Tag Archives: August

More than 600 deaths since August: the growing toll of Quebec’s second wave of COVID-19

Pietro Iasenza was in fantastic shape for his age when he celebrated his 89th birthday last June.

He had no health problems, lived in his home, still drove and ran all his own errands.

“He lived his life to the fullest every day,” said his youngest daughter, Angela. “He was so independent. I couldn’t even keep up with him.”

But over the Thanksgiving weekend last month, the Montreal man began to feel ill and develop flu-like symptoms. He tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.

The result came as a huge shock to both Iasenza and his close-knit Italian family.

“He thought he was invincible, he didn’t think he’d catch it,” said Angela.

Two weeks later, he was gone.

Iasenza is among the steadily rising number of Quebecers who have died from COVID-19 during the province’s second wave.

Quebec has so far avoided the striking losses seen in the spring, when the province regularly recorded upwards of 100 deaths a day from COVID-19 as the virus ripped through ill-prepared long-term care homes.

But the death toll has again begun to rise, with more than 600 deaths since school began in late August.

More than half of those have occurred in just over three weeks. The province recorded 38 deaths on Tuesday.

The answer to the question “who is dying?” is broadly similar to the spring: mostly, it’s the elderly. What’s different is where the people who have died had been living.

Unlike the first wave, it isn’t primarily or even mostly in long-term care homes. Many of those who have died within the last month were living in their own homes, in the community.

Experts have long predicted the surge of cases Quebec saw in late August, September and October, coinciding with the start of school, would lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.

That appears to be happening, though on a scale along the lines of the more moderate projections issued last month by the INSPQ, Quebec’s national institute of public health.

In all, more than 6,000 people have died in Quebec from COVID-19, by far the most of any province. 

But many jurisdictions across the country are also experiencing spikes, and have been stepping up health and safety measures to combat increasing case rates.

Toronto is moving into the “red” level of Ontario’s colour-coded coronavirus shutdown system after reporting 520 new cases on Tuesday.

And Manitoba officials announced a temporary province-wide shutdown Tuesday in response to a rise in cases and in deaths at long term care homes in recent weeks.  

Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, said that while elderly people remain vulnerable to the virus, there have been some positive developments.

“Even though the elderly are still the major targets in the second wave, there are fewer cases of deaths and hospitalizations than in the first wave,” he said.

That’s due in part, he said, to the improved controls over the system of long-term care homes and a better understanding among both health-care workers and the public of the virus.

“So, for example, at the beginning, having less understanding of the virus, there was a tendency to hospitalize more and more frequently and on a larger scale. Now, we know, for example, that with adequate follow up and care, not everybody will necessarily need to be hospitalized,” he said.

Alan Cohen, an assistant professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Sherbrooke with a background in epidemiology, said it appears the virus is less lethal during the second wave, but remains a concern given its presence in the community.

“What we certainly know is we know how to treat it medically,” he said.

“As long as we have enough hospital beds we are now in a position to keep people alive longer.”

New data released Tuesday by the INSPQ reinforced Cohen’s remarks. The public health institute found that although 98 per cent of those who died were over 60, there appears to be a drop in the death rate — and that more study is required to determine why.

With the virus better controlled in long-term care facilities, commonly referred to as CHSLDs (centre d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée), the proportion of deaths of people living at home is greater than in the spring.

Premier Francois Legault has repeatedly pointed to this when asked about recent deaths. 

“The big difference between this fall and this spring is that we now have far fewer deaths in CHSLDs,” Legault said recently. “I see a big improvement in CHSLDs.”

Still, the deaths continue to mount, at a rate of roughly 15 people a day over the past three weeks, each representing the loss of a loved one.

For months, Iasenza’s family had gone out of their way to keep him safe by limiting their contacts, washing their hands and social distancing when they saw him.

Angela said her father was cautious and had a mask and hand sanitizer at the ready when he went out.

“Did he wear his mask properly? Not sure. But he always had it. Did he sanitize his hands after pushing a carriage? Did he clean the carriage? I’m not sure.”


Pietro Iasenza celebrated his 89th birthday in June. His family thought he’d be around for many more. (Submitted by Angela Iasenza)

After Iasenza tested positive, his family cared for him at home, but they had to take him to Montreal’s Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital when his oxygen level dipped dangerously low.

It was the first time in his life Iasenza had ever been hospitalized.

They have no idea how he got infected. None of the places Iasenza frequented reported having sick employees and no one in their family or circle of friends had symptoms of the virus, said Angela.

