic personal health information will also expire as of Oct. 22.

In the news release, the government also said that regulations have been amended for both Stage 2 and Stage 3 regions to allow in-person teaching and instruction for fire departments, which are “critical for public safety.”

An order for regions under the modified Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan was also amended to allow dance classes to operate, permitting they follow specified criteria.

“This change to the regulation recognizes that dance styles such as ballet, hip hop, and ballroom, can still be taught and practiced safely when certain public health measures are followed, similar to other permitted activities, such as cheerleading and gymnastics,” the province said.

The ROA was implemented in July and makes changes to about 20 COVID-19 related pieces of legislation.

Under the ROA, COVID-19 related orders put in place during the pandemic can be amended but no new emergency orders can be created.

The orders must be extended every 30 days in order to remain in effect.

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Kuwait-born CEO breaks glass ceiling to lift ailing Laurentian Bank – BNN



Rania Llewellyn broke the glass ceiling as the first woman to lead one of Canada’s eight largest banks. Her challenge at Laurentian Bank of Canada is to revive a lender that may need capital and has struggled for years to find growth.

Llewellyn, who was named Laurentian’s chief executive officer Tuesday, comes with an unusual biography for a Canadian bank chief. Born in Kuwait, she moved to Canada as a teenager from Egypt, where her father is from, and earned a master’s degree in business administration from St. Mary’s University, a small public college in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

She joined Bank of Nova Scotia as a part-time teller and began a 26-year climb that included a stint as CEO of Roynat Capital, a unit of the bank that finances medium-sized businesses. Before jumping to Laurentian, she’d been promoted to executive vice president in charge of Scotiabank’s global payments strategy.

Canadian banks rarely hire external candidates for the top job. Montreal-based Laurentian has unique problems, though. Llewellyn, 44, will need to shore up the bank’s capital position, which is the weaker than that of the country’s largest banks, while trying to undo the damage from the company’s prior missteps, including a problem with mortgage fraud.

The bank’s results have trailed analysts’ estimates in eight of the past 11 quarters, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Among the major moves she may make include raising new equity and divesting non-core assets like the Northpoint commercial-finance business, according to analysts. No matter what she does, it will require bold action to revive Laurentian’s shares, which have dropped 49 per cent over the past five years, compared to a 12 per cent gain for the S&P/TSX Commercial Banks Index.

“An external hire brings more potential for change, which is good,” Gabriel Dechaine, an analyst at National Bank of Canada, said in a note. “A new CEO will have more flexibility to take dramatic action to put the bank on more solid footing during the current downturn and into the future.”

Laurentian shares rose as much as 1.2 per cent after Llewellyn’s hiring was announced and closed up 0.2 per cent to CUS$26.36 in Toronto. The stock had fallen 41 per cent this year through Monday.

“Rania Llewellyn is the right leader to usher in a new era at Laurentian Bank. She has a proven track record as an energetic, strategic thinker focused on customer experience and tangible results,” Michelle Savoy, the Laurentian director who led the search committee, said in a statement.

Dividend Cut

Llewellyn fills the gap left by Francois Desjardins, who stepped down in June after a five-year tenure that included an incomplete transformation plan and other woes. In 2017, the bank found customer misrepresentations on some mortgages that it sold to another firm. Laurentian said it would buy back CUS$180 million (US$137 million) in mortgages sold to the firm.

Laurentian also took a hit in May, when it slashed its dividend 40 per cent, the first payout cut by a large Canadian lender in almost three decades, and posted fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates because of higher provisions for loan losses.

While the bank increased a key measure of its capital known as common equity tier 1 to 9.4 per cent at the end of its third quarter, that level is still “far from ‘fortress-like,’” National Bank’s Dechaine said, adding that the situation makes an equity raise possible.

The hiring of Llewellyn, who will also join Laurentian’s board, comes a little more than a month after Jane Fraser was named CEO of Citigroup Inc., which will make her the first female head of a big Wall Street bank.

While women have held some high-profile positions in Canada’s banking industry, Llewellyn will be the first female CEO of a major domestic bank. London-based HSBC Holdings Plc’s Canadian operations are run by Linda Seymour. She succeeded Sandra Stuart, who ran the operation for five years until her retirement. And Gillian Riley serves as CEO of Tangerine, Scotiabank’s online division.

Llewellyn’s appointment also is notable because Canadian banks typically choose CEOs from inside their firms.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce entertained the idea of external candidates in its CEO search in 2014 before choosing internal candidate Victor Dodig. The last time Royal Bank of Canada went outside the firm for a top executive was in 1908.

Llewellyn also isn’t a native French speaker — a disadvantage for the head of a firm headquartered in Montreal — but has committed to learning the language, according to a note from RBC analyst Darko Mihelic.

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COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in East St. Paul – CTV News Winnipeg



COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in East St. Paul

A school just outside of Winnipeg has declared an outbreak of COVID-19, according to the Manitoba government’s most recent bulletin.

Bird’s Hill School, located at 3950 Raleigh St. in East St. Paul, has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The school is moving to the orange or restricted level on the province’s pandemic response system.

In a statement sent Tuesday afternoon, the River East Transcona School Division confirmed there were five cases in the school within two classrooms. The two classrooms are in the grade 2/3 levels, the division said.

The school is also taking steps to deal with the new restrictions.

“We are moving furniture to ensure the two-metre distancing is done. Deep cleaning has been done to the affected classrooms and commonly touched surfaces and staff are ensuring that students follow protocols regarding handwashing, mask-wearing (when required), and social distancing,” the statement reads. “Busing is being revised to meet the orange designation for Bird’s Hill School students. The parents will be receiving information for optional remote learning for their children while the school is in orange status.”

A provincial spokesperson said health officials have not ruled out in-school transmission at this time.

Bird’s Hill School previously reported on Oct. 11 that a confirmed case of COVID-19 was in the school on Sept. 30, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2.


The outbreak at John Pritchard School, which was declared last month, has now ended, the province announced on Tuesday.

The school is now at the yellow or caution level on the pandemic response system.

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