Tag Archives: ‘missed’

Report: Stadia Missed Active User Targets by Hundreds of Thousands

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Google launched its Stadia cloud gaming service in late 2019, but already the bloom is off the rose. A series of increasingly concerning tales from Google’s game division has come to light in the weeks since Google killed its internal studio, and the latest tidbits are perhaps the most damning. According to a report in Bloomberg, Google blew millions of dollars to get games like Red Dead Redemption 2, but it still missed active user targets by hundreds of thousands of units. 

Stadia is similar to platforms like Amazon Luna and Microsoft xCloud, but both of those services have rolled out more gradually. Google tried to hit the ground running after testing the streaming technology with Project Stream. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Stadia management took a game console approach rather than starting small, but the service’s poor game library and traditional pay-per-game model didn’t catch on. 

Many of the sources interviewed for the Bloomberg report say this approach was flawed from the start. Several members of the team urged the company to launch Stadia as a beta — both Gmail and Maps Navigation were in beta for years after launch, allowing Google to tune the services based on how people used them. But Stadia manager Phil Harrison wanted the service to duke it out with consoles right away. 

The Stadia app as seen on Android in early 2021.

Google is said to have dropped huge sums of money to get AAA titles like Assassin’s Creed and Red Dead Redemption 2 to further this goal — we’re talking tens of millions for each game. That’s enough to develop a new game from scratch, but a handful of premium games isn’t going to hack it when gamers on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox get hundreds of new games every year. The result was a substantially smaller player base than Google expected, to the tune of hundreds of thousands. The resultant oversupply of Stadia controllers is allegedly why Google was giving them away so readily late last year. 

While Google was paying out the nose for AAA games, the company’s Stadia Games and Entertainment division was working on games that could only happen in the cloud. Sources claim they were building experiences that transcended the memory and processing limits of local hardware, but then Google got cold feet. That’s when the company pulled the plug on SG&E early this month. Without exclusive content, Stadia’s future as a distinct platform is in doubt. Google hinted that it might license Stadia’s tech to other companies — that might be Stadia’s destiny.

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Trump missed opportunity to show empathy for those hurt by COVID-19, say strategists

If U.S. President Donald Trump wanted to help his flagging re-election campaign, he could talk about his personal experience with COVID-19 and express empathy for the millions who have had to deal with the potentially fatal disease.

That would be the advice of American University communications professor Leonard Steinhorn, if he were counselling the president.

“If he used this as an opportunity to communicate with Americans on a sort of more personal basis, it could have, in some ways, a positive impact on his campaign,” Steinhorn told CBC News.

Instead, upon his departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening, Trump downplayed the seriousness of the disease, releasing a video telling Americans they should not fear the virus, not let it take over their lives and that he feels better than he did 20 years ago.

“He wants his personal experience to vindicate the policies, the policies he’s had to reopen America,” Steinhorn said. “And to vindicate everything he’s been saying and doing.”

The Republican president was admitted to Walter Reed on Friday after being diagnosed with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. On Monday, he returned to the White House, where he will be cared for around the clock by a team of doctors and nurses.

His return to the White House was also accompanied by a video statement he released via Twitter. Trump said he learned so much about the virus while in hospital and he promised vaccines are coming “momentarily.”

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” Trump said. “We’re going back, we’re going back to work. We’re going to be out front. … Don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there, be careful.”

‘Willful blindness’

While the whole ordeal has been shrouded in secrecy and has led to contradictory statements from medical officials and White House staff, it was an opportunity for the president to express solidarity and empathy with those who have been impacted by the virus, said Andrew MacDougall, ex-director of communications to former prime minister Stephen Harper.

For Trump to “come out of a virus that has killed over 200,000 Americans, made millions more ill, and cannot offer one word of empathy or sympathy for what these families and their loved ones are going through … there’s just willful blindness that his experience is not everyone else’s experience.”

“It’s just me, me, me me, me, me,” said MacDougall.


Politically, however, what’s important to Trump is how his message will play to voters, particularly the undecided ones who are crucial for an electoral victory on Nov. 3.

“I accept that there’s a small percentage of people who do want to hear that [tough] attitude,” MacDougall said. “It’s not enough to shift new voters over to his column, which is what he needs to do. He needs to make up a lot of ground, there’s not a lot of time to do it and he’s wasted this opportunity — if anything, he’s polarized people even more about it.”

