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Trudeau calls on some celebrity friends to urge Canadians to stay inside



After a day spent imploring Canadians to stay inside, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to encourage some Hollywood friends to share the message.

Earlier in the day on March 23, Mr. Trudeau told the Canadian public “enough is enough.”

“Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to be doing, and we’re going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks, or by enforcing the rules, if that’s needed. Nothing that could help is off the table,” he said from his self-isolation hideout at Rideau Cottage.

In a tweet that evening, Mr. Trudeau encouraged Canadians to tag their friends and remind them to stay home. The friends the PM tagged in his own tweet: actor Ryan Reynolds and singer Michael Bublé.

“I think in times of crisis, I think we all know, it’s the celebrities that we count on most,” Mr. Reynolds quipped on Twitter. “They’re the ones that are going to get us through this.”

“Right after health care workers of course, first responders, people who work in essential services, ping pong players, mannequins—they’re great—childhood imaginary friends, sure, like 400 other types of people.”

“Look, stay at home, practice social distancing, wash your hands. We are going to get through this thing,” the Deadpool star said.

Soon, Canadian celebrities of all sorts were calling for Canadians to “plank the curve” on Twitter, including Jann Arden, Seth Rogen, Hayley Wickenheiser, Steven Page, and Tom Green, among others.

Green Party lowers leadership contest barriers

Green Party interim leader Jo-Ann Roberts says that her party’s leadership convention has not been suspended, but a delay remains an option. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

As the Conservative Party debates whether its leadership vote will be moved due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Green Party is making changes to ease roadblocks for its leadership candidates to make the ballot.

The party announced in a March 23 press release that the 100 signatures required for each leadership candidate to be officially nominated can now be gathered online.

The fee for candidates has also been lowered to $30,000 from the original $40,000. But the deadline for both will remain the same: June 3.

Interim Green Party leader Jo-Ann Roberts announced that, as of yet, her party’s October leadership convention has not been cancelled, but said in the release that “remains a possibility if members are not able to travel or gather in large groups.” The convention is scheduled for Oct. 2 to 4 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

“We are not suspending the leadership contest at this time because we realize how important leadership is during a crisis and this is an opportunity for those seeking this position to demonstrate their values to members in this difficult time,” Ms. Roberts said in a statement.

Current Green Party leadership candidates include Judy Green, Amita Kuttner, Dimitri Lescaris, David Merner, Annamie Paul, and Alex Tyrell. The six individuals are seeking to be the first leader of the party since 2006, when now-parliamentary leader Elizabeth May took the helm.

Peace Tower bells to be silenced

The Peace Tower carillon typically takes place every weekday throughout the year, from 12 to 12:15 p.m. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

With life on the Hill dramatically changed due to COVID-19, the Peace Tower carillon will be added to the list of cancellations, according to a CTV report.

The performance takes place on every weekday throughout the year, from 12 to 12:15 p.m. Performances are extended in July and August to a full hour from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

But, given the construction to Centre Block, Dominion Carillonneur Andrea McCrady needs to be escorted through the building and with COVID-19 social distancing requirements in place, having two people in the elevator that leads to the carillon is unsafe, according to the report.

The carillon has 53 bells ranging in size, with the largest at 10,090 kilograms—known as the bourbon—and the smallest weighing in at 4.5 kilograms.

PSPC, firms behind Senate of Canada Building reno win architecture award

The federal department and contracted firms responsible for the recent renovation of the Senate of Canada Building won the 2020 Civic Trust Award earlier this month.

The Senate of Canada Building has won 10 awards since its renovation was completed in late 2018. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Public Services and Procurement Canada, Diamond Schmitt Architects, and KWC Architects were awarded the prize in Manchester, England on March 6.

“This award demonstrates our ability to successfully deliver complex rehabilitation projects which support the evolving needs of a 21st-century Parliament,” Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said in a press release.

The Civic Trust Award is given to projects that show excellence in “architecture, sustainability, inclusiveness, and universal design.”

The renovation transformed Ottawa’s old train station, which had been used as a conference centre since the 1960s. Now, the building hosts a temporary Senate Chamber, offices, and three committee rooms as Centre Block undergoes a more than decade-long renovation.

“The architects behind the Senate of Canada Building balanced conservation and innovation to transform a century-old landmark into a modern home for Canada’s Upper Chamber, and a space for all Canadians to enjoy,” Senate Speaker George J. Furey said in the release.

The Senate of Canada Building was also nominated for the Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design—the only North American project to be nominated.

