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Whatever appliance repair issue you're stressed over, there's no problem too big or small for our team to handle. At Appliance Service Plus, we offer a total package of quality service, fair prices, friendly customer service, and effective fixes. Unlike some appliance companies in Lakeshore, our technicians are trained rigorously and undergo extensive background checks. We work with all major appliances and are capable of GE appliance repair, Maytag appliance repair, Frigidaire appliance repair, and more.

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Hogan: Argos Look Forward to the Roar at the Lakeshore

The difference between a good sound and a bad sound comes down to perspective. The sound of machinery can be pleasing if you’re doing some home improvements; it’s not so pleasant if your neighbour is doing it.For football players the sound of a crowd cheering can be the biggest adrenaline boost in the world if it’s your team making a big play at home. The same roar is not so great if it’s your opponent’s fans making the noise.When the Toronto Argonauts run through the tunnel on Sunday to face Montr...

The difference between a good sound and a bad sound comes down to perspective. The sound of machinery can be pleasing if you’re doing some home improvements; it’s not so pleasant if your neighbour is doing it.

For football players the sound of a crowd cheering can be the biggest adrenaline boost in the world if it’s your team making a big play at home. The same roar is not so great if it’s your opponent’s fans making the noise.

When the Toronto Argonauts run through the tunnel on Sunday to face Montreal in the Eastern Final, they’ll be greeted by the loudest ovation they’ve heard all year with the largest crowd of the season in the stands at BMO Field. An already passionate fan base will be supercharged for a game of such magnitude, with the winner advancing to the Grey Cup.

“Hometown crowds make a huge difference,” defensive back Shaquille Richardson told Argonauts.ca. “It really raises the intensity of the game. The moment gets that much bigger and it makes it that much harder for the offence to communicate. Our energy on the defence just rises when we hear the crowd going crazy.”

The home field advantage means different things in different sports. In baseball, the advantage changes how a game is managed, as having the last at bat in the ninth inning provides a gigantic advantage.

In hockey, most coaches put a premium on having the last line change and being able to match-up against the skaters the visiting team puts on the ice.

In football there’s no such edge; the visitors even get to call the pre-game coin flip. But while there’s no upper hand in the rules because a team is playing at home, the home field advantage in football can have an enormous impact on the game.

That’s where the crowd comes into play.

The noise generated by home fans can provide an enormous boost for the defence, and not just because of the obvious energy it produces.

“It takes away a lot of communication between players,” explained right offensive tackle Dejon Allen. “Football is I’d say maybe 75-percent communication, and not being able to have that communication just messes up everything. You just have to go off the snap on a hope and belief. That’s the biggest thing.”

If a crowd is loud enough, it means the offensive tackles – standing some 10-to-15 feet away from the quarterback – can’t hear the snap count, meaning they have to do something else to know when the ball is snapped.

It often leads to false starts or delay of game penalties, simply because there’s a problem communicating the snap count.

“There’s a lot of times when you can’t hear it,” the first-time all-star told Argonauts.ca. “What I have to do is use my peripheral vision and have to watch the ball – pretty much what the defensive line is doing.”

That too is a problem for offensive linemen, particularly those on the outside.

“I usually just keep my head straight,” Allen continued, acknowledging he has to tilt his head to try to see the snap when it gets too loud. “I don’t want to look at the ball, I want to look at my opponent. When is gets loud the right guard will stick his hand out and pull it back, which gives me a signal that the ball is getting ready to be snapped.”

Luckily for Allen and the other Argos, the roar of the crowd won’t negatively impact them on Sunday, it’s Montreal’s offence that will have to deal with it.

Defensively, the group will thrive on the noise, but they still have to communicate to each other before the ball is snapped.

“I would prefer that it’s hard for us to hear each other, because we have hand signals,” explained Richardson. “They (the opposing offence) actually have to communicate and talk before the play. We’ve got hand signals for almost all of our defensive checks, so if we’re looking at each other and have the hand signals down we’ll be able to communicate. It just makes it harder on them.”

