Canada in Brief, Oct. 19-25

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
October 19, 2017 Updated: January 3, 2019

Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie dies at 53

Gord Downie, the poetic lead singer of the Tragically Hip whose determined fight with brain cancer inspired a nation, has died. He was 53. Downie died on Oct. 17 “with his beloved children and family close by,” said a statement on the band’s website.

In the wake of his diagnosis with glioblastoma, an incurable form of cancer, the musician became a symbol of perseverance in the face of his mortality. He spent the last chapter of his life raising funds for brain cancer research and advocating for the rights of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.

Condolences and tributes are pouring in, including from Indigenous leaders and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said in a statement: “He was the frontman of one of Canada’s most iconic bands, a rock star, artist, and poet whose evocative lyrics came to define a country.”

Fans gathered Oct. 18 in the Tragically Hip’s hometown of Kingston, Ont., to pay their respects to the singer.

Alberta fireman dies battling wildfire; 2 injured in Saskatchewan

Wind-whipped wildfires that scorched parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan on Oct. 17 and forced the evacuation of several communities have taken a human toll.

Officials with Cypress County in southeastern Alberta confirmed the death of James Hargrave, a firefighter who was battling a fierce grass fire driven by gusting winds near Hilda.

In southwestern Saskatchewan, two men were injured fighting a wildfire near Tompkins.

Thousands of Saskatchewan residents remained without electricity on Oct. 18, with four local states of emergency remaining in effect in Alberta.

Kids getting too little exercise, too much screentime: StatsCan

New Statistics Canada data shows most Canadian children and youth are not getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity. Two studies reveal they are also spending more time in front of digital screens than experts like.

The first study concludes that fewer than 20 percent of Canadian children and youth meet all three targets for sleep, sedentary behaviour, and physical activity. The second study shows virtually no change from 2007 to 2015 in average daily minutes of physical activity.

With files from The Canadian Press


The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press