Winnipeg libraries move to fine-free model, outstanding fees waived – Winnipeg

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Winnipeg libraries are shelving overdue fines and borrowing fees.The move, first suggested by Coun. Sherri Rollins, will see fines for all overdue items and DVD/Blu-ray borrowing fees eliminated as of Jan. 1. Read more: Winnipeg councillor calls for elimination of overdue fines at city libraries “Overdue fines create a barrier for those who can benefit most from library services. Fines also create negative experiences for our community and library staff, and discourage use of the library,” reads a statement on the city’s website.“Now everyone can access and enjoy the services we offer without worrying about financial penalties if items are returned a few days late.”Winnipeg Public Library is happy to announce that overdue fines and DVD/Blu-ray borrowing fees have been eliminated, effective January 1,...

NDG couple don capes and cowls, channel power of Batman to raise money for kids in halfway houses – Montreal

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A couple from NDG are enlisting the help of the Dark Knight himself to help out local kids living in halfway houses.Jonah Carson and Katie Nicol, both 31, launched the Batman for Batshaw campaign after they found out many children in the youth protection system do not have access to technology.“They have one computer that they share between 25 to 30 kids, so it’s really not a lot,” said Katie Nicol, one the campaign’s creators. Read more: ‘I felt like I was important’: Batshaw tradition spreads holiday cheer one gift at a time She said the poor access to technology can force children to miss school, meetings with social workers, therapists or family members.“We feel like access to technology, access to online is something that we take for granted so easily. It’s so easy for most of us. And these kids...

Alberta’s first fully accessible outdoor rink will soon be open in Calgary

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Alberta’s first fully accessible outdoor skating rink is now under construction in northwest Calgary and will be open early in the new year.The rink is being built at the community of Parkdale. Read more: Calgary-made bike giving freedom back to outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities The Parkdale Community Association needed to build a new rink to replace their old one. Association members  decided they wanted to make it accessible for everyone and consulted with the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association.“Since we are building this from scratch we thought why not? Hockey is for everybody and let’s set a new standard for the city,” Parkdale Community Association rink director John Butterwick said.“It should be the standard way of building outdoor rinks.” Story continues below...

Nova Scotia invests $360K in housing facility for criminalized women transitioning back to society – Halifax

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Nova Scotia announced Wednesday that a total investment of $360,000 has been made to the Elizabeth Fry Society’s Holly House for the next two years in an effort to enhance access to housing and supports.Holly House is a supportive housing facility in Dartmouth operated by the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia. It is the only housing option in the province specifically designed for women transitioning out of a provincial correctional facility. Read more: Woman taken to hospital after assault in N.S. prison According to the province, more women in conflict with the law will have access to needed supports that will help them break the cycle of poverty and criminality.“Funding will allow Holly House to continue delivering its around the clock support to women and increase the facility’s capacity from eight...

Part of Lachine Canal path to be accessible year-round after snow-clearing deal reached – Montreal

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Montreal’s Sud-Ouest borough has reached what it describes as a “historic” deal with Parks Canada, in connection with snow removal on the Lachine Canal multipurpose path.The path, which links the borough of LaSalle to Ville-Marie via the Sud-Ouest, will now be accessible year-round.In a news release, the Sud-Ouest borough said it will be responsible for clearing a 2.5-km segment of the path on the north side of the canal, between Atwater Avenue and de la Commune Street.Starting in mid-January, the borough and Parks Canada will share responsibility for the grooming of another 10-kilometre stretch of the path, between Dollard Avenue in the west, to Old Montreal. Read more: Cyclists want to use Lachine Canal bike path year round, call on Parks Canada to clear snow Borough Mayor Benoît Dorais said the agreement will...

Oilers Community Foundation donates $260K to help community outdoor rinks in Edmonton – Edmonton

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Community leagues across the city are getting support from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) to keep their outdoor rinks in use over the winter.Many leagues were short on cash this year for rink maintenance, due to a lack of grants and fundraisers available during the COVID-19 pandemic.The EOCF worked with the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL) to select 25 leagues in need of assistance. 5:08 Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation ‘Dave’s Drive’ is underway Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation ‘Dave’s Drive’ is underway – Nov 22, 2020 “It’s vulnerable neighbourhoods. The leagues that are struggling with...

Manitoba 211 reports busy launch for new phone service during coronavirus – Winnipeg

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More than 2,000 Manitobans have called 211 for help reaching health, social, and government resources since its launch as a phone service this fall.Originally created through a partnership between United Way Winnipeg and Volunteer Manitoba in 2017, 211’s services had previously only been available as a web-based platform. Read more: Thousands of Manitobans reaching out for mental health support amid COVID-19 pandemic That all changed when the phone number officially went live across the province in October.“(We’re) definitely seeing a huge need for the service,” explained Jodene Baker, director of impact, innovation and evaluation with United Way Winnipeg. 4:03 Advice on mental...

New Brunswick PC majority removes thrust of opposition’s abortion motion, reference to Clinic 554

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New Brunswick’s PC government removed the thrust of an opposition motion calling on the province to fund surgical abortions outside of the province’s hospitals on Thursday.A non-binding motion from the Liberal party called for the funding of abortions at Clinic 554 and the repeal of Regulation 84-20, which prohibits the funding of abortions outside of hospitals.Currently, abortions are only funded by the provincial government at three locations: two hospitals in Moncton and one hospital in Bathurst, locations that critics say limit accessibility for those who need the procedure. Read more: New Brunswick Medical Society warns of health-care gaps after Clinic 554 closes Clinic 554, which has already partially shut down as a result of a lack of funding, performed surgical abortions and also functioned as a family...

For poorer countries, road to coronavirus vaccines far longer than the West – National

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With Americans, Britons and Canadians rolling up their sleeves to receive coronavirus vaccines, the route out of the pandemic now seems clear to many in the West, even if the rollout will take many months. But for poorer countries, the road will be far longer and rougher.The ambitious initiative known as COVAX created to ensure the entire world has access to COVID-19 vaccines has secured only a fraction of the 2 billion doses it hopes to buy over the next year, has yet to confirm any actual deals to ship out vaccines and is short on cash.The virus that has killed more than 1.6 million people has exposed vast inequities between countries, as fragile health systems and smaller economies were often hit harder. COVAX was set up by the World Health Organization, vaccines alliance GAVI and CEPI, a global coalition to fight epidemics, to avoid...