Brendan Buck, a former adviser to former House speaker Paul Ryan, told the New York Times that the president’s approach was not necessarily helpful to him politically because it “didn’t pass the laugh test for a super-serious situation that has ruined millions of people’s lives.”

For political leaders, contracting COVID-19 does seem to inspire some good will from the broader populace. Both British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro saw slight increases in their popularity after they announced they were infected. But those bumps were short-lived, polls suggest.

Will it help him?

In almost every conceivable poll, the U.S. president is behind, said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of the political analysis newsletter Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

“The question we need to ask ourselves all the time, it’s not whether something will hurt him but whether it will help him,” Kondik said. “This whole coronavirus situation — what’s going to come out of this to help him?”

“I just go back to the general sense of chaos, which certainly has been a feature of this White House and has been a feature of this latest episode,” Kondik said. “And if you feel like that’s a problem for the president, and I feel like it is, it doesn’t help.”

WATCH | Politico reporter speaks about impact of U.S. President Donald Trump’s current messaging around the coronavirus

According to Politico reporter Daniel Lippman, U.S. President Donald Trump’s current messaging around the coronavirus could be ‘deadly’ for some people and damaging to his re-election chances. 6:39

The coronavirus ranks highly as a concern for voters, just below the economy, said Tom Bevan, co-founder of the politics website RealClearPolitics. The demographic where it’s of particular concern is voters over 65, where Trump is struggling.

“Trump is not doing as well with seniors. That’s been reflected in all the data. It’s a group he won in 2016 and now he’s trailing [Democratic presidential candidate Joe] Biden,” Bevan said. “I think it’s safe to say that at least part of that is attributable to his handling of the coronavirus.”

Bevan said it’s possible that those undecided voters may not be viewing the actions of Trump or his administration in the same way as partisans.

This photo shows the seating arrangement for several people in Trump’s inner circle who have tested positive for COVID-19 after the president and his wife confirmed their diagnoses on Friday. (CBC News)

“Maybe they like [Trump’s] message. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they don’t care. [Maybe] they just care about the economy and health care and all this stuff is sort of a sideshow,” Bevan said. “It’s too early to tell. I’ve no idea how voters are going to process that information [about his hospitalization], because it just came so fast.”

Outbreak at the White House

The White House is experiencing a larger coronavirus outbreak, with many staffers having contracted the disease. The outbreak may be the result of a Rose Garden ceremony on Sept. 26, when Trump announced his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Many in attendance sat in close proximity and didn’t wear masks. Along with the president and the first lady, a number of prominent Republicans have tested positive for the coronavirus, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; Republican senators Mike Lee, Thom Tillis and Ron Johnson; former White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway; and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Meanwhile, the White House has decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the celebration, the New York Times reported. Instead, it has limited its efforts to notifying people who came in close contact with Trump.

Steinhorn said the question is whether voters will see Trump’s approach to his infection, and the White House’s response to its own outbreak, as a metaphor for how this administration has dealt with the pandemic more broadly.

“This episode magnifies the credibility gap that characterizes this White House,” he said. “But beyond credibility, it’s also the image of chaos.”

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CBC | World News

Despite boycott of 1980 Games, Anne Merklinger still rues missed shot as ‘Olympian’

Forty years later, the disappointment still haunts Anne Merklinger.

With Canadian athletes trying to untangle the different scenarios created by the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus pandemic, Merklinger still laments her missed opportunity to be selected to Canada’s 1980 team.

“That’s probably the biggest regret I have in my life,” said Merklinger, now chief executive officer for Own the Podium.

Back in 1980, Merklinger was a 21-year-old attending the University of South Carolina on a full swimming scholarship. Even though the Canadian government had made the decision to join the U.S.-led boycott of the Moscow Olympics, Swimming Canada still held a qualifying meet to select an Olympic team.

Competing in the 200-metre breaststroke, Merklinger needed to finish in the top two to make the team. She touched the wall third.

“I was very close to making the team, but I didn’t make it,” Merklinger said. “And that was the end of my Olympic dream.

“Those athletes that made the team, they were Olympians — and once you’re an Olympian, you’re always an Olympian.”

