'Z dollard' coins in Hawkesbury and Ottawa's top doctor issues a warning about Omicron: Top stories this week
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the top five stories on our website this week.
One person is dead and five others remain unaccounted for after an explosion and fire at a tanker truck facility in Ottawa's south end.
Ottawa Police, Ottawa Fire, the Ministry of Labour and the Office of the Fire Marshal continued the investigation on Saturday into the deadly incident at Eastway Tank on Merivale Road on Thursday afternoon.
"I actually thought it was an earthquake at first," said Coun. Tim Tierney, who was in the area at the time of the fire.
"The ground was shaking and then suddenly, seconds later, suddenly I hear the bang."
On Friday, police confirmed one person had died in hospital. Four men and a woman remain unaccounted for. It's believed they were at the building when the explosion occurred.
Family members have publicly identified two of the victims on social media.
- Kayla Ferguson from Carleton Place.
- Rick Bastien, 57, of Luskville, Que.
The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.
Firefighters are on the scene of a major fire on Merivale road Thursday afternoon. (Viewer photo)
Ottawa's top doctor warned this week that the transmissibility of the Omicron variant of concern is "increasing the likelihood" most people in Ottawa will eventually be exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches calls Omicron a "game changer", and everyone needs to do their part to "blunt the curve."
"The vast majority will be able to weather the virus at home and people can prepare for this by making sure they have basic supplies on hand and pain relief medication at home," said Etches during a media conference on Wednesday.
"Do seek health care assessment for severe symptoms, for chest pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, or rapidly worsening symptoms. Many who are unvaccinated and contract COVID-19, and even some vaccinated individuals, will need hospital care to address the impacts of the related illness.
"Omicron cannot be stopped altogether, but we can work to blunt the curve, to blunt that peak and to slow transmission so hospitals can maintain capacity to deliver care."
Etches is urging people to get vaccinated and stay home when they're sick.
Ottawa medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches received her first COVID-19 vaccine shot on Tuesday, June 8. (Photo courtesy: Twitter/VeraEtches)
Ontario parents won't be notified of all school outbreaks but data on absentee rates will be available
Students in Ottawa and across Ontario will return to class on Monday for the first time since the start of the holiday break.
Schools will reopen for in-person learning after the Ontario government delayed the return to the classroom due to the rising cases of COVID-19.
The Ontario government announced this week that parents won't be notified of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in a child's school until approximately 30 per cent of students and staff are absent.
Data on absentee rates will be available to the public starting Jan. 24.
Both the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board have said they will make every effort to keep schools open, but classes may have to move to remote learning if there are staffing shortages.
Parents will be advised the night before, and they are encouraged to have contingency plans in place and monitor their emails for updates.
Meantime, the chair of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board sent a letter to Education Minister Stephen Lecce, saying the board's "greatest concerns remain unaddressed."
A school classroom is seen in this file photo. (CTV)
Ontario Provincial Police issued a warning this week about counterfeit toonies discovered in the cash register at a store in Hawkesbury.
A picture of the fake coins shared by police had the wording "Z DOLLARD", an incorrect image purporting to be of Queen Elizabeth and a walrus instead of a polar bear.
The coins are also dated 1990, when the first real toonies weren't in circulation until 1996.
Closeup image of the counterfeit coins showing a walrus and a face value of "Z dollard" (Handout/OPP)
The 52nd season of skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway is underway.
The world's largest skating rink opened for the season on Friday, with the full 7.8 km stretch open from the National Arts Centre to Dow's Lake and Hartswell Locks.
"The buildup to opening day, it's incredible," said Bruce Devine, NCC Senior Manager, Facilities and Programs. "You feel that energy, and the NCC staff are well, they're so excited."
One of the skaters out on the ice Friday afternoon was Junaid Bhat, who just moved to Canada from Kashmir last April. It was the first time he had ever been on skates.
"It's my first proper winter here. I'm used to cold but I'm not used to this cold," said Junaid, adding while skating was scary he was excited to experience something new.
Beavertails stands and concession stands are open this year on the Rideau Canal Skateway, while all changing facilities and firepits remain closed due to the COVID-19 public health measures.
The NCC is recommending people wear a mask or face covering while on the skateway, while masks will be mandatory in washrooms and in lines at concession stands.
Skaters on the newly-opened Rideau Canal Skateway on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (Josh Pringle/CTV News Ottawa)
Ottawa Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Students trapped inside a classroom with a gunman repeatedly called 911 during this week's attack on a Texas elementary school, including one who pleaded, 'Please send the police now,' as nearly 20 officers waited in the hallway for more than 45 minutes, authorities said Friday.
As Johnny Depp's high-profile libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard wound down, Heard took her final opportunity on the stand to comment on the hate and backlash she’s endured online during the trial.
A new report says Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto rank among the top 20 cities around the world when it comes to work-life balance.
Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will table new firearms legislation on Monday, according to his colleague Justice Minister David Lametti. In an interview with CTV's Question Period that will air on Sunday, Lametti pointed to the advance notice given to the House of Commons, and confirmed the plan is to see the new bill unveiled shortly after MPs return to the Commons on May 30.
An 11-year-old survivor of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, feared the gunman would come back for her so she smeared herself in her friend's blood and played dead.
For 70 years, Andre Hissink has held a grudge against the Dutch government, but this week, the 102-year-old Second World War veteran’s persistence paid off – the Dutch king granted his wish for a rare dual citizenship.
