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Langley, Delta venues announced for World Under-17 Hockey Challenge – Surrey Now-Leader

Langley, Delta venues announced for World Under-17 Hockey Challenge - Surrey Now-Leader

The world’s top under-17 hockey talent will be making their international playing debuts in Langley and Delta this fall.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID restrictions, Hockey Canada’s 2022 World Under-17 Challenge returns Nov. 5-12, with games taking place at the Langley Events Centre and North Delta’s Sungod Arena.

The tournament, which features three Canadian teams and five international squads, is meant to showcase “the future stars of the game,” according to the event’s website.

“This event is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence and fans in Metro Vancouver will be able to watch some of the top young players in the world throughout the tournament,” Dean McIntosh, vice-president of events and properties for Hockey Canada, said in a press release Friday officially announcing the LEC and Sungod as this year’s venues.

Since its inception in 1986 as the Quebec Esso Cup, more than 1,600 NHL draft picks have played in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, including 21 first-round picks: Pierre Turgeon, Mats Sundin, Alexandre Daigle, Bryan Berard, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Ilya Kovalchuk, Rick Nash, Marc-André Fleury, Alexander Ovechkin, Eric Johnson, Patrick Kane, John Tavares, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Jack Hughes, Alexis Lafrenière and Owen Power.

Ten different countries have competed alongside the Canadian entries over the event’s history: Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Soviet Union, Sweden and the United States.

Participating countries for the 2022 World Under-17 Challenge have yet to be announced.

This year’s tournament will be the fourth time the event has been held in B.C., but the first time it will be hosted in the Lower Mainland.

Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese said the community is honoured to have been chosen as one of the tournament’s hosts, calling it a “marquee international event.”

“We look forward to welcoming many of the top players from around the world as well as all the passionate hockey fans to witness the participating teams chase their dreams of capturing international glory,” Froese said in a press release.

“Whether it is the players or the spectators in attendance, we are sure they will enjoy their experience here at Langley Events Centre, a world-class facility that has become one of the province’s premier destinations for sports, recreation and entertainment.”

Delta Mayor George Harvie said the city is thrilled to be selected to host the best young hockey players from across the globe this November.

“Delta has a long and rich hockey history, from minor hockey to the Vancouver Giants, to being the hometown of Stanley Cup champions,” Harvie said in a press release.

“The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge continues Delta’s deep and longstanding relationship with Canada’s game, and we look forward to welcoming visitors, players, coaches and officials to Delta and, of course, watching the action on the ice.”

Cameron Hope, chief executive officer for BC Hockey, said the organization and its member partners and associations looks forward to working with the event’s host group “to provide grassroots initiatives that will remain in the local communities as a legacy in partnership with this very special international hockey event.”

The 2019 event — held in Medicine Hat, Alta. and Swift Current, Sask. — saw the three Canadian teams and one each representing Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and U.S. play 22 games over eight days, with some games broadcast on TSN and others streamed on Hockey Canada’s website. Russia beat the Americans for gold, while Czech Republic took home bronze.

In early 2020, Hockey Canada was considering a joint bid to host the 2021 event in North Delta, Langley and Chilliwack. However, when COVID-19 hit, the pandemic forced the cancellation of that year’s tournament (scheduled to take place Oct. 31 to Nov. 7 in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I.) and put future plans on hold.

The event was again cancelled in 2021 and replaced with the one-off Capital City Challenge, a six-day tournament featuring three men’s U17 teams and Canada’s national women’s team that served as part of the latter’s preparation for the Winter Olympics in Beijing two months later.

On-sale date for the World Under-17 Challenge has not yet been announced, but tickets when they become available can be purchased at

— with files from Tom Zillich

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Delta 24/7 cooling centres to come in case of heat dome

Delta 24/7 cooling centres to come in case of heat dome

The costs to provide 24/7 cooling facilities and transportation have yet to be determined

The City of Delta will have a plan in place to help the vulnerable should another heat dome hit the region this summer.