Merklinger can’t guarantee her result would have been different had she gone to the meet knowing a ticket to Moscow was on the line. But she does know her preparation would have changed.

WATCH | IOC selects Olympic dates for 2021:

The International Olympic Committee announced Tokyo 2020 will be held in the summer of 2021, from July 23 to August 8. 2:48

Training in the U.S., with a few other Canadians, she felt isolated and out of contact.

“Once we heard that Canada wasn’t sending a team to Moscow, we kind of took our foot off the gas pedal a little bit, at least I did,” she said.

“And I didn’t have the kind of support and resources available that we have today for Canada’s athletes. And coaches to say ‘stick to your training program, it’ll be important for you 40 years later to be able to say that you were an Olympian.'”

‘It’s gut wrenching’

Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers announced the Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23, 2021, followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 24.

The delay could force some athletes to rethink their Olympic participation, due to age, family commitments or money concerns. The battle against COVID-19 has postponed Olympic qualifying events and closed training facilities.

“What athletes are going through right now as a result of this crisis, it’s gut wrenching,” said Merklinger. “Some athletes are going to have to revisit and re-evaluate. Do they want to do this for another year because the commitment is phenomenal?

“That is a very personal and difficult decision for every athlete that’s been impacted by Tokyo.”

WATCH | How Olympic families are affected by postponement:

Boxer Mandy Bujold of Cobourg, Ont., has a young daughter, but now the push to 2021 will mean waiting for a second child. 5:22

The difference between now and when Merklinger competed is the resources available to help athletes make informed decisions. They can seek financial guidance, mental health advice and services to help them transform into the working world.

“They have an army of people to reach out and ask their questions and get their feedback and get their guidance and to share their struggles,” said Merklinger.

Looking back, Merklinger wishes someone would have encouraged her to work harder toward achieving her Olympic dream.

“I know what an Olympic ring looks like on a swimmer’s hand,” she said. “You’re an Olympian and a Paralympian forever. No one ever takes that away from you.”

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CBC | Sports News

Beyoncé Speaks Out After Kobe Bryant’s Tragic Death: ‘You Are Deeply Missed’

Beyoncé Speaks Out After Kobe Bryant’s Tragic Death: ‘You Are Deeply Missed’ | Entertainment Tonight

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New Brunswick missed screening more than 1,800 possible tissue, ocular donors

New Brunswick has missed the opportunity to screen more than 1,800 potential tissue or ocular donors because no one was available to screen them, according to new figures obtained by CBC News through access to information.

The numbers, which capture the period April 2017 to September 2019, show the province has widespread gaps in its tissue and ocular donation program.

The figures don’t capture organ donation, which is separate and runs 24 hours a day, according to Horizon Health Network, which operates the New Brunswick Organ and Tissue Program.

Horizon estimates about four per cent of potential donor “referrals” will become tissue or ocular donors.

That would mean the 1,851 missed potential donors could have translated into about 74 actual donors, giving life-altering tissue or ocular donations such as corneas, tendons and bones. 

The numbers were “shocking” and “disappointing” for Michelle Astle, whose 16-year-old son, Avery, was one of the 1,851 missed potential donors.

“I think people in general have a trust that our system is not failing their citizens, their customers,” Astle said.

“However, with those stats, it’s proving that we are failing.”

Avery’s parents were hoping his blue eyes could help another person see the world. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

Avery and three of his friends — Emma Connick, Logan Matchett and Cassie Lloyd — died following a devastating car crash in Miramichi last Easter weekend.

The Astles remember their son as someone who always did the right thing and always wanted to help others. While they don’t believe Avery could have donated his organs, they were at least hoping he could provide a tissue or ocular donation that could help improve someone else’s quality of life. 

But when the Astles asked staff at the Moncton Hospital about donating Avery’s organs and tissues, they say they were told no one was available to facilitate the donation.

Earlier this year, provincial Health Minister Ted Flemming noted in the legislature that the crash happened “late at night on a Saturday between a Good Friday holiday and an Easter Sunday holiday.” 

“Sometimes, things like this unfortunately and regrettably happen,” Flemming said in the legislature on May 9, adding that he would “work hard to try to see that it is improved.”

But Astle said the statistics show it isn’t just a problem on holiday weekends.

