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2021 in Review: Stories that appeared in the Bay Observer January to June

2021 in Review: Stories that appeared in the Bay Observer January to June

January 2021

January 15th the province reported 100 COVID deaths on less than 3,000 new cases. A halt in production of the Pfizer vaccine had Premier Doug Ford fuming. A number of senior officials were in the hotseat for taking vacations during what was supposed to be a ban on unnecessary travel. The province’s vaccine rollout czar, Ret. Gen Randy Hillier predicts the province will administer 15 million vaccinations by June. Organizers of an anti-mask demonstration in Hamilton are charged. After missing the fall schedule, the Toronto Maple Leafs and other NHL teams are gearing up for a January resumption of play. In the US, police are rounding up dozens of the Capitol Hill rioters, and recording genius and convicted murderer Phil Spector dies in prison.

February 2021

Now that most healthcare workers are vaccinated, the regular population aged 85 and up in Hamilton can get a shot. In Ottawa Maj.Gen. Dany Fortin predicts Canada will receive 4 million vaccine doses by the end of March. After five years as head of HSR, Debbie Dalle Vedove has announced her retirement. City works staff say they need more time to comply with cleanup orders in Chedoke Creek. The Ministry of Education has pushed the normal March Break to April 12-16. The province of Ontario has yielded to intense lobbying from LIUNA and other LRT supporters from Hamilton and has agreed to ask the federal government to fund Hamilton LRT. Canadian acting legend Christopher Plummer is dead at 91.

March 2021

A citizen group is gearing up in a last-ditch effort to save St. Giles Church from demolition. COVID vaccinations are now available for anyone in Hamilton 70 plus. Nearly 89,000 vaccinations have been administered. Police think a Bonnie and Clyde couple suspected in a Stoney Creek Murder are in Europe. Metrolinx is considering building a 36-kilometre bus rapid transit corridor between Oshawa and Scarborough. Health leaders in Hamilton and Burlington paused on this, the anniversary of the declaration of a COVID pandemic in Canada to reflect on what this event has meant to their organizations. Hamilton Mountain MO Scott Duvall announces his retirement. Harry and Meghan face backlash over their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

April 2021

There are several large development proposals being floated for the area around the Waterdown GO station. Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark wants the province to consider a Metrolinx proposal to build a Bus Rapid Transit network instead of LRT. CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie predicts there will be a CFL season in 2021. A jury in Minneapolis finds ex police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd. Hamilton imposes a $750 fine for using the mountain stairs. Prince Philip dies in his 100th year. COVID cases are surging again with 4,800 cases reported in Ontario. Joe Brant CEO warns hospitals could be overwhelmed. Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Premier Doug Ford get their first COVID shots as Ontario approaches 7 million doses. Neil Everson, long-time head of Hamilton Economic Development dies.

May 2021

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna announced a deal with Ontario to fund Hamilton LRT. In protest, MP Bob Bratina announces he will not run again. Indigenous leaders are demanding an examination of every former residential school site after the discovery of 215 children’s remains at Kamloops British Columbia. Doug Ford says that the majority of Ontario residents who choose to receive the vaccine will be able to be fully vaccinated by the end of summer. Burlington announces plans to reopen parks and playgrounds. Frank Bergen is appointed Hamilton Police Chief.

June 2021

Weeks after announcing a funding deal for the Hamilton LRT project, Catherine McKenna announces she is leaving politics. Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the name of Henry Dundas will be expunged from the street of the same name. Hamilton Police have appointed Sergeant Rebecca Moran to the fulltime Two- Spirit and LGBTQIA+ Liaison Officer role. A $7.8 Million reconstruction of Plains Road West in Burlington will include enhanced bike lanes.  Cowessess First Nation says it has found an estimated 751 unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. The former Robert Bateman High may become a Brock University satellite campus in Burlington. Ontario stands to get another four million doses of COVID vaccine in the final two weeks of June alone. Bonnie and Clyde murder suspects nabbed in Budapest. Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has conceded that Burlington’s first attempt at a Private Tree Bylaw “has not achieved the goal”.

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