Council on Monday approved a staff recommendation to have designated municipal facilities in North Delta, Tsawwassen and Ladner identified as 24/7 cooling centres during Level 2 BC Heat Alert Response events.

A plan will include using Delta’s seniors’ buses to transport people to and from cooling centres and having a 24-hour information phone line about centre locations, transportation options and resources for dealing with the heat.

The city will also look at options to accommodate pets during extreme heat events as well as assess the feasibility of installing temporary misting stations or portable water stations at key locations throughout Delta.

The cooling centres will be in addition to municipal facilities that are equipped with air conditioning that will be available for people seeking respite from the heat, but those facilities will just be open during normal operating hours.

The city will also work with community partners serving vulnerable seniors and the homeless in Delta to develop a plan to support and check in with those groups during extreme heat events.

Staff will also develop a communications plan to promote Delta’s Beat the Heat strategy.

Also to make funding applications for mapping, assessment and planning, the city will submit a resolution to the Union of BC Municipalities asking the provincial government to recognize extreme heat events as public health emergencies.

A report to council notes the BC Coroners Service attributes 526 deaths in the province to the heat dome event last summer. Most of the deaths were elderly people living alone at home.

Delta Fire and Emergency Services reported 15 incidents of likely heat-related medical symptoms between June 26 and July 3, 2021, with 17 confirmed incidents of heat-related effects and seven deaths, although those deaths were not verified to be a result of the heat.

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Delta students return to further relaxed restrictions

Delta students return to further relaxed restrictions

Graduating students will now be able to take part in more typical celebrations of the past

Delta students will come back from the long weekend to a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

In an update to parents, Delta School District Superintendent Doug Sheppard said the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings have been updated to reflect changes to the provincial health officer orders and further incorporate public health guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

The amendments took effect April 16.

Among the key changes is a relaxation of restrictions for school gatherings and events.

Schools can resume all gathering and events, returning to 100 per cent capacity.

That means schools can host school and sports events, plan year-end celebrations and prepare for more typical graduation ceremonies.

Although Daily Health Checks are no longer officially required for anyone entering schools or district buildings, Sheppard said the district strongly encourages individuals to continue the practice, while staff, parents, caregivers and students should not come to school if they are sick and unable to participate fully in routine activities.

Schools can also use classroom and learning environment configurations and activities that best meet learner needs and preferred educational approaches.

“It is encouraging to see public health transition to managing COVID-19 as they do other serious respiratory infections in the community as it allows a return to a more normal life and activities,” wrote Sheppard. “However, like many of you, we will be paying close attention to changes in community and school illness and COVID-19 rates, and will continue to work with our partners at Fraser Health to shift as necessary as this pandemic continues to change.”

New data on COVID-19 in City of Delta

Meanwhile, the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the City of Delta inched up slightly from the previous week, according the BCCDC.

BCCDC’s latest community map, posted April 14, covers the period of April 3 to 9. The map shows Delta had 27 new cases.

As far as Delta’s vaccination rate, as of April 10, those in the 5-to-11 age range, who have had a first dose, was 65 per cent, while it was 46 per cent for a second dose.

Those 12-to-17 who have had a first dose was 97 per cent, while it was 95 per cent for a second and 41 per cent for a booster shot.

When it comes to those ages 18-years-old and older in Delta who had a first dose, it stood at 97 per cent, while it was 95 per cent for a second and 63 per cent for a third. Those numbers are unchanged from the previous week.



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Easter fun is back this weekend in South Delta

Easter fun is back this weekend in South Delta

The Easter bunny will make a return to South Delta this weekend for a number of popular events.

Events will be held in both Tsawwassen and Ladner for families and children of all ages.

First up is the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen’s free Easter event at Diefenbaker Park on Saturday, April 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Come and enjoy a pancake breakfast, Easter egg hunt, animal farm, pony rides, and more.

Once your done at the Rotary event, hop on over to the Southlands Grange for their Easter Eggstravaganza from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

This is a free event with a scavenger hunt, pop up craft market, face painters, arts & crafts, food trucks, petting zoo and a colouring contest.

On Sunday, the Ladner Business Association (LBA) plays host to its Easter Parade and egg hunt.