“That obviously wasn’t the case, because you’re going month to month to month, and that many people not getting assessed,” she said.

‘Still work to be done’

In addition to Avery, 62 other potential donors weren’t screened in April because the program was closed or there was no technician on call, the figures show.

The month with the highest number of missed screenings was December 2018, with 112.

According to the data provided by Horizon, the program could be closed for a variety of reasons, including that the retrieval team is already working on a recovery for another donation. A technician might not be on call because of a “staff shortage and planned or unplanned absences.”

No one from the health authority was made available for an interview.

Human tissue is stored in the eye bank at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John. (Graham Thompson/CBC)

Horizon sent along more recent statistics, which show “far fewer gaps in service” so far this fiscal year.

In August and September, the most recent months for which numbers are available, the program missed screening 31 and 27 potential donors, respectively.

“While Horizon acknowledges there is still work to be done in terms of addressing the gaps that continue to exist in our ocular and tissue programs, it is clear we are making progress,” Nadya Savoie, director of the New Brunswick Organ and Tissue Program, wrote in an emailed statement.

Savoie said the program has been able to hire and train new staff members, which has increased on-call service.

The picture elsewhere

In comparison, the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Regional Tissue Bank is “always operating” with a full staff complement, according to an emailed statement from Harold Taylor, health services manager of the tissue bank.

Nova Scotia’s program has missed only five donations since April of this year.

A recovery suite at the Regional Tissue Bank at the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service building in Dartmouth, N.S. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

“We have recently developed a service delivery model for tissue donation to be efficient and sustainable in the face of new legislation, and have developed a more effective referral process,” Taylor wrote.

In comparison, New Brunswick missed 204 potential donors between April and the end of September, Horizon’s figures show.

A spokesperson for Eastern Health in Newfoundland and Labrador said that province “does not have an ocular or tissue donation program.” Instead, the province imports tissue, including ocular tissue, for transplants.

Prince Edward Island doesn’t do tissue and ocular donation, according to a spokesperson for Health PEI. Potential donors are referred to the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Regional Tissue Bank.

A new policy

In New Brunswick, in cases where a family wants to donate but no one is available to screen the potential donor, a new policy means there will always be a program member available to answer family members’ questions, Savoie wrote.

“We have already witnessed some successes as a direct result of this measure and are optimistic that will continue to be the case moving forward.”

But Astle said the new policy isn’t good enough because it still relies on family members to ask about donation.

Michelle Astle has spent the last eight months advocating for a better tissue donation system in New Brunswick, in memory of her 16-year-old son, Avery. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

“I can see why many wouldn’t [ask] because you’re in such grief and shock,” Astle said.

“It shouldn’t be up to the family to ask. They should be coming to the family and explaining it and saying, ‘Are you willing?'”

‘We need to do better’

In the eight months since she said goodbye to Avery, Astle has had many dark days. But she’s also seen some light.

The Astles have started a campaign called Let’s Act 4 Avery to spread the word about donation, and she believes his story has already had an impact.

On her Christmas tree, she’s hung several ornaments made in Avery’s memory.

“It is always the right time to do the right thing,” one says.

“There’s been a lot of really good things to come out of it,” Astle said.

Michelle Astle keeps this framed sign underneath her Christmas tree in memory of her 16-year-old son, Avery. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

But she believes there’s more to be done to make things better.

Horizon’s statement doesn’t mention what prompted a new policy and changes in the tissue donation program. That doesn’t sit well with Astle.

“The only reason those changes have happened is because we stood up and we spoke up. It’s because of Avery,” she said.

“So to me, at least own that and say, ‘Thank you, and because of your son these changes have been made to help others.'”

Michelle Astle has a collection of pictures of 16-year-old Avery in her living room, including this one with his sister, Alexa. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Asked what Avery would think about the number of missed potential donations, Astle said her son always found a way to see the good in everything. She doesn’t think he would have wanted to dwell on the negative. 

“It would be, ‘Well there’s a chance there to help save others and they’re doing the best they can,’ would be what Avery would say,” Astle said. 

“But mother bear kicks in and says, we need to do better.”