Richardson has become the defence’s Shaq-of-all-trades, playing several different positions this season. He’ll be back at the boundary side halfback spot on Sunday against the Alouettes.

The University of Arizona product is not a huge believer in momentum, knowing that a play that doesn’t work has to be forgotten immediately.

“When there is a lot of momentum, in a high-pressure situation, and the crowd is loud; it does affect the offence for sure.”

Richardson and Allen may play different positions, but have several commonalities; both are from Compton, California, both play the game at an exceptionally high level, and both will be counted on to contribute if the Argos are to advance to the Grey Cup.

They’ll also be counting on a large, partisan Argo crowd to provide as much noise as possible to help them attain that goal.

The Burlington you knew is disappearing - almost everything east of Brant along Lakeshore will be high rise.

BURLINGTON, ONWhile city council waits to have their successful election campaigns made legal at the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday development mistakes made years ago proceed.The Beausoleil is replacing what used to be the Pearl Street Café, that was operated by John and Martha Duff, a a couple that met each other when they were members of the Burlington Teen Tour Band.. the Café was on the ground floor and a graphics company was on the upper floor.When a developer came along with an offe...

BURLINGTON, ON

While city council waits to have their successful election campaigns made legal at the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday development mistakes made years ago proceed.

The Beausoleil is replacing what used to be the Pearl Street Café, that was operated by John and Martha Duff, a a couple that met each other when they were members of the Burlington Teen Tour Band.. the Café was on the ground floor and a graphics company was on the upper floor.

When a developer came along with an offer was just too good to turn down the properties were sold.

They were later flipped to another developer who filed a development application, that ended up going to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) where the developer won.

It wasn’t long before demotion work began.

Part of the OLT agreement was that the two houses on the property would be kept as part of the development.

What is being kept is the façade that would serve as the entrance to two units. What isn’t clear is if the units were to be seen as private dwellings. That will all get worked out when the sales work begins.

The houses were built in 1880 and are the last examples of housing from that period on Pearl Street

The only thing that is going to be kept is the façade, which doesn’t do much for the sleek glass lined look of the building that will go up on the site.

Right now demolition is underway for the BeauSoleil development while construction takes place in the building to the immediate east – that being the Nautique.

Photograph by Harry Hersh

In the past ten year the pace of development has been incredible. A run down motel was on the south side of Lakeshore Road – now the site of the Bridgewater development. The Waterfront Hotel could end up being torn down and replaced by two towers that will be more than 40 storeys.

Almost all the land between Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road is set up for future development. Don’t expect to see any affordable housing in any of these buildings.

That part of the downtown in Burlington will become very high end and expensive. No one is at all certain what the area might draw in terms of commercial operations.

The facade that will be part of the BeauSoleil is all that will be left of the kind of housing (built in the late 1800’s) that made up a Burlington that is fast fading from view – all that will be left are the memories.

One of the occupants of what was known as the Acland house had a job filling water trucks that were used to put water on the streets to keep down the dust. A person with that kind of job would never be able to rent a house in Burlington today.

It was a kinder, more gentle town that was livable.

Understaffed and underequipped: Report shines light on struggles at Montreal ER

Dozens of unfilled positions, increasingly sick patients and a lack of space inside the emergency room have created an untenable situation at the hospital serving Montreal's West Island, a new report warns.The 317-page report, obtained by CBC News, was prepared by an independent mediator between the nurses' union and the local health authority after workers made complaints about conditions at the Lakeshore General Hospital.The Lakeshore, an aging hospital in Pointe-Claire, Que., serves a growing population in Montreal's suburbs...

Dozens of unfilled positions, increasingly sick patients and a lack of space inside the emergency room have created an untenable situation at the hospital serving Montreal's West Island, a new report warns.

The 317-page report, obtained by CBC News, was prepared by an independent mediator between the nurses' union and the local health authority after workers made complaints about conditions at the Lakeshore General Hospital.