Since renovations to the building completed in 2018—at a total estimated cost of $219-million—it has been given 10 awards.

The Hill Times

Neil Moss

Neil Moss is a reporter at The Hill Times covering federal politics, foreign policy, and defence.

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13 A-list celebrities that have called Hertfordshire home




We don’t need to tell you why Hertfordshire is the perfect place to live, partly because we’d never stop but also because the endorsements from some of the most famous people in the world speak for themselves.

Being within a short drive or train journey (dread the thought) into London means that for many stars they can escape the crowds and enjoy the quiet life.

From footballers who want a garden big enough for a kickabout, to film stars who need a suitably big house, or just those born in Hertfordshire and – despite touring the world – still haven’t found anywhere better, we’ve had them all.

Many of the stars still live in the county, so it’s worth keeping an eye out the next time you’re in town or giving a second look to the car next to you at the traffic lights.

That being said, given the price and size of some of their houses, you probably shouldn’t expect to see them nipping down to the shops.

Here are the 13 biggest stars that have called Hertfordshire home:

David and Victoria Beckham

David and Victoria Beckham

The Beckhams were possibly the county’s most famous residents until they sold their Sawbridgeworth mansion in 2013. ‘Beckingham Palace’ as it was dubbed was a huge home in the village, and sold for just over £11million.

The footballer and Spice Girl turned fashion designer had bought the house in 1999, with the couple remaining close to where Victoria was born in nearby Harlow.

However, the family started spending less time in the county following their move to the US in 2007 and have since left the county.

Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint

The star of the Harry Potter films grew up in Hertford as he filmed the series. He has also stayed in Hertfordshire as an adult, where he has started a booming property business.

While it’s not clear whereabouts he lives in the county now, reports suggest he owns property worth over £24million in Hertfordshire and the surrounding area.

These include more modest homes he’s turned around in Hitchin, and also a huge mansion in Kimpton he bought following his Hollywood success which has continued to grow in value.

George Ezra

George Ezra comes from Hertford

The musician grew up in Hertford before moving to Bristol to study music, and while we’d never usually recommend leaving the county, considering his later success it seems a shrewd decision.

It’s not clear if he still lives in Hertfordshire, but earlier this year he did pass his driving test in St Albans, so it seems that he does still have links to the area, and you might be able to see him on the roads – when he’s not in a tourbus at least.

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Cheryl used to live in Hadley Wood

Cheryl might be famous for her roots in the north east, but she’s been a Hertfordshire resident for much of her adult life.

Since marrying Ashley Cole she has lived in the county, and even after that split she’s lived in both Hadley Wood and Wrotham Park.

She then put her huge Radlett mansion on the market in 2017, which included a large indoor pool, roof terrace and six bedrooms.

She’s now moved away from the county, but remains in touching distance in North London.

Tulisa Contostavlos

Tulisa Contostavlos

Another former X-Factor judge Tulisa was also spotted in Hertfordshire.

The former N-Dubz star lived in a huge £4.5million mansion in Brookmans Park. The huge estate was in the village just south of Hatfield, which provided some quiet away in the Hertfordshire countryside.

Gino D’Acampo

Gino D’Acampo at his restaurant in Manchester

The celebrity chef is one of the only stars on this list to opt for a town centre house, meaning you’re most likely to spot him around Hoddesdon.

The four storey Grade II listed townhouse is a stunning building, although there has been controversy in recent years about an application to close the public footpath that runs past, due to some over excited members of the public.

However, wife Jessie said in the planning application the family “love being part of the Hoddesdon community” and have been welcomed since moving in 2016.

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Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere

Another celebrity who had a planning dispute was ex-Arsenal star Jack Wilshere, who erected 18ft nets around his garden to stop footballs flying into neighbouring gardens.

The footballer was just one of many who decided to make Harpenden their home while playing for clubs in the capital.

The village gives some privacy while also being home to some stunning properties, not least Wilshere’s which was valued at around £3.5million.

Martin Freeman

Martin Freeman

The actor has become one of film’s most recognisable faces, but rather than Hollywood he’s made Hertfordshire his home.

He lived in the county with his ex-wife in a £1.4million house in Potters Bar, before then moving to north London although he’s still fond of the county, describing it as a “beautiful escape.”

Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik

The former One Direction star used Hertfordshire as his own escape after quitting the band ahead of his solo career. He moved into a luxury five-bed house on Barnet Road, near to Borehamwood.

It’s perhaps not surprising after the intense spotlight he decided to try to avoid publicity while living in Hertfordshire, and soon moved to New York with supermodel Gigi Hadid – his loss!