An ornament made in memory of Avery to raise awareness for the Let’s Act 4 Avery campaign hangs on Michelle Astle’s tree. Beside it is a doughnut ornament, a reminder of the doughnut socks Avery loved to wear. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

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CBC | Health News

This woman’s waited for surgery so long she missed her daughter’s wedding and her grandchild’s birth

The hum of oxygen being pumped into Oula Jaber’s lungs is constant. One look at the long, blue tube connected to her throat and it’s clear that’s what’s keeping her alive.

For two years, Jaber has been waiting for a procedure that could potentially allow her to live without the tube and return home from her room in the complex-care ward of Trillium Health Partners hospital in Etobicoke.

Her daughter, Fatima Salem, has been trying to get a date for the surgery but has had no luck, and in the time her mother has been waiting for the operation, she’s missed Salem’s wedding and the birth of her grandchild.

“Had it been done already, she would have been home right now,” a frustrated Salem said. “My mom missed out on a lot of major life events,” she added. “There are days where I go home and just cry myself to sleep.” 

Watch Salem describe their situation below.

Oula Jaber’s daughter tells the story of how her mother has waited two years in hospital for a surgery. 1:35

Jaber’s case is an extreme example of a problem that plagues health care not just in Ontario but across the country — increasing wait times for a wide range of surgical and diagnostic procedures. Those wait times often force patients to stay in hospital beds that are badly needed by others.

Four years ago, complications from pneumonia forced Jaber to rely on a breathing tube and rendered her unable to speak. A year later, doctors said there was hope she could live without the tube, but scar tissue had already grown around it. 

According to medical notes from various doctors shared with CBC News by Jaber’s family, a surgeon was found two years ago at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre who could perform a procedure called a laryngoscopy.

The operation is required to remove the scar tissue before a procedure can be done to remove the tube.

Jaber, 57, was put on a waiting list, and is still waiting.

Had it been done already, she would have been home right now.– Fatima Salem, daughter of  Oula Jaber

“There’s no worse feeling than seeing a loved one suffer,” said Salem, who is an only child and was raised by her mother. 

‘No transparency whatsoever’

Salem said she called many times, only to be told the specialist at Princess Margaret was on vacation or out of the country on business. She said staff did not tell her where her mother was on the wait list. 

“There is no transparency whatsoever,” said Salem.

Fatima Salem, left, is an only child and was raised by her mother. She has been trying to get a date for her mom’s surgery but has had no luck. (Submitted)

The University Health Network (UHN), under which Princess Margaret operates, told CBC News it can’t discuss patient cases but “surgeons with specific specialities can have long wait lists” and work within the “[operating room] time they have available to them.” 

Salem said her efforts to speed up the process also yielded few results. She said her mother was referred to two other doctors who eventually said they were not equipped to perform the procedure. 

She pointed out the bill for the bed, approximately $ 1,700 a month, is subsidized by taxpayers.

During Question Period Thursday, opposition leader Andrea Horwath referenced CBC News’s story and asked the health minister, “why anyone should have to live in a hospital bed year after year waiting for procedures that should be available but simply don’t arrive?”

Health minister Christine Elliott said Jaber’s case was “rare and unusual” and that there are “very few surgeons who are able to perform this procedure. This was not anything to do with hallway health care.”

Wait times on the increase

The Ontario government does not track wait times for laryngoscopies, stating the data it collects is based on recommendations from “clinical experts.”

Generally, though, two recent reports show wait times for diagnostic tests and surgeries have increased in Canada. The Fraser Institute published a report Tuesday that showed a median wait time across 12 medical specialities of 20.9 weeks in 2019, compared with 19.8 weeks the previous year. 

It’s the second longest median ever recorded by the conservative think tank. However, Ontario had one of the shortest median wait times, at 16 weeks. 

In March, the not-for-profit Canadian Institute for Health Information reported 30 per cent of patients across the country who needed cataract surgery or hip or knee replacements did not get the operation completed within recommended wait times. The numbers were similar in Ontario.

Both studies said long wait times lead to mental and physical stress, and financial hardship. 

‘Not rocket science’

Natalie Mehra, executive director of a patient advocacy group called the Ontario Health Coalition, said the operating rooms in Ontario are underfunded. She doesn’t find it surprising Jaber has been waiting for two years for her surgery.