The Lakeshore, an aging hospital in Pointe-Claire, Que., serves a growing population in Montreal's suburbs and has been the subject of negative headlines during the pandemic.

The report is based on interviews with staff, statistics and a tour of the ER by the report's author, Marie Boucher.

It comes amid growing concern about overloaded emergency rooms in much of the province, but the report paints the situation at the Lakeshore as particularly dire.

Boucher described the ER as a "ticking time bomb," and stressed that the situation is "extremely worrying" for both patients and staff.

During her June 6 visit, Boucher said the ER was cramped and poorly lit with inadequate sight lines to ensure patient safety.

She found a shortage of blood pressure cuffs and thermometers, and a lack of privacy for patients on stretchers.

Overall, she wrote, her visit left her concerned about a "lack of dignity for patients."

The report found the hospital relied heavily on overtime and workers from private agencies to fill the gaps in care.

According to the report, Lakeshore had one of the highest occupancy rates in the region this past summer, regularly exceeding capacity.

During a two-week stretch in early July, for instance, the ER was at an average of 142 per cent capacity. On some days, the Lakeshore had twice the number of patients than its 31 beds.

In all, the report found, a total of 56 positions in the ER had not been filled on a full-time basis, for a total of 52 per cent of the workforce.

The report also includes testimony from staff, who expressed concern about the safety of their patients and the ability of hospital management to deal with the problems.

"Nurses leave their shift crying quite often," one staff member said. Another said orderlies were putting elderly patients in diapers to avoid helping them to the bathroom.

WATCH | Quebec health minister promises changes to ER system

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé responded to an open letter by the province's chiefs of emergency during a press conference on Tuesday.

What's next for Lakeshore?

The report concludes with 14 recommendations, including hiring 30 more staff in the next six months and practical changes, such as ensuring all ER patients are in a location visible to staff.

A coroner's report into the death of Candida Macarine, an 86-year-old woman found dead on the floor of the ER last year, also recommended improving the surveillance of visual and auditory alerts of patient-monitoring systems at the hospital.

Kristina Hoare, vice-president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) in the West Island, the union advocating for workers at Lakeshore, said the report's recommendations could help alleviate the pressure on other ERs in the province.

"We're hoping that they take the situation very seriously and that they follow the recommendations that were given by the expert," she said in an interview.

"We hope that they're applied not only to our other emergency rooms, but throughout the province to try to better the care that the population receives because it's not a secret that the emergency rooms across the province are suffering."

She said the report also underlines that nurses and other staff are motivated to treat patients with dignity and give them "safe and appropriate care when they need it."

Hoare said the union is set to meet with the local health authority, the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, later this week to discuss the findings and next steps.

Hélène Bergeron-Gamache, a spokesperson for the CIUSSS, said in an email the health authority is analyzing the report and an "action plan" is already in place.

"Like other health facilities in Quebec, the Lakeshore General Hospital emergency room is currently very busy, in addition to being affected by a staff shortage," she said, adding that a committee has been set up to come up with "concrete and lasting solutions to meet these challenges."

At a news conference Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Dubé announced new measures aimed at easing the strain on ERs.

Dubé didn't go into specifics when asked about Lakeshore but said some ERs are handling the patient load better than others.

"It's a matter of saying you're open to the best practices," he said. "This job will not be finished today but it's just a start."

Lakeshore Hospital ER a 'time bomb' due to critical staff shortage, chronic overcrowding: report

The conclusions of a 317-page report released in October on the Lakeshore General Hospital’s emergency room are unequivocal: current staff shortages are "extremely worrying," both for the health-care professionals and the patients."With the current staffing situation, this is a time bomb," wrote independent expert and nurse Marie Boucher about the hospital in the Montreal suburb of Pointe-Claire.Given that more than half of the positions are vacant, management has to face the fact that "an emergen...

The conclusions of a 317-page report released in October on the Lakeshore General Hospital’s emergency room are unequivocal: current staff shortages are "extremely worrying," both for the health-care professionals and the patients.

