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POLL: COVID taking huge toll as Canadians feel lonely and isolated

A poll released Wednesday by the Angus Reid group found those who suffer from both loneliness and social isolation, has increased from 23 per cent of the population to 33 per cent.

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COVID-19 has turned Canadians into an unhappy lot – with a third of us saying we feel both lonely and isolated.

A poll released Wednesday by the Angus Reid group found those who suffer from both loneliness and social isolation, has increased from 23 per cent of the population to 33 per cent.

“The unprecedented drop in community activity, from volunteering, to attending live concerts, to visiting local community centres and hubs, has taken its toll on Canadians,” the poll found.

The percentage of those saying they have a good social life has dropped from more than half in 2019 (55%) to just one-in-three (33%) this year.

“This year, the percentage of Canadians who can be categorized as The Desolate, those who suffer from both loneliness and social isolation, has increased from 23 per cent of the population to 33 per cent. Further, the percentage suffering from neither has dropped by nearly half, from 22 per cent to 12 per cent,” the poll found.

The survey found the COVID-19 restrictions have taken a big toll on the mental health of Canadians.

“As Canadians have become more isolated, many are voicing concerns about their mental health. Last year, two-thirds (67%) said their mental health was good or very good; this year just 53 per cent say the same. One-in-five (19%) now share that their mental health is either poor or very poor, with three-in-ten young women (30%) reporting this.”

Angus Reid poll

On the bright side, the same poll found the bond of Canadian families remains strong.

“Half of married respondents (51%) say their relationship with their spouse is still very good, down from 57 per cent last year.”

And use of technology by families to stay in touch has skyrocketed.

“Many are using technology to stay connected and this is nowhere truer than with those 55 years of age and older. Among this group, usage of video calling apps has increased from 36 per cent to 55 per cent.

“That said, Canadians using Zoom, FaceTime and other video calling apps are less enthusiastic about the experience this year than last. Just 47 per cent say it makes them feel more connected to friends and family, while 47 per cent say it’s simply better than nothing. Last year, 71 per cent chose the former, suggesting the increase in usage is reducing the quality of overall connection.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Kenney says Albertans may get ‘multi-issues’ referendum

The government has already committed to hold a referendum on equalization payments next October at the same time as municipal elections

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the UCP could have multiple referendum questions for voters next year.

The government has already committed to hold a referendum on equalization payments next October at the same time as municipal elections.

Speaking virtually to the UCP’s AGM on Saturday, Kenney said the party is also looking at adding other issues.

“I believe on the big consequential issues it’s right to go to the public,” kenney told 1,400 delegates who had signed up for the virtual convention.

He said a decision to get rid of Daylight Savings Time, a Senate election, constitutionally changing property rights and a provincial pension plan are some of the things Albertans may have a chance to vote on.

Kenney spent most of his speech hi-lighting UCP policies they have brought in, including scrapping the carbon tax and repealing Bill 6.

“We are one-third through our mandate and we have implemented two-thirds of our 261 election promises,” said Kenney.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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RCMP able to save ice-bound calf in northern B.C.

The on-duty police officer responded to the area and was able to locate the calf clearly in distress

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For a B.C. Mountie, it was a very moo-ving rescue.

On Tuesday morning, RCMP were told about a young calf that had fallen through ice, into a slough along Farrell Creek Road, north east of Hudson’s Hope, in northeastern B.C.

The on-duty police officer responded to the area and was able to locate the calf clearly in distress, said the RCMP in a release.

“It was obvious that the calf had been doing its best to stay afloat and was getting tired, however could not move forward or backwards due to the surrounding ice,” said the release.

“Thinking quickly, and using any means available to the officer, and some locals that had stopped to assist, the ice around the calf was broken. The very tired calf was able to be lassoed and brought to the edge and out of the slough to rest.”

When we suit up and start our shifts each day, we really never have any idea what our day on the front line will entail,” said Cpl. Rob Gardner.

The front line officer, who responded to the scene, did a great job thinking quickly and outside the box to work with some locals to break the ice and free the small calf. We’d like to thank all those who stopped to assist with this rescue.

The wet calf, who seemed un-injured during the ordeal.

Rescued calf. Courtesy RCMP

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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O’Toole says party unity is the only way to beat Trudeau

“Conservatives only win when we are united. We lose when we are divided,” said the Durham, Ont. M.P.

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The only way the Tories will beat the Justin Trudeau Liberals in the next election is to stay united, says the party’s new leader.

“Five years ago if you had said “Wexit”, people would have looked at you funnily,” said Erin O’Toole, at the UCP’s 2020 virtual AGM.

Speaking from an Ottawa backyard, O’Toole said Trudeau’s policies are sharply dividing the country but the only way to defeat him if for Conservatives to focus and stay united.

“Conservatives only win when we are united. We lose when we are divided,” said the Durham, Ont. M.P.

“In unity, there is victory.”

O’Toole said the party must increase it’s seat count in Ontario and pointed out the Tories have their first leader from that province “in about 60 years.”

O’Toole also lambasted Trudeau’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic currently sweeping the country.

“Canada is light years behind our allies (in terms of health care,)” said O’Toole, adding the government’s environmental regulations are “a national travesty.”

When asked about his support for the Paris accord on climate change, O’Toole said Canada can “lower emissions in a responsible way.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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