She’d like to see stores adopt stricter cleaning guidelines and for people to take preventive measures seriously.

“He should have lived,” said Angela. “His mother died at 99. We thought we’d have him for a few more years.”

WATCH |She changed careers to work in a long term care facility, and then COVID-19 happened

Lisa started a new career as a leisure technician in a CHSLD just before the pandemic hit. As COVID ripped through long-term care homes in the first wave, she was infected. 3:55

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CBC | Health News

Ontario reports 821 new cases of COVID-19, 2nd-most since resurgence began in August

Ontario reported 821 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the second-most on a single day since a resurgence of the illness began in the province in mid-August.

Toronto once again saw the most with 327, while 136 were recorded Peel Region and 79 in Ottawa.

The new case count is the highest number the province has seen in the second wave, since 939 cases were reported on Oct. 9. The seven-day average of new daily cases, which had been slowly dropping over the last several days, ticked back up with today’s update and is now about 743. 

Notably, just over 24,000 tests were completed yesterday — the lowest number of tests Ontario has processed on  a single day since Sept. 9. The province previously said it aimed to be processing 50,000 tests per day by mid-October, and as many as 68,000 daily by mid-November. 

The number of confirmed, active infections of the novel coronavirus in Ontario is 6,237, an all-time high.

Hospitalizations, as well as the number of patients in intensive care and using ventilators, all went up. Hospitalizations rose from 252 yesterday to 274 today, ICU patients went from 69 yesterday to 72 today, and people in the ICU using ventilators went from 40 to 45. 

The province is also reporting three more deaths.

Premier appeals to people with symptoms to get tested

Asked Tuesday about the relatively low levels of testing in the last 24 hours, Premier Doug Ford said the province’s labs have now cleared through a backlog of tests that once ballooned to more than 90,000 and that there is capacity for as many as 50,000 daily, but that people can’t be forced to be tested.

Ford said the province has set up additional testing units in hotspots, but some people seem to be holding back from getting an assessment.

The province changed its testing guidelines last month, making COVID-19 tests available only to symptomatic people by appointment at its assessment centres.

The change came after the government was heavily criticized for hours-long lineups at walk-in testing centres that assessed people with or without symptoms.

Meanwhile, Ontario is extending most of its emergency orders until Nov. 21 as the province faces a resurgence of COVID-19.

In a news release Tuesday, the provincial government announced the extension will be in place for 30 days with exceptions for orders around pandemic pricing on electricity and electronic access to personal health records.

“With the cold and flu season upon us and the continuing high number of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the province, it’s critical we continue to take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.  

Masks not required in dance studios, province says

The province has also updated its pandemic rules to allow dance classes to resume in Ontario’s four hot spot areas.

Asked Tuesday why small fitness studios aren’t allowed to open under the current regulations but dance studios are, Ford drew a distinction between the two saying that unlike fitness studios, dance studios are cohorted.

The province announced this week that dance classes will be allowed to resume in hotspot areas as long as dances are pre-registered and physical distancing is observed.

Masks are not required inside the studios.

Asked why that is, Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters Tuesday, “It’s because of the distance and the separation between the dancers that can be maintained such that the masks aren’t necessarily required.”

Airborne transmission of COVID-19 however has not been ruled out, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updating its guidance this month to say infections can be spread by exposure to virus in small droplets that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. 

NDP bring motion to eliminate for-profit LTCs as some face insurance woes

Also Tuesday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she would introduce a motion to remove for-profit companies from the long-term care system and replace them with an “all non-profit and public system.”

“We need to take action to protect seniors and fix the long-term care system for good, and we have to do it now,” Horwath said in a tweet.

A vote on the motion is expected this afternoon. 

Meanwhile, some of Ontario’s long-term care homes are having trouble securing liability insurance for COVID-19, a situation that could force some of them to close, says a group representing more than 70 per cent of the province’s homes.

The Ontario Long-Term Care Association says its homes are being offered new policies without a key provision: coverage for infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

The association has now turned to the federal government for help, saying potential claims could place a burden on the homes’ finances, and that loans could be denied over the lack of coverage.

Previously, long-term care homes received $ 5-million to $ 10-million coverage for damages or claims related to infectious diseases, CEO Donna Duncan said.

Now, insurance companies are including a “contagious disease exclusion endorsement” in policies for the homes, she said.