"With the current staffing situation, this is a time bomb," wrote independent expert and nurse Marie Boucher about the hospital in the Montreal suburb of Pointe-Claire.

Given that more than half of the positions are vacant, management has to face the fact that "an emergency plan must be put in place…in emergency," she stated.

Boucher prepared the mediation report for Montreal’s West Island CIUSSS and for a Quebec nurse’s union, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ).

The report obtained by CTV News describes a work environment where staff is overburdened with tasks that only increase in number and intensity, with this year described as the worst ever.

The facts related in the report are not new to those who know the file well, said Kristina Hoare, a nurse and spokesperson for FIQ in the West Island.

"The report really does reflect the reality and the cries made by the staff over and over again, since 2018," Hoare said.

Since then, she said, the FIQ has fielded more than 500 complaints from ER nurses at every level of the profession.

The overtime requirements at Lakeshore are unusually demanding because the emergency room is missing 52 per cent of its full-time staff.

In 2021-2022, 27 per cent of the hours worked on evening shifts and 25 per cent of the hours worked at night were overtime hours.

"So that means they've already worked eight hours and they have to do another eight hours. It's when you're tired, you get cranky, you aren't maybe as respectful for your co-workers. It's a vicious circle," said Hoare.

She pointed to two types of difficult situations that have become part of nurses' day-to-day realities in the ER that stood out for her as she went through the report herself and read their testimonies.

"That patients are being put into briefs because the staff do not have time to take them to the washroom," she said.

"The fact that patients are being restrained because there's not enough surveillance in the emergency room…because they do not have enough eyes, hands and bodies they cannot assure the safety of patients or [their] well being," Hoare said.

The health-care workers reported being exhausted by the work conditions and also by a "toxic" environment in the hospital’s ER.

"Indeed, the climate was characterized by almost all [91 per cent +] of the respondents as heavy, negative and harmful to employees," Boucher wrote.

Boucher noted that the burden brought about by staff shortages is compounded by the increase in the number of patients seeking emergency care.

Included in the report are emails that read like pleas for help, sent by nurses to supervisors or managers following particularly difficult shifts. Their identities have been protected.

"The triage nurse was completely overwhelmed with patients and it is a direct result of her being alone," one extract reads. "Both nurses had no breaks. This situation is not unique."

Other extracts describe situations in the ER as "incredibly dangerous," "unsafe and unacceptable."

Another staff member writes that colleagues want to speak up about the intolerable conditions but "many are now afraid of retribution," the report said.

While most hospital emergency rooms in the Montreal region are gasping for air, Hoare singled out St-Mary's Hospital ER as "heading in the same direction," as Lakeshore General.

"It's starting to have occupancy rates that we've never seen before for St. Mary's," she said.

She said the West Island health authority which manages both institutions will need to apply any potential remedies to both health-care sites before the situation at St. Mary's deteriorates further.

URGENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Boucher's report makes a series of short-term and long-term recommendations that focus on improving the safety and quality of care for patients and work conditions for staff.

Within the next six months, the Lakeshore should work on dealing with the constant overflow of patients in the ER to reduce overcrowding, she wrote.

"Just because it has been a problem for several years does not mean that it is acceptable. The quality and safety of patients, especially those on stretchers, are not assured," Boucher wrote.

She suggests recruitment activities prioritize the ER, stressing that it is "vital" they hire 30 new health-care professionals within six months.

At the same time, she called on managers to make every effort to retain the staff who care about the patients and who despite the burdens "choose to come to work in these conditions every day."

"I think her use of the expression ticking time bomb really emphasizes the feeling of the staff and what we've been trying to denounce for years and years," said Hoare, adding she hopes this report will make the government finally take notice.

A spokesperson for Montreal's West Island CIUSSS said a joint committee has been established with the unions to find "sustainable solutions."

"We have taken note of Ms. Marie Boucher's report and the recommendations are currently being analyzed by our teams in order to identify any adjustments to be made to the action plan already underway," Hélène Bergeron-Gamache wrote in an email.