Canada has tapped into its own strategic stockpile of emergency medical supplies -- stored for a national emergency -- to help Ukraine. It has donated over 375,000 items of medical equipment and medicines from Canada's strategic stockpile since the invasion by Russia began.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, more commonly known as 'broken heart syndrome' or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is an actual medical condition triggered by severe emotional or physical stress and is different from a heart attack.
After a six-week trial in which Johnny Depp and Amber Heard tore into each other over the nasty details of their short marriage, both sides told a jury the exact same thing Friday -- they want their lives back.
A lawyer for families of victims killed in the Nova Scotia mass shooting says an 18-hour delay in finding five bodies of those murdered is a sign of "deficient" policing.
The RCMP is trying to determine who was driving a car near the scene of a double-homicide in Dieppe, N.B., in September 2019.
'We just want to stay': N.S. family struggling to find affordable home may be forced to leave the province
A Nova Scotia family may be forced to leave the province due to the lack of affordable housing units on the market today.
Police have released a video showing the arrest of two suspects who allegedly stole a Mercedes – the latest in a string of armed vehicle thefts that has prompted police services in the Greater Toronto Area to create a carjacking task force.
Toronto Pearson International is warning travellers and Mississauga residents they may notice unusual activity at the airport this weekend.
New video has emerged showing the moment a tornado touched down in Uxbridge, Ont. over the weekend, ripping the roof off a local brewery.
Canada's highest court has ruled that Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered six people at the Quebec City mosque in 2017, will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Hydro-Quebec is still struggling to restore power to tens of thousands of homes left without electricity, six days after deadly storms hit in Quebec and Ontario.
Quebec Premier François Legault may not have expected quite this type of fallout from Bill 96, but he found himself hammered by questions on Thursday -- about Quebec independence.
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) has honoured two people from Sudbury for their rescue efforts during last year's rescue at Totten Mine.
A 54-year-old man is facing several charges in Sudbury, including sexual assault, following an investigation triggered by reports someone was trying to traffic a victim under the age of 16.
There’s an increased police presence around four Toronto schools this morning after a 27-year-old man walking the nearby streets with an air rifle was shot dead by police on Thursday.
The London Police Service is requesting the public’s help with locating a person of interest after a gun was fired on Richmond Row in the early morning hours of Friday.
A London man is facing impaired-related charges after a vehicle he was driving collided with a gravel truck on Wednesday morning, according to police.
Pat Clifford is the engine that keeps the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Goderich, Ont. running — and it’s for those reasons the soon-to-be 75-year-old has earned the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
Winnipeg police are telling people to find an alternate route this afternoon as they are investigating a fatal crash near the St. Boniface Industrial Park.
Fifty-eight-year-old Vivian Ketchum is set to receive her high school diploma at a graduation ceremony at the University of Winnipeg next month. It is a moment that is decades in the making.
Manitoba RCMP said nobody was injured after a semi-truck hauling cheese on the Trans-Canada Highway caught fire Thursday night.
A man, who was a referee at high school volleyball games in Guelph for more than 30 years, is facing sex assault-related charges.
The Region of Waterloo says there's a high safety risk at a Kitchener encampment and they are working with residents to prepare for their eventual move out.
The Queen Victoria statue in downtown Kitchener is once again clean after it was splashed with red paint earlier this week.
Temperatures are rising in Calgary and workers who help make sure pets are kept safe from harm say residents need to be aware of the risks that come with the change of seasons.
Alberta Parks has closed a section of Fish Creek Provincial Park in the city's southeast after aggressive coyotes attacked a dog and its owner.
Calgary Flames fans are still coming to terms with a playoff series loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night in a game that saw both controversy and heartbreak following a Connor McDavid overtime goal.
'We will have to deal with the issues': Saskatoon condo residents at odds with city over public washroom plan
Outcry over the planned location of public washrooms caused Tuesday's city council meeting to stretch late into the evening.
A Saskatchewan woman’s granddaughter is being recognized for helping save her life and minimizing the effects of stroke after she called 911.
Saskatoon city council and the YMCA are entering a partnership with the intention to plan and build a new joint-use leisure centre in Saskatoon's east side.
A 19-year-old man is in police custody after a shooting near Rogers Place after an Edmonton Oilers viewing party ended Thursday evening.
Ground was officially broken on Edmonton's Valley Line West LRT route on Friday.
The province officially started or resumed work on 300 highway projects Friday – worth a total of $1.4 billion – but a shortage of workers and the high cost of materials will have an impact.
Vancouver police are investigating a double stabbing they say happened at an apartment building in Kitsilano Friday morning.
Multiple drivers ran over a firefighting hose in South Vancouver on Friday, impacting an already tense effort to douse the flames at a two-alarm house fire.
Crossword-loving grandma who thought she won $5,000 realized her lotto prize was actually a lot larger
A recent lottery winner excitedly told her daughter she was suddenly $5,000 richer. She was wrong.
Premiers from western Canada met to discuss healthcare in their first face-to-face meeting in more than two years in Regina on Friday at the 2022 Western Premiers' Conference.
A Regina family facing homelessness will not be evicted from their government-owned rental unit after it was discovered they owed more than $1,000 in back rent.
An alleged mail theft and identity fraud has resulted in more than 100 charges for a 42-year-old Edmonton man, according to the Regina Police Service (RPS).