Her association has pleaded its case to the federal government in a letter sent late last week, asking Ottawa to provide a “backstop” and essentially insure the insurance companies.

Ontario to provide COVID-19 liability protection to some workers, businesses

Also Tuesday, Attorney General Doug Downey introduced a new bill that would provide liability protection to some workers, businesses and non-profits against COVID-19 exposure-related lawsuits. 

Downey says the bill, if passed, would ensure anyone making an “honest effort” to follow public health guidelines while working or volunteering not be exposed to liability. The bill will not prevent lawsuits against those who willfully, or through “gross negligence”, endanger others, he said.

The government says health-care workers and institutions, front-line retail workers, and charities and non-profits would be covered by the bill.

The legislation would also cover coaches, volunteers and minor sports associations.

Outbreak at CAMH worsens   

Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is reporting three more patients have tested positive for COVID-19 on a unit at its Queen Street site.

It follows confirmation Sunday of an outbreak at the unit, when it said two people had COVID-19.

Two other Toronto hospitals also confirmed outbreaks over the weekend. 

The centre says it has implemented standard infection prevention and control procedures for respiratory outbreaks, including closing the unit to admissions and transfers. 


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CBC | Health News

NASA Will Bring SpaceX Dragon Crew Back to Earth August 2

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NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley made history in May when they rode the SpaceX Falcon 9 into space and docked the Dragon capsule at the International Space Station (ISS). The pair have been on the station all summer, but their tour of duty is coming to an end soon. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the Dragon will leave the ISS on August 1st and will land the following day. 

The May SpaceX launch was the culmination of years of planning to bring crewed spaceflight back to US soil. Ever since the end of the Space Shuttle program, American astronauts have only been able to get to and from the station in Russian Soyuz capsules. That arrangement helped bridge the gap between the Shuttle and private vehicles, but the cost was extremely high. 

SpaceX is one of two companies that got approval from NASA to build human-rated spacecraft, the other being long-time government contractor Boeing. Despite an early lead and more funding, Boeing suffered several software issues with its capsule during a late 2019 test. Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner has yet to perform a make-up mission, leaving SpaceX to cross the finish line first with the DM-2 mission. 

Robert Behnken (left) and Douglas Hurley (right)

The Crew Dragon capsule has been docked at the ISS these last six weeks, and getting it back to Earth with the crew will be the final major test. After this, SpaceX and NASA can begin regular operations to move crew to and from the ISS. Whenever Boeing catches up, that will further expand NASA’s access to the station. 

In future missions, astronauts may return to Earth aboard a different vehicle than they arrived in. This is technically a demonstration mission, so Behnken and Hurley will be using the same capsule to come home.  On August 1st, Behnken and Hurley will board the Dragon and undock from the ISS. Reentry into the atmosphere is the most dangerous part of spaceflight aside from launch, so NASA will be looking at how the Dragon’s head shield and parachute systems perform. After splashing down in the ocean, the crew will be picked up by a SpaceX recovery vessel. The crew should be safely back on Earth on August 2nd. 

NASA has another crew Dragon flight scheduled for September, but it could delay or even cancel that flight if there are any problems during the last phase of DM-2.

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Health Canada ban on vaping ads that can be seen by youth to take effect in August

Ottawa’s new rules restricting the promotion of vaping products in places young people can access are set to come into effect next month.

Health Canada published regulations Wednesday prohibiting vaping advertisements in public spaces where youth may be exposed to them.

The ban applies to all retail locations and online stores that sell e-cigarettes, except for adult-only establishments.

The measures are set to take effect on Aug. 7, while some point-of-sale regulations will be implemented on Sept. 6.

The move comes in response to mounting research to suggest that teen vaping is on the rise in Canada.

According to the 2018-2019 Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 20 per cent of high school students said they used e-cigarettes in the last month, which is double the rate reported in 2016-2017.

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CBC | Health News

NHL considering August return without fans: report

Uncertainty remains a major hurdle, but the NHL is plotting a late summer return with playoff games in empty venues to counteract the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

A board of governors call to dissect options for resuming the season is scheduled for Monday.

There are several issues with the NHL resuming the season. There are more than three weeks of regular-season games remaining on the schedule and players were allowed to return to their home markets, including international locations from which return flights to the United States could be severely challenging without clearance from medical experts.

Commissioner Gary Bettman and other NHL officials participated in a conference call with U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend, where optimism about clearance for sports to resume in August was detailed. But NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league would defer to medical professionals when determining where and when it’s safe to resume hockey.