Medieval Times performers in California unionize following months of debate

From queens and knights to horsemen and squires, the performers of Medieval Times dinner theatre castle in Buena Park, California, voted to unionize Thursday after months of back and forth with the company.Low wages, dangerous working conditions, and a lack of respect from company management incited performers to fight for more job security and join the American Guild of Variety Artists, which represents some performers at Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywoo...

From queens and knights to horsemen and squires, the performers of Medieval Times dinner theatre castle in Buena Park, California, voted to unionize Thursday after months of back and forth with the company.

Low wages, dangerous working conditions, and a lack of respect from company management incited performers to fight for more job security and join the American Guild of Variety Artists, which represents some performers at Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, said Erin Zapcic, a union organizer.

Medieval Times puts on two-hour performances inspired by 11th century Spain of jousting, sword fighting, and hand-to-hand combat as guests eat a four-course meal. The cast includes knights, squires, stablehands who handle the horses, show cast with speaking roles, and trumpeters.

The vote, 27-18, was a decisive one to the surprise of some performers, including Zapcic, who plays a queen at Buena Park.

The vote marks the end to a nearly four-month journey for performers at Buena Park to unionize due to delays caused by company management, she said.

"The company really used the time to sow the seeds of discord, create a divide within the bargaining unit, and so based off the way things were going and the people we were talking to, even though we started with a super majority of the bargaining unit, there was considerable attrition or at least so it seemed throughout the process," Zapcic said.

Buena Park performers petitioned for a union election on July 22 following the vote at the New Jersey location in July, she said. The Medieval Times has 10 locations across North America, including Atlanta, Ga, Chicago, Il, and Toronto, Ontario.

Medieval Times delayed the union election date by contesting that only Knights and Squires should be allowed in the union, excluding the show cast and stables department, according to Medieval Times Performers United California on Aug. 18. Medieval Times argued that knights and squires do not share a "community of interest" with the show cast and stablehands.

Medieval Times did not respond to a request for comment.

"Medieval Times tried to separate and divide its California workers after it agreed to a single bargaining unit in New Jersey and then lost the election by a lopsided margin," Spivak Lipton LLP attorney Nicholas Johnson said in a statement. "The Regional Director saw through the employer's meritless arguments and correctly found that a single bargaining unit is appropriate."

Medieval Times did not contest the petitioned-for bargaining unit in New Jersey, according to Medieval Times Performers United.

The votes at Buena Park and New Jersey castles have created a domino effect company-wide, as more castles have expressed their interest to unionize, Zapcic said.

Knights perform dangerous stunts that require them to fight with real titanium weapons and throw themselves off horses at 25 mph for the performance, Zapcic said.

These dangerous duties have led to ankle, knee, and head injuries, according to performers in New Jersey, and knights do them all for about $19 to $29 an hour.

"The job will always be dangerous for the guys, but they should be compensated accordingly," she said. "There should be a correlation between how dangerous their job is and how they're compensated."

Those who want to become knights and aspire to go into athletics or become a stunt performer typically start off as squires, who make "essentially minimum wage," Zapcic told the LA Times. A knight who previously worked as a squire at the New Jersey castle made $12 an hour.

The horses and falcon that the show rely on also add an element of uncertainty for workers' safety, particularly for stablehands who can make $16 an hour.

Zapcic compared Medieval Times shows to Broadway shows, seating about the same number of people and putting on more shows a week. They put up to 10 to 16 shows during a normal week compared to most Broadway shows' eight, but the number can go up to 21 between Christmas and New Year's Day. Many knights and squires will have to perform in nearly every show during this busy season.

Upon hearing Zapcic's comparison to Broadway shows, she said Medieval Times management responded, "You're not Broadway. It's dinner theatre."

Zapcic said, "There was a dismissiveness and feeling that the company views us as replaceable and having a union really sets us apart and shows that... we take our jobs seriously and we want to be treated with the same respect."

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