Geri Halliwell

Geri Halliwell – or Ginger Spice – was born in Watford

Another Spice Girl with roots in Hertfordshire is Geri Halliwell. She was born and raised in Watford before her music career took-off, and despite touring around the world she’s now returned to Hertfordshire.

Now married to the Team Principal of Red Bull’s Formula One team, the couple share their time between Banbury in Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Max Whitlock

Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Max Whitlock is from Hemel Hempstead but now lives in neighbouring Essex, where he trains.

That being said he’s still been seen at events in his old school and clubs, so a sighting in Hertfordshire isn’t impossible these days.

Ian Poulter

Ian Poulter

Another sportsman who has moved slightly further away is golfer Ian Poulter, who now spends most of his time in the USA.

He has spent a significant amount of his life in our county and the surrounding areas though, he was born in Hitchin and raised in Stevenage where he first started playing.

That being said, it’s believed he does now have a home in nearby Milton Keynes, so don’t be too surprised if you see him visiting Hertfordshire over the winter months.

Alesha Dixon

Alesha Dixon

The popstar and former Britian’s Got Talent judge hails from Welwyn Garden City and still lives in the county today – albeit in a much more flash house.

Throughout lockdown Alesha has shared photos of her huge garden and incredible home gym, so if you haven’t spotted her around the county it might be just because there’s no reason to leave!

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Scores of celebrities back life-saving fund




A fundraiser that is aiming to raise £500,000 to send a two-year-old to Singapore for life-saving cancer treatment has received a flurry of celebrity backing.

The Save Our Stan appeal was launched after Stanley Dalton was diagnosed with cancer for the third time.

The toddler was in remission from T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in February but his parents, Lee and Georgia were told in June that it was back.

Stanley was just 16-months-old when he was first diagnosed in March 2019 and spent more than 217 nights in hospital during an 11 month period as he battled the disease twice. He underwent two bone marrow transplants in the space of a year and was given a trial drug. In February, he was discharged from hospital when he entered remission.

When his parents were told last month that it had returned they were told to take him home and make memories. However, Georgia couldn’t sit by and do nothing.

This is why they decided to launch the justgiving page to raise the money to take him to Singapore for the life-saving treatment.

Since the page launched last month more than £320,000 has been raised and has now received backing from Strictly Come Dancing’s Kevin Clifton, Jamie and Harry Redknapp as well as Manchester United players including Juan Mata.

In his video Juan Mata said: “I wanted to say on my behalf and my team mates and my club Manchester United, we are all right behind you and we would like to encourage everyone to help you so you can get your treatment and you get well real soon.”

Harry and Jamie Redknapp appeared in the video together sending out a joint message.

They said: “We just wanted to say lots of love and hope Stan’s doing well and staying strong. I know you guys are doing a great job looking after him.

“We are thinking of you all the time and we know that Stan is going to get there so stay strong and we’ll support you, good luck.”

Strictly Come Dancing’s Kevin Clifton urged people to back the appeal in his video. He said: “This is a message of support for the Save our Stan campaign.

“Stan is a young lad that really needs our help at the moment. We need to raise some money to get him over to Singapore for life-saving treatment.

“I couldn’t help but want to get involved in this, he really needs our help.”

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Taiwan celebrities sport no masks on red carpet as country logs few COVID-19 cases- The New Indian Express




By Associated Press

TAIPEI: Taiwan wrapped up an annual film festival with an awards ceremony on Saturday night as it holds more public events after keeping its coronavirus outbreak to a few hundred cases.

Actors and others lined up for photo shoots with no social distancing, and participants didn’t wear masks in historic Zhongshan Hall in Taipei.

Taiwan, with a population of about 23 million people, has had 451 confirmed cases and seven deaths.

A baseball game in the city of Taichung on Saturday drew more than 10,000 fans for the first time this season, the official Central News Agency said.

Health authorities said last month that fans would be allowed to sit in alternate seats and no longer would have to wear masks, except when leaving their seats.

Authorities have been gradually allowing larger crowds since play began in April with no fans.

The horror film “Detention,” set during martial law in Taiwan in the 1960s, was the biggest winner at the Taipei Film Festival, taking six awards including the Grand Prize and Best Actress for 22-year-old Gingle Wang.

Chang Jung-chi, the Best Director winner for “We Are Champions,” said the virus outbreak had forced him to slow down his work.

“This comes to me like a friend patting my shoulder and saying, ‘Hang in there,’ ” he said.

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