WATCH | Trump says he wants fans back ‘sooner than later’:

President Donald Trump says he wants fans back in arenas ‘as soon as we can’. 0:44

The NHL asked teams to provide arena availability into the summer months when the regular season was paused.

ESPN reported on Monday that the NHL’s primary return-to-play plan focuses on some models “that involve games being played in arenas without fans.”

ESPN NHL reporter Greg Wyshynski said Monday that the league is considering “regional” playoff sites rather than the option of holding the playoffs in a single city or facility. He reported games would be staggered throughout the day from afternoon to late night, similar to the Olympics hockey schedule.

That approach has been mentioned in connection with the NBA returning for the playoffs, with locations such as the Bahamas and Las Vegas reportedly on the table.

WATCH | If the NHL returns, what could the playoffs look like? 

While the NHL is on pause because of Covid-19, Rob Pizzo looks at what could happen if the league starts back up again this season.  3:20

Over the weekend, the governors and New York and Florida both tamped down President Donald Trump’s hope of sports resuming in August. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said: “I would love to see sports back to help with cabin fever. But this is not about hopes and dreams and aspirations and what you would like to see.”

The NHL, which postponed play March 12, has several times pushed back its self-quarantine guideline — it’s now April 15 — before players can even think about reporting to team facilities. The date is expected to be extended again.

Wherever and whenever the Stanely Cup is awarded, one thing will still hold true as far as Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford is concerned.

“Whoever wins it, it is going to feel the same whenever they win it, on whatever day they win it, as it would winning it normally in the middle of June,” Rutherford said.

The latest the Cup has ever been awarded is June 24, in 1995 and 2013, with both instances following lockout-shortened seasons. The pandemic, however, has no timetable.

That leads to questions over whether the NHL will have time to squeeze in any of the remaining 189 regular-season games to determine seedings, or skip directly to the playoffs based on the current standings, be it by based on total points or points percentages.

In the percentage scenario, the ninth-place New York Islanders would have the edge over the eighth-place Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference. In the West, seventh-place Winnipeg would be the odd team out with Vancouver in.

Other possibilities include expanding the playoff format to take into account the uneven amount of games teams have played.

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CBC | Sports News

Canada delays departure from Mali until end of August

Canada’s peacekeeping contingent will stick around in Mali for an extra few weeks this summer in order to smooth the transition for the next country set to provide helicopter support for the United Nations mission in the war-torn country.

A detachment of helicopters providing transport and medical evacuation to the large UN mission was supposed to depart on July 31.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Friday there will be a phased withdrawal of the two CH-147F Chinook helicopters — one of which is specially outfitted as a mobile air ambulance and surgical suite — as well as four armed CH-146 Griffon choppers, which provide escort.

Canada will continue to provide air medical support until the end of August, the ministers said following question period in the House of Commons.

“This is a practical and pragmatic plan to ensure a smooth transition,” said Freeland.

A contingent of Romanian helicopters is slated to replace the Canadian detachment this summer, but there were concerns it would not be in theatre and operational until fall.

UN pushed for longer stay

Canada has faced repeated calls from the UN and at least one opposition party to stay for a few extra weeks to ensure there is no gap in service.

UN officials had warned the House of Commons defence committee that an interruption in service would mean that it would have to rely on civilian contractors which don’t provide the same level of support.

Sajjan said Canada will use its C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift transports to help the Romanians get into Mali — something the Commons defence committee recommended.

He insisted the decision doesn’t mean the government is extending the mission.

“Up until the end of July, we will maintain all the missions that we’ve been conducting,” Sajjan said. “However, to conduct a smooth transition, we are going to be focusing strictly on medical evacuations so we can start doing that transition, and this will allow for that gradual handover.”

Since the Canadian helicopters deployed last July, they have done 10 medical evacuations. Sajjan said the troop transport function, which the UN has insisted is helpful in maintaining stability, will be scaled back during the transition period.

It’s not clear why the government was reluctant to push the handover to October, but testimony before the Commons defence committee suggested military planners were anxious to bring the helicopters home so they can be available for domestic deployments involving natural disasters.

The military increasingly has been called upon to send troops and equipment to help with flooding in eastern Canada and wildfire relief in the West.

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The FTC Will Hold a Public Loot Box Workshop on August 7

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It’s become depressingly common for video games to implement loot boxes as a monetization scheme, but gamers are increasingly up in arms about it. Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pledged to investigate the use of loot boxes in games, and now we know how it’ll start. On August 7th, the FTC will hold a public workshop on loot boxes, and you’ll be able to watch it live.

