Proof of vaccine, MP candidate out, fittest teen: Top stories of the week

Proof of COVID-19 vaccines to be mandatory in Waterloo Region businesses

Non-essential businesses in Waterloo Region and across Ontario will start requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccines later this month. The vaccine certification program will come into effect on Sept. 22.

Proof of two vaccine doses will be required at casinos, bingo halls, concert venues, theatres, cinemas, sporting facilities and events, banquet halls, convention centres, and to eat at indoor food and drink establishments. Proof isn't required at retail shopping, salons, banks, places of worship, essential services, workplaces or patios and other outdoor spaces.

Premier Doug Ford unveiled the program at a press conference on Wednesday.

"We find ourselves facing a fourth wave of COVID-19 as we enter the fall months and people return indoors," he said. "We can't wait any longer, we must take immediate action."

COVID-19 by the numbers (as of Sept. 5):

  • Waterloo Region: 19,074 confirmed cases, 290 deaths, 18,611 resolved
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 8,672 cases, 126 deaths, 8,417 resolved
  • Brant County: 3,652 cases, 25 deaths, 3,550 resolved
  • Haldimand-Norfolk: 2,832 cases, 54 deaths, 2,754 recovered
  • Huron Perth: 2,044 cases, 57 deaths, 1,969 recovered

Kitchener Centre Liberal candidate Raj Saini drops out of MP race

Raj Saini, the Liberal candidate for the Kitchener Centre MP race, has ended his campaign, citing the health and safety of those around him following “false allegations” as the reason for his decision. Saini, who has been the incumbent Member of Parliament for the area since 2015, made the announcement via statement on Twitter Saturday afternoon.

This came after he issued a statement Tuesday evening denying allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Since the deadline to remove a name from a ballot was on Aug. 30, Saini will still appear on the Kitchener Centre voting card, but Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has stated that he will not be a part of the Liberal caucus no matter what happens.

'Normal life was finished': Afghan refugees begin resettling in Waterloo Region

Refugees that escaped Afghanistan are resettling into their new life in Waterloo Region. Mohammad Ehsan Saadat fled the war-torn country earlier this month with his wife and four children.

“At the beginning of July, I saw there was a lot happening,” he said. “There was security issues, attacking people, attacking districts, attacking security forces, Afghan security forces, and then I decided to leave.”

His family left everything behind to come to Canada. He says it wasn’t long after their flight landed in Toronto when the situation at home became much worse.

“After we left, after three or five days, everything was gone,” he said. “The normal life was finished.”

Right now he is trying to look forward as he works to secure a permanent home and employment.

“I didn’t want to be a burden for the government,” he said. “I’m aggressively looking for a job here in Kitchener and I’m highly educated in Afghanistan.”

A number of agencies in Waterloo Region are helping families connect with community services.

“That includes health services, food, education, children services, and employment supports,” said Karen Redman, Regional Chair.

'Our whole team is heartbroken': Guelph Humane Society writes open letter after 'practically lifeless' cat left at building

Staff with the Guelph Humane Society have penned an open letter to the community after a "practically lifeless" cat was dropped off inside their doors before they arrived on Friday morning. The letter, posted on the humane society's website, said the cat, which later died, was in a carrier was discovered by Critter Camp staff coming into the building.

"The carrier, left outside of the doors, had a gorgeous orange cat inside – except the cat was practically lifeless," the letter said in part. "He was cold, with a low heart rate, and was barely responsive to touch."

Officials said the cat was rushed to a clinic, which was authorized to performed any treatment necessary. Unfortunately, the cat died.

"To say our whole team is heartbroken is an understatement. There are tears, and there is anger," the letter said.

'Unbelievable': Cambridge youth wins 'Fittest Teen on Earth' title at the CrossFit Games

A Cambridge teenager was crowned the "fittest teen on Earth" at the 2021 CrossFit Games earlier this month.

"It's pretty surreal, it still hasn't really sunken in. I don't think it ever will, it's pretty unbelievable," said Emma Lawson, 16.

Lawson beat out a field of 20 competitors in her age category at the international sporting event held in Madison, Wis. earlier this month.

"Basically testing all the athletes on a wide variety of things, whether that be conditioning things, like there was lots of running and swimming and lots of lifting and gymnastics things," Lawson said.

"It's just an all encompassing training approach and it really does find the fittest individuals in the world," said Josh Woolley, Lawson's coach.