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Questions About Silence on COVID


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Questions About Silence on COVID

Only one day was required for Auston Mathews to poke a hole in the National Hockey League’s strategy of insisting that teams officially avoid telling the public about COVID-19 intrusions into any dressing room or practice facility during the countdown to the coming Stanley Cup playoffs.

It seems reasonable at this point for an old cynic to suggest the talented Toronto Maple Leafs scorer should be fined for breaking one of his league’s unwritten regulations. His crime can be described in one sentence. He confirmed that the coronavirus recently intruded on his system.

He’s OK now, he says, and apparently all the testing mechanisms agree, so this will be dismissed as a minor issue, which will please commissioner Gary Bettman and his minions greatly but will continue the deliberate act of keeping knowledge from those often described as essential members of the professional sports family: the fans.

Such control of information is far from unique in the NHL or any other league. Arguably, the National Football League does the best job of levelling with the public on the question of players’ injury or illness, largely because keeping the lid on – officially at least – is seen as essential in a sport which triggers so much gambling action, day after day and week after week.

The world’s highest-level hockey league, for example, has developed a regular-season system that reveals only whether a player’s injury is confined to the upper or lower body. It has yet to be determined where a wrist or hand injury figts on this scale; perhaps it relates to whether the arm was folded or straight at the time of the incident.

There has been no clear explanation for the NHL’s decision, except for this news conference comment from Bill Daly, the NHL’s deputy commissioner: “We . . .continue to feel that medical privacy is important in this process,” he said.

“At least for now, we’re going to maintain a policy where the league is announcing (test) numbers and clubs are prohibited from giving any information with respect to COVID test results.”

Using privacy as a shield is a handy escape mechanism.

The league and the players’ association have agreed that any player can  choose not to compete in the workouts or any of the five rounds of playoffs leading to the (still probable) Stanley Cup final in about three months. Fans and media are entitled to speculate whether players such as Edmonton Oilers defender Mike Green or the Calgary Flames’ Travis Hamonic are ducking all suggestion of COVID infection by stating in public that family reasons explain their decisions to opt out.

No outsider can fairly suggest these honourable veterans are evading the truth in this or any other case, but this point is obvious: the NHL would rather avoid the truth than reveal it when necessary.

In at least one sense, this is admirable strategy. Already, major-league basketball and baseball are being shaken at training by revelations of fresh coronavirus intrusions. Major League Soccer has suffered most of all, with COVID-19 fears and discoveries forcing teams to pull out of the emergency makeup schedule designed to fill television moments until the other pro leagues could get organized.

Sitting slightly below the surface, however, is the realization that large segments of the public question every piece of information being distributed by politicians and other spokespersons. Professional sport will can not possibly benefit if similar doubts begin to pile up about the accuracy of NHL reporting on this essential issue.

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Winners announced for Red Deer Hospital Lottery

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The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has announced the winners of the 2024 Red Deer Hospital Lottery Dream Home and Tiny Home prize packages, as well as the Mega Bucks 50.

The Mega Bucks 50 jackpot reached $607,200.00, which makes Carolyn Pelerine of Cochrane, Alberta the winner of $303,600.00.

In addition, the luxurious Tree Hugger Tiny Home Prize Package, complete with accessories by Urban Barn and valued at $163,798.00, is now owned by Mary Vincent of Red Deer.

The coveted Sorento Dream Home Prize Package, which includes furnishings and accessories by Urban Barn and boasts a total value of $1,072,624.00, has been awarded to Maxine Rumohr of Sylvan Lake.

The highly anticipated draw took place at 10:00 a.m. Thursday at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation office, located within the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, with an announcement following live on Facebook, allowing participants and supporters to join in the excitement virtually.

“We are delighted to congratulate the winners of this year’s Red Deer Hospital Lottery,” said Manon Therriault, Chief Executive Officer of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation. “The funds raised from this lottery will significantly contribute to enhancing patient care and services at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated and supported this important cause.”

Proceeds from the Red Deer Hospital Lottery and Mega Bucks 50 will contribute to acquiring critically needed, state-of-the-art equipment for several units at the Red Deer Hospital.

This year’s lottery will fund equipment such as a phototherapy system, which allows parents to hold and soothe their infant while undergoing phototherapy, a cardiology case cart to monitor cardiac rhythms during stress testing, and other equipment to help provide excellent care for patients in the emergency and operating rooms at the Red Deer Hospital.

The winners of a variety of electronics were also drawn today. A full list of winners will be available in the coming days on the official lottery website at Prize winners who have not already been notified will receive a letter in the mail with instructions on how to claim their prizes.

The keys to the Sorento Dream Home and the Tree Hugger Tiny Home will be presented to the winners at a special ceremony this summer.

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The Grand Opening is TODAY!

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A Day Filled With Hope – Years in the Making!
For years the CACAC has been walking hand-in-hand with many different partners, community members, donors, policy makers, and leaders in research and advocacy towards this moment.The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence now stands in the heart of Central Alberta, the first Centre of its kind in North America, creating space for different strategic partners to operate alongside one another in the best interest of children, youths, and families who have experienced any form of abuse.

Now, during this momentous chapter in our history, we invite you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. 

We’re excited to welcome you and your family to the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence today!

Today’s events are family friendly, and there’s something for everyone!

From Noon to 5:00PM the public is welcome to come and see everything the building has to offer at the SKCOE Open House! Staff from every organization from within the SKCOE will be there to answer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about why this Centre is so important for Central Alberta.

Beginning at 7:00PM, the public is also invited to the formal program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the building immediately North West of us across the parking lot. The formal program will have many messages and presentations from dignitaries, and you can pick up our Champions of Courage pin, which was minted for the Grand Opening only! Following the program there is a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There is a lot to celebrate, so come out and say hi!

When: Thursday, May 16

Where: Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Main Campus of Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer, AB.

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Open House

7:00 PM – Formal Program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to follow.

How to get to the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence

Please note that there will also be parking available at the lot directly North of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Detailed RDP Parking Map

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