“When the government has put in the resources to reduce the wait times, they have been reduced,” she said. “It’s really not rocket science.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Health told CBC News the government is making “significant investments” to end hallway health care, including funding for home and community care and building more long-term care beds. 

Meanwhile, Salem said the wait for her mother’s surgery means someone else has to wait for a complex-care bed.

Although the numbers fluctuate from day to day, Trillium Health said there were 14 people waiting for a bed as of Tuesday.

“There are many people [who] need this room more than my mom at this point,” said Salem. 

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CBC | Health News

Pete Davidson Returns to ‘Saturday Night Live’ and Reveals Why He Really Missed the Last Two Episodes

Pete Davidson Returns to ‘Saturday Night Live’ and Reveals Why He Really Missed the Last Two Episodes | Entertainment Tonight

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The Montreal Impact missed the mark (again) in 2019. So what’s next?

The Montreal Impact are picking up the pieces after yet another failed MLS season, and the team’s new sporting director Olivier Renard has a lot of decisions to make before they take to the pitch again in 2020.  

Renard — who was hired just last week — doesn’t have time to waste as the Impact are set to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League in February.  

He says one of his primary goals is to build an identity for the Impact with their style of play on the field. Before he can do that, he needs to decide who will be his coach and what players he will invest in. 

So what went wrong?

Part one: The schedule

The Impact certainly had challenges this season and while some, such as an injury-plagued year for their highest paid player Ignacio Piatti, were unforeseeable, there were other issues that they brought on themselves.

Their MLS schedule was rough.  

Olivier Renard was hired only last week as the team’s new sporting director. (Thierry Roge/AFP/Getty Images)

Because it’s too cold to play outdoors in Montreal in February and March and the team wasn’t willing to play its home games inside at the Olympic Stadium, they started the season with six straight games on the road.

After playing one game at home, the team hit the road again, playing eight of the first nine games away from home.

Surprisingly, the Impact survived that opening stretch, earning 14 out of a possible 21 points. By the June international break, they were comfortably in a position to advance to the post-season, racking up 27 points in 18 games. 

Perhaps it was overconfidence, or perhaps the rigours of the schedule they just endured caught up to them. Whatever it was, upon returning from that break, the team wasn’t the same.

Despite a favourable schedule with many home games, a 2-6-1 streak led to head coach Rémi Garde being fired. His replacement, Wilmer Cabrera, managed to deliver a Canadian Championship but failed to get things back on track enough to salvage the season. 

Part two: Poor signings

Garde and the Impact brought in a few players in 2019 that caused more issues for the team than they delivered results on the pitch.

Garde brought in midfielder Harry Novillo, expecting him to be a key factor in the Impact’s attack. But instead of goals, his quarrels with the coaching staff defined his time in Montreal and, midway through the season, the club cut ties with him. 

Montreal Impact’s Harry Novillo reacts after scoring against Columbus Crew SC in April. The Montreal Impact and Novillo agreed to mutually terminate the midfielder’s contract. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Omar Browne arrived from Panama with the promise of a brilliant left foot, but his time in Montreal won’t be remembered for his natural ability to be creative with the ball. 

Instead, fans will never forget Garde cursing him out from the sidelines at the top of his lungs during a 2-1 loss to Columbus. Browne went home to Panama after only three months. 

Maximiliano Urruti’s trade to Montreal from Dallas promised to deliver reliable offensive output from the striker position.

Yet Urruti went until August before putting his first ball in the net during the run of play and ended up with only four goals on the season in total.  

Defender Zakaria Diallo — healthy after sitting out all of 2018 with a leg injury — finally got on the pitch in 2019.

But with 10 games to go and the playoffs hanging in the balance, he expressed his desire to leave and Montreal obliged.

They transferred him to a second division team in France, forcing the club to rework its back line on the fly.  

Ballou Tabla was brought back to Montreal on loan after being sold to Barcelona a few years ago, yet he didn’t play any significant minutes.

Montreal Impact’s head coach Wilmer Cabrera looks on from the sideline during a game against the New York Red Bulls. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The details around that are fuzzy. All we know is that after a practice last month he had a long heart-to-heart with coach Wilmer Carbrera, allegedly apologizing for an off-the-field indiscretion.

But what that indiscretion was remains a mystery. 

Who’s worth keeping in 2020?   