No one has ever been pleased that loot boxes existed in games, but the uproar was confined to gaming communities until EA messed with Star Wars. The beta test for Star Wars Battlefront II revealed a loot box system that made hero characters incredibly costly to unlock. EA took so much heat online that it had to temporarily remove loot boxes and revamp the in-game economy.

Battlefront II isn’t alone — loot boxes are featured in games like Apex Legends, Overwatch, FIFA, and more. Some countries have taken steps to limit the use of loot boxes, which many gamers consider akin to gambling. For example, EA had to remove loot boxes from its FIFA games in Belgium.

The FTC is tasked with protecting consumers, so it’s the best hope for those who want to see limits imposed on loot boxes. The August 7 workshop, titled “Inside the Game: Unlocking the Consumer Issues Surrounding Loot Boxes,” will stream live on the FTC website, and you’ll be able to submit comments on the topic to the FTC through October 11. The workshop will cover the history and mechanics behind loot boxes, research examining consumer behavior in the context of loot boxes, and the way these features are marketed to consumers.

FTC-DC1

Those who care about the issue of loot boxes won’t find much new information in the workshop, but it could provide hints about the FTC’s intentions. It may also bring the issue to the attention of people who can do something about it. The agency is still open to suggestions on workshop topics through June 7.

We can’t know what the outcome of this workshop will be. Perhaps the FTC will continue investigating and decide on common sense rules to protect consumers from the more manipulative aspects of loot boxes. On the other hand, the workshop might be the last we ever hear on the topic from the FTC.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Arrives August 14

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Back in 2016, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft debuted Legion, an expansion I’d argue represents the best storytelling and cohesive storylines the game has ever fielded. Legion’s storyline involved a catastrophic invasion of the Burning Legion, the Biggest of Warcraft’s Big Bads. It touched on lore and concepts that in some cases date to some of the earliest work in the Warcraft universe, predating WoW itself. And with the Dark Titan Sargeras now dealt with, the focus is shifting back to Azeroth itself.

The expansion’s trailer, revealed last year at Blizzcon, is below:

The events that drive the Battle for Azeroth are laid in the end to Legion, a last-ditch attack by Sargeras that harms the planet Azeroth itself and distributes a new resource, Azerite, across the planet in the process. Cue a major war between Horde and Alliance, a new focus on PvP content, the complete destruction of the Alliance city of Darnassus (the Night Elf racial capital) and the retaking of the Undercity / Lordaeron from the hands of the Forsaken. Meanwhile, players will simultaneously be gearing up to take on the last Old God, N’Zoth, and the Highborne Elven queen Azshara, who kicked off the War of the Ancients over 10,000 years ago, got transformed into a naga, and has made periodic appearances (at least by name) in the Warcraft universe since Warcraft 3’s The Frozen Throne.

With Sargeras dealt with and the Titans having some kind of existence again, Azshara and the Old God N’Zoth are the biggest bads left standing — apart from the heroes themselves, which, at this point, are honestly demigods in their own right. Comments from Blizzard’s own devs indicate one reason BFA focuses on player-versus-player combat with new mechanics around it is because at this point, we’re basically our own raid bosses.

This honestly makes some sense. At this point, any given Lvl 110 – 120 WoW character has slaughtered multiple Old Gods embedded within the world to corrupt it. We’ve killed Titans, Aspects, Elemental Lords, the ruler of the Undead Scourge, Loa, and a deadly Riverpaw gnoll known only as Hogger. We are, to put it simply, kind of a big deal.

Champions of the Horde will visit Zandalar, an island in the South Seas that serves as the ancestral homeland of the Troll races, while the Alliance will seek out the forces of Kul Tiras. While characters like Jaina Proudmoore have referred to Kul Tiras, we’ve never actually seen the island nation as a visitable location. Next expansion, that’s changing. Characters will receive a level boost (to 120), Wow’s new leveling technology will be in-play (this is already available if you roll new alts), and both Alliance and Horde players will be able to roll a new “Allied Race” character, fight their way across various new locations with island expeditions, engage in 20-player cooperative Warfronts, and engage in the usual grind for new loot, experience, terrible puns, and pop culture references.

The Battle for Azeroth begins on August 14. For the Alliance!