Join in the fun for the parade on Easter Sunday in Ladner Village with the Easter bunny and the Delta Police Pipe Band leading the way.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. at the Historic Delta Municipal Hall and Ladner Community Police Station and proceeds down Delta Street to an Easter egg hunt at Memorial Park.

Don’t forget to wear your bunny ears and decorate your bike, wagon or stroller.

This is a free family event brought to you by members of the LBA.

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Delta approves return to community events

Delta approves return to community events

Start marking in your calendar Delta because the community expects to be very busy in the weeks and months to come.

At Monday’s council meeting in North Delta, councillors unanimously approved a detailed report from parks director Carmen Gonzalez, which outlines a return to community-wide events in 2022.

The 2022 City Supported Events listing is divided into three categories: special facility events, city-wide events and recognitions/community events.

Special facility events are identified as events that take place at a specific city facility and are generally smaller in scale. Examples include Delta School District’s Professional Days, senior volunteer teas, Easter or Youth Week.

City-wide events are of a larger scale, are usually free events and cover a broad range of activities. Examples include the Boundary Bay Air Show, Luminary Festival and seasonal tree lightings and festivals like May Days.

Special recognition events are special service or milestone celebrations, grand openings, long service awards, project start-ups or completions.

“City of Delta supported events are an important aspect of community programming and contributed to the social and economic health of residents,” said Gonzalez in her report. “Staff will ensure that all events are in accordance with any Provincial Health Officer’s orders in place as a given time.”

Among some of the early highlights in the next few months include a public opening of the Douglas J. Husband Discovery Centre in April, Rotary Club Easter Egg hunts in Tsawwassen and North Delta, the Easter Egg Hunt and Parade hosted by the Ladner Business Association, Youth Week events in May, the Delta Virtual Triathlon, the North Delta Centre for the Arts grand opening, Delta Idol, and Ladner May Days.

“Wow, this is quite a list of events and hopefully as we come out of the pandemic, these will all be able to take place,” said Coun. Jeannie Kanakos.

Mayor George Harvie added that he can’t wait to start having some fun again in the community and putting the pandemic behind us.

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After two long years Delta special event venues flooded with enquiries

Delta businesses have been dealing with a flurry of interest since B.C. health officials dropped COVID restrictions last week on indoor gatherings such as weddings and special events.

“The phones are ringing off the hook with new event inquiries,” said Sue Carlile, general manager of Tsawwassen Springs, which features a ballroom, Pat Quinn’s Restaurant and an 18-hole golf course. “People are anxious to book their events that have been postponed for two years. Our spring and summer are already quite busy with events in the ballroom.”

Russell Pohl’s Mr. Mom’s World Catering oversees operations and bookings at East Delta Hall. The historic Ladner Trunk Road venue has been under repair since a water pipe break back in December resulted in some significant damage. It will be bustling when it re-opens.

“Once we get totally re-opened, which I would say would be mid-May, from that point on we around 85 percent booked,” said Pohl. “Our inbox has been inundated. I would say we’re already 10 to 15 percent booked for next year alone.”

Over the past 24 months, Pohl pivoted his business to create programs featuring his Ukrainian specialty foods. It’s become so popular that he plans on continuing the sales in some form even when the hall is buzzing with events again.

“We’re extremely blessed that we had the opportunity to be able to do that. Many caterers didn’t have that option,” continued Pohl. “This may seem really corny and all that kind of stuff, but we built a lot of projects. For instance, our (mobile) meal program, then we did more wholesale things. I think we’re going to keep the majority of those programs because we feel extremely blessed by the community that continued to support us.”

As full capacity events are being rapidly booked, the scramble is on to find more employees. It’s no easy task when many left the industry two years ago.

“Yes we anticipate the hiring process to be quite challenging with the labor shortage,” added Carlile. “We are presently training new culinary staff and will be hiring and training staff for our ballroom events.”