The Impact didn’t only make bad acquisitions in 2019. This year saw the arrival of players such as Lassi Lappalainen and Orji Okwonkwo on loan from Bologna.

Both are young and talented, and while they’ve both made it clear that their long-term career goals include playing in Europe, they were great additions to the team.

Renard could easily fit them into his vision for a team with an attack-first mentality.

Samuel Piette was another bright spot for the team. His presence in the midfield as a stabilizing force on defence and his ability to almost always make the smart pass was always noticeable when he was on the pitch.

Montreal Impact’s Ignacio Piatti salutes fans following an MLS soccer game against the New York Red Bulls, in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

He needs a new contract and the fact that he’s a local player is something that Renard might want to take into consideration. 

Ignacio Piatti is the biggest question mark, however.

He’s certainly an all-time player for the Impact and he still has great talent in his legs.

But given his recent injury woes, the fact that he’s 34, and his price point, Renard has to decide if it’s worth keeping him.

Piatti has a multi-million dollar club option on his contact for next season. Renard has to decide whether to activate it or to let Piatti walk and spend his money on other players on the open market. 

Finally, there is coach Cabrera. He did lead Montreal to a win over Toronto in the Canadian Championship final and book a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League, but his 2-4-1 record in MLS fell four points shy of making the playoffs. 

Hope renewed with Champions League

The CONCACAF Champions League has always meant a lot to the Montreal Impact, so starting next season with the event is a blessing for the club. 

Their success in 2008 and the series with Santos Laguna in 2009, arguably, was the turning point which led to the club making the move to the MLS.

Montreal Impact players raise the Voyageurs Cup after defeating Toronto FC in the second leg of Canadian Champion soccer action in Toronto. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

Their run to the final in 2015, along with the arrival of Didier Drogba later that same year, spurred interest in the club to its highest historic levels. 

Now, after three years out of the MLS playoffs and with attendance numbers waning, the club is once again hoping the competition can reignite the city’s love affair with the team. 

Renard needs to work fast to get the team ready to compete and, if he can build it, the fans will come back. 

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Jonas Brothers Surprise Fan Who Missed Concert Due to Chemo Treatment

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This man has never missed a day of work in 36 years — and he’s surrounded by germs

They call him the Ironman.

Next week, Mike Turner will achieve a stunning milestone: 36 years on the job without ever taking a sick day. 

There was one day, though, when he missed 15 minutes of work. He had a good excuse: a kidney stone was working its way through his body.

“I went down to the locker room, and I sat on the sofa for about 15 minutes and [the pain] went away,” he said. “If the pain had got any worse, I would’ve had to go home that day.”

What’s even more remarkable about Turner’s perfect attendance record is that he works in a hospital, the Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro, N.S., surrounded by germs and illness.

“I don’t like to jinx myself, but I mean I have been very lucky and I guess my immune system is very strong.”

Turner works in the stores at the hospital in Truro. It’s his job to make sure every department has the supplies they need. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Turner is a modest, shy man who is passionate about his job. He started out on Aug. 8, 1983, at the old Colchester Hospital. Back then, he was a utility worker in the dietary department.

“I was washing pots, and I also brought trays up to the patients and worked in the dish room.”

In five years of interacting with patients, he never once had a day where he thought he should go home.

“I’ve had a cold before, but I’ve never had one that floored me.”

Turner eventually landed in supply distribution, making sure every department is properly stocked in bandages, tape, tubes and more. Every item that isn’t a medication has gone through Turner’s department.

His coworkers say Turner is the first to volunteer for any event.

“Every year ticks away and I continue to have perfect attendance,” he said. “Like I say, it’s very lucky.”

‘I got a standing ovation’

It turns out, Turner’s perfect record isn’t just at work. Growing up, he never missed a day of school.

“When I graduated, I got a standing ovation,” he said.

There’s no trick to his healthy lifestyle, he said. He usually starts his day off with a bowl of cereal — often Frosted Flakes (but don’t tell the nutritionists at the hospital that bit).

“I do wash my hands, but I’m not one of these people who washes their hands constantly when they touch a door or whatever.”

Whatever the secret, Turner is just taking it day by day. He said retirement is a few years off, but he’s not putting any pressure on himself to finish with the perfect record.

“It’s an honour, I guess.”


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