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Just like Jozy said: Impact haven't won since August loss to TFC

Jozy Altidore is looking like a prophet.

On Aug. 26, the Toronto FC striker mused that it would be “beautiful” to knock the rival Impact out of the Major League Soccer playoffs. The next day, TFC beat them 3-1 in Montreal.

The victory ended the Impact’s four-game winning streak and they haven’t won a match since, losing four in a row to drop six points out of the sixth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with six games left in the regular season.

They are set to meet again Wednesday at BMO Field in Toronto, with TFC riding a six-game winning run in which they outscored their opponents 21-3. The Reds will be without Altidore for the match though, according to head coach Greg Vanney, and there are question marks surrounding the availability of Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez.

Toronto (18-3-8) is the league’s runaway leader with 62 points from 29 games, but now Montreal (10-12-6) has a chance to stall their bid for the Los Angeles Galaxy’s record for points in a season, which is either 67 points (under current rules) or 68 (from when there were no draws and games were settled by shootouts).

“When you play Toronto, it’s just that you want to beat them,” Impact captain Patrice Bernier said Monday. “Now Altidore, a DP [designated player] from Toronto said it, but I’ve said that and I think [Toronto midfielder] Jonathan Osorio has said it before.

“Now it’s just that the rivalry has scaled up. We’ll do everything possible to win and, yeah, if we can knock some points off them that would be great. But now we have to do everything possible to win. We’re not going to think of where they are because we have to continue to fight and keep ourselves alive to make the playoffs.”

Reds undefeated since Canada Day

It will be a tall order. Toronto hasn’t lost since a 3-1 setback in Dallas on July 1, going 8-0-3 since then. They are 11-0-3 at home this season. And they always seem to have a little extra energy when they play Montreal.

The teams played a wild Eastern Conference final last fall, with the Impact taking a 3-0 lead in the first leg at home only to give up two late goals. The two-game series was won by Toronto in overtime in the second leg. TFC also beat Montreal in the Canadian Cup final this season.

Game Wrap: Giovinco lifts Toronto FC to Canadian championship repeat1:53

The match in Toronto starts a stretch of four games in 11 days which also takes the Impact to Atlanta on Sunday, back home against New York City on Sept. 27 and at Colorado on Sept. 30. Then they play in Toronto again on Oct. 15 before finishing the season Oct. 22 against New England.

Montreal owner asks for ‘patience’

With the form they’ve shown lately, it may to be too much for a team that dug itself into a hole by losing its last three home games, including a 3-2 stinker to expansion Minnesota on Saturday night.

Such was the frustration on social media from Montreal fans, and team president and owner Joey Saputo issued a statement Sunday night.

“Our team’s latest performance has clearly fallen short of our expectations and those of our members, supporters and city,” it read. “Rest assured that this message has been conveyed to the technical staff and the players.

“Having said that, at the beginning of the year, we presented a timeline with some very clear objectives as to where this club wants to be in the next five years. Today, our resolve and our objectives have not changed.”

Bernier said the players were well aware of how Saputo felt about their performance.

“We can’t lie,” he said. “The standings and our last performances say exactly what the situation is.

“The president expressed his disappointment. In Europe, this is normal. Maybe in Montreal we’re not used to it because other sports teams don’t have that.”

The Impact made the playoffs in three of their first five MLS seasons but this season has been a struggle, with points repeatedly lost to blown leads, defensive lapses and missed opportunities.

Two reports said Nick De Santis, Saputo’s vice-president and right-hand man, blasted the players in the dressing room on Sunday, imploring them not to try to get coach Mauro Biello fired. Star midfielder Ignacio Piatti reportedly answered back that not only the players, but coaches and management were also to blame for the team’s woes.

“We have very good players, a fantastic roster with top players in the league like Nacho [Piatti],” said defender Hassoun Camara. “But we’re missing something for sure because in the end we cannot be in this position.

“It’s about cohesion. We have things between us as players and staff but it stays between us. We have to do everything to stick together and work together. We’re paid to be here and we have to be professional to the end.”

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Mark Zuckerberg Snuggles With Newborn Daughter August: 'Baby Cuddles Are the Best'

Zuckerberg announced that he and wife Priscilla had welcomed their second child last week, with a heartfelt letter. “August, we love you so much and we’re so excited to go on this adventure with you,” he wrote. “We wish you a life of joy, love and the same hope you give us.”

Zuckerberg and Priscilla are already parents to 1-year-old daughter Max. See more on the family in the video below. 

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