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Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants on serious hospital events

Study: Serious hospital events following symptomatic infection with Sars-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants: an exposed-unexposed cohort study in December 2021 from the COVID-19 surveillance databases in France. Image Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock

In a recent study posted to the medRxiv* pre-print server, a team of researchers assessed the differences in risk of hospitalization in adults after infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron and Delta variants of concern (VOCs).

Study: Serious hospital events following symptomatic infection with Sars-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants: an exposed-unexposed cohort study in December 2021 from the COVID-19 surveillance databases in France. Image Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/ShutterstockStudy: Serious hospital events following symptomatic infection with Sars-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants: an exposed-unexposed cohort study in December 2021 from the COVID-19 surveillance databases in France. Image Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, Delta, and Omicron necessitated extensive research about the manifestations of the variants. The varied effects of the VOCs on adult patients, including the severity of disease and COVID-19-related hospitalizations, have been comprehensively studied. However, several studies suggest significant differences in the impact of the different variants on the occurrence of serious hospital events.    

About the study

The present retrospective cohort study investigated the differences and the various factors involved in COVID-19-related hospital events occurring in adults infected with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta VOCs.

COVID-19 cases in France between 6 December 2021 and 7 Jan 2022 were recorded and grouped into two arms – Delta and Omicron arms. The cases eligible for the study were of patients over 18 years of age, who had symptomatic manifestations of COVID-19 and were reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among the eligible cases, patients suspected to be infected with the Omicron VOC and the Delta VOC were known as exposed and non-exposed individuals, respectively.

The two groups were compared based on known risk factors like age, gender, the status of vaccination, and comorbidities. The study considered intensive care unit (ICU) admission of the COVID-19 patient, requiring critical care, or, death of the patient in the hospital as a serious hospital event.  

A multiplex quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) was used to characterize the variant present in the SARS-CoV-2-positive samples. The results of the mutation screening were evaluated based on the presence of spike proteins, characteristic to either Delta or Omicron VOC. The primary outcome of the study was the number of COVID-19-related serious hospital events among symptomatic patients who had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron or Delta VOC.        


The study results showed that a total of 149,064 patients were included in the research. A total of 36% of patients in the SARS-CoV-2 Delta VOC cohort were unvaccinated as compared to the 17% of patients in the Omicron VOC arm. A slightly higher number of comorbidities was observed in the Delta arm than in the Omicron arm.

During the follow-up period of the study, 497 serious hospital events were observed, of which the Delta arm accounted for 447 cases while the Omicron arm had 50 cases. ICU admission was the most common serious hospital event.

Within the Delta VOC arm, 92% and 97% of the serious hospital events were observed within 14 and 21 days of SARS-CoV-2 detection while in the Omicron cohort, 84% and 100% of the serious events were observed within 14 and 21 days of the positive COVID-19 test, respectively. Notably, patients who were vaccinated with the booster dose had a higher number of serious hospital events as compared to the patients vaccinated with the primary dose.

Patients belonging to the age group of 18 to 79 years were at 7.7 times lower risk of serious hospital events in the case of Omicron symptomatic patients as compared to the Delta symptomatic patients. In patients 80 years and older, Omicron-infected patients had a 3.3-fold lower risk of serious events than patients infected with Delta. It was also noted that the odds of occurrence of a serious event increased with the increasing age of the patient. Also, male patients were at a significantly higher risk of serious events than women; this risk was lesser in vaccinated individuals.

The risk of serious hospital events was lowered by 6.7 times in vaccinated patients of ages between 18 and 79 years, irrespective of whether they received the booster vaccine or not, while the same risk was lowered by 2.2 times in patients of ages over 80 years who had received the primary vaccine dose; the risk was further reduced by 4.3 times when the patients received the booster dose.  


The study findings showed that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron VOC has lower disease severity and a lower incidence of serious hospital events as compared to the Delta VOC. Despite the lower vaccine efficacy reported against the Omicron VOC as compared to the Delta VOC, no significant difference was observed in the protection provided by the vaccines against severe hospital events in this study.

According to the authors, the higher risk of occurrence of serious events in the elderly can be lowered with vaccination and booster dose administration.

*Important notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.